Beauty Review: Innisfree’s Apple Seed Deep Cleansing Foam

Beauty Review: Innisfree’s Apple Seed Deep Cleansing Foam

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have noticed that Korean beauty products have pretty much taken the world by storm- and that among those in the forefront is Innisfree.

A popular eco-friendly company that is made all the more attractive thanks to its reasonable prices, Innisfree has easily wormed its way to my list of favourite beauty brands. Which isn’t very easy, mind, since I tend to only like one product from any single brand and call it a day. But here we are.

So of course, when I was gifted with a generous amount of samples by Innisfree, my fondness for them grew all the more. Which prompted me to type up this blog post.

Today, I’ll be reviewing the Apple Seed Deep Cleansing Foam (RM39.31) from the Apple Seed Cleansing Kit Series.

What is it?

Enriched with “the vitality of apple seeds”, this Innisfree foam cleanser is and looks like, despite its marketing jargon, a pretty standard cleanser. Which is expected, given the fact that cleansers aren’t products that are supposed to be on your face for a long period of time. It’s a cleanse-and-rinse sort of deal, as you should know.

That being said, that doesn’t mean you can just buy any old cleanser off the rack. Effectiveness differs from product to product, and everyone’s skin is different. There is just no one-size-fits-all solution here.

But I digress.

For more information regarding the Apple Seed Deep Cleansing Foam, the official website states it is supposed to do the following:

  • The dense and abundant lather helps completely and delicately cleanse any makeup residue and impurities in the pores
  • The formulation with apple extract and apple seed oil smoothens out flaky dead skin cells to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy
  • Fresh apple fragrance helps you enjoy a refreshing cleansing time

Pretty standard, right? Right.

What is it like?

The cleanser comes in a white, creamy texture that gives off a clean, artificial scent with a hint of apple. Now that I’m getting used to using scented products, I can’t say that I mind it all that much. Still not fond of them, but this one is not overwhelming, at the very least.

As for its performance, this cleanser foams up easily and is able to remove oil and dirt from my face without so much as a fuss. To place emphasis on how well it cleans, my cotton pad catches next to no yellow residue whenever I tone afterwards.

And best of all? This Apple Seed product doesn’t leave behind a tight sensation on my skin. It’s pretty much all a girl can ask for from a cleanser.

Packaging

The main colours incorporated into the design are smooth white and bright green, which grants a young, fresh impression at first glance.

It’s nothing extraordinary, but its aesthetic minimalist appeal does not matter as much as its functionality, which again, does the job. That creamy cleanser is just one squeeze away, and the cap need only be snapped close once you’re done with it.

End result

A pleasant experience; it’s nice to use a product that does exactly what it says it does. Despite having used it several times, I’ve not experienced any tightness or dryness whatsoever. I’d even go as far as to say it helped with keeping my face oil-free for the most part of the day- and I have very greasy skin.

Quite unlike the nightmare that was the Hado Labo cleanser I tried awhile ago.

However, I would like to add that because I have very oily skin, dry types should probably stay away from this.

Where can I find it?

Innisfree.

Verdict

  • Product rating: 4/5
  • Packaging rating: 5/5

I might actually purchase this in the future.

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Myristic Acid, Stearic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Peg-32, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Pyrus Malus (Apple ) Seed Oil, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Orchid Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polyquaternium-7, Peg-90m, Disodium Edta, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance.

 

2+

Beauty Review: Nature Republic’s Tomato Real Nature Mask Sheet

Beauty Review: Nature Republic’s Tomato Real Nature Mask Sheet

What is it?

Created by a Korean beauty company (don’t we all love Korean skincare?), this Nature Republic mask sheet claims to do the following for your skin:

  • Provide hydration whilst brightening your complexion

So does it do the job? Read on to find out.

What is it like?

My first thought when I first opened this package was that it smelled nice. The serum the mask was soaked in emitted a pleasant, refreshing if artificial scent that I’m not at all opposed to. It was just nice, plainly put. Nothing significant about it.

Now that that is covered, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty.

The mask itself fit my face pretty well, and there was plenty of serum left in the packet even after I removed the mask from it. I was able to smooth some over my neck, because you know, waste not want not.

As for how the serum itself performed, well. It left a sticky, grimy sensation on my skin, and to be perfectly honest, its absorption rate was disappointing. It was bad enough that the uncomfortable film stayed on my face minutes after I took off the mask and rubbed the formula in, the film lasted well into the next day.

