London Fashion Week Vlog




























We've just come to the end of LFW and I thought as I was attending a few shows I should try my hand at my first vlog and take you around with me! There's a nice mixture of some shows, backstage sneak peaks, lunches and the most beautiful snuggly UGG lounge at the ME, which I would have happily moved into!

I hope you enjoyed this vlog as I really loved filming it and putting together so I'm definitely going to try and do more. If you want to see more of my YouTube videos then head over to my channel Gemma London Life.

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LFW Stripes and Camel

Navy Stripe Dress

Camel Coat

Navy Stripe Dress

Navy Stripe Dress

For my second outfit at London Fashion Week I really loved wearing this striped jumper dress from topshop because the knit was super cosy and the long sleeves kept me warm in the awful down pour we had! I paired it with my camel coat from ASOS, which I think is a really flattering boyfriend cut, my knee high Kurt Geiger boots and black Celine esque bag from Zara. For accessories I'm still really loving layering dainty necklaces for an understated look then I added my cute fluffy pom pom keyring from River Island on my bag.

The original plan for this day was to go for lunch with my boyfriend and then head to Somerset House to meet some friends, but around 10 minutes after these photos were taken the most horrendous rain started. So instead I went straight home after lunch and curled up in front of the TV under a throw.


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Whats In My Bag- LFW Edition


London Fashion Week Essentials

Being half way through the craziness of London Fashion Week I thought I would share with you the contents of my handbag and everything I've been carting around with me. 

Technology

Instead of taking my huge Canon 600D camera out with me I've been using my small Canon SX280 for photos and also so that I can try and put together some kind of vlog for  my YouTube channel. Other technology I have is my portable charge, which is so necessary during fashion week due to the amount I use my phone during the day. Then of course I have my trusty iPhone 5S. 

Make Up

In an effort not to weigh down my bag too much I wanted to limit the amount of make up I carried around with me. I have 4 lip products with me, yes 4, my Clarins Instant Lip Balm Perfector, Maybelline Colour Drama Pencil, Mac Rebel, and Tom Ford Crimson Noir. I like having lots of different options as I tend to change my lip colour a lot during the day, and I generally always have a bright lip colour in my bag in case I find that I need to dress up. 

For my face I packed the Clarins Instant Light Concealer as this also doubles up as a foundation, then the new Max Factor baked blushers in the shade Seductive Pink along with one of the beautiful Real Techniques Bold Metals brush.

I always like to have a perfume handy in my bag for when I'm out all day and I love the size of the 30ml Jo Malone London perfumes as they're so small and light to carry around. 

Other

My Reiss card holder, an umbrella (because I live in London), Business cards as LFW is a great time to network, sunglasses in case the sun comes out, kirby grips, a small mirror, a Naked bar in case I don't get chance to eat and any lastly, show invites I have.




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LFW Day One

London Fashion Week AW15


London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15

London Fashion Week AW15


Friday marked the start of London Fashion Week AW15, and if you've been keeping up with me over on my Instagram you will have seen a few bits of what I got up to. Friday was a really long day as I started early for a show at 9.30 and then ended the day at birthday drinks for one of my best friends. As I was out all day I knew I wouldn't be able to handle really high heels so opted for my super comfy almost biker heeled boots from New Look. I paired these will a beautifully printed dress from Zara, a huge cosy high neck jumper from Gap, black trench from New Look and my trusty but very old tote from Prada. 

My first show was J.JS.Lee show at Someset House, which I absolutely loved as there were so many items, which were really wearable for the everyday girl. After that I headed for brunch with some friends at Bills, then went to relax at the UGG lounge at the ME hotel, which served the most amazing Amanzitealondon teas with an incredible view of London. The ME Hotel always have the best lounges during London Fashion Week and are a real sanctuary between shows and meetings.  

My next thing was backstage with Toni and Guy for Jean-Pierre Braganza at Somerset House and this is a show that I'm always so happy to attend. I absolutely love everything he bring out each season but I think this season was my favourite. He had so many long knits, fau furr, jewelled tops and just very wearable items. 

