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Parading Through Paris In Our “Shopping Around The World” Holiday Gift Guide!

We may not be able to invite all of our readers on a first-class flight around the world, but we can at least escort you there in spirit — which is, of course, why we wanted to choose a travel theme for this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, with each installment featuring items inspired by a specific city around the world. Thus far, we’ve made stops at Athens, London, Stockholm, and Berlin and, today, we’ll be arriving in the City of Lights.

Check out these Paris-inspired gift ideas:

 

Costis Eiffel Earrings, $23,000. Available at Costis.com

Whether you’re a sightseeing maniac, an accidental tourist, or a romance junkie, chances are you would never visit Paris and leave without seing the Eiffel Tower. These sculptural earrings pay homage to the iron lattice tower that has become symbolic of Paris. The white gold earrings have a linear structure, with a row of square diamonds encrusted along the middle of this vertical “tower” formation, mirroring the look of the landmark at night, when light projectors and strobe lights swathe it, luring lovers to kiss and embrace nearby. At the base of each earring, meanwhile, lies a black pearl so that the Eiffel Tower seems positioned atop the world itself.

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Ciaté Sequined Manicure Kits, $19 each. Available at Sephora stores and Sephora.com

In this day, when women approach nails as fashion accessories, texture and dimension are as important as colors and finishes. By tapping into this new fascination with textured nails, Ciaté made a splash several months ago with its caviar manicure kit, a DIY set that allows users to brush lacquer atop their nails, then sprinkle multi-colored pearls atop the surface of the nails to create a luxurious, bead-encrusted look. But that’s not the only surprise in Ciaté’s bag of tricks. This season, the brand has unveiled a new series of sequined manicure kits that allow your nails to sparkle brighter than the lights illuminating the banks of the Seine river.

As with the Caviar Manicure, Ciaté’s Sequined Manicure Kit is designed to emphasize texture and involves three easy steps. First, you want to buff nails and apply a coat of the Ciaté Glitter Grip included in the kit onto each nail. Next, you want to open the pot of sequins in the kit and leave it within reach so you can work quickly as you get started on your mani. Working one finger at a time, then, you should brush a second coat of the Glitter Grip but, this time, while your nail is still wet, you need to roll it atop the open pot of sequins, allowing the shimmery bits to adhere to your nail. Next, remove your finger from the pot, twirl it around and gently press down on the sequins to lock them in place and flatten the surface area a bit. Last, apply another coat of the Sequin Glitter Grip to seal the look. To make clean-up less rigorous, use the enclosed black brush to sweep any loose, extra sequins off nails and hands.

Here’s what the Sequined Manicure looks like when complete:

Ooh la la!  Who can resist all that shimmer? C’est magnifique!

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Christian Louboutin Lady Peep Geek Embroidered Red Sole Pump, $1695. Available at NeimanMarcus.com

It’s nearly impossible to list French footwear designers and, even by accident, omit Christian Louboutin, the man whose red-soled pumps, stilettos, and boots are regarded as wearable art, veritable sculptures that transform any woman who wears them into a masterpiece herself. The Lady Peep pump is a testament to Louboutin’s boundless creativity — it boats a 5 5/8″covered heel, a 1 3/4″ covered platform, an almond-shaped peep toe and black satin uppers with a red, green, yellow and white, microchip-inspired pattern embellished with scattered sequins for a touch of shimmer.

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Topshop High Neck Jacquard Skater Dress, $240. Available at US.Topshop.com

In the early 1800s French weaver Joseph Marie Jacquard began toying with a mechanical loom that could automatically weave patterned silk. Used to create complex brocade and damask patterns, the jacquard loom (albeit a modernized version of Jacquard’s original invention) continues to be employed today. This acrylic, wool, polyester, and cotton blend dress nods to this fabric’s rich history with an ornate, Baroque-flavored design featuring golden metallic fibers. A high neck and full skirt complete the Parisian princess effect.

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Clarins Odyssey Eye Quartet Mineral Palette, $44; Clarins Odyssey Face Palette, $55; and Clarins Gloss Prodige in 01 Chocolate, $20. Available at ClarinsUSA.com and Bloomingdales.com

Parisians have always been leaders in the beauty industry — just look at Jacques Courtin Clarins, who founded Clarins in 1954. By 1980, Clarins had ascended to the No. 1 spot in terms of top-selling luxury skin care brands in France and, by 1981, the brand was stepping into the global market with the launch of its US subsidiary. Thirty years later, Clarins continues to wow beauty lovers with both its skin care and cosmetics offerings.

