Pro Tip: When to apply concealer?

When does one apply concealer? a) before foundation; or b) after foundation?


City Girl Shoot ~ Photographer: Lucko Prawito, Stylist: Sam Gan, HMUA: Mural Beauty, Model: Brooke Settle from Red11 Models

Imagine you’ve just concealed around your nose, chin, under your eyes, and your blemished areas and are about to go in with your foundation… By applying foundation on top, you’re going to move the concealer around and by the time you’ve finished applying your foundation, the concealer would have disappeared! You’ll end up having to go back in with your concealer after to ‘touch up.’

Step 1: Your foundation is your foundation – It’s the base of your makeup, so it goes on first. Doing it this way means you’ve already taken away most of the uneven skin tone and will only be left with those larger blemishes or darker spots that foundation couldn’t hide for you. Then it’s time to go in for that extra coverage!

♥ Step 2: Conceal the last of those blemishes – To do a good job concealing you should really have two kinds of concealer in your makeup bag. The first one should match to your foundation shade in order to cover up those blemishes or spots around the nose and chin. The second concealer is what will step up your beauty regime. A concealer that is the opposite undertone to your foundation AND half a shade lighter than your foundation. For example, if you have a cool undertone foundation like MAC NC30, then you will need a warm concealer in the shade NW25. If you are like me and suffer from dark under eye circles, then this trick really makes all the difference.

Pro application tip – When applying concealer, use a small stippling brush or a domed blending brush and work with a small amount of product to start with (you can always build it up as you go). Lightly press and pat over the blemish so the concealer blends effortlessly into the foundation 

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Honeymoon makeup bag essentials!

Your honeymoon is all about relaxing and spending time with your new hubby or wifey, the last thing you want to be worrying about taking stacks of makeup with you!

Whether you’re traveling through Europe or enjoying the white sand beaches of the beautiful Pacific Islands, you’ll be set with these three beauty products:


#fijifeels Last thing I wanted was full coverage anything!

♥ Tinted Moisturiser (with SPF)

Skip the heavy coverage and go for a no-makeup makeup look, whilst still protecting your skin with one of these tinted moisturisers:

Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum, $95 – If you’re looking for a dewy, glowing complexion, this anti-aging foundation with SPF 30 is easy to apply and will give you that barely-there makeup look. Yes I know technically a foundation – but it’s called no-foundation foundation, so we’re still good!

MAC Cosmetics Lightful C + Coral Grass Tinted Cream SPF30, $74 – This product has colour correcting properties as well as oil control for us shiny girls! Perfect for brighter skin as it has Vitamin C in it, so over time your skin should appear brighter and fresher.

Mecca Cosmetica In a Good Light SPF30+ Tinted Moisturiser, $44 – This is a goodie for the girls who love and need hydration! Leaving a dewy cream finish and natural radiance, it is the perfect little pick me up for those days lying on the beach!

♥ Waterproof Mascara

The last thing you want to be worrying about on your honeymoon is whether or not your mascara is running. That’s why these long wear, waterproof mascaras are essential to your packing list!

MAC Extended Play Lash Mascara, $40 – This lightweight waterproof formula creates beautiful defined lashes with a petite brush. Claiming to have 16 hours lasting power, this a perfect day to night product. Who has time for touch ups on their honeymoon anyways?

Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara, $36 – If you’re a fan of this cult fave mascara, you’ve got to get the waterproof version! It has all the same benefits of the original formula with the added bonus of not smudging.

CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara, $23 – This high volume, smear-proof formula will give you full lashes, plus it’s budget-friendly!

♥ Tinted Lip Balm

Depending on where you are going, you may be about to experience a sudden change in temperature. If you are anything like me, a sudden change in weather wrecks havoc on my lips, so why not have something super moisturising but still gives a little hint of colour.

YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm, $66 – This product is a little more luxe, but once you feel the product on your lips and the see the beautiful packaging you will know why it’s one of my fav’s! With adorable little lips in the middle, you get an instant radiant colour with all the care of a nourishing balm!

Benefit Cosmetics Lollibalm Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm, $34 – The sweetest smooch! With a buildable colour and all the goodness for your lips, you can pop a layer on for the day and build up a colour for your night out – I’m all about that 2-in-1!

Maybelline Baby Lips, $4 – With an SPF 20 and shea butter, you can’t really go wrong! Plus with that price point, you can afford one for each handbag!

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Pro tip: Does makeup expire?

