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Over the past few months, I’ve made a serious effort to keep my nails in check. Naturally, they’re not the longest, strongest or most elegant, but they look decent once I slap a little polish on them. They also seem to grow better when I give them a little TLC, so I’m always on the look out for new little gems to add to my nail care regime.

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The Nail Apothecary brand comes from the stable that includes Elegant Touch nails as well as Eyelure lashes, both brands which feature heavily in my beauty stashes, so I was super excited to give the Gel Effect Top Coat a whirl! I fell a little in love with it before I even got it out of the box. Like all of the Nail Apothecary nail care, the Top Coat comes in an adorable, vintage style bottle which is just the cutest!

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Although the bottle might be dinky, it promises Gel-Like shine without wreaking damage to nails. Since my nails are weak at the best of times, I shy away from gel treatments, opting instead for my rainbow of neutral polishes, but I still pine for that plump sheen gel nails seem to have. I’ve been trying the Gel Effect Top Coat with a variety of brands of polishes, and I’ve been absolutely loving the results. The Top Coat applies smoothly and evenly, and it dries within minutes (although admittedly, I do use a quick spray of the Elegant Touch quick dry spray). As it dries, my polish keeps a wet-look sheen, and it lasts for 3-4 days, which is eons for my quick chipping nails!

Nail Apothecary Gel Effect Top Coat is priced at £6.95 and is available here.

 

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Considering I feel like I haven’t seen sunlight in months, I’ve been dying for a fragrance that’s bright, fresh and sunny – something to see me through to spring. I think I might have found the perfect answer to my problems in the form of Atelier Cologne’s Cedrat Envirant Cologne Absolue, a zesty bottle of goodness, that I’ve been reaching for on a daily basis.

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Like all of the Atelier Colognes I’ve tried , Cedrat Enivrant is a real whoosh of citrus, and it’s one of those fragrances where people sidle up to you, tell you that you smell amazing, then beg to know what it is! Originally inspired by the rather glamorous French 75 cocktail (a blend of gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar, it’s the perfume I’ve been reaching for on all these black mornings when I need a real burst of energy!

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When first applied, Cedrat Enivrant is a whoosh of zesty greenness. Top notes of Moroccan cedrat, lime from Mexico, and bergamot from Calabria mingle with mint from China, basilic from Egypt, and juniper berries from Macedonia. It’s like the most refreshing of cocktails, and manages to smell wonderfully clean and fresh, without heading into fruity territory. Like most of the brand’s offerings, Cedrat Enivrant is a unisex fragrance, so it’s not too sweet or too overpowering. I absolutely adore the androgynous feel of the cologne, and unlike most of my other citrus-based perfumes, this one lasts all day! The base notes of tonka bean from Brazil, vetiver from Haiti, and elemi from Philippines really keep sillage close to the body, yet it lasts all day.

If you’re starting to think about presents for Valentines Day next month, you are onto a winner with this one!

Atelier Cologne’s Cedrat Enivrant is priced from £90 and is available here

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So for 2016 I’ve vowed to really take far more care of my hair than I did last year. From ill-advised balayage, to the rather drying rectifying highlights that followed, you would be right in thinking that my hair needed something of a break. So, in an effort to pamper it a little (as well as prepare it for my roots to get done) I’ve been trying a couple of O&M products. The brand hails from Australia, and promises that their products bridge the gap between natural and luxury haircare, so, as you can imagine, it’s just what I’ve been after!

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The Fine Intellect Shampoo is just what you need, if, like me you’ve got fine hair, but lots of it. The shampoo is designed to pump up hair, leaving it shiny and perfectly voluminous without looking puffy.

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I’ve been using the shampoo daily, and have been absolutely loving the results. The formula itself feels lovely and light to use, and it foams beautifully. The formula is packed full of Jojoba Seed Oil for moisture, whilst Lilly Pilly builds volume. Rather than leaving hair feeling sticky or static-y, O&M’s Fine Intellect just gives hair a subtle boost, leaving it feeling full and swishy – it’s basically a blow out in a bottle, which, rather incredibly lasts all day!

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O&M’s Original Detox conditioner provides a lightweight dose of moisture, which is perfect if your hair gets easily weighed down. Since my hair errs on the dry side, I tend to use the conditioner every other day, as it’s perfect for maintaining ends.