On the makeup front, Clarins has just unveiled its Odyssey Collection, a regal assortment of lip, eye, and face products meant to unleash every woman’s inner goddess (hence the reference to Homer’s famed epic). Among the collection’s offerings, you’ll find the Odyssey Face Palette, which features an embossed medallion pattern with golden pearls, scrolls and flourishes. Perfect for most skin tones, this lightweight powder adds a subtle shimmer to your complexion for a golden goddess glow. Another highlight is the Odyssey Eye Quartet Mineral Palette, which features a mixture of satin and highly pearlescent shadows in earthy and golden hues. And, to finish off the look, you can apply the Gloss Prodige in Chocolate, an ultra shiny lip gloss in a hot cocoa shade.

Below, you’ll find a swatch of the Clarins Gloss Prodige in Chocolate. As you can see, it’s a deliciously brown shade with reddish undertones and it’s saturated with clear and golden micro pearls that make lips glisten alluringly.

Next, check out swatches of the Clarins Odyssey Eye Quartet Mineral Palette. The four pressed eye shadows in this gorgeous palette work together harmoniously, allowing you to create a nude look with a touch of sheen or a high-voltage, siren-like, gilded look. The shades include a golden honey brown shade with a satin finish, an intense and glimmer-packed Etruscan gold color, a chocolate brown with a satin finish, and a sandy pearl shade with a demure satin finish.

With these cosmetics within reach, you’ll be the Heloïse to his Abélard, the sun to his moon, the Penelope to his Odysseus.

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Laura Mercier Holiday 2012 Signature Votive Candle Collection, $65. Available at LauraMercier.com

What if you could make your home smell like La Pâtisserie des Rêves? With the help of Laura Mercier’s latest votive candle collection, guests mouths will be watering as soon as they hit the threshold. Packaged inside 2.5 ox. chocolate brown glass tumblers, these candles come in such decadent scents as: Creme Brûlée, a peachy beige-colored candle which boasts a sugary vanilla fragrance; Fresh Fig, a white candle which features a tangy, earthy but sweet aroma; Warm Roasted Chestnuts, which features a red hue and boasts a slightly spicy, clove-tinged, nutty aroma; and Tarte au Citron, a white candle with a lemon meringue fragrance.

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Blu Bijoux Gold Fleur de Lys Double Ring, $19.50. Available at MaxandChloe.com

Often said to symbolize purity and light, the fleur de lis instantly conjures up images of French royals. This double-finger ring, featuring three gold-plated fleur de lis shapes, each with an Austrian crystal at its center, adds a rocker edge to this motif.

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Nina Ricci Tafetta and Lace Dress, $1490. Availablke at Net-a-Porter.com

Any lady will look ready for a garden party with this petal pink frock from French designer Nina Ricci. The sleeveless taffeta dress features a contrasting lace yoke in a delicate floral pattern along the top half of the bodice for a delicate touch, with the lightly pleated taffeta beneath it creating a bustier-like shape.  The gathered pleats along the skirt add texture to the piece, while the oversize bow along the back completes the romantic and coquettish effect.

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MAC Holiday 2012 Fabulousness 5 Smoky Eyes Palette, $39.50. Available at MAC stores and MACcosmetics.com

Marie Antoinette herself would swoon over the packaging for the MAC Holiday 2012 collection. Each eye shadow palette, for instance, features a powder pink, satin-like cloth covering with four button details so as to resemble a tufted cushion like the one you’d find in an exquisite ottoman or couch.  A black bow adorns the clasp that opens the palette, compounding the unapologetic girlish look. Our favorite eye shadow palette is the Fabulousness 5 Smoky Eyes palette, which includes an assortment of pink, lavender, lilac, and purple-tinged shades, as shown below.

 

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Alex Woo Little Faith Fleur de Lis Necklace, $168 Available at Bloomingdales.com

During King Louis IX’s reign, the three petals in the fleur de lis symbol were said to represent faith, wisdom and chivalry. In fact, the stylized lily was a common national symbol throughout monarchic times in France (in fact, since the late 12th century, all derivations of the national coat of arms incorporates an azure backdrop and golden fleur de lis motifs) and, even as France has transitioned into a different form of government, establishing itself as a Republic, the fleur de lis remains a relevant symbol of the natio’s rich history. Let a loved one know you think she’s worthy of her very own throne with this dainty sterling silver pendant from Alex Woo.

