Geranium

Friday Favourites: Body Care Products

When The Amazing Blog did a quick beauty poll amongst some friends, it seems that body care products are something frequently overlooked. We all take great care to moisturise our faces, but what about our poor hard-working bodies? Today we have reviewed some of our #amazingfinds for the body, which we hope will tempt even the most sceptical or lackadaisical among you.

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Let’s begin with Lavera, a brand that we know and love (see here for more). Lavera never fails to live up to our expectations with their 100% certified organic ingredients, all of which are dermatologically proven, vegan and with all the free-froms. We like a good multi-tasker and with their Firming Body Milk we have found just that. Not only does it help to moisturise, but it also works to firm up the skin too. Lavera claims that when used every day, there will be a noticeable difference in your skin texture within two weeks – quite a claim, but one we can justify! Gently fragranced, the use of key ingredients, organic green coffee bean and green tea, help to stimulate the skin, for a soft and smooth finish. On the other hand, the use of rosemary and grape help to leave skin feeling silky-soft. It is lightweight to use and absorbs quickly, thankfully leaving no sticky residue. They suggest exfoliating first (Lavera has a rather lovely Smoothing Body Scrub) and applying daily. Whether you’re looking for body firming or not, we really liked the fragrance, feel and texture. Sensibly priced at £10.95 for a 200ml tube , it is available here.

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Next, we have CeraVe’s Moisturising Cream, an impressive hyaluronic acid and ceramide based barrier cream, suitable for use on both the body and face, and gentle enough for eczema-prone skin. What are ceramides, I hear you ask; they are lipids that not only help to form the skin’s barrier and retain moisture but also protect against environmental pollution. This body moisturiser is particularly suitable for anyone with dry or very dry sensitive skin. CeraVe is a US brand developed in tandem with dermatologists, they have over 70 products to offer and what makes their product unique is their revolutionary delivery system: MultiVesicular Emulsion Technology (MVE). This technology releases moisturising ingredients over a 24 hour period, layer by layer, to help keep skin soft all day long. Ingredients are not natural, but they are fragrance free, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. CeraVe are also quick to point out that they have received more Seal of Acceptance awards from the National Eczema Association than any other brand, which makes them a very tried and tested brand. Available from Boots or Superdrug, this is an economical product, £8.50 for 177ml.

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Our third body moisturiser is from the award-winning British brand PHB (Pure Handmade British) Ethical Beauty which is stuffed to the gunnels with delicious superfoods. This 2-in-1 Hand & Body Moisturiser has had us all cooing and oohing. We’ve been long-standing fans of PHB Ethical Beauty and have reviewed several of their products (and we hope many more) - see here. So when given the opportunity to try their new Hand & Body Moisturiser – we leapt at the chance! This brand is very special with 20% of their profits going to The OneLove Foundation (founded by PHB Ethical Beauty in 2015). All their products are made with ethically harvested and responsibly sourced ingredients that are 100% natural, vegan, cruelty-free and alcohol-free (Halal certified). They call this a “no-nonsense moisturiser” and we couldn’t agree more. It absorbs quickly and comes with a list of simple, natural and certified organic ingredients that perform; it feeds the skin with a pure and powerful blend of mango, shea butter, apricot and pumpkin seeds – we love both the fragrance and simplicity. It is available on the PHB website here for £16.60, in a 150ml recyclable tube.


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Our final discovery are Liquid Body Washes from Fil Blanc (meaning “white thread” in French), perhaps best known for their high-quality Hammam Turkish cotton towelling (we have our eye on their multi-coloured hand woven bath robe). The brand’s inspiration is taken from Mediterranean luxury living, with a touch of bohemia thrown in. Fil Blanc is based in historical St. Nicholas Market at the Exchange Hall, Bristol where they started three years ago. All products are sourced or designed by the founder Gulsum Gok. She very kindly sent us two of their body washes Relaxing and Orange & Jasmine. All body washes are 99% natural with a 81.98 % organic base, also vegan, cruelty and paraben free. Again they come with a very simple list of ingredients: Relaxing is made with essential oils of geranium, lavender, orange and ylang-ylang; whereas Orange & Jasmine has only these. Both contain honey and aloe vera with an Argan oil base. At a reasonably priced £12 for 259ml you can purchase both here, or alternatively make a visit to their Bristol HQ.

