Heathcote & Ivory

Heathcote & Ivory's Salsa Silks Collection

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When you find a product that you love, there’s nothing better than discovering that there is a whole collection too. One that we are loving at the moment, is Salsa Silks by Heathcote and Ivory. We’re no strangers to this brand at The Amazing Blog, having featured their Vintage & Co. Baubles & Belles Festive Bath and Body Tin in our Gifts for Her feature in December. The Salsa Silks collection is vibrant, and contains three scented gifts (for a loved one, or yourself) encased in elegantly decorated packaging, and inspired by the colourful rhythms of salsa. Intrigued? We were too.

As a brand that embraces the world of interior design and the great British outdoors, Heathcote & Ivory are known for their mix of bright colours and floral patterns, in both vintage and modern styles. The Salsa Silks Collection is no exception, containing only the finest essential oils and actives, it is a luxury collection, without a luxury price tag.

The first product that we tried, was the Hand Wash. This vitamin E infused product helps to cleanse and purify, releasing the energising scents of lime, lotus flower and cedarwood. The uplifting essential oils of lemon and sweet orange really make it feel like a spa retreat at home, and the luxurious formula left our hands feeling soft and nourished. We were also pleased to discover that it didn’t leave our hands feeling dry, something we struggle with at this time of the year.

Secondly, we tried the Heart Soap In A Tin. This lovely triple-milled soap is presented in an embossed heart-shaped tin, and is blended with shea butter and glycerine, helping to gently cleanse and soften your skin. Additionally, and thanks to the beautiful packaging, this isn’t only a pleasure for your skin, but also gives your bathroom a touch of design sparkle. Gone are the days of a boring block of soap on the sink.

Finally, we were also pleased to discover that this collection contains a Lip Gloss. Delivered in a smaller heart-shaped tin, this moisturising peach lip gloss is made of beeswax and olive extracts, helping to keep your lips perfectly soft and, most importantly, kissable. The soft peachy smell of the pink glittery gloss is also a highlight, taking away the often chemical smell of other lip glosses on the market. It is also nourishing and less sticky than competitor glosses, something we’re thankful of!

To try this collection for yourself, check out the Heathcote & Ivory website here where you can find the Hand Wash for £9 (320ml), Heart Soap In A Tin for £6 and the Lip Gloss for £5. Perfect for a February birthday or as a treat for yourself.

Christmas Gift Guide for Women

Yesterday we published our ‘Christmas Gift Guide for Men’, so we thought it only fair to share a little gift giving wisdom for women too. Besides all of the beautiful candles, and festive food and drink available, we’ve created an overview of some of our favourite gifts for women, ranging from the affordable, to the more exclusive. With our help at The Amazing Blog, we hope that you’ll be able to find what she desires, creating the perfect Christmas gift (and giving you some last minute inspiration too!)

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Let’s get started with something that won’t make you dig too deep into your pockets. All That Jazz is a specialist (and certified vegan) nail care brand, providing professional manicure and pedicure products. Founded in 2013, the company has been our go-to when it comes to nail care, especially since we loved their Caribbean Collection (see the blog post here). With their core range consisting of 36 on-trend shimmer colours, they have created their own game-plan, with a long-lasting base coat and choices of super quick drying top coat, matte top coat and top coat, specifically designed to magnify and smoothen glitter colours. Used by countless celebrities and thousands of nail technicians, this is a brand you can trust.

Bringing out four seasonal collections each year, The Designer Collection is our absolute favourite! This is the perfect add-on for Christmas, as the colours are glittery and powerful, inspired by the works of iconic fashion designers. Combining elements of runway glamour, four unique colours are created, from the timelessly chic, shimmery blue of Vivienne, through to the metallic red Coco. The collection also contains a cool nude, Vera and our favourite, the sparkling silver Betsey. The best part? This professional nail lacquer won’t break the bank. Click here to purchase The Designer Collection for just £11.97.

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Another modest choice is from Heathcote & Ivory. Established in 2000, in London by Denis Aaronson, this brand is passionate about creating beautiful products with wonderful ingredients. Their colours, textures and patterns combine an eclectic mix of novelty, with British pedigree. Their forward-thinking design celebrates the role of women in ‘making Christmas happen’, where retro Christmas wrapping designs, sparkle and glamour greet the spirits of traditional British Christmas.

