Confessions of a Cosmetic Junkie

helping the economy one lipstick at a time

REVIEW: Clinique Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey July 19, 2011

Filed under: Lips,Tinted Lip Balm — karminaaguilar @ 7:02 pm
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When I was in college, my mom gave me my first make-up palette… A Clinique travel palette which had a cheek color, 2 shadows, a lip gloss and a lip color. I can never forget the lip color – “Baby Kiss” since it was the perfect lip color, in my opinion, at that time (a million years ago hahaha). I loved how moisturizing it is and how it nearly matches my lip color. Also, I adored the name – “Baby Kiss” it seemed so innocent and sweet… almost bordering on adorable. If I am not mistaken, i finished the lip color way ahead of the other products in that palette. I even had my mom buy me the lipstick after I finished the one on the palette. I loved it that much.

Fast forward to 2011, Baby Kiss now long forgotten, Clinique launches Chubby Stick – moisturizing lip colour balm. In short, a tinted lip balm in a unique packaging. πŸ˜€ The chubby sticks, at first glance, looks like a jumbo pencil with a snazzy silver pencil top. When I initially saw the pictures, I was already thinking if I still need a sharpener for that pencil size…BUT NO… It’s a twist up balm that looks like a pencil (Whew, I was glad it was a twist up balm and not a lip color pencil since lip color pencils of this size are usually a pain to sharpen as the product ends up making a mess of your sharpener making you waste product as well as effort in cleaning up your poor sharpener).

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I wanted several of the colors from the collection. I’m so not good with the exact names but I wanted the watermelon, grape and strawberry. However, by the time I reached Rustan’s all the chubby sticks were already sold out. When I asked when they would be available, they were not sure when they would have more. So I just chalked up chubby sticks as something not meant to be mine (along with the MAC venomous villains collection.) So imagine my joy when I went to the duty-free mall and saw that they were available in all the colors I wanted. I swatched each color and ended up getting something that was not on my original short list – “Whole Lotta Honey”. The color on the tube looks dark – similar to NYX’s Hermes only darker, a cross between plum and old rose – definitely not attractive to me.

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However, when swatched, it’s a sheer color which seems like dark beige with peachy pink undertones. It was “Baby Kiss” reincarnated… πŸ™‚ My ultimate MLBB color.

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On my lips, it was “Baby Kiss” reincarnated… πŸ™‚
Chubbystick

The formula is very moisturizing and as with most tinted lip balms, the color is sheer and staying power is not that long. It lasts 2-3 hours, shorter when you eat or drink as the color would wash off. Although this balm is said to be scent free, when I initially swatched the balm, it smelled old. When I opened my chubby stick, it was the initial smell – like a bad old lipstick. However, upon application, you really would not smell or taste anything and the “old lipstick” scent somehow disappears.

PROS: Handy packaging, twist up mechanism, moisturizing, I love the color, lots of product @ .10oz.

CONS: Initial smell, availability, though i love the twist up mechanism, I think it would be difficult to maintain the pencil-like tip as you use it. Having the rounded-out tips might make application less precise for some.

I loved Baby Kiss then, I am loving “Whole Lotta Honey” now. This is a perfect summer lip color which you could pair with a bit of bronzer on the cheeks for that fresh, summer and effortless look.

 

MUSINGS: The Diamond Peel Effect July 17, 2011

Filed under: Face — karminaaguilar @ 3:03 pm
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I am usually not adventurous when it comes to cosmetic procedures. In my lifetime, I can count my visit to the dermatologist using just 1 hand. I never knew that my most recent visit would be the most painful one ever (which I am praying would never need to be repeated). All because I tried out the ever popular procedure nowadays – The diamond peel.

Yearly we have to undergo a physical exam as part of our employment requirement. For the past 3 years, part of the “package” was an optional free diamond peel. I skipped that portion the past 2 years as I was in a hurry to get the exam over with and enjoy the remainder of my weekend. This year, however, I decided to try it since I’ve been hearing rave reviews from people on what a diamond peel can do to your skin.

