Vegan Friendly

The Quick Flick Eyeliner

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As the fellow make-up aficionados amongst us will know just how difficult it is to create the perfect liquid eyeliner wings.  A smudge here or way too long there…. However, every problem has a solution and thanks to the brand The Quick Flick you can wave ‘bye bye’ to your wobbly lines as this creates the perfect eyeliner wing every time. We’re so happy to have found this clever stamp, as it gives a beautiful winged look with ease, which for some of us has been known to turn into a complete catastrophe!                                                  

The Quick Flick is a brand that hails from Australia and created by Iris Smit in 2017. As with a lot of us, she struggled every day with her eyeliner and was determined to try and find a solution, hence Quick Flick was born. It is both cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, all that we love at The Amazing Blog and comes in four colours: Intense black , Hot Fudge, Blue Velvet and Green Envy . Not forgetting to mention, that there are three different eye flick sizes: petite (8mm), modest (10mm) and grand (12mm). So you can keep it natural or add a little more drama . We decided to try the classic Intense Black in 10m, which won the incredible Beauty Global Awards 2019 . This has an hyper-pigmented formula that stays in place all day without fading, cracking or running and we were impressed. The composition of the product is very clean and is composed of oils (shea butter, jojoba oil, canola oil), plant extracts and vitamins E and C.

The box comes with a Quick Flick pack of duplicate dual-ended eyeliner pens (one for the left and one for right eye). Each pen has a perfectly shaped wing stamp one end, as well as felt tip eyeliner on the other, to complete your look. You have only 3 steps to use it: First prep your eyelid with an oil-free primer then align the bottom of the stamp with the edge of your upper lashline and stamp gently. Finally, use the felt tip eyeliner pen to fill in and shape. All of this in less than 2 minutes! What could be better to help rock your look at those long hot and steamy summer party nights ahead. You can buy the Quick Flick Intense Black for £ 20 here .

 

 

Christmas Food

We love the festive period at The Amazing Blog - the time for twinkling lights, mulled wine and time spent with loved ones. As if that’s not enough, Christmas is also the time for gourmet food choices, from the classic roast, to the after dinner cheese board. Tis’ the season for overindulging and treating ourselves, and with the New Year diet looming, it seems only right to make the most of the festive treats on offer. There are also few things we love more than to receive a selection of foodie treats on Christmas morning, so we thought, why not compile some of our favourites, so you too can give the gift of food!

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Firstly, we came across Cottage Delight, a brand based in the Staffordshire moorlands, bringing hand-crafted and innovative flavours to the condiments market. Established in 1974, the vast amount of experience helps the brand to lead the way in providing delicious additions to our meal (which more often that not, are even more delicious than the foods they are paired with). We were therefore excited to try their Gin & Fizz Set, compromising of two jams, a curd and marmalade - perfect to spice up any scone, crumpet or piece of toast.

Firstly, we tried the Raspberry & Prosecco Jam - a delectable treat to jazz up any morning. Made with 43g of fruit per 100g, this jam is characteristically tangy, but with a depth of flavour thanks to the addition of prosecco. Similarly the Lemon Curd with Gin has a zesty kick, yet an almost buttery texture that is not only indulgent, but also delicious. The addition of gin cuts through the tartness - ideal for any gin lovers in your life. For those who gear towards orange, the Marmalade with Gin has a fruity and juicy flavour - we love it spread across freshly made bread. Finally, for those who like a traditional strawberry jam, the Strawberry Jam with Marc de Champagne is a great option. Made with whole strawberries, this reminded us of our Grandma’s homemade jam. The champagne adds a luxurious aftertaste, solidifying this set as the ideal Christmas present. If that’s not enough, then the box itself is ready made for present giving, so there’s less hassle with wrapping, and more time to indulge in a glass of mulled wine (or two). Purchase a Gin & Fizz Gift Set here for £9.95.

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Secondly, for any chocolate lovers, we recommend Elements for Life. We tried their Yummy Scrummy Brownies not so long ago (see here), and more recently, their Raw Chocolate Making Starter Kit. Founded by Dan and Paula Knowlson, experts in raw chocolate, this brand continues to ensure products are suitable for vegans, diabetics and coeliacs, as well as those with lactose intolerances. This is something particularly difficult to find at Christmas, so we’re sure this set would be popular with anyone who suffers from a dietary requirement. That said, we all equally enjoyed this set, whether intolerant to common allergens or not.

