Lifestyle PR

Mon Dessert - Macaron Masterclass

Macaron Masterclass 02.jpg

Regular readers will know that at The Amazing Blog we love trying new foods from superfoods to protein-filled snacks. But what we especially love are desserts because life is about balance, right? Since it’s a Friday, we decided to treat ourselves to the highly anticipated Mon Dessert Macaron Masterclass. Being surrounded by the aroma of dessert and freshly made macarons is honestly the ideal way to spend two hours of a Friday night in the heart of London’s food network: Borough Market.

Macaron Masterclass 06.jpg

During the Masterclass, which has a different seasonal theme each month, you learn how to make macarons from scratch following a recipe straight out of Paris. You also gain first-hand knowledge of tips and tricks that you can bring to your own kitchen if you’re brave enough to try making them on your own. The class has a wide variety of flavours and colours for you to create a box of personalized macarons that will impress your family and friends when you leave. Overall and most importantly, the class has a fun, light, and uplifting atmosphere that radiates from the delicious desserts to everyone baking in the kitchen.

Macaron Masterclass 07.jpg

Mon Dessert is a luxury at-home dessert company that holds classes like the Macaron Masterclass and sells kits to make your own desserts at home. Macarons kits allow you to take your skills from the class into your own flat and provides the necessary ingredients, recipe, equipment, and fashionable storage tin for you to be successful every time. The company also offers a delicious-looking speciality dessert kits, which help you make a professional-looking and tasting éclair, cannoli, and crème brûlée with ease. Vegan-friendly recipes, kitchen appliances, and many flavours from caramel to rose are available.

Mcaron.jpg

If you’re an avid foodie or someone who doesn’t shy away from desserts, the Macaron Masterclass is a must for you. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Le Pain Quotidien every second Friday of the month and is £50 per person. You can sign up for a spot in the class here.

Virginia Stone – ‘Eyes’ for Kavesi


Kavesi Balm Blog template.jpg

When you’re searching out skincare items, often the three categories you’ll see are ‘dry’, ‘normal’, and ‘oily’. They’re appear all encapsulating, or so it seems. Some of us with ‘combination’ skin at The Amazing Blog and frequently struggle to find the right cleanser or moisturiser that won’t make our skin greasy or dry. The latest product we tried is from Virginia Stone it brings about the idea that finding the right products for your skin may be based on your skin tone rather than these three general categories.

Virginia Stone built her brand on the foundation of ‘passion, purpose, and an unyielding desire to innovate and inspire’. She set out to revolutionise the skincare industry by creating a sustainable luxury brand and adhering to three core values of people, planet, and passion. Virginia Stone, as a company, dedicates itself to global social and environmental sustainability and all of its products are fair-trade, eco-friendly, and vegan. What drew us to this brand was its ethos. It felt simple categories like ‘dry’, ‘normal’, and ‘oily’ do not account for certain skin-tone-specific characteristics such as skin density and sensitivity, SPF requirements, and potency tolerance levels. So, Virginia Stone created three collections: Kavesi for fair skin tones, Jasari for medium skin tones, and Odaja for dark skin tones. We felt these groupings were less arbitrary and more encapsulating, especially if you have ‘normal’ or ‘combination’ skin. 

We tried their ‘Eyes’ for Kavesi in Sand , a 3-in-1 superfood cream with five layers (Butter, Nectar, Tea Syrup, Corrective Complex, Elixir) of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. The formula is also pH balanced and oxygenated to protect your skin from UV rays and pollution, improving your skin’s elasticity and lightening dark shadows. It is designed to stimulate cell renewal, increase blood flow, and improve circulation specifically for fair skin, which is highly sensitive and allergy prone. When we used it, we saw diminished fine lines as well as less puffy and brighter skin like we had used a jade roller. But what stood out to us was the cream’s texture. It’s solid, and you can’t dip your finger into it, but the warmth of your finger picks up the right amount of the product that feels smoother than butter and leaves your skin feeling the same way. The cream is oilier than typical moisturisers, yet it doesn’t feel sticky and spreads well. It leaves your skin feeling smooth and matte, which makes the cream perfect to use as a primer during the day, and nourishes for night time use. 

