Elements For Life - Hot Chocolate

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Are we all still desperately trying to cling to our New Year’s resolutions to go dry/ give up meat/ drag out the spandex and work each of our muscle groups, and supposedly therefore be a better person? Well, here at The Amazing Blog we may be able to offer you a glimmer of indulgence to ease up some of those more draconian ways to detox, all in the form of a chocolate … We know, chocolate is the root of many a slip up in the new regime schedule. However, there is a tin of gloriously burnished powder which should have a polished halo perched above its silver lid to signify its credentials. We are talking about one of our #amazingfinds Elements For Life – see our recent posts on their other products here.

Yes, we may be talking hot chocolate, but Elements For Life have created one is richly smooth, and sweet. This hot chocolate doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners, GMOs or soya, the sweetness is derived from the sugar from coconut blossom, the evaporated nectar of the coconut tree, adding sustainability and diabetically friendly to the worthiness (because of its very low average glycemic index) As if that wasn’t enough, the Elements For Life team have made it suitable for those who may be lactose intolerant, and vegan by keeping this wonder-drink completely dairy-free and containing no milk solids.

We tried the Original and Spiced versions. The Spiced is warmed up by the addition of the winter spices cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. All we need now is the toasty log cabin with open fire and we have nirvana. However, we aren’t tied to the usual hot chocolate with this blend, as there is also the option of adding some ice and blitzing away to produce a very refreshing tipple. The benefits of raw chocolate, in both health and taste have been known for a while - it stands to reason that a natural product which hasn’t been put through the usual manufacturing processes will inevitably retain more of it’s core nutrients, and therefore with many of us now having to take a serious look at the minutiae of what we eat, a raw chocolate such as this makes clear sense.

And to keep that halo gleaming brightly, the whole team behind the Raw Hot Chocolate brand are keen to show they believe the sustainability of a product in this day and age has to address the issues beyond the contents of our mug. All ingredients used in their range are sourced for their high ecological standards and are agro-chemical/pesticide free from small-scale growers and farming co-operatives to ensure fair trading. The packaging is also made from recycled material or re-used from other sources, including their boxes and printed material. Small wonder then that with such highly prized credentials, Elements For Life have walked away with award upon award for what they offer us in this market place - and most specifically these two tins of delicious warmth! Priced at £6.99 for 175g all available from their online shop here they also offer refills priced at £4.99. And now, back to that log cabin and open fire to keep warm!

Khadi's Face Masks

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The best way to start a relaxing self-care routine is with the perfect face mask. We at The Amazing Blog are always on the quest to find top quality products that work with the skin’s natural balance, so we were excited to discover Khadi, an skincare company with 100% organic and natural products.

Khadi combines Ayurvedic formulations (developed with Ayurvedic doctors), to create a strong unity of body and mind. The concept of the company was formed after one of the co-founders took a trip to India. H had always suffered with a dry and itchy scalp, a problem that was solved by using a Ayurvedic shampoo. So effective at ridding him of dandruff, he brought his findings back from India. He subsequently helped to set up the brand Khadi developing handmade herbal products like Ayurvedic shampoo, handmade soaps and skincare. Although these products are from India they are also German organically certified. All their ingredients are 100% natural made with herbal ingredients which are vegan, free of parabens and artificial ingredients. These products work with the power of India’s nature, using exotic ingredients and age old wisdom.

We tried three of their herbal face masks and were very happy with the results. Starting with our favourite one the Sandalwood, which is suitable for all skin types. We found that when using this, that our pores significantly reduced. Those of us with sensitive skin were also pleased to discover that it was particularly effective at cooling and calming the skin, even protecting against sunburn. It provides a fresh and healthy complexion, moisturising the skin and subsequently smoothing any small imperfections and wrinkles. The Orange mask is slightly sweet-scented - it immediately brightened our mood when applied. Perfect for combination skin, this mask works as a natural cleanser, helping to create a smoother complexion. It can also be used on the body, by stimulating blood circulation, helping to prevent both cellulite and bloating. Finally, the Neem mask is primarily suitable for normal to greasy skin, as it works as a natural antiseptic, preventing infections, removing toxins and restoring a natural and healthy glow. It really detoxifies your skin, freeing it from impurities, as well as refining pores. It also works to fight bacteria, leaving your skin feeling fresh, without a tight sensation.

All three herbal masks use clay as a base, which clarifies and prevents inflammation. No matter which skin-type, you will find the perfect mask to leave you feeling relaxed and fresh. By cleansing, hydrating and supporting regeneration, all three masks promote more harmonious complexion. To use, mix one teaspoon of the powdery mask with water (you can add milk for dry skin, or yoghurt for greasy skin), and apply a thin layer on face and neck (or even the body if you wish). Rinse after 15 to 20 minutes, and you’ll be greeted with a hydrated and fresher skin.

To purchase one (or all) of these face masks for yourself, click here, where you will find each Khadi Herbal Face Mask for £12.90.

Rouge Bunny Rouge - Tinted Luxe Balms

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Particularly after the lingering January blues; February for us, is a more positive month for moving forward with change and productivity. So we’ve all been making a conscious effort to cheer ourselves up, starting with brightening up our make up choices. Regular readers of The Amazing Blog will recognise the brand, Rouge Bunny Rouge - where we have reviewed a whole host of their products, from eyeshadow palettes to lip pencils. We were therefore thrilled to be introduced their new Tinted Luxe Balm collection. After all, what better way to brighten up our day than with a vibrant lip colour?

