Sunday, 31 March 2013

Spring Series: Feet!


Happy Sunday!

We're back with another Spring Series post, this week with our favourite products and tips for foot care.

If you want to read any of our other posts in the Spring Series, you can click here :)


If any of you know me in real life, i will be the first person to tell you that I absolutely hate feet.
(Random fact - I also hate belly buttons too, I'm paranoid people are going to try and touch mine and feel sick when other people touch theirs! Weird eh?!)

So following from that I try to hide my feet in winter as much as possible. Socks are my number one friend and especially cosy warm slipper socks, I wear them all year around actually just to have my feet covered!

But the one thing I will not let happen is my feet to get manky. I refuse to be a person that hates feet so much they don't even wash them so don't worry folks, they do get washed every day...

Aside from that though, in the winter I am rather lazy.
Spring and Summer require a different tactic however and I for one have to get my pedicure kit out and face the inevitable.

Firstly I either use my Ped-egg to remove hard skin or a foot file. I know you're supposed to soak them first but quite frankly for me, filing is the limit of tedium especially on feet.

So I get that bit out of the way first and slather on some foot cream. I've used quite a few over the years and have come to the conclusion that I'm not a fan of cooling ones but I do like mint smelling ones.



Anything will do really but i am partial to 'Heel Genius' from Soap and Glory as I do generally love their entire range and i would love to try the Origins one as it smells gorgeous too!

After that I push down my cuticles with my fingernails (I know, i know) and buff and file my toe nails into some sort of acceptable shape.

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Then my favourite part (if that is possible) and the whole entire point of me doing a pedicure to make my feet look presentable is applying nail varnish.

I do favour certain colours and that's mainly due to my pale complexion. I stick with reds, pinks and other similar brights and some metallics. I've had the nail wraps kind of things and they were great for me as I just had to sit back and let someone else touch my feet and the pedicure stayed for a good few weeks, much longer than when I do it!

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Basically my suggestion to you, is to wash and take care of your feet all year round, and pay a professional to do it in the summer. Worth every penny in my opinion! Is anyone else foot phobic??

L xxx

With spring hopefully on it's way followed by my favourite time of the year flip flop season!! I love flip flops and sandals and live in them as soon as it's remotely warm enough. I'm the same as L and start with my Ped Egg. I also don't soak mine. I find it really tickles and it's a job I really hate. It is the best thing for them though. I always used to use pumice stones but the Ped Egg gets the job done quicker. I've tried cheap versions but have found they aren't as good as the original. Which I actually found in local cheap shop (hyper value) for only 99p. With sandals there is nothing worse than having nasty looking heels.

When I have a spare few hours I like to load my feet up with a body butter put some socks on and put my feet up. I don't tend to use a specific foot cream as I like the feel of a body butter. They leave my feet soft and smooth. I do use Heel Genius as L mentioned above but manly as it comes in the big S&G sets at Christmas. I wouldn't go out and buy it specifically.

To groom my nails I use the cuticle trimmer featured on the blog this week (you can read here). I tend to use a buffing cube to smooth over my nails too as I find my toe nails can sometimes be quite rough and not smooth. Gross I know


I really like my toe nails to match my finger nail colour if they are showing. During winter I paint them if I go out and then I get lazy and leave the polish on but in the summer I like my toe nails to match my finger nails. I just think it looks better.

Ciate Jelly Bean
China Glaze Coconut Kiss





China Glaze Pool Party (this is L's but I adore it)
Max Factor Fantasy Fire and Rimmel 60 seconds  Sky High






I love bright colours on my nails! I think it looks nicer. Feet aren't the greatest to look at so something bright makes them better in my opinion. I need to find a better way to display my nail varnishes I think so that I actually use them more. I forget about some of the ones I have.
What's your favourite nail colour shade for feet?
Love M
xxx

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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Birthday Shopping and OOTN


So it was my birthday on Tuesday and I was lucky enough to book the week off work to chill out, and get some fun stuff done including some shopping!

I've been really good recently and although I've been buying things they've been better quality items and I've brainwashed myself into buying less....sort of.

Up until last year I'd never owned wedges and it was like an epiphany when i finally purchased a tan pair with cork wedge. They were so comfy and went with everything so I promised myself I'd have to buy some black ones and then I'd have heels and comfort every time I went out.

