Lifestyle

Acti-Labs - Vendome Eye Shadow Palette

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We love to make new discoveries here at TheAmazingBlog particularly when they offer us an affordable price-point and great value for money. The British beauty brand Acti-Labs pride themselves in doing just this. They carefully select their high concentrate of botanical ingredients from the south of France, where they  create their state of the art and performance-led products. None of their products are tested on animals and their factory in France has even received a Government Environment Award for low carbon footprint. In having their own laboratory, it means that they can offer exceptional value products at laboratory direct prices.

We particularly like the Acti-Lab’s core philosophy of  ‘using science to get the best out of nature’ and ‘medically inspired products for home use’.  Although this brand is probably best known for their skincare, we decided to venture into exploring some of their makeup.  They very kindly sent us their Vendome Shimmer Palette that comprises of twelve shimmering and neutral shades of eye shadow. This glamorous Vendome Shimmer Palette is very easy to use to mix and match. What we liked best, is that like other Acti-Labs’ products, this palette is infused with completely natural ingredients like vitamin E, kaolin and jojoba. Not only do the shades apply smoothly, the added vitamin E  helps to protect and nourishes the skin. Also included in the palette are a mirror and a two-sided brush, which is perfect for application and blending.  

While everyone has different steps in their makeup routine, we recommend applying your primer first before applying your eye shadow to achieve a longer-lasting effect. After choosing your colours, Acti-Labs recommends starting with the lightest colour working up to the stronger shades, blending until you achieve your given look. To get this elegant and versatile Vendome Shimmer Palette buy here,  it’s a steal at only £15! We can’t wait to try more…

The Victoria and Albert Museum- Mary Quant Exhibit

Mary Quant selecting fabric, 1967 © Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

Mary Quant selecting fabric, 1967 © Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

Being based off the Kings Road, we at The Amazing Blog can still see today the influence the British iconic designer Mary Quant has in not only high street fashion, but also in the lifestyle and her rebellion against conformity as part of the Chelsea Set. Mary Quant was the one who really made London swing in the early 1960s. Quant’s tiny boutique Bazaar on the King’s Road grew into a wholesale brand available in department stores across the UK. Quant’s success soon hit America, where her designs were made for chain stores and mail order companies. So, when we heard that The Victoria and Albert Museum was holding an exhibition in honor of Dame Mary Quant, we knew that it was a date for the diary. We just have to see her original mini skirts and hot pants in real life all of which were made famous by the model Twiggy.

Mary Quant and models at the Quant Afoot footwear collection launch, 1967 © PA Prints 2008

Mary Quant and models at the Quant Afoot footwear collection launch, 1967 © PA Prints 2008

The exhibition will showcase a range of Quant’s 200 garments and accessories, including some personal, unseen pieces, spanning from the years 1955 through to 1975. A range of vibrant tights, hot pants, theatrical makeup and her renowned miniskirts will be available for display to the public for the first time in almost 50 years. It will also seek to delve into how Quant’s contributions of garments, accessories and even her retail practices completely “revolutionised the high street” yes, fashion as we know it today.

Satin mini-dress and shorts by Mary Quant, photograph by Duffy, 1966 © Duffy Archive

Satin mini-dress and shorts by Mary Quant, photograph by Duffy, 1966 © Duffy Archive

Since her opening of her shop Bazaar on King’s Road in 1955, Quant aimed to liberate women from constraining clothes to include more youthful and eccentric pieces especially during the ‘Swinging Sixties.’ Her mock turtlenecks, A-line shift dresses, pant suits and use of PVC shifted the way women thought about fashion. Her look was completed by a liberating short geometric haircut by Vidal Sassoon, who freed women from the punishment of spending hours with curlers and under a hair-drying bonnet. Dame Mary Quant observed: “Vidal Sassoon, the pill and the miniskirt changed everything for the better in the 1960’s”.

Mary Quant, photograph by Ronald Dumont, c.1967. © Ronald Dumont/Stringer/Getty Images

Mary Quant, photograph by Ronald Dumont, c.1967. © Ronald Dumont/Stringer/Getty Images

Tickets for Mary Quant’s exhibit are now available for purchase, which runs from 6 April 2019 – 8 March 2020, on the V&A website here.

Botanicals for Cocktails

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With the explosion of microbreweries and distilleries forging their way ahead in the production of uniquely artisan beverage options, we began to wonder just how feasible it would be to create our own bottle of mellow magic. This sent all of us at The Amazing Blog into a tailspin at the water cooler, as we all came up with appropriate cocktails. How about The Amazing Daiquiri or even The Amazing White Russian perhaps …?

Once the germination of an idea starts, of course, there’s always someone who takes it to the next level - and we may well have found the perfect solution to what has become a challenge for everyone in the office. Originally created by The Old Hamlet Wine & Spice Co. the Botanicals For Cocktails range gives us three options for turning a run of the mill bottle of gin or vodka into something far more interesting. - It has been quite the conversation piece for the Christmas shindig at The Amazing Blog Towers … if we are permitted to mention the festivities yet?

All of the required ingredients are handily packaged in signature calico pouches, so you need only to add a bottle of your spirit of choice. The Orange Gin sounds quite a straight forward affair, but actually once you start mixing those spices, it is quite clear just how many different flavours are there to tempt us. Let us warn you, the aroma can be quite intoxicating, especially in a cramped kitchenette, so make sure there is plenty of ventilation. As with all the best things in life, a little bit of patience is required in the production process here, and so we have to wait at least 8 weeks until we can properly taste the fruits of our labours - but for the REAL magic to happen, we have to ideally wait 2 years.

