Monday, 27 June 2016

Botanicals Rose & Camellia Cleanse & Polish

Botanicals Natural Organic Skincare aim to make a range of personal care products which are as close to nature as possible. The company was founded by Wendy Stirling in 2004 after her daughter had an allergic reaction to a shampoo that sounded natural but actually contained SLS, SLES and parabens. 
All of Botanicals' products and the ingredients they use are vegan and cruelty free, and they are also endorsed by Naturewatch Foundation. Botanicals are certified organic by the Soil Association, and are free from artificial colours, fragrances and preservatives. Their products come in minimal yet elegant packaging that is recyclable. All the ingredients they use are fully biodegradable and are derived from sustainable sources.
Botanicals kindly invited me to try out one of their products: the Rose & Camellia Cleanse & Polish.
The product is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that contains crushed rosehip kernels to brighten dull and dehydrated skin and restore moisture balance. It is suitable for normal, dry and mature skin types and retails at £24 for a 60g jar. 
Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, glycerine***, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil*, decyl glucoside, cocos nucifero (coconut) oil*, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil*, rosa canina seed powder*, camellia sinesis leaf extract*, tocopherol, zea mays seed flour*, parfum*; rosa centifolia (rose) flower oil* pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium) flower oil*, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower oil*, cymbopogon martinii flower oil*, cananga odorata flower oil*, geraniol**, citronellol**, benzyl benzoate**, linalool**, limonene**, citral**, farnesol**. (*Certified organic. **Natural constituents of essential oils. ***Organic origin.)

The polish does not contain water and instead uses a base of several plant oils and shea butter. This means that not only does the product go a long way, but it feels really luxurious on the skin. I really love the texture of this product: it melts beautifully into the skin and feels heavenly as you massage it into your face. The rosehip kernels gently buff away dead skin cells and help to bring a glow to the face without scrubbing at your skin. 
I also love the delicate, calming smell of this product. My skin felt really soft and smooth after using the polish and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a gentle, natural exfoliating product.
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Saturday, 4 June 2016

Be.Loved Skincare

Be.Loved is a Latvian natural skincare company who ship worldwide. They are a cruelty free company and their products are vegan, with the exception of the face cleansing masks which contain yogurt powder.
The company was founded by Kinga, a yoga teacher and natural lifestyle enthusiast, who began researching and experimenting with natural cosmetics after experiencing skin problems. Be.Loved's main goal is to formulate a range of highly effective skincare products that deliver only beneficial and nutritive compounds into the skin. Every ingredient used in their products is there for a specific therapeutic reason.
Since Be.Loved are an ethical company, all their products come in recyclable and upcyclable glass containers. They are so passionate about reducing their impact on the environment, they will even send one free full size product to every customer who sends them back five empty Be.Loved containers!
I was kindly sent two products to try: the Rose Rain Floral Water and Follow Your Bliss Tangerine Balancing Face Serum.
The Rose Rain Floral Water is a pure rose water spray, recommended for ageing and delicate skins. Rose water is my favourite toner, so I absolutely loved this product! It feels so calming and refreshing on the skin, plus the delicate scent of rose is so soothing.
Rosa Damascena Flower Water.
The Follow Your Bliss Tangerine Balancing Face Serum is designed to energise and restore the skin’s elasticity and help maintain a correct oil and moisture balance. It contains a nourishing blend of plant oils and extracts, as well as tangerine and palmarosa essential oils to help balance the skin and frankincense to firm and tone. 
I loved the scent of this product; as an aromatherapist, I create many different blends every day for my clients and for myself, and some of my favourite blends contain essential oils of the orange family. Tangerine is closely related and very similar to mandarin essential oil, which is one of my favourite oils to help reduce stress and anxiety. Since essential oils can evoke memories and feelings when inhaled, I felt an immediate sense of calm when I first opened the bottle, and every time I used it after that. 