A perfect gift for her is their Vintage & Co. Baubles & Belles Festive Bath and Body TinThe packaging is a Christmas dream, elegantly designed with a festive pattern and finished with a beautiful pink hand-tied bow. Containing three bathing delights infused with orange-peel oil, this is the perfect company for the relaxing self-care holidays. The gentle cleansing shower gel has a silky texture that lathers well, and the scented crystal bathing salts with sweet orange essential oil fill the bathroom with a delicious (and festive) fragrance. Finally, the softening body lotion enriched with almond oil and shea butter locks in the skin’s natural moisture, perfect for any New Year party. All three products are scented with spiced rum, pomegranate, red berries and orange zest, and are guaranteed to give the fragrance of Christmas. Click here to purchase a Baubles and Belles Festive Bath and Body Tin for £15.

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One of the sweet delights of Christmas is that there is always a beautiful scent in the air. That said, it is sometimes difficult to know how to blend fragrances together, something that Aqua Oleum can help with. This brand’s knowledge of oils spans over three generations, with over 30 years of experience in providing top quality oils, at reasonable prices. Managing Director, Julia Lawless, well known as an author and expert in aromatherapy, personally ensures that every product is of top quality - so an Aqua Oleum gift is sure to be one that will not disappoint.

Their Blending Notebook (£28) is ideal for anyone passionate about creating their perfect scents, giving clear and concise introductions into the art of blending. Introducing theory guidance and formula ideas, it is a great way to track and develop your own aromatherapy elixirs at home. Containing all essential information, journal pages to write your own formulations, a glossary of key essential oils and a perfumery chart with notes on how to train your nose, this notebook is great to get you started. It is also beautifully designed, gold foiled and singer sewn bound. To get started right away, combine this with their Clear Head essential oil for just £5.22 (10ml). It helps with breathing (particularly if a Winter cold sets in) and works to penetrate and soothe your sinuses. Equally, their Festive Joy for £6.07 (10ml) is just as great, with a heart-warming, rich, and spicy scent that is comforting and uplifting, the perfect natural room fragrance for the festive period.

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If a new fragrance is what you’re looking for, then we introduce Ancienne Ambiance. Already lovers of their Goddess Waters, we were keen to try their new Mini Colonia Gift Set. Providing luxury gifts with paraben-free quality ingredients, Ancienne Ambiance products are free from animal testing and encased in recyclable packaging.

The Mini Colonia Gift Set contains five 15ml limited edition mini roll-on perfume gift bottles, the perfect scent selection to propel your spirits. Different scents for different days, complementing your clothing and making you feel good. Although we like all five scents, our favourite is Colonia IX (nine) - an exotic, woody and oriental fragrance, blending cedar and sandalwood with a hint of patchouli. It genuinely smells like Christmas! Staying true to the origins of niche perfume, all scents are hand-produced in limited quantities (in France), with the finest ingredients. Packaged in a handcrafted purple-golden gift box, this luxury gift delivers the perfect Christmas spirit (and the box can be reused at a later date). Purchase the Mini Colonia Gift Set here for £60.

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Last but not least we introduce April Aromatics. Since trying their Rose L’Orange Eau de Parfum in August - the perfect scent for that balmy summer - this organic scents and cosmetics company has been one of our favourite fragrance houses. Founded by Tanja Bochnig in New York, the brand delivers natural perfumes with pure extracts that create inner well-being. Their perfumes are also pure and natural, and no animal ingredients are used.

We were therefore excited to try their Tempted Muse scent, the ideal present for Christmas. Packed in a silver shimmery, elegant box, it immediately put us into the most festive mood. Inspired by the nectars of the gods, with sweet fruity golden extracts of frangipani and jasmine, this perfume is uplifting and aphrodisiac. Purchase your own Tempted Muse for a loved one for €169 (30ml) here.

There you have it, five brands that have hopefully given you some inspiration for the special someone you are struggling to buy for! Whether they love nail varnishes, home fragrances or perfumes, we’re sure she’ll be opening her presents with a big smile.

Christmas Gift Guide for Men

With just eight days to go until Father Christmas arrives, we can’t quite believe how quickly the season of giving has come around. We’re not yet at the stage of panic buying; however, it has to be said that most of us at The Amazing Blog, are beginning to cut it fine with our present ideas. If you too are struggling, then this week we will be providing some last minute gift guides, helping you to spend less time worrying about the tricky receivers to buy for (we all know someone), and more time enjoying the festivities. Today we start with ‘Gifts for Men’, ranging from grooming products to technology and accessories. Grab a mince pie (and a glass of something nice), and let us do the research for you.