It's taken me til now though to find a pair I liked so I literally snapped these up from New Look when I saw them. They were only £25 and not only were they a black wedge but they also have ties for your ankles so my weirdly thin feet won't go sliding around all over the place!

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I also picked up the nude clutch bag from River Island which should go with absolutely everything I own!
I was surprised that this was only £18 as their bags are normally more.
It's a decent size, has a hand clasp and a strap inside the bag and a zipper closing which means I can rest assured my stuff isn't going to fall out. I've lost far too many lipsticks this way!

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These tops are from Zara, the ones on the right and centre are only£9.99 and perfect to wear underneath layers. The neon pink top on the left will be perfect to wear out with the girls and to the pubs in summer.

It's really bright and makes you happy to look at it! It also has a split at the back but this doesn't go up too far, it's more like an overlap of the material which will help keep you cool in warm weather and look chic!

I love showing skin in places other than the obvious cleavage/legs areas. Showing some back cleavage has become the latest in thing to do and it's definitely a more subtle way to show some skin.

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I absolutely love blazers and macs, so picking these up was the icing on the cake!
The mac was from New Look and will be replacing one I've had from Zara for a few years which is slowly falling apart.

The orange blazer is from Zara and I cannot wait to wear it out!
As I'm going out tonight for birthday drinks with the girls I needed a dress (shown below) and the blazer will be the perfect layer to cover me up from the wind chill.
Apparently it's supposed to be -1 so it probably won't help too much but at least I'll look good right???


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This dress was a bit of a different choice for me as I've previously avoided body con.

However I saw this in Lipsy and couldn't resist, so I tried it on and couldn't believe how comfortable it was and it sucked me in in all the right places!

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I've recently got down to a size 10 so it was lovely to find something that fitted really well, as I still have a bit of a pooch at the front but the material on this dress seems to make it flatter!

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Here's the dress with shoes and bag, what do you think???

I'm wearing them out tonight so any hair and make up suggestions would be lush!

I've been tanning all week in a bid to make myself lean and bronze so fingers crossed it will all work out!
The dress is VERY short so I am hoping that as long as my legs are brown all will be ok (and that i don't fall!)

What's your favourite part of a Saturday night out?

I AM SO EXCITED IT'S UNREAL!!!

L xxx


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Friday, 29 March 2013

Review: REN Glycolactic Face Mask


Hi all!

I'm sure you've seen and heard lots about REN skincare recently. Their masks are a big favourite with bloggers and are increasingly popular due to their ethic on producing products without using any chemical nasties (more on that later).

My first purchase from REN was this Glycolactic Face Mask.


I'd seen rave reviews from others on how well it worked on brightening skin tone and evening out blemishes.

I already owned cleansing masks and hydrating masks so this was my next on the never ending wish list ;)

My skin had started to clear up (finally!) so I rushed to John Lewis and snapped this up over Christmas time when my spending was already out of control so another mask hardly made a difference.


I love REN's simple packaging, I'm not one for busy prints and  multiple colours and I love that the range seems to be colour coded. 
Orange signifies the Radiance range, and there are plenty of others that I'm sure I will be testing out soon which you can find here.


You can also find out more about REN as a company and read about their ethos into 'Clean Skincare' on this link.
It's an interesting read that doesn't waffle on like others. I had no idea that the company started in 2000, it's come such a long way since then and is now found in 50 countries all over the world.

Copied straight from the site:

REN is free from synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, petrolatum, sulfate detergents, synthetic colours, animal ingredients and parabens. In addition, REN products do not contain potential irritants including: glycols and diglycols (such as propylene glycol), PEG's, PPGs, urea, D.E.A, T.E.A, PABA and other synthetic sunscreens, aliphatic alcohols/hydrocarbons, phthalates, fumarates, amines, alkanolamines, synthetic AHAs/BHAs, polyacrylamide, metacrylate, elastomer, poloxamer, styrene, vinyl, polyquaternium, synthetic chelating agents, nylon, nitriles, nitrates, nitrosamine releasers, bromates, fluor, aluminum and alumina et al.

This is an absolutely massive list! And very impressive when you compare to other brands available to purchase on the same scale which use quite a few chemicals in their products.
Both me and M always choose 'free from' products where we can.


So back to the mask, it's basically a cross between marmalade and orange juice in smell and consistency.