The serum goes a long way, so you only need to apply one or two drops. It is easily absorbed and doesn't feel greasy, which can often be a worry if your skin is prone to oiliness like mine is. It made my skin feel wonderfully soft and smooth afterwards, and although I usually applied it underneath my moisturiser, I found it to be hydrating enough to use alone. I especially enjoyed applying a little extra at night and thoroughly massaging it into my face to give my skin a boost.
Rosa canina (Rosehip) seed oil; Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil; Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Extract; Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Extract; Tocopherol (Vitamin E); Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Oil; Cymbopogon martinii (Palmarosa) Oil; Boswellia serrata (Frankincense) Oil; Farnesol* Limonene* Geraniol*and Linalool* Citral*
*Natural Ingredient of Essential Oils.
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Monday, 25 April 2016

Manic Panic Cross Gloss ♥

Manic Panic recently invited me to try out some of their products. If you are not familiar with the brand, Manic Panic are a cruelty-free company (and most of their products are vegan) well known for their range of vibrant hair colours. They also have a range of cosmetics, so as I am not brave enough to dye my hair a vivid shade of the rainbow, I decided to opt for something more me - lipgloss!
Manic Panic Cross Glosses come in quirky little tubes with a cross on the applicator. I love the design and I think it's great to have something different to all my other products in my makeup bag.

The Cross Glosses are priced at £9.59 each and come in a range of bold colours, including green, lilac and black! The shades I received were Hot as Hell (bright pink), Black Rose (dark red) and Poison Apple (bright red).

Hot as Hell
Black Rose
Poison Apple
Polybutene, Pentaerythrityl, Telraisostearate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Sterate, VP/ Hexadecene Copolymer Microcrystalline Wax, Octyldodecanol ,Polyglyceryl-2, Disosterate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Tribehenin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Silica , BHT. May Contain: Mica CI 70019, Iron Oxides CI 77491/CI 77492/CI 7499, Titanium Dioxide CI 77891.
I really like the Cross Glosses, especially the pink one! They are all really pigmented, but the colour is buildable, so you can just put on a light slick for a hint of colour, or apply more to get a brighter effect. 
They aren't too sticky which is a must-have when looking for a great lip gloss. I have found the colours to be long-lasting as well, which is great as sometimes lipglosses can wear off really quickly. I have also layered them over lipstick for an extra colour boost, which works really well. If you are looking for fun, bright lipglosses then the Manic Panic Cross Glosses are definitely what you need!
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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Lush SLS & Paraben Free Product List February 2016

Lush have some new products out including their Mother's Day range, so I've compiled an updated list of their more natural products.

All of the products listed below are free from sodium laureth/lauryl sulphates and parabens (and are all vegan). These are two of the main ingredients that people choosing not to use harmful chemicals wish to avoid, since they have been linked to skin irritation and endocrine disruption respectively. There are other chemicals which some people may prefer to avoid, but others may not mind using, therefore I have included such products in my list but have noted what they contain in brackets so people can choose whether to use them or not. These ingredients are: 
  • Propylene glycol - possible irritant and is thought to enhance the absorption of other chemicals into the skin
  • Talc - possible carcinogen
  • Triethanolamine - skin, immune and respiratory toxin/allergen
  • Lilial - synthetic scent ingredient that has been linked to allergies and contact dermatitis
  • EDTA - widely considered as safe but could possibly enhance the absorption of other ingredients contained in a product
  • Laureth 4 - possible skin and eye irritant
  • Alpha-isomethyl ionone - possible human immune system toxicant or allergen; suspected to be an environmental toxin
  • Octocrylene - UV filter that may cause skin allergies in some; can penetrate the skin and may potentially cause the formation of free radicals
  • Octyl methoxycinnamate - UV filter linked to endocrine disruption.
If you think any other ingredients should be on this list then please let me know and I will add them in. Below is the product list correct as of February 2016 (let me know if you spot any I might've missed). I will aim to update this list whenever Lush add or remove any of their products.

