Nourishing

Skin Dewi – Ginkgo Biloba Firming Facial Cream

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No matter how old you are, it’s always good to have a product that is anti-ageing – or a lot (The Amazing Blog isn’t a place to judge). In addition to products that fight off fine lines and wrinkles, it’s a bonus when they firm skin. So, we were very excited to try Skin Dewy’s line of natural and organic skin care products, especially their Gingko Biloba Firming Facial Cream.

The Indonesian-based brand was founded by Dewi Kauw, a mother who found it difficult to find organic and non-toxic products for her baby with allergies and atopic eczema. Kauw became highly educated in natural preservation and essential oils as well as chemical engineering, which has her approaching skin care scientifically and creating products that are effective at a cellular level. However, the fact that she is motivated by her children is seen in the all-natural ingredients of products like the Gingko Biloba Firming Facial Cream.

The gingko biloba and green tea extracts are what really set this anti-ageing cream apart from others on the market. These two ingredients work together to boost collagen production and prevent skin water loss, which results in more radiant and firm skin after only a few uses. The face cream is part of the Skin Dewi Brightening series and uses rosehip oil to brighten your complexion for a more youthful glow as well as protect skin cells from the sun. The formula has ingredients like botanical extracts and omega-rich oils for extra hydration, but the moisturiser itself is lightweight, sinks in quickly, and leaves your face feeling fresh rather than greasy. Did we mention it’s also recommended for sensitive and dry skin? This face cream is truly able to do it all in terms of making your skin look soft and supple whether you’re 25 or 45.

You can purchase the moisturiser (30g) here for 65.85€.

Friday Favourites - Manicure and Pedicure Products

While Film and TV shows often depict women having a standing nail appointment at a downtown salon, we are sad to say that is not the reality at The Amazing Blog. While we love pampering ourselves at the spa every once and a while, we often don’t have the time or money to spend on full manicures and pedicures each week. Thankfully for us, there is a vast market for at-home nail treatments, and you can enjoy some of the luxuries from your flat. We have four #amazingfinds for you this week that will leave your hands and nails looking gorgeous while still feeling like you’ve had a day at the salon.

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The first product we have will leave your hands looking brighter and more youthful before you put on your nail polish. We had the chance to try another product from one of our tried-and-trusted brands, Beauty Kitchen. Since we tested their Seahorse Plankton 5 Minute Miracle Mask and The Beauty Boosting BB Cream, the company revamped the collection into Seahorse Plankton+, which includes the 60 Second Manicure.

The 60 Second Manicure is a quick and easy scrub that uses Himalayan sea salt to exfoliate dead skin cells from your hands and nail beds. The fine texture of the sea salt works quickly and effectively, revealing smoother and healthier-looking skin, and is especially useful for dry patches of skin. What makes this scrub standout from others is that all of the products in the Seahorse Plankton+ collection contain microalgae and blue chamomile. Microalgae is a unique skin care ingredient that can survive in the cold and harsh environment of the North Sea and increases collagen production, which brightens skin. It also contains proteins and antioxidants that nourish skin and reduce redness as well as fine lines. Blue chamomile gives the scrub the relaxing aroma of a spa and renews skin.

Sustainability is a crucial pillar of the brand, so Seahorse Plankton+ products are made with recyclable materials (glass and aluminium) and sustainably grown microalgae. Despite the name, seahorses are not used to make the scrub, and it is vegan certified. You can purchase the scrub (80g) here for £19.50.



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This next product from BalbCare -  Luxury Waterless Manicure/Pedicure Starter Kit provides the perfect layer of moisture once you’ve smoothed your hands with the 60 Second Manicure. BalBCare is a Brazilian-based company that wanted to create a ‘manicure and pedicure service that doesn’t require water: saving both time and resources’. By using their Manicure / Pedicure Starter Kit containing a pack of 20 together with free plier toe nail cutters. Did you know that you can save two to four litres of water with each use and have beautiful-looking hands and feet this summer.