After JP Braganza I had to run to backstage of Sass and Bide before heading out to birthday drinks in the City. My Friday was truly a lot of fun and crazy but I think that's all part of it. I've been trying to vlog my weekend for my YouTube channel so keep an eye out for that! 


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10 Ways To Improve Your Instagram

Anyone who uses Instagram a lot, will tell you that they don't just take one photo and upload it straight away. Good Instagram photos take time, planning and numerous attempts. So today I thought I should share with you some of my favourite tips and tricks on how to improve you Instagram pictures and gain more followers because of it.

10 Ways To Improve Your Instagram

1. Natural Light
I find that the best photos are taken in natural light, this doesn't just go for Instagram photos but also blog photos too. If you can use daylight for your photos you'll notice a huge different in the quality and the amount of people that like your photos.

2. Play With The Focus 
By holding down on different parts of the screen it lets you see what the image looks like when you change which part is the main point of focus. I really like doing this with beauty products as it makes them really stand out from the background.

10 Ways To Improve Your Instagram

3. Straighten Up
A picture looks so much more aesthetically pleasing when it's straight. Instagram has a built in tool to let you straighten your photo, which means there's no excuse for wonky pictures. I think I must have wonky vision or something because this is something I have to do to most of my photos.

4. Sharpen 
This is something that you don't have to go too crazy with, but I always sharpen my images even by just a little as it definitely makes the picture a lot crisper. Just be careful not to sharpen too much because it will make the image super grainy. 

10 Ways To Improve Your Instagram

6. Add Some Life Into Your Photo
This is something else I do with beauty products as sometimes I find that a photo can look quite boring so by holding the product I find it adds life to an image and makes it a little more interesting. This also works with food too. 

10 Ways To Get More Instagram Followers

7. Choose The Right Composition
I think  photos are a little more interesting when the main focus of the picture isn't it the center and more if it's either to the left or right. I once read that a picture should have a rule of thirds and that if you place the main focal point in one of the thirds of the photo is much more attractive and easy on the eye.

10 Ways To Get More Instagram Followers

8. Less Is More
This rule goes for everything in life (apart from candles) that when putting a picture together try not to over clutter the image. By keeping things simple you're not going to confuse the viewer and they're more likely the like the photo. 

9. Angles, Angles, Angles
This is an obvious one but your image can look so different when you shoot at different angles. When taking both my blog and Instagram photos I always play around with the angle as I find it can take a crappy image to something really great.

10. Take A Bunch Of Photos 
Lastly, I take a bunch of photos until I'm happy with the one I finally post as I find that this helps me get the perfect picture. I find that by taking a lot of different snaps it lets me see what works in the image and what aspects of the photo should change. 

I hope you found this post useful at not just improving your Instagram but also for general tips on taking a great photo. If you'd like to see more of my Instagram images then you can follow me here at GemmaLondonLife.

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Clarins Instant Lip Balm Perfectors

 Clarins Instant Lip Balms

Clarins Instant Lip Balms

Clarins Instant Lip Balms

03- My Pink- £18
02- Coral- £18
01-Rose- £18- My favourite 
06- Rosewood- £18
04- Orange- £18
05- Red- £18

You've probably seen a lot of hype around the new Clarins Instant Lip Balm Perfectors and let me just start by saying the products most definitely live up to the hype! These are the latest lip release from the Clarins lip perfecting range and they are possibly the most comfortable lip balms I've come across. There are a colleciton of 6 shades ranging from a barely there natural pink to a lovely bright red. What I love about these lip balms is that they give the most beautiful tint to the lips, they're not sticky in the slightest and leave my lips feeling really smooth and hydrating. I also oddly find that once applied my lips feel really plump and almost like I've had some kind of lip injection. 