Mother's Day
  • Sunrise Soap (EDTA)
  • Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb.
Bath Bombs
  • Sakura (lilial)
  • Butterball
  • Tisty Tosty
  • Avobath
  • Think Pink
  • Blackberry (lilial)
  • Sex Bomb (propylene glycol, alpha-isomethyl ionone, lilial) 
  • Ickle Baby Bot 
  • Big Blue.
Bath Oils
  • Razzle Dazzle (laureth 4, propylene glycol)
  • Dreamtime (laureth 4)
  • Floating Island (laureth 4)
  • Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment (laureth 4, alpha-isomethyl ionone)
  • Ceridwen's Cauldron (laureth 4) 
  • You've Been Mangoed (laureth 4).
  • Putty for your Hands Hand Wash (talc) 
  • Mangnificent (EDTA, lilial)
  • Lush Hippy (EDTA)
  • Lush Gardener (EDTA)
  • Grease Monkeys (EDTA, alpha-isomethyl ionone)
  • Parsley Porridge (EDTA)
  • Miranda (EDTA)
  • Figs and Leaves (EDTA)
  • Respect Your Elders (EDTA, alpha-isomethyl ionone) 
  • Layer Cake (EDTA)
  • Maypole (EDTA)
  • Devil's Nightcap (EDTA, alpha-isomethyl ionone) 
  • Sandstone (EDTA, lilial) 
  • Sultana of Soap (EDTA, lilial) 
  • Bohemian (EDTA) 
  • Pumice Power Foot Soap (EDTA).
Shower Products
  • Lemon Sherbet Showder
  • Candy Floss Showder (alpha-isomethyl ionone)
  • Dreamwash Roulade Shower Smoothie (EDTA)
  • Turkish Delight Roulade Shower Smoothie (EDTA, alpha-isomethyl ionone) 
  • Orange Roulade Shower Smoothie (EDTA, alpha-isomethyl ionone) 
  • Blueberry Roulade Shower Smoothie (EDTA)
  • Enzymic Roulade Shower Smoothie (EDTA)
  • Coconut Scrubby Roulade Shower Smoothie (EDTA)
  • Life's a Beach Body Scrub Powder 
  • Ocean Salt Self-Preserving Face and Body Scrub
  • Ocean Salt Self-Preserving & Alcohol-Free Face and Body Scrub
  • Salted Coconut Hand Scrub
  • African Paradise Body Conditioner (triethanolamine) 
  • The Sunblock Solid Sunscreen Wash - SPF 30 High (octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate)
  • Buffy Body Butter
  • King of Skin Body Butter.
  • Movis Facial Soap 
  • Let the Good Times Roll (talc)
  • Angels on Bare Skin
  • Herbalism
  • Dark Angels
  • Aqua Marina (lilial).
Body Lotions 
  • Charity Pot (triethanolamine)
  • Ultrabalm
  • Dream Cream Self-Preserving (triethanolamine).
  • T for Toes Foot Powder
  • Twinkle Toes Foot Powder (lilial)
  • Foot Soak and Fancy Free.
 Massage Bars
  • From Dusk 'Til Dawn
  • Tender is the Night (lilial)
  • Percup
  • Dirty (alpha-isomethyl ionone)
  • Shades of Earl Grey
  • Yes Yes Yes
  • Each Peach (and Two's a Pear)
  • Peace
  • Wiccy Magic Muscles
  • Therapy¿
  • Hottie (lilial)
  • Pearl (propylene glycol)
  • Shimmy Shimmy Shimmer Bar
  • Black Stockings Solid Body Tint.
  • T'eo
  • The Guv'ner
  • The Greeench
  • Aromaco (propylene glycol).
Dusting Powders
  • Lustre (talc)
  • Silky Underwear
  • Powdered Sunshine (octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate).
  • Tea Tree Toner Tab
  • Dream Steam Steamer Tab.
  • Magical Moringa
  • Full of Grace Serum Bar.
  • Rosy Cheeks (lilial)
  • Don't Look at Me
  • Cup O'Coffee
  • Oatifix
  • Cupcake
  • Catastrophe Cosmetic (alpha-isomethyl ionone).
Toothy Tabs & Powders
  • Dirty
  • Sparkle
  • Limelight
  • Boom!
  • Bling!
  • Oral Pleasure (alpha-isomethyl ionone)
  • Miles of Smiles
  • Tooth Fairy
  • Ultrablast
  • Atomic.
  • Latte Lip Tint
  • Strawberry Bombshell Lip Tint 
  • None of Your Beeswax Lip Balm
  • Key Lime Pie Lip Balm
  • Rose Lollipop Lip Balm
  • Passion Fruit Lip Balm (alpha-isomethyl ionone)
  • Buttered Brazils Lip Balm
  • Popcorn Lip Scrub
  • Mint Julips Lip Scrub
  • Bubblegum Lip Scrub (alpha-isomethyl ionone).
  • Five O'Clock Whistle Shaving Cream (EDTA)
  • Veerappan Moustache Wax
  • Jo Jo Hair Wax.
  • R&B Hair Moisturiser (lilial)
  • Superbalm Scalp Treatment
  • No Drought Dry Shampoo (talc)
  • Marron Henna
  • Noir Henna
  • Rouge Henna
  • Brun Henna.
  • Emotional Brilliance Face Powder (talc)
  • Success Liquid Eyeliner (triethanolamine)
  • Drive Lipstick (talc)
  • Decisive Lipstick
  • Charm Lipstick
  • Believe Lipstick
  • Ambition Lipstick
  • Glamorous Lipstick
  • Strong Lipstick
  • Passionate Lipstick
  • Bubbly Lipstick
  • Vibrance Lipstick
  • Perspective Lipstick
  • Power Lipstick.

