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Archive for the ‘skincare’ Category

Body Care Is Just As Important As Facial Skin Care

In beauty, skincare on July 12, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Image Courtesy of Sora Shimazaki via Pexels

At this point we all know that it’s a good idea to have an appropriate skincare routine for our faces. It’s also most likely safe to say that many people have a good (or at least decent) routine in place and are experiencing some payoff from the effort. Wonderful. But then there is the rest of the skin on the body which oftentimes gets neglected.

If you are anything like me, this can be the case more than I care to admit. With a power packed schedule, I, of course, do my am/pm skin care routines but for the rest of my body I might only pay attention to what is exposed: an elbow, an ankle, a toe. Throw in the fact that I suffer from EXTREMELY dry, patchy winter skin, particularly on my legs/thighs. which leaves my skin itchy, flaky and blotchy. This is a problem for me when spring and summer rolls around because of the shorter, more revealing clothes I like to wear. My consistent body care neglect then leaves me scrambling to fix the aftermath of my neglect. If only I would take extra time to care for my body skin as much as I do my face. Anywho, in an effort to fix my skin, I have to pull out the most aggressive tactics and artillery to rid myself of this blotchy lizard skin. But sometimes no matter how many concoctions i apply to my skin, it doesn’t alleviate me of what ails me. On top of that, all that harsh and aggressive scrubbing can do more harm than good. I know – I must do better.

So what products and tools have I been using lately on a more intentional and consistent basis to help correct, smooth and even out my skin making it soft, smooth and radiant? Keep reading.

Olay Cleansing & Renewing Night Time Body Wash With Retinol.

If you know anything about me, i will always sing the praises of retinol. It is one of the most powerful anti-aging, skincare renewal ingredients that one can use on their skin. I had been seeing advertisements for this body wash but never got around to making the purchase. Then a friend gave me a bottle and I couldn’t wait to get home to use it. Now let me say that I usually try to stay away from skincare that is fragranced but this body wash smells quite exquisite. I have been using this every night for the past 3 weeks and I must say that my skin – especially on my legs/thighs – is smoother and more even in tone than it’s been in quite some time.

Bathing/Exfoliating Gloves.

I believe in the power of a good body exfoliator but many times I don’t feel like taking that extra step in the shower after cleansing. So instead I use exfoliating gloves because they cleanse and exfoliate at the same time. That in addition to using my gloves with my Olay Cleansing & Renewing Night Time Body Wash With Retinol makes for very beautiful skin that I’m always eager to show off.

Dry Brushing

I’ve read numerous articles about celebrities using this particular technique on the regular so I felt it was necessary to do some research and possibly go shopping for a new tool.

Dry brushing is a type of medicine of ayurvedic origin what has been around for centuries. It is an exfoliation technique that is believed to exfoliate dead dry skin so that the body can eliminate toxins through the pores. There isn’t much scientific evidence/research to support dry brushing HOWEVER possible benefits (with the obvious/most noticeable being the first two) (may) include:

  • exfoliate the skin
  • boost energy and circulation
  • eliminate toxins
  • help break down cellulite
  • help with lymphatic drainage (open pores/sweat)

Now I don’t know about the break down of cellulite, lymphatic drainage or even the elimination of toxins but what I do like is the invigorating and energetic feeling that I experience. Even more important is that I see the dead skin being lifted that I didn’t realize was there. This is the one thing I do in the morning on dry skin to help prep for my shower. For more info on dry brushing, tools and best practices, go here and here.

Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion Deep with Nourishing Serum and Almond Oil

When it comes to body (or hand) lotion, I always look for something unscented (for fragrance layering), rich, emollient and leaves my skin radiant and glowy (maybe slightly greasy) and this body lotion fits the bill. I use it am and pm and when used consistently, the skin on my body looks very beautiful and healthy.

Do you have any body care best practices or is that something you need to add to your current skincare routine?

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9 Clear Skin MVP’s To Help Banish Acne

In beauty, skincare on February 10, 2021 at 8:30 am
Sora Shimazaki via Pexels

Having a acne is never fun.  Whether it is occasional or a regular occurrence, acne is inconvenient and annoying. And yes, acne is terrible when you are an awkward teenager but what about when you are an adult?  In your career.  On the dating scene.  Advancing toward the next milestone of your life.  In a perfect world, adulting would never include fighting acne.

But it’s not a perfect world and adult acne is a real thing. While some people may think focusing on physical appearance is vain and self centered, those struggling with adult acne know better.  Oftentimes, there is an embarrassment and isolation as well as physical and emotional scarring that is overlooked.

To cope, some adult acne sufferers may chalk it up to breakouts being their lot in life.  Depending on the severity, some may suffer depression and find it difficult to leave the house while others will spend time and money undergoing treatment.  The latter is always an option in treating acne but there are also over the counter (OTC) options that can help banish acne. When going with OTC options, it’s important to know about the various ingredients and what they do for the skin. As with any skin care routine and treatment, if you want to see results, you have to be consistent. Continue reading to get the 411 on these popular acne fighting ingredients.

Niacinamide. Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide has multiple skin benefits such as helping with the appearance of enlarged pores, fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps to fight whiteheads and blackheads, brightens the skin and helps to reduce redness. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.

Glycolic Acid. This popular AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) which is derived from sugar cane is the master at exfoliation and skin clearing. Having the smallest molecule, it is able to penetrate deeper into the skin to help clear up acne, dullness, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles to reveal smoother, brighter skin. Rodial Glycolic Booster Drops.

Salicylic Acid.  This BHA (beta hydroxy acid), salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that treats whiteheads and blackheads.  Performing like Drain-o, salicylic acid dives past oil and gunk to get down to the pores to clear them out and dissolves the “glue” that holds the sticky cells together.  Although salicylic acid is found in most acne treatments, it does not kill bacteria.  Zitsticka Killa Kit.

Benzoyl Peroxide. An old school acne fighting ingredient, benzoyl peroxide, which is perfect for whiteheads, kills the bacteria that causes acne and keeps pores from being blocked. Found in concentrations between 2.5% and 10%, it is best when used on a continual basis. Proceed with caution because it can be drying to the skin and cause redness. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment.