However, the first signs are good, and are as enticing as the offerings we might get from a bar’s cocktail list. The Gingerbread Vodka is a heady mix and planned for consumption at the above festive party in a couple of month’s time, with the Gin version being kept as a possible tasting option. In fact, there is a wide and comprehensive range available primarily through the Steenburgs website, an organic spice merchants based in Yorkshire, who bought The Old Hamlet Wine & Spice Co in 2017. These pouches of perfection can additionally be sourced with a price of around £3.80 for a single bag - trust us, it’s well worth the effort!

Diamond Aromatherapy Diffuser - Essence of Arcadia

Here at the Amazing Blog, we find it really helps to work and live in spaces that are scented with lovely soft fragrances, relaxing the body and mind. There are many products that offer home fragrance and we find that oil diffusers offer the most complex and long-lasting scents. Therefore we were thrilled to receive Essence of Arcadia's Diamond Aromatherapy Diffuser set to try.  


Essence of Arcadia was a brand founded to celebrate aromatherapy and essential oils. They truly believe in the practise's capabilities to enhance well-being and treat the body and soul. Essence of Arcadia have a large collection of products tailored towards creating therapeutic experiences, including oils, diffusers, and blending kits. They specialise in small diffusers which look elegant and discreet in the home.


The Diamond Aromatherapy Diffuser we received was packaged in a gorgeous black gift box which contained the diffuser and three essential oils to try: Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, and Lavender. We loved the design of the diffuser. It has a beautiful golden finish with a glass outer coating that we think would be a fabulous addition to any home. The diffuser is electronic which means that you can vary how much mist you would like to produce, making the experience tailored to each individual.


Aromatherapy utilises naturally extracted fragrances from plants in order to promote the health of the body, mind, and spirit. Essence of Arcadia have a vast collection of essential oils that all boast their own benefits, from Cinnamon's purifying effects to Frankincense's anti-inflammatory nature. The set also contains a brilliant guide to effectively use and blend the oils. We particularly loved the 'Fatigue Fighter' recipe which blended Bergamot, Grapefruit, and Peppermint.

If you want to try an elegant and high quality method of aromatherapy, try Essence of Arcadia's Diamond Aromatherapy Diffuser here for £39.99.

 

Healthy Drinks – Friday Favourites

Here at The Amazing Blog, we love to stay healthy and fit... but sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge. One of the biggest health tips is to drink a lot of water; however, it can be so boring to drink the same thing every day! That is why we have formed a list of drinks that are good for your diet while leaving your taste buds craving more:

Our office fridge has recently welcomed a new natural ingredient: birch sap! It has been brought to us by Buddha Water, a refreshing drink that contains organic birch sap tapped from the forests of Finland.  This special ingredient is traditionally known for its detoxifying and cleansing properties.

So it’s time to forget about miraculous creams, pills, and expensive treatments. A can of Buddha Water give you everything you need to feel healthy and look great. The drink claims to work against cellulite, encourage weight loss, and lower cholesterol. It comes in a variety of flavours that are so subtle and delicious that we couldn’t really choose our favourite. It’s also perfect for office environments because birch sap promotes relaxation.

It’s time to embrace a healthier lifestyle! Try out one of the six flavours, you won’t regret it. Buddha Water is available in cases of 24 cans here for £32.99.

 

In April 2015, Mighty Bee, a brand known for certified organic products, launched a new line of coconut waters. Now we can easily absorb all of the health benefits that coconut naturally contains. Mighty Bee sources their green Nam Ham coconuts from Ratchaburi, Thailand, where they’re expertly picked at their peak ripeness to capture the natural aroma and sweetness.


The coconut waters are packed with complex B-vitamins, essential minerals, and amino acids that are retained by going from tree to bottle in 24 hours. The drinks are also never heat processed, and come either cold pressure processed (Raw) or completely untouched (Virgin) varieties.
 

Because the raw version is so fresh, it is sold fresh frozen and must be defrosted to enjoy. The Raw coconut water can be stored for up to 45 days thanks to the revolutionary processing method. To purchase, check out your local organic food store or shop here for Mighty Bee coconut water.

 

Next up we have Ojamin Herb & Fruit, a natural lifestyle and wellbeing tonic made from 15 different herbs and fruit that will help you feel and live better. The herbs are sourced specifically from pristine forests and are free from fertilisers, pesticides, and GMOs. Only the purest of spring water is used to make a drink that helps fight off diabetes, manage blood sugars, boost immunity, cleanse your body, and revitalise your skin.

To receive all of the benefits, all you have to do is mix one teaspoon of Ojamin with water, soup, juice or tea 2-4 times per day. Whilst being suitable for vegans, it is also gluten free, cholesterol free, sugar free, salt free, fat free, dairy free and aspartame free. Ojamin is the perfect way to start your morning with a boost.

After a week of trying Ojamin, we feel more energised and lifted. We cannot recommend it enough if you’re feeling fatigued throughout the day.

Take the next step towards a healthier lifestyle with Ojamin here for £34.99, and get ready to feel and live better.

 

TreeVitalise Organic Birch Water is 100% natural and that is exactly what we like to hear. All of the nutrients are naturally brewed within a tree and tapped into a bottle of TreeVitalise without any added sweetener.

Sourced from the Carpathian Mountains, known to be ecologically clean and natural, the organic birch water is made by tapping into birch trees that have absorbed the nutrients from the spring thaw. Only a small amount of the water is tapped, so the trees stay entirely unharmed! Birch water will help strengthen the immune system whilst purifying your body and assisting with weight loss. While the original flavour has the silky taste of the spring forest, TreeVitalise also produce versions that are infused with organic Lemon or Mint. We personally love the lemon flavour because of its zingy taste.

For a refreshing and healthy drink full of benefits, grab your TreeVitalise Birch water here for £2.75 a bottle.