You open up your travel makeup bag, ready to pack for your next holiday and you find that lipstick you forgot in there from your trip last year. Do you (a) think “Yaasss! Makeup packing complete” or (b) *Eww* and chuck it straight in the bin?

One of the questions I get time and time again is does makeup expire? The short answer is yes! One thing to be aware of though is there are so many kinds of makeup products with different compositions (cream v powder), which varies the shelf life of each product.

It’s super important you keep track of how old your makeup is as you can have a reaction to expired makeup. Below are the guidelines we were taught through my training, along with some other tips I’ve picked up along the way:

💛 Primers & Foundation – General rule of thumb is 12 months for liquid and cream products. It doesn’t matter if your primer or foundation is water or oil-based, you shouldn’t keep using a foundation past the 12 month mark. Liquid and cream products are less hygienic than powdered products and build up bacteria and other nasties faster.

Pro tip: Always shake a foundation before using it to ensure the pigment and other minerals in the product are well mixed together to ensure a smoother application. 

💛 Highlighter / Contour / Blusher – Just like with foundations, cream based products will only last 12 months. However, powder based products will last up to 2 years. Personally these products don’t last me 6 months as I use them so fast – who doesn’t want that glow!?

💛 Eyeshadows – We all have an eyeshadow palette lying around from 2015. Don’t bother denying it. The question is, can we still use it? Pressed eyeshadows last up to 4 years! So yes – we can still safely use our Original Urban Decay Naked palette, which we found again last week! Cream eyeshadows are a little different – they generally last up to 12 months assuming you take good care of them. Once they dry up they are a little hard to revive. Check out my previous post for the magic spray that assists with bringing dried cream products back to life again.

💛 Eyeliner – Cream or gel eyeliners face the same issues as cream eyeshadows so 12 months is their maximum life, assuming care has been taken. For eyeliner pencils, these can last up to 2 years. There is added protection with the coating on the actual product of pencil eyeliners. However, don’t forget to pop that lid on after you’ve finished!

💛 Mascara – Alas mascara’s are the things that expire the quickest and also the product you need to take the most care with. Discontinue use of a mascara after 3 months, regardless of whether it is finished or not. Mascara wands pick up all the bugs off your eyelashes and they fester in the mascara tube whilst awaiting your next application. I try not to think about it too much. Whenever you are getting makeup services provided, always insist on a disposable mascara wand being used. No exceptions.

💛 Lip sticks – 3 years! Thank goodness for that – cos we all know we have too many to get through!

💛 Lip liners – Much like eyeliner pencils, these can last up to 2 years. If you do leave the lid off the pencil and it dries up prior to the 2 year mark, try giving it a good sharpen to see if you can revive the product. If this doesn’t work then it’s RIP lip liner.

Another important tip I’ve found is to make sure you know why your products smell like and feel like. When I first purchase a new product I make sure to smell it and become familiar with that smell. That way if I smell it later on and it has a tinge of something off then I know it’s time has come. Also knowing how your products feel is also important. If you eye shadow is feeling a bit more chalky than it originally did then the pallet may be nearing the end of it’s useful life.

The guidelines above are just that, guidelines. You can’t expect your cream eyeshadows to last the full 12 months if you leave the lid off. You need to take care of your products and know how to treat ’em right ☺️

As a makeup artist, I go through a fair bit of product. However, I still have a spreadsheet where I keep track of all my makeup and other inventory. I have the expiry dates by the products so I know exactly when it’s time to ditch the product if I still have it hanging around.

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Bridal touch up essentials for the wedding day

When I was a bride, I wanted to make sure I was on top of absolutely everything. Including any beauty emergencies which may have hit!

Having a bridal beauty touch bag is an essential part to ensuring your makeup stays camera perfect all day and all night long! I would recommend to my brides to consider investing in some must-have products for their beauty bag.

The Must-Haves

♥ Blotting Paper – These are great for a quick shine touch up. They are super easy to use during the wedding day. If you have combination or oily skin, I cannot recommend these enough – No one wants a shiny face in photos!

♥ Lipstick / Lip gloss – Lipstick is usually the first to fade on a makeup look due to eating, drinking and all those kisses brides end up dishing out to guests. If you want to touch up before photos and between meals, I would definitely invest in a full size lipstick of your colour choice. This way you will always have the lipstick colour on hand as well for your future anniversaries.

♥ Lip Liner – If you are wearing a brighter or bold color on your wedding day, having the matching lip liner is a must (especially with a red). Lip liners makes lipstick last far longer and when reapplying, you can get that razor sharp line which a lipstick by itself just can’t achieve.