Now there is no excuse not to implement a little body pampering!

Christmas Stocking Filler Ideas

We're halfway through our week of gift-giving inspiration at The Amazing Blog, so we thought it would be apt to help you along your way with some stocking fillers. We wanted to steer clear of the usual shower gels, novelty gifts and chocolates, instead have compiled a few alternative gifts sure to bring joy on Christmas morning. Enjoy!

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Firstly, who doesn't love a food-related gift at Christmas? We certainly enjoy nothing more than discovering new treats, so we were excited to try the offerings of Wilding’s. As the first world maker's of Duck Crackling snacks, this brand aims to provide innovative products, with a focus on creating new and exciting flavours and textures. All too often, our snacking game is pretty weak, so we were excited to try their three signature products. We can confirm that we were not disappointed!

We tried the Duck Crackling Variety Pack, consisting of three flavours: Traditional Peking, Smoked Sea Salt and Kampot Pepper and Habanero Chilli and Lemongrass. Each 25g pack contains signature spice blends, and only natural oils and premium grade local duck are used. This adds depth of flavour, and alongside the hand batched processing, the finished result is a light snack that has been triple cooked for maximum crunch and taste. The Traditional Peking Duck Crackling provides a classic flavour which works well when paired with red wine. The Smoked Sea Salt and Kampot Pepper Duck Crackling gives an oaky flavour which we found delicious alongside a good quality beer - gone are the days of bog-standard pork scratchings! Finally, our favourite was the Habanero Chilli and Lemongrass Duck Crackling, providing just the right amount of spice, thanks to the balance of coconut sugar. We’re sure any foodie would relish the chance to try these products, or perhaps Wildings Snacks could feature as part of your Christmas Eve snacking bowls. Whichever suits you best, you can purchase your own Duck Crackling Variety Pack for £7.50 here.

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We know that stocking fillers often contain beauty products, perhaps lip balms and body butters to be more precise. We wanted to steer away from these products, so were excited to discover the offerings of EBO Beauty. We were impressed by the brand concept of bringing luxury aromatherapy to our daily routines, without the need for overly complicated ingredients. This is something they have achieved, with 100% natural products, free from the use of chemicals.

We tried the Essential Mood Oil Trio, consisting of three oils: serenity, clarity and immunity. Serenity quite literally helps to you feel serene and stress-free, with the use of bergamot, geranium and lavender to encourage relaxation. We especially enjoyed using this before going to bed. Clarity is somewhat the opposite, designed to improve concentration levels. Thanks to the lemon, rosemary and basil oils, we felt awakened and ready to take on the day. Finally, immunity has proven to be popular in the last few (very busy) weeks at the office. This oil contains eucalyptus, cinnamon and clove bud oils, adding a festive touch, while helping to boost our energy levels. We like to use all three on our inner wrists, and you need only use a small amount each time, making them a long-lasting and well-received stocking filler. To purchase your own Essential Mood Oil Trio for £30, click here.

If you're after more of a skincare based product, then we also tried the Winter Essential Facial Oil, a nourishing oil containing sweet almond and sunflower oils, as well as lavender, sweet orange and geranium. This oil has a particularly rejuvenating effect, with neroli oil to kick-start a sluggish circulation. Especially an issue at this time of the year, you're sure to be popular with your recipient. You only need to use about 5 drops, simply warm them between your hands and apply to your face gently. To give the gift of a glowing complexion, then you can purchase the Winter Essential Facial Oil here for £12 (10ml) or £24 (30ml). You can also purchase Ebo Beauty’s products on the Beauty Stable website here.

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We love nothing more than something sweet in the evening, especially at Christmas time! However, thanks to the extremely busy festive period, we don't always have the time to bake. This is where Bakedin have come to the rescue - with three mug mixes that require only butter and milk before cooking. The concept of bringing time conscious baking to the market was born in 2013, and the brand has only continued to grow. We particularly love that the recipes have been developed by Michel Roux, a renowned pastry chef - so you can be safe in the knowledge that scrimping on time, will not scrimp on flavour.

