Lifestyle pR

Matis - Réponse Homme Anti-Ageing Cream

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We all know that to moisturise our skin is a daily requirement, and the earlier we start that process the better it is in the long-term, especially in a world where unseen pollutants constantly assault our epidermis. Yes an assault, whether that be as we go about our regular commute, or as we relax within the confines of a centrally heated or air-conditioned home. We at  The Amazing Blog have discovered the professional skincare brand Matis who have a proven track record in understanding this requirement, and have been bringing us their scientifically researched solutions since 1936… So their pedigree stands up for itself, and this is particularly true with their options for those of us with skin which, well let’s just say is the other side of 40, but still deserves some TLC.

As with all their products, Matis put the greatest emphasis on the provenance of their ingredients, bringing us the science behind how our epidermis changes, along with their thoroughly researched solutions. Particularly their grooming skincare Réponse Homme range with Anti-Ageing Active Cream  is the perfect example of this, whose main ingredient centella asiatica or tiger grass for those of who flunked their Latin, is fundamental to the formula which regenerates our skin cells. A tropical climbing plant which originates from India, it has always been known for its soothing properties - animals roll around in it to heal their wounds. And, along with sweet almond oil biopolymers, messenger peptides, hemp oil and the wax from our trusted favourite bee, we have the perfect antidote to modern day living, literally at our fingertips. With all those goodies, you would expect the cream to be somewhat on the heavy side, but no, this deliciously fragranced balm is light and therefore easily absorbed into freshly cleansed skin in both the morning and the evening.

For those of us who can’t pop over to Paris to purchase our Matis hit, this magnificent moisturiser is of course available online here currently offering 50ml at £37.99. This stockist currently has a special offer when you purchase the Active Cream, customers can get a full size tester of the Matis Reponse Homme Eye Care Eye for free ALSO If you enter the code 'matisgift' at checkout you will also get an additional free gift too!

Etch Taper - Shave Gel

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Increasingly for us boys at The Amazing Blog the once daily chore of keeping our beard in check, has transformed into an art form of near perfectly precise sculpting of the hair, both on our head and our face. Inevitably around this new phenomenon, a thriving commercial model has emerged not only of barber shops opening at an impressive rate on our high streets, but also now an extensive range of grooming products, designed specifically  for the professionals which are offered also to each of us.

Etch Taper - Shave Gel is one such glorious find, and is the brain child of an entrepreneurial biomedical engineer with a fascinating interest in the revered world surrounding the barber’s shop chair, which went a bit further than simply having the ultimate buzzcut. Dr Salman Malik’s story is an inspiration to those who identify with the entrepreneurial hold that takes place when the potential of a solid idea germinates into the foundation stone for the construction of a brand. As if Dr Malik didn’t have enough to concentrate on with securing two Masters Degrees and a PhD, he also found time to study the art of cutting hair, all gleaned from the wonders of the internet - YouTube and Instagram, take a bow - and from this point, gained a loyal client base of eager heads needing to be kept in tiptop shape at the weekends.

Clearly a chap who is driven in an inexhaustible pursuit of knowledge, the nexhet challenge came in trying to source the perfect gel - if we remember his background, the fact his focus was on the perfect formulation of the ingredients with a very clear goal in mind, can come as no surprise at all. In this he was fastidious in producing ‘a shave gel that worked’, and thus we have at our fingertips the glorious golden elixir  he has produced is a slick, clear golden gel which allows us to see what we are doing, whilst lubricating the skin and follicles which are destined for a trim. The fragrance is peppermint based and key ingredients include witch hazel and aloe vera to soothe. It’s so cools as it glides on, and because of its transparent consistency, we can actually be far more precise in the shave job at hand.

Salman hasn’t stopped there, with a marketing campaign as slick as his product - the visual pull from the pharmacy shelf is given high prominence, understanding his target market, and keeping the message clear and succinct. Something tells us his attention to detail will continue to come through as he works towards the dream of opening his own barbershop, and then taking his brand global. When you see how far he has come in a comparatively short time, it would be a short-sighted person who doubted such an outcome; increasing your Instagram following fivefold in just a few months, and securing three distributors is testament to that.

