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Nairian - Micellar Rose Water and Cleanser

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As fellow skincare fans will know, we’re always on the hunt for new cleansers and micellar waters to help maintain a clear skin. This is something we’ve all struggled with for a long time, because most products either provoke dryness or produce oils in excess, leaving our skin sticky or worse, clogging our pores. Finding products that are powerful and effective but also soft and kind to our skin is a challenge. At The Amazing Blog, we have discovered a new brand Nairian who we’ve heard lots of good things about. What’s more they produce an effective Micellar Rose Water and Cleanser which we couldn’t be more excited about.

Nairian is an Armenian family-based business that always has two priorities: Your skin and the planet. Armenia is a small country in Eastern Europe where the soil mainly comes from volcanoes, therefore it is incredibly rich in nutrients. Nairian sustainably harvest their ingredients in these local lands, on the slope of Mount Ara. They use principles of aromatherapy to make all their products which are cruelty, paraben, sulphates, synthetic fragrances and chemical-free. Nairian puts quality and sustainability at the core of the business and by growing all their products organically, where they are handcrafted and plant-based. They also monitor the production process from seed to bottle, in order to deliver the very best in top-quality products.

Let’s start with the Nairian Cleanser which is a delicately fragranced, gentle soap-free formula made with calendula flower and essential oils. It cleanses, calms and brightens both the skin and mind, as you inhale its flowery and zesty fragrance. Containing sunflower seed oil, citrus peel and rose geranium all of which have antibacterial properties among others, it soothes our redness and inflammation whilst maintaining our skin’s natural moisture.  The Nairian Cleanser is suitable for all skin types and is highly recommended to use on acne-prone, dry or mature skin. To make the most of it, use only two pumps and gently massage your face. To remove it, use a damp cloth and repeat the process morning and night. Ideally, follow it with your toner (i.e. Nairian Micella Water for optimal results) and a moisturiser of your own preference.

For us finding micellar waters and cleansers that do not irritate the skin has been a bit of a mission. Nairian Micellar Rose Water is gentle but also capable of deeply removing pollution and grime. Mainly composed with rose water, this micellar will not only cleanses but it also soothes and calms any inflammation. It also contains a hint of rose essential oil which spreads antioxidants throughout the skin, protecting it from day-to-day pollutants as well as preventing ageing. The Nairian Micellar Rose Water is suitable for all skins and its dash of glycerine, finds the perfect balance between oily and dry, giving you a soft and hydrated face. Wet a cotton pad and apply it onto your skin in an upward motion to fully activate all the ingredients.

We’ve added these two Nairian cleansers to our must-have list, we think once tried, you will too. With countless benefits, the Micellar Rose Water and their Cleanser leave your skin like never before. If this sounds like something you need, you can get your 200ml Micellar Rose Water for £28 here and the 100ml Cleanser for £28 here .

Urban Jack - Revolution Shave Serum

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We have often wondered here at The Amazing Blog, why when it comes to shaving the unwanted follicles from our varied skin types, many shaving preparations often obliterate any view of the actual epidermis? When we are about to drag a ferociously sharp razor edge across our chins, would it not make more sense to have a cream which actually keeps visibility as a priority, allowing us to see what we are trying to do? We all have highly individual challenges when it comes to our skin, whether that be problematic acne or moles which obviously need to avoid the unforgiving blade, or indeed the more aesthetic requirements of trimming away only that which we are wanting to get rid of.

The anwer to this conundrum has happily arrived in the stylishly  designed range of products from Urban Jack - and in particular a hero product in the shape of their Revolution Shave Serum which was swiftly transferred onto the beard which needed a bit of attention. Boasting some seriously impressive ingredients -vitis vinifera (grape) fruit meristem cell culture, which are powerful antiioxidants that protect skin from UV stress and maintains the cell characteristics of epidermal stem cells; limanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil which functions as a skin-conditioning agent oryza sativa (rice) bran oil extract for skin soothing enzymes and antioxidant properties. And always one of our favourites, shea butter which not only provides a rich source of vitamin A, but is also rapidly absorbed into the skin and seals in moisture helping to keep those wrinkles at bay. The rice bran oil also brings unsaturated fatty acids to the mix, as well as natural antioxidants and vitamin E to help protect the skin, whereas the alba seed oil helps to form a natural barrier to keep moisture within the skin, avoiding dehydration. As proud as Urban Jack are of this shaving gem that is made up of 96% natural ingredients, they also take great pride in being against animal testing, as well as dermatologically tested, totally vegan-friendly, and of course made in the UK!

