Black-Owned Businesses You’ll Be Buying From ASAP

Amongst the sharing, we've found endless 'add to basket' worthy fashion brands, art to brighten up the blandest of walls and cookbooks to forever transform a boring mid-week meal.

The exponential growth in awareness of the Black Lives Matter Movement in recent weeks has educated, informed and opened our eyes to ways we can support members of the Black community today, tomorrow and forever. Amongst the sharing, we’ve found endless ‘add to basket’ worthy fashion brands, art to brighten up the blandest of walls and cookbooks to forever transform a boring mid-week meal.

Using our money to support independent retailers has always been important, but now more than ever it’s essential to buy from those who deserve the success that has come more easily to their white counterparts. We apologise in advance to your bank balance!


Uplifting Stories To Start Your Week Off Right

Five fabulous stories that'll lift your spirits and start your week off right!

Rankin’s NHS Portraits

To celebrate the 72nd Anniversary of the NHS, incredible portrait photographer John Rankin Waddell has captured the images of 12 NHS staff. Those photographed include an ICU consultant, a Covid-19 critical care nurse, a midwife, a psychiatrist, a hospital porter, a Covid-19 ward cleaner, a paramedic, a GP, a pharmacist, a district nurse, a 111 call centre worker, and a chief information officer.

Book sales flying

A whopping 4m books were sold during the first week of trading in open stores since the UK shut it’s doors due to the Coronavirus. Book’s like Reni Eddo-Lodge’s ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ helped book sales jump to over 30% of that from the same week last year.

Happy Pride!

From rainbow makeup to festival throwback’s the weekend was packed full of amazing posts from creators sharing their pride support and memories. One of our favourites came from @dlarosaz on Twitter, who’s mother along with 11 of her friends have spent the last 3 months in lockdown crocheting this incredible pride flag!

Staycations back on

From this weekend onwards hotels, rentals and campsites are re-opening to the public so we can officially start our summer staycations. You might not be able to fly anywhere with guaranteed sun just yet but that’s half the fun of old blighty isn’t it! We can’t wait to see everyone on a new adventure, whether there up in the lake district or down in Cornwall!

Image Image Credit: @GinaInCornwall via Instagram

New Nasa Headquarters Name

Nasa has named their Washington D.C headquarters building after Mary W. Jackson. Mary was the African American female to become an engineer in the 1950s. She was one of the main influence for one of the characters in the movie Hidden Figures – a real must see!   


Weekly Wants: Summer Home Refresh

Hooray! Summer feels like it's here to stay, and we couldn't be happier about it. We've switched out jeans for bare legs and cardigans for strapless numbers, and now it's time to do the same for our homes.

Life is better when the sun is out, and also when you have an excuse for an H&M Home or IKEA order.

Hooray! Summer feels like it’s here to stay, and we couldn’t be happier about it. We’ve switched out jeans for bare legs and cardigans for strapless numbers, and now it’s time to do the same for our homes. Think white bedsheets, airy curtains, easy to care for greenery and scatter cushions- if you’re a lover of earthy tones and rattan, look no further…

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How To Make A Bath Chandler Bing Would Be Proud Of

There are two types of people in this world, those that like baths and those that like baths. That's it. There is no other option. Those that say they’re just not bath people simply aren’t doing ‘em right.

There are two types of people in this world, those that like baths and those that like baths. That’s it. There is no other option. Those that say they’re just not bath people simply aren’t doing ‘em right. What other reason could there possibly be for a human to dislike submerging themselves in warm water until their body relaxes so much it wrinkles with joy? Sometimes, it even lets out a little squeak it’s so happy.

The key is the ambience. From lighting your bath right to scenting it with aromatherapy oils, it’s all in the prep.

Here’s how to take your bath experience from lukewarm to Chandler Bing levels of bubbly greatness.