The lip balms have a gel like consistency, which is why they feel so comfortable on the lips and leave your lips feeling so nourished. My favourite shade from the range is 01 as it gives the most natural pinky pop of colour that looks really flattering and can be worn on it's own in place of a lipstick. The balms aren't super pigmented but they just leave a really nice amount of colour on the lips and are much more flattering that any other lip balm I've used. If you were a fan of the lip gloss lip perfectors then you will love these as they're essentially a lip balm hybrid of the glosses. 


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Social Media Hacks For Bloggers


Social Media Tricks For Bloggers


If you have your own blog then you'll know how much work goes into promoting yourself over social media and you'll also know how time consuming this can be. As I work full time I've had to find ways to make running a blog whilst working a little easier. I touched on the programmes I use to easily share my blog posts and photos across my social media in my post about juggling blogging and full time work but I thought I'd go into it a little more.

IFTTT is a site that you can use to share your photos, tweets and pins across all of your different social media channels. IFTTT has whats called recipes, which are different combinations of settings that you can use to share your content. For example you can select a recipe so that whenever you post a photo on Instagram it will automatically share that on you Twitter. You can have as many recipes as you like and this means that you're not wasting time sharing whatever you post on all your different platforms.

Buffer is another site that I use to easily share my posts across different platforms. This is basically what I use so that I don't have to sit on my Twitter or Facebook all day as it allows you to schedule posts throughout the day or even month. I find this so useful in terms on my tweets and facebook posts for promoting my blog posts. I tend to set up a bunch of tweets in the morning after my post has gone live to post throughout the day. You can link a number of different accounts to Buffer so that your post can be shared on a number of platforms throughout the day. What I also love about buffer is that you get an weekly e-mail about you posts stats and how well they've done over the week with how many people clicked, favourited, liked and which posts have been popular.

Like I said in my other blogging tips posts I'm no social media or SEO expert but these are just a few things I find super useful in running a blog whilst working full time. I just means that I can stay present on different platforms whilst doing other things. I hope you found this useful and let me know if there's anything else on blogging that you'd like me to talk about!

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Date Night Beauty Essentials

Date Night Make Up

As Saturday night was Valentines Day I thought I would share with you some of my staple date night favourites for when I'm getting ready for a nice dinner or drinks. I love an excuse to dress up and make a real effort with my make-up and being a beauty junkie, there's nothing I love more than using those beauty products that I save for special occasions. 

If you read my blog last week you'll have seen that I've recently fallen in love with Tom Ford make-up and I felt like Valentines Day was the perfect night to go all our with his products. I wanted to go for a pretty pink look with smokey eyes so found the blush in Frantic Pink and lipstick in Cary worked perfectly for this. I applied the blusher with one of the beautiful Real Techniques Bold Metals blush brushes, which are really great at packing on the colour. For mascara, I know I can always rely on Tarte to give me false looking eyelashes so I coated my lashes in their Lights, Camera Lashes mascara and used the Joan Collins Liquid Liner to draw on my signature cat flick. I've mentioned this eye liner in a few posts before but I'm seriously so impressed with how long it's lasted me, I think I may have to do a whole post about this.

Lastly I wore my current favourite scent, Peony and Blush Suede from Jo Malone London, which is a seriously beautiful scent and made for date nights. Can you tell I picked all of my favourite beauty products with the most beautiful packaging?

I hope you had a wonderful Valentines Day with your other half or spent the night with your girlfriends dancing the night away or having a girls night in!




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Video: Current Beauty and Other Favourites



















Here are some of my current hair, make up and skincare favourites with a random favourite all thrown into one video. Some of these (like the Tarte eye shadow palette) will be no surprise to you if you follow me on Instagram but there's also a few new ones that I haven't shared with you before!

I hope you enjoy! 
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A Moment For Tom Ford

Tom Ford Make Up

Tom Ford Make Up

Tom Ford Make Up

Tom Ford Make Up

Tom Ford is one of those brands that is probably on every girls beauty wish list. The packaging alone causes my heart to have a little flutter and after falling in love with Mr Ford, I thought I'd pick out some of my favourite pieces to share with you.

