Vitamin E

Boost Protein Balls and Butters

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During a busy day here, some of us have so much on our to-do lists that we don’t always have time to take a lunch break. Realistically speaking, most of the time we at The Amazing Blog are surviving off of quick snacks that we keep at our desks. However, during these hectic days we try not to compromise on our healthy eating. Step forward our new delicious pick-me-up, Boost Protein Balls let us introduce you to our new nutritious discovery…

Essex-based Boost Ball launched its range of protein balls with the idea of ‘less ingredients, more protein.’ Available in four different flavours, their Boostballs are made with seven natural ingredients and are entirely gluten, soya and refined sugar-free. They are instead high in protein and contain natural sugars for a healthy snack perfect for boosting your energy for either a day at the office or a gym workout. A new twist to a protein bar, each Boostball is enriched with Vitamin A, B, E, B12, Calcium, Iron and Zinc. The raw ingredients are not baked or refined; they are cold-pressed making these protein balls an indulgent snack - without the guilt. The first flavour we tried, Lemon Drizzle Cake, contains Dates, Rice Protein, Cashews, Cashew Butter, Coconut, Maple Syrup, Vanilla Extract and Lemon Oil  making it a great zesty snack. The Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Boostball contains a whopping 23.3 g of protein and a mixture of gooey and moreish. Next, we tried the tropical and creamy Coconut Fudge Cake flavour which was by far one of our favourites out of the four.  The last of the Boost Ball flavours, Maple & Cinnamon Roll, was a great spice-filled yet sweet snack for those extra-long days at the office.  The Boostballs are available to purchase on here for £17.99 for  x 12 packs of 36 Boostballs.

We mustn’t forget to mention that Boostball has JUST released a new line of Palm-oil free protein butters, Boostbutter. These are to put on any snacks or foods you desire (or to eat straight from the pouch!) The Protein Nut Butters currently are available in Caramel, Chocolate Brownie and Sweet Maple and are each packed with 11 grams of protein and offer a healthier, smoother and more flavourful alternative to something like peanut butter. Conveniently in a squeezable pouch, we’ve been spreading the protein butters on toast, porridge or adding them to our smoothies. Yum! As of now they are not available but will be coming soon on www.boostball.com.

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.

Pevonia - Rapid Restore Lip Balm

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While we’ve loved all the innovative beauty products we have reviewed from the brand Pevonia  on The Amazing Blog, we’d like to step back and rave on one of the brand’s simpler products: the Rapid Restore Lip BalmEven with their lip balm, we think that Pevonia has gone above and beyond the average lip salve, by formulating a product (that is also clinically proven) to combat anti-ageing signs that affect your lips with only 100% natural ingredients.

Since the brands launchin the 1990s, Pevonia aims to bring spa-like results with products that contain simple plant extracts and natural green ingredients. Pevonia’s Rapid Restore Lip Balm has been formulated with the same ethos and contains no parabens, artificial fragrances or colours, mineral oil, lanolin and alcohol. The Lip Balm  also contains a compelling blend of vitamin C and E, shea butter, vegetable oil and a soothing rose extract to rejuvenate, repair, moisturise and increase lip volume for a plump and soft pout. Unlike many lip balms in the market, Rapid Restore Lip Balm also works to combat the first sign of anti-ageing that targets your lip contour.  The exfoliating texture of the balm provides an extra step to deeply polish away any rough skin and toxins that might also be affecting the softness of your pout.

When we used Rapid Restore Lip Balm, we exfoliated our lips before for optimal results. Then applied this balm as one would any other lip balm, by massaging it in gently. If you’ve noticed your lips are a little dry after applying lipstick, don’t worry the Rapid Restore Lip Balm is safe to be used over lipstick to add moisture back in. Since it is free from any irritating chemicals, its perfect for re-applying as and when needed on a daily basis. The balm also comes in a handy and compact 35 oz tube. To get your own moisturised, plump pout for the summer, you can purchase the Rapid Restore Lip Balm for £24 here.

Stellar Décolletage – Velvet Restore Sleep Complex

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Regular readers of The Amazing Blog, will know that we love anti-ageing products because no matter your age, it is essential to protect your skin against the sun and pollution. If you’re hitting 30 years old, then it’s a good moment to consider using skincare products that both hydrate and firm the skin; leaving it looking better than when you were a teenager (well that might be pushing it!) We must point out that like many individuals, we often forget  to take care of our neck and décolletage, which are just as sensitive as our faces and need the same diligent care. This is when we discovered The Beauty Shortlist award winning Stellar Décolletage who have created a luxurious conditioning treatment that will rejuvenate this neglected area and doesn’t require a 10-step process!

