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The Beauty Bite: May 2011

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Beauty Bite Archives - Le Metier De Beaute Magic Lustre Creme

If you're someone who likes their lip and cheek colour to match, then look no further - I've got a little bit of magic up my sleeve for you...(like what I did there?!)

Le Metier De Beaute's Magic Lustre Creme is a sheer and sticky glaze possessing infinite possibilities.

Made from Hydronated Polyisobutene, Tocopheryl and Acetate; this is more than a 'snazzy' vaseline. With just one dab of it's 5g glossy formula, Magic gives you the ability to turn any powder product you own into a glistening creme suitable for use on the eyes, lips and cheeks: now that's power!

To demonstrate, I picked up one of my favourite blushers - a vivid punchy pink by Nars called Desire.

Desire swatched from pan/ Desire mixed with Magic

And there it is. Magic takes the flat matte powder, morphs it into a beautiful sheer gloss and you've suddenly tripled your make up collection! By simply blending more layers of product into the mixture, you can both quickly and easily build up coverage, colour and pigmentation. The possibilities are literally endless.

Desire blush being worn as a lip gloss

At $24 this is one expensive magic show. However, with it's potential to turn eye shadows, blushers and face powders into a trio of cream based products, it's certainly worth the dosh. It's simple to use, offers great wear and gives you complete control. After all, who doesn't want to be creative director of their own face?

Le Metier De Beaute Magic Lustre Creme is available from for $24

*this product was purchased by the Beauty Bite*

Friday, 27 May 2011

The Beauty Bite Archives - MAC Eye Shadow: Swimming

Firstly, sorry if I'm a little bit distracted. There is a 15 year old boy on Countdown who is, quite frankly, beyond human. He is playing against a man with very shifty eyes. Now there is another man wearing a shirt covered in pictures of goldfish. If this gets anymore exciting my mind might actually explode.

However, something that's even more exciting than man in a tragic shirt (now he's doing magic tricks!) is this: MAC's Swimming. A gorgeous sea green lustre finish packed full of glistening silver shimmer.

Soft on the skin and smooth to apply, this bright green shadow is ideal for summer days. It's vibrant tone is perfect for making the eyes 'pop!' and is a fantastic compliment for all you out there with brown, blue or grey peepers.

MAC Swimming swatched

Rich with pigment, Swimming can be easily layered to increase the colour's intensity. I applied a single light coating using a fluffy eye brush, shading it out slightly towards the crease. The powder doesn't drop on application and, without primer, gave around 6 hours wear.

Swimming applied directly to eyelids

If you want to translate this fresh look into a smokier affair, simply layer with an olive toned shimmer and flat, matte, blackened green. We chose MAC's Green Smoke and it's sadly discontinued Femme Noir (if I remember correctly, Bourjois does a similar colour.)

MAC Swimming, Green Smoke & Femme Noir swatched

Keeping it simple, I swiped across the lid with a large shadow brush working the matte powder into the crease. I then lightly blended the olive based shimmer upwards to soften the line. This look is great for a smouldering work eye or, loaded up with liner and lashes, a vampish evening ensemble.

MAC Swimming, Green Smoke & Femme Noir applied directly to eyelids (Femme Noir layered heavier on the right)

If you're someone who shys away from grassier shades then why not dip your toes in and take a swim? You never know - you might find it very refreshing.

MAC Swimming and Green Smoke and available internationally and at priced at £11.50 for 1.5g.

*this product was purchased by the Beauty Bite*

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Happy Birthday Beauty Bite!

12 months.

365 days.

8765.81227 hours.

Yes, today The Beauty Bite is officially 1 years old!

It's crazy to think of everything that's happened since this blog first started - the opportunities, the people, the friends - not to mention the masses and masses of products tested (is it just me or does MAC In the Groove feel like decades ago?)! Thank you so much to everyone who has read and supported the site; I never dreamt it would be as welcomed as it was. I get such a buzz hearing your feedback and it means the world to me to know that all you beauty lovers across the globe enjoy reading it.

This site would be nothing without you guys, so please, join me in raising a glass and toasting to - well - all of us!

To us all!