I'd heard about it being like marmalade but its not as thick as that, definitely mix with orange juice and then that's about right!
I used to hate oranges, but since Christmas I've become obsessed and now I eat one almost every day. The smell now reminds me of Christmas so every time I eat one it takes me back to that and it's the same with this.
I love the smell of oranges now so when I put this mask on it always puts me in a good mood on smell alone.

REN claim that this mask:

  • Removes dead skin cells to renew the complexion
  • Skin looks brighter, healthier, more radiant
  • Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Combats congestion, blackheads and blemishes

This mask has also won an award from InStyle for a Best Beauty Buy in 2008.


I follow the instructions above and slap it onto my face and neck. Make sure you avoid the eyes though as this is not something you want to get in them!
After 10 minutes or so I then wash it off using the muslin cloth that comes with the mask.

I find that even after having this on for 10 minutes my skin feels brighter and more uniform. I feel like my skin is cleaner and has had the top layer of cells removed to let newer ones shine through. It does tingle a little whilst it's on but nothing too bad and I find that it's worth the perseverance. It sort of tickles my skin and makes me want to scratch it more than anything else so I find it's a case of sitting on my hands to stop myself!


I also love that the pump has a cap of its own aside from the lid, this helps so much with stopping it from drying out which is a bonus. 
I would 100% recommend anyone who is looking for brighter skin to purchase this. REN is a great brand whose products seem to do what they claim at relatively affordable prices, and also without containing any other chemical nasties.

Have you used REN products before? What's your favourite type of mask? 
Do you use brightening products?


L xxx


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Thursday, 28 March 2013

Birthday Love!


If you've seen any tweets from me or M you will have seen that it was my birthday on Tuesday.

I was lucky enough to book the week off work and it was the first week off I've had without uni work or lectures to go to in years. So after my friends hen weekend I dragged M to Harry Potter Studios on Monday for a pre birthday trip.

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I don't know if you have been there or want to go there but I fully recommend it whether you are a fan or not. The 'secrets' of the filming is fascinating, the sets and props are so intricately designed that anyone would appreciate them and there is of course many photo opportunities, shops and the chance to try real butter beer!

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As you can see.....I was VERY excited!

I can write a post on it if anyone is interested in seeing a few snaps and my thoughts on the tour in general, just let me know.

As it was my birthday the next day I decided to buy a present to myself, from myself....as you do.
I'm a huge fan and couldn't resist the gold plated official replica of Hermione's time turner necklace:

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I know I'm obsessed with HP but along with my penchant for gold jewellery this was a purchase made in heaven for me! I'm in love with it's uniqueness and it's my new pride and joy.

M also gave me my presents from her and I was so excited to see all of these individually wrapped, I'm sure you can tell I was so pleased with them all :)

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I was a bit spoilt for my birthday considering it wasn't a milestone one.
Here's a few snaps of my presents:

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My brother got me Breaking Bad seasons 1-4, I've always wanted to watch it so I'm glad I've finally got my hands on it and can watch them all whenever I like.
The Ralph Lauren carrier bags were quite exciting when I saw them in the morning...

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I'd been shopping with my mum and picked up some of the jeggings and the iconic black military style blazer a few months ago, so this wasn't a surprise but I'd forgotten quite how lovely they were!
I wore them out with a white chiffon top from Warehouse for my meal in the evening. We went out for steak at Miller and Carter and it was so amazing we couldn't believe it. 100% recommend the steaks and ribs!

A blazer and skinny jeans/jeggings are a staple in my wardrobe and I thought it was about time I got some better quality pieces in my wardrobe.

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Between my aunty and nan I was given 2 cardigans and 2 polo shirts from Ralph Lauren also.
I felt so spoilt and just like Kate Middleton with all my Ralph gear, if only I was the same size eh?!
(Though maybe not pregnant...)

My cousin has been working for Ralph Lauren so I imagine that there has been some serious discount passing around. I always think this is a great idea, why pay more for something??

I'd also sent my mum a not-so-subtle email a few months back requesting either of the Oz palettes from Urban Decay. I received the Theodora palette which is gorgeous and I couldn't wait to test it out.
I had no idea it had eye liner and a lipstick with it so this was a nice surprise and I would expect a post on it sometime soon!

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I received some underwear from my favourite underwear shop Boux Avenue and a kit from Ojon which I can only assume will leave my hair glossy, conditioned and the envy of all of South Wales.

This would be lush as my hair is feeling a little dry of late due to the weather and air con at work.