Finally, we cannot go through this post without mentioning the intricate packaging. The cream comes in a cube that Virginia Stone calls ‘The Luxador’. It’s 100 per cent recyclable concrete stone and has thermal insulating properties to protect the cream’s active ingredients and maintain its longevity. The Luxador is engraved with the company’s simple logo and pattern and has a magnetic stone lid. It’s quite solid and heavy, so be careful if you travel with it or keep it on your bathroom counter for décor and safekeeping.

You can buy ‘Eyes’ for Kavesi (15ml) here for $185. The price is quite high, but you don’t need very much and could spot treat certain areas rather than put it all over your face. 

Alexandra Soveral - Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo

sov temp.jpg

We’re always wistfully wishing for thick and more luscious looks here at The Amazing Blog but the goal of achieving this is easier said than done! While many haircare products claim to nourish and strengthen hair, the reality is that many contain harsh chemical cleansers that actually strip the hair and scalp from all its natural oils, making it brittle and dry. That’s why we were thrilled to discover Alexandra Soveral’s Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo’s with its nourishing natural and organic formula, which is why it is one of this week’s #amazingfinds.

Cult facialist Alexandra Soveral’s beauty and fragrance brand launched over than 10 years ago, all with the ethos of delivering natural artisanal products produced with cutting edge science. All Soveral‘s products contain natural raw ingredients that are hand-blended in small batches here in London. They strive to ensure sustainability, and have been awarded the Positive Luxury Butterfly mark for its clean formulas.

Their balancing Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo have no parabens, animal products, harmful chemicals or fragrances and most importantly no sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). This shampoo is enriched with organic essential oils like sweet orange to vitalise the hair and rosemary to leave hair shiny and bouncy. An added bonus is that these oils give the shampoo a zesty, rosemary scent for a reviving smell every use. It doesn’t dry the scalp and is enriched with anti-inflammatory properties making it perfect for those who have an itchy or sensitive scalp. Since it doesn’t contain this drying foaming agent, the shampoo doesn’t lather as much (no SLS’s) as others might. With all these organic ingredients ensure hair is left shiny and luscious.

As the products are hand-blended and comprised of organic ingredients, the consistency and fragrance of the shampoo can vary depending on the season it’s produced. However, the ‘organic, antioxidant and multi-vitamin formula’ still remains the same.  We used the Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo, as a frequent wash shampoo. We’re very happy to report that it not only helped to balance the pH of our hair and scalp, but is also suitable for coloured hair too – a big bonus in our eyes! To purchase a 250 ml bottle of the Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo for £30 see here.

ChicP - Houmous

Chicp Final template.jpg

Houmous. It’s a food that dates back to as early as the 13thcentury in Egypt and something we at The Amazing Blog have devoured since it became a trend with the likes of Whole Foods. What we adore about this food is it makes a hearty and healthy snack that leaves you satisfied for hours unlike a bag of crisps. With our tastes for houmous in mind, we were interested to try two flavours from ChicP 

The company was founded by Hannah McCollum, who worked predominantly as a private chef, on the‘passionate commitment to reducing food waste’. All of ChicP’s five colourful houmous flavours are made with raw vegetables that were discarded due to their irregular shape or size. Supermarkets reject approximately 40 per cent of produce because of these qualities and nearly 1/3 of UK produce goes to waste because people don’t eat it. McCollum wanted to combat this with ‘houmous made from imperfect veggies’ to promote better choices for your health and the environment. 

