Wednesday, 08 August 2012 14:49

Achieving sporting style

If you've been inspired by this summer's sporting triumphs and finally feel like peeling yourself off the sofa to get fit, you may be wondering how to get yourself kitted out. While it's true that you can't run in jeans and a shirt (well you can, but not for long), you don't have to give up on style completely - dressing for exercise doesn't have to mean looking chavvy.

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Let's start at the top, with tops. Man-made fibres which wick-away sweat are obviously the best choice, but for those who just can't bring themselves to wear polyester a simple cotton T-shirt may suffice. The shorter the sleeves the better though - a vest top is ideal - as you don't want to be running around in a heavy cotton t-shirt when it's warm.

But as we all have work to do and lives to lead, the chances are you won't be running in the nicer part of the day. You'll be running on wet Wednesday nights and dreary Sunday mornings, so you need to have something a little warmer to coax you out to pound those pavements. Hoodies are the best bet, but again you don't have to be a walking advert for Nike or Adidas - even sportswear retailers like JD Sport sell more stylish options from the likes of Converse, Duffer and Brookhaven. With tracksuit bottoms, stick with baggy cotton sweat pants - they're loose fitting and are not nearly as offensive on the eyes as polyester tracksuit bottoms.

One area where you can't afford to make concessions, however, is footwear. You may have a pair of Adidas Originals which you love, with laces that are never tied, but running without the correct support for your foot will soon lead to aches and pains which will stop your fitness plan in its tracks. It's worth getting advice from professionals on your foot shape and your trainer requirements but have a look at this guidance for some background first.

Once you have the kit it's up to you - try and make it a regular habit before winter sets in!

This is a sponsored post 
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Monday, 06 August 2012 18:56

The Stylistic Melting Pot

Africa, a land of strength, versatility, freedom, style and pride. On this day when many African nations were competing and representing their home countries on the London Olympic grounds there was another display of skill taking place in Spitafields Market in East London.

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African Fashion Week much like the Olympic Games gave individual countries and nations the opportunity to showcase "the best in show". Although onlookers weren't glued to the television rooting for their home country favourites, they were glued to the catwalk doing just the same.

The fashion show was complimented by a helpful welcoming committee complete with a number of stalls ranging from food, jewellery, clothing, shoes and even media services.

I attended the closing show following a visit to several stalls. There were a number of great designers to close of the showcase.

George Adesegun:
With the smooth voice of the late Barry white on loop models emerged from backstage in laced up corsets, full length dresses. The most stunning item was a belly bare midriff top and long skirt decorated in angelic white With pale blue accent.
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Brigitte Merki-Ibrahim:
Brigitte used a pallet of sorbet colours that were made up of lemon and peach hues. One dress in particular was a canary yellow layered evening gown which was partnered with a stunning waist belt of elegant proportion.
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Jimiking:
This was the first time onlookers saw the presence of the "male model". With striking features and beautiful poise the models grace the stage with vibrant colour of gold,deep reds, bronze and other colours that can be compared to a warm African sunset.
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Joansu:
This fabulous jewellery designer paired up necklaces and body chains with olympic inspired uniform.
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House of Tayo:
The presentation of this collection appeared to be more of an individual approach rather than a group effort. Each look was separate from the next. My favourite piece was a tribal printed neck shrug worn by one of the male models.
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MMD Design:
This designer dominated the runway with a pink and blue look that with its attached cape presented as a modern day red riding hood. The designers use of red brought passion to the stage presence. The seventh model to grace the stage was very memorable and had a signature shoulder roll that brought new life to the clothing.
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Berry's Couture:
Models wore sexy fabric pieces that provided a sleek presentation. Some pieces were asymmetrical skirts finished with ruffle edges. One outfit in particular was a silver two piece number that captivated the audience.
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Remi Lagos:
There was use of black net fabric and metallics complimented by themed logo printed shopping bags. Models stalked the catwalk with shades and attitude which provided an extra fiery feel to the already sexy lounge and beach wear.
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Adebayo Jones

And finally a decorated designer that stands out from many creative tyoes that only aspire to fall in line. The talented Mr. Jones oversized floppy hat and treasure chest bodice excited the crowd. The eclectic  Nigerian has steered away from acid wash and eye blinding fluorescent and for this show has chosen to take the formal approach.  With a collection boasting multi layered gowns with heavy embellishment and an exquisite eye for detail he commands the fashion platform. Old Hollywood glamour that is tastefully orchestrated is the description that comes to mind when observing his work. This was a show closer of sheer perfection.

