Shea Butter

Skin Academy - Pure Range

Skin Academy Final Blog.jpg

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.

Friday Favourites – Eye Feature

With the Easter holiday fast approaching, what better time is there to try out new eye products? The colourful blossoming flowers and leafy trees have inspired us at The Amazing Blog to explore new hues for our eye products. Ideally we prefer it when our products are organic, knowing that what we put onto our skin also goes into our bodies. We’ve found some great organic and natural products which all pack the same punch of colour as traditionally made beauty items. So, whether you are spending the holiday abroad or strolling the streets of London, we have some great recommendations that will make your eyes pop.

Moonfat Eye Coals.jpg

The first eye product we have for you is from Fat and the Moon. The California-based company was started in 2014 by Rachel Budde a herbalist who wanted to take her knowledge and provide an alternative to chemical-filled products. At the core of the brand is the creation of products with non-toxic, plant-based ingredients as well as the message of empowering yourself through self-care.

We requested to try their Eye Coals in Black, Lapis (a bright marine) and Leaf (a mossy green). Handmade with all-natural and organic ingredients, Eye Coal does not irritate your eyes and has sunflower oil to help your skin absorb the pigments while beeswax holds the product in place all day. Leaf particularly enhances hazel-coloured eyes while Lapis can make any eye colour pop. The soft waxy product is easy to use, with a brush for a defined line along your eyelashes or with your finger for a smudged look, and comes in a small tin that is easy to travel with. We also had the chance to try the Ruby Red Tinted Lip Balm. It comes in a similar tin meant to be reused or recycled once finished and leaves a light orange tint while moisturising and protecting your lips.

Both products are available from UK retail stockists listed here. Or you can go online, the prices are in US Dollars, but they do ship to the UK. $18 for the Eye Coal here and $12 for the Tinted Lip Balm here. Although the prices are quite high, we have to say that a little goes a very long way.

ZOEVA - Eclectic Palette.jpg

This eye shadow palette that we’ve found for you is a little bit different from Fat and the Moon. ZOEVA is a German brand that was founded by Zoe Boikou, who originally sold makeup brushes on eBay before she turned her passion into a company that advocates for women’s lives. We are fans of the ZOEVA ethos, which is built on supporting and celebrating women’s individual beauty with high quality and reasonably priced products.

So, let us introduce you to their latest collection that will help you create a unique and individual look. The Eclectic Eyes Eyeshadow Palette markets itself as a way to ‘let your eyes say what your lips can't’. This is a strong statement that perhaps rings true. The palette has 10 diverse, intense, and fashion-led shades ranging from ‘Limitless Motions’ (a matte mauve rose) to ‘Dimensional Play’ (a shimmery teal with gold flecks). The different finishes offered (matte, metallic, glitter, shimmer, and duo chrome) are also versatile for everyday use or an evening out. The colours are highly pigmented and easily blendable.

They recommend using an eye primer first to keep the blended shadows in place, we didn’t but found the colours still to be long-lasting. The palette comes in a stylish flat purple, red, teal, and gold box that will look chic on a dressing table or in a handbag. Perfect for every skin tone and guaranteed to give you hours of fun mixing and matching. Purchase it here for £17.50. 

Zao Pearly Plum.jpg

The next up is a trusty liquid liner. Not any old liner is like ZAO ’s Refillable Liquid Eyeliner. It comes in a delicious plum that suits just about every eye colour! The eyeliner has a total of five shades, but we want to talk about the Plum shade. It’s not typical like Intense Black or Dark Brown and not too bright like Electric Blue or Emerald Green. Plum is a perfect rich purple shade that actually enhances the eye colour and is particularly popular among celebrity make-up artists. We also like that it lasts throughout the day without smudging. The thin brush tip applicator allows for high control over the thickness of the line, which is useful for different eye shapes.

We've been well-acquainted with ZAO, a UK-based company dedicated to making organic-certified products, after loving their Light Touch Complexion foundation. All of their products have an all-natural formula and organic ingredients, and this is reflected in the Refillable Liquid Eyeliner. It has key ingredients like aloe vera juice, bamboo water, and shea butter to soothe and moisturise even the most sensitive eyes. The products also have sustainability in mind, and the liner comes in a sturdy and recyclable bamboo packaging as well as has available refills that cost £11.75 (£7.20 less than the product's original price).

If liquid eyeliners are not your thing, they also do a refillable felt tip version, which is vegan, gluten free, and cruelty free as well. You can purchase the Refillable Liquid Eyeliner here for £18.95.



PHB Mascara.jpg

Finally, the pièce de résistance for us to have a completed look is mascara. This is where we discovered another great product from one of our favourite brands: PHB Ethical Beauty. After trying many of their skin care products from the 2-in-1 Hand & Body Moisturiser to the Skin Brighten Gel and Rosehip & Chamomile Gentle Face Wash, we were very excited to see what PHB's makeup line has to offer with their recently launched All-in-One Natural Mascara. It's safe to say we were not disappointed.  

The mascara is truly all-encompassing. The formula's organic olive oil strengthens and conditions your eyelashes with one coat, plant oil lengthens and volumises with the next, and acacia gum ensures the results last. It is also water resistant and pH balanced, making it suitable for sensitive eyes. But what really makes this a #amazingfind is that PHB's All-in-One Natural Mascara is vegan, gluten free, halal certified, paraben free, and cruelty free.  

