TheAmazingBlog

Voya Men's Grooming Range

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We head over to the glorious the isle that is emerald, for this post, indulging in, without apology, Voya’s dreamy range of men’s skincare- with such a deliciously smelling combination of clove and lime, it certainly wasn’t a hardship - indeed more an exceptionally unrestrained bout of serious pampering. Such a start to the day really sets you up perfectly for what may lie ahead - good or bad (the day we mean!) the skin is certainly going to be in tiptop shape. The girls at The Amazing Blog have already experience the gorgeousness of this organic Irish brand with a few of their goodies including their Hydrating Body Lotion  So now it’s my turn!

The provenance of this range stems from a formidable heritage, rooted in the luxury spa marketwhich originated in the indigenous bathhouse tradition of Co. Sligo. The bathhouses which opened in 1912 may have since closed, but the essential ingredient which continues to provide it’s magic of course remains in bucketfuls … well vat-fulls really. And this essential ingredient which provides such incredibly healing results is of course seaweed. Naturally, the benefits of seaweed have long been known to soothe and heal, but more thorough investigation continues to throw up advantages not simply in deep detoxification, but also in aiding weightloss amongst other things. As nature’s most powerful anti-oxidant from the vegetal world, it’s hydrating and nourishing properties come from it’s plethora of minerals and vitamins, which have proven to effectively treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and acne, and is particularly good for sensitive skin. It also naturally moisturises, whilst reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by improving skin’s elasticity and stimulating the renewal of damaged cells.

The Voya Men’s grooming range is totally focused on organic seaweed and the following two scientifically proven and 100% natural active ingredientsSpeci’MenTM derived from the Baobab tree, and DEFENSIL®-PLUS: A complex of Blackcurrant Seed Oil and Balloon Vine extract. Here we have a three step routine to savour: An Invigorating Face Wash, (recently awarded Winner in the 2019 Beauty Shortlist Awards) Cooling Shave Gel  and Rejuvenating Moisturiser. These Seaweed-based products use the highest-quality botanical elements and aromatherapy oils in sustainable and historical processes to attain their high level of quality. The organic seaweed itself is harvested by hand to help protect the delicate coastline of West Ireland and no artificial colours or fragrances are used, with all products adhering to the strict COSMOS standard. All this science could easily overshadow the fundamental treat that comes with using this Voya For Men range -  but  we enjoyed, and enjoyment is certainly the route we took! It must also be added that they are perfect for fighting signs of aging, reduce enlarged pores, calm inflammation from shaving and soothe dehydrated skin.

Available here priced at £27.00 for the 125ml Invigorating Face Wash, £23.00 for the same sized Cooling Shaving Gel and £45.00 for the  50ml Rejuvenating Moisturiser … For the level of luxury on offer here, and the chance to bathe in some Irish magic, trust me the cost is well worth it.

 

Ashley Juhl - Anti-Ageing Range

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We’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in woman’s skincare, especially when it comes to anti-ageing techniques. The Amazing Blog came across Ashley Juhl Skincare, a luxury American skincare range formulated by medical aesthetician, Ashley Juhl. Ashley opened her first skincare clinic at 24 years old and has devoted her career to helping people attain beautiful skin. Her dermatologist-formulated and tested skincare range is designed to have clinical results. Each product includes medical and botanical ingredients and is intended to correct, restore, and protect the skin. We we fortunate to have the opportunity to try four of their products.

Firstly, we gave the Ultra Benefits Firming and Brightening Moisturiser a go. This is an antioxidant-full moisturiser that helps to prevent and reduce visible ageing changes. As well as its hydrating and evening skin tone abilities, this moisturiser contains Chromabright, which decreases the appearance of age spots and uneven pigment. It also contains peptides that help to strengthen the skin’s collagen and reduce the appearance of fine lines. The added bonus? It has a lovely floral-scent.

Next, we tried the Advanced Retinol Wrinkle and Skin Tone Corrector. This serum is packed full of retinol, phospholipids, and glycolipids, ingredients which help to firm skin and reduce the look of wrinkles and pores. What makes this serum unique is the use of lipids, which do wonders to decrease dryness and repair the skin’s moisture barrier, preventing dry and irritated skin. This serum also contains advanced retinol, a combination of retinol, bioidentical phospholipids and glycolipids. Hello, younger-looking skin!

Ashley Juhl’s Vita Soothe Protective Replenishing Serum effectively smoothed our skin, giving it the extra plumping that it sometimes needed. This serum contains vitamins E and F which provide the skin with a beautiful glow. It can be used on all skin types, including acne-prone skin. One of its most important ingredients is the lipochroman antioxidant which protects the skin from ageing caused by UV rays, toxins, and pollutants. We loved the silky feel of this serum on our skin.

Lastly, we tried the C-Stem Concentrated Anti-Ageing Serum. The lilac stem cells help to lessen inflammation and give the serum a light floral scent. The vitamin C and marine extracts help to brighten the skin, as well as diminishing deep lines and pores by decreasing the skin’s ageing protein. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to slow down ageing, then this is the serum. What caught our attention, is the ability for this product to reactive genes, once again helping with the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin.

If these products sound like they could help you, then they can be purchased here. You can also use the code AmazingB15 for 15% off when you purchase a skin system, or 3 or more products. Happy shopping!