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Overall Africa came to the show and ended up showing out. All colours and nations were represented during a time when London itself is in one of the greatest celebratory periods in history.

By Sherry Tagoe 
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 10 July 2012 18:03

Moroccan dream or reality?

Fashion is certainly travelling some places this year. First we swam underwater wearing iridescent watercolors and aquatic fashions. Then, Donna Karen took us to the hill tribes, adoring clothing with tribal markings and print. Trekking through jungle and tropical fauna, over desert, onto safari...Fashion this year is all about independence, exploration and adventure.

Now, enough of this depressing weather! It's time to look further afield. Take heed from some of these budget finds I have found you, so reasonably priced that two cheap flights and a few nights' accommodation becomes just a mild credit card irritation compared to the amount of adventure and excitement promised.

And where is the destination for this marvelous journey, I hear you ask? Morocco of course! However, you will find comparable adventure in any other North African country such as Tunisia and Gambia which you can now reach by charter airlines.

This special journey will take you into the bustling souks of Marrakesh, through the snake charmers and food stalls of the Djemaa al-fna square, then down to the ancient seaside medina town of Essouira and back again.

Just one 10kg bag, a small budget and seven days' worth of adventure and dressing. Too good to be true? Think again! This can become reality!

And for takeoff... start by picking one pair of these outfits, a smart flared or tapered trouser is a must in fact, all three deserve a place in your case!

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Add to this, a white shirt, the jacket and a crochet jumper or cardigan.

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Wear these accessories on the plane to maximise baggage space...
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Day one: Get lost down the souks of Marrakesh in these finds...

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Be sure to cover shoulders with a cardi or scarf as a show of respect when required and also to protect from the sun.

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Haggle for quality leatherwear such as this bag below and look out for scarf print clothing and accessories you can wear on your way back.

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Day one: Evening

Take a stroll down Djemaa al-fna, evening market in Marrakesh. Sip freshly squeezed orange juice and sample the culinary delights of the many food stalls that line the market place.

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Day 2: visit the mosques and gardens of Marrakech

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Sun worshippers do bare your shoulders when walking around but be prepared to cover up with this gypsy blouse when visiting places of worship or inner souks. Prevent heatstroke and exhume ultimate cool too by wearing that amazing cowboy hat!

By night, observe the life and colours of the Djemm al.fna from a roof top café bar wearing this stylish combo.

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Day three: Travel the CTM bus from Marrakesh to Essaouira
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These comfortable adjustable shorts will keep you cool on the bus and also allow for leg tanning opportunities once disembarking the bus!

Shorts £12.00 Matalan. Shirt £4.50 Matalan

Once in Essouira, take a walk on around the ancient medina then onto the harbour...

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And in the Evening...

When the sun goes down and the sea breeze cools, wear these comfy flares with your vest and denim jacket for relaxed glamour.

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Day 4. And so to the beach you go...

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Evening time Salute the setting sun with your Moroccan tea glass as you look out to sea from the best roof top restaurant view...

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Day five: back down to the beach

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These shorts really are going to be your best friend on this trip! £6.00 Primark

Evening five :Final bargain barter around the medina 

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Make sure you stock up on pretty beads, bracelets and unique earrings like these ones too...

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 Day six : last stroll round the medina before boarding the bus back to Marrakesh.

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And for your Final evening in Marrakesh...