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Firstly, we introduce The Bluebeards Revenge - a shaving and grooming company who provide products that promote a sustainable grooming routine, as opposed to the quick rush (and inevitable cuts) from using mass-market products. We previously reviewed their Ultimate Sea Salt Spray (see here), and so we were thrilled to try their Soap Stack Kit. True to their promise of creating products that are neither cheap cans of mass-produced products nor designer creams that are more akin to moisturisers, this set consists of three expertly produced soaps.

Ideal for any wash or gym bag, these soaps are unique in many ways. Primarily, the three scents are the perfect balance between providing a less feminine smell, while also promoting hydration and comfort. The first, ‘Classic Ice Soap’ is a modern twist on the British barbershop fragrance, a welcome scent that provides manliness and moisturisation simultaneously. Secondly, ‘Big Blue Bar of Soap for Blokes’ has a simple and fresh scent, and thanks to the bright blue colour, stands out amongst the sea of other generic products. Equally, ‘Cuban Gold Soap’ is ideal for days when an exotic aroma is needed (calling all Monday mornings!) With inspiration from the Caribbean, this soap packs a punch, and as a result of the unique shape, it is easy to handle, and unique to the eye. To make life even easier, these soaps come packaged in an aesthetically pleasing box, which coupled with the attractive colours, makes for a ready-made present. These soaps lather well and help to invigorate the body. To gain optimum benefits - use from head to toe, either in the bath or shower. The Bluebeards Revenge are also strictly against animal testing, and these soaps are both vegetarian and vegan-friendly - the perfect grooming gift that doesn’t involve a generic body spray or cheap aftershave. The best part? The Soap Stack Kit is affordable, at £13.99. Click here to see for yourself.

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For a man with a newfound grooming routine, a durable wash bag is undoubtedly next on the list. We turned to a brand that we know and love and discovered Morris & Co.’s ‘Refined Gentleman Washbag’, which we think fits the bill perfectly. Part of the brand Heathcote & Ivory, Morris and Co. similarly specialise in creating unique and detailed lifestyle products. We have previously featured both Heathcote and Ivory’s Inflight Essentials and Christmas Gifts Set, so were excited to try a lifestyle product aimed at the male market. Thankfully we were not disappointed!

The Refined Gentleman Wash Bag is the ideal gift for a man that is looking for some luxury. The wash bag itself is generous in size, fitting full sized products in, with ease. Thanks to the use of a zip, it also opens and closes easily, and uses vegan leather, which ensures it is wipeable, and therefore easy to keep clean. The real standout of this product is the Acanthus print, inspired by Morris & Co.’s first wallpaper design. As the primary showcase of the brand’s plan to create large-scale wallpaper designs, we like this historical link, as well as the elegant and unique finish. The inner fabric is also wipeable, made from 100% polyester, meaning any spillages can be quickly rectified. To purchase a wash bag for the gentleman in your life, then click here, where you will find The Refined Gentleman Wash Bag available for £24.

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For a gentleman that enjoys a tipple, we also came across Morris and Co.’sThe Refined Gentleman Hip Flask’. Designed with the same embossed pattern as the above wash bag, this hip flask is a classy addition to any inner pocket. Although it is slim enough to fit most pockets, it contains enough room to hold approximately 200ml of liquid. Once again, the fabric is vegan and wipeable, meaning any sticky alcohol spillages can be removed with ease. It comes packaged in a simple, and elegant box (yes - we look for presents that are easy to wrap too), and we think it would make a great present alongside the Wash Bag or would be equally welcomed with a small bottle of your receivers favourite spirit. Either way (or neither way, as it is equally lovely on its own), you will find it on the Heathcote and Ivory website for £22 - a reasonable price for a present that is durable, and sure to be well loved.

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For something a little more outlandishly festive, we came across Lime Lace. Stockists of stylish home accessories, gifts and furniture, their website offers an abundance of gifting options, from artwork to lighting and cushions. It was, however, the candles that caught our eye, in particular, The Christmas Jumper Candle the perfect balance between Christmas kitsch, and clever design.

