Nourishing

Alexandra Soveral - Sweet Orange & Rosemary Shampoo

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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.

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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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!

IdHair - Fiber Foam

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Blowout hairstyles are back! They have been increasing in popularity for the past few years especially with the emergence of blow-dry bars. While it’s great to have smooth and sleek hair without the damage from the hot flat iron straighteners, the cost for a professional blow dry every couple weeks certainly adds up. That’s why at The Amazing Blog we’ve got into the habit to do our own home styling! To help us try and achieve salon-quality results, we’ve started using products that are specifically for blow drying. One product in particular, which is new to the UK, and has helped to give us good and lasting effects at-home blow dries is IdHair’s ELEMENTS Xclusive Blow Fiber Foam.

Inspired by their Nordic heritage, Danish brand IdHair launched the Elements Xclusive line in 2018. All products in the professional haircare and styling line are packaged in a recycled plastic bottle and are produced in IdHair’s own factory in Sweden. A part of the recently launched range, The BLOW series in the range includes products to use pre-styling before you blow dry your hair. The BLOW Fiber Foam in the series is a hair mousse that distributes fibres in your hair to add texture to hair before you blow dry. The mousse is made with ingredients derived mostly from nature and is free from gluten, sulfates, parabens and irritating perfumes. The Argan oil and other natural ingredients like blueberry extract, shea butter, rice and amethyst enriched in the mousse softens and nourishes hair while the fibres give an extra voluminous boost.

To use the IdHair ELEMENTS Xclusive Blow Fiber Foamshake and hold the bottle upside down to dispense a generous amount of the foam. Then, simply work a generous amount of mousse between your palms and evenly distribute into damp hair. Then you are ready to start blow-drying for full volumised and sleek hair. The BLOW Fiber Foam is currently not available online (coming soon) it will be priced at approximately £12.50 for a 200 ml bottle to find it at your nearest salon visit their website here.

Stellar Décolletage – Velvet Restore Sleep Complex

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Regular readers of The Amazing Blog, will know that we love anti-ageing products because no matter your age, it is essential to protect your skin against the sun and pollution. If you’re hitting 30 years old, then it’s a good moment to consider using skincare products that both hydrate and firm the skin; leaving it looking better than when you were a teenager (well that might be pushing it!) We must point out that like many individuals, we often forget  to take care of our neck and décolletage, which are just as sensitive as our faces and need the same diligent care. This is when we discovered The Beauty Shortlist award winning Stellar Décolletage who have created a luxurious conditioning treatment that will rejuvenate this neglected area and doesn’t require a 10-step process!

The brand was founded by Helen Erichsen, who noticed a gap in the beauty market for products that improve the appearance of your décolletage, an area that can age almost three years faster than your face. She was always keenly interested in beauty items which contained high performance and natural ingredients and worked to achieve noticeable results. Each product of her products has carefully chosen ingredients for this specific area, including hyaluronic acid with the lowest molecular weight to moisturise  (so as not clog your décolletage’s small pores). This thoughtful formulation is particularly evident in the Velvet Restore Sleep Complex anti-ageing treatment which we tried.

The complex is full of countless beneficial elements and has quickly visible results, making it no surprise to us why it won the 2019 Beauty Shortlist Award for Best Neck & Décolletage Product. There are a few ingredients that immediately jump out at us to help regenerate skin cells and nourish skin. The first is MPC Milk Peptide Complex, and this boosts your skin’s protein, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin levels—all of which promote smoother skin texture and firmness. Secondly, SalSphere AquaSkin, which adds extra hydration and repairs skin that, has redness and hyperpigmentation. Finally, the treatment is infused with six different vitamins like Vitamin E to keep skin healthy and fight ageing.

To use the product, apply a small amount (2-3 pumps) to your neck, décolletage, and chest before going to bed. It has a creamy texture that is not greasy and has a clean scent. The complex works overnight, allowing you to wake up the next morning with immensely soft and velvety skin. While the price is quite high, a little goes a long way, and the results are really worth it. Helen explained: “The Complex is 150ml and is therefore over double or triple in some cases, the quantity of most products for this specific area of the body. This was a deliberate decision, following a recommendation by the women who trialled this, who felt it was important not to have a 50 or 75ml product that they would run out of in a shorter time. It is the equivalent of £26 per 50ml, which we feel is incredibly reasonable for the high efficiency and level of active ingredients included in the formulation.” We were very impressed by the results and will certainly be going on to buy more. To begin reviving your décolletage now or to protect it, purchase this British made and cruelty-free Velvet Restore Sleep Complex (150ml) here for £78.

The Kind Planet Company – Power Balm

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To keep up with our minimalism goals this spring at The Amazing Blog, that also means using less products that currently clutter in our dressing tables. Besides doing a bit of tidying up around your flat, fewer beauty products mean fewer minutes spent getting ready and more time enjoying the gorgeous warm weather. We have found the perfect product that to do just that. The Power Balm is an all-in-one organic product that will clear your counters of masks, moisturisers, and lip balms.

One of the nine ‘power ingredients’ in the Power Balm is red palm oil, which is used for skin care and eaten as a superfood in West Africa. Palm oil has gotten negative press lately because it is in almost everything we consume (foods, cosmetics, cleaning products) and it causes devastating destruction to ecosystems. We know that, as does The Kind Planet Company, so they’ve come up with a sustainable and kind solution. Working with Sierra Leonean women, Kind Planet’s red palm oil is handpicked and certified by the Rainforest Alliance to ensure animal habitats are not destroyed in the collection process. The company’s shea butter ingredient follows a similar process in Ghana. At the core of Kind Planet and its Power Balm is giving power to its customers and female workers as well as kindness to the environment.

The Power Balm has a mix of red palm oil, other natural plant oils, shea butter, and vegan wax to nourish your body while providing protection and long-lasting moisture to your skin. Key ingredients in the formula in addition to red palm oil, which is rich in antioxidants and hydrates your skin, are jojoba oil (removes excess dirt and oil), mandarin essential oil (brightens and diminishes scars), and rosehip oil (reduces redness). These oils combine to create a fresh and aromatic scent. The balm is useful on all skin types as a cleansing tool, face or body moisturiser, face mask, lip or beard balm, and even a highlighter. Our personal favourite is using it as a hand moisturiser at night because it is incredibly soft and hydrating, great for nails and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy. Due to its versatility and 100 per cent organic formula, we predict the Power Balm could be the next multipurpose staple.

Power Balm also does not have any preservatives, parabens, synthetic fragrances, petrolatum, animal by-products, or animal testing. You can purchase the Power Balm (50ml) here for £19.50 (postage and packaging included in the price). Five per cent of the sales go to Planet + People Power charities.