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Day seven: Board the plane back home

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Dream or reality?...
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Saturday, 23 June 2012 00:00

My Forever 21

I've never really come to figure out why people want to remain forever twenty-one. Maybe it's because it's the comfortable age between having mastered adolescence, and feeling at your prime to achieve literally anything your heart is set on. Just turning this milestone age, people ask me what its like to have arrived, and my response is seldom clear, even to me. Truth is, there is no special 'twenty-one' feeling. You can either feel advanced, or believe you're as young as you feel. Even the term 'youthful' is so subjective. For example, many connotations include 'sexy', 'wild' and 'strongly independent'. Unfortunately, a part of the fashion world has lost the ability to translate sophistication and elegance through different generations. I think the closest we got to this has been lost somewhere in the Victorian ages, where women of all ages dressed in the same manner of propriety and conformity.

Nonetheless, we celebrate the development in the fashion industry; young people could now carve out their own identity and become creative and industrious individuals. But if there is a gap in the industry, it's the question of how to form a bridge between the different generations in coherent style so that quality isn't lost. We can learn something from mature women in their 40s/50s who can complement style, with grace and elegance. Those who have arrived at personal success, gained recognition and are truly admired by the admirable, carry a persona and style that we could borrow. As much as we young folks/young-at-heart don't want to be mistaken to be 20 years older than what we really are, we can replicate classy styling that still screams 'forever twenty-one'- and at any price too! In my attempt to bridge this gap, I put together some of my favourite Ankara pieces by some of my favourite designers;

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Solange in Boxing Kitten by Maya Amina - at the 'Victoria Secrets Collection, 2011.

Swing on this season's favourite high-waisted top and mellow it down with any modest yet stylish high-waisted skirt.

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Overcoat by Bombe Surprise

For a casual outfit on those mild weather days, nothing says young and free like an oversized jacket over figure-hugging jeans.

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Kente top 

Did you know that should-pads make the waist look slimmer? You can't do wrong with this fitted top made casual yet slick with some skinny jeans! 

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Asaka Oge

I'm in love with these blazers by Asaka Oge. Blazers are the perfect transformer tools that will bring any outfit to life- whether you want to dress up or dress down.

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Another amazing and must-have number by Asaka Oge; a flattering high-wasited pencil skirt.

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Aldo Shoes

Ankle-straps and woven platforms are this summer's talk. Nothing says '21' like the right heels to accentuate those summer legs! 

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Vlisco Bag

With all the boho-craze currently going on, check out this cute ankara styled bag by Vlisco; a shoulder strap bag by day, and a clutch bag for that special outing! 

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Russian Vogue March 2012

Part of dressing young is adding colour - appropriately of course! I just love this jewellery ensemble I found in the Russian vogue; including Boucheron, Cartier, David Morris and Harry Winston. Of course, you don't need to spend thousands of pounds to look as vibrant. This summer, the high streets are oozing with bold colours.

Know any other 'twenty-one' summer favourites? 
Published in Blog
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 21:25

Wear yourself a Jubilee

Contrary to the on-going media splurge since Kate Middleton's wedding to Prince Williams last year, she is not the only fashionista in the royal family. This month, we pay tribute to our queen as we celebrate, in one way or another, her 60 glorious years on the throne. There are many reasons why Her Majesty has the connotations of splendour, propriety and dedication. But quietly, she secures a high rank in the elite and prestigious fashion sector. Of course, young Kate is definitely a fashion force to be reckoned with. And its not just because of her model-like frame, or the fact that she's already mastered how to compose herself in a royal fashion. On a Jubilee tour with the queen, Kate pulled off an old-school look with such chic-style and class.

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Kate wearing a teal suit by L.K Bennet 

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The queen wearing cashmere by Angela Kelly

Old really does complement the new. On the same tour, the queen was covered in cashmere from head to toe. We see how style transcends through different ages and generations. The smartly placed darts on her jacket, with a suave accent of black proves the ageless quality of class and style; not to forget that Her Majesty was a young style guru once. She has witnessed decades of style transformations. How was she able to maintain modesty and dignity in the notorious 60s, and the rock'n'roll 80s? Well, maybe the regiments of being a royal kept her in the straight and narrow, but her designers are praise-worthy- notably, Norman Hartnell! When you are appointed as the queen's designer and dressmaker, you've pretty much reached a peak on your success graph. Hartnell, who died in 1979, had a sophisticatedly diverse porfolio, from designing the queen's wedding dress, to designing for the film 'Suddenly Last Summer' in 1969, along with several other films. Take a look at some of my favourite Hartnell pieces. (Pictures from 'My Richard Curtis London').

