Natural Oils

Friday Favourites- Lip Products

While skin care is very important, a lot of people forget to give their lips the TLC that they deserve. Although a good lip balm is a must, sometimes we need a little extra help to keep them moisturised, protected and plumped. For this week’s Friday Favourites at The Amazing Blog, we rounded up four NEW lip must-haves to use in your weekly lip care routine.

 

MYJ  - Knightsbridge Lip Mask

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The first step to any successful lip care routine is to make sure you have even foundation before applying your favourite gloss or lipstick. MYJ’s Knightsbridge lip mask does just this! It rejuvenates and moisturises lips for a plump and naturally-pink pout. Infused with hibiscus extract and other natural minerals, the Knightsbridge Lip Mask created to help improve the natural lip colour by regenerating skin cells. 

For this exfoliation, apply a layer of the lip mask to clean lips. Wait 5-10 minutes before wiping away and you will see a difference in your lips’ texture. After a few weeks of using the mask for MYJ’s recommended twice-a-week usage, we found lips were suitably moisturised and more kissable than ever before! For only £10, you can purchase a 15ml container of the lip mask here. We think that this is a must-have for having smoother and hydrated lips.

 

Jane Apothecary -  Restoring  Eye and Lip Serum

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We all know how important it is to incorporate a serum to your skincare routine but have you ever tried a serum that targets your lips?  This was a new on for us too!  Jane Apothecary’s Restoring Eye and Lip Serum provide that extra step to aid your lip care routine. Made in Spain, the serum is infused with only natural oils and extracts such as raspberry seed, sesame, grape seed, rose hip, chamomile and calendula that work beautifully together to tighten and minimise damage to your lip contour especially from the dreaded free radicals. The added infusion of the calming lavender, bergamot and geranium oils also adds a hint of aromatherapy healing  when you apply this serum to your lips.

For optimal results, we suggest applying a small amount of the Jane Apothecary’s Restoring Eye and Lip Serum to the lips after the removal of the lip mask (above). After patting the excess, continue the next steps in your routine. Even though the serum bottle is 10m, a little goes a long way with this deliciously rich serum. To purchase the Restoring Eye and Lip Serum for £32.67 click here.

 

Lavera -  SOS HELP Lip Balm

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Lavera’s SOS HELP Lip Balm is the perfect lip balm to protect and moisturise chapped lips for all year round. Since 1987, Lavera has developed and produced all its products in Germany using only  100 % natural formulas. With over 300 natural ingredients and actives, each product is made to the highest specification ensuring the quality of their products. The SOS HELP Lip Balm itself is made with their production of ground liquorice root to provide a calming and anti-inflammatory relief to even the most irritated lips.

In addition to being vegan and gluten-free, the lip balm contains no mineral oils or silicone to keep the skin’s natural skin barrier intact and nourished. Other extracts infused into the balm made from plants like the Echinacea strengthen and protect lips from getting dry and chapped. After applying the Jane Apothecary Restoring Eye and Lip Serum, we recommend applying a small amount of SOS HELP Lip Balm to help retain the moisturising effects. Purchase a 100 mL tube of the balm on here for £5.36

A.T Antao  -The Luna Trio

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Finally, while we’re all for a natural pout, sometimes we want a little pop of colour to enhance an outfit. The latest Chinese brand to hit the UK is AT Antao with one of their hero set of products which are their The Luna Trio. This pack of three mini lipsticks that come in three different highly-pigmented shades of red, all presented in a rather glamorous gold box. When A.T. founder Teniya Tao launched the brand in 2014, she aimed to market the brand on a global level by developing products that were highly effective yet non-toxic. The Luna Trio, like other A.T. products, are strategically developed with partnership with European laboratories to ensure these standards. Although the lipsticks when applied are matte on lips, the Vitamin E and jojoba and avocado oils which are infused into the formula, gives the lipsticks a creamy, effortless application.

A.T. also claims that their lipsticks contain lower levels of lead compared to other lipsticks in the market. So you can still have a bold lip without it having to be toxic to your body. These nourishing ingredients hydrate lips while still giving you a bold, matte look. The first lipstick in the trio, 519 Chili, is a coppery red that is great for a more subtle pop of colour. The next lipstick in the trio in the shade 520 Corail leaves lips covered with a gorgeous coral sheen. If you want a ‘true red’ colour, 521 Antao Red is a dialed-down version of the tone to great for putting together a more casual look.  After completing our suggested lip care routine, apply your favourite shade on moisturised lips for a finished lip routine. The Luna Trio is available for purchase for £33.90 on the AT Antao website here

Follow our suggested lipcare routine here with our #amazingfinds and it’s sure to leave your lip truly kissable!

