Sensitive Skin

Antonym – Quattro Eyeshadow, Eye Pencil, and Lipstick Pencil

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It’s a given for regular readers of The Amazing Blog that we love natural and organic makeup and skin care products. Although, many people also associate organic products with lighter pigments and less staying power than conventional products that may use synthetic ingredients. That’s why we were thrilled to try makeup range from Antonym, an organic brand certified natural and organic by Ecocert Greenlife loved by makeup artists.

 As a well-known Miami based makeup artist herself, Valerie “Val” Giraud set out in 2010 to create makeup products and brushes that have organic and natural ingredients and are cruelty-free and gentle enough for sensitive skin. In keeping with creating a clean makeup line, Giraud wanted to ensure the products had high performance—something she thought organic makeup products at the time were lacking. She believes that ‘natural makeup doesn’t have to mean a natural look’ and we can attest to this statement after using these three glam products.

The first two items we tested were the Quattro Eyeshadow in Croisette and the Certified Natural Eye Pencil Noir. The eyeshadows come in four shades (Moon, Salmon, Bark and Black) to use separately or together to create a sultry smoky eye. These colours are not only intense and long-lasting but have a smooth and velvety finish to brighten any eye colour. One of the key ingredients of the Quattro Eyeshadow is the natural mineral mica, making this product ideal for sensitive eyes because it will not irritate them. To pair with the eyeshadow palette is their Certified Natural Eye Pencil Noir. It is preservative-free and dermatologically tested, so it is safe to use on your delicate waterline. Organic ingredients like marula and jojoba oil additionally moisturise and nourish eyes. However, what we love about this liner is that it applies rich colour so smoothly and is water resistant while containing ingredients that won’t have you rubbing at your eyes all night. We loved smudging this liner into our lash line and waterline on top of the Quattro palette for an evening look.

Of course, the last product to complete any makeup look is lipstick. We found that the Certified Natural Lipstick Pencil Koral is the ideal product to keep in your handbag for the summer. It comes in a convenient pencil and is easy to apply without a mirror, perfect for on-the-go touch ups before lunch in Hyde Park. Koral is a bright orange colour that looks gorgeous with a tan and has a glossy finish for a dewy but not sweaty look this summer. What also makes this lipstick perfect for the hot and humid weather is that it will also keep your lips hydrated with sunflower oil and shea butter. The formula also includes vitamin C and E to nourish lips while leaving a long-lasting and waterproof colour. We recommend using this lipstick with the two eye products to really tie your look together or build up the colour for a bold statement.

You can purchase the Natural Lipstick Pencil here only on the USA website (for now) for $17 and the Quattro Eyeshadow, which comes in a sturdy bamboo case with a dual-sided brush, here for £37. The Natural Eye Pencil includes a conveniently detachable sharpener on one end and you can purchase it here for £18.

Friday Favourites – Cleansers

As we all know the key essential to any good skin care routine is to use a gentle and effective cleanser, not only to remove the daily grime but the residue of our makeup. However, during our research for this feature, we at The Amazing Blog found that there were quite a few readily available high street brands, but they were mainly water-based with chemicals. This combination strips your skin of its natural oils, leaving your face feeling tight and dry rather than supple and refreshed. That is why we wanted to share some of our Friday Favourites which are the latest #amazingfinds for oil-based cleansers and cleansing balms. We know what you’re probably thinking: ‘Oil? Won’t that clog up my skin?’ Rest assured we’ve tried and tested our choices. We all have very different skin types here at The Amazing Blog ranging from very dry to extremely oily and none of these cleansers clogged our pores.

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The first #amazingfind, we found was the Jane Apothecary Soothing Cleansing Balm. This Spanish-based company was founded by Elena Padilla, a biologist and cosmetics expert, after she began breaking out when she turned 30 years old. Jane Apothecary is an award winning brand (see 2019 Beauty Shortlist here) that we have fallen in love with, and recently wrote about their Restoring Eye &  Lip Serum . Elena soon discovered the benefits of vegetable oils and plants to soothe skin as well as other women who were in a similar situation as herself. This led her to create all-natural products that ‘care for and calm the skin of women over 30 years’ while providing hydration and preventing ageing.

The Cleansing Balm’s oil and vegetable wax base gives the product a thick texture and melts in your hands to create a cleansing oil. It has marigold extract, chamomile, and aloe vera to soothe and soften your skin along with bio shea butter to help protect your skin’s natural oils. After using this product, your skin won’t feel greasy, but perfectly moisturised and clean. What made this cleansing balm worthy of a lot of love at the Beauty Shortlist Awards is that it has been specially formulated for sensitive skin as well as redness- and rosacea-prone skin while smelling fresh. Many products that treat skin conditions often smell like a hospital or have no scent. Jane Apothecary uses a mix of lemongrass, orange, and lavender essential oils to give the balm a signature strong lemongrass scent that has aromatherapeutic properties to help you relax while cleansing your face.