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The Queen's wedding- 1947. Decorated with 10, 000 bead pearls with thousands of white crystal beads. The embroidery consisted of different symbols from the commonwealth countries.

Can you spot them/know what they are?


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Heavily adorned silk gown worn at the House of Representatives (Lagos, Nigeria. 1956)

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Cream gown with blue embroidery (Canada and USA tour in 1957)

For more on the queen and fashion, I personally recommend Jane Eastoe's book 'Reigning in Style'. For fashion lovers and admirers of the Queen, this book is perfect for learning what has made her wardrobe so exquisite and agelessly feminine. What are your thoughts on vintage fashion?

Share this blog as well as your thoughts!

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Wednesday, 30 May 2012 22:26

That's So Denim

What makes denim one of the most irresistible trends of our time? In a 1969 publication in the American Fabrics magazine, a writer stated:
"Denim is one of the world's oldest fabrics, yet it remains eternally young."

From baggy jeans, to figure-hugging jeans, denim has defined time and the fashion cycle that goes with it. I remember mufti days back at Secondary School we (girls) would make sure we had the jeans that were the fad at the time; very low rise, skin-tight and a subtle flare. And if you didn't wear those particular jeans you had to have worn something that would replace them and give you an equal rank in the 'jeans-clique'- which was pretty close to impossible.

Now we herald a new revolution of the jeans trend. Its hard to believe that its a step away from picking out a pair of high-rise washed out blue jeans from a charity/vintage shop and accessorising some old piece of ankara unto it. Well, in the easiest sense of course. 'SoVeny' and 'Bukki' are designers who have definitely made African-print jeans a must-have this summer. Today's 'young' (and young at heart) are going for denim enriched with the African touch. The same way Levi Strauss was the pioneers for blue jeans, I believe the African print is the new harbinger for a new generation of denim. Whilst 'SoVeny' has the bohemian, soft chic feel, 'Bukki' has the edgy 80s' look. Whichever look you go for, both styles are the talk of the town this season- and oh how befitting they are for the summer!

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Bukki

Check out Bukki on Asos Marketplace & bukkisblog

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Photo credits from designers SoVeny & Bukki

Levi Strauss on the reigning attitude towards denim in the 70s, quotes from the trade papers: "Jeans are more than a make. They are an established attitude about clothes and lifestyle".

Do you think our current designers are accurately depicting you and your lifestyle? Share and comment on this post and sound-off your opinions!

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iROCK Tribes of Africa Celebrates African Fashion and New Generation in Style.
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The generous folks at Next in conjunction with Glitz and Grime are giving bloggers a chance to win £500 worth of Next vouchers. All you have to do is create a post like this one, showing which items from Next's collection you love and post a comment on Glitz and Grime's post, linking back to your post.

Check out some of my favorite pieces from Next's summer collection selection which is inspired by the lack of tropical weather in the UK at the moment. I Have mixed bright colours with fun prints in classic shapes for versatility which means that pieces can be mixed and matched with other items in my wardrobe and with a bit of styling, will adapt to suit any occasion.