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Givenchy Closed-Toe Slip-Ons, $315. Available at Yoox.com

Welcome to the jungle! You’ll feel like you’re walking through an enchanted forest when you wear these sateen heels from Givenchy, which feature a 3.9″ covered stiletto heel, a pointy toe, and a super think ankle strap closure.

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bareMinerals A Vision in Velvet Set, $79. Available at Sephora.com

This delectable 20-piece collection of mineral eye shadows was inspired by the colors of meringue-filled macaron treats.  Like miniature round swatches, macarons contain a creamy, sticky ganache or buttercream filling sandwiched in between two flaky, wafer-like pieces. Similarly, the bareMinerals A Vision in Velvet Set plays with contrasting textures by including 10 velvet matte eye colors , all smooth and suede-like, and 10 velvet satin eye colors, equally saturated with pigment but infused with shimmer. You can, of course, create an all-matte or all-satin eye look but the yummiest results come when you mix and match the textures.

The ten velvet eye colors in the set are: Velvet Blueberry, a violet-tinged navy blue; Velvet Violet, a pink-tinged pastel shade reminiscent of candied violets; Velvet Pistachio, a lime-y green shade reminiscent of pistachio macarons; Velvet Vanilla, the yellowish white shade we associate with French Vanilla ice cream; Velvet Strawberry, a muted plum shade; Velvet Mauve, a pale mauve; Velvet Green, a mossy green hue; Velvet Charcoal, a slightly dirty gray shade; Velvet Espresso, a cocoa powder brown; and Velvet Taupe, a matte fawn brown shade.

The ten satin eye colors, meanwhile, are: Satin Sterling, a shimmering silver; Satin Lilac, a pastel lilac worthy of an orchid; Satin Nude, a golden fleshy shade; Satin Plum, a muted aubergine shade; Satin Mist, a grayish, seafoam-y green; Satin Rose, a peachy pink; Satin Sage, an olive-tinged sage green; Satin Gold, a caramel -tinged gold; Satin Caramel, a true burnt caramel; and Satin Peach, a cobbler worthy peach.

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Catherine Malandrino Violet/Black Silk Printed Dress, $380. Available at Stylebop.com

Born in Grenoble, France, New York- and Paris-based fashion designer Catherine Malandrino has mastered the art of fusing together a European sophistication and romanticism with an urban, trend-setting, downtown cool edge. In the case of this sleeveless silk dress, for instance, Malandrino channels a classy, posh vibe via the stand-up collar and retro silk tie along the neck, while the graphic violet-and-black print infuse the piece with a bit of modern bravado.

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French Brass Mirror, $445. Available at VandM.com

This rectangular brass mirror features an elaborate floral border, with blooms nestled at the center of undulating vine and branch shapes, and teardrop-shaped accents at each of the four corners, with large garnet cabochons at the center of each oval-shaped motif, and grooved, turquoise stone-adorned, feather headdress-like rims along the perimeter of each corner shape. Measuring 16.3″ in height and 11.4″ in width, the Louis XIV style piece features a face vignette along the center of the top rim. It’s befitting of the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors!

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Bite Beauty Luminous Lip Library, $30. Available at Sephora stores and Sephora.com

What makes Bite Beauty different from other cosmetic companies? Well, for starters, the brand’s lip offerings all contain Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant with anti-aging properties that is found in red wine. And who knows wine better than the French?

This Bite Beauty palette combines the moisturizing, smoothing, softening properties of Resveratrol with subtle, natural-looking lip colors in natural-looking shades of nude, pink, and red. Unlike other lip palettes that only offer lipstick hue gradations, this one also contains several pigment-free treatments. If you flip open the booklet-shaped palette, you’ll find twelve products, each inside a B-shaped pan. The first row of products contains: Superfruit Butter, a moisturizer packed with açai, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate extracts that smooth and nourish lips; Line and Define Lip Primer, which diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and which helps to lengthen the longevity of your lip color; and Sheer Balm, a semi-sheer lip color with SPF protection. The nine Luminous Creme Lipstick colors in the collection, meanwhile, include: Cava, a sheer, cool-toned beige; Rosette,a very soft, nude-ish pink; Pepper, a medium-toned nude; Fig, a tawny rose shade; Cin Cin, a muted paprika-esque color; Poppy, a sheer red with vermilion undertones; Carmenere, a richly pigmented candy apple red; Rosé, a medium pink with an antique rose feel; and Tannin, a deep, wine-like red. All the colors have a pretty sheer finish so that they look incredibly natural when applied to lips. Plus, for added convenience, the kit includes a handy lip brush and a mirror along the inside of the top “cover.”