Certainly not something I liked waking up to.

Packaging

As far as packaging goes, Nature Republic’s eye-catching design for the Tomato Real Nature Mask Sheet is both refreshing and youthful. With its clever use of bright colours, lighting and seemingly dewy appearance, it gives one the impression that hidden within this packet is the secret to vitality.

Vibrant aesthetic aside, the packet comes in the standard  slim, plastic, rectangular design that mask sheets are commonly found in.

End result

Being cursed blessed with oily skin means that while it’s a damned pain that my face often ends up looking like an oil slick if not taken care of properly, it also means that I am spoiled for choice when it comes to the type of products I can use. Mask sheets? Awesome. Clay masks? Awesome. Liquid foundation? Heck yeah. Solid foundation? Yes. Powder foundation? Damned straight.

You get the picture.

I am often able to use products that other skin types can’t (namely dry and or sensitive skin), and usually receive either positive or no results. Rare it is for me to encounter anything that could make me react too badly to it, yet this is the case with this particular mask.

While it did do what it promises to do, which is to hydrate and lighten my skin, it also did something else.

It triggered an allergic reaction. Something that has never happened to me before. Thankfully enough, while the red rashes and the tiny raised bumps it created were hideous, they weren’t so bad that I wasn’t able to hide them with some BB cream. So while it did manage to make a noticeable difference in lightening the dark marks on my face, I’m not going to repurchase this. Ever.

Here it a quick list of the pros and cons of this product for easy reference:

Pros

  • Mask fits face well
  • Actually does what it promises: hydrate and lighten

Cons

  • Doesn’t absorb completely, even after being left on for hours
  • Leaves behind a thick, sticky, uncomfortable film
  • Caused a minor breakout
  • Caused an allergic reaction

The last point is more of an extremely personal con so it can be disregarded. After all, not everyone is allergic to the same thing.

Where can I find it?

Nature Republic.

Verdict

  • Product rating: 2/5
  • Packaging rating: 5/5

As mentioned before, despite it succeeding in doing what it promised, I will not repurchase. Adding on, people with dry skin will probably benefit from this mask sheet even more so than other skin types.

Ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Niacinamide, Alcohol, PEG-75, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance.

1+

Beauty Review: Estelle & Thild’s Biodefense Multi-Action Youth Serum

Hello, everyone! As you may have noticed, I bleeped out of existence for a while there- real life reasons, most of which had to do with work and to an extent, studying. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick to my thus far unsuccessful one-post-a-week schedule this time around. Go me?

I’m going to have to make up for lost time by posting a bit more, but anyway…

On to today’s post! I’ll be reviewing an anti-aging serum by Estelle & Thild called Biodefense Multi-Action Youth Serum (RM243). It’s something that I can’t help but to have mixed feelings about, because while I’m ecstatic that I can now try a wider range of skincare products, it’s also depressing to know I’m actually old enough to use anti-aging stuff.

Clearly, passing the 25 year old mark is one of the more depressing milestones in life. For now.

But I digress.

What is it?

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Back to the subject. In an effort to promote a more youthful appearance, Estelle & Thild pairs science and nature together to concoct the perfect anti-aging serum. The result? Biodefense Multi-Action Youth Serum is born.

Neatly squeezed into a slim bottle with the brand name printed in a charming, girly font on the exterior, this formula is essentially an organic potion that is packed to the punch with Superberries and White Tea. This formula is supposed to both reduce as well as prevent the first signs of aging while bringing in the added benefit of boosting radiance and hydration.

All in all, a pretty good deal. Especially for those who have dry skin.

What is it like?

The serum itself is a watery, gel-like light brown substance that is easily absorbed into the skin. Surprisingly enough, it carries an herbal, almost woody scent that is a bit on the strong side. Now, scented products aren’t exactly something I’m a fan of, but because of how easy it is to slab this on, I’m not going to complain. In any case, the smell fades pretty quickly, which in turn gives me less reason to grouse about it.

To further add on to its positive qualities, the serum doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue, nor does it turn my skin into an oil slick. The latter is always a plus in my books! This makes applying makeup on top of it A-OK.

Packaging

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There are few complaints to be had regarding the packaging this serum comes in. Easy to use, its pump does well in distributing product evenly- a great trait to avoid wastage. We all know how expensive serums can be.