I haven't included any of the Gorilla perfumes in my list because they are all free from SLS and parabens. However, some do contain alpha-isomethyl ionone and other ingredients that may cause irritation, so let me know if you would like to see perfumes added to the list!
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Friday, 12 February 2016

A Relaxing Sunday ♥

I was recently contacted by Ocean Finance, who invited me to take part in their 'Relax with Ocean' series. Ocean’s ethos is all about making people’s lives easier, and to reflect this, they very kindly sent some bloggers £50 each to spend on anything that helps them to take time out and relax. I decided to use the money to have a relaxing home pamper day with some new luxury skincare products.
 I spend almost every day helping others to relax, and whilst my working environment does help me to relax as well, I like to re-create the tranquil environment at home. For me, nothing (apart from holistic therapies and spa treatments!) says relaxation like a soak in a warm bath, and so I knew that I had to base my pamper day around this!
I decided to buy some skincare products from Neal's Yard Remedies. Their products are luxurious, natural and Leaping Bunny Certified. Not all of their products are vegan, but I found some lovely ones that are. I purchased the Age-Defying Skincare Kit (it is better to start using anti-ageing skincare as early on as possible for best results, and once you reach 25 your skin is actually classed as mature!) and the Rejuvenating Frankincense Firming Mask (which was in the sale then I bought it!). I also bought the Create Your Own Hair & Body Wash so I could add my own essential oils to it.
I had my pamper day on a grey, windy Sunday. To start the day, Jack and I took a long walk through Penrose Woods, one of our favourite walks. As the weather wasn't great, there weren't many people about and so it was lovely and peaceful in the woods. When we reached the end of the woods, which opens out onto the cliffs overlooking Loe Bar, the wind suddenly hit us as the shelter that the trees gave ended. The sea was quite stormy, and seagulls battled against the strong gusts of wind. This is my favourite weather to walk in though, and we enjoyed an invigorating walk back across the cliffs.
When we got home, I ran my bath and lit loads of candles to create a cosy atmosphere. I cleansed my face with the Rejuvenating Frankincense Refining Cleanser, which was a dream to use; thick, creamy or balmy cleansers are my absolute favourite. I then applied the mask and hopped in the bath. I added a few drops of some of my favourite relaxing essential oils to my bath: may chang and chamomile. To the Hair & Body Wash, I added ylang ylang, lemongrass and mandarin - more of my favourites! I buy all my essential oils from Quinessence Aromatherapy. They are Leaping Bunny Certified and retail to the public as well as trade, so if you are looking to purchase any essential oils, I would definitely recommend getting them from Quinessence as opposed to one or two certain multi level marketing companies that claim to offer the best 'therapeutic grade' oils!
I had a little bit of the money left over so I decided to buy the first Poldark novel for my Kindle, as I have been meaning to read it for ages. I popped my Kindle in a plastic wallet and indulged in a few chapters as I relaxed in my bath. I also enjoyed a few of my favourite Booja Booja chocolates as well!
After my bath, I finished my facial by using the Rejuvenating Frankincense Toner before massaging in the Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Oil and the Frankincense Hydrating Cream. My skin felt amazing afterwards, so I'm thinking of doing a full review on these products. I had some lunch and then curled up with Jack under a blanket and enjoyed a cup of calming chamomile tea. We stayed here for the afternoon, watching films and reading while the wind howled outside - heavenly! 
Home pamper days are such a great way to relax, and it made me realise that I haven't had a proper one in ages! I will definitely be spending more days like this when I can. So many people feel guilty for having time to themselves to do nothing but relax, but they really shouldn't! Regular relaxation is so important as it helps to keep your mind, body and spirit healthy. 
What is your favourite way to relax?
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Friday, 5 February 2016