Sulfur.  Another ingredient that kills the bacteria that causes acne, sulfur can be used to treat mild cases.  It is keratolyic – meaning it dries the skin and makes the epidermis thinner.  Sulfur helps to reduce oil and has anti-microbial properties and helps diminish whiteheads and blackheads. Clearogen Sensitive Skin Acne Lotion.

Retinoids. If you are looking for a product with an ingredient that addresses multiple concerns, retinol might be for you. A derivative of vitamin A, retinol is anti-aging in that it helps with fine lines and wrinkles. As an exfoliator, it helps refine skin texture and pores as well as helps to speed up cell turnover to reveal new skin. Retinol is also an anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce oil production. You may experience drying if you have dry skin. Use at retinol products night and use a sunscreen during the day. Treats whiteheads and blackheads. Differin Gel.

Hyaluronic Acid. Usually when people have acne, their skin might be more oily than dry. And those with oily skin may skip the hydration piece of their skin care routine because they feel they don’t need it. This could not be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, not moisturizing your skin can leave your skin unbalanced and unprotected – think dryness and bacteria. This can lead to more breakouts. Technically, hyaluronic acid is not an acne fighting ingredient but keep skin balanced which supports skin health and can lead to a reduction in acne. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel.

Kaolin Clay. This particular clay has multiple uses including cleansing the hair and teeth but is most popular for skin care. As one of the most gentle clays, kaolin is neutral in ph and is used for many cosmetic purposes. Not only does kaolin clay exfoliate the skin, it also draws out oil dirt and other impurities to help purify the skin. Although it works for all skin types, it is very mild and can work for dry and sensitive skin. Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Pore Refining Clay Mask.

Light Therapy. This kind of treatment uses different colors (blue and red) of visible light to treat acne. Red light, which stimulates collagen, not only treats anti-aging but helps with inflammation and helps to reduce oil production. Blue light is anti-bacterial and helps to reduce the appearance of pores and active breakouts. Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment.

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

These Are 5 Skin Care Ingredient Trends To Keep Your Eye On

In beauty, skincare on January 29, 2021 at 8:30 am
Image Courtesy of Cottonbro via Pexels

Every year a new skincare ingredient trend will pop up on our feeds prompting a full on investigation. Do we need it? Who else is using it? Where can we get it? Is it really that good? We jump on our laptops and phones to research said new ingredient trends to see what the tea is. After evaluating our current skincare needs and personal inventory, what usually comes next is a trip to our favorite beauty store or website for a purchase.

The following 5 skincare ingredients are no different to the investigative and purchasing process that we find ourselves in. Keep in mind that these ingredients have always been around however they are having their time in the spotlight and are getting more attention than before. Continue reading to find out what these ingredients are and if you need to add them to your skincare routine.

Niacinamide. Although glycolic will always have a place in many people’s heart and beauty cabinets (including mine), Niacinamide is piquing many beauty enthusiasts’ attention. A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide is known for many of it’s reparative and soothing properties. It is water soluble meaning it dissolves in water and is thus easily absorbed into the skin. It works for most skin types, partners well with other ingredients in your skincare such as AHA/BHA and vitamin C. Niacinamide can help with acne, discoloration and pores and can be used am and pm. It can also help with dehydration because it helps the skin to produce ceramides which is a lipid that guards against moisture loss.

Glossier Super Pure

Verso Hydration Serum

Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner

Skin Inc. Vitamin B3 Serum

Microbiome Skincare. Often referred to when discussing gut health, the microbiome (or skin flora) also relates to skin. What exactly is the microbiome? It is the community, environment or collection of mainly bacteria, viruses and fungi (microbes) that live on the skin. Now before you freak out from the mere thought of these organisms, please know that these are the good bacteria you want on your skin to keep it healthy. When your skin barrier becomes compromised, it can lead to a myriad of skin issues including acne, folliculitis, eczema, psoriasis and dandruff. Some things that can compromise the microbiome are over-exfoliation, medication, stripping the skin with things like extremely hot showers, as well as lifestyle. Microbiome skincare, which contains pre and pro biotics will help to restore and balance the skin when you need a little extra help.

Ren Perfect Canvas Clean Primer

Ellis Day Wild Resilience Active Phage Serum

Neogen Dermalogy Probiotics double Action Serum

107 Everyday Plump Hydro Cream

Dark Spot Correctors. Before you consider going under a laser, consider a dark spot corrector. Dark spot correctors are definitely not new however, more brands are including these types of product in their lineups. Consumers are also educating themselves on the products and ingredients that can help even out skintone. We all know that discoloration can occur after a breakout, injury or inflammation and can be annoying to look at. Dark spot correctors can help these issues go away. Correctors can take the form of a serum or a toner and can include ingredients such as kojic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, azelic acid, niacinamide, and licorice root. To increase the long term effects of dark spot correction, be sure to use sunscreen and don’t pick at blemishes.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

Ole Henriksen Glow 2OH Dark Spot Toner

Vitner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

Faded Brightening & Clearing Gel

Retinol In Body Care. We know about the importance of a good skincare routine that should, on a basic level, include cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and sunscreen. We also know about the multiple benefits of including retinol in said skincare for the face. But what about body care? Because why have amazing skin on your face but from the neck down you look like a wheathered oak tree? Retinol, which is the gold standard has been a mainstay in skin care products for decades. And, as of late, more products such as body wash, body lotions and serums are being created and spotlighted that contain retinol. It helps your skin to act and look younger and helps skin to produce collagen while helping with fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, pores and clarity. Now just imagine how amazing the skin on the rest of your body will look.