On the subject of distribution, and where we can all get some of this magic formulation to enjoy, check out  where the golden gel (250ml) is available to buy here for £13.00 .


Friday Favourites – Indie and craft London Dry Gins

Doing a quick poll around the office, we found that the most popular summer alcoholic refreshment here is the classic ice cold and zest gin and tonic. An ideal accompaniment to sitting out on the terrace on a warm and balmy evening. This week at The Amazing Blog we would like to share with you three of our exception #amazingfinds all centred around international indie and craft London Dry Gin brands. The first thing to note is that a London Dry Gin doesn’t have to be made in England. Instead, London Dry (also known as London Gin) refers to that which is made under a series of mind-bogglingly complex EU regulations that were put in place in February 2008. (definition quoted from  )

Something else that you might not know, is that although gin has become somewhat of a British staple, its origins are actually from 17th century Holland, where it was originally used for medicinal purposes. During this period, British soldiers fought alongside the Dutch in the Thirty Year’s War, where they would imbibe in a glass or three of gin before battle, to help them acquire ‘Dutch courage’ - a popular phrase that stills carries through today.

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We’re going to start by going ‘down under’ to the wine region of the Yara Valley, with the Australian brand Four Pillars and their collaboration with Swedish brand Hernö creating their Dry Island Gin . This all started in October 2017 when Swedish Hernö ‘s founder Jon Hilgren visited founder Cam Mackenzie at his Four Pillars distillery. Hernö came to market first in 2012, exactly one year before Four Pillars, and by 2014, they were both appearing on global lists of the ‘new gins to watch’.  The collaboration began by both of them tasting each other’s range of gins, gaining inspiration and then together creating this rather special 42.8% vol Dry Island Gin.

This Aussie x Swedish collaboration includes particular botanicals given to native Australia such as river mint, roasted wattle seed, strawberry gum, lemon myrtle, and meadowsweet. Although the base is made up European juniper (of course), coriander and fresh lemons. This international gin fusion is definitely one not to be missed.  We think best enjoyed as a dry martini with a lemon twist and a sprig of thyme to bring out all these beautiful citrus notes and a lovely floral cut-grass character.  Or as per their suggestion as a Dry (Island) Martini which consists of 60ml Dry Island Gin, 20ml Cocchi Americano (a quinine-laced aperitif wine) and a dash Angostura Orange Bitters. Stir the ingredients over plenty of ice until appropriately diluted (about 15 seconds of stirring). Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel, twisted to express the oils. Delicious! But be warned as we found that this cocktail really packed a potent punch!  You can purchase the 70cl of Dry Island Gin for £37.75 here .


Next, we go to the emerald isle, for an Irish craft gin, Dublin City Gin.  Launched in 2016 by the couple Jim O'Connor and Sheila Cooney, two gin enthusiast who came up with the idea that Dublin needed a hometown gin, hence Dublin City Gin was born. Their efforts have certainly paid off with awards such as Gold ‘Super Premium’ at Global & World Gin Masters and a Gold medal as the overall Best European Craft Gin 2018 at ICSEA in Netherlands – great accolades for such a new contender.

What we love about this gin, is that it is Irish to the core, with their Irish milk spirit as the base, which helps to give it their smooth and silky finish, and the organic rhubarb grown along the Grand Canal in Dublin.  All loving prepared by hand in small batches of 600 with only a total of seven different botanicals. As they say this is their “Irish gin with a Dublin accent” In summary, they suggest pouring their gin over ice, with tonic “…all with a soft citrus ruby-red grapefruit, orange or slice of fresh ginger to make it sing!”  So popular is Dublin City Gin, that the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin has even created three signature cocktails exclusive to them. Given the botanicals we decided to try this gin in a Negroni, 30ml Dublin City Gin, 30ml Campari and 30ml Vermouth Rosso. Add all ingredients together, shake well with cracked ice, strain into glass over cubed ice and garnish with a twist of orange peel. Very moreish, so much so we all just had to have another! To buy your 70cl bottle of 42 % volume Dublin City Gin for £37.95, see here .