Urban Jack offer up a few suggestions to their customers of ‘how to use’ here . It comes  in at a very competitive priced £18 for 30ml, the Revolution ShaveSerum is available through their online shop here where the complete range can also be thoroughly inspected, which is definitely worth checking out for all the other goodies on offer. Standard delivery is free of charge, but we also have the option of next day delivery which is charged at £3.95. 

Friday Favourites: South West Wine School

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Wine fascinates us with all the varieties, colours and flavours which are infinite; and being able to identify a specific wine is pretty much in everyone’s wish list. At The Amazing Blog we always enjoy learning more about the origin of the wines, how it affects the characteristics with the difference in taste or texture and so on. This is why we were intrigued to find out more about the South West Wine School with their Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses.

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The South West Wine School, was co-founded by Jonathan and Hayley Reynolds with the aim of providing first class wine education across the country. Both with numerous years of expertise, Hayley holds the DipWSET diploma, while Jonathan is WSET Level 3 certified and said “I have recently taken and passed my WSET Level 3. It provides such a comprehensive education on everything related to wine, from growing vines, winemaking and the different grape varieties to serving recommendations and food and wine pairings.” This year, they are holding WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) courses to give you the chance to get your diploma, just like Jonathan and Hayley. Sponsored by the likes of Salcombe Gin, Eversfield Organic, Enotria & Coe, Vineyard Productions, The Eco Laundry, Kingston Estate and Deer Park Country House, this event couldn’t look more promising. They offer comprehensive education from growing wines, learning about the different grape varieties, to winemaking and serving recommendations. They are also members of associations like Food & Drink Devon and Taste of the West.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was established in 1969 for the UK wine trade. It provides optimal education courses and certifications recognised globally as the international standard in wine and spirit knowledge for both wine enthusiasts and professionals. The courses will take place at the South West Wine School’s headquarters in Wakeham Farm, in South Devon and will be primarily taught by Hayley Reynolds and Rebecca Mitchell (also DipWSET certified). The next available courses begin in September and go along until the end of November.

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Please see the following dates:

WSET Level 1 is on Thursday 5th September, Wednesday 9th October and Wednesday 6th November. Sign up to obtain the WSET Level 1 diploma. This course is ideal for those who are new to the wine industry. You will learn about the world of wine, explore the types and style through sight, smell and taste and gain skills to describe wines accurately to know what the best food is for pairing. Sign up for a 7 hour day course beginning at 10am for £155.

To achieve the WSET 2, they are doing 3 day courses, a total of 21 hours, for £395. This qualification is suitable for those seeking a deeper understanding of wines. From wine regions, grape varieties and styles, to classifications and labelling terminology, this course is excellent to be taken to the core of the wine industry for those aiming to achieve an intermediate level of knowledge. Moreover, you will also receive an overview of the key categories of liqueurs and spirits. WSET Level 2 – 3 day courses: Wednesday 11th, 18th, and 25th of September. Or Tuesday 12th, 19th, and 26th of November.

WSET Level 3 – 6 day course: Tuesday 10th, 17th, 24th September continuing Tuesday 1st, 8th and 15th October. In order to take the WSET Level 3 course, you will need to have passed the Level 2. This level is for those wanting to become professionals and work in the wine industry. This is a much more in-depth course, touching up on grape growing and the mastering of wine making. Once completed, you will be able to confidently assess wines accurately, delving deeper onto style and quality. The course is 6 days long and has a price of £695.