Thisworks Sleep Plus Dream Body Cream

Eve Lom Hand Retreat Hand Treatment

Advanced Clinicals Retinol Firming Cream

Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin Smoothing Body Treatment

Bakuchiol. Often touted as a natural, less irritating alternative to retinol, bakuchiol can yield similar results to retinol. Found in the seeds and leaves babchi plant (Psoralea Corylifolia), bakuchiol is central to ancient Ayurvedic practices and Chinese skincare. Bakuchiol is vegan and contains antioxidants and can help with discoloration, texture issues and free radical damage. It is more tolerated on various skin types and can be an alternative for pregnant women.

Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum

Acure Radically Rejuvenating Dual Phase Bakuchiol Serum

Innbeauty Project Slushy Serum Moisturizer Crush

Whish Beauty Botanical Primer With Bakuchiol

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Your Beauty Products Have A Shelf Life – Learn When To Toss These Items To Ensure Your Safety.

In beauty, makeup, skincare on January 20, 2021 at 8:30 am

There is a big chance that the makeup you used this morning has expired.

Lets face it – most of us are beauty product hoarders.  We hold onto lipsticks and eye shadows forever because we don’t want to let them go.  It’s also cool to collect and hoard product just to say we have something.

And, even though we hoard makeup, we also love new beauty products as well.  The thrill you get when you open a new tube of lipstick or blush and apply that first swipe is like no other.  It’s kind of like exhaling.

Whether said beauty product is something we’ve purchased ourselves, received as a gift or won in some type of social media give away, we all pride ourselves with having the latest and greatest.  And let’s not even talk about an order that is coming in the mail:  we stalk the delivery guy, staring out of the window, making sure the doorbell is still working and incessantly check the tracking status to see where our package of hopes and dreams are- even though we literally just placed the order.  Not to mention, when our favorite makeup artist, beauty guru or celebrity launches a new product, no moment or cost is spared to purchase the newest palette, highlighter or foundation.

But what happens after the initial joy of our new makeup wears off?  Like the older, once beloved products,  it gets tossed to the side, stored away in a drawer somewhere until we decide to wear a particular product again.  If your makeup falls into the latter category, proceed with caution before you bring that product back into circulation:  chances are that product has expired.

What is a makeup shelf life?

Makeup can be stored away for a long period (up to 3 years) of time before it actually reaches you.  These products will eventually go bad but it will take longer because they are not opened and are usually stored in a cool dark place, preserving the shelf life.  For the purpose of this discussion however, we will discuss the shortened shelf life of product after purchase, when it is opened and exposed to various conditions.

All makeup has a PAO – period after opening, which is marked by an expiration date.  This expiration date is usually on the back of packaging with a small jar with a number in it.  This number indicates the life span of that product after opening.  Since most people don’t keep the original packaging their product comes in, it’s a good idea to write the date you opened the product or keep a log.  This is extra work but makeup that has gone bad is a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause a host issues such as irritation, swelling, breakouts and infection that may require medical attention.

Having said all of that, how do you know when to throw your makeup and other beauty products away?  When there is a change in color, texture, consistency, odor or performance. If your product is preservative free, you will definitely need to be mindful of the shelf life.  Keep the following guidelines in mind when purchasing and storing product:

  • Control the temperature your makeup is stored in.  If possible, don’t keep your makeup in the bathroom where the temperatures fluctuate consistently and definitely do not leave your makeup in your car.
  • Don’t share your makeup and replace eye makeup after an eye infection.
  • Wash your hands before using your product.
  • Avoid jars when possible.  Every time you open a jar and stick your fingers in your product, it becomes contaminated.  Use a spatula or cotton swab instead.
  • Use a makeup sanitizer spray.  Also use a tissue to wipe off layer of uncertainty and make sure you clean your brushes.
  • Although it can be more economically sound to purchase the larger size of something, consider how often you will use the product.
  • If you find that you need to dispose of a product, do so by putting it in the garbage instead of pouring down the drain to avoid clogging the drain and contributing to contaminated water ways.

Below is a list of the estimated shelf life after opening for frequently used products (give or take):

Foundation

  • Oil free – 12 months
  • Cream and liquid – 18 months to 2 years

Concealer

  • Sticks – up to 18 months
  • Liquid and cream – up to 6 months

Powders

  • Most powder products, whether they are foundation, eye shadow, blush, bronzer or highlighter, can last up to 2 years.

Eyeliners

  • Pencils can last up to 2 years.  By sharpening the pencil before use, you will shave off some of the layer of uncertainty.
  • Liquid and gel – 3 months

Cream Eye shadow – up to 6 months.

Mascara – up to 3 months.

Brushes 2-5 years, sometimes longer with proper cleaning, conditioning, and storage.

Lipstick/liner – up to 12 months and gloss up to 2 years.

Cleanser/toner – up to 12 months.

Eye Cream – 6 months to 2 years

Serum/Treatment – 6 months to 2 years

Face/body moisturizer – up to two years.

Sunscreen – up to 12 months.

Nail Polish – up to 12 months.

How consistent are you with throwing away older beauty products?  Share your comments below.

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6 Beauty Trends To Keep Your Eye On In 2021

In beauty, how to, makeup, makeup artist tools, skincare on January 8, 2021 at 8:30 am

It’s no secret that 2020 was a year filled with many unexpected twist and turns. Daily life was upended and most people were confined to their homes. If you did leave the house, you had to have a mask on.

If you didn’t already work in an industry where a mask was required (surgeon, auto mechanic, etc.) chances are the mask may have wrecked havoc on your entire beauty routine. From maskne to not needing to apply the usual highlight, contour and favorite lip, some beauty routines became less important while learning to navigate what was quickly becoming the new norm. And, with all of the extra time that many had on their hands, increased beauty experiments and online shopping became a form of entertainment to cope. Increased DIY also became a part of the new norm as many tried to figure out how to maintain their skin, hair and nails since everything was shut down. Endless zoom calls required you to take what you learned from your Instagram feed and YouTube and apply them to yourself.

Now that the new year has begun, it will be interesting to see what is new, what is re-invented what will remain the same as time progresses. Continue reading to discover 6 beauty trends to keep your eye on throughout the upcoming season.