♥ Pressed Translucent or Blotting Powder – My go-to is setting powder is the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Power for my initial makeup application. I would avoid a loose powder for your bridal beauty bag as the last thing you want is loose powder all over your dress! For touch ups when you have your dress on, I would recommend the MAC Blot Powders – they have hardly any pigment but can tone down any shine and keep that flawless finish for hours. I would recommend using the blotting paper first if you are quite oily to remove the excess oil and then top off with the blotting powder to really set and mattify.

Facial Spray – If you are dry skin prone, having a refreshing facial spray will help keep any dryness at bay. Or if you are getting married in a hot summers day, a spritz of spray can make you feel rejuvenated! My go-to facial spray is MAC Fix +. If you want to know all the versatile ways to use this beauty check out my blog post on 10 ways to use M.A.C Fix+. Another spray I love is the Mario Badescu Facial Spray.

♥ Tissues & Q tips – These are great to have in your touch up bag for happy tears. Q tips are amazing for cleaning up the inner corners of your eyes where there is a likelihood of makeup build up by the end of the day. Also q tips are an easy way to clean up any makeup smudges – you will be surprised at how smiling so much can cause creasing!

♥ Compact Mirror – This is must in any bride’s beauty touch up bag. You can always check to make sure you look great even when you are on location for your photos!

♥ Mints – Mints to freshen the breath are discrete and great to have before your lip touch up.

I like to help all my clients feel pampered so with every makeup application I do (not just bridal), I provide a little top up kit containing a voucher for your next appointment, a top up of your lipstick applied on the day, a lip applicator, blotting paper and a cotton bud. This all comes in a small silk pouch that can easily fit in your clutch or makeup bag.

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Pro tip: How to use a paint pot

A go to pro product for all makeup artists are the MAC pro longwear paint pots. When working with my clients I often get asked what this product is and how to use it. To be honest, until my makeup training I too had no idea what this product was, how to use it or the power it has.

Paint pots are versatile and can be used on their own and in conjunction with pressed eye shadows or loose pigments. They are often described as a pigmented cream eye shadow that truly last all day long.

Personally, my favourite way to use paint pots are as an eye shadow primer. I have such confidence that the eye shadow on top will last the full day so I use this product on every single client. My go to shades for eye shadow primers are “Painterly” and “Groundwork.” I also have some darker shades for a super quick smokey eye or to enhance my mauve and burgundy eye looks.

Application tips

The most important thing that people tend to forget with this product is that is it SUPER fast drying, so you need to work quickly and ensure you blend it properly.

♥ My favourite brush to apply a paint pot with is My Kit Co. 1.23 All Over Shadow. The easiest way I have found is to work the product with my brush and then I blend blend blend across the eye lid where I want the colour.

♥ You only need the smallest amount of this product to get the pigment you need and remember, you can always apply more! A light handed approach is always best.

♥ Once you have blended the paint pot out – you are done! Boom – it is that easy! If you want to wear the paint pot as an eye shadow primer, simply apply and then proceed with the eye shadows/loose pigments of your choice.

For me, I can’t do a clients makeup look without these babies! I have the utter most confidence that my brides eye looks will stay put all day long and my event makeup girls cut crease will look amazing!

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Questions to ask your wedding makeup artist

The market is saturated with makeup artists, both professional and self-taught. How do you find the right one for your big day?

Below are a few questions to ask your makeup artist at your initial meeting, call or even your first email correspondence. The more information you have at the start the less chance there is for surprises later down the track.

♥ What is your background as a makeup artist? This is always a good question to start with (if this information isn’t already on the makeup artists website). Knowing you are getting someone who qualified and who has a few years’ experience under their belt will help you to feel assured that your bridal makeup will be stunning and stay flawless all day. It is also good to know what type of makeup your artist specialises in – stalk their online portfolio, which should give you a good indication.

♥ What makeup brands do you carry? For your wedding day, you want to have trusted, high end and established brands (especially if you have any skin concerns). Generally speaking, high end brands have more pigment and less ‘filler’ product so the makeup finish is generally better – which for your big day, is so important. Having your makeup artist use brands you have not heard of may impact your skin the longevity of the makeup that you need. I only stock premium brands such as MAC, Bobbi Brown, Smashbox and Anastasia Beverly Hills in my kit and always ensure to have tested the products on myself before using the product in my kit.