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Moulin Rouge 100% Cotton Dishtowel, $20. Available at PetitProvence.com

Unleash your inner can-can dancer with this Moulin Rouge-themed 100% cotton dishtowel, measuring 28″ in length and 19″ in width. Made in France, the dishtowel features the illustration Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created for the posters celebrating the opening of the Moulin Rouge in the late 1800s.

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Topshop Avant All Over Embellished Ankle Boot, $240. Available at US.Topshop.com

Baroque fashions are a major trend this season, with an emphasis on dramatic, supersized earrings and necklaces; brocaded, beaded, embroidered, and overall embellished frocks, pants, and blouses; princess-ready headbands, hair combs, and tiaras; and even jewel- and pearl-encrusted purses and shoes. Featuring a 4″ heel, these Topshop ankle boots feature all-over beadwork, speaking to the trend beloved by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

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Balmain Embllised Velvet Pants, $7298. Available at Net-a-Porter.com

These embellished velvet pants epitomize opulence with faux pearls, crystals and beads embroidered using metallic threads in column-like arrangements, so that the patterns extend from the sides of the waist down along the lengths of the pants. But, in the tradition of French brand Balmain, this baroque design is executed with a rock ‘n’ roll glam flair, making these form-fitting pants feel like an exercise in couture coolness.

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Sophie Theallet for The Limited Chain Clutch, $59.90. Available at TheLimited.com

 After collaborating on a handbag and footwear collection with Nine West several years ago, French designer Sophie Theallet has joined forces with US clothing retailer The Limited, creating an affordable capsule collection of clothing and accessories. This faux leather clutch features a crocodile print and is adorned with five golden chains draped along the front, extending from one side of the rectangular clutch to the next. Measuring 5″ in height, 8″ in width, and 2″ in depth, the clutch also comes with a removable chain and faux leather handle.
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Votre Vu Party Crashers Set, $49. Available at VotreVu.com

Too many glasses of champagne during that New Year’s Eve party? Then clean the lenses on those bubbly goggles the morning after your booze-fest with these beauty essentials. First, hydrate with a glass of SnapDragon, a delicious, tropical-flavored blend of mango, pomegranate and açai juices which is infused with antioxidant-rich green, white, and red teas and fortified with seven daily vitamins along with collagen, aloe vera, foti, gingko bilboa and baobab fiber to make you feel energized and literally beautify you from the inside out.  Next, soothe puffy eyes and diminish dark circles with the SpécialEyes serum, which includes moisturizing and softening avocado oil and cocoa butter, as well as evening primrose, which promotes capillary drainage, thereby reducing inflammation and which is said to help lighten dark circles. And, to finish off your post-bender re-boot, apply the Tragic Magic Rescue Creme, a MacGyver of face creams that can do everything from balance pH levels to reduce inflammation, moisturize parched skin, reduce the appearance of inflammations and eczema, brighten overall skin tone, and much more thanks to a delicate mix of lime extract, jojoba oil, avocado extract, and rose hips oil.

 

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Eugenia Kim Olivia Beret with Pom Pom, $240. Available at ScoopNYC.com

We couldn’t complete a Paris-inspired gift guide without including a beret! This adorable knit number from Eugenia Kim will keep your tête warm throughout winter, while adding a Boho chic vibe to your ensemble with its slouchy design, chevron-style striped pattern, and quaint fur pom pom.

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Diptyque Volutes Eau de Toilette, $88 for 50ml. Available at DiptyqueParis.com

Inspired by a journey from Marseille to Saigon, Diptyque’s new fragrance, Volutes, boasts an enigmatic quality, with a hint of peppery spice and the carnal scent of leather leading to an incense-like smokiness that’s subtle but provocative, like a seductive aromatic dance in a dimly lit hookah lounge. Like a months-long voyage, the fragrance, developed by Fabrice Pellegrin, goes through different stages, at first revealing the spicy pink pepper, saffron, and Madagascar pepper notes, then revealing the smoky but sometimes sweet tobacco, honey, iris, and suede notes at the heart, with hints of myrrh and immortelle adding to the enigmatic, time-traveling feel of the aroma and the alluring, slightly androgynous quality of the fragrance composition.

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BCBGMAXAZRIA Poppy Wine Stopper. $38. Available at BCBG.com

According to an old adage, “women, like wine, get better with age.” That being said, once the cork on that wine bottle is popped, the refrain no longer applies. An invisible timer lurks above, signaling your wine’s foray into vinegar land. To keep your opened wine fresh, prevent spills at the dinner table, and impress guests, try this resin floral whine stopper which features a ceramic-like matte white finish and measures 2.25″ in length.

