Makeup

Summer Beauty Saviours*

Posted on 4 min read

 

Did you survive the heatwave? Yes? Good. It’s hard work dealing with temperatures past a certain point isn’t it – especially when that point is sitting out in the garden at 10pm because the brisk of air is cooler than your front room with all the windows open and a house representing Bug’s Life. When it’s hot in Britain, it’s hard to handle so imagine how parched your skin gets in its daily exposure to sun (okay, what I really mean is when you’re on holiday or enjoying the three days of warm weather at home).

 

I find there’s various problems your beauty regime and your prized skin are faced with in the summer time. There’s the sweating off of makeup when you’re trying to look your best, the battle of burn turned bronze, sunscreen breaking us out, damage, dryness, peeling, increased oils, and a general yucky feeling which is why it’s important to not only stock up on the essentials that will ensure our skin stays safe, soft and smooth but that will carry us appropriately through the season. With so much on the market it’s hard to know where to start but today’s (very late I’m sorry) Wednesday Saturday wishlist hopefully narrows the sections. I’m starting with the L’Occitane sun care range, a luxe collection that is specifically designed to protect your face and body against the sun’s unfortunate harmful rays. The light cream with an ultra light formula does the complete job of protecting, hydrating, firming, softening and straightening without any extra effort and their choice of lip balms – tinted or transparent – are a must have when your pout is lacking moisture and in need of enrichment.

 

I find a high performance sunscreen is a problem solved with one application, especially when the UV protection is nourishing, absorbed quickly, waterproof and powerful – Shiseido’s anti ageing protection lotion is a great pick. A multi usage dry oil is another staple product that keeps your skin velvety soft and healthy, I love the glistening glow oil provides as it volumises tan instead of drowning it. It’s always handy to have a calming cosmetic nearby too for when your skin turns troublesome, the intensive Heal Gel  is an ideal multi purpose skin rescue which would be the perfect barrier for irritation. Lush’s Breath of Fresh Air is exactly that, there’s nothing like a refreshing spritz of a toner to cool you down and provide a welcoming sensation to dehydrated skin. There’s no denying The Body Shop is my go to place for anything sun related, their Vitamin C range is potent for that vibrancy and one I always find myself going back to when I want to stock up on holiday toiletries – the polish would be a classic duo that cleanses and exfoliates in one step! TBS releases continue to improve and this time round I’m eager to get my hands on their new Skin Defence serum; with an SPF of 50, strong antioxidants and ingredients that help protect against aggressors and combat any dullness effects of a summer well spent, it’s an integral extra.

 

Moving on to makeup, it’s difficult to find the right balance. I know for me personally I end up quitting completely and risking the bare face but then I’m disappointed because it’s my mission to find both a base and its accompanied highlights that allow me to shine (but not literally, as my over oily skin would definitely win the battle). Starting with a lightweight finish with a correcting and brightening function is the motto to consider – Clarin’s Instant Light would be perfect as it naturally radiates and hydrates your complexion without that heavy feeling. Blotting powder is also crucial for soaking up any unwanted and the description of Becca’s Blotting Powder Perfector – phenomenally oil absorbent and pore minimising with a tendency to blur imperfections and provide a beautiful soft focus without drying, caking or collecting in creases – sounds like my dream saviour. To inject some colour into your cheeks either as a bronzer or a full face, Stila’s Stay All Day 10-in-1 Bronzing Balm is a good place to begin. It has SPF, helps to banish blemishes and is subtle in leaving a golden glow. Finalising with a floral, sun kissed fragrance like Jo Malone’s White Jasmine & Mint allows you to set yourself up for the day ahead and put the exploring plans in action.

 

What are your summer skincare and makeup holy grails? Do you have anything on your list?