And how quickly they run out too.

As for the bottle itself, its slim, rounded design makes it comfortable to hold while its frosted glass makes it easy to monitor just how much product you have left. Needless to say, I’m quite happy on the packaging front. 🙂

End result

After using this serum for a few days, I saw an improvement in the texture of my skin. It was smoother and more youthful-looking- undoubtedly definite pluses all around, however.

Now, this is a big however, because the side effect of using this manifested the concern that’s present every time I try something new.

I was plagued with breakouts. Not those small pimples with whiteheads that will eventually pop on their own, no. The ones I was lambasted with were those dreaded deep, angry, painful pustules without whiteheads. Cry.

At first, I thought maybe it wasn’t the serum, so to be extra sure before I start pointing fingers, I phased it out of my skincare routine for a few weeks. Alas, when the time to give it a try rolled by, I received the same result.

And to be extra, extra, extra sure, I repeated the process. Same thing. 🙁 Sighs. I guess it’s just not meant to be.

Where can I find it?

Sephora.

Verdict

  • Product rating: 2.5/5
  • Packaging rating: 4/5

Despite the improved texture of my skin, I’m going to forgo buying this in the future. I already have acne-prone skin; I don’t need help with moving things along, thank you very much.

Don’t let this discourage you from giving this a try, though. Some products just don’t work on certain people, be it because of skin type or other genetic factors. Something to bear in mind before making a new purchase.

As implied earlier, this might work better for those who have dry skin.

Ingredients

Aqua, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Glycerin, Saccaride Isomerate, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Gluconolactone, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ficus Carica Fruit Extract, Palmitic Acid, Tocopherol, Cetearyl Olivate,sclerotium Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Maltodextrin, Sorbitan Olivate, Parfum, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Sodium Gluconate, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid. Ingredient From Organic Farming. Made Using Organic Ingredients.

2+

Beauty Review: The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask

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I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately with my skin, and after all of the disappointing results that came from trying out new masks, I decided to go back to good ol’ The Body Shop. I remembered how well my complexion reacted to its seaweed mask, and thought I should give its mask range another try.

Of course, when I saw that it carries a new mask that I’ve never seen before, one that is perfectly tailored for my skin type at that, I had to try it.

Here we go, my fellow blemished ladies. My take on The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask (RM69.00, 100ml).

What is it?

As anyone with acne prone skin should know, tea tree is often regarded as one of the holy grails when it comes to clearing up those spotty nasties. This is because it contains strong antibacterial and antifungal properties that help reduce inflammation that can cause swelling of the skin. Just how often have we dabbed that tea tree-infused potion on that offending zit in hopes of making it disappear? Far too often!

But here is the thing about most tea tree products- they do not have enough tea tree oil in it to prove effective. Yet on the other end of the spectrum, it is not advisable to use tea tree oil in its purest form as it can cause adverse effects. Skin irritation, for example.

So where does The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask stand, exactly? Somewhere in the middle.

This makes this mask more ideal than most for addressing your acne-related concerns. So if you have blemished skin, this mask is for you.

Tip: To check the potency of certain ingredients, check the label on the product. Ingredients are listed in descending order, from the most potent to the least. Tea tree oil is also known as Melaleuca oil.

What is it like?

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The consistency of this mask is something that I’m quite taken to. If I have to compare it to anything, I’d liken it to softened butter. Velvety smooth, applying this is a pleasure.

Of course, as expected, it bears that familiar scent of tea tree. Thankfully not overwhelmingly so, even if I’ve grown somewhat used to the smell of the plant. Courtesy of having to resort to such products due to my frustrating skin type.

That aside, I’d like to talk about another characteristic that caught my eye. Unlike most clay masks, this one proves to be somewhat unique in the sense that it remains comfortable to wear even once it dries. There is no overly drying sensation, nor is there that feeling that it is forcibly sucking up the moisture from my skin. In fact, it is so comfy to wear, I would sometimes forget I have it on.

And yes, you can even speak with this on without fear of it cracking.

Packaging

The mask comes in a pretty standard round plastic container. Accessing the product isn’t a problem and there is definitely no worry about getting every last bit of it out (as opposed to when masks are stuffed in tubes), but there is a concern for cleanliness.

So make sure to wash your hands before picking any of this up and putting it on your face.

End result

Much to my delight, the result of this mask can pretty much be seen overnight.