Lots of Love
The Beauty Bite

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Beauty Bite's 1st Bithday - Win My Skincare Favourites!

This Thursday sees The Beauty Bite's very first birthday, and as a celebration of the past 12 months I'm giving you - all my fantastic readers! - the chance to win some of my favourite skincare products!

Up for grabs is a bundle featuring 4 full sized NUDE goodies - Cleansing Oil, Miracle Mask, Facial Scrub and Advanced Cellular Renewal Serum - suitable for use on all skin types. Valued at over £150, this ultimate regime will help transform your skin into tip top shape! To enter all you have to do is head over to the NUDE Facebook page and like any - or all! - of my 5 guest posts running throughout the week. The more posts you like, the more chance you have of winning, so make sure to pop by everyday and read my skincare tips!


Good Luck!

The Beauty Bite Archives - Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils Mascara

After the hugely impressive performance by Chantecaille's Faux Cils last week, I decided to start up some friendly make up rivalry by pitting it against YSL's very own take on the false lash effect...

Also going by the name Faux Cils (could this be the 'Smith' of the mascara world?) , YSL's sleek golden tube is packed full of B5 and bioactive sugars: ingredients designed to protect each lash from dehydration. It doesn't smell quite as lovely as it's opponent, but the brush is big, bushy and bloody brilliant at it's job.




It took me around 3 coats to achieve this look. The formula built up extremely nicely and didn't seem to clump at all. My lashes felt super light and fluttery, plus by zig zagging the brush during application I was able to create a stunning feathery effect.

So how does it fair against Chantecaille? Well let's just let the pictures do the talking. Remember, this is ONE coat of Chanticaille VS THREE coats of YSL.

Chantecaille top/YSL bottom

Chantecaille top/YSL bottom

Overall, they both do a stunning job. If you crave length over volume then I'd advise you pick up Chantecaille. However, if you crave volume over length then most definitely head for YSL. I personally prefer the application of Chantecaille - yet I've never seen a mascara do fluttery lashes as well as Yves Saint Laurent. From the photos above, YSL certainly gives the more 'false' appearance.

I am aware that this is an extremely unfair test comparing 3 coats of mascara to 1!

YSL Faux Cils Mascara is available worldwide and at for £16.95

*this product was purchased by The Beauty Bite*

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Beauty Bite Archives - Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF20

Every year as sunnier climates dawn, the hunt for the perfect light-weight coverage continues. Gone are the days of suffocating pores with heavy foundations; the most relaxing holiday for skin is simply the opportunity to breathe. So whilst the wind is soft, the grass is green and sunny rays fill the skies, why not join me in taking the plunge and stripping down?

Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer is a beauty institution. Available in a range of 10 shades over 3 finishes (regular, oil-free and illuminating), this product offers the ideal light weight, natural effect coverage that all skin types crave. With the added bonus of SPF20, it always provides a little extra care for those of you who mightn't be the most religious appliers of sunscreen.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer swatched/blended

Easy to blend, this non sticky liquid glides gently over the skin leaving the most wonderfully fresh, radiant and dewy complexion. Featuring an antioxidant vitamin complex, it creates a fine barrier protecting the skin from any aggressive effects in it's surrounding environment. I've been wearing porcelain - the palest shade on offer - and am yet to encounter any streaking, patchiness or tide marks.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer applied to bare skin

If you enjoy the credentials of a heavier foundation, then don't completely write this product off just yet. Like any sheer base it can be easily built up to provide more coverage when and where needed. For instance, one coat does a stella job at muting down my freckles. If you're looking to ease your way into a more bare skinned appearance, this tinted moisturizer is a great place to start. It gives fantastic wear and, once removed, leaves the skin feeling both super soft and hydrated.

Extreme close up of product applied to cheek

I've tried many Tinted Moisturizers over the years, yet always seem to come back to Laura Mercier. It covers, it protects, it radiates and it lasts. For fresh faced summer beauty, I honestly couldn't think of a better starting block.

Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer is available from ($42) and (£33 for 40ml)

*this product was purchased by the Beauty Bite*

Monday, 23 May 2011

New CID i-blush 3110

Whilst summer make up trends naturally focus on bronzed skin, it can be hard to work a truly deep and tanned colour if your complexion pulls cool. I for one most certainly fall into this category, repeatedly sighing at coveted, gorgeous bronzers which seem to look absolutely stunning on everyone but me. Fear not though fellow pasty ladies, because I've found something which might just fit the bill...!

New CID i-blush in shade 3110 is a gorgeous pairing of pretty pink blush and glistening golden highlight. Packaged in a sturdy white plastic compact complete with light-up-mirror, this weighty 9.5 grams of product is ideal for adding a burst of colour and warmth to both cool AND warm skin tones. Simply swipe your make up brush across the dividing line of the palette before applying softly along the guide of your cheekbones for an instant sun kissed look.

Visually the blush smacks of Nars' cult shade Orgasm, yet actually, when swiped next to each other, New CID's powder applies sheerer, lighter and noticeably pinker than it's contemporary. Easily layered to increase it's intensity, this formula is smooth, pigmented and fairly long lasting in warmer temperatures. Worn alone this blush mightn't be particularly exciting, but there's no denying how unashamedly sweet and pretty it is.

New CID i-blush 3110 applied to cheeks

The golden highlight itself is quite glittery in its texture, yet when worn the sparkles sit relatively light on the skin. For me, the colour adds just enough warmth to my face to give a light bronzed effect, yet I can imagine on most skin tones - particularly those of you with darker complexions - it'll work amazingly as a reflective and up-lifting radiance enhancer. Again, the formula is smooth and soft, transferring beautifully onto the skin with just a light swipe of a brush.

Priced at a high £24, this product does offer a lot for it's money. The packaging is sturdy, the light up mirror is immensely useful, the blush is a nice, light summer coral, the highlighter adds the most gorgeous, radiant glow...truthfully, there is a lot going for it. Whilst those of you with warm skin tones might feel there are better options open to you (which, lets face it, there probably are), cooler toned ladies should definitely appreciate the idea of adding a hint of bronze to your face without looking at all tangoed. I know I do!

New CID i-blush is available from selected retailers worldwide and for £24.

*this product was a free sample obtained by the Beauty Bite*

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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Beauty Buffet

- This week saw the much anticipated release of GlossyBox UK; a savvy system that allows you to experience samples of high-end beauty products for just £10 a month. I have to say the first box - in terms of value alone - is strikingly impressive. Featuring both a FULL SIZED Nars Orgasm Illuminator (rrp £21.50) and All For Eve Lipstick (rrp £10.50) I've been hugely impressed with the quality on offer, not to mention the beautiful packaging. Whilst I already own the Nars' product, it'll make a fantastic back up or present. The sceptical part of me is interested to see what Box 2 has in-store, but if it carries on at this rate then By Jove! This is definitely a scheme to sign up to!

- This week myself and a quartet of awesome beauty bloggers were given the amazing opportunity to guest blog on Heatworld - check it out by clicking here!

- I you love nail varnish. I love burgers. So I can't help but be disturbingly drawn to Burgers & Nails. So gorgeous yet so, so greasy!

- Highstreet favourites Cowshed and Whistles have teamed up to produce one of the most summery collaborations on the market. Packaged in gorgeous bright red bottles embellished with a quirky hoof/heart/polka dot motif, this mini collection will not only look amazing on your bathroom shelf, but also keep your skin in tip top condition. Buy either in store or online here.

- And finally, this Thurday is the Beauty Bite's 1st birthday! We'll be celebrating all week by looking back at some of my favourite products and posts - plus, you could win over £150 worth of skincare - pop back tomorrow to find out all!


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

ESPA Lift & Firm

ESPA have most certainly set the bar high when it comes to anti-aging skincare. Unleashing a range of complex, hard working products onto the market containing ingredients such as Argan Oil, Micro Algae and Lupin Seed to help nourish, hydrate and tighten the skin, I passed on a selection of products to my dear mother to review in all her mature skinned glory. Take it away, mum!

