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Urban Jack - Revolution Shave Serum

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We have often wondered here at The Amazing Blog, why when it comes to shaving the unwanted follicles from our varied skin types, many shaving preparations often obliterate any view of the actual epidermis? When we are about to drag a ferociously sharp razor edge across our chins, would it not make more sense to have a cream which actually keeps visibility as a priority, allowing us to see what we are trying to do? We all have highly individual challenges when it comes to our skin, whether that be problematic acne or moles which obviously need to avoid the unforgiving blade, or indeed the more aesthetic requirements of trimming away only that which we are wanting to get rid of.

The anwer to this conundrum has happily arrived in the stylishly  designed range of products from Urban Jack - and in particular a hero product in the shape of their Revolution Shave Serum which was swiftly transferred onto the beard which needed a bit of attention. Boasting some seriously impressive ingredients -vitis vinifera (grape) fruit meristem cell culture, which are powerful antiioxidants that protect skin from UV stress and maintains the cell characteristics of epidermal stem cells; limanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil which functions as a skin-conditioning agent oryza sativa (rice) bran oil extract for skin soothing enzymes and antioxidant properties. And always one of our favourites, shea butter which not only provides a rich source of vitamin A, but is also rapidly absorbed into the skin and seals in moisture helping to keep those wrinkles at bay. The rice bran oil also brings unsaturated fatty acids to the mix, as well as natural antioxidants and vitamin E to help protect the skin, whereas the alba seed oil helps to form a natural barrier to keep moisture within the skin, avoiding dehydration. As proud as Urban Jack are of this shaving gem that is made up of 96% natural ingredients, they also take great pride in being against animal testing, as well as dermatologically tested, totally vegan-friendly, and of course made in the UK!

Urban Jack offer up a few suggestions to their customers of ‘how to use’ here . It comes  in at a very competitive priced £18 for 30ml, the Revolution ShaveSerum is available through their online shop here where the complete range can also be thoroughly inspected, which is definitely worth checking out for all the other goodies on offer. Standard delivery is free of charge, but we also have the option of next day delivery which is charged at £3.95. 

Friday Favourites - Summer Cookbooks

 

Today The Amazing Blog wants to share with you some of our #amazingfinds with four new cookbooks that have encouraged us to create some fantastic international dishes for our friends. Our gastronomic journey starts with India moves onto to Morocco and then the Philippines and returns back to the UK just in time to put the BBQ on!

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Let’s kicked off by something of a whirlwind of inspiration in the culinary prowess of Asma Khan, who moved to the UK in 1991 from Calcutta without any knowledge of how to cook, but a firm belief in the power of food to bring people together, and the opportunities created through this to forge new friendships, learning of different cultures and traditions along the way. Although it was British constitutional law which focused her attentions to begin with, having finished her doctorate in 2012, she turned her entrepreneurial talents towards the kitchen, and has been gaining awards and garnering attention ever since. As a descendant of the ancient Rajput Suryavanshi Bargujar clan on her paternal side, and pioneering tea planters in Darjeeling from her maternal ancestry, Asma’s heritage is undisputed, and her book ‘Asma’s Indian Kitchen’ is a delicious romp through India’s rich history, and culinary voyage. “Your food should feel like an embrace” she tells us, and such warmth emanates from the pages. Beautifully photographed and with anecdotes peppered throughout, her book really is a delight to enjoy in and out of the kitchen! Her Shahi Kofta - or lamb meatballs in a rich gravy - are a sensation, as are her stuffed bell peppers - or Bharwa Simla Mirch to use the correct terminology … useful to know, especially if you fancy trying out her award-winning restaurant Darjeeling Express in Soho. Published by Pavilion Books for £14.99  and available here .

