5 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Encore!

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Today’s door held a rather sophisticated and restrained orange: meet Encore!

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Encore! is so new that I got an email (well timed, Ciate!) about its launch today, as part of the Dragonfly Collection (six bottles for £40 – viewable here.) Encore’s description reads: “This muted orange is perfect for wearing all-year-round as an alternative to a classic red.” You can purchase it as an individual bottle here. I definitely appreciate Ciate slipping in a brand new shade for the advent calendar – yet another reason to purchase one if you haven’t already!

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At first I was a bit hesitant about this shade, as orange isn’t really my thing, but it grew on me, and by the end of the day I really appreciated its understated glamour. As a bonus, I wore it to Highclere Castle’s Christmas fair (where they film Downton Abbey), and I felt it was very appropriate given its vintage vibe – although Lady Mary would probably have been shocked!

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4 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Prom Queen

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Yay! My first ever Ciate Caviar! I’ve been dying try these out ever since I heard about them, so this morning was like an early Christmas for me!

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The calendar comes with a cute little funnel to pour the beads back into the bottle when you’re done. I’d read about how to do these Caviar manicures on various blogs, so I knew what to do – and it was very easy, I have to say! I’m not sure what I thought would be hard about it, but it was very quick and simple to pour the beads onto my wet nail, push down, and then repour for extra coverage. I applied it over a plate with a sheet of greaseproof paper on it, so I could just fold the paper up and pour back into the bottle, and it all went without a hitch. I only did one nail on each hand, because I didn’t want to get carried away – plus, I cook a lot and I didn’t want to shed baubles into my fajitas tonight (oo er!).

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As for the Caviar itself, it was everything I hoped for and more! Again, not a colour I would have picked for myself, but I love it – the mixture of blue, silver and pink is very pretty, and the nail’s texture is divine. There are also pieces of flat, hexagonal, reflective discs in the pot, which add a bit of interest to the baubles.

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I’m very impressed with how well the baubles are sticking to my nail at the moment – I applied top coat to the tips, but all of the balls feel very sturdy. However, the test will be whether they can withstand a shower – I’m betting not, but I’ll let you know tomorrow!