The brand was founded by Helen Erichsen, who noticed a gap in the beauty market for products that improve the appearance of your décolletage, an area that can age almost three years faster than your face. She was always keenly interested in beauty items which contained high performance and natural ingredients and worked to achieve noticeable results. Each product of her products has carefully chosen ingredients for this specific area, including hyaluronic acid with the lowest molecular weight to moisturise  (so as not clog your décolletage’s small pores). This thoughtful formulation is particularly evident in the Velvet Restore Sleep Complex anti-ageing treatment which we tried.

The complex is full of countless beneficial elements and has quickly visible results, making it no surprise to us why it won the 2019 Beauty Shortlist Award for Best Neck & Décolletage Product. There are a few ingredients that immediately jump out at us to help regenerate skin cells and nourish skin. The first is MPC Milk Peptide Complex, and this boosts your skin’s protein, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin levels—all of which promote smoother skin texture and firmness. Secondly, SalSphere AquaSkin, which adds extra hydration and repairs skin that, has redness and hyperpigmentation. Finally, the treatment is infused with six different vitamins like Vitamin E to keep skin healthy and fight ageing.

To use the product, apply a small amount (2-3 pumps) to your neck, décolletage, and chest before going to bed. It has a creamy texture that is not greasy and has a clean scent. The complex works overnight, allowing you to wake up the next morning with immensely soft and velvety skin. While the price is quite high, a little goes a long way, and the results are really worth it. Helen explained: “The Complex is 150ml and is therefore over double or triple in some cases, the quantity of most products for this specific area of the body. This was a deliberate decision, following a recommendation by the women who trialled this, who felt it was important not to have a 50 or 75ml product that they would run out of in a shorter time. It is the equivalent of £26 per 50ml, which we feel is incredibly reasonable for the high efficiency and level of active ingredients included in the formulation.” We were very impressed by the results and will certainly be going on to buy more. To begin reviving your décolletage now or to protect it, purchase this British made and cruelty-free Velvet Restore Sleep Complex (150ml) here for £78.

Friday Favourites - Manicure and Pedicure Products

While Film and TV shows often depict women having a standing nail appointment at a downtown salon, we are sad to say that is not the reality at The Amazing Blog. While we love pampering ourselves at the spa every once and a while, we often don’t have the time or money to spend on full manicures and pedicures each week. Thankfully for us, there is a vast market for at-home nail treatments, and you can enjoy some of the luxuries from your flat. We have four #amazingfinds for you this week that will leave your hands and nails looking gorgeous while still feeling like you’ve had a day at the salon.

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The first product we have will leave your hands looking brighter and more youthful before you put on your nail polish. We had the chance to try another product from one of our tried-and-trusted brands, Beauty Kitchen. Since we tested their Seahorse Plankton 5 Minute Miracle Mask and The Beauty Boosting BB Cream, the company revamped the collection into Seahorse Plankton+, which includes the 60 Second Manicure.

The 60 Second Manicure is a quick and easy scrub that uses Himalayan sea salt to exfoliate dead skin cells from your hands and nail beds. The fine texture of the sea salt works quickly and effectively, revealing smoother and healthier-looking skin, and is especially useful for dry patches of skin. What makes this scrub standout from others is that all of the products in the Seahorse Plankton+ collection contain microalgae and blue chamomile. Microalgae is a unique skin care ingredient that can survive in the cold and harsh environment of the North Sea and increases collagen production, which brightens skin. It also contains proteins and antioxidants that nourish skin and reduce redness as well as fine lines. Blue chamomile gives the scrub the relaxing aroma of a spa and renews skin.

Sustainability is a crucial pillar of the brand, so Seahorse Plankton+ products are made with recyclable materials (glass and aluminium) and sustainably grown microalgae. Despite the name, seahorses are not used to make the scrub, and it is vegan certified. You can purchase the scrub (80g) here for £19.50.



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This next product from BalbCare -  Luxury Waterless Manicure/Pedicure Starter Kit provides the perfect layer of moisture once you’ve smoothed your hands with the 60 Second Manicure. BalBCare is a Brazilian-based company that wanted to create a ‘manicure and pedicure service that doesn’t require water: saving both time and resources’. By using their Manicure / Pedicure Starter Kit containing a pack of 20 together with free plier toe nail cutters. Did you know that you can save two to four litres of water with each use and have beautiful-looking hands and feet this summer.