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My mum always gets me a caterpillar cake from M&S every year, but this year she went one step further and also got me the Colin the Caterpillar chocolate shape!

I absolutely love these and the chocolate tastes great, such happy memories from when i was a kid.

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So there's my birthday presents in a nut shell.
I did go shopping yesterday and spent the money that I received (and a lot more on my credit card...) so I'll be putting some photos of that up soon too!

Me, M and a few of my friends are going out on the weekend to celebrate my birthday with a few cocktails. We've booked to have our make up done in Mac as we know well end up buying a lipstick soon we might as well get it done!
We cannot wait and I'm sure a post on our night out, make up, dresses and cocktails will be up next week.


This is the last week that I will be spending......I plan on getting back on the spending ban wagon and banning all purchases of cosmetics and clothes for as long as I possibly can.

But enough on that for now, I'm still smiling from my presents and shopping trip so I'll get back to my depression next week ha.

What do you think of my presents? Do you have the Oz palettes from Urban Decay? Are blazers a staple part of your wardrobe? Are you as Harry Potter obsessed as me?


L xxx


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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Review: Avon Nail File With Buffer

I first mentioned this product in this NOTD. My mum gave me this product as she had it in her bag and I used it and loved it and she said she'd get herself a new one (she's very good to me like that). It comes from Avon and is a 3 in 1 product. It's a metal file, a buffer and cuitcle remover (which has a plastic lid to protect 
it). It can be bought here

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I'm not keen on the nail file. It'll do for emergencies but otherwise I don't love it. I'm not a fan of metal nail files personally. The buffer isn't something I've tried. 

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I was totally draw in by the cuticle trimmer. I've always pushed mine back but not found it the best method to actually remove the excess cuticle. Where I'm a nail biter my cuticle seem to be worse. I've tried it cutters like nail clippers but found these to hard to use and a little sore if you aren't careful.

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This file makes removing the cuticle so easy and neat. It's so simple, basically line the V up to wear you want your cuticle removed and gently push it along.

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It removes the cuticle in one smooth motion. It leaves a neat line along the nail bed. The cuticle is removed and the nail looks tidy. There are no untidy edges with it.

I love it, I use it every time I remove my false nails.

What type of cuticle remover do you use?

Love M

xxx

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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Spending Ban Update 9

The spending ban is very nearing the end, it's completely changed me. Even though I want things I have developed some will power (ignore last week's post where will power disappeared for a brief moment haha). I've stopped buying make up it seems. I'm so proud of this. I am now keeping my empties and I don't seem to be using much of it. I think even when the ban ends I really need to resist buying any more foundation, primer or mascara for a while. A girl always needs more lipstick though right.

First things first I did break the ban twice this week. One thing was absolutely necessary. It was this black dress from Asos. Unfortunately my mum's auntie passed away last week so I needed something long and plain suitable for a funeral. It was only £16.50 and it will be great for work after.


Secondly I went bridesmaid shopping with one of my friends for her wedding. I had decided I wanted to look my best while shopping and decided to do my make up how I may wear it on the wedding day. This involved individual lashes which I didn't own. As in Boots it's 3 for 2 at the moment it seemed silly to just buy the lashes. So I also picked up a Revlon Nail Varnish and the False nails I always use. (shown in this post).

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The nail varnish is so gorgeous!! I love all the colours in it.

I will be adding on a few extra weeks to make up for my breaks. I'm thinking maybe I'll go till July. We will see.

How are your bans going?

Love M

xxx

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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Review: Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner and Brush



Hello all!

I hope your weekend has started well.

I'm actually going to a hen weekend of the first of my friends to be getting married, so I'm sat at home writing this on a Friday night whilst surrounded by all manner of shoes, dresses and make up!

My bag is bulging and I haven't even begun with the accessories and make up eek!


A few weeks ago I picked up this beauty from the Cosmetics Company Outlet in Swindon.

If you've never been to one of those shops then I seriously recommend it, owned by Estee Lauder it has an array of Mac, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Smashbox, Ojon and Origins amongst others for you to get your product greedy mitts on just like me for a discounted price!

I personally spend a rather generous sum and I hope one day to own the whole shop.


I was lucky enough to buy Smashbox's infamous waterproof eye liner along with the matching brush (Arced Liner Brush #21) to use together and I have to say, I'm completely converted to using the brush!