"I was given the opportunity to try out the new ESPA Lift and Firm age-defying Collection because I am now at the age where - lets just say - some defying is needed. The products come in very attractive, nicely designed boxes. Inside, the pumps have clean, simple and sophisticated lines, spot on for looking good on the bathroom shelf. I was also pleased to see that the ingredients were made up of nearly 99% natural products with no synthetic colours or parabens to be found.

Twice a day, morning and night, I applied the Intensive Serum followed by the Moisturiser. They both have a fresh, pleasant fragrance, slightly reminiscent of the seaside, and absorb quickly. After a few days I noticed an improvement in the appearance of the skin on my neck, it looked firmer and less
crinkly. There was also an improvement on my face; wrinkles were less obvious, my skin tone had evened out and I'd acquired a rather nice, healthy glow - someone at work even asked if I'd been on holiday....!

Face Serum/ Eye Serum swatched

Along with the face products I also trialled both the Intensive Eye Serum and Firm Eye Moisturiser (which contains a Nobel Prize Winning ingredient!). I was a bit sparing with them to begin with, but the benefit is really from applying them generously. The area under my eyes looked a lot better within a few days. The network of fine wrinkles was reduced and the general tone of the skin was much improved.

Lift and Firm Mask

Finally, there was the Lift and Firm Mask; a twice weekly treatment I decadently applied during episodes of "Desperate Housewives" or "Mad Men". What can I say - it worked a treat! The mask left my skin feeling extremely soft, radiant and smooth - honestly, I felt I could have given any woman on Wisteria Lane a run for her money.

I thoroughly enjoyed testing these ESPA products. Not only were they an absolute pleasure to use but, more importantly, they really did work. Which, lets face it, is what we really want in any 'age defying' collection."

ESPA Lift and Firm Collection is available from Prices start at £38.

*this is a sponsored post, written and reviewed by the Beauty Bite's Mother*

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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Hair Shine Formaldehyde Free Brazilian Blow dry Keratin Treatment

Like many, the one thing stopping me from ever taking the plunge with a Brazilian Blow dry has always been the constant horror stories regarding the use of formaldehyde. From tales of people experiencing severe nose bleeds, to sore and sensitive eyes, it personally never felt like a risk worth taking - especially considering the high cost of the process. Thankfully that's all changed thanks to a Brazilian company called Hair Shine, who've now made it possible to experience the benefits of this restoring treatment using a mixture that's completely free of the 'F' word.

Top of hair - unbrushed, unwashed - before treatment

I was lucky enough to be invited down to top London salon Percy and Reed. Having worked on the locks of celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Sophie Dahl to name but a few, this award winning team are exclusively offering the Hair Shine treatment before it goes nationwide this summer. Upon arrival I was quickly whisked upstairs to have my hair rinsed twice using a restoring, protecting and cleansing shampoo. This gentle PH5 formula not only preps your barnet for stage 2 of the process but also increases general fibre resistance. How multi tasking!

Once my hair was rough dried to around 80% the second step of the treatment could begin. Using the formaldehyde free Perfect Restore Volume Reducer, my stylist combed the product into sections of my hair, leaving it to settle in and work its magic for around 20 minutes. Then, my hair was rough dried again before being sectioned and styled with straighteners. This was then left for a further 10 minutes before the treatment could be washed out.

Finally, a nourishing conditioner packed with Keratin particles is applied to the hair for 10 minutes. All that's left then is a quick rinse, blow dry and voila! You're done! Skipping out of the salon with hair that promises to stay sleek, smooth and shiny for up to 10 to 12 weeks...

After Treatment

As someone who has been repeatedly dying their tresses for over 10 years, I cannot say enough about how much this process has restored both the overall texture and quality of my hair. It's softer, bouncier, lighter and a whole heap easier to style - not to mention ultra fast drying! Whilst Brazilian Blow dries are often advertised to women with thicker, curlier hair as a way of providing straighter locks, I generally think this process would work wonders on all hair types, simply due to it's restoring properties. To add longevity to the treatment I've been religiously using the Hair Shine salt free shampoo and conditioner - a gentle formula that helps prevents the process from being 'stripped' out of the hair. Having had mine done around 5 weeks ago I'm still finding the results going strong, although it's sadly not as glossy. If you're looking into having a Keratin treatment then this formaldehyde free route is definitely the way to go!