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Designed to remove build up from hair without damaging or stripping it, the Original Detox conditioner relies on Australian River Mint to gently but effectively cleanse. It’s also the perfect bottle to use on mornings where I’ve slept with oil in my hair as a conditioning treatment – it gets rid of any build up of product, yet still leaves hair feeling super soft and smooth!

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the brand, and can’t wait to try some of their other lines! You can find the Fine Intellect shampoo here for £24.00 and the Original Detox Conditioner here for £25.00.

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Each month, I get rather excited when the postman delivers my Glossybox. From the pretty pink boxes they come in, to the new brands they let me sample, each month is filled with lovely surprises (and who doesn’t like some new cosmetics each month? I also am loving the fact that Glossybox seem to be featuring a tonne of full sized items – there isn’t a single dinky tester this month, so it’s serious value for money!

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I feel like January’s box is pretty skincare-heavy, but since I’m sure that 99% of people have some sort of resolution to take better care of themselves, I can completely understand why. Unani’s a brand that I’ve never come across before. From my online digging, I’ve found out that it’s a Spanish family company which specialize in natural and organic ingredients. The Dermo Defense Face Mask has a light, gel-like texture which feels super calming and nourishing to apply. I’ve been popping it on after cleansing every couple of nights, as it’s designed to nourish sensitive skin whilst removing impurities.

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Another new-to-me brand is Madara, whose Cellular Repair Serum is included in this month’s box. I’ve not tried this one out yet (as I’m currently road testing another serum) but it’s designed to be anti-aging, which is always a good thing!

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This rather eye-catching gem is a Teez lipstick in Oasis Gem. It’s a full sized product, and is a perfect little pick-me-up if you’re looking for something a little brighter in all this wintry weather.

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Oasis Gem is a bright pink-toned coral which should flatter most skintones, and it’s a lovely change from my regular pinky-nude choices. Mine looks a little battered as the lipstick itself fell out of the tube when I twisted it up, but it’s fine to use as long as I’m gentle with it. It has a super smooth texture thanks to the coconut oil in the formula, which is perfect for winter-parched lips.

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Naobay’s Orange Juice Hand Cream is next up, and it’s a lovely full sized tube of juicy goodness! I can’t get enough handcream at the moment – I’m desperately trying to have nice looking hands and nails, but my addiction to hand sanitizer as well as the cold weather has my digits looking less than perfect. The cream has a lovely light orange fragrance which smells perfectly fresh and fruity without feeling overpowering, and the formula is packed with Shea Butter, Chamomile, and Aloe Vera extracts to soothe and heal skin.

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Last up is the very generously sized Glossybox eyeshadow in Mauve. It’s a full sized product, and it feels huge compared to my shadows from brands like MAC. It’s a stunning cool toned mauve which is easy to wear and really flatters my hazel eyes. For day I’ve been using the shadow dry, but you can use the shadow with a damp brush to achieve a more dramatic look.

Glossybox has certainly started the year strong – I absolutely loved the mix of skincare and makeup, and it’s nice nice to have some fresh products to add to my collection for 2016! Will you be subscribing?

Glossybox subscriptions are available here

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Since Sunday evenings are my at-home spa nights, I thought a Monday morning would be the perfect time to share my newest skincare addition – Clarins’ Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream. Something of a mouthful of a title, but oh my, what a game changer!

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I should probably start this review with something of a disclaimer – even though I have, what at times, feels like the world’s most sensitive skin, I’m an avid exfoliator user. I’m not quite sure why, but if a cleanser has a grainy particle or two, I’m pretty much guaranteed to love it. Clarins’ Gentle Peeling Cream, is however, completely different.

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Rather than my usual scrubs which have rough and grainy textures, the Peeling Cream feels ridiculously rich, and creamy thanks to the natural clay in the formula, and it’s also got the prettiest sheen. To apply, I apply a thick-ish layer to freshly cleansed skin and leave on for a few minutes. The formula itself doesn’t completely dry, and instead of removing it with a clean flannel, like I normally would, I sweep my fingers upwards, rolling the formula off. It’s a slightly odd sensation, and completely different from anything I’m used to, but oh my! The Gentle Peeling leaves skin ridiculously soft – honestly, it’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before! Not only does my face feel incredible after using the cream, but it’s not red or irritated like it usually is after an exfoliation. Instead, it’s so, so soft, smooth and ready to go. I’m in love!

Clarins’ Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream is priced at £26.00 and is available here