The Raw Chocolate Starter Kit contains 100g raw cacao powder, 100g raw cacao butter, 100ml Sweet Freedom syrup and a reusable silicone chocolate mould. You can also choose your mould design, picking from the spiral swirls (which we went for), or the Valentine’s hearts. Using Peruvian Criollo raw cacao powder and butter, the ingredients are the best of the best, providing a rich and smooth chocolate that has a low GI. This makes it suitable for diabetics, furthermore displaying the inclusive nature of this brand. In terms of making the chocolate itself, we found the process incredibly easily. Simply melt the cacao butter, add the cacao powder and Sweet Freedom syrup and you’re done - pour into the moulds, pop them in the fridge and return to professional looking chocolates. To purchase a Raw Chocolate Making Starter Kit for £17.99, click here.

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Although we’re big sweet lovers at The Amazing Blog, we’re equally enticed by flavoursome and spicy dishes. For the spice lovers in your life, we present SteenbergsMediterranean Mini 8 Spice Box, a set packed with numerous spice blends, heavily influenced by the Arabic side of the Mediterranean. Having tried their Botanicals for Cocktails in October (see here), we were keen to try this set for ourselves - and can confirm that it will indeed be well received by any foodies in your family.

Founded by Axel and Sophie Steenberg in 2003, Steenbergs is passionate about providing top quality and organic spices, with over fifteen years of experience to draw from. You can therefore be safe in the knowledge that by gifting their Mediterranean spices set, you’ll be helping your foodie recipient to create delicious meals, with ingredients they can trust. This set compromises of organic tagine, ras al hanut, za’atar, organic harissa with rose, organic Italian herbs, organic Lebanese 7 spice blend, organic paella spice blend and organic chermoula spice blend - a vast array of flavours to create a multitude of dishes. Our personal favourites are the organic paella spice blend, which helps us to create an authentic taste of Spain, and the chermoula spice blend, which we were admittedly less familiar with - but now cannot be without. To purchase your own Mediterranean Mini 8 Spice Box for £15.99, click here.

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Finally, for something a little more luxury, we came across Haupt Lakrits, a Swedish liquorice brand aiming to bring gourmet products to the market. Having tried a variety of their products, we can confirm that these are far from the packet of slightly squashed liquorice wheels in your cupboard, but instead, provide a new take on a traditional classic. Even those less enthusiastic about liquorice were found sneaking these on our lunchbreak - testament to their scrumptious flavours.

Firstly, for those of us with a penchant for liquorice, SÖT (€9.00) proved to be popular. Thanks to being cooked for 8 hours and stored for 10 weeks, this liquorice is soft and sweet, and has a pleasantly chewy texture. Secondly we tried the Hallon (€9.00) flavour, liquorice dipped in 60% Belgian milk and dark chocolate and coated with raspberry and vanilla. These proved very popular amongst those will less of a liking for traditional liquorice, and we found they work well with rose wine. Thirdly, we tried the limited edition God Juhl: Merry Christmas (€11.00) jar. Coated in Belgian white chocolate and flavoured with a Swedish Christmas spice mix, this liquorice is undoubtedly festive, even covered in a glittery outer layer. Finally, we tried the slightly lighter God Helg: Happy Holidays (€11.00) liquorice. Dipped in Belgian white chocolate, the additions of lingonberry and saffron add sweetness, yet the fruity nature helps to cut the sickliness often associated with white chocolate. Like God Juhl, this Christmas edition liquorice is best paired with a glass of mulled wine. Visit the Haupt Lakrits website here to purchase your own liquorice delights - some flavours are also available as gift sets, smaller jars and refill packs.

So there we have it - four foodie treats guaranteed to put a smile on your receiver’s face. And if you’re thinking ‘I’ve already finished my Christmas shopping’, then why not treat yourself instead? After all, we think the festive period is the perfect excuse to indulge!

Scent Republik - Whoosh Stick

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Children can’t help it; they love running around, climbing up trees and getting themselves dirty. We certainly don't want that to change at The Amazing Blog, but a product to ensure that our children don't smell like wild ones is a concept we can’t argue with. Scent Republik's Scent Sticks for children provide us with just that - six fragrances in a stick form that is easy to handle, and fun to use.