At present you can book a Hair Shine treatment at Percy and Reed, London - contact details here. Alternatively, the treatment will become available nationwide in selected salons this summer, so keep your eyes peeled!

*this treatment was a free appointment arranged by the Beauty Bite*


Sunday, 15 May 2011

MAC Mocha Lipstick

After featuring this shade in last week's 5 Minute Face post, I thought it'd be a good idea to take a slightly better look at - what I think - is quite a chameleon of a colour...

Mocha Satin Lipstick is described by MAC as a "peachy yellow brown", a description which is undoubtably hard to argue with. Whilst the strongest tones in this shade are dark, Mocha has the ability to pull slightly pinker in certain lights, a trait which makes it suitable for both cool and warm complexions.

Mocha swatched

Although stocked as a permanent shade, Mocha is currently available as part of the Surf Baby! range - embellished in bright white and yellow packaging. Whilst it might look fairly boring compared to the likes of Hibiscus or Bust Out!, as far as summer nudes go this really is a great candidate for flushed and natural looking lips.

Mocha applied to heavily pigmented lips (blotted)

When applied the colour transfers with a moderately opaque texture, making it the perfect density for those of you with more pigmented lips. Once blotted I find it turns an almost burnt shade of coral which is not only gorgeous but very, very wearable. Although after time I find the satin formula somewhat drying, it's nothing that a slick of lip balm can't medicine. If you're planning a trip down to your local MAC counter anytime soon then this is definitely worthy of a swatch or two...

Mocha Lipstick is available from MAC counters worldwide and for £14

*this product was purchased by the Beauty Bite

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Friday, 13 May 2011

Five Minute Face

Don't try and deny it, after all, we all have one; that make up look we repeatedly pull together as we clamber to leave the house with just 5 minutes to spare. Whilst the words 'safe' and 'boring' might be the best way to describe mine, as far as a quick spruce up goes it's pretty hard to fall out of line with this neutral palette. Using bright and light colours to lift the complexion, this has become my staple look on those mornings when I literally can't be arsed. Elegant, huh? Here's a quick look at today's rushed attempt:

Base: Max Factor Smooth Effect Foundation (review coming soon)
Eyes: MAC Nylon Eye Shadow, Edward Bess Pure Impact Mascara (review coming soon)
Lips: MAC Mocha Lipstick
Cheeks: Topshop Desert Sun (review coming soon)

What products and colours do you tend to use on your 5 minute face? Do you dare to adventure day to day? Please tell me I'm not the only lazy one.

Seriously. Please...


Thursday, 12 May 2011

OSMO Extreme

Having over processed and weakened hair makes styling somewhat of a mission impossible in my experience. Whilst some formulas weigh down the roots and fluff up the tips, it's hard to find a texture that not only performs well but also appears relatively untraceable. For the last few weeks I've been trialling two products from professional label OSMO: Resin Extreme Glue, a high performance gel for hold, and Extreme Xfirm Glue Spray, a styling mist designed to maintain shape whilst adding shine.

Testing the items on as many hair types as possible - thick, thin, long, short, straight, curly - whilst it was obvious some styles better suited specific products, in general both OSMO formulas stood up well. Possessing an extremely neutral scent, this British company have hit the nail on the head when it comes to unisex formulas. After all, it's kind of nice to have a product on the bathroom shelf everyone can share.

Resin Extreme Glue excels in short hair, making it the perfect candidate for those of you with pixie crops. When applied to a wet barnet and styled with a hair dryer, it's literally effortless to create a whole spectrum of looks and textures. Once locked into position the hair itself doesn't feel overly tacky or greasy, which instantly makes me favour this method more than applying directly into dry hair. Tested on a man with a thick and curly mane, the resin managed to hold a smooth and straight quiff for 9 hours straight.

For longer locks I'd recommend the the Xfirm Glue Spray. This slightly heavier scented mist is ideal for creating messy beach waves by simply using a crunching motion with your fingers whilst blasting under a hair dryer. Though you need to be cautious with how much product you apply (if you get too spray happy then hair will become sticky) this spray really is a fool proof way of adding a burst of shine and hold to your look - which for styling novices like me is a very good thing indeed. Whilst I didn't find the results lasted as long as the Resin's, over all I felt relatively pleased with both the effect and stamina of the product.