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If Morocco is more your thing, then Nargisse Benkabbou is offering up “Casablanca - My Moroccan Food” to encourage us to whip out that tagine, and start making magic with the amazing flavours of her culture, but often with a mix of Western dishes too. Again, here we don’t just have a culinary manual to enjoy, but rather more an introduction to how these foods fit within the gloriously colourful culture and traditions. Nargisse began sharing her feasting knowledge originally through a highly successful blog, ‘My Moroccan Food’, and this book is the natural result of those posts. If you are partial to a spot of marinating - and who of us aren’t - then try the Sweet Chermoula Seared Beef, which promises a ‘flavour bomb’, and we love the idea of a dish taking us to far-flung places with the aromas of Casablanca which are promised in the Amlou Rolls.So many temptations to try, and written with a warmth and friendliness utterly reminiscent of Morocco herself. Octopus Books have brought us this one, priced at £20 and available here 

 

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Perhaps the Philippines as a gastronomic destination gets your taste buds going? The New Filipino Kitchen is another huge spectrum of different tastes and flavours from the myriad of islands with so much to explore, and brought to us digitally thanks to Jacqueline Chio-Lauri who has edited a collection of fascinating stories, giving extra meaning to each recipe from a wide ranging assortment of cuisine masters - and all for us to try from the comfort of our laptop. Describing the chapters under the heading of simply ‘seafood’, ‘meat’ or ‘desserts’ feels a little like short-changing this extensive jaunt around those 7000 or so islands which make up such a vibrant nation. However, the ‘New Filipino Kitchen’ is a serious contender for our attention if culinary escapism is your thing. Quite unique with the information it relays, this book could send us into a frenzy - imagine if you will ‘Stuffed Fish Grilled in Banana Leaves and Eggplant Salad with Toasted Pancetta’, or to translate that properly and pay due homage, ‘Inihaw Na Isda At Ensaladang Talong’ … Well Imagine it no longer, simply turn to page 36, and enter Tasting Heaven! Both digital and hard copies are available on Amazon here from £15.18

 

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Now, it would seem churlish not to include a cookbook with origins a little closer to home, and of course there is an enormous library of titles to choose from, but one which stands out with an irresistible edge is the “Fresh Veggie BBQ” by David & Charlotte Bailey,encouraging us to embrace the outdoor option of serving up a meal from a vegetarian friendly barbecue menu. Completely eschewing any notion that vegetarian food has to be less colourful or indeed tasty, David and Charlotte give us 60 recipe options like ‘Caramelized Bananas with Vanilla Ice Cream’, ‘Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips’ or - and this one is seriously tempting ‘Wild Mushroom & Artichoke One-Pot Pie’ to dispel those myths completely. However, this time of course our kitchen is found in the great outdoors through the tradition that is ‘barbecue’ which of course is a culture within itself. With advice on the different options open to us, from using dutch ovens to the very impressive discipline of burying our ingredients in hot ash and embers - otherwise known as ‘rescoldo’, we have an encyclopaedia of vegetarian goodies to try out -and with the weather back here at home offering us it’s most favourable conditions (Ok well that was in July perhaps not August!) We can’t be the only ones twitching to get those charcoals burning! Published by Pavilion Books with an RRP of £14.99 here the ‘Fresh Veggie BBQ’ is a must.

…And with all these delicious ideas, we’re preparing to cook up a storm this Bank Holiday weekend!

Urban Cordial

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As the temperature rises, our taste buds are craving something refreshing to cool us down, and the array of choice in the soft drinks sector is greater than ever before. However, with our awareness primed these days to know exactly what we are drinking, the challenge now is to source the perfect taste, but without all those sugary additives which are going to send our glucose levels rocketing. Fortunately, we at  The Amazing Blog only have to look as far as  Urban Cordial who have brought their delicious concoctions to market with a mouth-watering array of pairings. How do Strawberry & Sage , Pear & Ginger, Blackberry & Lavender or Apple, Lemon & Fennel  sound as an introduction to the range? Pretty impressive, when further investigation revealed that these tantalising flavours are just the tip of the iceberg - or should that be ice cube?

Now, a cordial may conjure up images of Grandma’s pantry, but these colourful offerings pack quite a punch in the zing department - both in each bottle’s contents, and also outside on each brightly illustrated label. All of course are alcohol free, and made from the best ingredients, although Urban Cordial are justly proud of bringing these to us with a laudable mission of sourcing their fruit on quality of taste and nutrients, rather than how they may be shaped! In a bid to incorporate a solution to the serious global problem of food surplus, Urban Cordial do not discriminate on appearance and is to be congratulated on saving over 30 tonnes of fruit from landfill.