 

Bridie x

 

*parts of this post are in collaboration

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Instant Effects: The Lip, Eyes and Lash Review

Posted on 5 min read

 

In this day and age, the beauty industry is widening to the extremes. Gone is the acceptance of our not so perfectly rounded features and a three pound lip-gloss from a magazine doing the trick in your daily makeup routine, and hello are the following of trends, constantly wanting to evolve and enhance our natural elements with expensive cosmetics and sometimes, even surgical procedures. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I say go ahead and make yourself feel amazing if you have the funds and really do want to make a change to small part of you that will expand your confidence positively. I, personally, however, would be an absolute wuss and I’d chicken out purely at thought of it going horribly wrong and ending up resembling Pete Burns meets Chewbacca. This is where Instant Effects comes into the equation. When I received an email informing me of the range of products that deliver targeted treatments without the need for any extensive add ons, I jumped at the chance. I was kindly sent the trio but in no way was I obliged to promote – I’ve just loved using them so much that I had to share my views on this breakthrough phenomenon!

 

 

Instant Effects aims to produce clinically proven immediate results with an improved and static build up as you begin to apply regularly. The range is a combination of three products suited purely for the facial structure to highlight those most noticeable at first glance. 1. An eye cream which helps banish wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness in under fifteen minutes. 2. A lash volumiser which thickens, plumps and enhances eyelashes and 3. A lip plump which gives you voluminous lips without any sting or aggravation in two minutes. This was the order I decided to trial and test, starting with the eye cream because the delicate area of my eyes often feels the wrath of my poor sleeping pattern and those dark circles haunt me forever. I can’t speak for the ageing side as I’m still gladly living in my youth but I was still able to reel in the benefits of the super serum.

 

The application was strange (at first) and it took me a good few dumbfounded minutes to realise you don’t pump, you tap the top delicately onto the area and leave to work its cooling magic once it settles. I was pleasantly surprised by the prompt difference; my eye area felt and looked brighter, smoother and more awakened and any darkened puffiness had visibly reduced within a good 10-15 minutes – the effects becoming more prominent as the hours passed. The soothing, rich balm is brilliant for a quick fix – a put in my handbag and whip out when I had a rough night so nobody can comment on my tired appearance sort of saviour. I’ve been adapting this into my routine for a couple of months now and can really speak for the significant long-term firmness it reveals. The more you use, the greater it acts, and the more it diminishes. It makes a great solid base for makeup to glide on and glow around the often tricky eye area and with the targeting of reducing the depth and size of the dreaded fine lines, and wrinkles and increasing of elasticity, it will be ideal for those future years of depletion. Word up to the middle agers hating on their crows feet!

 

I swear every time I review a lash based product I have to mention that I’m already blessed with thick, curled and lengthy lashes so I tend to already have a head start and never really notice much of a difference. This, however, was an exception and I certainly did observe a slight change in the way my lashes formed and finished. I set myself a challenge to use for the recommended 2 weeks and after time was up I was doubling the fluttering. The innovative formula and unique wand brush captures every hair from the root to lift the definition and add to the fullness and can easily be finished with mascara either immediately or the day after the night before you applied depending on how you choose to use it (truthfully I prefer to use it on an evening as it gives the oil a chance to soak in the moisture). My lashes were perfectly in place, resembling that of falsies and it made my eyes stand out further. I was that impressed with the boost it gave my natural lashes, so much so that I’m even considering transferring the clear like gel as a setting, multipurpose stimulation for my brows! Bigger, bolder, amplified is the new signed, sealed, delivered.

 

Saving the best till last, I’m super excited to rave about the lip plumper – a soft brush stroke of a sticky, glossy texture that locks in the strength and moisture within a couple of fast pacing minutes. I’m not particularly unhappy with my lips but I’m always up for making them more Kylie Jenner without the painful injections, damage to my lips and without going too over the top with a mega fish pout. I can 100% say this does the job to my fastidious standards, it’s a fabulous alternate to the hardcore stuff! Once applied, I can feel the tingling (although not as intense as usual lip boosting products) and the stiffness of my lips minimally inflating into action. Whether it’s my imagination or placebo effect kinda thing I don’t know but it’s as though my lips naturally form into a subtle, smoother and more youthful pout without the creases and the dryness. You get two for one with this product; it’s not just an enhancer, it also provides long lasting lustre shine. The shine dies down after the day is over but the fullness is still present a while after. It really allows your followed lipstick choice to accentuate, as you can see with my insta demonstration. By means it’s not an act of wizardry but is well worth the try.