Glowy Skin. Skin that radiates is a goal that everyone has. In times past the quickest way to achieve that enviable glow was with various forms of highlighters and luminizers. This method of topical glow is perfectly fine and will not go away. I do find however that many people desire the health of their skin to be the source of their glow. This can be achieved many different ways, particularly with a regular routine of cleansing, exfoliation, and a healthy lifestyle. To get that added boost, add in a serum that targets radiance and correction specifically and apply your moisturizer after.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

Laneige Glowy Makeup Serum

OKO Skincare Glow Hydrating Serum

Pixi Skintreats Overnight Glow Serum

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Serum

Foundation Hybrids. Long gone are the days of heavy foundations that clog your pores and assault your skin. Think of foundation hybrids as a relationship between foundation and skincare. These new formulations have a combination of pigments, SPF as well as ingredients to help improve the skin such as antioxidants, kombucha, and peptides. Foundation hybrids allow breathability and flexibility on the skin as well as various levels of coverage when you switch your tool and technique.

Live Tinted Huestick

Urban Decay Hydromaniac Tinted Glow Hydrator

Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

Colorful eyes. Because of masks, now is the time more than ever to flex your makeup skills and play up your eyes. And what better way to accentuate your eyes than with this season’s trend of colorful eyes with colored mascaras, liners and eyeshadows. The wonderful thing about these bright colorful eye trends is that you can keep it minimal or monochromatic with just a liner or mascara or go all out with creating a glamorous look with a colorful smoky or spotlight eye.

ColourPop BFF Mascara

YSL Beaute Vinyl Couture Mascara

Limecrime Astronomical Mascara

L’oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara

NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Brights Eyeliner

Shany Cosmetics Indelible Gel Liner

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

Juvia’s Place Warrior 3 Palette

Violet Voss Mini Forget Me Not Palette

Limecrime Venus 3 Eyeshadow Palette

Bushy Full Brows. Eyebrows are extremely important as they are the architecture of your face. If your brows are not on point, why bother with anything else? As of late we have seen a lot more of a relaxed yet well structured brow as opposed to the highly stylized bold Insta brow. Brows styles have a specific microbladed look for natural effect. And fear not – if you naturally have minimal to sparse brows, you can still fake it with many of the brow markers that more brands are creating.

Benefit Microfilling Brow Pen

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pen

Ardell Stroke A Brow Feathering Pen

MAC Shape + Shade Brow Tint

Patrick Ta Major Brow Shaping Wax

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Primer

Makeup Revolution Soap Brow

Red/Red Orange Lips. A red lip never goes out of style. Regardless of the season or what other popular lip trends there may be, a red lip – particularly matte – is forever classy and an essential item for your makeup collection. And yes it is normal and ok to several favorite red lips. When wearing a red lip, always remember to exfoliate, prep and line before applying your red lip.

Nars Cosmetics Lipstick (Heatwave)

Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick (999 Matte)

Buxom Cosmetics Full Force Plumping Lipstick (Powerhouse)

Nars Cosmetics Powermatte Lip Pigment (Light My Fire)

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Lipstick (Lady Balls)

Lashes. Daily application of false lashes will never go out of style. While this may be true, many are seeking other alternatives to this daily process to make their eyes pop. Lash extensions may be an option for some if they are comfortable with going to a salon. For those who don’t mind taking their beauty into their own hands, there are less expensive at home options such as lashes that last for 7-10 days without having to remove and reapply daily.

Lashify

Moitie Cosmetics

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On My Radar: My Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Roundup

In beauty, clean beauty, fashion, hair, skincare, style on January 1, 2021 at 8:30 am

On My Radar is a roundup of the things that I love, use, discovered or have piqued my interest that I think you should know about.

Herbivore Lapis Depuffing Facial Roller. Adding certain tools to your skin care routine can be the boost your skin needs. I have heard of the multiple benefits of facial rolling which is a technique/beauty ritual that dates back to ancient China and decided that I needed to add a facial roller to my skin care routine. I have the Herbivore Lapis Depuffing Facial Roller and let me say this is literally one of the most beautiful tools I have seen. It is double ended and has a deep blue, marble – like stone with gold accents on the handle. It has a great weight, feels nice in my hand and is easy to use. I use the larger side on my forehead, cheeks, chin and neck and the smaller side around my eyes, nose and lips.

There are many benefits to using a facial roller. First, it helps to push your products deeper into your skin. I like to take my oils, warm them up in my hands and press into my skin and neck. Then I use my roller to push the oils deeper into my skin. Facial rolling helps to massage the skin which can be very helpful and relaxing, especially after a long day. Facial rolling also helps stimulate the lymphatic system which can be good for releasing toxins and stagnant fluid in various areas of the face. I noticed that when I used the roller, my nose started running. I also feel that my skin looks even more radiant after I have used it because of the increased blood flow to my face. I occasionally roll in the morning but definitely in the evening. It’s very relaxing and meditative.

Although I’m not into stones per se, I respect and understand that they have certain metaphysical properties. The lapis stone is said to have many benefits and properties which includes enhancing intellectual ability, encouraging honesty, and has various healing properties.

Intimissimi Mina Bra. New, well-fitting underwear is the pick-me-up you never knew you needed. When you have on new underwear, you walk differently. You talk differently. Your clothes seem to look and feel better too. Or maybe that’s just me. But good underwear is the stuff dreams are made of and I’ve made it a habit to edit and buy new underwear every few months. It’s really easy to buy panties and I rarely pass up a good 5 for $30 deal (hello Target and Vicki’s Secret). Trying to find good, supportive bras without breaking the bank is another story. A chore if you will. Not to talk too much about my lady parts, but lets just say I carry around a sizable, weighty inheritance from my mom and aunties. Any bra just wont do. I can never seem to be able to go into a store, grab a few bras and go on about my business. I have to plan ahead. Do research. Perform deep cleansing breaths. Do warm up and mobility exercises to prepare for all of the putting on and taking off.