The brand Scent Republik was created by two fathers, Kevinn Hirsch and Alex Theodorou, who wanted to offer children on the verge of puberty a non-sexualized scent. They aimed to create products that make children feel good about themselves, whatever mood they are in, or no matter the daily tasks they face. The different scents are subtle and natural, and as they are manufactured in the UK, and made from cruelty-free and vegan-friendly ingredients, the products are suitable for children even with sensitive skin. The brand offers a variety of six different sticks, each with a fantastic name that underlines the children’s mood: Chill, BFF, Fab, Yay, Zap and Whoosh.

We were sent the Whoosh Scent, a blend of raspberry, strawberry and cassis. Like with all of the range, the packaging is travel-friendly, and the stick can be used up to 1000 times. These fragrances are the perfect cross-over from overly sweet child-like perfumes to adult fragrances, which are pricier and let’s face it, not suitable for children. Little ones can use the Scent Republik sticks as a type of invisible marker, and will be greeted with a non-sticky, and fresh formula. This dries quickly, so it can be applied in an instant - the least time chasing children around with products, the better!

Try these lovely scents here, perhaps as a gift for a loved one - we think they’d be great stocking fillers. Each stick is priced at £4.95.

Mount Olympus - Lemon Goat's Kefir + Mojito Water Kefir

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We’ve found searching for an alternative to traditional cow's milk kefir somewhat difficult, and the ever saturated kefir market is a minefield for both new and old kefir drinkers. Add to that the plethora of other healthy drinks, and you're probably equally as confused as us, at The Amazing Blog. Personally, I’m a goats milk drinker; therefore I was very happy to discover that Mount Olympus, a brand that prides itself on produces a range of different kefirs, also include a goats milk one! They kindly sent us two of their signature products, the Lemon Goat's Kefir and also a Vegan Water Kefir.

Conceived on the slopes of Mount Olympus (hence the name) by Greek founder Kostas Kapelas, whose background is as a holistic health therapist. Kostas' ethos is to work with small-scale and family-based Greek manufacturers, to produce the finest organic, natural and sustainable kefirs. Mount Olympus is against artificial stimulating hormones and antibiotics or any other additives. Additionally, while many kefir products on the market contain non-vegan ingredients, Mount Olympus provides kefir waters for the vegan consumer too, so here there is something for everyone.

If you’re not sure what kefir is, then you're probably not alone. Kefir is formed from lactic acid bacteria and yeast which is fermented (more commonly in milk), to provide a consistency similar to thin yoghurt. Milk based kefir is rich in fatty acids and has lower lactose levels than traditional cow's milk, making it easier to digest for our lactose intolerant friends. Typically, kefir of the dairy variety is made from cow, sheep, and goat's milk. It has been proven that goat's milk is easier to digest, and makes a smoother curd when fermented. So what is the added bonus? Drinking kefir restores microbiomes, which know to help heal troublesome skin conditions, such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.

We tried the Lemon Goat's Kefir which is delicious with its zingy flavour with a light citrus twist. We particularly like that the 100% natural ingredients come from local producers and suppliers and that this kefir contains Greek free-roaming goat's milk, kefir cultures, frozen lemon juice, stevia with inulin (a prebiotic). Many argue that this beverage is better for you than yoghurt, as goat's kefir contains live probiotics, billions of active bacteria, and is 100% preservative-free. We recommend keeping it refrigerated, as kefir is best enjoyed when chilled. Ensure that you shake it well before opening, to enjoy the full benefits of this healthy and tasty drink. For stockists of Mount Olympus’ Lemon Goats Kefir 300ml in the UK visit here.

Alternatively, as some members of our team are dairy intolerant, the Mojito Water Kefir 310ml proves to be a great alternative. As Mount Olympus explains, there are two kinds of kefir, water and milk. Water kefir is made from ‘good’ bacteria and as the name suggests, it’s fermented in water. We tried the ‘Mojito’ flavour, made from filtered water, sugar, frozen lemon juice, spearmint, mint & lime aroma, and vegan kefir cultures. It’s a refreshing taste with all the added benefits of 29 strains of live probiotics and billions of active bacteria, all critical for a healthy gut. It is also low in calories, 100% preservative-free, and contains 100% natural ingredients. Other beneficial ingredients include a wide range of organic acids, lactobacillus bacteria, vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. The ‘Mojito’ Water Kefir has a natural fizz, making it a fun non alcoholic drink to sip on. As with the Lemon Goat's Kefir, the ‘Mojito’ Water Kefir is best served chilled, for optimum probiotic power. For stockists of Mount Olympus’ ‘Mojito’ Water Kefir 310ml in the UK visit here.