Sensitive Skin

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!

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.