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Outfit One

• Printed Bandeau Maxi Dress £26
• Metallic Rope Wedge Sandals £40

Outfit Two

• Magenta Patent Extreme £36
• Scarf Print Sleeveless £26
• Lift And Shape Skinny Jeans £42

Outfit Three

• Crepe Cowl Neck Dress £45
• Colour Block Wedges £40

Outfit Four

• Scarf Print Dress £48
• Navy Elastic Two Part Wedges £30

Outfit Five

• Lipsy Scallop Denim Tie Front Top £25
• Lift And Shape Skinny Jeans £42
• Floral Print Wedge Sandals £38
Published in Blog
Sunday, 27 May 2012 15:02

power dressing in 2012

Hello again finest readers,

Well who's predicting what the weather is going to do these days. One minute it shines, the next it rains. And there was me, wondering what to wear in these variable climes. Taking the imaginary crystal ball to hand, I had a little moment and thought about what was coming your way this autumn. Looking towards hot autumn trends, I saw Mui Mui at the forefront showing us how to dress for these cooler climes in a heavy mix of Edwardian come 1970s styling celebrating that staple classic, the trouser suit.

This years' trouser suit fascination has been making itself known for a quite a while now. Think back to how Ferragamo got us excited by his interplay of silk and mismatched prints in that stunning raspberry and fuchsia pink silk jungle print trouser suit.
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Salvatore Feragamo spring summer 2012 Mui Mui Autumn 2012 (Source Vogue.Com)

Now, Look around at how many retailers are selling high waist silky seventies trousers and matching blazers in jungle, graphic and seventies graphic wall paper print. Well readers, it is time to sit up and take notice and follow this well- trousered hint. Trouser suits are here to stay with us and are the right investment will take you through summer, autumn and possibly even into winter.

And of course, because we are inspirers rather than followers here at finest, we are going to have some fun, by embracing the patterns and combinations available to us in the shops now. So, think Brights' and seventies prints and mix them up with patterned shirts. Hunt down kipper ties and paisley scarfs from eBay and charity shops. Then, keeping with the mismatched patterning theme; work your base colour through, mesmerizing admiring eyes with high impact drama and contrast.
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(Source Vogue.com)

Take one mui mui blue suit for inspiration... Then get down to H and M and pick this blazer up for £17.99 or maybe this trouser suit from Benetton...

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Then add one of these shirts (Hawes and Curtis£ 69.99) or these shoes (River Island £55.00), a vintage tie (eBay 12.99) or this necklace( £11.99 www.bronprix.co.uk) for ultimate seventies groove.

Serious fashion geeks wishing to follow Mui Mui to a tee, should wear bold silky shades of cornflower blue, emerald green, orange and brown. Look out for suits featuring seventies wallpaper print themes in patterns not dissimilar to the velvet crush featured on bus seating and clash, clash clash!

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(Source, Vogue.com)

This look takes the sharp masculine tailoring out of Saville row, powers it down to the office then sashays it back up- town, discotec chic style. We are talking the bold, brave and sexy. Take your influences from Charlie's Angels, Farrah Fawcett, even Abba but remix your styling from the wide varieties of print and colour available now.

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£10.00 Primark £39.99 Hawes and Curtis £10.00 Primark

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Origional pierre cardin kipper tie Bumper bundle of vintage £12.99 ebay kipper ties £12.99 ebay

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Hobbs £189.00 £10.00 Primark £69.99 Hawes and Curtis

And of course, on the back of every wise woman who means business this year, rather than her boss, is her trusty mac. You will find these everywhere right now in all the right shades to protect you whenever the clouds choose to rain down upon you. Finish your look off with these lovely examples I have found for you below.

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La redoute £69.00 Traffic People 54.00 Vera Mona £ 54.00
Published in Blog
Monday, 21 May 2012 18:06

Speak To The Hand!

Forget the sky-high heels or feature jewellery in 2012 it's defiantly nails that are doing the talking!

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Perfectly groomed nails have always been a must to complement any outfit however in 2012 nail trends have evolved in to one of the most fashion-forward accessories a girl can have Forget boring French tips and get crazy creative with colours the brighter the better, acids, metallic, and fluorescents and patterns oh and let's not forget, jewels, piercings and 3D bling.

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For those that don't have time to be constantly in the nail salon or have the talents of Michelangelo there are many ways for you to adorn your digits at home that won't break the bank such as nail foils and designer nail wraps hat are available in an array of wonderful designs.

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If you can imagine it do it
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