We tried all three flavours: Sticky Toffee, Belgian Chocolate and Gooey Chocolate, all of which are designed to be microwaved in a (microwave safe) mug, taking no more than 80 seconds to cook, and 5 minutes to cool - trust us, that part is crucial! The Sticky Toffee Mug Cake Mix has a rich and gourmet taste and is delicious when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For a chocolate lover, the Belgian Chocolate Mug Brownie Mix has a delectable taste, with the guarantee of a gooey centre (often difficult to achieve from homemade baking). Finally, our favourite, the Gooey Chocolate Mug Cookie Mix is reminiscent of eating cookie dough as a child, with a sweet and soft cookie dough, full of Belgian chocolate chips. Once again, this is delicious when served with vanilla ice cream - it really is hard to believe that it takes just 5 minutes (from start to finish) to prepare! To gift a sweet treat this Christmas, then you can purchase a Top Selling Mug Mix Bundle here for £12. This compromises of three sachets in each flavour, or you can see the full list of Mug Mixes here if one particularly takes your fancy.

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For the tea lovers in your life, we came across the Penguin Infuser Mug from the RSPB. Since 1889, this well-known charity has been dedicated to conserving nature, acting as the largest conservation charity in the country. In line with their ethos, the shop proceeds are fed directly back into the charity, using the money to nurture species in trouble, and to run multiple reserves across the UK.

The mug itself is made from English fine bone china and has a sweet penguin design on each side. The removable lid helps to encourage your tea of choice to develop, as well as keeping it warmer for longer, while the removable infuser makes this mug suitable for loose leaf tea, herbal infusions and ground coffee. Gone are the days of owning delicious loose leaf tea but not being able to drink it! Additionally, the mug is also dishwasher safe and you can, of course, use this mug with other non-loose leaf tea and hot drinks. To do your bit for charity this year, as well as providing your recipient with a lovely mug to drink their Christmas tea in, then the Penguin Tea Infuser Mug is available here for £12.99.

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Finally, we present an alternative stocking filler for a makeup lover in your life. Majic Beauty are the first genuinely safe and hygienic beauty brand with an instant application process. With years of formulating and testing, their Instant Eyeshadow products have been designed with high-quality and natural ingredients, all of which are easily transferable and durable. They certainly have us hooked!

Born from the issue of cross-contamination within the makeup industry, Majic Beauty wanted to create eyeshadow products that reduce the risk of spreading bacteria, creating single-use applicators that hygienically transfer colour directly onto the eyelids. This is something they have achieved with success! We tried both the Creme Brulee and Smokey Eyes applicators, both of which contain five applicator pairs. For those of us with blue eyes, we found that Creme Brulee's bronze shades made our eyes pop, while the silver tones of Smokey Eyes are perfect for an evening party look. We also found the applicators easy to use - simply take them out of the packaging and gently press over your eyelids. To smudge the colours, slide the applicator gently across the eyelid, and we discovered it is easiest to blend the colours by lightly using the applicator edge. Thanks to the use of cruelty and paraben free ingredients, the eyeshadow is also gentle on the skin, while still leaving a professional finish. To try Majic Beauty's Instant Eyeshadow for yourself, then click here to check out their range on Amazon. You'll find a plethora of shades, all of which start from £5.99.

From food, to beauty and lifestyle products, we hope this stocking filler guide has helped you to think slightly outside of the box this year!

Friday Favourites - Natural Cleansers

What’s more important to you… A skincare regime in the morning to pep up your skin? Or perhaps in the evening, to help get rid of the daily grim? When we did a quick poll in the office and found that we all tended to lean towards an evening ritual. Although maybe one or two of us might admit to having fallen asleep with our make up on - oh what a sin! Of course, when this is the case we’ve paid the price; you know the look of dark panda eyes, streaky cheeks and an irritated skin breakout. Today we at The Amazing Blog explore four natural, cruelty-free and gentle cleansing products to help you up your cleansing game - whether its for the day, night or both.