Firstly lets talk about their lipsticksdue to their signature TF imprint I think this is probably the product that most people are familiar with. I find the lipsticks to be really creamy and moisturising on the lips and super pigmented. In the pictures above you may notice that these two lipsticks are different sizes and that's because the mini one if from the Lips and Boys Collection. I blogged about this launch here so I won't talk about it too much, but it's basically 50 new shades in miniature form and they're oh so cute. I have the regular lipstick in the shade Crimson Noir, which is a really beautiful deep red, and one that I think would suit most skin tones.

I'm sure a sucker for blushers, I would say after lipsticks they are my weakness and especially when they come in beautiful packaging like the Tom Ford blushers I just can't help myself. I have the shade Frantic Pink, which is such a beautiful girly pink and when on the skin gives a beautiful rosey and fresh flush to the cheeks. I find that as it's so pigmented you don't need much on your brush to get a good amount of colour payoff and it pretty much lasts all day on my skin. 

The last product I've been loving from Mr Ford is the Eye Brow Sculptor, it has a really thin and slanted retractable tip, which makes filling in and drawing on hairs really easy. It has a slight waxy texture to it, which means that it stays put ALL day, literally my brows stay in place all day with this product. The sculptor is like a little Swiss army knife as it has so many hidden functions- one end contain a spooleie to brush throw brows and then in the other lid there's a mini sharpener to keep the tip sharp. I have the shade 02 Taupe, which I think may be a little too light for me but this would work well for someone who is really fair.

Of course Tom Ford has so many more products so if you're looking to invest in something from the brand I hope you found this post useful and as a little guide as there's nothing worse than spending so much money on make-up and being dissapointed.



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Why You Should Use Hair Oils

The Best Hair Oils

I'm a huge fan of hair oils as I previously had really dry hair and I feel like oils were the only thing that helped bring my hair back to life. Hair oils are really great when you have dry hair but they're also great for preventing damage to your hair. If you use some kind of oil every time you wash your hair or as a night treatment you'll be locking in moisture and preventing any split ends from forming. I find that I need to cut my hair much less now that I use oils as my hair is in a much better condition and feels much thicker than it used to.

I have a few different oils that I use, some I use at night, some I use on the very ends of my hair after I've styled and then in the summer I use the John Frieda Frizz Ease oils before blow drying as a heat protectant and to prevent frizz.

In the above photo are some of my most loved oils for all the uses I spoke about and even though I do have my favourites I feel like it doesn't really matter which oil I use as long as I use something to protect my hair.




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Tips For Growing Your Blog With SEO

What is SEO


Over the 2 years that I've been blogging I've learnt so, so much about the internet and the blogging world that I had no idea about before. If you would have asked me what SEO was 2 years ago you would have got a blank face and an 'eh?!'. But after a lot of reading and researching I've learnt 'what is SEO' and how much it can help your blog grow and stand out in this huge sea of blogs.

Titles


When writing your blog posts don't underestimate how important the title is. This could be the difference between people finding your post in Google and it falling to the back of the search engine. Make sure the title is clear and relates to what your post is actually about so if you're blogging about the perfect nude eye then call it that as that is exactly what a reader will be searching for in Google.

Name your photos


Great photos are so incredibly important to the growth of your blog but you also need to think about what you name your photos so that they come up in the image search on Google. To do this simply click on your photo in Blogger and select Properties, and this is where you can enter the title and the ALT text for the photo. Similarly to you blog title people will find your photos by searching for what you call them in Google. Also, by making them Pinnable straight from your site to Pinterest it means readers can instantly share your content.

Key words


Key words are really great at helping people find your blog post in Google search. For example if you're writing a review about a new Max Factor blusher then make sure you write the exact name of it in the post at least once as this will make your blog rank higher in the search engine. You can also look at what the most searched key words are for certain topics in Google Ad Words as again this will give you a better chance of you blog being found. It's important not to try and cram in too many key words as the post won't look natural but a couple per post are fine.