From ehow.com, a Diamond Peel treatment is described as:
“A non-surgical procedure in which the skin is exfoliated to remove dead skin cells using actual diamond chips to vacuum the skin away. In order to do this, the top layer of skin is removed in order to rejuvenate the skin. The epidermal cell structure is actually restored, increasing the skin’s elasticity and collagen levels.”

In my experience, it felt similar to having your face scrubbed gently by a sand paper. In the whole procedure, it did not feel painful or anything. I actually felt relaxed the whole time. The technician even explained to me how pretty my skin would be after the procedure and how I should protect it with sunblock as my face would be a bit sensitive over the next few days. I actually followed her instructions on how to care for my skin on the days that followed. However, instead of my skin looking better, my skin nightmare started.

3 days later, i noticed a huge zit growing on my face. I did not mind it at first as I thought it was just a hormonal thing. I do get one or two zits from time to time but generally, my skin is zit free. So as zits started to pop out my skin in groups, I naturally got alarmed. It went to the point that I declined going out with friends because I was that conscious of how the zits look like.

After 3 weeks, this is how my cheeks looked like: 😦
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I initially tried a spot corrector… to no avail. I tried using tea-tree concealers… it did not work as the zit shape was still very noticeable. I also noticed that as one zit would vanish, about 2 would replace it… it was very painful and made my skin look like I was walloped by a porcupine. (I took a picture of how it looked like but decided not to post as people might find the photo disturbing).

I finally went to the dermatologist to seek help and help she did. She injected every single zit (about 15-20 on my whole face 😦 I was literally chanting to myself with every painful injection prick – “The vain do not complain”)with a medicine which somehow deflated the zit immediately and made them less noticeable. I also got a prescription for antibiotics (expensive medicine… I swear!!! but I’m honestly willing to try anything and everything at that point)… and I got a facial wash, toner, and cream from the dermatologist (which were also quite pricey) to help relieve and completely stop the zits from reproducing on my face.

Thank God for my nice doctor, it stopped reproducing. I now had to deal with the pimple scar. My skin is smooth again but the scars were noticeable. I had an appendectomy before and I was treating the surgical scar with Contractubex (a scar remover ointment) which actually made my scar look less scary. I gambled and tried it on my pimple scars…

I think it’s working since now, here is what my cheeks look like:
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Now, with just a little concealer the scars are all gone… I can’t wait for them to be really gone for good. Yay!!!

Well back to Diamond peel. After that horrendous ordeal, I was able to speak to several people and all seem to have the same comment to me: they never met a person who had a diamond peel that had a good effect on them. Well one mentioned that out of the 5 people she knew who had a diamond peel, only 1 said it made her skin look better.

Facial treatments – specially faddish facial treatments are really dependent on how one’s skin would react to the treatment. I learned that the hard, painful and very expensive way. What was supposed to be a free treatment costed me several thousands of pesos to get my skin the way it was before.

My point really is that if there is nothing wrong with your skin, skip the treatments and
1) Think twice, even three times before you actually get a treatment done.

2) When you do decide to get a treatment, try to search the net or ask around from friends and family if they tried that treatment and what were the effects.

3) Ask for a reliable clinic to get a treatment. Do not gamble on a “clinic” or “spa” that offers the said treatment at a cheap price. We are talking about our face so me, personally, I’d rather spend a lot and be assured of positive results than gamble on something cheap and cost me more in the long run.

We actually look great the way we are, with the slight imperfections. Let’s not risk our skins to these treatments if we are generally happy with the way we look like. I actually swore off diamond peels… forever!!! I hope I won’t visit the dermatologist soon for another skin mishap. 😦

 

REVIEW: Majolica Majorca Brow Customize Pencil July 15, 2011

Filed under: Eye Pencils,Eyes — karminaaguilar @ 8:05 am
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My eyebrows are probably the easiest area in my face to maintain. I thank God everyday that I don’t need to have regular waxing or plucking to keep them groomed. I just need to have the occasional plucking of stray hairs to make them look perfect. Otherwise I am good to go.