Rouge Bunny Rouge is a global brand, aiming to blur the lines between reality and imagination, with their Enchanted Garden collection. We tried six of Tinted Luxe Balms, and found each of them to be hydrating, plumping and repairing. Thanks to the carefully designed formula, gone are the days of dried out lips, these balms left us with moist and kissable lips! We particularly like the lightly sweet scent, and the varied range of colours. Whether you’re a bold lip kind of person, or prefer something a little more subtle, there will be a shade for you.

Packed with long-lasting actives, these lip balms are a great alternative to non-invasive lip treatments, providing pigmented colour, elasticity, smoothness and volume. Only active ingredients are used (all free from animal testing), and many even have anti-ageing properties too. They are Ecocert-approved, with a patented active complex derived from natural sunflower oil which intensely hydrates and softens. The finish is lightweight, non-sticky and long-lasting, the colour simply fades to a subtle and flattering tint, if not re-applied. Additionally, these balms are encased in elegant black packaging making them even more stylish to apply.

What we love about these lip balms, is the scope to play around with all the shades. You could even combine them with your favourite clear lipgloss for an even more ‘lush’ finish. The shades vary from brighter shades, to more subtle cool tones, with the most adventurous being Poised Peonies (a rich and dark cherry red), Lovely Lilacs (an unusual violet with drop of magenta) and Amazing Anemones (a bright but transparent red). For a more natural lip, we like Playful Primrose (a sheer baby pink colour), however Mysterious Magnolias (a gentle and soft neutral pink) and Captivating Camellias (a soft caramel with a hint of peach) are equally great at adding a little colour, without veering too far from your natural lip shade. To purchase your own Tinted Luxe Balm for $29 each, click here. The hardest part for us? Choosing which shade to wear!

Barber Mind's Ocean Hair Grooming

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We are all aware of how far the world of male grooming has jumped in recent years - thriving businesses popping up in our high streets catering to the particular need for us boys to take great pride in our presentation of self to the world. Therefore it’s inevitable that huge competition and artistry would be kindled, as the desire to push forward the boundaries gathered pace with our Italian cousins, grabbing the opportunity with both hands and not for the first time, giving us all food for thought at The Amazing Blog

Therefore we invite you to enter the world of Barber Mind, an incredible space where the passion for doing what they do is best exemplified in their inspirational tag line: ‘Barber Mind is a point of view, a way of being. It’s born as a belief fixed in a tattoo, a prospect that contains the principles of the brand: Scruple, Care and Respect’. And we think that it’s a rather cool place to be, with precision styling, design and care of oneself.

Where better to start delving into their treasure trove, than with Barber Mind Ocean Hair Grooming, the perfect styling tool for that effortless aplomb which the Italians do so well - and your crowning glory is left smelling quite delicious too! Granted, that may be slightly missing the point, as this worthy bottle does so much more besides perfuming the locks; it’s styling properties are impressively firm without being sticky or claggy - perhaps the need to run hands through hair was a major factor in their research and development! Anyway, they certainly achieved a very tactile result, alongside the fresh and clean fragrance. Paraben and colourant free; petroleum and paraffin free and free from animal by-products, so the provenance here is quite impressive too.

Of course the fun doesn’t end with styling the hair, there is much more product and ethos on offer from the Barber Mind Team - not just for the hairdo either; there are beard oils, and shaving options to keep us in complete grooming heaven, all with the unmistakeable trademark of the core belief of Barber Mind. How cool is it that you can also source your own barber shop’s emblem pole, or if that is a tad on the excessive side for your bathroom, you might be tempted by a rather funky ring to signify an appreciation of the brotherhood, and it’s beliefs?

Clearly there is much to explore and enjoy through Barber Mind, but the Ocean Hair Grooming is a great place to start - £16.20 will bag you a 250ml bottle here, although there are intermittent offers discounting certain products and haircare kits - so keep an eye open!

Pure Style of London's Reed Diffusers

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Having a well-scented home can make a huge difference to a first impression. So walking into a hallway that is less than fragrant with the aroma of damp dog and musty coats is an absolute no-no. Finding a solution to produce a continual mood enhancing fragrance all day is a tricky one. From a safety perspective however pretty candles are they cannot be left alight all day. Therefore the trusty reed diffuser offers a more practical solution. This is why we at The Amazing Blog, were very happy to try out three fragrances from Pure Style of London’s Room Diffusers.

With popularity of e-commerce subscription-based purchases are trending, Pure Style of London had the clever idea to create their Home Fragrance Club. Here you can customise your own home fragrance gift with a choice of different sizes, colour of the containers, caps and reeds and more importantly, the fragrances. Offering high-quality and locally hand-crafted room diffusers, Pure Style of London’s aim is to make people’s lives more convenient, adding fun value to everyday life. On their website, you can choose between a one-time-purchase gift set or a subscription to be delivered to your doorstep all year round. Either way, you’ll find it easy to change your order at any time, with no contract, and therefore, no commitments.

For us a well-scented office is a must and is what helps us to kick-on throughout our busy day. One of our favourite combinations from Pure Style of London is their Bergamot & Lime diffuser which we chose to put in their very chic white glass container with white reeds - it is almost ethereal looking. The fragrance is lively, stimulating and bright creating a deliciously fresh atmosphere all day long. Another must-try is the Earl Grey, which reminds us of drinking a well-deserved cup of tea, delicate but equally refreshing. However, we mustn’t forget to mentioned that we also particularly liked the Fresh Linen. This delivered a blend of cotton flower and mimosa, offering a refreshing aroma to remind us that spring is not far away. That said, all nine premium fragrances are guaranteed to emit a beautiful and long-lasting scent. Check them out here.

The Fragrance Club works with a simples 3-step process: Select – Choose – Personalise. Decide on your preferred fragrance, size and the colour of your bottle and diffuser reeds,. Their packages start from £10 monthly, or £29.50 as a one off, click here to see for yourself.