The Manicure and Pedicure Kits come with gloves and socks, plus emollient cream, a nail file and a wooden cuticle pusher. The packets are for single-use only, making them very sanitary – something that is vital when removing your cuticles. They are also flat and portable. The emollient cream in each kit moisturises hands and feet using natural ingredients like witch-hazel extract and allantoin (reduces skin inflammation), tea tree oil (sanitises hands naturally), and calcium pantothenate (nourishes nails). After putting the gloves or socks on, you must break the ends of the glove or sock to push back and remove your cuticles. Like a sheet mask, remember to rub in the excess emollient cream once you’ve removed the gloves and socks. To purchase this Starter kit it will be approximate £40 from here.

For extra soft feet, because we usually don’t put cream on our feet every day like our hands, we suggest using Foot File. We recommend finding a file that is made with 100 per cent surgical quality stainless steel, making it longer-lasting and more effective than a typical sandpaper file that runs down after a few uses. The material also makes the foot file extremely lightweight and has a coarse side and fine side. You can use it with or without water and creams, but we prefer to remain water-less and use the emollient cream

We must quickly add that this is in fact a popular salon-based ‘express service’ treatment that is offered in select nail bars and beauty salons UK wide. To have the full experience of mani pedi performed by trained individuals, this treatment will be around £20 (depending on each salons menus).

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The next product we have is another alternative to going to the nail salon or even having to use nail polish, and it will have even your closest friends fooled. Bows & Toes offers a unique solution for people who struggle at painting their nails – especially their non-dominant hands, makeup artists who quickly need to paint nails left and right backstage, or someone who doesn’t want to leave home. It also offers a luxurious twist to stick-on nails, which many people still believe are only age-appropriate for children to use.  

The UK-based online boutique was founded by two sisters who have backgrounds in the nail business, art, and design. They combined their experiences to create high-quality and detailed designs for the hand-painted nails. Bows & Toes allows you to express yourself and style through your nails whichever way you like with a wide variety of styles. The nails come in classic round and square shapes, but also trendy stiletto shapes that are difficult to create without going to the nail salon. Patterns vary from glitter and jewels to marble and solid colours, which come in both shiny and matte finishes. The 20-piece nail sets are not all uniform and have different hues as well as patterns that coordinate with another.

Each nail set includes the stick-on nails, gel tabs to keep the nails on, alcohol wipes, and a cuticle stick. All nails can be removed with just warm water and are reusable if taken care of properly. You can purchase the Bow Ladies nail sets here for prices of £14.99-£18.99, depending on the design.

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Finally, we have two products for you from HandMade Beauty to complete your nails. The Moisturising Base Coat with Aloe Vera and Top Coat Sun Dry both got a lot of love at this year’s Beauty Shortlist Awards, and we can see why. Diana Burillo’s brand provides organic, handmade, and cruelty-free alternatives to traditional nail polishes that often have harsh chemicals and damage nails. The products are also fair trade and produced with as few ingredients as possible to uphold the company’s mission of ‘creating 100% organic spaces for body and mind care’.

The first item we tried was the Moisturising Base Coat. Our nails truly felt the difference with this base coat due to the formula’s mixture of aloe vera, bamboo extract, and vitamin E. These ingredients add moisture, but also repair existing nail damage and prevent future damage. It’s perfect if your nails are feeling drier with the rising temperatures. On top of feeling more moisturised nails, the base coat left a nice natural shine that could be worn on its own. After the base coat and nail polish of your choice, HandMade Beauty’s Top Coat Sun Dry will give you shiny and glossy nails that look like you got a gel manicure. The catch is that you don’t have to put your hands under a UV lamp or UV light. The top coat creates a hard shell in just three minutes under natural sunlight and protects your nails from getting chipped, resulting in a longer-lasting manicure. The product additionally has a rounded application brush that makes it easier to distribute the top coat onto your nails.

Both products come in simple glass bottles (a clear one for the base coat and a matte black one for the top coat) with wooden caps that would look nice on any counter. You can purchase the Top Coat Sun Dry (11ml) here for €18 and the Moisturising Base Coat (10ml) here for €14. If you buy both together, online orders over €30 qualify for free shipping.

With these four unique at-home nail treatments in mind, we hope you find some time to treat yourself during the weekend. Put on a soft robe, rest your feet, and relax in front of the telly while doing one or all of these treatments because you and your nails deserve to feel like you’ve had a weekend spa holiday.