Ambient mood lighting

Let’s face it, a bath without candles is just a disappointing hole in your house with water in it. Let the gentle flicker of candlelight calm your mind and set the mood for your bath experience. This is your time to switch off mentally and physically. So hit the glaring overhead lights and enjoy the soft glow of candles instead.

Choose your intentions

Tune into your emotional wellness – what do you want to get out of this down time? You might want to read a couple of chapters of your book, watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy uninterrupted or, you might want to dedicate this time to the ritual of just having a bath & practising mindfulness. Set some intentions, leave your phone outside and use this time to unwind however you fancy.

Aromatherapy Assistance

Scent is a powerful thing so we caught up with Christina Salcedas, the director of wellbeing for Aromatherapy Associates to see how they create their blends and why fragrance is so important…

“We create all of our blends from nature’s therapeutic palette, each oil playing a key and active role. We often go against the principles of traditional fragrance rules of top, middle and base notes, instead crafting a blend that really works on our entire body. From the lulling aromas of Vetivert, Camomile and Sandalwood in our Deep Relax blend, readying your mind and body for sleep, to the clarifying scents of Petitgrain and Frankincense in our De-Stress blend to clear your mind and focus your thoughts, remember to listen to your body and trust your innate instincts to take care of your wellbeing.”

How can you feel the benefits of aromatherapy oils other than adding them to your bath?

I like to take a capful of the oil and rub it over my shoulders, torso and the base of my back before sinking into a hot bath. I cup my hands to my face and inhale deeply a few times. If you’ve been feeling anxious or stressed, taking time to relax in the bath with these anxiety-soothing essential oils can really help you slow down your thoughts, refocus the mind and leave you feeling calm & still.”

What oil would you recommend for people going through a difficult time in the current climate?

“If you’re feeling nervous about returning back to Society, or if you’re currently facing a challenging time in your life, our Inner Strength blend is like a ‘hug in a bottle’. Blended with anxiety-soothing Clary Sage, emotion-grounding Sandalwood and the purest Geranium to help balance scattered thoughts & emotions, leaving you feeling more confident, comforted and reassured.”

Get comfortable

Craning your neck in the bath doesn’t exactly scream zen. Roll up a towel to prop up your neck whilst you’re laying back or recline with a bath cushion to support your head whilst you read or catch up on your favourite series.

Create a relaxing playlist

If you struggle to switch off when you’re having a soak, a relaxing playlist will ease you into a state of calm. The dulcet tones of Norah Jones, Bon Iver, John Legend, Katie Melua and Corrine Bailey Rae will soon wash your worries & cares down the plug hole. See ya, neg energy!

Get the temperature just right

Do the elbow test – if the water’s too hot it will strip your skin of all your essential oils which can lead to skin irritation, so it’s best for your bathwater to be warm rather than uncomfortably hot. Just like baby bear’s porridge, it should be just right.

Add in some bath salts

To recreate the spa ambience from home and turn an average bath into a 10/10 soak, add in a cup of muscle-soothing bath salts.

Here’s how to make your own home blend!

You will need:

1 cup of Epsom bath salts – make sure they are the well-sourced type (100% natural)
½ cup course sea salt
5 – 10 drops of essential oils – lavender, citrus & eucalyptus all work really nicely
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup of dried lavender or rose petals
Mini mason jars / glass jars with lids for storage

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, breaking up any big clumps. Decant your bath salts into mini mason jars and pour ¼ – ½ jar into your bath when you’re ready to use. They also make blooming lovely gifts.

Use this time to pamper yourself

Envelop yourself in warm bubbles, apply your favourite cleansing mask and exfoliate your bod’ top to toe. This is where a bath caddy comes in very handy, so your glass of wine (ahem, priorities) and all your favourite pamper products are within reach. No one wants to be slipping in and out of the tub for laughs.

Embrace the bath time mindset

What happens when you get out the bath is just as important as what you do in there, so before you go rushing around catching up with the group messages you’ve missed in that sacred 20 minutes you’ve been separated from your phone, focus on extending that bath mindset right up until bedtime. Stay off your phone if you can (all the blue light can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms), climb into a fluffy bath robe or something comfortable and make yourself a cup of herbal tea.