This candle adds a little festive spirit to any room and will be sure to make your receiver smile. We must confess that we were concerned by the prospect of this candle looking too novelty, however, we were pleasantly surprised by the enormous amount of detail. The wax has been carved to look like intricate wool, and the addition of the glitter is an excellent way to jazz up any table or mantlepiece. The detail even goes as far as to emulate red stitching around the cuffs and hem, and we were pleased to discover that the glitter is non-transferable. Gone is the worry of packaging a present, only to find a product that has become distinctively less glittery in the process. Additionally, you’ll find the outer box easy to wrap, although we think it would look lovely when wrapped in cellophane, with a red ribbon bow. The size of this candle also surprised us, at 11x12cm, a decent dimension to create an optimum festive atmosphere, without being overbearing. To send a little Christmas cheer of your own, purchase a Christmas Jumper Candle here for £16.95.

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Finally, for the gadget lover in your life, we discovered Orbitkey. Founders, Rex and Charles, started the company after they decided enough was enough when it came to key organisation. Initially, it took just 30 days to gain 5,000 supporters, and with bases in Melbourne and New York, the success is now notable. Based on the concept of making key storage less bulky, we were keen to try the brand for ourselves.

Although Orbitkey have a plethora of different options, we particularly like the Orbitkey 2.0 Leather. This design comes in a vast array of colours, from simple black and stone to more eye-catching sage and tan. In a nutshell, this product provides a way to hold up to 7 keys, organising them, preventing them from scratching and providing a durable and lightweight finish. Now, of course, this product is not merely limited to men, but we particularly think the concept is perfect for men who often carry keys in their pockets. We were astounded by how convenient this product is, not just for protecting the keys, but also other ensuring other items in pockets and bags are equally protected. Orbitkey have also considered the inevitability of needing to add car keys separately, which can be done utilising the slim D-ring at the top of the leather strap. We tried the Orbitkey in Charcoal with Grey Stitching, which has proven to be popular in the office - especially among the male members of our cohort. There is also the option to monogram the genuine cowhide leather, which screams present giving to us (although you may be pushing it this week). We get the impression that design and ergonomics are paramount to this brand, which only extends further into the stylish and sleek box that the product arrived in. To encourage organisation for a man in your life, see the Orbitkey website here, where you will find this design for £35.59 or £46.23 with monogramming.

So there we go, five products that have hopefully given you a little inspiration for any gift giving nightmares. Perhaps you’ve even found a little something that you’d quite like yourself (when is it too late to add to your Christmas list exactly?) Be sure to check out the rest of our guides this week for even more inspiration, or for those of you who are indefinitely organised, perhaps these could be potential gifts for the New Year. Happy shopping!

Heathcote & Ivory - Vintage & Co: Braids & Blooms

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It's 'Bon voyage' with Heathcote & Ivory’s new and bestselling Vintage & Co Braids & Blooms collection. This Inflight Essentials pack comes well-equipped with a travel sized hand cream, a sanitiser and calming gel, a set of designer playing cards and earplugs. You can find all of your travelling necessities inside this 'Braids & Booms' vintage-inspired package. The Amazing Blog has tried many of their charmingly designed products, see here for their drawer liners. We were therefore excited to try their new travel kit, a product now at the top of our packing list.

We are always itching to get away on our travels, but with that, we are faced with dreaded travel days. From a restless night’s sleep, hoping that we don’t snooze through our alarms, to praying that the weather will cooperate to avoid any delays - we are ready to depart both looking, and feeling exhausted! 

However, with this handy Inflight Essentials kit, you are offered a much needed and calming in-flight routine. First, sanitise your hands, a welcome ritual after fiddling around with luggage. Then, apply the calming gel, which is infused with lavender, to relieve anxieties and aid sleep. Slip in your earplugs, massage your hands with the shea butter and vitamin E enriched hand cream, and close your eyes. If you do have trouble sleeping, take out the playing cards to keep yourself occupied with a solo game of patience, or perhaps persuade your neighbour to a quick game of poker! You can purchase your travel pack here for £12.00.

 

Christmas Stockings Fillers

For the last post of our Special Christmas Week, we are going to talk about stocking fillers. No matter our age, we're always so excited to find out what Father Christmas put in our beautiful stockings. While we love those little, fun and cute gifts, it can sometimes be difficult to find great stockings ideas for less than £15. We at The Amazing Blog have racked our brains and looked for the best stockings fillers at a reasonable price.