I always wanted to get a good brow pencil though to enhance how my brows look like. I wanted to get a pencil that would not make my brows look too drawn in… I just want something to make them look naturally dark.

I was so happy to discover the Majolica Majorca Brow Customize Pencil in one of my visits to their counter in SM Makati.

The pencil has 2 parts – the brow color (I chose the sword cut as it was very easy to use in my opinion as opposed to the pencil tip) and the brow holder:
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The color and the holder are sold separately. The color retails for Php295 while the holder for Php225. I think it was very practical for Majolica to have that option of just buying a refill for the color instead of buying the whole thing. It encourages you to buy again and just pay Php295 for the refill rather than Php520 for the whole thing. The holder houses a brow brush which makes the application process easier and makes you achieve that natural dark brows.

Photos Top (L-R): The holder and color unattached, The sword tip (front view), The sword tip (side view) Photos Bottom: The whole pencil with the holder and color attached
Browcustomizebits

I got the dark brown color (BR660). I love how easily this applies on my brows and how it stays there. Application is a breeze as you just have to lightly fill-in your brows with the color then use the brow brush after to smudge the color and remove any harsh lines. It lasts me the whole day and the color does not migrate to any other area when rubbed so you can actually pull off natural dark brown brows with these babies. πŸ˜€

See the comparison of No color (L) vs With color (R):
Browcustomize

PROS: Affordable, Easy to use, color stays the whole day while it’s easy to wash off with just facial wash, makes brows look naturally dark, handy size so it’s easy to fit into your make-up bag. The twist-up function of the tip works well unlike other make-up brands where you twist up and it would already refuse to twist down.

CONS: I have nothing bad to say here as I absolutely love this product and been using it everyday since I got it.

TIP: To make your brows more prominent, blend in a highlighter below the brows and above it.

I love, love, love this. Finally found my HG (Holy Grail) eyebrow pencil. I actually might be refilling it anytime soon πŸ˜‰

These are available at all Majolica Majorca stores and counters. I got mine from their counter in SM Makati. Their sales rep there is an angel – very helpful, nice and patient with fickle buyer like me hahaha. πŸ™‚

 

REVIEW: Lush “It Started with a Kiss” Lip Tint July 14, 2011

Filed under: Lip tint,Lips — karminaaguilar @ 7:47 pm
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When I want the “no-make-up” make-up look, lip tints are my go-to lip products. They last longer (even if you eat and drink a lot), they don’t transfer on your glass, tissue or the cheeks of your man πŸ˜‰ Given the right shade, you can pull-off a “i-was-born-with-red-lips” quite easily.

A quick lesson on lip tints:
1) As the name implies, its a tint. It’s a sheer wash of color on your lips which has better staying power than lip gloss or lipstick.

2) Lip tints, are not moisturizing. I still use lip balm as I go through the day to keep my lips moisturized and to prevent them from chapping or peeling.

3) When you use a lip tint, make sure you exfoliate your lips (TIP: After brushing your teeth, run your toothbrush across your lips to remove any dead skin) otherwise, the peeling skin (should you have any) are magnified as the tint usually tends to cling more color on them.

I made a review earlier on the Lush lip tint in snow fairy. I was not that happy with the pigmentation of snow fairy as it was too light and did not do much on my slightly pigmented lips.

Startedwithakiss

Lush released another lip tint a few months later – “It Started with a Kiss”. This lip tint is seriously pigmented. It looks scary on the pan as it is bright red. But fear not, it doesn’t go that rich on the lips. With just one sweep, it gives the lips a nice “just bitten” or “just kissed” shade of red. It smells like sweet cinnamon gum… for those sensitive to scents, this might turn you off but personally, as long as it does not have that waxy taste, I am perfectly fine with scents.