Internal Backlinking Your Posts

This basically means adding in links into a post to any relevant old posts from your blog. The more backlinks from other websites the higher you will appear in Google, but this also works for links in your own blog too. Of course it goes without saying to not just spam people with too many backlinks but if you add in link that you think will be useful to your readers it can only have a positive effect on their experience on your blog.

Great Content


Finally, but most importantly just remember that if you're producing great content then more and more people will come back to your blog and this will be the best thing you can do for your site. If you're producing consistent and reliable content your readers are much more likely to come back but also tell other people about your blog. This will in turn increase your chances of your posts being tweeted, liked and shared and bring more people to your blog.

I hope you found this post useful, and obviously I'm in no way an SEO expert but these are just a few things that I have picked up along the way.


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Bumble & bumble Hair Primer



When I first heard of hair primers I thought that it was just another fad and didn't think they would do anything to my hair, until I tried Bumble and bumble Invisible Oil. A hair primer is mean to make your style last for longer, whether that be curls, a blow dry or just keeping it straight. The reason I like the Bumble and bumble Invisible Oil Primer is because it keeps my style but it also acts as a light weight oil and protects against heat, so it's really a 3 in 1 product. I find that curls don't really last in my hair that well and drop out quit easily but since using a hair primer I feel like my styles definitely last much longer. 

As the name suggests the oil texture of this product is very lightweight and doesn't weigh the hair down. I find that it leaves my hair feeling super soft but not flat like other oils do. Because of this this Bb hair primer has worked it's way into my hair care routine for well over a month now as I feel like it tackles 3 jobs in one.




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My Favourite Masks for Dry Skin




The weather in London at the moment is absolutely freezing and my skin is really suffering with the cold. My skin tends to get super dry and dehydrated during the winter so I tend to use a hydrating mask once or twice a week to add a little moisture back into my skin. Having tested out a fair few masks in my time I've finally found 3 that really work well with my skin and prevent any dry patches. 

Firstly the Kiehls Algae Face Masque was probably one of the first things I wrote about on this blog 2 years ago, and I'm still in love with it. It's one of the most hydrating masks I've come across and for an example of how hydrating it is, I used it on a 9 hour flight to India and my skin looked completely fresh at the other end. Origins Drink Me Up mask is a fairly new favourite but it's all I've been reaching for recently and I love the feeling it gives my skin and it smells of mangos! My last favourite mask for dry skin is the Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask, I absolutely love the whole Clarins HydraQuench range but this mask works really well at hydrating my skin and doesn't bring me out in any kind of reaction. 
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Mason Jar Salad Recipe

When working in an office it can get quite hard to think of health lunch ideas all the time and I'm often too lazy to make my lunches the night before. 

I was recently browsing through Pinterest (when am I not?!) and I came across mason jar salads. The idea behind them is you can prepare 4-5 salad pots for the week that will stay fresh and make it super easy to eat healthy.

Mason Jar Salad Recipe

The order you prepare your salad pots is key to keeping the ingredients fresh all week. You basically want to keep any wet ingredients at the bottom and the bits you want to keep dry at the top. 

The bottom layer is where you place your salad dressing or vinaigrette.
Next add in anything big and chunky to keep the rest of the ingredients dry.
Lastly you want to add in leafy greens so they last the longest. 


To make my Kale Salad Jar you will need:

A mason jar
As much kale as you like
1 Sweet potatoe
1 avocado 
A handful of feta cheese
A handful of tomatoes 
A handful of olives
A creamy salad dressing

You could also add quinoa to this but I didn't have any in the house.


Mason Jar Salad Recipe


Mason Jar Salad Recipe

Mason Jar Salad Recipe


Before starting your salad pot you'll need to peel a sweet potatoe and cut it up into small chunks. 

Cover them in a good amount of olive oil and place in the oven at 200 °C for around 15-20 minutes.