The Manicure and Pedicure Kits come with gloves and socks, plus emollient cream, a nail file and a wooden cuticle pusher. The packets are for single-use only, making them very sanitary – something that is vital when removing your cuticles. They are also flat and portable. The emollient cream in each kit moisturises hands and feet using natural ingredients like witch-hazel extract and allantoin (reduces skin inflammation), tea tree oil (sanitises hands naturally), and calcium pantothenate (nourishes nails). After putting the gloves or socks on, you must break the ends of the glove or sock to push back and remove your cuticles. Like a sheet mask, remember to rub in the excess emollient cream once you’ve removed the gloves and socks. To purchase this Starter kit it will be approximate £40 from here.

For extra soft feet, because we usually don’t put cream on our feet every day like our hands, we suggest using Foot File. We recommend finding a file that is made with 100 per cent surgical quality stainless steel, making it longer-lasting and more effective than a typical sandpaper file that runs down after a few uses. The material also makes the foot file extremely lightweight and has a coarse side and fine side. You can use it with or without water and creams, but we prefer to remain water-less and use the emollient cream

We must quickly add that this is in fact a popular salon-based ‘express service’ treatment that is offered in select nail bars and beauty salons UK wide. To have the full experience of mani pedi performed by trained individuals, this treatment will be around £20 (depending on each salons menus).

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The next product we have is another alternative to going to the nail salon or even having to use nail polish, and it will have even your closest friends fooled. Bows & Toes offers a unique solution for people who struggle at painting their nails – especially their non-dominant hands, makeup artists who quickly need to paint nails left and right backstage, or someone who doesn’t want to leave home. It also offers a luxurious twist to stick-on nails, which many people still believe are only age-appropriate for children to use.  

The UK-based online boutique was founded by two sisters who have backgrounds in the nail business, art, and design. They combined their experiences to create high-quality and detailed designs for the hand-painted nails. Bows & Toes allows you to express yourself and style through your nails whichever way you like with a wide variety of styles. The nails come in classic round and square shapes, but also trendy stiletto shapes that are difficult to create without going to the nail salon. Patterns vary from glitter and jewels to marble and solid colours, which come in both shiny and matte finishes. The 20-piece nail sets are not all uniform and have different hues as well as patterns that coordinate with another.

Each nail set includes the stick-on nails, gel tabs to keep the nails on, alcohol wipes, and a cuticle stick. All nails can be removed with just warm water and are reusable if taken care of properly. You can purchase the Bow Ladies nail sets here for prices of £14.99-£18.99, depending on the design.

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Finally, we have two products for you from HandMade Beauty to complete your nails. The Moisturising Base Coat with Aloe Vera and Top Coat Sun Dry both got a lot of love at this year’s Beauty Shortlist Awards, and we can see why. Diana Burillo’s brand provides organic, handmade, and cruelty-free alternatives to traditional nail polishes that often have harsh chemicals and damage nails. The products are also fair trade and produced with as few ingredients as possible to uphold the company’s mission of ‘creating 100% organic spaces for body and mind care’.

The first item we tried was the Moisturising Base Coat. Our nails truly felt the difference with this base coat due to the formula’s mixture of aloe vera, bamboo extract, and vitamin E. These ingredients add moisture, but also repair existing nail damage and prevent future damage. It’s perfect if your nails are feeling drier with the rising temperatures. On top of feeling more moisturised nails, the base coat left a nice natural shine that could be worn on its own. After the base coat and nail polish of your choice, HandMade Beauty’s Top Coat Sun Dry will give you shiny and glossy nails that look like you got a gel manicure. The catch is that you don’t have to put your hands under a UV lamp or UV light. The top coat creates a hard shell in just three minutes under natural sunlight and protects your nails from getting chipped, resulting in a longer-lasting manicure. The product additionally has a rounded application brush that makes it easier to distribute the top coat onto your nails.

Both products come in simple glass bottles (a clear one for the base coat and a matte black one for the top coat) with wooden caps that would look nice on any counter. You can purchase the Top Coat Sun Dry (11ml) here for €18 and the Moisturising Base Coat (10ml) here for €14. If you buy both together, online orders over €30 qualify for free shipping.

With these four unique at-home nail treatments in mind, we hope you find some time to treat yourself during the weekend. Put on a soft robe, rest your feet, and relax in front of the telly while doing one or all of these treatments because you and your nails deserve to feel like you’ve had a weekend spa holiday.