Startedwithakissswatch

I know this is labeled as a lip tint but I also use it as a cheek tint… it works and my very sensitive skin did not react to it at all… it gave me a natural looking blush which lasted me a good 6 hours or so.

notice on my lips, without balm underneath, it shows the lines more prominently as the color goes to every crease or crevice they see :S
Startedwithakisslips

@Php325, it’s pretty reasonably priced considering the fact that it can double as a cheek tint.

It’s perfect for those hot days where you want to avoid make-up because of how sticky or oily your face can get. Simply swipe the color on your lips and blend a bit on your cheeks and you’re fresh-faced and ready to go.

These are available at all Lush stores.

 

Reviewing the Popular NYX Round Lipsticks July 9, 2011

Filed under: Lips — karminaaguilar @ 7:26 pm
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I guess among all make-up products, I am most addicted to blush and lipsticks/ lip balms. My lipstick collection is vast and probably ranges from drugstore to high-end… thanks to my very supportive mom and aunt… who always seem to remember me when they see make-up products. hehehe.

I have tried a wide range of drugstore lipsticks. There were misses of course and there are those hidden gems that would not burn your wallet to oblivion. One of those gems is NYX.

I did a bit of research on the NYX site to see the reason behind the name as it might be similar to ELF – Eyes Lips Face or to MAC – Make-up Art Cosmetics.

NYX /niks/ noun (Greek mythology) Goddess of the night.
NYX was named after the ancient Greek goddess who ruled the night. So it’s not an acronym for anything but the name of the greek goddess.

Anyway, NYX produces quality make-up products and I would be reviewing my small collection of NYX round lipsticks.

The Round Lipstick is their basic lipstick so to speak. The colors are very pigmented and wear an average of 4-5 hours on me. It does not feather or bleed in terms of colors. It has a creamy, non-drying texture so you may or may not place a base of balm before applying the lipstick. Their color variety is absolutely massive!!! I counted 169 colors on their site and the range of colors is amazing from white (Helio), nudes to crimson red to black (Penelope). Choosing what you want to buy can be very tricky as you would want to buy most of the colors.

NYX is available at some mall retailers at jacked-up (but still reasonable) prices (Php260-300 ~ $6-7. On the NYX website, it’s priced at $4 or Php168). However, an alternative way to get them is through credible online stores (I will list my tried and trusted online sellers below) where they sell the round lipsticks from Php150-160 each. So yeah, I got mine through those sellers so I got them really cheap. πŸ™‚

Here is my collection of the NYX round lipsticks and what I think about them:
1) Creamy Beige – nude beige shade. I don’t think this color alone looks good on my lips. It makes me look so pale (even sickly lol!) so I use this as a base and mix it with another lip color to mute down a loud lip color.

2) Hermes – pinkish nude beige…similar to milk chocolate in terms of shade. I like wearing this shade when I have dark or loud eye make-up. It gives enough color to make my lips look alive but not too loud as to steal the limelight from my eyes.

3) Thalia – milky pink beige; Similar to Hermes…only more on the pink side. This I also find a little too light for my skin tone. I also layer this shade with a darker colored lippie.

4) Doll – loud coral pink shade. It has orange undertones which make it a good color for tan-medium toned skin. This is a fun color for summer.

5) Gardenia – muted fuschia… leaning towards dark berry

6) Snow White – dark crimson blood red. I love this shade. It’s my favorite among my NYX lippies. It’s a blue-based red so it seems to match most skin tones. I love how this shade makes my skin look brighter. When I use this color, my eyes are nearly bare (skin-tone shadow, eyeliner and mascara) so as to make my lips the highlight of the look.

NYX Swatch2

(L-R) Creamy Beige, Hermes, Thalia
NYX Swatch3

(L-R) Doll, Gardenia, Snow White
NYX Swatch4

On my lips, here is how they look like:
TOP L-R: Creamy Beige, Hermes, Thalia
BOTTOM L-R: Doll, Gardenia, Snow White

NYX Lip swatch

To compare the pigmentation of these lipsticks, here is a pic of my bare lips. Notice how opaque the colors were on my lips above.

Barelips

PROS: Wide variety of colors, creamy texture, long-lasting, good pigmentation and very affordable.