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First and foremost, we all know that we’ve got to remove our make up. Nadur is an Irish natural and vegan skincare brand that has a wonderfully gentle and effective make up remover. Nadur was a Pure Beauty Global Awards 2018 Finalist, and they are committed to crafting non-toxic and well-designed products that are safe for the environment and the user. The name ‘Nadur’ means nature and comes from the ancient celtic/viking alphabet ‘Ogham’, with their 20 symbols that represent sacred trees. They focus on the ‘acid mantle’ (the skins natural defense mechanism) and their products are a careful blend of science and artistry using ‘green chemistry’.

We tried their Genie Rinsable Oil Cleanser & Makeup Remover and were pleased to find the naturally ethical formula is non-greasy and hydrating. This cleanser and make up remover hybrid works well for normal, oily, combination, and dry skin. To use it, smother over dry skin, wetting the face to emulsify it, and gently work it in. Give your face a rinse, and you’ll feel squeaky clean, without the tight sensation. This water-soluble solution is gentle on the skin’s natural protective barrier because of the inclusion of organic jojoba oil, which means the skin’s moisture levels are restored. We particularly like all the antioxidants and minerals, such as pomegranate seed, that help to rejuvenate the skin. The Genie Rinsable Oil Cleanser & Makeup Remover is vegan, gluten, cruelty-free, non-toxic, and 100% natural. Its faint floral, nutty fragrance comes from the sweet almond oil and ylang-ylang flower extract. Purchase Nadur’s Genie Oil Cleanser & Makeup Remover 200ml here for £25.00.



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Let’s move from Ireland to Britain, to explore Nakin Skincare. We’re particular fans of this new British brand which focuses on natural anti-ageing products, and recently featured their Active Dew Face Cream here. As a nominee for Best New Skincare Brand in the Pure Beauty Awards, founder Cris Beetham said: “Our whole ethos is about effective natural skincare, for people who want great skin without the use of harsh chemicals.” And we certainly do! Hyaluronic acid, seaweed and plant extracts, healing butters, and reviving oils are some of the powerful ingredients in Nakin’s products that help to enhance your skin’s natural beauty. All of their products are cruelty-free and are without parabens and artificial colour and fragrances.

We took their Natural Anti-Ageing Advanced Cleansing Milk for a spin. This cleanser is 98% natural and wheat and gluten-free. We particularly enjoyed using this product because of how gentle it is on sensitive and dry skin, and it proved to be a great hit with our Exec Editor. The Cleansing Milk is easy to apply, simply massage in circular motion before removing with a cotton pad - it’s brilliant for removing stubborn make up. The hyaluronic acid and pomegranate fruit extract help to fight the key signs of ageing. The seaweed extract also helps to even skin tone. The completely natural, light floral fragrance is refreshing but more importantly we liked that this cleanser was effective. If you’d like to try Nakin Skincare’s Natural Anti-Ageing Advance Cleansing Milk, it can be purchased 150ml here for £15.00.

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If you’re in the mood to try something different, then Speak Skin Beauty has got you covered. They are a natural skincare company founded by Nisa and Tiara, who wanted to make a difference. Their mission is to empower women with fair and reliable information on skincare ingredients, to allow them to make an informed decision; and wishing to make a positive impact on their community and environment. Both had struggled on their journey to find a suitable skincare for their complexions; Nisa with dermatitis and Tiara for her ever-changing, hormonal skin. This skincare brand is all about advocating good clean and conscious products. They carefully choose their ingredients to ensure that their products are appropriate for even the most sensitive skin. We love how they are minimising waste by getting rid of unnecessary packaging. We received their 01 Cleansing Powder in a charming fabric mini tote all made from recycled material. This packaging makes the product all the more meaningful in our eyes. They’re strictly cruelty and paraben-free, and make all their products in small batches.