 

I totally should have included some before and after pictures for all three products because although I did notice a distinctive adjustment myself, it was a mistake not to show the reflective image off to the world. I am up for doing the rounds again if anybody is interested in seeing so let me know!

 

Retailing at just £24.99 each, you can gather a collection of products that will work knowingly without committing to any kind of man handling. 

 

Bridie x

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Wednesday Wishlist: My Updated Makeup Covets

Posted on 2 min read

NARS VELVET MATTE SKIN TINT | ESSIE PEACH DAIQUIRI | CHARLOTTE TILBURY LIP LUSTRE IN SWEET STILETTO |  BOBBI BROWN SUNKISSED EYE PALETTE | BENEFIT DEW HOOLA BRONZER |  CHARLOTTE TILBURY THE RETOUCHER | DIOR BLUSH | BECCA CHAMPAGNE POP SHIMMERING SKIN PERFECTOR | MAC PRO LASH MASCARA | SLEEK SOLSTICE HIGHLIGHTER PALETTE | NYX ANGEL VEIL PRIMER | CHANEL ILLUMINATING BASE | KIKO LIMITED EDITION MIRAGE LIP STYLO

 

To say I’ve had an intensely emotional couple of days is the reserved rollercoaster way of describing it. I’ve had such an overwhelming response to me unravelling my most personal story to date and I’m still reeling on all the kind, supportive and heartfelt positivity from not only the blogging community, but the ones I’d shied away from before. Now it’s out there, it’s like a weight has been lifted and I generally feel more at ease with myself and my online residence. I’ve been so caught up in thanking everyone for their unfeigned wishes, so much so that I completely forgot May has expeditiously fizzled out to June – a cold, rainy, miserable start to my birthday month and most importantly, the month my holiday abroad begins. Now we’re officially on the 1st (pinch punch and all that), the countdown has began and the frantically ticking off of my ‘what cosmetics do I need to take away with me’ list is the replacement foundation (pun intended) in my overridden mind.

 

A holiday isn’t a holiday without new makeup, right? If I was to say I’m not constantly lusting over beauty products then I’d most certainly be lying but when guaranteed hot sunshine, relaxation and a golden tan is on the horizon, my yearning increases lavishly. When I think holidays I think light bases, a healthy glow, rosy cheeks, bright nails, natural complexions and an inharmonious choice between a nude and a bold lip. Every single feature in my list reflects my taste for the summer vibe; from the talked about NYX Angel Veil Primer, to Charlotte Tilbury’s versatile miracle workers, KIKO’s gorgeous new limited edition collection, a delve in the luxury Dior and Chanel, and that Sleek palette. I know what I’ll be spending my birthday money on…

 

What’s on your current makeup list?

 

Bridie x

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Beauty: Under Eye Corrector, I Found A Dupe!

Posted on 3 min read

Since discovering Bobbi Brown’s miracle working corrector, it’s become my holy grail product and my fragile eye area deprived of precious napping hours suffers greatly when I don’t apply it generously (in other words, I frighten the outside world with my purple coloured bags and grumpiness caused by lack of sleep). The corrector has the immediate ability to neutralise the darker hues embedded in the crease of your under eyes with its pinky peachy tones. Just one sweep of the concealer-like consistency and it brightens the entire section. Really, there are no faults; it stays put all day, works with other cosmetics applied to the face afterwards or before and doesn’t dry with a caking appearance. The only problem is, for the size, the price is a little hefty and with my growing expensive tastes in beauty, I can’t always afford to keep repurchasing after I sometimes – probably too often – overuse in attempt to drown out any signs of fatigue. It’s a vicious cycle where my best feature is concerned!

