Jasmine

Zuii Organic – Certified Organic Flora Gradual Tan Body Lotion and Self Tanning Foam

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In the summer, at The Amazing Blog we not only like to sport a healthy tan that looks like we’ve just returned from some exotic clime, but we also don’t want to spend hours roasting in the sun risking getting skin cancer! We’re big fans of self tan products particularly if they are certified organic. Enter the 2019 Beauty Shortlist award winning Australian brand Zuii Organic’s  with their Certified Organic Flora Gradual Tan Body Lotion and Self Tanning Foam (in both Dark and Medium). Both products offer a great way to get a sunless tan, plus their organic ingredients give you a fabulous golden and glowing skin.

The Australian brand was founded in the 90s by beautician Rose Bessey, who wanted to create “organic products that have you looking incredible, while your skin benefits from wearing them”. This mission led her to create products that are all vegan and cruelty-free and have certified organic ingredients. The company’s tagline ‘wear flowers on your face’ stems from Zuii Organic using real flowers like roses, sunflowers, and jasmine in its products, which have lots of skin benefits and of course smell delicious.

The first product we tried was the Gradual Tan Body Lotion. Infused with organic bamboo juice, raw cacao, shea butter, and sunflower oil; the lotion hydrates and softens the skin so much so that you can use it alone as a body moisturiser. However, be advised that it does not contain sunscreen if you go out during the day. These nourishing ingredients leave your skin glowy while the product creates a gradual tan on your skin. We were very impressed with the colour that it gave, as it was extremely natural looking and is customisable by you. After using the product 1-2 times per day (morning and evening in our case) the gradual colour begins to emerge on your skin, and what we liked was that you can build the product up, until you achieve your desired tan. Have no fear, this lotion will not leave your bed sheets an ugly colour the next day and has a light citrus scent. Also it was long lasting and faded evenly.

The second product we tried was the Certified Organic FloraSelf Tanning Foam which they very kindly sent us both their Dark and Medium versions, but it also comes in four shades: Light, Medium, Dark and Ultra Dark. Having had basal carcinomas, I’m a regular all year around self-tanner, so my choice was the Dark version. I was impressed with the ease of application and performance.. I am extremely fussy about my tanning products and this truly gave me just the darker sun-kissed colour that I like! Unlike the lotion, this foam has a colour guide, so as you apply you have an instant tan that when dry will last for a week or more. The unique foam texture is lightweight and dries quickly. However, make sure you apply this product on evenly with a mitt to avoid streaks. The formula has bamboo juice, raw cacao, and grape skin, and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky. With its smooth application and rich colour, we can see why it is a winner achieving awards from Pure Beauty Global Awards Finalist too. It is perfect for achieving an optimal tan, with minimal effort. Exfoliate your skin before applying the lotion or foam. You can purchase the Gradual Tan Body Lotion (250ml) here for £31.50 and Self Tanning Foam (200ml) here for £36. Certainly one of my #amazingfinds for this summer and I can’t wait to try more from Zuii Organics

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.

Sana Jardin - No. 5 Celestial Patchouli Perfume

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A specific scent can immediately change your whole mood, bringing good memories back or creating new and exciting ones. This is why we at The Amazing Blog love exploring new fragrances. It’s so interesting to see how each person’s skin interacts, and the different perceptions of the very same fragrance. For that reason, we were thrilled when Sana Jardin, the world’s first socially conscious luxury fragrance house. What we love about Sana Jardin is that their mission is not only to provide a long-lasting scent, but also to help empower women all across the globe.

We first fell in love with this natural perfume brand Sana Jardin when recently reviewing their Discovery Set (see our blog post here). This is their range of 7 Eau de Parfums, presented in discreet and elegant bottles which were launched in Harrods in 2017. In collaboration with IFF Master Perfumer Carlos Benaim, these Sana Jardin perfumes were created, unfolding the healing power of natural oils while primarily using some of nature’s most exotic scents, without the use of artificial colourants, parabens, phthalates or formaldehydes.