Christmas Stocking Filler Ideas

We're halfway through our week of gift-giving inspiration at The Amazing Blog, so we thought it would be apt to help you along your way with some stocking fillers. We wanted to steer clear of the usual shower gels, novelty gifts and chocolates, instead have compiled a few alternative gifts sure to bring joy on Christmas morning. Enjoy!

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Firstly, who doesn't love a food-related gift at Christmas? We certainly enjoy nothing more than discovering new treats, so we were excited to try the offerings of Wilding’s. As the first world maker's of Duck Crackling snacks, this brand aims to provide innovative products, with a focus on creating new and exciting flavours and textures. All too often, our snacking game is pretty weak, so we were excited to try their three signature products. We can confirm that we were not disappointed!

We tried the Duck Crackling Variety Pack, consisting of three flavours: Traditional Peking, Smoked Sea Salt and Kampot Pepper and Habanero Chilli and Lemongrass. Each 25g pack contains signature spice blends, and only natural oils and premium grade local duck are used. This adds depth of flavour, and alongside the hand batched processing, the finished result is a light snack that has been triple cooked for maximum crunch and taste. The Traditional Peking Duck Crackling provides a classic flavour which works well when paired with red wine. The Smoked Sea Salt and Kampot Pepper Duck Crackling gives an oaky flavour which we found delicious alongside a good quality beer - gone are the days of bog-standard pork scratchings! Finally, our favourite was the Habanero Chilli and Lemongrass Duck Crackling, providing just the right amount of spice, thanks to the balance of coconut sugar. We’re sure any foodie would relish the chance to try these products, or perhaps Wildings Snacks could feature as part of your Christmas Eve snacking bowls. Whichever suits you best, you can purchase your own Duck Crackling Variety Pack for £7.50 here.

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We know that stocking fillers often contain beauty products, perhaps lip balms and body butters to be more precise. We wanted to steer away from these products, so were excited to discover the offerings of EBO Beauty. We were impressed by the brand concept of bringing luxury aromatherapy to our daily routines, without the need for overly complicated ingredients. This is something they have achieved, with 100% natural products, free from the use of chemicals.

We tried the Essential Mood Oil Trio, consisting of three oils: serenity, clarity and immunity. Serenity quite literally helps to you feel serene and stress-free, with the use of bergamot, geranium and lavender to encourage relaxation. We especially enjoyed using this before going to bed. Clarity is somewhat the opposite, designed to improve concentration levels. Thanks to the lemon, rosemary and basil oils, we felt awakened and ready to take on the day. Finally, immunity has proven to be popular in the last few (very busy) weeks at the office. This oil contains eucalyptus, cinnamon and clove bud oils, adding a festive touch, while helping to boost our energy levels. We like to use all three on our inner wrists, and you need only use a small amount each time, making them a long-lasting and well-received stocking filler. To purchase your own Essential Mood Oil Trio for £30, click here.

If you're after more of a skincare based product, then we also tried the Winter Essential Facial Oil, a nourishing oil containing sweet almond and sunflower oils, as well as lavender, sweet orange and geranium. This oil has a particularly rejuvenating effect, with neroli oil to kick-start a sluggish circulation. Especially an issue at this time of the year, you're sure to be popular with your recipient. You only need to use about 5 drops, simply warm them between your hands and apply to your face gently. To give the gift of a glowing complexion, then you can purchase the Winter Essential Facial Oil here for £12 (10ml) or £24 (30ml). You can also purchase Ebo Beauty’s products on the Beauty Stable website here.

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We love nothing more than something sweet in the evening, especially at Christmas time! However, thanks to the extremely busy festive period, we don't always have the time to bake. This is where Bakedin have come to the rescue - with three mug mixes that require only butter and milk before cooking. The concept of bringing time conscious baking to the market was born in 2013, and the brand has only continued to grow. We particularly love that the recipes have been developed by Michel Roux, a renowned pastry chef - so you can be safe in the knowledge that scrimping on time, will not scrimp on flavour.