I obviously bought the liner in black, there were other colours present but wanting to get the best value and check out the product first I bought it in black for maximum wear.

The brush you can see below is really thin and has quite long hairs matched with an angled tip making it easier to line your eyes without your arms getting in the way and stopping you from being able to see....wicked!


I'd never used a brush like this so was a bit suspicious but I've been told multiple times how amazing they are so just caved and snapped it up!

I like that the brushes are bright red making them easy to find in amongst the darker packaging of my other make up. I like things to be kept simple but this is massively helpful at 6am!


The design of the pot is pretty bog standard, glass pot with screw on lid, nothing too out there!


Look at the pot of smoothness!

It's so creamy and easy to apply I cannot say a bad thing about it.
This cost me £11 at CCO but normally retails for £16.

I wouldn't spend £16 on a gel eyeliner as I know that Maybelline's is rather good and I am quite a big fan of it, and couldn't justify spending the extra £10 on something that although is amazing, isn't £10 amazing.

However for an extra £5 I think this liner is worth every penny!


It's so creamy and easy to apply, easy to mop up mistakes (as long as your quick!) and stays put all day whether wind, rain or shine.
Even at the end of the day however it swipes off with a tiny bit of make up remover and requires no rubbing.

It's just like the Maybelline one which was my first love, but better.
I'd definitely pick this up again from CCO!

Here's a few pictures of it working it's magic...:
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The one below shows me without mascara so you can see the liner better.
I did edit it on my phone, but as black is black it hasn't edited the colour at all.

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The one below has mascara on the top lid, and shows a bigger flick.

The brush makes it so easy to do these neatly and quickly and only requires a baby wipe to clean off during the week!
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What do you think of the gel eye liner? Are you a fan of them?

What other Smashbox products have you tried?
This was one of my first and I've loved it!

L xxx


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Friday, 22 March 2013

Nails Inc: The Edit


Christmas seems like yesterday right?

I was just thinking about it the other day and couldn't believe it when I realised it was a whole 3 months ago.

It's my favourite time of year and it definitely went by in a flash, can't we have it again in July??

One of my Christmas presents was this really cute nail polish set from Nails Inc.


As you can see it's called 'The Edit' and I absolutely love the colours they've chosen.

Even though this was brought out in time for Christmas the colours can be worn all year round and I'm such a big fan!


There are five polishes in total, the names of which are shown below on the back of the box with a description next to them.

I'd had my eye on Porchester Square for a while as lots of people had raved over the colour and formula and also that the tone of it seemed to suit everyone's skin tone making it one of the perfect nudes! I couldn't wait to try this one out.

Also present was a holographic polish which was interesting to me as I'd never owned one of these nore seen any anywhere else so this was also one I wanted to try over the party season.





Tate and Richmond Terrace are both beautiful classic reds that are a must in anyone collection and I really think you can never have enough! (If you look in my collection I'd definitely say I can't...)

Lastly the one I most pleased to receive was Notting Hill Gate. I'd owned Shoreditch from Nails Inc for a few years and used it until it died a very dry death and nothing would come out of the bottle any longer.
I've since been aiming to get a replacement and this one is similar enough for my tastes. 
I absolutely love bright pinks as they're perfect for most occasions and go perfectly with my skin tone for fingers and toes.


As the nude and the pink were ones I was most excited about....here's my latest NOTD with both colours, what do you think??

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My nails are a little battered as this was after work so my hands are cuts and the nails a tiny bit chipped but nevertheless you can see the idea!

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Me and M both love an accent nail and i love to keep it simple with nudes and then a flash of neon colour.

Out of this set I would 100% buy these two colours again as they both fill gaps in my collection and I can see myself using them a lot.
In fact my toes are painted with the pink right now!
I don't see this small bottle lasting me very long...

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Here's a picture of all the colours painted onto nails:

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How gorgeous are they??

I love trying out new colours and think miniature kits like this are brilliant to try them out and also to have if you need to do your nails on the go. Taking smaller bottles with you is so much easier to change your manicure in a rush than lugging your whole collection!

Unfortunately the set seems to have been a Christmas exclusive as it is sold out everywhere I've looked. But you can pick up each shade individually and I'd recommend them all.

What other sets have you tried? What's your favourite Nails Inc colour?

Black Taxi is a personal favourite but Notting Hill Gate and Porchester Square might come in close. It's so hard to choose, so I generally just buy them all!


L xxx


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