If you want extra soft skin, you can leave a small layer of the cleansing balm on for 20 minutes before removing it with warm water and the organic cotton wipe provided. Only a small dollop of this product is needed each time you cleanse your face, so we can safely say the price is worth what you get. You can purchase the Soothing Cleansing Balm (60ml) here for 35.54€


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The next cleansing balm we have for you is the Nourish Cleanse Melt: Rose & Camellia. This product may look or sound familiar because we reviewed the Botanicals Nourishing Face Balm in the same beautiful scent. We’ve found and fallen in love with many products from Botanicals (check out our brand directory here) and the Nourishing Face Balm falls into the same pattern.

The company is rooted in the ‘fundamental belief that nature knows best’ and this cleansing balm has 100 per cent natural ingredients. It is also cruelty-free, vegan, and certified organic. The cleanser contains absolutely no water and is oil-based, which helps retain and maintain your skin’s natural oils rather than dry out your face. It can be used on all skin types, but the natural oils are especially useful for hydrating and healing normal-to-dry mature skin. The formula combines the oils with shea butter and green tea extract to dissolve even stubborn waterproof mascara after a long day and leave your skin feeling soft like a baby’s the next morning. What makes this balm different is that Botanicals’ cleansing balms work deep into your pores to remove any impurities, which balance and brighten your skin. While many oil-based products scare people away, this cleansing balm leaves you feeling moisturised but not greasy.

See for yourself why this cleansing balm won for Best Organic Facial Skincare at the Natural and Organic Awards. You can purchase it here (60g) for £26.  

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The final product we have for you this Friday is the Joji Natural Frankincense and Sandalwood Oil Cleanser. We discovered this indie beauty brands earlier this year at a trade beauty show. The motto of Joji Natural is ‘Natural without compromise’. The company was founded in 2010 and is dedicated to creating handmade organic products that are effective, sustainable, cruelty-free, and fair trade.

 The oil cleanser is made of 100 per cent plant-based materials and is marketed as ‘a meditation in a bottle’. After using it, we can see why. As the name says, the product has frankincense and sandalwood. These are both natural oils that have immense therapeutic effects, leaving you less stressed and creating positive well-being. The formula also has a unique mix of jojoba, sweet almond, and apricot kernel oils, which soothe and moisturise skin without clogging your pores. This oil cleanser is essential in scrubbing away makeup and pollutants from the day, unlike regular cleansers. Many of the ingredients also have natural properties to fight bacteria, leaving your skin extra clean.

You can remove all of the cleanser with a warm cloth or leave some excess for your skin to soak up the all-natural oils, as recommended by Joji Natural. You can purchase the Frankincense and Sandalwood Oil Cleanser (50ml) here for £16.

Whether or not you have already made the switch to oil cleansers, please keep these products in mind not just for the summer but all year round. As mentioned earlier, they will not clog your pores or leave your skin feeling dry. However, what we like is that they all leave a nice layer of moisture giving you a glowy and goddess-like skin. Go try!

Lavera – Illuminating Effect Fluid

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Since the highlighter craze began in full force, The Amazing Blog joined in trying Benefit Cosmetics’ Watts Up! Highlighter and Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Love Lights Highlighting Powder. Both solid highlighter products gave our cheeks a heavenly glow, so we were excited to mix things up with a liquid highlighter and see the results. We were even more excited to receive the Illuminating Effect Fluid from one of our trusted brands Lavera, which has brought us so many #amazingfinds over the years from the SOS Help Hand Balm to the Powerful Lashes mascara.

The 100 per cent certified organic company has been a leader in the worldwide natural cosmetics industry since its founding in 1987. Its core mission is to create products that are ‘beautiful, natural, effective’ and sustainable. This mission is seen in everything from where the raw ingredients are sourced to product packaging and disposal.

The Illuminating Effect Fluid is no different from Lavera’s other products in its high-quality organic and natural ingredients as well as effectiveness. The highlighter, which we tried in Sheer Silver, has a light and creamy texture with pigments that naturally reflect light. It spreads easily and a little bit of this product goes a long way, even a light layer leaves a bright pearlescent sheen on your skin. While one layer of the highlighter is quite subtle and natural looking in the sun, you can build the product to create a deeper shine depending on if you want to refresh your typical look or make your cheekbones and brow bone pop. You can also use it as a foundation primer or mix it with moisturiser for an everyday glow.

The formula includes actual pearl extract to fresh your complexion and sunflower oil to smooth skin for additional radiance. Jojoba and shea butter help nourish skin with vitamins and minerals, and shea butter has even been proven to help with anti-ageing. It has also been dermatologically tested and is good for sensitive skin. You can purchase the highlighter (30ml) here for £14.90.