Any pimples I have are smaller, my skin less red and my pores less visible as well. Continued use has given me clearer, brighter skin. Love!

Needless to say, this has become my instant go-to mask whenever I’m experiencing any skin problems, or after I’ve taken off my make up.  I’m not taking any chances on the latter case; I’m especially sensitive to make up and near immediate flare ups aren’t uncommon.

Which is why I’m glad to announce that this method has worked so far. The mask managed to keep pimples that would’ve popped up at bay after a night of wearing powder and foundation.

Where can I find it?

The Body Shop. Where else?

Verdict

  • Product rating: 4.5/5
  • Packaging rating: 4/5

I’ll most likely repurchase this in the future, but not without looking around in case there are better alternatives on the market. 😉

Ingredients

Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Kaolin (Absorbent), Cetearyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Glycerin (Humectant), Myristyl Myristate (Emollient), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), PEG-100 Stearate (Surfactant), Ethylhexyl Palmitate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Propanediol (Viscosity Modifier), Alcohol Denat. (Solvent/Diluent), Caprylyl Glycol (Skin Conditioning Agent), Cyclopentasiloxane (Skin-Conditioning Agent/Emollient), Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil (Skin Conditioning Agent), Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil (Natural Additive), Cyclohexasiloxane (Chelating Agent), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Menthol (Cooling Agent), Limonene (Natural Additive), Leptospermum Petersonii Oil (Natural Additive), t-Butyl Alcohol (Denaturant), Denatonium Benzoate (Denaturant), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), CI 77289 (Colour), CI 77492 (Colour).

1+

The Breakdown on the Infamous 10-Step Korean Beauty Routine

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With Korean culture gaining more and more popularity overseas, it comes as to no surprise that their hauntingly flawless complexion has become increasingly sought after by media-conscious women. And honestly speaking, who wouldn’t want perfect skin?

That said, most would balk as soon as they hear that the Korean beauty routine consists of 10 daunting steps. Ouch! That’s more than three times the standard we’re used to.

There really isn’t any need to feel intimidated by it, though. It may consist of 10 steps, but contrary to popular belief, these aren’t practiced everyday. Most days would require 7 steps or less; it depends on what works for your skin.

Here is the low down on the infamous beauty regimen:

1. Cleansing Oil

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The first step to cleaning your skin is to get rid of all of the environmental gunk that has piled up on your face. This is where the nifty cleansing oil comes in. From dirt to grime to make up, this product will melt away these impurities, leaving your skin clean without stripping it of precious moisture.

And if you find the idea of using oil to clean your face strange, you aren’t alone! Ever since we’ve known about skincare, we’ve been taught that oil is terrible and that it should be done away with. It really isn’t all that bad, though. At least not this one.

In this case, cleansing oil is your buddy, especially in the double-cleansing method. It’s here to gently pull dirt away from your skin, just so your foam cleanser could work all the more effectively afterwards.

2. Foam Cleanser

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Now, this is something just about everyone is familiar with. In the standard Cleanse-Tone-Moisturise routine, this plays the main role in cleansing.

In the Korean beauty routine, however, it plays the second.

While it might sound unnecessary, the double-cleansing method actually has a lot of merit to it. I’m sure that with the standard regimen, most of us have experienced feeling that our skin isn’t clean even after using a foam cleanser- and in order to really wash all of that grime away, we choose to cleanse it a second time. Big mistake.

Because what you’re left with is uncomfortably tight skin that is stripped of moisture. This might sound harmless, but it could lead your skin to working in overdrive to produce more oil. Not good.

What the double-cleansing method does is provide you with that same level of cleanliness without dryness.

3. * Facial Scrub

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Not for daily use. Our skin is constantly shedding, and in order to avoid dead skin cell build up, we need to exfoliate once every 3-4 days. Once a week for those with dry and or sensitive skin.

This not only helps with skin cell renewal, it will also unclog pores and reveal a brighter, glowing complexion. An important step, exfoliating ensures that the products you use later on will penetrate your skin more easily.

Note: Do not exfoliate everyday. This will only aggravate your skin and cause it to break out.

4. Toner

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Toning was something I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with during my highschool years. On one hand, it was oh so satisfying to see dirt picked up by the soaked cotton pad; it made me feel as though my skin was super clean. On the other end of the spectrum, I hated it because toners tended to dry out my skin, leaving me with botched red, peeling skin. Gorgeous.