CONS: The scent in my opinion seems a tad bit strong. Too perfumey for a lip product although it’s tasteless, the scent may be an issue specially for people who are sensitive to scents. Availability in malls is sparse. I only know of 2 stores that sells these and both are in Glorietta, Makati. So for those uncomfortable in buying online, you might need to look for these stores in Glorietta.

At this price-point, I think NYX is a good brand. If you take out the scent from the equation, I think NYX can compete with high-end brands specially with their color variety (169?!?!?!), texture and pigmentation.

As promised, I got my lippies from 2 trusted online stores:
1) Get Sophisticated Online Store – I actually got a whole lot more than my NYX lippies from her. I also got my Urban Decay, Too-Faced Cosmetics and EOS balms from her. I probably had over 5 transactions with her and I never had any problems. You can also search for her on Facebook.

2) Vanity Room – I only bought from her once but the transaction went so smoothly and I was happy with my purchases.

 

REVIEW: Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Passion Fruit July 8, 2011

Filed under: Lips — karminaaguilar @ 5:55 am
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I was sent an invitation to the Estee Lauder Pure Color lipstick launch at Rustan’s last June 11. I honestly don’t have high-end lipsticks (e.g. Guerlain, Chanel, Dior, Estee Lauder etc.) and I was curious on how different is it from the mid-range (e.g. MAC, Smashbox) to drugstore brands (e.g. Maybelline, Revlon, NYX etc.).

The attendant at Rustans was very accommodating and never made me feel uncomfortable (Which is the case for a lot of high-end stores). She actually walked me through every color possible in their range. I liked most of the colors but since it was a pricey brand (Php1350 ~ about $31) I tried to eliminate colors in my head… one color stood out among the multitude of colors… Passion fruit. I wanted to try it on my lips because it swatched beautifully on my hand but I honestly don’t like trying samplers on my lips… nor do I want to spend on a pricey lipstick that might not look good on me. The attendant was nice enough to offer to sanitize the lippie for me to try. As soon as I tried it… I knew I had to have that shade. It was unique and I don’t have anything similar to it on my existing collection.

EsteeLauder1

On the tube it had very visible shimmer chunks which I am not a fan of. But when I tried it, the shimmer chunks seemed to disappear on my lips. Instead, it made my lips look pretty… juicy even (lol!!!)… I fell in love… and it seemed to love my lips back.

Bare lips vs Passion fruit on lips:
Passionfruitlips

The shade is a sheer berry red with silver micro shimmer. As you layer-on the color on your lips, it builds its intensity. You can go from flushed red lips (one coat) to classy crimson (about 2-3 coats) which makes the color a bit versatile. Office appropriate to date-night worthy lips in a matter of 2 swipes. The shimmer, as I have mentioned earlier is noticeable on the tube but when applied to the lips, it makes the lips look a tad bit plump or juicy. You would only see the shimmer when you wipe off the lipstick on a tissue.

The consistency of the lipstick is not dry nor is it creamy. I think it’s just the right level of moisture to keep the color on your lips for about 5-6 hours without the need for you to apply lip balm. It has a scent which is described as apricot (but I honestly don’t know how an apricot smells like) but I think its similar in scent to sweet tamarind (in my opinion). It’ not overpowering so it doesn’t bother me at all.

Passion fruit swatch…see the shimmer:
Passionfruitswatch2

PROS:
Buildable color which makes the shade quite flexible to probably most occassions; Makes your lips look pretty juicy; Moisturizing without sacrificing staying power of the color; Long-wearing; Packaging looks luxurious.

CONS:
Expensive (I can’t think of anything else because that’s my only issue with this product)

This is actually my favorite lipstick at the moment… we are in a committed relationship. πŸ˜‰ I think it’s worth the price. If I finish this tube, I might consider buying this again.