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They welcome the professional, enthusiast or beginner to these courses. You can sign up here and embark on this journey to become wine expert obtaining an international qualification. Perfect for ticking off on your wish list!

Friday Favourites - Summer Cookbooks

 

Today The Amazing Blog wants to share with you some of our #amazingfinds with four new cookbooks that have encouraged us to create some fantastic international dishes for our friends. Our gastronomic journey starts with India moves onto to Morocco and then the Philippines and returns back to the UK just in time to put the BBQ on!

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Let’s kicked off by something of a whirlwind of inspiration in the culinary prowess of Asma Khan, who moved to the UK in 1991 from Calcutta without any knowledge of how to cook, but a firm belief in the power of food to bring people together, and the opportunities created through this to forge new friendships, learning of different cultures and traditions along the way. Although it was British constitutional law which focused her attentions to begin with, having finished her doctorate in 2012, she turned her entrepreneurial talents towards the kitchen, and has been gaining awards and garnering attention ever since. As a descendant of the ancient Rajput Suryavanshi Bargujar clan on her paternal side, and pioneering tea planters in Darjeeling from her maternal ancestry, Asma’s heritage is undisputed, and her book ‘Asma’s Indian Kitchen’ is a delicious romp through India’s rich history, and culinary voyage. “Your food should feel like an embrace” she tells us, and such warmth emanates from the pages. Beautifully photographed and with anecdotes peppered throughout, her book really is a delight to enjoy in and out of the kitchen! Her Shahi Kofta - or lamb meatballs in a rich gravy - are a sensation, as are her stuffed bell peppers - or Bharwa Simla Mirch to use the correct terminology … useful to know, especially if you fancy trying out her award-winning restaurant Darjeeling Express in Soho. Published by Pavilion Books for £14.99  and available here .

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If Morocco is more your thing, then Nargisse Benkabbou is offering up “Casablanca - My Moroccan Food” to encourage us to whip out that tagine, and start making magic with the amazing flavours of her culture, but often with a mix of Western dishes too. Again, here we don’t just have a culinary manual to enjoy, but rather more an introduction to how these foods fit within the gloriously colourful culture and traditions. Nargisse began sharing her feasting knowledge originally through a highly successful blog, ‘My Moroccan Food’, and this book is the natural result of those posts. If you are partial to a spot of marinating - and who of us aren’t - then try the Sweet Chermoula Seared Beef, which promises a ‘flavour bomb’, and we love the idea of a dish taking us to far-flung places with the aromas of Casablanca which are promised in the Amlou Rolls.So many temptations to try, and written with a warmth and friendliness utterly reminiscent of Morocco herself. Octopus Books have brought us this one, priced at £20 and available here 

 

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Perhaps the Philippines as a gastronomic destination gets your taste buds going? The New Filipino Kitchen is another huge spectrum of different tastes and flavours from the myriad of islands with so much to explore, and brought to us digitally thanks to Jacqueline Chio-Lauri who has edited a collection of fascinating stories, giving extra meaning to each recipe from a wide ranging assortment of cuisine masters - and all for us to try from the comfort of our laptop. Describing the chapters under the heading of simply ‘seafood’, ‘meat’ or ‘desserts’ feels a little like short-changing this extensive jaunt around those 7000 or so islands which make up such a vibrant nation. However, the ‘New Filipino Kitchen’ is a serious contender for our attention if culinary escapism is your thing. Quite unique with the information it relays, this book could send us into a frenzy - imagine if you will ‘Stuffed Fish Grilled in Banana Leaves and Eggplant Salad with Toasted Pancetta’, or to translate that properly and pay due homage, ‘Inihaw Na Isda At Ensaladang Talong’ … Well Imagine it no longer, simply turn to page 36, and enter Tasting Heaven! Both digital and hard copies are available on Amazon here from £15.18

 