Nowadays, I’ve noticed that toners are a lot less drying, to the point that they are more on the hydrating side. In fact, their purpose is to restore the pH level of your skin as well as prep it to better absorb the products that follow suit.

5. Essence

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Considered the heart of the Korean beauty routine, essence is kind of a mix of a toner and a serum in one. Its consistency can be compared to a toner; slightly thicker, but still very runny.

I’ve not had the pleasure of using this often as there weren’t many sold where I live -keyword, weren’t. Things are improving!- and the ones that were on the market were either ridiculously expensive or cheap. I tend to avoid the latter because my skin is a bit of a diva; it tends to break out horribly with cheap products.

That said, when I do include this in my routine, the results are quite significant. Essence basically helps with hydration, skin repair and cell turnover.

6. Serum & * Ampoule

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It’s time for a treatment! These babies are designed to target specific skin concerns. From problems with pigmentation to fine lines to dry skin, you are spoiled for choice on the market.

What is the main difference between a serum and an ampoule though? The difference lies in the levels of concentration between the two. Ampoules are basically the more powerful, effective cousin of serums, meant to give your skin a boost overnight.

But wait! Before you start reaching for ampoules, bear in mind that these can only be used once in awhile. This is due to their levels of concentration. Apply them too often and they’d wreak havoc on your skin.

For me, using ampoules once every 3-4 days is my sweet spot. The duration between each use might be longer for others. It all depends on what suits you best.

Serums should be used daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.

Note: For better absorption, products should be applied in the order of from least viscous to the most. Therefore on days you’re using an ampoule, it should go on before your serum. It can stand alone if smoothing on both at the same time is too much for your skin.

7. * Sheet Mask

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Can be used daily, if you wish (though I’ve yet to try this daily style of masking!). Because of my oily, acne prone skin and not to mention budget, I usually opt for clay masks instead of sheet masks. The latter is more of a rare treat for me, but let me say that if not for the reasons stated, I would go for them a heck of a lot more. My experiences with sheet masks are generally positive, and the results are totally worth it.

These are meant to deliver a powerful punch of ingredients to your skin, designed to target specific concerns. Think of them as amped up serums in the form of soaked sheets.

Note: If you’re planning on opting for a clay mask instead, slip it in your routine right after you exfoliate.

8. Eye Cream

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If you have any undereye concerns, this is the product to aim for. With the number of beauty companies out there, there is a huge range of eye creams on the shelves, each made to address different issues. These creams most commonly take care of fine lines, hydration and dark circle woes.

It is worthy to note that this is a product you’d have to be willing to spend a bit more on. Cheap options rarely work.

Tip: Because of how fragile the skin around your eyes are, use your ring finger to tap the cream in. Never rub, tug or pull. This is to avoid the formation of premature wrinkles.

9. Moisturiser

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It is always, always, always important to keep your skin properly hydrated. To put into perspective just how vital this is, take note that skin lacking in hydration will not only appear duller, it will also feel uncomfortably tight, peel and form premature wrinkles. Yikes! Definitely not something you want, right?

To avoid a cracked complexion, and to one day obtain that much vied youthful, dewy Korean skin, never forget to apply moisturiser. This will both hydrate and lock in the work you gained from previous steps.

10. Sunscreen

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If there is a single step that you absolutely must not miss out on aside from the standard Cleanse-Tone-Moisturise, it is applying sunscreen.

This not only plays a huge role in protecting you from nasty burns and skin cancer, it also plays a role in anti-aging. That’s right. The sunscreen you apply will help prevent premature aging, so unless you want to be introduced to wrinkles early, get to smoothing some on.

For this, I personally recommend Biore’s UV Perfect Milk SPF50+. Non-sticky and super lightweight, it’ll feel like you’re not wearing any sunscreen at all.

And that’s a wrap!

Phew! That was one exhaustive list. But I suppose that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Because not only do Koreans see flawless skin as a sign of beauty and health, they sincerely do enjoy these rituals. A stark contrast to their Western counterparts, and let’s face it, a good chunk of the Asian region too!

If you’re all for it though, be ready for your wallet to take a blow because it can get expensive.

Tip: If you’re going to dive into this hefty skincare routine, it would be best to introduce each new step one by one. This is so it would be much easier to spot which product isn’t working for you.

Have any questions? Ask away!

Edited on 26th June 2017.

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