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Wallowing in the tub certainly makes the case for staying in! How do you create your perfect bath ritual? We’d love to hear your hacks!

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Between You And Me: Answering Your Problems Part 5

We’re back with our monthly instalment of Between You & Me – an advice page dedicated to answering all manner of problems, big and small.

We’re back with our monthly instalment of Between You & Me – an advice page dedicated to answering all manner of problems, big and small.

From holding down female friendships at work to body hair issues and libido chat, here’s what pearls of wisdom we’ve got for you in part 5 of our BYAM series.

Keep sending your problems to as we’ll be answering more next month!


Summer Mocktails So Good You Won’t Even Miss The Booze

These hot Summer days and balmy evenings call for refreshing booze-free mocktails under a brolly, preferably with a good book or a banging playlist full of those factor 50 sunshine jams.

These hot Summer days and balmy evenings call for refreshing booze-free mocktails under a brolly, preferably with a good book or a banging playlist full of those factor 50 sunshine jams.

No al fresco breakfast, lunch or dinner is complete without a well-stocked bar and in this case, everyone gets to enjoy the drinks because they’re sans alcohol.

For all the mums to be out there wondering how on earth they’re going to make it through another virtual hen do without the fizz, we’ve got you covered with these booze-free bubbles.

Whether you’re taking a break from booze or just not all that into alcohol, these refreshing Summer spritzes will not disappoint.

And for those of us who really do like to go ham on the piña coladas come summertime, this is one hangover-free happy hour you’ll be able to get on board with. Santé!

Fresh Homemade Lemonade

When life gives you lemons! A classic ‘n’ cloudy homemade thirst-quencher that everyone can enjoy on a hot Summer’s day, made with juicy fresh lemons and garnished with fresh lavender. With its tangy and refreshing citrus notes, this nostalgic lemonade cordial will make for a great midday pick-me-up for kids and adults alike.

  1. Boil your granulated sugar and water until it dissolves in a pan over high heat until it dissolves, then let it cool.
  2. Juice your lemons and add them to your simple syrup when it has cooled. If you like your lemonade with a minty twist, slap your fresh mint to extract the oils and add it to the lemon, simple syrup mixture.
  3. When you’re ready to drink simply pour one part of your lemonade mixture and one part soda water into a glass over ice. We added a few sprigs of lavender for both looks and a fresh taste!

Orange & Rhubarb Spritz

This alcohol-free orange and ‘barb bev has all the spirit and razzle dazzle of a £15 cocktail, without the banging headache & regret. Sip on this fruity number while you’re waiting to plate up the bbq food and you won’t even miss the booze. It’s like Summer in a cup! Aperol spritz, who now?

  1. For your rhubarb syrup, you can either purchase this from the supermarket or make it yourself. Find a great recipe here.
  2. Juice your oranges, one orange is enough for one mocktail.
  3. Pour in one part rhubarb syrup and one part orange juice to your glass and finish off with soda water.

Peach, Ginger & Lime Cooler

Imagine peach iced tea but better. Sweet and subtly spiced with shaved ginger, this Peach & Ginger blend packs a punch & goes down swimmingly with lemony orzo pasta salad or a breakfast acai bowl piled high with juicy berries.

  1. Grate your ginger, you’ll need about one tsp for one mocktail
  2. Mix together with your peach nectar (you can grab this from your supermarket or make it with this recipe) and sieve to remove any bits.
  3. Fill up your glass about halfway with the mixture over ice and top it off with soda water
  4. Add a good squeeze of lime and use the rest for your garnish!

We could do with a fresh OJ & ‘Barb Spritz right this second! What’s top of your Summer mocktail menu?


11 Books You Need to Read If You Love a Juicy Plot Twist

If you came here for the kind of plot twists that make you say what the actual f*ck, then a) you’re in the right place b) you’re going to need a lie-down after this lot.