Each bottle costs £5.50 plus £4.99 p&p, and the complete range is available for the bargain bulk price of £44.00 and with p&p free on orders over £40 here everyone’s a winner! However, some small independent grocery stores and also one or two of the larger high street names are taking up the option to supply, so getting our hands on these wonderful libations, is thankfully, becoming easier for all of us.

Collagem – Beauty Supplement

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While explorers never found the infamous ‘fountain of youth’, we at The Amazing Blog are ever hopeful that we’re one step closer with our latest discovery of Collagem. This beauty supplement has 12 active ingredients from collagen to vitamin C , all effective at delaying signs of ageing and improving the skin from within. They refer to it as: “ Your daily beauty dose”.

Kasia Devraj the creator of the premium Collagem supplement brand and owner of Beauty Boosters Ltd decided to create a collagen supplement after being unable to find one that would encapsulate all that she wanted, bioactive collagen peptides, low molecular weight collagen and antioxidants to help combat anti-ageing. More importantly, it had to be free of artificial preservatives and flavours, added sugars and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). She partnered with scientists and biotechnologist to launch Collagem initially into Poland and then the UK earlier this year.

Collagem is a powder supplement that comes in small packets with an orange flavour. The key ingredient is hydrolysed marine collagen. The other ingredients, bioactive collagen, beta carotene, hyaluronic acid, bamboo extract, CoQ10, and selenium all of which have properties to prevent premature signs of ageing and retain moisture. Additionally, the vitamin C helps boost the immune system while the MSM detoxifies and improves skin texture. When you pair the two together, they also help rebuild new cell tissues and r-alpha lipoic acid (R-ALA)stimulates bio-energy production in each cell. The formula not only has multiple ingredients working together to help create a more youthful looking skin, but has vitamin B complex that strengthens hair and nails as well as decreasing cellulite. We liked the taste, however, felt that we needed to take it for a longer period of time (3+ months) before we could see any real improvement in the skin or nails. Unfortunately the 14-day trial which we were sent was not long enough for us to see any visible results. What we particularly liked was that there are no added sugars, sweeteners, colours, preservatives, GMO, alcohol or caffeine.

The Collagem individual packets are a real plus, perfect for keeping in your handbag. Each box comes with 14 sachets (200-250ml)with the correct dose of powder in each. They recommend mixing one supplement package in water or juice after a meal daily for optimum results. We preferred to start our day with it at breakfast. You can buy a box here for £45.

Desavery – STELLAR Daily Serum

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At The Amazing Blog, we love when our skin care products have a great scent. It makes us feel better and more ready to conquer the day. What if your skincare products had ingredients that were scientifically proven to boost your mood and improve your focus? The STELLAR Daily Serum from Desavery does just that while leaving your skin looking brighter than before.

Andrea Dinnick founded Desavery in 2017 on four principles: feel good, look good, be good, and do good.These principles encapsulate Dinnick’s mission of creating ‘fantastic skin care that’s as good for your skin as well as your mood and mind’. Desavery uses ingredients that are effective in improving your skin, but also positively affect your biochemistry. Of these ingredients, many are sustainable such as the brand’s staple prickly pear and vetiver, and five per cent of the company’s profits go to supporting the women who pick and process the prized prickly pear.

This serum is part of the Desavery STELLAR collection, which is intended to give you a ‘rise and sparkle’ feeling and after trying it, we can see why. The formula is packed with antioxidants that stimulate collagen production and cell renewal for smoother skin. Prickly pear, rosehip, and camellia oils further brighten and improve skin plumpness. The ingredients are all certified-organic, but the ones that stood out to us were the mood liftersclary sage and bergamot. Clary sage, a plant used commonly for its medicinal properties, has been found to have anti-depressant effects and balance hormones. Bergamot is a citrus fruit known to improve alertness, cognition, and lower cortisol levels to make you feel calmer. We have to say that some of us here who tried this serum in the morning reportedly felt most clear-headed and uplifted. We found that it absorbs quickly and is best when used on slightly damp skin.

The product is very aromatic, and you are intended to take deep breathes to capture the beneficial elements of the plants while you perform your skin routine. It also comes in a modern reflective dropper bottle, so it’s stylish enough to leave next to your mirror and reach for every day. You can purchase the STELLAR Daily Serum (20ml) here for £65. A little does go a long way.