To keep this never-ending love story going, we asked to try No.5 Celestial Patchouli. Its rich intense smell creates a notion of soft cinnamon bark and leather, with a bit of Australian sandalwood and of course, the slightly sweet but dominant smell of patchouli. It then unfolds to reveal rose and jasmine, as well as Moroccan orris root and the fruity aroma of osmanthus. As these full notes mingle, a deliciousness is revealed, we would go as far as to say making you feel more balanced, relaxed, empowered and harmonised. The packaging is exquisitely designed and we love the magnetic top on the bottle, all of which adds to the luxurious feel. All in all, we think that this fragrance creates an all-round feel good factor. No.5 Celestial Patchouli can be purchased at Harrods, or here at £95 for a 50ml bottle or £180 for an 100 ml bottle.

We must also mention the brand’s founder, Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed, who created this luxury brand as a vehicle for social change, empowering low-income women. Her brand is the force behind The Beyond Sustainability™ Movement, a movement to impact lower-income women, not with the use of charity, but rather through commerce. The opportunity comes from recycling floral waste into products which end up being sold locally and nationally. Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed is proud to call this process a true flower revolution. So why not join the change, and empower women to ‘flower to power’? This movement already supports 3 of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Sana Jardin is not only about having a powerful scent but is also focused on making a change! For further information, visit the Sana Jardin website or have a look at @sanajardin on social media.

Mr Smith's Balancing Shampoo

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When The Amazing Blog were asked to come up with Australia’s best exports, shampoo was not our most obvious answer. Heaven knows there are a huge range of Aussie brands on offer here in the UK, from beachwear to popstars; beers to soap operas, and everything in between. However, a haircare company which has proved to be incredibly popular is now happily making waves over here, in the elegant form of Mr Smith - a gender neutral, high performance range of haircare products. We have happily welcomed them to our shores.

Mr Smith’s hair care products are beautifully presented in the most stylistically monochromatic packaging. It is clear where the makers want us to focus our attentions, and that is within the pristine white containers of nourishment, designed for tending to our luscious locks. And it is Mr. Smith’s Balancing Shampoo which immediately caught our attention, as the fragrance created a therapeutic massage of the nostrils - and that was before it had even been applied to the scalp! With rose geranium, patchouli, jasmine and mandarin in the mix, such a result is probably not a surprise. The addition of shea butter, avocado and lime oil makes for a sublime sense of clean too. Mr. Smith have clearly been painstaking in the research and development of this range, and with the shampoo in particular, nourishment and enrichment of the hair follicle is key, and has certainly come through in just one blissful wash!

As with many coveted brands, sourcing gems such as the Mr. Smith Collection may prove a little on the challenging side, but they have just recently launched in the UK, so here’s hoping they get to spread their magic more widely soon. We managed to track down the delights of the Balancing Shampoo here. At £25 for a 300ml bottle, the price reflects the effort that has been lavished not only on the shampoo, but also the entire range. This includes conditioners and styling options; all of which are sulphate and paraben free and PETA certified. What’s not to love?

Love Heart Chakra Green Tea - PositiviTea

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Here at The Amazing Blog we know how important it is to take care of both body and mind. PositiviTea is a great way to find that balance.

This company believes in the three P’s: living in the PRESENT, believing everything is POSSIBLE and staying POSITIVE. With all these good vibes, we were more than happy to try PositiviTea’s Love tea. Its blend of Jasmine Green Tea, Rose Petals, Hawthorn Leaf, Cardamom, and Gingko Biloba promises to activate and heal heart chakra. Green tea can help boost your metabolism and Gingko Biloba can improve your circulation. The tea also contains delicious Hawthorn, which helps strengthen the heart whilst Cardamom acts as a breath freshener and an aphrodisiac. As with any other tea, all you have to do is brew it in hot water and all the flavours and properties will emerge.

In each recycled package you can find 15 biodegradable tea bags just for £5.50. You can get and choose your favourite PositiviTea tea here