Leave these on the side to cool then start preparing your salad.

Firstly add in your dressing, then place a layer of feta cheese on top. 

Then add in a handful of olives or chunks of avocado. 

Next pop in some tomatoes to add a bit of zesty flavour and colour.

Once the sweet potatoes are cool add in a hefty layer as these will be the bulk of your salad. 

Lastly add in as much steamed kale as you can fit in then you're done!


Mason Jar Salad Recipe

Mason Jar Salad Recipe

To absorb any excess moisture and to keep the jars fresh all week add a layer of kitchen paper on top before sealing.

Then pop them in the fridge and you've got a bunch of delicious healthy lunches for the whole week!

Mason Jar Salad Recipe



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Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes

If you follow new beauty releases you will be well aware of the new Real Techniques brushes that were released at the end of January. Real Techniques were some of the first make up brushes that I bought and I honestly can't fault them. The idea behind the Bold Metals collection is that they're a little more for professional use than the original RT bushes. The tapered pointed shapes of the new brush handles mean that they balance in your hand, which is meant to make applying make-up easier.

There are 7 new brushes available in the Bold Metals collection:

100 Arched Powder (£25) - for flawless application of pressed and loose powders
101 Triangle Foundation (£22)- aimed to get into every corner of the face
200 Oval Shadow (£15)- All over lid application and blending
201 Pointed Crease (£12)- perfect for packing on shadow or applying shadow on the lower lash line- this brush is actually my personal favourite.
202 Angled Liner (£10)- For even smooth application of liner- also great for brows
300 Tapered Blush (£24)- Perfect for blush and highlight
301 Flat Contour (£22)- A flat angled brush to apply contour and highlight

I absolutely adore the colour of these brushes and think they look so beautiful on the dressing table, and the diffused rose gold effect on the bristles almost make them too beautiful to use. The brushes are synthetic, which means they're cruelty free and as the bristles are tied individually in the brush you won't get any shredding after washing.

Above I have the brushes Arched Powder, Tapered Blush and Pointed Crease. I would say my favourite is pointed crease as it's really great at applying shadow on the lower lash line.

You can pick up Bold Metals from Boots online and in store.

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Tartelette Matte Eyeshadow Palette

Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette

Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette

I'm going to start this post by saying I think I may have found a palette to beat all other eye shadow palettes. Tartelette from Tarte (obviously) is a 12 shadow palette containing all matte neutral shades. The shades range from cool to warm and pale vanilla to jet black so you could literally create so many looks from this one palette.

For the past week my go to smokey eye has been a primer/base shadow all over the lid and then Best Friend in the crease, corner and on the lower lash line. Not only are the shades amazing but the pigment in these shadows is insane- I literally only have to dab my brush lightly in the pan and the payoff is huge. The reason I love this palette for a smokey eye is because the shades blend out really beautifully and gives a really blown out seemless look.

If you're in the UK we can now get our hands of Tarte from QVC UK or if you're in the US Tartelette and all other Tarte products are available from Sephora.

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Hourglass Ambient Blush Dupe

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush

Hourglass Ambient Blush Dupe

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush

The Hourglass blushes and powders have always been on my 'to buy' list, and I've swatched them endlessly in Space NK but I've always thought they were quite pricey for what they were. There has never been a drug store alternative of these half blush half highlight baked powders, until now. 

Max Factor have just released their Creme Puff Blushers and they are the closest to Hourglass Ambient Blush dupes I've come across. They come in 6 different shades ranging from a baby doll pink to deep purple toned mauves. I have the shade Seductive Pink, which is a swirl of a really lovely dusty pink and a lighter shimmery pink shade. 

I find that the powder sits really beautifully over foundation, giving a subtle hint of highlight to the cheek bones. I'm so impressed with how long this lasts on my face, I can get to the end of the day and there still be a lovely pink glow to my cheeks. 

Max Factor Creme Puff Blushers are available in both Boots and Superdrug for £8.99.


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