If you came here for the kind of plot twists that make you say what the actual f*ck, then a) you’re in the right place b) you’re going to need a lie-down after this lot.

Whether it’s a whodunit reveal or a heart-breaking denouement, these are the books that will turn everything you thought you knew upside down and inside out. Add them to your TBR pile immediately!

1 The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena

Who goes to a dinner party next door and leaves her baby alone in the house? What kind of mother does such a thing? She feels the familiar agony set in – she is not a good mother.

People are capable of almost anything. You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall. Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying. Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour. Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last.

But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone. You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there. What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

Get ready for a rollercoaster of emotions. You will not see these twists coming.

2 Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn

An ugly, sinister and all-together gruesome story with an almighty revelation – what more would you expect from master of gripping page-turners, Gillian Flynn? You will want to re-read it just to go back and spot the red herrings.

3 Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty

The best-selling novel behind the hit HBO TV series starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. Liane Moriarty will have you up all night with this unputdownable story of ‘perfect’ lives torn apart by ugly secrets. All we’re going to say is, don’t mess with these women.

4 Monday’s Not Coming – Tiffany D. Jackson

A poignant and deeply important novel that examines systemic racism and media bias through the lens of teenage girl, Claudia. Get ready for one hell of a book hangover.

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable-more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.

When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumours and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best-and only-friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

5 In a Dark, Dark Wood – Ruth Ware

A hen party in a remote cottage in the woods…what could possibly go wrong? It will leave your jaw dangling on the floor too many times to count.

6 The Girl on The Train – Paula Hawkins

Admit it, there’s no way you’d take this list seriously without this honourable mention. A missing woman, adultery and an unreliable narrator? Oh it’s juicy alright. You’ll be flabbergasted, exhausted and emotionally drained. In a good way.

7 Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

You think you know where this story’s heading, but you don’t, and your heart will never recover from the devastation. Warning: not safe to read in public unless you can blame a severe bout of hay fever.

8 Fingersmith – Sarah Waters

An atmospheric Dickensian novel chock full of whiplash-inducing twists and turns. At nearly 600 pages long, it’s one big beautiful monster but if you stick with it, you’ll be richly rewarded.

9 My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

In all thirteen years of Anna’s life, her parents have never given her a choice: she was born to be her sister Kate’s bone marrow donor and she has always given Kate everything she needs.

But when Anna is told Kate needs a new kidney, she begins to question how much she should be prepared to do to save the older sibling she has always been defined by. So, Anna makes a decision that will change their family forever – perhaps even fatally for the sister she loves.

We won’t spoil it for you but let it be known that the gut-wrenching ending will leave you inconsolable for weeks. Possibly even months.

10 Elizabeth Is Missing – Emma Healey

Not your average murder mystery – Healey’s debut novel is narrated by Maud, an 82-year-old woman with dementia. She makes cups of tea and forgets to drink them; sometimes she doesn’t recognise her own daughter but there’s one thing she is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing.

11 Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

There’s a twist and then there’s a Gillian Flynn t-w-i-s-t. If you’ve managed to avoid reading the book or watching the film, don’t waste another second.

What’s the best book twist you’ve ever read? Let us know in the comments so we can add them to our TBR piles!


Smile-Worthy Stories We Loved Last Week

Another five stories fresh from last week that put a smile on our faces!

School meal success

Marcus Rashford’s campaign to the government to continue providing free school meal vouchers throughout the summer holidays has been achieved! This means around 1.3M children in England will not go hungry this summer after the government had planned to stop the initiative when term time finished. Rashford spoke to the PM Boris Johnson on the phone and was praised for using his voice in such a positive way.