Williams Handmade - Leatherwork Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course

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We like to shake it up a bit on our activity weekends. After all, we can’t let those precious free days go to waste. This is when The Amazing Blog discovered Williams Handmade, a company who specialises in craft leather goods.  They offer several leather-working workshops, like the Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course.

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Designer Sarah Williams founded Williams Handmade in 2010. As award winners of the Accessories Collection of the Year Award at ITS#NINE, The Accessory Award from Absolut Vodka, and taking part of the “Power of Craft” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Williams Handmade truly deserves the description of high-quality craftsmanship. The company has also been shortlisted for the Ketel One Modern Craftsman Award and was nominated by Selfridges as one of their Bright Young Things.


From glasses cases to bags, Sarah Williams creates each of these items herself in the Williams Handmade Workshop in Bircher, Leominster which is located on the Hereford/Shropshire borders. If you love to support local artisans as we do, you should also know that the products are made from English Bridle leather coming from Northamptonshire.

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We’re particularly excited about their Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course. By the end of the day, you’ll have your own clutch bag or iPad case to bring home and put to use.  Our team members have never worked with leather before, but luckily there’s no need for prior experience to take this course. The day entails learning the basics of leatherwork (i.e. how to cut and prepare leather), the traditional saddle stitch, and learning how to finish the edges. You also get to choose your preferred colour and pattern combination, so your lovely bag or case is just to your liking!


The Williams Handmade Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course runs from 9am-1pm on the 20th of October for £65. Tea, coffee, and cake are included. If you’d like to spice up your Saturday with this fabulous course, click here. If you’re interested in finding out about their other classes, click here.

Fierce Botanics - Apothecary Tonic No. 1

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How wonderful is it to find new ways to turn classic drinks into something unique? The Amazing Blog found just the tonic to give our favourite drinks, gin & tonic and rum & soda, a new kick. Fierce Botanics being the flavoursome brainchild of A.S Apothecary.

Amanda Saurin is the founder of A.S. Apothecary, a traditional apothecary with over thirty years of experience in the UK and the Levant. She leads a team of ten women and a couple of chaps, who produce a small-batch natural skincare brand that uses ingredients local to the UK. Together, they decided to branch out from the world of botanical skincare, to tonic, with the launch of Fierce Botanics. Their goal is to be transparent, honest, respectful, and environmentally-conscious. They also thrive on collaborations with other green brands, traditional crafters and drinks makers, who share their passion. All of which is highly commendable!

We had the chance to taste Fierce Botanics’ Apothecary Tonic No. 1. This botanical hit immediately had us hooked, with its best quality organic ingredients (like their skincare) used in small batches and ‘done by hand’. Sipping this tonic was a delight! It was a surprise to enjoy such an unusual tonic, with complex flowers and herbs, combined with a subtle citrus tang of bright and bitter notes. Cleverly it allows for a light balance, as none of the ingredients overpower, and it’s easily quaffable with the lightly aerated bubbles. It is a luxurious tonic made from fir and spruce trees, citrus peel, juniper, East Sussex roses, organic cane sugar, and cinchona bark from Ecuador.  What we particularly like is that instead of using a nasty preservative, Fierce Botanics have opted for just a touch of citric acid. It took Fierce Botanics two years of experimenting to perfect this tonic, and we can see why!

Fierce Botanics recommends that their Apothecary Tonic No. 1 be enjoyed as a mixer with spirits such as rum, gin or vodka. Although actually, we have to confess we liked it best by itself, so we could savour the flavours of this sophisticated alcohol-free bevvy. You can purchase the Apothecary Tonic No. 1 250ml here for £3.50 per bottle.

The Sweet Beet - Gift Set

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When we get home from work, we not always in the mood to put a lot of effort into our meal prep. That can result in bland, boring dishes. The Amazing Blog lucked out with the discovery of The Sweet Beet. This company’s gourmet jams, jellies, and sauces are made in the UK. All of their five flavours are sure to give a kick to your meal. With her knowledge of the culinary industry, the founder, Lizzy Hodcroft, saw the need for a simple solution to liven up everyday meals. After she was awarded North East Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2017, Lizzie sought to inspire and assist other creative start-ups.

We tried their Gift Set, which comes with four different jars. We found that the Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce (£4.50) combines the sweetness from strawberries with a spicy undertone from the chipotle. According to The Sweet Beets, this sauce is brilliant with salmon and grilled sausages. It can also be used with dessert, like berries, ice-cream, and yoghurt. Their Maple Bacon Jam (£4.95) contains smoked bacon, onions, brown sugar, maple syrup, cider vinegar, garlic, and chilli flakes. This jam is an interesting mixture of salty, sweet, and smokey. As bacon lovers, we gobbled this up! This Great Taste Award 2017 winner is recommended to be enjoyed with pork, burgers, sandwiches, or used as a marinade.

If you have more of a sweet tooth, then we suggest trying the Oak Smoked Apple Butter (£4.95). Its creamy texture makes the apple sweetness and deep smokey flavours that much more decadent. Don’t worry, the Oak Smoked Apple Butter doesn’t contain real butter. Use it over seared scallops or with soft cheeses. Finally, if you consider yourself a beer connoisseur, you’ll love the Texas Beer Jelly (£4.95). This jelly has the savoury hops of an India Pale Ale. Partner it with smoked cheeses or meats.

You can purchase The Sweet Beet Gift Set (four 175g jars) here for £16.95 or individual jars can be purchased here.