I find that many bras just don’t do it for me. And those cute little lacy numbers laugh in my face. Bralettes are a no go unless I’m laying down – sleep. If I blink, there might be some type of slippage. And full coverage is never really full coverage. I always have over boob, under boob, and just a little bit of boob in the actual cup. I’ve even had to reconstruct some bras for better fit. I’m the personification of cups running over. That’s not a bad thing. I just want to keep the goods in the cups. At least in public.

For some reason it is harder to find 34/36 DDD (my usual size) in stores that don’t specialize in undergarments. And I need a bra that is going to pull me in on the sides as well as scoop, lift and sit these girls nicely in my bra. Without bulging, tugging, pulling, or digging. And with quality fabric I might add. This set of criteria costs money. Wacoal bras are my go to which I’ve usually purchased from Nordstrom. The last set of bras I purchased that fit precisely the way I like cost $85. EACH. That is fine but sometimes I’m not in the mood to pay that price for a bra.

In my recent quest for bras with hopefully a slightly lower price point, I stopped into Intimissimi at one of my local malls. It’s a store I usually roll my eyes at and walk past, convinced that nothing will fit. And before you wonder to yourself if I’ve tried Victoria’s Secret bras, they don’t work for me either. Anywhoo, over the course of about an hour, I tried on several beautiful bras that just didn’t meet my standards – spillage, not enough lift, no support at all, no pull. Then I tried on the style Mina. Perfection! No gapping, pulling, digging, sagging. Just that pull, scoop, lift and sit that I love. It fits like a second skin. And this bra retails for $49 which is nice. The day I went in they were having a 50% off sale so I purchased a few bras.

Akira. As if I need another pair of shoes. A week or so ago, when I should have been asleep, I found myself scrolling around on Akira just to “look around”. You know how you go to your favorite site just to “see” what they have going on and you lie tell yourself “i’m not buying anything” ? Well this was one of those moments, while half asleep, that I was going to just “look around”. But then, per usual, I saw a few pairs of shoes and put them in my shopping cart. But I wasn’t going to buy them. You’ve heard of sleep walking, right? Well this was sleep shopping because when I woke up the next morning, my first thought was “I think I bought something”. While going through my emails the next morning, there was an order confirmation so it was true. Oh darn (shrugs shoulders while smirking and imagining outfits to wear).

I bought these. This shoe is perfect because who couldn’t use a pair of spiked flats. Flats are a staple. Spikes put a little stank on everything. But this shoe is what got me. At first glance my thought was NOPE. NEVER. I thought the shoe was hideous. But I kept going back to look at it. I was intrigued. I still think they are hideous. Strange looking. I also think they are beautiful. The construction and quality is A1. I have a lot of great shoes but nothing like these.

Amika Supernova Blonde Moisture And Shine Cream. I like to keep my blonde super blonde. I mean who wouldn’t – especially when you go through the whole bleaching process. When it comes to maintenance, keeping blond hair true blond and not brassy is very important. I have used a lot of toning products that range from shampoos, conditioners and the purple drops that you can add into your styling products. These various products work fine but I’m always open to new products. I tried the Amika Supernova Blonde Moisture and Shine Cream on a whim and was very pleased. It is a purple leave in conditioner that keeps my hair shiny and brightens/tones my blonde immediately – no dullness or brassiness.

Speaking of colored hair, I also decided to try several Olaplex products (0, 3, 4, 5) to use after I do a color process. I don’t concern myself much about hair damage because I cut my hair frequently and keep it ultra short. It’s still good to have specific maintenance products (and routines) when you color whatever hair you have on top of your head.

Jouer Essential Hydrating Lip Oil. The only time I like to wear glossy lips is when I wear nude lip colors or just need a little hydration. Other than that I don’t care to have glossy lips. I haven’t been wearing my usual matte red lip and my mask makes my lips very dry so of course I need some type of hydration and smoothing. I’ve been using the Jouer Essential Hydrating Lip Oil. What is a lip oil you ask? Think of a lip oil as a hybrid of a lip gloss and nourishing oil. Anyway, the packaging is beautiful. When I pull it out to apply, there are lots of “oohs”, “aahs” and “what’s that?”. It has an ample oversized wand to apply the luscious formula which hydrates, repairs and gives a nice shine without stickiness.

Necessaire The Body Lotion. I tried this body lotion on my hands on yet another whim and fell in love immediately. It is unscented and vitamin (B3, C, E) and omega (6, 9) enriched. I want to transition some of my beauty and skin care products to cleaner alternatives. I enjoy this brand because it is a clean (and vegan) brand committed to delivering effective luxurious skincare at a reasonable price. The packaging simple and sophisticated and looks great sitting on my bathroom counter. The body lotion I use primarily on my hands and of course I love it on my body too. It’s rich, creamy, and leaves my skin looking radiant and feeling soft.

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8 Popular Beauty Myths You Should Stop Believing

In beauty, hair, makeup, skincare on September 29, 2020 at 10:26 am

When it comes to things like beauty, everyone has an opinion, a trick, and a solution for every beauty need and desire. Whether it’s information that has been passed down from your grandmother, tips and tricks from your friend, or your favorite beauty guru, there are many beauty routines and regimens that we have committed to for years that keep us looking our best. Or so it seems. This is because there are many beauty schools of thought that may actually be a myth.

Now if you feel that what you are doing on a regular basis is working for you don’t change. However, it’s still good to examine our thought process and approach to many of the things that we accept as fact. Below are 8 very popular beauty concepts that we have accepted through the ages that are actually myths.

You Can Make Pores Smaller/Go Away. I totally hate to be the bearer of bad news but pores don’t get smaller or go away. EVER. Also, I really wish that skin care and makeup companies would stop lying to those of us who have enlarged pores with empty promises of their magic pore shrinking lotions and potions. Now, everyone has pores. Everyone. It’s just that some people, usually those with oily, acne prone skin, have larger, more visible pores. Furthermore, pore size is determined genetically. For pores that “look” larger, they can be stretched when clogged with dirt and sebum. This is where appropriate skincare plays a role. Daily cleansing, gentle exfoliation, as well as using a detoxifying mask and things like peel pads can help pores look more refined. As far as makeup is concerned, there are certain primers have blurring effects that can also make pores look more refined. But again, pores don’t get smaller or go away. EVER.