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Roger Vivier Court Shoes, €620. Available at Colette.fr

These 4″-tall turquoise velvet calf pumps from Roger Vivier, the brand established by the late French designer whose accomplishments include the creation of stiletto heel, feature rectangular buckle accents along the almond-shaped toe, with oversize golden chains marking the perimeter of the buckled motifs.

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Aurélie Bidermann 18K Rose Gold-Dipped Lace Cuff, $1250. Available at Net-a-Porter.com

Borrowing from the past takes a literal form in the work of Parisian jeweler Aurélie Bidermann. To create this romantic cuff, Bidermann took vintage lace and hand-dipped it into 18-karat rose gold, shaping it into a statement-making cuff measuring 4″ in width and 7″ in circumference.

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Sonia Kashuk Holiday 2012 Gilded Cage 6-Piece Brush Set, $24.99. Available at Target.com

When it comes to her holiday beauty offerings, celebrity makeup artist Sonia Kashuk never disappoints. This year’s line-up includes this six-piece brush set, which comes with a rectangular metal clutch featuring a gunmetal-toned cage overlay through which one can see a golden glitter-covered backdrop. The glamorous clutch recalls 1920s Paris, while the six brushes in the set feature a gold fishnet print along their handles, itself recalling the stockings beloved by Moulin Rouge dancers. The set includes a powder brush, foundation brush, fan brush, crease brush, eye shadow brush, and flat eye liner brush — all so top-notch they can rival the most expensive brushes on the market (and win the battle).

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Laura Mercier Smoky Effects Mini Kohl Eye Pencil Collection, $48. Available at LauraMercier.com and Nordstrom.com

There are countless ways to pull off a seductive, smoldering, bewitching smoky eye, but nearly all of them include the clever use of liner. Over the years, makeup artist Laura Mercier has, of course, offered us some of the loveliest shades with which to accomplish this feat — and, with this set, beauty lovers can have seven of Mercier’s best-selling Kohl Eye Pencil shades, along with the new and exclusive shade Jet Black. The eight shades in the mini eye pencil collection are: Black Violet, a blackened purple; Brown Copper, a deep bronze copper with warm rusty shimmer; Stormy Grey, a moody dark gray with gunmetal glimmer; Black Gold, a tarnished yellow gold hue; Black Turquoise, a blackened teal hue that almost looks emerald in certain lighting; Black Navy, a dark midnight blue; Antique Jade, a golden olive green; and Jet Black, a matte, obsidian black hue.

Check out all the shades in the collection:

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Chantelle Paris Satin-Jacquard Thong in Black/Fuchsia, $34. Available at BergdorfGoodman.com

With a history that spans over 130 years, French lingerie brand Chantelle has been manufacturing some of the most detailed, luxurious undergarments, the type of pieces that transform a mere woman into a boudoir master with a penchant for seduction. This low-rise, satin jacquard thong , featuring leaver lace along the sides of the waistband, will leave men begging for mercy.

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Moncler Jersey Jacket, $1100. Available at Farfetch.com

Baby, it’s cold outside, so even if she can’t stay, send her out into the wintry weather with the right weaponry – mainly, a cozy coat like this sapphire-colored puffy jacket from French outerwear brand Moncler.

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David Yurman Starburst Ring, $6500 to $7800 each. Available at DavidYurman.com

While taking in a fireworks display near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, designer David Yurman was inspired to create his Starburst collection, an exciting array of gold and silver rings that convey an explosive energy, a dynamic exuberance, a kinetic sense of movement. Accented with purple sapphires, garnets, and diamonds, each ring feels as magical as a chrysanthemum fireworks shell suspended in the sky — except, of course, that the magic of this ring can be enjoyed for more than a few fleeting seconds.

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Eberjey Theodora Teddy, $85. Available at Eberjey.com

Spun from soft jersey, the pull-on Theodora romper is comfy enough for everyday use, but there’s something a bit naughty about Teddy the Tartlette (as we’ll call lovingly her), an undercover sexiness that makes her the perfect agent for special occasions involving intimate stripteases. Maybe it’s the soft lace overlay along the bustline or the scalloped lace trim along the wide leg bands. Or maybe it’s that cute bow accent at the center of the elastic underbust. Whatever the source of Theodora’s enchantment, this is one romper that could to lead to some fun in-between-the-sheets romps!

 

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