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Now, it would seem churlish not to include a cookbook with origins a little closer to home, and of course there is an enormous library of titles to choose from, but one which stands out with an irresistible edge is the “Fresh Veggie BBQ” by David & Charlotte Bailey,encouraging us to embrace the outdoor option of serving up a meal from a vegetarian friendly barbecue menu. Completely eschewing any notion that vegetarian food has to be less colourful or indeed tasty, David and Charlotte give us 60 recipe options like ‘Caramelized Bananas with Vanilla Ice Cream’, ‘Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips’ or - and this one is seriously tempting ‘Wild Mushroom & Artichoke One-Pot Pie’ to dispel those myths completely. However, this time of course our kitchen is found in the great outdoors through the tradition that is ‘barbecue’ which of course is a culture within itself. With advice on the different options open to us, from using dutch ovens to the very impressive discipline of burying our ingredients in hot ash and embers - otherwise known as ‘rescoldo’, we have an encyclopaedia of vegetarian goodies to try out -and with the weather back here at home offering us it’s most favourable conditions (Ok well that was in July perhaps not August!) We can’t be the only ones twitching to get those charcoals burning! Published by Pavilion Books with an RRP of £14.99 here the ‘Fresh Veggie BBQ’ is a must.

…And with all these delicious ideas, we’re preparing to cook up a storm this Bank Holiday weekend!

War Paint Makeup For Men - Concealer/ Tinted Moisturiser

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Stand by your beds troops, we are about to be brought to attention - or is that ‘TEN-SHUN’? Well, whichever is besides the point, just so long as our skin is primed and ready for action… if not, the very exciting range from Warpaint Makeup For Men that has been lined up with military precision on this desk at The Amazing Blog is just what you need. Brace yourselves boys, we have got to pull our socks up and focus on bringing our grooming regime up to scratch, or accept defeat in the face of … well the face really!

Warpaint Makeup For Men, was launch by Daniel Gray who shares with us his struggle with body dysmorphic disorder, which propelled him on his journey starting the brand and helping other, he tells us: “I still struggle every single day with how I look but every day I’m learning how to handle it and I wouldn’t have progressed and come as far as I have if it hadn’t of been for makeup”. He also went on to say, “I’m in no way saying that makeup is a cure for bullies, or a miracle serum for low self-esteem and lack of confidence. But using makeup has really helped me manage my BDD and by creating War Paint, I hope it opens a door for men to also get the support they need from makeup.” The brand has broken the stigma that makeup is just for women by creating this masculine looking range of vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics. Apparently, there is a difference between men and women’s skin, men’s skin ranges from nearly 25% thicker due to the testosterone production which in turn creates more sebum and increases the oil produced.

Taking care of our skin is nothing new, in fact unless we have been cowering under a stone for the past 20 years, then each of us will have to some extent a daily routine of keeping our skin in as perky a condition as possible - the fact we are here tapping away merrily on the laptop at all is evidence of that. However, the inevitable has become mainstream, and now simply maintaining what Mother Nature gave us, is not enough - now we have to be making the very best of what we have with the help of Warpaint- great name to help recruitment, and great product for those of us who have already signed up and are now committed to showing ourselves at our best on the frontline!

The Tinted Moisturiser  is three products in one - a foundation, moisturiser and concealerLight and easily absorbed, the tint just gives an extra depth to your skin tone, and if you need help choosing what skin type you are, then head over to here to see all the options to discover. For heavier blemishes or scars, we have the Warpaint Concealer in our arsenal to help cover those up, containing tea tree oil to boost the epidermis whilst in action. As a tip, we found using the handy shaped Face Sponge to apply the concealer which is available as part of the full range, made life a lot easier, but both products can be applied with the fingers if unarmed combat is more your thing. Costing £22 for 30ml of the Tinted Moisturiser here and £18 for a 5g pot of Concealer here, funding this weaponry for the daily battle ahead isn’t going to break the bank. All products are available through their website  here. BTW with every one their Concealers that you buy, War Paint will donate 50p from each concealer sale to CALM Campaign Against Living Miserably. This charity promotes the freedom of talking about the burdens that men face and the positive affect that a simple chat can have, when you’re just not feeling quite yourself. So remember troops - YOUR skin needs YOU!