We tried all three flavours: Sticky Toffee, Belgian Chocolate and Gooey Chocolate, all of which are designed to be microwaved in a (microwave safe) mug, taking no more than 80 seconds to cook, and 5 minutes to cool - trust us, that part is crucial! The Sticky Toffee Mug Cake Mix has a rich and gourmet taste and is delicious when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For a chocolate lover, the Belgian Chocolate Mug Brownie Mix has a delectable taste, with the guarantee of a gooey centre (often difficult to achieve from homemade baking). Finally, our favourite, the Gooey Chocolate Mug Cookie Mix is reminiscent of eating cookie dough as a child, with a sweet and soft cookie dough, full of Belgian chocolate chips. Once again, this is delicious when served with vanilla ice cream - it really is hard to believe that it takes just 5 minutes (from start to finish) to prepare! To gift a sweet treat this Christmas, then you can purchase a Top Selling Mug Mix Bundle here for £12. This compromises of three sachets in each flavour, or you can see the full list of Mug Mixes here if one particularly takes your fancy.

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For the tea lovers in your life, we came across the Penguin Infuser Mug from the RSPB. Since 1889, this well-known charity has been dedicated to conserving nature, acting as the largest conservation charity in the country. In line with their ethos, the shop proceeds are fed directly back into the charity, using the money to nurture species in trouble, and to run multiple reserves across the UK.

The mug itself is made from English fine bone china and has a sweet penguin design on each side. The removable lid helps to encourage your tea of choice to develop, as well as keeping it warmer for longer, while the removable infuser makes this mug suitable for loose leaf tea, herbal infusions and ground coffee. Gone are the days of owning delicious loose leaf tea but not being able to drink it! Additionally, the mug is also dishwasher safe and you can, of course, use this mug with other non-loose leaf tea and hot drinks. To do your bit for charity this year, as well as providing your recipient with a lovely mug to drink their Christmas tea in, then the Penguin Tea Infuser Mug is available here for £12.99.

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Finally, we present an alternative stocking filler for a makeup lover in your life. Majic Beauty are the first genuinely safe and hygienic beauty brand with an instant application process. With years of formulating and testing, their Instant Eyeshadow products have been designed with high-quality and natural ingredients, all of which are easily transferable and durable. They certainly have us hooked!

Born from the issue of cross-contamination within the makeup industry, Majic Beauty wanted to create eyeshadow products that reduce the risk of spreading bacteria, creating single-use applicators that hygienically transfer colour directly onto the eyelids. This is something they have achieved with success! We tried both the Creme Brulee and Smokey Eyes applicators, both of which contain five applicator pairs. For those of us with blue eyes, we found that Creme Brulee's bronze shades made our eyes pop, while the silver tones of Smokey Eyes are perfect for an evening party look. We also found the applicators easy to use - simply take them out of the packaging and gently press over your eyelids. To smudge the colours, slide the applicator gently across the eyelid, and we discovered it is easiest to blend the colours by lightly using the applicator edge. Thanks to the use of cruelty and paraben free ingredients, the eyeshadow is also gentle on the skin, while still leaving a professional finish. To try Majic Beauty's Instant Eyeshadow for yourself, then click here to check out their range on Amazon. You'll find a plethora of shades, all of which start from £5.99.

From food, to beauty and lifestyle products, we hope this stocking filler guide has helped you to think slightly outside of the box this year!

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.

Africology Coffee and Rose Diffuser

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Who doesn’t love entering into a beautifully scented room? Here, at The Amazing Blog, we have a weakness for reed diffusers as they are safer and more versatile than candles. At this time of year, we want a room fragrance that has both warmth and freshness, this is where one of our favourite beauty and lifestyle brands Africology never fails us. Our regular readers will remember our post on their Rose Body Balm where we commented on their African heritage and how they capture the key flora and fauna of Africa in their ingredients.

Africology has as range of five different fragranced Atmosphere Reed Diffuser sets. We tried the Coffee and Rose diffuser, which for us was absolutely delightful. From its simple, elegant packaging to its sophisticated tawny glass bottle design, it offers soft warm top floral notes combined with the rather interesting and more robust coffee ones, making it a more weighty fragrance and perfect for that heady romantic evening ambience. Apart from its elegant design that will complement any décor, this diffuser is long-lasting; we had ours on the go for at least 3 months!

This diffuser is made from only 100% natural oils. It is very simple and easy to use, just open the bottle and place the diffuser reeds into the bottle until the reeds are fully coated with liquid. Wait about 5 minutes and take the reeds out and insert the opposite dry end of the reeds back into the diffuser. To enhance your home with this long-lasting and evocative fragrance, purchase the Africology Coffee and Rose Room Diffuser here for £45.00. Or at their newly opened London store here.