Skin Adapts to Skin Care Products So You Have To Switch To Something New. Skin, which is our largest organ, is ever changing and evolving. What your skin needed 3 months ago may not be what your skin needs today. Think about why you bought a particular item for your skin, maybe to help with a particular concern that you had. Do you have that concern now? Not necessarily because the major skin changes might have already taken place so the results won’t seem as dramatic although the product is working the same way it always has. If you want to switch up your skincare, that’s totally fine but just know you don’t have to switch to a new product because your skin is “used” to your current products.

Wearing Makeup Daily Is Bad For Your Skin. Granted there are some makeup formulations that can irritate your skin, causing inflammation and breakouts. But makeup isn’t inherently bad for your skin. Also, skin doesn’t need to breathe because skin is not made up of tiny lungs. Now clogged pores – that’s another issue. Pores are tiny openings in the skin that release oils and sweat – not oxygen. Be sure to cleanse your face thoroughly on a daily basis and use the proper skincare formulation for your skin type. If you feel like you want to take a break from wearing makeup, that is never a bad thing. Have at it.

You Can Repair Split Ends. This is simply not true. You can use products to help improve their appearance but you will ultimately have to clip your ends and be mindful of things like heat styling, having a hair care routine in place and using the proper products for your hair on a regular basis. Also hair doesn’t grow faster when you cut it. Hair growth comes from the root. Not the ends. Snip Snip.

Oily Skin Doesn’t Need Moisturizer. The oil in one’s skin is not a moisturizer, which is something ALL skin types need. When someone with oily skin does not wear a moisturizer, the skin actually overcompensates for a lack of moisture by over-producing sebum, thus making you more oily and shiny. And even with all of that extra oil, your skin is still dry. It is best to use an oil free or mattifying moisturizer to help with shine as well as moisture.

Dry Skin Causes Wrinkles. Dry skin does not cause wrinkles. Overexposure to UV rays and other elements (aging, poor diet, genetics, smoking/drinking, etc) as well as the breakdown of collagen contribute to wrinkles. Dry skin can accentuate wrinkles but is not the culprit of said wrinkles.

Cellulite Can Go Away. Well not really but sort of through – measures like surgery. Anyway, although fairly harmless, cellulite can be an annoying occurrence that appears on places such as thighs, belly and breasts. It is more common in women than in men and can become more prevalent in aging, pregnancy as well as weight gain. Even those who are fit or slender may actually have cellulite. Cellulite is caused by fat deposits pushing toward of the surface of the skin. The use of creams, depending on ingredients, can offer a temporary reduction in appearance of cellulite. There are some things you can do to improve the appearance of cellulite such as: hydrate, exercise/eat a healthy well balanced diet and possibly dry brushing. When you stay hydrated, you are helping to flush toxins and keep skin looking healthy. When you are dehydrated, skin can appear more dull and cellulite can appear more visible. Exercising can help build lean muscle and burn fat which can help cellulite appear less visible. Eating a well balanced diet with healthy fats and lean protein can help you maintain your personal healthy weight. Dry brushing is thought to help with lymphatic drainage as well as helps with the appearance of skin.

Black Skin Doesn’t Need Sunscreen. Melanin is wonderful and all but it doesn’t protect against the UV rays that lead to aging (UVA) and burning which can lead to skin cancer (UVB). Also – ALL. SKIN. BURNS. For example, if you put white bread, wheat bread and pumpernickel bread into the oven and leave it in too long, all of the bread will burn. You just won’t see the damage on the pumpernickel as well as you would the white bread. But all the bread is damaged. Same with skin. So please, EVERYONE, wear your sunscreen.

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The Natural Deodorant Journey Continues..

In clean beauty, skincare on September 22, 2020 at 9:39 am

So once again I’m on a path to switching to natural deodorant. Around this time last year, I auditioned 3 natural deodorants over a span of several months that didn’t make the cut. My pits were sweaty. Pungent. Annoyed. To make matters worse, during this time, it seemed like everyone wanted a damned hug. Go away. Me and my armpits are going through something. Needless to say, I aborted my mission and went back to my usual aluminum filled choice that keeps my armpits dry and pleasantly fragrant.

I admire people who use natural deodorant. They’ve achieved a sort of relationship that I aspire to. It leaves me feeling like there has to be something out there that can work for me. But the thought of using a natural deodorant makes me leary. I roll my eyes as if thinking of a lover scorned. Or someone who insists on wearing cropped pants and kitten heels. Anyway – the natural deodorant that I’m trying this month is Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream. This deodorant comes enthusiastically recommended from a few of my cohorts. So I’ve tried it. But only inside the house. Because I’m still afraid of being betrayed by my deodorant. The real test is when I actually apply said deodorant and leave the house for the day. Which I haven’t done yet.

Sweet Pitti deodorant cream is part of Drunk Elephant’s hair and body care line which launched earlier this summer. It is contains mandelic acid, shea butter and arrowroot which will keep the skin under my arms soft, smooth and dry while fighting bacteria that leads to pungent pits. It is also formulated without baking soda, essential oils and aluminum – ingredients that can cause inflammation, irritation, discoloration and breakouts. Now I’m used to and prefer a solid so the cream is different for me. I was concerned that it would feel moist under my arms but the formula did dry down shortly after application. The scent is ok but for me deodorant doesn’t necessarily have to have a scent (although a powder fresh scent is always a delight). Retailing for $16, Sweet Pitti is not a bad price to pay for a healthier alternative to other deodorants on the market.

During my research on and in speaking with those who have made the switch to natural deodorants, there may be a period of time where you may have to reapply your deodorant throughout the day as your sweat glands release toxins that can lead to odor. I will try Sweet Pitti for the next month or so and give an update. Perhaps I should leave the house with it on. 🤔

Have you ever tried a natural deodorant and if so what brands have you used and how was your experience?

