Sunflower Oil

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.

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.

Zuii Organic – Certified Organic Flora Gradual Tan Body Lotion and Self Tanning Foam

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In the summer, at The Amazing Blog we not only like to sport a healthy tan that looks like we’ve just returned from some exotic clime, but we also don’t want to spend hours roasting in the sun risking getting skin cancer! We’re big fans of self tan products particularly if they are certified organic. Enter the 2019 Beauty Shortlist award winning Australian brand Zuii Organic’s  with their Certified Organic Flora Gradual Tan Body Lotion and Self Tanning Foam (in both Dark and Medium). Both products offer a great way to get a sunless tan, plus their organic ingredients give you a fabulous golden and glowing skin.

The Australian brand was founded in the 90s by beautician Rose Bessey, who wanted to create “organic products that have you looking incredible, while your skin benefits from wearing them”. This mission led her to create products that are all vegan and cruelty-free and have certified organic ingredients. The company’s tagline ‘wear flowers on your face’ stems from Zuii Organic using real flowers like roses, sunflowers, and jasmine in its products, which have lots of skin benefits and of course smell delicious.

The first product we tried was the Gradual Tan Body Lotion. Infused with organic bamboo juice, raw cacao, shea butter, and sunflower oil; the lotion hydrates and softens the skin so much so that you can use it alone as a body moisturiser. However, be advised that it does not contain sunscreen if you go out during the day. These nourishing ingredients leave your skin glowy while the product creates a gradual tan on your skin. We were very impressed with the colour that it gave, as it was extremely natural looking and is customisable by you. After using the product 1-2 times per day (morning and evening in our case) the gradual colour begins to emerge on your skin, and what we liked was that you can build the product up, until you achieve your desired tan. Have no fear, this lotion will not leave your bed sheets an ugly colour the next day and has a light citrus scent. Also it was long lasting and faded evenly.

The second product we tried was the Certified Organic FloraSelf Tanning Foam which they very kindly sent us both their Dark and Medium versions, but it also comes in four shades: Light, Medium, Dark and Ultra Dark. Having had basal carcinomas, I’m a regular all year around self-tanner, so my choice was the Dark version. I was impressed with the ease of application and performance.. I am extremely fussy about my tanning products and this truly gave me just the darker sun-kissed colour that I like! Unlike the lotion, this foam has a colour guide, so as you apply you have an instant tan that when dry will last for a week or more. The unique foam texture is lightweight and dries quickly. However, make sure you apply this product on evenly with a mitt to avoid streaks. The formula has bamboo juice, raw cacao, and grape skin, and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky. With its smooth application and rich colour, we can see why it is a winner achieving awards from Pure Beauty Global Awards Finalist too. It is perfect for achieving an optimal tan, with minimal effort. Exfoliate your skin before applying the lotion or foam. You can purchase the Gradual Tan Body Lotion (250ml) here for £31.50 and Self Tanning Foam (200ml) here for £36. Certainly one of my #amazingfinds for this summer and I can’t wait to try more from Zuii Organics

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.



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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!

Tenax Hair Pomade

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Anyone who knows the team at The Amazing Blog knows that the chance of a sojourn to the haven that is Florence is always greeted with a less than dignified scramble to the front door … sadly this time it was all in vain. However, we were placated with the next best thing, as a little bit of Firenze came to visit us in the form of a rather attractive tin from the Tenax team with something special to keep our tresses in tiptop shape.

Shape being the operative word here; this is serious styling ground as the rhinoceros on the packaging suggests - however, no rhino was harmed in the process of bringing this gem to market, we are assured. Tenax have clearly gone to a lot of trouble in developing a brand which can be recognised as Italian, and as trusted as the Vespa scooter. However, the power of such brand recognition is being used to the fullest here as lifting the lid of this delicious pomade immediately transports us to the romance of that incredible place, conjuring up powerful images of suavely turned out ‘Italian gentiluomo’ going about their lives with no hair out of place … and if there is, it’s probably meant to be there, such is their relaxed confidence.

The beauty of this Tenax range is the strength of hold it provides without the cloying clagginess which can be the disappointing by-product of lesser brands. There’s nothing worse than a gentle run-through of the hair turning into a tussle to free the digits whilst trying to retain some semblance of composure! Fortunately the Tenax Matte Pomade saves us from such misery, as when it says it will give you long-lasting hold for whichever style you are going for … well to coin a phrase … it does exactly what it says on that tin! A light masculine fragrance, the water-based wax is simplicity itself to apply by rubbing a small amount between the palms and styling at your own pace - with quality like this, you too can enjoy the suave confidence that our italian friends who make look so completely effortless. For your Tenax Pomade - Matte in 125ml for £14.50 see here Bellissimo!