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Let’s start with Heathcote and Ivory Gardeners Tree Tidings; this little gift set contains two hand creams and a Relax bath tablet. The shea butter hand cream as its name suggests made with shea butter(obviously) but also with other essential oils including lemon, orange and peppermint. This beautiful mix makes a highly nourishing hand cream. While the shea butter cream has a zesty and fresh scent, the Hedgerow hand cream has more of a fruity smell thanks to the blend of rhubarb, blackberry and elderflower extracts included in the formula. Together these ingredients intensely hydrate hands leaving them softer and smoother. Enriched with chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary the bath tablets is the ideal product to help you relax while bathing. All made without Parabens and Sulphates. You can purchase the Gardeners Tree Tidings here for £6.00.

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The festive period is the opportunity for us all to look at our best. With Christmas dinners and New Year events, we all like to shine bright and to have our party looks on point. And what better way to complement a look than a beautiful nail polish. A lovely and shiny nail polish is the little detail that instantly completes a look. Le Mini Macaron’s Mini Petit Bouquets nail polish set with their pretty pastel shades might just be the perfect trio for nail polishes lovers. The set contains three nail polishes including lavender; a pale purple, Rose pale; a pastel pink and wildflower a grey nail lacquer with blue hues. These nude and pastel shades will bring a modern and elegant touch to your look. Le Mini Bouquets nail polish set is available here for £24.99.

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Christmas is the time to be merry, eat great food and drink delicious tipples. However, as years pass by, we start getting bored of the usual tastes and flavours. For those who like us want to add a little twist to their tipples, Popaball has created the Popaball Bursting Juice bubbles for Gin, Prosecco and Vodka. The Blueberry and Lemon Bursting Juice Bubbles for Gin, with its sweet and zesty taste instantly add a burst of sweetness and juiciness to your drink. The Apple & Cherry Bubbles for Vodka, (our favourite) taste delightfully good; the sensation of the Popaballs bursting in the mouth is just incredible; it brings drinking Vodka to a whole new level. The Shimmer Blueberry Bubbles for Prosecco is ideal to add a little touch of glam in your prosecco. Just add the blueberry bubbles and the shimmering liquid, watch the sparkle forms and enjoy the fruity taste.  The bubbles are suitable for vegetarians. You can purchase all the Popaballs from Cotswold Trading. See here for the bubbles for Gin £3.79, the bubbles for Vodka here for £3.79 and the shimmer bubbles for prosecco here for £4.49. Guaranteed to add a bit of an extra 'fizz' to your Christmas tipple!

 

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We at The Amazing Blog appreciate a warm and relaxing bath once in a while. And when we do so, we love using the most calming and beautifully scented bath products. Sloane Home excel in the art of making stunning bath salts. Our preferred ones remain the Lady Grey, bath salts with a zesty and fresh perfume, the Topiary Garden, is a more floral and classic scent and the Rose Garden has a sensual and luxurious fragrance. All bath salts are made with Dead Sea salts well known for its therapeutic properties. The bath salts help you relax by easing muscles and uplifting the spirit. There are nothing more agreeable than soaking in a warm and welcoming bath after a long day and these fantastic bath salts from Sloane home are just what you need. Purchase the bath salts here for £16.50 each.

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Hang on a minute you really thought that we would give you some stockings fillers tips without including one treat? Come on you should know better, we here at The Amazing Blog can’t resist the temptation of delicious and savoury candies. Our addiction of this season is The Fudge Kitchen award-winning sliders; the brand specialised in making gourmet handmade fudges, its sliders include six fudges with three different flavours. The Gin Selection pack include two Bitter Orange and Cubeb Gin, two Juniper and Kaffir Lime Dry Gin and two Sloe Gin fudge. This box with its popping and rich flavours will ravish your delicate palate. The Salted Selection include Isle of Sky Salted caramel fudges, Cornish Smoked salted Maple fudges, and Maldon Sea Salted Chocolate fudges. These fudges are at the same time creamy, sweet and smooth. The sea salts included in the recipes add a little touch of zest and crunch that balances perfectly well with the sweetness of the other ingredients. You can purchase Fudge Kitchen's Salted fudges and Gin fudges here for £8.00 each.