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Musings Of The Decolletage

In beauty, skincare on August 5, 2020 at 10:52 am

“I think that each woman, whatever age, needs to recognize something good in her body.  Someone has beautiful legs, someone has beautiful hair, someone else has beautiful decolletage or a beautiful waist or beautiful hands.  Everyone has something great.”  Carine Roitfeld.

 

Many of us know the importance of taking care of our skin.  And for those of us who have a serious skin care routine in place, we usually don’t spare any expense to ensure our skin is radiant, smooth and blemish free.

With that being said, have you ever stopped to consider all of the places you actually apply said skincare?  I mean we apply our various beauty potions on our face and even have a cream or two for the delicate eye area but did you know that you should bring all of  your skincare down to your nipples?  Yes.  Your nipples.  You see, our face actually starts (or stops- however you choose to look at it) at our nipples and skincare should include the area between the bust area all the way up to your hairline.  According to some, the décolletage technically starts at the bottom of your earlobes right down to the areola.

For Mature Audiences Only

Conversations about décolletage can conjure many different emotions.  For some, it is seen as sexy and beautiful – something to be shown off and admired.  For others, it can be seen as something shameful or something to be covered.  Boys drool over it and girls imagine their best lives with it.  Whatever your thoughts are about it – whether it’s something to see or not see – that isn’t the point of this particular discussion.  The point is the decolletage area is skin that should be cared for.

Your décolletage is actually more delicate than the skin on your face.  It contains no follicles or sweat glands.  And  like your hands, your décolletage, which includes the neck and chest area, usually shows the first signs of aging.  Lifestyle habits whether good or not so good – impact what any of our delicate skin looks like as well.  Other factors that affect what our decolletage and the rest of our skin looks like are:

  • Aging.  What else is there to say?  It is the process of life and our bodies go through many changes as we age.  Fortunately, there are many products (and procedures) available to help us age gracefully instead of looking like we have crashed and burned.
  • UV Rays.  UV rays, in addition to the natural aging process, ultraviolet rays cause collagen and elastin to break down causing us to experience an increase in wrinkles and loss of firmness.  Long term exposure to UV rays – childhood through early adulthood  –  also helps to accelerate the aging process.
  • Diet.  Not being the food police here  – eat whatever you want and enjoy.  The fact still remains that what we put in our bodies will show up on the outside of our bodies and on our skin – whether good or not so good.
  • Gravity.  Like aging, gravity is a mutha.  It can really be a drag so it is important to re-evaluate your beauty and lifestyle routine as you progress in age.

So what do you need to do to ensure that your deocolletage gets the care and attention it deserves?  Treat this area the same way you would your face.  After all, we spend a lot of time and money on our faces.  We don’t want our décolletage to look 30 years older than the rest of us.

  • Cleanse.  Since this area is more delicate use a gentle cleanser.  A cleanser with brightening or treatment ingredients are also options if you have specific concerns about this particular area.  Rinse and pat dry.
  • Exfoliate.  Once or twice a week, use a gentle exfoliator or buffing cream to slough  off dead skin cells.  You can also choose to use a device such as a Clarisonic that has  the attachment for body or buffing gloves that will cleanse and smooth the area as well.
  • Treat/Firm.  Those same treatment/firming serums and oils you use for your face, bring them down to the neck and chest area.  Gently massage the product into your skin.
  • Moisturize.  Never forget this step which will help keep this area soft and supple.  Remember there are no sebaceous glands so this area can tend to be more dry.
  • Sunscreen.  Just like we use sunscreen for all of  the other areas of our bodies, it’s important to use sun protection in this area, especially when that area is exposed.  Remember that prolonged exposure to UV rays accelerates the aging process which leads to wrinkles.
  • SleepSleep has regenerative properties not only for our brains and physical body but also for our skin.  Lack of sleep ages the skin therefore making our skin more lackluster and vulnerable to aging.  And when you do sleep, try doing so on your back which can help prevent wrinkles and creasing on your face and chest area.  Sleep wrinkles really are a thing.
  • Posture.  Many of us find ourselves slumped over desks, laptops, and cell phones which compromises good posture.  Remember to sit and stand with shoulders back and our heads up like we are balancing a stack of books.  Walking should take on a similar fashion, as if there is a gentle wind in the small of our backs.  Sure it feels strange and uncomfortable initially but it will help you in so many ways in the long run.
  • Glow.  This is of the utmost importance, especially when wearing low cut to lower plunging necklines.  We love our bronzer and highlight on our faces – it’s equally important to not forget the decolletage.
  • Lift The Girls Up.  With a good  bra (or good underwear for that matter) you can conquer the world.  A proper fitting bra will  help with posture, make your clothes look better and help the girls to sit up nicely, reducing pressure off your back and possibly help the skin not to sag as much.

Products to consider adding to your décolletage skincare repertoire:

 

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14 Products To Help You Get Rid Of Dark Spots

In beauty, skincare on July 31, 2020 at 10:12 am

I believe it is safe to say that anyone’s skin goal is to have clear, blemish free, glowing skin.  And while many of us may have a good skincare routine in place to support those goals, there are certain times in our lives where annoying discoloration rears its ugly head – better known as hyperpigmentation.

What exactly is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is the general term for the types of discoloration that show up on the skin and is caused (in simple terms) by the overproduction of or excess melanin production.  It can appear as pink or red spots/scarring in fair skin tones and as brown/black spots/scarring in deeper skin tones.  There are various causes (or results) of hyperpigmentation, the most common being melasma, sun exposure and post inflammatory.  Melasma is thought to be caused by (but not limited to) hormonal fluctuations, particularly from pregnancy or oral contraception use.  Sun exposure can cause discoloration from overexposure to tanning beds or lack of using a sunscreen.  Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is very common and can come from various skin trauma such as acne, eczema and other skin rashes.  Whatever the case, this type of persistent discoloration can cause a lot of frustration and your self confidence can suffer.

There are many solutions to treating hyperpigmentation.  One of many is in the doctor’s office with the use of lasers, peels, microdermabrasion or other procedures.  These can have various recovery times and result rates as well as the occasional higher price tag that may not fit in one’s budget.  Depending on the severity and depth of discoloration however, a trip to the doctor’s office may be the better option.

