Organic

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.

SARYA Couture Makeup - Eye Shadow

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With the April showers finally in the past, flowers are beginning to bloom everywhere in London. While there are so many different colours around us, The Amazing Blog has been inspired by the colour pink. It is in the flowers and sunsets, clothes in shops, even cocktails at bars. There's a reason why millennials adore this colour and it's because it is no longer reserved for super 'girly' women, but can be embraced by everyone. This is where SARYA Couture Makeup comes in with its beautifully pigmented Italian-made vegan eye shadows.

The brand offers four different shades of eye shadow, but Pastel Me (a light rose colour) is what got us into the whole 'pink craze.' It is a nice rosy shade that has a smooth texture and diffuses easily into skin using fingers. The product creates a perfect base for other colours in an eye shadow look but leaves a subtle and pearlescent finish by itself. While it is sold as an eye shadow, we found that this colour looks particularly nice on the apples of your cheeks – as if you’ve just returned from a beach holiday. This versatile and pretty shade has all of the necessary components a quality eye shadow must have, but what makes SARYA Makeup’s product stand out are its slightly more unusual ingredients which include the likes of: Fossil flour, extracted from fossilized fragments of aquatic algae, Organic Shea Butter, rich in Vitamin A, E , F and  Karanja oil for its antibacterial properties.
 

Sarya launched in the summer of 2018 by Claudia and Teodora, who share the same passion for beauty and bio and do not consider it only a passing trend, but they see it as the future of the production for the entire industry. The pair has an ideology of ‘purity and transparency’. ‘Purity’ begins with products that have no added mineral oils, perfumes, or phthalates while ‘transparency’ is seen in all of the products being certified organic, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten free, and paraben free. On top of all this, the eye shadow has an organic formula of bio apricot oil for moisture and bio shea oil for essential vitamins A, E, and F. This eye shadow will not only provide maximum health benefits to your skin with its antioxidant-rich formula, but it also won’t make your spring allergies act up. Join the pink craze this spring and purchase the eye shadow here for €20. Or here Amazon UK . We just can’t wait to try more from this brand!

By Sarah London- Bath Salts

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With the weather getting warmer, taking baths shouldn’t just be reserved for the colder months. Certainly a more cooling soak in the summer months never hurt. There is nothing more we like at The Amazing Blog than to have a relaxing soak after a session in the gym or an evening run. While we all love a good bath bomb or a therapeutic essential oil, some of us with more sensitive skin prefer something a little less harsh for our skin to completely relax. UK based skincare brand BY SARAH LONDON has developed their Bath Salts with completely natural and hypoallergenic ingredients, which is a winner for us! We recently reviewed their Organic Hair Oil here which we loved.

The multi-award winning BY SARAH LONDON was launched in 2017 by two sisters Sarah and Lauren after the latter was suffering from dry, sensitive skin during her recovery from leukaemia. After searching for skincare that was both effective yet non-irritating, Sarah then sought out to start her brand that was transparent, authentic and empowering. The sisters wanted to push this transparency and authenticity by pushing for the use of ethically-sourced, plant-based ingredients  in their products.  To take this one step beyond, BY SARAH LONDON is the only UK skincare brand that lists all ingredients on the front label of all their products including their Bath Salts. While BY SARAH London products are great for people with sensitive skin and eczema, they also recommend their products to people with all skin types especially those who are conscious about what they put on their skin.

Besides having no essential oils or fragrances, BY SARAH LONDON’s Bath Salts contains only three ingredients, making sure that sensitive skin is not irritated.  The hand-blended Himalayan Pink Salts, Dead Sea Salts and French Pink Clay all combine in an eco-friendly glass jar to calm and cleanse the body. To start soaking in the minerals, add a handful of the bath salt to your warm bath and enjoy for a minimum of 15 minutes. A 280-gram jar (£20) of the Bath Salts or a 50-gram pouch (£5) of the Bath Salts are currently available to purchase on the BY SARAH LONDON website here.