Spoolies – Hair Curlers and Beach Waves & Curls Leave-In Curl Enhancer

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When you think of hair curling, three options usually come to mind: an expensive appointment at the hair salon, a hot and hard-to-use curling iron, or ugly round hair rollers our grandmothers once used. These options have many disadvantages, but most of us settled for at least one! Many of us at The Amazing Blog use a curling iron and usually need a friend’s help to curl the back of our hair. We’re happy to say that these problems are long in the past with Spoolies, which offers a fun, no heat, and inexpensive solution.

Most of us have seen hair rollers before, whether in real life or in movies from the 50s and 60s, where women wearing nightgowns spend hours carefully putting up their hair before bed. Spoolies founder Jeanne C. James decided to ‘create classic curls with a modern twist’ for women of today with Spoolies Hair Curlers. The curlers are easy to use and effective for even the finest or straightest hair. Instead of plastic, they’re made with durable and high-quality hypoallergenic silicon, but still light and portable for easy travelling. They are also heat proof to hair dryers if you want to speed up the curling process.

For enhanced waves, Spoolies offers the Beach Waves & Curls Leave-In Curl Enhancer, which you should spray into hair before using the curlers. It is infused with Crambe abyssinica seed oil to nourish, hydrate, and volumise hair while improving the look of curls and not weighing your hair down. It can be used on wet or dry hair and is sulfate, paraben, and phthalate free. The hair curlers work very well with the spray for tighter curls, but we found we got more natural-looking waves without water.

The hair curlers come in two sizes (medium and jumbo) to create a variety of hairstyles from loose waves to ringlets. Spoolies also has a variety of colours including blue, pink, black, and silver. The price of the hair curlers varies depending on how many you want, but we found the best deal was the ‘15 pc – Jumbo Spoolies in Mesh Bag, Beachy Blue’ kit. The kit gives you more than enough hair curlers to share with friends and a quality bag to store them in. You can purchase the kit here on Amazon for £35.95 and the Leave-In Curl Enhancer on the Spoolies US website here for $17.99.

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!

Heathcote & Ivory's Salsa Silks Collection

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When you find a product that you love, there’s nothing better than discovering that there is a whole collection too. One that we are loving at the moment, is Salsa Silks by Heathcote and Ivory. We’re no strangers to this brand at The Amazing Blog, having featured their Vintage & Co. Baubles & Belles Festive Bath and Body Tin in our Gifts for Her feature in December. The Salsa Silks collection is vibrant, and contains three scented gifts (for a loved one, or yourself) encased in elegantly decorated packaging, and inspired by the colourful rhythms of salsa. Intrigued? We were too.

As a brand that embraces the world of interior design and the great British outdoors, Heathcote & Ivory are known for their mix of bright colours and floral patterns, in both vintage and modern styles. The Salsa Silks Collection is no exception, containing only the finest essential oils and actives, it is a luxury collection, without a luxury price tag.

The first product that we tried, was the Hand Wash. This vitamin E infused product helps to cleanse and purify, releasing the energising scents of lime, lotus flower and cedarwood. The uplifting essential oils of lemon and sweet orange really make it feel like a spa retreat at home, and the luxurious formula left our hands feeling soft and nourished. We were also pleased to discover that it didn’t leave our hands feeling dry, something we struggle with at this time of the year.

Secondly, we tried the Heart Soap In A Tin. This lovely triple-milled soap is presented in an embossed heart-shaped tin, and is blended with shea butter and glycerine, helping to gently cleanse and soften your skin. Additionally, and thanks to the beautiful packaging, this isn’t only a pleasure for your skin, but also gives your bathroom a touch of design sparkle. Gone are the days of a boring block of soap on the sink.

Finally, we were also pleased to discover that this collection contains a Lip Gloss. Delivered in a smaller heart-shaped tin, this moisturising peach lip gloss is made of beeswax and olive extracts, helping to keep your lips perfectly soft and, most importantly, kissable. The soft peachy smell of the pink glittery gloss is also a highlight, taking away the often chemical smell of other lip glosses on the market. It is also nourishing and less sticky than competitor glosses, something we’re thankful of!

To try this collection for yourself, check out the Heathcote & Ivory website here where you can find the Hand Wash for £9 (320ml), Heart Soap In A Tin for £6 and the Lip Gloss for £5. Perfect for a February birthday or as a treat for yourself.