PariQu - Rose & Cacay Hydrating Serum Cream and 24K Gold & Rosehip Rejuvenating Cream

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We don’t know if it’s just us at The Amazing Blog, but we love the smell of roses in our skin care products. Roses smell so fresh and clean yet remind us of subtle elegance and rejuvenation. So, we were very excited to try two new PariQu products that are meant to revitalise skin and smell like a fresh garden.

PariQu  was founded in October 2018 by Henry Tianus, who suffered from sensitive skin and acne throughout his teenage years and early twenties. Tianus set out on a goal to create clean, effective, vegan, and cruelty-free products that ‘help people feel better about their skin regardless of their age’. All of the company’s products also contain 99 to 100 per cent natural ingredients and are all hand made in London.

The first product we tried was the Rose & Cacay Hydrating Serum Cream. It’s a 2-in-1 serum and moisturiser that hydrates skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Bulgarian rose extract gives the cream a nice sweet smell while calming and protecting skin from premature ageing and environmental elements – ideal for London’s bus-filled roads. The formula also contains cacay oil (has the fatty acid linoleic acid which contributes to skin renewal) and saccharide isomerate (smooths wrinkles and rejuvenates skin as a vegan hyaluronic acid alternative). What we thought set this product apart and made it worthy of an Editor’s Beauty Choice at the 2019 Beauty Shortlist Awards . We found it fast-acting, you can feel the beneficial effects in the skin in a matter of minutes while the non-greasy formula absorbs nicely.

The second product we tested was the 24K Gold & Rosehip Rejuvenating Cream. This cream also diffuses into skin easily like the serum and contains antioxidant-rich ingredients that nourish and firm. The cream’s 24K colloidal gold is particularly well-suited for sensitive skin while shea butter and rosehip oil protect skin from UV damage and reduce signs of ageing. This product is perfect for everyday use to boost the appearance of your skin and a remedy for dry, mature, and sensitive skin. For severely dry skin, it is recommended to mix in 2-4 drops of their serum or face oil.  

You can purchase the Hydrating Serum Cream (50ml) here for £36 and the Rejuvenating Cream (60ml) here for £48. All orders have free global delivery.

Skin Academy - Pure Range

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While there are many paraben, sulphate and cruelty beauty products out in the market, there aren’t many skincare brands that are both colour and fragrance free. For The Amazing Blog readers that have a sensitive skin, we have found an entire skincare range that is free from any irritating chemicals and scents. Manchester-based beauty brand Skin Academy has developed the six-product Pure range that leaves your skin feeling replenished and nourished - all at an affordable price.

Skin Academy’s Pure range contains products for every step in your skincare routine and that are great for all-skin types. The range contains a Cleansing Facial Scrub, Cleansing Facial Wash, Moisturising Eye Cream, Daily Moisturiser, Cleansing Micellar Water and two Soothing Sheet Masks. All six products contain two key non-irritants: Aloe vera and green tea extract, that soothe, cool and protect the skin. Skin Academy prides itself on offering ‘incredibly high quality skincare at extremely affordable prices’ and after trying the Pure range first hand, we can completely recommend their products for anyone who is looking for a brand that is gentle to your skin and kind to your wallet.

The first product of the line, the Cleansing Facial Wash is gentle cleanse for everyday use that provides great results.  In addition to cleansing the skin, this gel-based facial wash can remove all make up as well.  If you want something more exfoliating, the Pure Cleansing Facial Scrub removes any dead skin or impurities to reveal smoother skin. Since the facial scrub is a little harsher, Skin Academy recommends only using this scrub for a maximum of twice a week.  After cleansing the skin with the wash or the scrub, apply a thin layer of the Daily Moisturiser to your face and neck. In addition to the aloe vera and green tea extract, the moisturiser contains Glycerin, Shea Butter, Pro-Vitamin B5 and even SPF 15 and UVA-UVB filters that work together to moisturise and protect skin from any sun damage.  Next, the application of their Moisturising Eye Cream which soothes any puffiness while hydrating the skin around the eyes. After those long days that leave you too exhausted to do your full skin care routine, the Pure Cleansing Micellar Water is the perfect solution to do a ‘one swipe’ to remove the day’s makeup and grime, while softening the skin in the process.   The last product of the range doesn’t need to be used daily, the set of two Pure Soothing Sheet Masks are a great pick-me-up to lock-in moisture and leave you feeling pampered.  After removal of the mask after 20 to 30 minutes, the Soothing Sheet Mask leaves your skin feeling glowing and fresh without the added redness.

If you’re wanting to pamper your skin but not wanting to break the bank in the process, Skin Academy’s Pure Range is available to purchase here products price range is from £4 - £14 each.