PHB Ethical Beauty – Pressed Minerals 6 Piece Palette

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The brand that gives back is back on The Amazing Blog! Regular readers will know that we’re fans of PHB Ethical Beauty, an award-winning, family-run company that gives 20 per cent of its net profits to charity. Check out our brand directory here to see all of their products we have reviewed. The next product to add to that list is the Pressed Minerals 6 Piece Palette in Night.

Keeping with the brand’s all-natural, cruelty-free, and handmade products, this pallet’s formula is made of pressed minerals including mica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. Mica naturally reflects light, perfect for enhancing your eyes, while minimising the appearance of pores. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide create natural SPF30 protection, especially crucial when using the blushers during the daytime. The formula is gentle for use on all skin types (even sensitive and acne-prone skin) as it is 100 per cent natural, vegan, halal certified, gluten-free and paraben free.  

This pallet has four highly pigmented colours: Almond (a light cream), Onyx (a black with light flecks), Celestite (a periwinkle blue), and Grape (a purple with bronze undertones). Each colour offers a satin-like finish that looks gorgeous on any skin tone and will last all day or night. The pallet includes two blushers to finish your look: Camellia (a bright pink that matches the blooming flowers outside) and Peony (a subdued dark rosy colour ideal for a date-night look). Both diffuse nicely into cheeks with a makeup brush for a healthy glow. While this pallet advertises a night out look, the bright finish and versatility of the colours can create a perfect springtime look.

The four eye shadows and two blushers come in a sturdy, flat palette that includes magnetic sealing and a large mirror. You can try the Pressed Minerals 6 Piece Palette for yourself here for £49.95. While the price is quite high, we feel the organic ingredients are worth it plus the highly pigmented eye shadows have great staying power.

Moroccan Natural - Pearl Powder

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When people think of pearls, they merely think of luminescent and glistening orbs used in jewellery. However, we want to introduce you to finely grounded down pearls, which have a surprising variety of uses, primarily to aid aesthetic and health benefits which in turn help to boost a glowing complexion. When The Amazing Blog heard that this 100% pure Pearl Powder had been used for thousands of years by Chinese and Egyptians (including Cleopatra), we knew we had to experiment with this micronised Moroccan Natural’s Pearl Powder!

Moroccan Natural founder Carole Fraser launched this UK based natural beauty brand in 2010. It all began when she was recommended to use Moroccan Argan oil to treat both her frizzy and dry hair and a 14-year-old skin condition. After seeing the power of the fantastic properties of organic, natural products can have, Carole was inspired to start the brand. All with the premise of cultivating a line of products that are made up of entirely organic ingredients, in order to heal and rejuvenate the hair and skin naturally. Made with 100% pharmaceutical grade natural freshwater pearl powder, Moroccan Natural’s Pearl Powder takes on the ancient beauty secret which is infused with 30 different minerals. With its calcium, proteins and vitamins and a high source of amino acid, Pearl Powder will help speed healing, enhance elasticity and help maintain a perfect skin luminosity. These are all shown to stimulate skin and collagen production, smooth wrinkles, help improve skin texture and help with sun damage. Like all Moroccan Natural products, the Pearl Powder is completely natural and is free from silicones, parabens or preservatives all of which can irritate the skin.

After a few weeks of incorporating the Pearl Powder into our beauty regimen, we loved the radiance it gave our complexion. The less visible sun spots, fewer large pores and a more luminous and even skin tone. To start seeing radiant results for yourself, mix a pearl-sized scoop (using the spatula included) into your daily moisturiser or try one of Moroccan Natural’s five different ways to use the powder depending on your skin care goals. Our Exec Editor’s favourite way was to have this Pearl Powder as a finishing powder, it is so finely ground that it absorbs the shine and leaves the skin supple. We really love the versatility of this 100% natural product. While a 15g container of the Pearl Powder retails at £25 on the Moroccan Natural website here. You only need use a tiny bit in each application and found that this pot lasted for quite some months.