Open for business

Shops and businesses throughout the country opened their doors last week. Stores have had to adjust to social distancing guidelines and adapt to the current way of life. Some of even went above and beyond like Selfridges, who set up live entertainment for those queuing. It has given the population a sense of normality back and is a step in a new direction

Graduation day

The 22-year-old activist and youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai has graduated from Oxford! Malala finished her Philosophy, Politics and Economy degree on Friday after beginning her course is 2017. We can’t wait to see the amazing Malala is going to achieve in the future, and love that her Instagram caption states that for now she’ll be reading, sleeping and Netflixing!

A date with Keanu

Movie Star Keanu Reeves is auctioning off a Zoom date with himself for charity! The internet’s favourite celebrity is selling “15 Minutes of Fame with Keanu Reeves” for the children’s cancer charity Camp Rainbow Gold. The current bid is at £75,000 with the auction ending at midnight tonight!

Supreme Court protects LGBT rights

On Monday 15th June the Supreme Court ruled that gay and transgender workers will be protected by federal civil rights laws. The 6-3 ruling means that Gay and Transgender people cannot be fired because of those characteristics as the 1964 Civil Rights Act now applies to them. This is a fantastic step forward for the US.


Weekly Wants: Tech Must-Haves

Check out our must-have tech picks that make life that little bit easier, in this week's Weekly Wants!

This week we’re talking all things tech, sharing the gadgets and gizmos we can’t live without. From hair tools that give a salon worthy finish (essential given the state of our lockdown hair right now), pet security cameras to check in with your furry friends, to noise cancelling headphones so you can listen to your boppiest playlist without being disturbed.

Check out our must-have tech picks that make life that little bit easier, in this week’s Weekly Wants!

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Masks Up To The Task

From sheet masks to feet masks and bubbling formulas that wouldn’t look out of place in Professor Flitwick’s Charm class, there’s a plethora of magic lotions and potions to choose from out there. Here's a look at the team's top masks!

Masks have become the cliché of all quarantine clichés, second only to baking banana bread. Remember those early days? Weeks 1 – 4. That sh*t was BANANAS.

From sheet masks to feet masks and bubbling formulas that wouldn’t look out of place in Professor Flitwick’s Charm class, there’s a plethora of magic lotions and potions to choose from out there.

Whether you’re looking to target acne, brighten your complexion or give your hair some extra shine, there’s a mask for each woe known for every guy, gal, and non-binary pal. Hopefully, you’ll find a few new discoveries, faithful favourites and ‘can’t live withouts’. Here’s a look at the team’s top masks!


The Origins Drink Up 10-Minute Mask with Apricot and Swiss Glacier Water is possibly the best thing I’ve ever smelt and I’m only being ever so slightly dramatic. I turn 30 next year, so I’m all about skincare that delivers fast and effective results. This cult classic contains skin-plumping hyaluronic acid and targeted Advanced Hydration Technology and it just so happens to smell GREAT, so it ticks all the boxes.

One mask I’ll always make time for in my self-care routine is the Oskia Renaissance mask. It’s such a beautiful and gentle buttery formula designed to boost radiance, alleviate congestion and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Believe the hype – it’s a solid all-rounder.

I couldn’t discuss masks without including this iconic sheet mask in there somewhere. The By Terry Baume de Rose mask is, as the name suggests, infused with rose petals and hydrating rose oil. It’s as dreamy as it sounds. Whenever my skin is feeling particularly grouchy and parched – usually after a few too many wines on my doorstep – I slap this mask on and my skin gradually forgives me. Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it – man, it’s like a hug for your face.


I recently started shopping more at The Body Shop as I really love the ethics behind the brand and the products are also lovely. I tried out their Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask after my friend recommended it to me and instantly loved it! I’m prone to blackheads on my nose and this mask really helps clear them out, if you like satisfying gross stuff too, you can literally see the oil and sebum that has been pushed out of your pores on the surface of the mask.

Another mask I’m loving from The Body Shop is their Banana Truly Nourishing Hair Mask, It’s a quick mask which you only have to leave on for 5-10 mins in the shower and you come out with lovely smooth hair. It smells great too, I love that sweet banana smell!