After a day of use and no flaking or smudging in sight, we can see why this mascara got lots of love in 2018 from the Natural Health International Beauty Awards, the Free From Skincare Awards, and Vogue. Want to see what all the beauty awards are talking about for yourself? You can buy it here in Black or Brown for £15.95. Twenty percent of the company's net profits also go to helping people and animals in the UK and globally.

We hope we’ve given you a little inspiration to help put back a little colour into your lives. After all, spring has sprung and we think that it’s time to hatch into a colourful bird of paradise and not a grey London pigeon!

Skimono - Beauty Masks

Skimono Final Blog 1.jpg

Living in the world of fast-paced London, it sometimes makes it difficult to remember to slow down and devote some ‘me’ time. Then we heard about Skimono, who have launched a range of beauty masks targeted at helping those who have big-city living. We first discovered them as Winner’s in 2018 The Beauty Shortlist Awards, and we’ve been itching to try their masks ever since. At The Amazing Blog, we think that Skimono offers the perfect solution to slow down, take stock and relax with their bumper selection of revitalising sheet masks.

Although beauty masks first originated in Asia, Skimono has developed these on with their innovative technology and modern approach. With application of a Skimono Beauty Mask, the 3D bio-cellulose matrix sheet delivers serums into your skin, restoring it in the process. Skimono describes itself as not only a brand but a lifestyle, helping to achieve: “Your time, devoted to you and to be relished…” What we particularly like about these masks is that they help to combat our dreaded city air pollution and drying effects from summer air conditioning. These masks not only target the face, but also the hands and feet too.

We all tried four masks from the Skimono range, each has their special 3D bio-cellulose matrix sheet which works on specific skin issues. Out of the three, the one that came out top for us was the Advanced Moisturisation+ . We loved the ingredients with rose flower extract and hyaluronic acid - wonderful for plumping up the skin and giving a dewy after effect. The Anti-Ageing+ mask targets wrinkles and dullness with the collagen, extracts of oat and grape seed all helping to rejuvenate tired looking complexions.

If you are suffering from dry or scaly feet, particularly if you expose feet to the summer elements. We recommend trying the Total Conditioning+ feet mask, this contains shea butter, olive oil, tea tree and chamomile. It works almost instantaneously to perfect hard skin and cracked heels. For dry hands, the Intense Nourishment+ mask delivers a serum infused with shea butter, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid restoring softness and brightening skin tone. Both these products are ideal to use as prep for a home mani pedi.

Skimono recommends that their masks be used as part of a weekly restorative treatment for face, hands and feet to battle the nasties that we face from all our environmental stress. The face masks are priced at £15 each, the hand at feet mask at £10 each. You can buy each of the Beauty Masks separately here. Or as a collection with their Induglence Masks 7x Multipack at £50, which will certainly have you covered!

Pevonia - Radiance Mask Gift Set

Pevonia Final Blog.jpg

As regular reader of The Amazing Blog, will know we prefer brands that can offer us natural ingredients and yet can deliver spa-quality results. That’s why we’ve been long standing fans of UK-based beauty brand Pevonia. Having reviewed a few of their products the past few years (check out our review about their EyeRenew Conceal & De-Age Treatment here). Pevonia’s newest release of their collection of Ravishing Radiance Masks did not disappoint, and left us feeling pampered with their three ultra-smooth masks.

Since its founding 1991, Pevonia has used completely natural and organic ingredients made from the ‘purest holistic botanical and marine elements’ in its products. All Pevonia products are free from any mineral oils, lanolin, PABA, animal testing and fragrances and alcohols that won’t dry out your skin. The range of three skincare masks each target different target problems and skin types but leaves your skin feeling just as radiant and glow-y. With the added bonus is that all three masks have aromatherapy benefits .

There was something for everyone in the office – One of us has combination, oily skin so the Bright Skin Green Apple Mask worked best with her skin. In addition to the polysaccharides, sodium lactate and sodium PCA found in green apple, the mask’s brightening and hydrating efforts are heightened with the addition of Red Clover extract which balances and evens-out the skin. For people with more acne-prone skin, Pevonia’s Pure Skin Charcoal mask, made with ‘the finest micronized Charcoal,’ clarifies and detoxifies skin to improve the complexion. The added Shea Butter and Grapefruit extract also gives an added brightening and moisturising boost to oily, clogged skin. The last mask of the range, the Ageless Skin Collagen Mask, contains collagen polypeptides, Orange peel extract and green tea antioxidants that help plump and reduce lines and wrinkles.

For best results, apply a small amount of your mask of choice to cleansed and moisturised skin. After 15 minutes, remove with water and continue with the rest of your skincare routine. If you’re ready to start seeing visible results, purchase one of Pevonia’s 1.7 oz. radiance masks here for the Bright Skin Green Apple Mask (£40), here for the Pure Skin Charcoal Mask (£36) and here for the Ageless Skin Collagen Mask (£40). We think these trio of masks are perfect for a pampering girls night in!

Heathcote & Ivory's Salsa Silks Collection

Heathcote and Ivory Final Blog.jpg

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.