You should all know by now that if I can unearth a cheaper duplicate of a product I can’t live without and it does pretty much exactly the same job, then I’m all over it. Which is why I felt the need to express my new found love for the Max Factor CC Sticks. Unlike the Bobbi Brown Corrector which provides different shades with the same purpose (to help improve dark circles and protect the eye area), this range has five individual colour labelled products for five issues; green for reducing redness, lilac for revitalising dullness, the clear illuminate for highlighting, pink for correcting dark spots on light skin tones, and the one I’m raving about, the one almost identical to the BB Corrector – yellow for brightening and correcting under eye circles. For a starter, the packaging alone is my most favoured. With its crayon shape, I find it easier to directly work with rather than dabbing my finger into a rounded tub and the twist up pencil means I can precisely target the exact shadowed lining in the eye area. The texture is just as, if not more, creamy, lightweight and gentle and it’s smoothly blendable within seconds. The colour balance is incredible, alas you probably need an extra repeated layer compared to the Bobbi Brown Corrector but it’s well worth the secondary effort. The warm yellow undertones lighten the darkened blemishes and provide a brilliant base. In fact, I think the yellow is more effective than the peachy tinge as it adds a sheer glow you wouldn’t get otherwise. I apply before the rest of my concealer and foundation goes on top but truthfully, I think it’s powerful enough to wear alone. It doesn’t wrinkle, is long lasting and at £8.99, you get all the similar advantages for half the price!

Any sort of corrector is a great addition to your makeup routine but a bargain is always beneficial! Do you have any dupe secrets?


Bridie x

 

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The Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp Palette: A Red Toned Makeup Look

Posted on 6 min read

I enjoy make-up. My expensive tastes are arising which means I don’t always have access to the cosmetics I’ve saved in the note section of my phone from the influencing vloggers but experimentally enjoying make-up and aiming to improve my amateur skills is a canon fact. My everyday make-up usually consists of the same products, maybe an eyeshadow colour switch up here and there but ultimately, I’m a plain Jane throughout the week. That’s why when on the extremely rare occasion I go out, I like to up the glam level and really spend time making an effort; bring out the high quality stuff and feel a million dollars (opposed to the trashy look I’d secretly like to be rocking whilst sat at home in my pjs).

 

There’s nothing like a staple red to set off a certain make-up theme, it’s the traditional colour that just about anyone can pull off. I know some can hide away from the boldness but for me, it’s very wearable and brings out my pale complexion and blue in my eyes. With me just getting my hands on the beautiful Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp palette, finally purchasing MAC Ruby Woo and pulling out an open shoulder red dress for party celebrations, it was inevitable that I’d choose to work my appearance round these three inanimate objects. I don’t often photograph my face but I was originally planning and hoping to bring more beauty to my blog and when SMEi got in touch to inform me of their Create The Look Competition it was the perfect excuse to find inspiration and get creative. After-all, although I’m no expert, everyone’s in with the same chance, right? So, without further ado, I’ll tell you how I achieved this glowing meets fiery look.

Starting off with the base I used the latter end of my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer to even out my skin and help with the build up of oil as I find this product is the most reliable in providing a smooth, velvet feel that lasts for the period of a night out. I’ve been struggling with heavy breakouts over the past few months so decided to ditch the foundation and switch back to BB Cream. Ever since I discovered Jane Iredale Glow Time (in shade BB5) at a blog event I was hooked. It gives the full coverage a build-able foundation would deliver but with the natural minerals that are more gentle on sensitive skin. I applied this with my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge and followed on with the last of my Bobbi Brown Corrector and Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer (a combo that is an absolute saviour for daunting dark under eye circles and any pesky blemishes) – setting this all with my Seventeen Miracle Matte Pressed Powder.

For the brows I’ve moved over from my usual MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme, to the popular ABH Dipbrow Pomade in the shade taupe; a transition that at first proved difficult with my sparse hairs and oddly grown shape but what worked out well in the end. Once that was done, it was time to focus my attention on the eyes, paying close attention to detail…