We were drawn to not only the company’s ethos, but also the delicious taste of its houmous. This houmous is much lighter than any others we’ve tried and is creamy, satisfying, and flavourful. The first flavour we tried was the Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric  The spread immediately tastes like you’ve dipped a carrot into an ordinary blend of chickpeas, saving you the extra step of doing it yourself. While the carrot taste is evident, the ginger and turmeric follow after and linger yet don’t overpower. This flavour works splendidly as a dip, but we liked putting it over baked chicken and pasta. We felt the second one we tasted would be more suitable as a midday snack or sandwich spread. Herby is true to its name and has a strong veggie taste, as 16 per cent of the recipe is spinach and parsley. However, lemon juice concentrate, vinegar, and garlic purée increase the flavour’s depth and tastiness. 

The houmous here is vegan and contains no additives or added sugars. Carrot, Ginger & Tumeric and Herby also only have 113 calories (469 kJ) and 127 calories (526 kJ) per quarter pot, respectively, and are reasonably priced at £3 for 170g. Additionally, there are three other flavours available in ChicP’s collection: Beetroot, Horseradish & Sage, Chilli Pumpkin, and Banana Chocolate. You can purchase their houmous here, or at one of the retailers listed here.

Friday Favourites – Sheet Masks

Since the 10-step Korean skin care method and its corresponding products have become a full-on trend, you cannot walk into a beauty department without seeing a plethora of sheet masks and The Amazing Blog can see why. Sheet masks are so easy to travel with, just throw one into your bag and you’re good to go! They leave your skin looking ten times brighter in just 15-30 minutes. However, with hundreds of options, it’s so hard to choose the right one. For this month’s Friday Favourites, we have four #amazingfinds face masks, something for everyone. These will leave your skin feeling rejuvenated while you sit back, relax with a cup of tea and watch the telly.

Mitomo.jpg

The first set of masks we have for you is by Mitomo, a Japanese company that specialises in creating high-quality beauty and wellbeing products, particularly face masks. We’ve already tried their Anti-Wrinkle Eye Mask with Gold and Bee Venom and Eye & Nasolabial Mask with Snail Extract and EGF in January, and recently their Collagen + Lithosperium, Hyaluronic + Lithospermum and Q10 + Lithospermum Essence masks. So we were even more excited to try their latest launch of Facial Essence Masks which targets, moisturises and heals sensitive skin.

The Facial Essence Masks come in six different types: Camellia (nourishing), Green Tea (purifying), Rice Leaven (protecting), Sake (moisturising and heat retaining), Soy Bean (irritation reducing and skin improving), and Tea Tree (soothing). Each includes a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, omegas, and organic acids depending on your changing skin needs. It is ideal to use these masks at night so your skin can soak up the ingredients while you sleep. You should use the mask after you’ve cleansed and toned your face (you can also throw in an exfoliating scrub and serum too). After 20-30 minutes, you can gently remove it and rub in the excess essence before following with a moisturiser.

Our two personal favourite masks were the camellia and soy bean. Camellia contains more natural antioxidants than practically any other botanical oil and the results are noticeable. The vitamins and omegas of the mask quickly absorb and instantly reveal more nourished and moisturised skin. While a soybean mask doesn’t sound as lavish as some of the other types Mitomo has to offer, it greatly reduces skin irritation, evens rough spots and texture, and fights any sun damage. After using this mask, your face instantly feels calmer and smoother. These were our favourites, but the line of masks offers a huge variety and each was made with a high quality that you can see and feel.

 You purchase a single sheet mask here for £3.49 and you can also purchase each in a pack of four for £12.50.

 

Natura Sheet Masks Final.jpg

The next line of face masks we tried were also from a beauty and skin care brand that we’ve tried, BeautyPro. Previously we’ve tested their Rejuvenating and Brightening Collagen Masks, both of which are for anti-ageing like all of BeautyPro’s sheet masks. Their masks are intended for use by both women and men and are cruelty-free and dermatologically tested in South Korea, the heart of the Korean skin care movement.