Deviating from The Body Shop, Superdrug’s own brand Coconut Oil for Hair and Skin is also really great. It’s a bit messier as it’s and oil and you can leave it in for a minimum of 1-2 hours, but I usually leave it in over night! Coconut oil is great for your hair though, especially for me who has bleached hair which needs some extra care until we can go back to a salon!

Lastly I love the Garnier Vitamin C Sheet Shot Mask, it’s really brightening and good to use when you feel like your complexion is looking a bit dull.


I’ve always been a fan of masks as a form of self-care, I love seeing results and who doesn’t want softer skin, shinier hair, and smooth feet! My most recent mask is the PHAT Glow Facial from Ole Henrikson. You can apply it a couple of times a week and it’s amazing for doing before your makeup before an event. It comes out in a sticky pink formula that you massage on to your face until it turns white. Wash off after 10mins for the most baby soft skin!

Another fave is the Lumene Nordic Hydra Oxygen Recovery 72h Hydra Gel Mask. It’s a thick jelly I whack on whilst I’m in the bath and wash off the residue when I get out. I sometimes apply a thinner layer as a sleep mask. It leaves me with plump healthy skin and a lovely glow.

My top hair mask would have to be The Circle Masks from Davines. You can get different ones depending on what you want to focus on, I usually go for shine which is The Spotlight version. Apply to shampooed, towel-dried hair. Leave for 10-15 mins then comb through and rinse! Great for events when you want to really make the effort or if your locks are feeling a little bit lacklustre!


I am a huge fan of masks for one reason only, they actually do make a big difference. I never used to bother that much but when I got engaged a few years ago I knew I needed to up my game to get my hair and skin looking it’s best. So many people in the industry told me I needed to embrace masks to do this and I was told that ideally I should be using them at least twice a week which I’ve been doing so ever since.

If my skin is having a breakout or I’m experiencing redness I’ll use this Origins relief soothing face mask. This stuff is genius and I’ll see a drastic improvement to spots whenever I use it.

I love the idea of things working magic while you sleep so a few of my favourite masks are to use overnight. Summer Fridays Jet Lag and The Body Shop drops of youth are too of the best I’ve tried for when my skin really needs that extra hydration.

My top pick hair mask has to be Olaplex which I was recommended by my hairdresser Sam who uses it in her salon. Whether you leave it on for 10 minutes or overnight this stuff keeps your hair strong between haircuts, I swear by it.


I seem to remember Origins being the first skincare brand that I splurged on as a teen, and their Active Charcoal Mask has been a firm favourite of mine since sixth form. It’s great for anyone with an oily complexion and always leaves my skin feeling so clear and free of dirt and oil from the day.

2020 has been a year of a slight hair disaster for me, as my highlighted hair was left a bit frazzled and over-processed after a visit to the salon in December, so I’d like to think I know a thing or two about recovery hair masks by now. I’ve tried more expensive remedies but this beauty from Bleach London has honestly saved my hair from many a knot disaster. I go through a LOT of this stuff when I wash my hair and make sure to leave it on for around 30 minutes before washing off for the maximum moisture hit. It makes brushing through bleached hair much easier and the affordable price tag means you don’t need to be sparing.

Secondly, and definitely on that pricier side, the Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer Deep Conditioning Treatment. This is a pre shampoo mask to be applied on wet hair and again designed to be left on for as long as possible (they recommend 60 mins!). Although it makes my hair wash day a tiresome process, the moisture this mask gives whilst still leaving my hair feeling light and bouncy is second to none.


Eye masks! – I love these by Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches. Especially on those days where you wake up with slightly more puffy eyes!

Sheet Masks – The 111 Skin masks are seriously amazing (although slightly more indulgent) Rose Gold Brightening is my favourite.

Other favourites are the Jet Lag mask by Summer Fridays, anything by Allies of Skin and the Tatcha C-Radiance Mask.

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