If you haven't already looked into OSMO's ranges before then I'd highly recommend a browse.

OSMO's Extreme Styling Range is available from selected retailers priced at £7.25 upwards. Check out to find your nearest stockist.

*these products were a free sample obtained by the Beauty Bite*


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Skin

What can I say; MAC's Prep + Prime Skin is quite the minx. Whilst I picked it up expecting a smoothing facial primer I found repeatedly this product flirting towards the credentials of a radiance booster. Undeniably lovely, but not necessarily what I had mind...

Formulated with special effect silicones to give a calm and soft appearance to the skin, this sheer fluid is designed to blot away oil, tone down facial redness and improve the overall longevity of your base. Whilst I found my foundation sat cleaner on the skin, I didn't necessarily feel it pro-longed the general wear. However, on my dry to combination skin the texture felt both light and subtle, two factors I always look for in a primer.

Prep + Prime Skin swatched/ sheered out

Bizarrely though I seem to get much better use from this product as an overall radiance cream. Filled with tiny particles of white shimmer, this reflective formula instantly brightens the complexion catching the light in an understated yet beautiful manner. Lately I've been massaging this into the face and skipping foundation all together, allowing the luminous qualities of the cream to add a healthy sheen to the skin.

Priced at £18 I'm not quite sure how to recommend this product. Overall I think it performs OK as a primer, but I truthfully get better use out of it as a reflective cream. It doesn't clog the pores or feel overly greasy - which is always a good thing - yet I would still highly recommend testing this out in store before committing to any purchase, simply to see how best it works for you. Ah, the riddles of make up...!

MAC Prep + Prime Skin can be purchased from MAC counters worldwide and for £18.

*this product was purchased by the Beauty Bite*

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Monday, 9 May 2011

Une Healthy Glow Mineral Powder

Since launching back in 2010, Une Cosmetics have most certainly gone from strength to strength. With 99.5% of the products ingredients sourced from natural origins, it's safe to say this range offers some of the most eco friendly formulas to ever grace the shelves of your local Boots.

HO1 and H04

On initially seeing the items in the flesh, I was instantly drawn to the ultra sheer, ultra light finish of the Healthy Glow Mineral Powders. Packaged in the brand's signature sliding palettes complete with mirrored lids, these 7.5g complexion enhancers are available in a spectrum of shades designed to either bronze, lift or glow.

HO1 and HO4 heavily swatched

H01 is perhaps my favourite of the bunch; a gorgeous light peachy pearl ideal for adding a burst of all over radiance to the face. Whilst it contains shimmer, the particles are small enough to go unnoticed, mainly due to the fact you only need to apply a very light layer to the skin. For those of you with cool toned pale complexions this powder will absolutely work a treat, but do be cautious if your colouring pulls more warm - it doesn't take much to cause this formula to appear dusty.

H01 and HO4 applied to face (H04 on apples of the cheeks only)

H04 is a subtle orange coral light enough to be used as either a blush or contour. A quick dusting to the cheeks offers a remarkably natural warmth to the face, essential if you're chasing that ever elusive sun-kissed glow. Easily built up to increase it's pigmentation, HO4 is a brilliant choice for light to medium skin tones, mainly thanks to it's versatility in terms of ways it can be worn.

Extreme close up of products applied to cheek

Priced at £14.49 these powders certainly don't come cheap. Whilst the brand's organic and eco credentials undeniably set them apart from the masses, I worry many consumers may struggle to swallow the higher costs, especially when surrounded by such cheaper alternatives in store.

In general I like these powders. Although the texture can become somewhat chalky on application, a quick blending with a soft brush smooths out any kinks and leaves the skin looking both beautifully polished and glowy for several hours. If you like your make up light and natural then Healthy Glow Mineral Powders should most certainly make their way into your stash.

Une Healthy Glow Mineral Powders are available from selected retailers and for £14.49

*these product were purchased by the Beauty Bite*

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