Unlike the above Mitomo masks, these BeautyPro’s Natura Sheet Masks are targeted speficially for anti-ageing. They have a range of six naturally infused types for your various skin needs. They each have a unique combination of marine collagen to nourish skin with key vitamins and herbs and botanicals to even skin complexion. The types include Avocado (hydrating and repairing), Rose (soothing and redness reducing), Turmeric (protecting), Multi-Grain (complexion boosting and firming), and Herb (pore minimising and rebalancing). The line of sheet masks also has a Potato & Parsley Under Eye Mask.

While each sheet mask created fast-acting results, the Natura mask that stood out the most to us was the Eye Mask. We don’t often think of ordinary potatoes offering such nice skin effects, but we are sold now. The potato brightened our under eye area, making us look more awake and alive on Monday mornings, while the parsley reduced the puffiness and dark colour of our eye bags. The masks worked so well that we received compliments from our family members on our more ‘awake appearance’.

The sheet masks are available here for £4.95 and a set of three Potato & Parsley Under Eye Masks here for £5.95.

Milu Mud Mask.jpg

 

The next sheet mask we have for you is MILU’s Mud Sheet Mask. While the thought of slathering mud onto your face does not sound very enticing, we can assure you that this is a luxe product that isn’t messy and leaves your skin feeling nourished, purified, and soft.

What draws us to this brand’s ethos is the fact that MILU is like a friend who wants to help you with all your beauty and skin care woes—and better yet provides solutions to enhance your natural features. The radiant and glowing skin of Korean women inspired the company to create products that are additions, rather than replacements, to your daily skin care routine and contain ‘skin loving ingredients’.

Of these skin-loving ingredients that are found in the Mud Sheet Mask, a few jump out at us namely the two types of clay used. Bentonite clay extracts impurities from pores and reduces skin blemishes while kaolin clay minimises and deeply purifies pores. With these benefits, it’s no surprise why these clays are the main or key ingredients in many face masks currently on the market. However, many of these masks only use one of these clays in their formulas, not both like this sheet mask. Together they create a dynamic combination that softens, tightens, and evens your skin. The mask also has soybean to soothe your skin and rose flower to reduce pollution effects, and it has been dermatologically tested for sensitive skin.

For smaller and smoother looking pores, put the mask on for 30-40 minutes until it dries then peel it off. Remove excess mud with warm water. You can purchase the Mud Sheet Mask here for £9.

Oh K!.jpg

Finally, to complete our Friday Favourites, we have the Oh K! Mix Your Own Gold Dust Peel Off Mask. After testing their Cooling Eye Pads and Coconut Water Face Masks, we couldn’t wait to see what else the Korean mask brand had to offer.

Using the expertise, skills, and passion of Korean dermatologists, Oh K! creates high-performance skin care essentials for every type of skin. Did we mention their products and masks also come in cute packaging? The Cooling Eye Pads came in panda-shaped packets and the Gold Dust Peel Off Mask came in a vibrant yellow box with bubbly letters and gold powder on the front.

The mask is designed to give you a natural and radiant glow. The box comes with two gold dust sachets, two gold liquid formula sachets, a spoon, and a container. The gold powder is enriched with hyaluronic acid, allantoin, gold, purslane extract, gotu kola extract, and peppermint oil while the gold liquid is infused with collagen, gold, hyaluronic acid, and pearl extract. These luxurious and precious ingredients give the mask its nourishing, replenishing, and glowing properties. Hyaluronic acid, gold extracts, and collagen provide deep moisture, rejuvenate skin, and promote a supple, younger-looking complexion.

This mask offers the ultimate at-home pampering experience. In just 15-20 minutes, you peel off the mask and your skin has been transformed. After application, our skin looked immediately more luminous, radiant, and refreshed. It’s the perfect mask for anyone looking for a brightening boost. Just mix the gold dust and gold liquid in the mixing pot, apply it to your face, and enjoy having a golden goddess glow. The Mix Your Own Gold Dust Peel Mask is available here for £12.50.

Whether you want to perk up your skin, have some ‘me time’, or both, we hope we’ve helped you navigate the complicated yet exciting world of sheet masks. So, relax and let the sheet mask do all the work!