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Back to the UK with Fatty’s Organic Gin , this is amongst only a handful of certified organic gins that are now available here in the UK. The brain child of former sports agent Phillipa ‘Fatty’ Gee, who self-funded her start-up: “I knew if I was struggling to find a certified organic gin that was uncompromising on taste, others would to.” Cleverly she saw a gap in the market and took her inspiration for her key ingredient from her native Dulwich, which means ‘meadow where dill grows.’  Organic Soil Association approved, they also believe in Fair Trade Produce for sourcing all their 100% organic ingredients. Even their bottles are sprayed with organic ink and screen printed at low temperatures in order to be kinder to the environment. It is also an award-winning gin, achieving a Gold at the Global Gin Masters 2018, and the only organic gin to achieve this.


Apart from the dill it also has the finest organic grain and botanicals all carefully selected from around the world. A combination that creates a full flavour and a crisp refreshing finish and noted for its herbaceousness with the dill and citrus. We found it to be the lightest of all three featured London Dry Gins on the palate. We also think that it lends itself perfectly to slightly more subtle flavoured cocktail. So, we tried their recommended Cucumber & Dill Gin Mojito: 50ml of Fatty’s Organic Gin, four lime wedges, two slices of cucumber, two springs of fresh dill and one teaspoons of sugar.  Add the Fatty’s Gin, sugar, dill and lime wedges in to glass and muddle. Dice one slice of cucumber, half fill the glass with crushed ice and diced cucumber. Stir well and top up with soda. It was bottoms up all round and we’re ashamed to say that it didn’t touch the sides! Get your 40% Volume 70cl bottle of Fatty’s Organic Gin for £45 here .


Finally, we’d like to round off by introducing you to The Gin Dictionary. This 256 page A-Z compendium of gins is an indispensable guide for all gin drinkers. With more than 200 of entries covering everything from history, ingredients and distilling techniques to flavour notes, cocktails and the many popular varieties of gin from all around the world. All researched and penned by the award-wining gin expert David T Smith. Covering the explanation of ABV to the history and instruction of making a Zanzibar cocktail; we found it comprehensive without being overdone or pedantic. Published by Octopus books and available for £15 here .

With the current ‘gin revolution’ sweeping the world, there has never been a better time to explore craft gins and their new botanicals. We hope that these featured three London Dry Gins will give inspiration be a great starting point for you. Bottoms up!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Her

Every year during the festive season, we all face the same struggle asking ourselves the same question; what on earth do we give to our mothers, sisters and best girlfriends (yes girlfriends, we're expecting gifts from you too!) So this year at The Amazing Blog we've come up with a great collection of gifts ideas that we think will suit even your fussiest of friends.


The first gift idea we would like to share with you is from one of our favourite brands Heathcote & Ivory, we'd like to suggest their Heathcote and Ivory Sakura Silks Exquisite Spa Set. This set comes in a stunning and colourful hexagonal tin box - which we think will make a glamorous storage box afterwards. When lifting the lid a gorgeous floral and zesty aroma gently pervaded the office - we were in love! This gift set contains three products; a hand cream, bath salts and a body butter.  The hand cream is formulated with shea butter, vitamin E and panthenol, green tea, jasmine and cedarwood. Together these ingredients intensely nourish hands and cuticles leaving them velvety soft and delicously scented. The Sakura Silks bath salts are the perfect way to indulge and pamper your body at home and help create a luxurious and relaxing at home spa experience.  Finally, the body butter is a rich moisturising cream made with a unique blend of essential oils including lemon, lime and sweet orange. Shea butter and vitamin E are known for their hydrating and protecting properties smooth, soften and provide the extra-hydration skin needs during winter.  All of these products are paraben free. You can purchase the Heathcote & Ivory set here for £15.