Before I started anything, I primed with a sample of the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion which I absolutely love. Using the Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp Palette alone along with a neutral matte from my Naked Palette and a Kiko Cream Crush Eyeshadow in shade 01 to finish off, I began by applying the matte powder all over the lid and up into the brow bone, layered with the shimmer prime shade of the CT palette for a settled base. Then, taking a brush of colour from the enhance shade of the CT palette, I dusted a pop of colour into the outer corner, slowly blending and increasing the hues, then repeating this for the inner corner to achieve the halo precision. Whilst doing so I took the same brush into the crease to outline and slowly pulled into the v shape of the outer corner. With a tapered brush I took the darkest smoke shade to sharply compliment the outer corner and achieved this with a gradient style; a subtle, lighter colour in the centre, working my way to a deeper colour in the very far corner. Once again I did the same for the inner corner and this time spread from the upper lid to the lower lash line with a pencil brush, complete with a tip of the prime shade aligning into the middle of the lash line. With a fresh space in the centre of my upper lid, I used my fingers to dab the pop shade of the CT palette, mixed with the Kiko Eyeshadow for the last bit of extra glitter and used a small (damp) brush to apply the glitter faintly into the tear duct corner. I also used a clean fluffy brush during and after appliance to fuse harsh lines and keep it soft. I’ve just about got the hang of a sturdy blending technique and it’s super easy to create a defined eye by going with the flow to attain the desired result.

I stopped using liquid eyeliner on a regular basis purely because I’m too lazy on a morning but for that charming cat eye I think winged eyeliner is always necessary. The Stila Stay All Day Liner is my go to product for making life simpler in the eyeliner department! As is my trusty Lash Sensational Mascara to add great length and separated volume to my already long lashes – so of course, they were my immediate choices.

 

Going back to the skin now, I used my NARS Creamy Concealer in Custard combined with my E.L.F Undereye Concealer and Highlighter to contour and highlight under my eye, onto the upper cheekbone, in a triangle shape between my brows, above my cupids bow and along the pivot of my chin and using my damp Real Techniques Sponge I blended the two entirely which instantly radiated the key areas. In an L shape along my lower cheekbone, top of forehead, chin and jawline I seamlessly contoured the rest of my face with both contrasting shades of my Illamasqua Sculpting Duo using a pair of Zoeva angled and flat brushes – finalising with the LA girl Concealer in Beautiful Bronze along the bridge of my nose and the lighter E.L.F concealer through the centre. To fulfil that healthy glow, I used a fan brush to lightly cover my face in the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder, bronzed my cheeks with my highly pigmented KIKO Masterpiece Bronzer and highlighted the sculptured bones (brow bone and cheek bone) with the gorgeous Topshop Glow Pot and just a smidgen amount of my Mary Lou Manizer brushed over the top to emphasise the brightness.

And FINALLY (honestly, I don’t think you realise how much make-up you own/wear until you have to write a step by step tutorial down in words, yikes!) I used an Illamasqua Lip Pencil in Lust to define my lips and balance out the creamy to matte texture with MAC Ruby Woo – a standard, versatile red – smothered all over the lips as the main, stand out feature. It’s hard to capture the full intensity of the look with the lack of professional lighting and using only a camera but I hope you get an idea of what I was trying to achieve. It probably seems like a lengthy process but actually it should only take you about half an hour. Well worth it!

What’s your go to evening look?

 

Bridie x

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The Body Shop British Rose Collection: Celebrating 40 Years

Posted on 5 min read

There’s two event emails that raise my excitement levels to an extremity, and that’s Lush and The Body Shop. This time it’s the latter (although next week is the first option, eeek). Last Thursday, The Body Shop on Leeds Briggate were holding an evening of cosmetic cheer and showcasing to parade their brand new British Rose Collection and to celebrate 40 years of their face, body and soul foundation – and I was luckily invited down, along with plenty of lovely ladies and gents! Greeted with some chocolate nibbles, prosecco, lots of cameras and eager bloggers in their natural habitat, we were left to wonder round until the others arrived and were then given a short but sweet consultation and demonstration of the freshly exclusive products.

 

 

It was almost guaranteed I’d love the range if the pretty pink packaging and blooming blossom filled displays were anything to go by, and it certainly didn’t let me down. I can’t say I’m a huge rose-scented lover (I often describe it as the old granny smell – shh) but this one was far from your typical fragrance; certainly not in your face overpowering opposed to a strong floral but soft, subtle and refreshing. Grown in an 100% organic justifiable British setting, the line includes everything from your shower gels and your bath foams, to body butter, hand cream, body scrub, and exfoliating soap. Then there were the more sumptuous of the selection (and my three favourites); the absolutely gorgeous Instant Glow Body Essence that left a natural, glowy shimmer on the skin, the Eau De Toilette perfume which was a lovely, uplifting scent and the Eye and Cheek Palette packed with captivation. Once again, The Body Shop split their products into separate rituals; cleanse, bathe, exfoliate, moisturise and glow, fragrance, and finish – meaning there are plenty of treatment choices and ample gift sets. The collection was actually originally released for Mother’s Day but as that’s been and passed, it now makes perfect sense to validate a splurge in time for Easter!