Lily Lolo Laid Bare Eye Palette

I recently purchased the Lily Lolo Laid Bare Eye Palette. I'd been looking for a neutral eye shadow palette that was also vegan, cruelty free and natural, and I really liked the look of the Lily Lolo one. 

The Lily Lolo Laid Bare Eye Palette is priced at £19.99 and features eight neutral eye shadows. The palette itself is sleek and small enough to carry in your makeup bag or handbag. It comes with a mirror and a double-ended sponge applicator.


Stark Naked – Matte, nude pinky beige | Au Naturel – Shimmer, pink nude | 
Skinny Dip – Shimmer, golden beige | Shy Away – Shimmer, smoky taupe

Lady Godiva – Shimmer, rich gold | Birthday Suit – Matte, grey brown | 
Exhibitionist – Matte, olive brown | Exposed – Demi-matte, charcoal
All the shades are really wearable, and are perfect for creating both day and evening looks. They can be applied lightly for just a hint of colour, or can easily be built up to create a more dramatic look.

I have literally been using this palette pretty much every day since I bought it! My favourite shades are Au Naturel, Skinny Dip and Birthday Suit. I have found that the shadows tend to crease after a few hours, but this can easily be fixed by a quick re-blend with either a brush or a finger.

If you are looking for a vegan, cruelty free and natural eye shadow palette then I would definitely recommend this one!
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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Bunny Friendly Beauty Tag

I love doing tags and answering questions so I thought I'd do the Bunny Friendly Beauty Tag which was created by Vicki. Read on to find out more about my cruelty free lifestyle and beauty essentials.

1) How long have you been on your cruelty free journey?
I think I went cruelty free in late 2009/early 2010, so around 6 years now. I'm fairly sure it was after I'd finished my beauty therapy training, as during that time we used lots of different products and brands and I was fairly ignorant about animal testing. Once I qualified, I decided to put my newly-discovered skincare knowledge into action and I began researching different skincare companies.

2) What made you decide to go cruelty free?
During my skincare research, I tried out a couple of brands before deciding to use Lush's products. I used to buy their bath bombs and I remembered they did skincare products, so I thought I might see what they were like. I remember browsing their website and reading all their information about animal testing, and I think that's when I realised that it still went on and that not all products were cruelty free. From there I looked into the issue further, with Cruelty Free International (or BUAV as it was then known) being my go-to source and I started replacing all my current products with cruelty free alternatives.

3) What has been the hardest product to find a cruelty free dupe for?
I have to be honest and say that I haven't really struggled to find a cruelty free alternative for anything. Maybe professional beauty products such as eyelash tints (there are probably some that are cruelty free but none that are Leaping Bunny certified) but as I no longer do such treatments it's not really a problem. It's a little harder to find certain things now that I am trying to use more natural products, but I certainly don't mind browsing the Internet for hours until I find exactly what I'm looking for!