We think that a fragrance or perfume is a nice treat when it comes to a Christmas gift. With this in mind, we'd like to suggest the newly launched Change perfume created by the actress Lisa Riley.  Inspired by celebrating a new chapter in her life, the Change perfume is a versatile and memorable fragrance which will suit almost everyone with its floral and oriental notes. The top notes are mandarin leaves and mulberry flowers while the middle notes are tuberose, orange flower and jasmine; and the base notes include sandalwood, Tonka bean and patchouli. These luxurious ingredients work to create and rich and sensual perfume that is timeless and transcends all seasons. You can purchase the perfume here for £14.99 + p&p.

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We think that owning a beautiful silk scarf is an investment as well as  a classic item for every woman's wardrobe. So we've chosen one from Libby by Design, these are all limited edition handmade silk scarves. Each of these designer scarves are made in England, 100% silk, and hand finished with rolled borders. Every piece is unique, some even have themes from Rudyard Kipling, but all take their inspiration from in the style of Indonesian batiks. We have featured our favourite “How the leopard got his spots” which is a versatile 98cm silk square that can be worn in numerous ways. These scarves are the perfect accessory for brightening up either a heavy winter coat or worn as a sarong on a sandy Caribbean beach. Purchase your scarf here for £174 with SPECIAL OFFER of 15% off if you order before Christmas!



For another Christmas gift idea, we were rather taken with this Morris and Co design inspired lavish body gift set. One of our favourites of this year, is their Pure Morris The Collection, this includes a travel size shower cream and a body lotion, together with a full size hand cream. The shower cream is a gentle body wash that is formulated with vitamin A and E, kelp, silver birch and thistle extracts. These ingredients deeply cleanse the body while keeping skin balanced and hydrated. The body lotion is also infused with the same extracts, but in addition there is also almond oil and cocoa butter which help to soften and smooth the skin leaving it velvety soft. The hand cream is formulated with natural ingredients including shea butter, jojoba oil and macadamia oil making it a deeply nourishing cream to protect hands during the winter season. The products come in an intricately embossed tin. The Morris and Co Pure Morris gift set can be purchased here for £22.


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For the glamourpuss in your life, we think that the Rouge Bunny Rouge Surprise Eye Shadow Palette will be an excellent choice. Rouge Bunny Rouge is a favourite here at TheAmazingBlog; this international make up brand always keep us up to speed with their new launches. So we were happy to learn about the Surprise Eye Shadow Palette which contains five long-lasting shimmery shadows including a highlighting shade, three smoky neutral tones and one frosted iridescent shimmer eye shadow. NB: This quintet of colours are a 'surprise' so we cannot show you the exact selection of colours (the image above is just the palette casing).  Lightweight, creamy touch offering an extended 8-hour wear, the eye shadow formula is made to stay put and to look freshly applied all day long. All refill shades are made to fit perfectly into this Limited Edition. The palette also comes with a free decorated presentation box which makes it an even more impressive present. Purchase here for €50.00.

We hope we're provided some good inspiration for gifting your loved ones, as well as yourself of course! 

Brownie Boxes - Bad Brownie

Here at The Amazing Blog we are self-confessed chocoholics. We love anything chocolatey, and we really cannot get enough of it. So you can imagine our delight when a big box from Bad Brownie arrived at our office. Within seconds there was not a single crumb left.

We were sent the chefs selection box. This box included 24 heavenly brownie bites, which should be enough to eat between 5-8 people (although we could have one box each), and has a selection of 6 different mouth-watering flavours. They keep changing their specials and the brownies you may get are usually all different, but no need to worry! they are all delicious and the box will always include the three most popular flavours: Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate and Peanut butter. Bad Brownie use fairtrade chocolate and free range eggs to make sure everyone benefits from their brownies. They also produce a gluten free ingredient salted caramel brownie which tastes identical to the standard one. This Salted Caramel brownie, apart from being their best seller, it was also our favourite. We loved the crumble and caramel combination, irresistible! 

Satisfy your sweet tooth and treat yourself to these brownies for £25 here.