For cases that are mild to moderate,  there are many over the counter (OTC) solutions that can yield the results you may be looking for.  These solutions include serums, creams, toners, gels, peels and moisturizers.  When shopping for products, these are some key ingredients to look for:

  • Kojic Acid.  Derived from mushrooms.  Inhibits pigment production.
  • Arbutin.  Derived from bearberry.  It is a natural derivative of hydroquinone which is considered to be the gold standard in skin lightening.  Arbutin, aka alpha arbutin, is a pigment inhibitor and permits the slow release of actives, making it great for sensitive skin.
  • Glycolic Acid.  A well known AHA, glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and provides chemical exfoliation of the uppermost layers of dead skin cells which helps to fade discoloration.  Glycolic acid helps with smoother skin texture as well as helps to promote even skin tone and clarity as well as helps with signs of aging.
  • Lactic Acid.  An AHA derived from milk, lactic acid works in a way similar to glycolic acid.  It is thought to be more gentle and helps to exfoliate and brighten dark spots.
  • Retinol.  A derivative of vitamin A, retinol helps skin cells to regenerate more quickly, revealing smoother, brighter, more clear skin and addresses the signs of aging (fine lines, wrinkles, collagen production, elasticity, dullness).  It is also an anti-inflammatory and can help clear skin and prevent acne.
  • Niacinamide.  A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide, which is easily absorbed into the skin, is also an anti-inflammatory.  It helps to unclog pores, reducing the blemishes which can eventually lead to dark spots.  Niacinamide also helps with oil production and helps to treat redness.
  • Vitamin C.  Derived from citrus fruit, vitamin C inhibits melanin production which can help keep new dark spots from occurring.  It is also a chemical exfoliant so it sloughs off dead skin cells.
  • Willowbark.  This ingredient can come from either the white or black willow bark tree.  It is a natural form of salicylic acid, a BHA that is used to treat acne and remove dead skin cells which leads to the eventual fading of dark spots.
  • Licorice Root.  Beyond the candy that you may have loved or hated as a child, licorice root hinders free radical production and excessive melanin production, both of which can lead to hyperpigmentation.
  • Hydroquinone.  Hydroquinone is a popular skin lightening agent found in many products that are created to address concerns of  discoloration.  It is a compound that works to block/hinder an enzyme in melanin production.

Before you head to the doctor’s office for a procedure, consider trying one of the following products first.  If you don’t see the results you are looking for then make an appointment at your doctor’s office:

  • Dr Murad Rapid Age Spot And Pigment Lightening Serum. $72.  Created with 2% hydroquinone (clinically proven to fade dark spots), glycolic (exfoliation) and a hexapeptide (skin brightening), this serum includes the ingredients to get you the results you are looking for.  It is intended to be applied all over but can also be  used as a spot treatment.
  • Ambi Fade Cream For Normal Skin $6.49  This cream also contains hydroquinone,  as well as alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin E to help even and hydrate the skin.
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes $85   Good Genes can be used either day or night.  It helps to plump fine lines and wrinkles, boosts radiance and smooths texture.  Good Genes also tackles uneven skin tone with lactic acid and licorice root extract.
  • Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Dark Spot Corrector $22   The key ingredients of retinol and vitamin C create a gentle yet effective formula for getting rid of dark spots.
  • Ole Henriksen Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner $29 –    The high concentration of actives (glycolic and lactic acid as well as witch hazel water) allows you to swipe away dull skin, discoloration and even target fine lines and wrinkles.  Ingredients such as  chamomile helps to sooth the skin, making this toner gentle enough for daily use.
  • Cane + Austin Miracle +30% Glycolic Acid Peel Pad $88   These pre-medicated 30% glycolic acid pads allow you to swipe away dull skin, treat acne (including hormonal) and help target signs of aging.  Continual use can help with dark spots  and can be used daily – even on sensitive skin.
  • Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum $12  For just $12 this lightweight serum that can be used day and night contains tranexamic (specifically targets dark spots) and 4% niacinamide.  This serum also targets age spots and sun damage.
  • Dr Dennis Gross Clinical Grade IPL Dark Spot Correcting Serum $92   This serum contains powerful ingredients to deliver office procedure level results.  Key ingredients of kojic, lactic and L-ascorbic acid as well as arbutin help to resurface the skin and not only targets post acne scarring and sun damage but also the signs of aging in just weeks.
  • Renee Rouleau Advanced Resurfacing Serum $86.50   This retinol cream is actually safe for sensitive skin and those who have not been able to tolerate other retinol  products.  Because it is a retinol, you will get the added benefit of targeting deeper signs of aging such as loss of collagen production and elasticity.
  • Beauty Counter Overnight Resurfacing Peel $63  Contains a mix of powerful AHA/BHA as well as arginine and essential fatty acids to help with smoother texture as well as brighter, more clear skin.
  • Slurp Niacid 50ml $42   Like other effective products, Slurp Niacid contains niacinamide and transexamic.  However, the added benefit is that this particular product also helps to raise indentations (pitting) that can be caused by severe acne.
  • PCA Skin Pigment Gel $64  The key ingredient of this gel is 2% hydroquinone and is effective on all skin types and all types of discoloration including hormonal and  sun damage
  • Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter $52.50    A brightening serum that helps with the discoloration of today with ingredients such as salicylic acid and glucosamine, but also helps to interrupt discoloration of the future with ingredients such as gyokuro and mulberry root.  Patented CL302 Equalizer Technology (damage eraser) penetrates up to 21 layers of  the skin.
  • Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution $54   This dark spot solution can be used as a spot treatment or all over the face (am and pm).  It contains 3 potent ingredients: Activated C (vitamin C) for clarity and even skin tone, white birch extract for hydration and nutrients and peony extract for prevention of oxidative damage.

Regardless of whatever skincare products you are using, be sure to use a sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF.

Do you struggle with  hyperpigmentation?  If so, what has been your go-to product to help clear up your skin?

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