 

Not only were we introduced to the British Rose Collection, but the specialised skincare and makeup experts were also on hand to provide us with some interesting, insightful presentations into their overall skincare, bodycare, and makeup. Split into three groups, we were ushered over to the skincare section first and were shown the top rated products intended to create a six step routine. Our guinea pig blogger (Jamie from www.jamiesowden.com) proved the extra time is worth it, as you could seriously notice a difference in terms of radiance and a clearer complexion (and neck; we were given confirmative advice not to neglect the neck) within that short time frame – and it’s made me eager to introduce some of those recommended into my own regime!

There were some general discussion about The Body Shop products we’d previously used and loved (fyi mine were the trusty Tea Tree, Seaweed, Vitamin C and Vitamin E) but we were blessed to hear about some newbies and take a sneak peak into the future launches hitting the stores very soon. The flourished demos were the Drops Of Youth and Drops Of Light, along with the fancy Oils of Life (and word is – the genius addition to their makeup range – the Shade Adjusting Drops that transform your foundation will also be on their way to a local store near you). We sampled them all and I was thoroughly impressed; nice texture, no heavy residue and a healthy shine concluded.

 

Next up was the makeup guide, where there were rapid but glam makeovers as the MUA’s took over with their skills, putting the products into action. Not before we were acquainted with the the British Rose Palette I’d fallen head over heels for at first sight, however. The palette has six gentle, eyeshadow shades and two cheek blushes, a mixture of rose tones and smoky hues to match the timeless harmonies in the general British Rose collection. Along with the Shimmer Cube Palette, the looks devised were an opposite contrast – one for a dramatic, smoky, darkened, night-time look and the other for a more daytime, neutral, nude look proving along with the Shimmer Cube Palette, that this is bound to be a staple, multiple purpose palette ideal for any occasion. It retails at £20 which in my eyes is an absolute bargain for something that does the job without the need to multi-task.

On top of the eyes, we were ventured into the world of face and lips. I made it quite obvious I was a huge fan of the Instablur but I never get bored of trialling the cooling and smoothing paste and hearing how much of a dependable primer it is! The paired BB Cream struck a cord with me as an ideal light base, especially as it adapts to your natural skin tone which would be exemplary for a holiday (ooh did someone say summer?!). The Lip and Cheek Stains were also a hit with our group which made me want to take the time out to have a nosy over at the other lipsticks (as well as Dei from www.sunnydei.com receiving her fetching nude lip makeover). With all three available in a variation of colours from bright to dusky and promised a pigmented finish, I’m dying to give them a try and add yet more lippy to my ever growing stash.

 

Finally, we wrapped it up with bodycare where we were lead over to the beautiful Spa of The World range. Of course, I don’t need to delve too much into it as I attended the introductory event last year but it certainly confirmed how luxurious and heavenly it still deemed to be as the products were shown and passed around to test (the Japanese Camellia Cream is to DIE for, I swear!) and how I need to purchase the Dead Sea Salt Scrub and Egyptian Milk and Honey Bath quicker than you can say soon.

 

As much as I’d have loved to have splurged with the discount on the night, surprisingly (and sensibly for my poor bank account) I left empty handed, with all but a lovely white labelled box packed with goodies that I was kindly gifted with. I can’t thank The Body Shop Leeds Briggate enough! I think I’ve been to around three or four The Body Shop events now but I can honestly say this one was the most fun, interactive and busiest. The detail and thought put into how the team can occupy our thriving minds was super in depth, not to mention the staff were absolutely brilliant in all areas (including warmth and friendliness!). My hands were drowned in enough products to lose count of but they had a great beautification and I can’t wait to head back for more, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Have you been to a TBS event lately? Have you tried the British Rose Collection yet?

 

Bridie x

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