Speak’s 01 Cleansing Powder system was new to most of the team here, as they hadn’t used a powder cleanser before. It is a gentle, soap-free cleansing powder that has only four ingredients: organic oats, lavendar extract, kaolin clay and sweet almond oil. It’s simplicity at it’s best. The scent is particularly enticing, the fragrance of this almost poultice-like texture is lead by the combination of lavender and oatmeal. The oats help to soothe the skin; the lavender calms redness; the sweet almond oil prevents dryness and hydrates, and the kaolin clay diminishes sebum production. This cleanser proved very popular with those of us who have more oily skin with frequent breakouts, as it helps to calm and stabilise. Mix the powder in the palm of your hand with warm water to make a paste, then apply by gently massaging the paste on the face, rinse off, et voila! You too can purchase Speak Skin Beauty’s 01 Cleansing Powder 60g here for £8.88.

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Last but by no means least, we found Skincare with Compassion, an organic skincare company founded to be entirely cruelty-free and vegan. Based on the Island of Jersey, founder Emma Froch explains that the brand is “dedicated to changing the way in which people think about skin care” by advocating natural and animal-friendly products. Emma’s thirst for expertise in the skincare industry began over nine years ago when she realised that cruelty-free and vegan products were in short supply. She made it her mission to formulate 100% natural and non-animal derived products, working with beauty experts to discover ethical ingredients without nasty additives. We certainly admire the ethics of the company and were thrilled to try the Geranium and Thyme Purifying Face Wash.

This face wash is designed for those with oily or spot prone skin, a welcome discovery for certain members of The Amazing Blog team who suffer from hormonal blemishes. It contains 83.7% certified organic ingredients, including four superpower botanicals: geranium, thyme, lavender flower and rosemary. The geranium provides the benefit of minimising the look of wrinkles whilst still leaving your face feeling moisturised and supple. The thyme is a powerful force against bacteria, helping to eliminate and calm sebum levels. Similarly, lavender flower has antibacterial properties, reducing blemishes and fighting against the dark spots and scars that we are often availed with (as if having the spot in the first place wasn’t bad enough!) Finally, rosemary is antiseptic, helping to reduce redness and puffiness, by balancing congested skin. All in all, a robust set of ingredients that not only soothe our skin, but smell light and fresh.

To see the results for yourself, apply a small amount of the cleanser to wet skin (we suggest opening your pores with warm water first) and gently massage. You’ll be met with a silky foam, which needs only to be rinsed with warm water to remove. To purchase a 100ml bottle of Skincare with Compassion’s Geranium and Thyme Purifying Face Wash for £18, then click here.

There is a natural cleanser here to suit almost every skin type. We think that all four of these cleansers are fabulous alternatives to the plethora of chemical-infused cleansers, that are so readily available on the high street. Please let us know if you get try out some of our new finds, otherwise we hope that we’ve inspired you to go and search out new cleansing alternatives.

Charlotte Rhys Eau De Toilette - Victor

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Everyone searches for their signature scent, you know the one that says it's you. There is nothing more annoying than your best girlfriend copping a sniff of your favourite fragrance, and then sneakily going out to buy the very same! We at The Amazing Blog are always keen on discovering new and unique fragrances to help us stand out in a sea of perfumes. This is why we were intrigued to receive the luxurious Eau De Toilette in Victor from Charlotte Rhys. This South African brand was founded in 1999 by Janet Rhys and Shaun McDermott. They have since established themselves as a leading luxury brand, recently launching here in the UK. What we love about this company is that their focus is on being environmentally friendly. Their ‘green policy’ is something that they are rightfully proud of, as they strive to ensure all their ingredients are ethically sourced and cruelty-free.

This brand has a fragrance for every personality, mood, or occasion and the one we can’t get enough of is the scent Victor. Each perfume in their Classic line is inspired by their hometown of Cape Town. This ‘aromatic and enticing’ perfume has top notes of Nutmeg, Baie Rose and Grapefruit to give you a sweet and sultry allure to carry along into every room you enter. The heart notes of Lavender, Geranium and Black Pepper gives a well-rounded aroma that lingers all day.  Despite being just an eau de toilette, we found that this scent had staying power; it was as subtly fragrant by the afternoon, as it was when we first spritzed it on in the morning. We think that this enigmatic scent is perfect year-round; ensuring to make you stand out from the crowd on a night out. Charlotte Rhys Eau De Toilette in Victor is available to purchase here for £39.00.