4) What's the best cruelty free dupe you've found?
I could not live without Everyday Minerals semi-matte foundation, which I think is a brilliant dupe for Bare Minerals, which I used to use. I know Bare Minerals is regarded as cruelty-free (although their parent company is not), I prefer to use Leaping Bunny certified companies. Bare Minerals also use bismuth oxychloride in their foundations, which is an irritant and used to make my face itch! Everyday Minerals gives just as good (if not better) as a result as Bare Minerals in my opinion and is a lot more affordable too. The only downside is it is a little hard to get hold of since there are only a couple of distributors in the UK. But I love it so much that if I have to, I order it from Ecco Verde :)

5) What product or brand do you wish was cruelty free?
I wish all brands would go cruelty free, especially the most popular brands that are always raved about my beauty bloggers and Youtubers, such as MAC, Chanel, L'Oreal, Jo Malone etc. These companies get mentioned so much in the industry and I think sometimes people don't want to go cruelty free because they don't want to give up the brand names that everyone else is using, even if there are cruelty free alternatives available. If these companies were cruelty free it could only be a good thing, not least because it would make it easier for a lot of people to choose cruelty free. Plus it would mean I could finally try something from the likes of Chanel or Jo Malone (who doesn't swoon over their luxurious packaging?) - but if I never get to, it doesn't matter because nothing looks as good as being cruelty free feels :)

6) What's your holy grail cruelty free brand?
I think it would have to be PHB Ethical Beauty. They are everything I look for in a company: vegan, Leaping Bunny certified and free from harsh chemicals. Their product range is amazing, especially their skincare (which I use in my aromatherapy facials) and their makeup. They regularly have special offers, freebies and discounts available, plus 15% of their profits go to helping people and animals around the world. They are also handmade in the UK, palm oil free, halal certified and ethical. If you haven't tried PHB yet you must go and check them out, I can't sing their praises loud enough!

7) Name one cruelty free brand others might not have heard of?
Live Native Skincare. Their products are handmade in Scotland and are Fair Trade, cruelty-free, toxin-free, raw vegan organic and free from chemical fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. I use their foot balms in my reflexology treatments. Their products are on the higher end of the price range but they are really lovely and luxurious.

8) Are you a vegan? If so, for how long and have you had any struggles? If not, why not?
Yes, I've been a vegan for over 3 years now. I gradually started to make the transition to veganism (having turned vegetarian in 2005) in 2012 and I became fully vegan in the October. It's been so much easier than I thought it would be and I know it's a cliche but my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. Around the same time that I went vegan, it started to become more main-stream and I think that made it a lot easier. The only real struggle I have is that it is sometimes tricky to eat out in restaurants as so many people still do not have a clue about veganism. A couple of times I've been really annoyed at having to just have chips and salad while my family tuck into a hearty meal, but then I remember that I'm vegan for the animals therefore I'm willing to put up with the occasional boring meal for the sake of not contributing to animal cruelty.
9) What's your favourite local vegan friendly venue?
Without a doubt the Wildebeest Cafe in Falmouth! It's so amazing to have a completely vegan cafe/restaurant in Cornwall. The food there is heavenly and the desserts are the best I've ever eaten. Falmouth in general is probably the most vegan-friendly town in Cornwall. There are a couple of other veggie cafes there, and vegan cake can be found in several cafes along the cobbled streets! For a non-veggie venue that's vegan friendly, my favourite place is Kota Kai in Porthleven. They always cater for me really well and their food is so delicious. They always have vegan sorbets available for dessert, and I usually have a cheeky cocktail or two when I'm there as well!

10) You have 30 seconds to convert someone to a cruelty free lifestyle - what would you say to them?
If you love animals then you can't knowingly choose to support their suffering. By going cruelty free you can help to make a difference and you will feel amazing knowing that you don't contribute to animal testing. With a little knowledge and by making gradual changes, it is so easy to be cruelty free - I'll show you how!

I'm not going to tag anyone as I think most cruelty free bloggers have already done this, but if you haven't then join in and let me know if you do it :) 

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