Oh… since I got my lippie at their event, look at the extra goodies I got:

2 chocolate truffles from Bizu specially made for the event and…
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a cute pink and gold Estee Lauder cellphone charm πŸ˜€ (I’m a sucker for cute freebies… so sue me! πŸ˜› )
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So yeah, I’m loving this lippie big time. I got this in Rustans Makati branch. πŸ™‚

 

MUSINGS: CAS Makati Basic Make-up Artistry Workshop July 3, 2011

Filed under: Make-Up class / Workshop — karminaaguilar @ 7:33 am
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I am an admitted frustrated make-up artist. I have loved make-up and applying such for as long as I can remember. My mom was cool enough to indulge me on that since I was a teen. She would buy me pressed face powders and lip balms. She would let me dabble on her expensive make-up… love her for her hand on this artistic madness that I have. I would like to think that I am an artistic person and I have dabbled before in drawing, painting, sketching… I still do a bit of that from time to time. My notebook probably has a gajillion doodles surrounding meeting notes hahaha. However, Make-up held my interest… it enhanced my artistic side… the side of me that I will never let go as this keeps me grounded… sane… human.

I am actually in search of a good make-up school here in Manila since I am decided on taking that step in taking that formal make-up artistry course. However, the tuition fees are quite pricey. I want to make sure that I will make the right decision on which school to enroll in.

I actually have 2 schools on my short-list:
1. Basement Academy
2. CAS (Center for Aesthetic Studies) Makati

Both schools are prestigious in producing quality graduates and I actually have friends who have graduated from both schools who are actually doing well on the business. I want to do this on my leisure time… when I’m off my day job (which I also love). I actually don’t plan on becoming a lead make-up artist (MUA) or anything… I simply plan on being a side kick or an additional MUA on fashion shows… while the lead MUA does the make-up on the bride, I simply want to be the one that does the bridesmaids or the flower girls. I leave the lead stuff to serious MUAs. I simply want to apply make-up hehehe.

I chanced upon a post of CAS Makati on a basic make-up workshop in partnership with MAC (yup! the popular make-up brand from Canada). I decided to take it to check how classes are with CAS. We were only asked to bring our make-up brushes. MAC supplied the make-up to be used (No, we did not get any πŸ™‚ ).

The loot… I want them all!!!
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Anyway, I realized in this workshop that in order for you to really maximize what you paid for:

1. You absolutely have to have no idea about make-up or make-up application. It was THAT basic. I felt that I only learned one or two things new.

2. Speak up! ASK, ASK, and ASK!!! Since this is a workshop, there were a few lectures thrown in but the rest of the time was really hands-on make-up application. If you keep quiet or not ask questions, you really would not learn much as the instructor would be teaching you as you ask your questions.

3. Keep your expectations at bay. As the post advertised – this is a personal make-up application workshop. It did not say that after the workshop, you would be capable of becoming a full-pledged MUA. I had people in my class stating – they were expecting to learn how to do bridal make-up… WTF??? Unless they wanted to do their OWN bridal make-up a la Kate Middleton, I don’t think they are in the right class. So READ, READ and READ!!! This will help you understand the coverage and keep your expectations reasonable.

4. Try the products out. All product lines of MAC were available. This is your opportunity to try all their products without feeling the pressure to buy something to try it out (i.e. beauty counters). Try all those bold colors! Be crazy! after all, its just make-up. You can wash it off if you don’t like it. At least you were able to see for yourself if the color suits you. πŸ˜‰

5. Be open to suggestions The instructor really gives honest feedback on what colors suit you and the right color combination to use (i.e. blush and lipstick color should be in the same color family. Don’t use a berry lipstick with peach blush). If your eye make-up is loud, try a subtle lip color and vice versa.

Before make-up:
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I like how my final look ended up:
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I had fun in the workshop. I did not learn as much as I thought I would since it was really basic. It was my fault I guess that I somehow underestimated what I know. At least this made me realize that I am actually ready for the real pro make-up classes.

I heard that the next CAS Makati workshop would be in partnership with Shu Uemura. So if you’re interested, check it out.

CAS Makati Contact details: 897-0383 loc 103

 

 
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