♥ Preparation for the trial? The trial is where all details should be discussed. Everything from the wedding theme, colour of the bridesmaids’ dress, any skin concerns, hairstyles and of course the ideas for the bridal look. In terms of the actual makeup trial, nothing is set in stone. I like to check in with my brides at the end of the trial day to see if they are still 100% happy their looks or if there is anything they would like to change. The bride should feel comfortable enough to change her makeup look up to and even on the day with her makeup artist. This is why it is important to get to know your makeup artist at your trial and decide whether she is the person you want there at the morning of your wedding.

♥ How long will the makeup take? This is an essential question. It will assist with knowing when everyone needs to start and also when everyone will be finished with the glam process. Generally, I allow 45 minutes per person (including lashes). Make sure to discuss any special requests, such as tattoo cover up with your makeup artist, as more time may need to considered.

Should I worry about skin care? I am a huge fan of skin care and I always tell all my brides to start their skin care regime at least 6 months before the wedding day. Your makeup will only look as good as it’s canvas. I have a post dedicated to bridal skin care prep, so feel free to get a full load down there. I share all my tips on giving yourself that natural glow from within.

Your makeup artist should be a fun person that you want to keep around on the morning of your wedding – make sure to choose someone you trust and someone who you connect with.

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Glow baby glow!

Having that glowing beautiful skin is what makeup dreams are made of!

Current makeup trends are featuring that all over glow, fresh and healthy look. The blinding highligh is staying in 2016/2017 and this year is all about that ‘inner glow’.


My go-to kit product to achieve this glowing skin is the MAC Strobe Cream range. Regardless of your age and skin type you can use this product to enhance any makeup look. Below are a few ways you can use this product to achieve your desired look!

♥ After completing your skin routine in the morning, you can use the strobe cream as a primer or in conjunction with your primer and apply it under your foundation. This will allow a sublet glow to come through but not an all over glow, which is not for everyone.

♥ If you are heading to the gym and don’t want to wear makeup but still want that natural glow, you can apply strobe cream just by itself after your skin care routine. With the use of the tinted strobe creams (such as Peachlite or Goldlite), there is an element of colour correction that enhances your skin and gives off a flawless glow. I use this tip on my makeup free days or when I am just in a rush in the morning but still want to look awake and healthy!

♥ If you do like your glow to be more prominent, you can mix some strobe cream into your foundation. This will give a much more glowy effect all over!

♥ For a more sublet highlight, you can dab strobe cream on top of your foundation on the high points of your face, where you want the light to reflect. Remember cream products  work best on top of other cream products, so apply the strobe cream before you powder!

I have found strobe cream to be a staple in my kit. However, there are so many ‘strobing’ products that can be used in the same ways as outlined above. Other industry favourites I have used are the CoverFX custom enhancer drops and Josie Maran Argan Moonstone Drops – These are also great products and can be used to achieve the same effect!

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Pro Tip: Bridal skin prep

Who doesn’t want that glowing beautiful skin, especially on their wedding day?

Below I have outlined my pro tips to giving yourself that natural glow from within (without breaking the bank!)

♥ Water – It really is true that your skin is a reflection of what you put into your body. Water is super accessible, plus it has a huge impact on how we look and feel. The ideal amount of water we should be drinking is 2.2 litres per day. That’s 9 glasses, which is the ideal hydration level for our bodies. Hydration is the key to a brighter, more glowing complexion! Plus there is the added bonus that keeping your appropriate levels of hydration helps with minimising the appearance of fine lines. Hydrated skin is less tired and slightly fuller so it reduces those pesky little smile lines. Bonus.

Diet – Don’t forget to get your intake of super foods! Your body doesn’t only crave water, it craves hydrating foods as well! No matter what your skin type is—oily, dry, normal or combo— you can snack on naturally hydrating foods like watermelon, grapefruit, cucumbers, tomatoes and kale.

♥ Cleanse, tone & moisturise – Make a point to cleanse, tone and moisturise every day! This will ensure all your days makeup and build-up of natural oils are removed leaving your skin nice and clean! When you purchase your skin care, ensure you have a full consultation prior to purchasing anything. This will ensure you get the right skin care for your skin type. The sooner you start this before your wedding date the smoother and clearer your skin will be on the big day! Try to go for brands who specialise in skincare only (i.e. didn’t start as a makeup brand and then expanded into skin care). From my previous experience, I noticed a real difference to my skin as soon as I switched to skin specialist brands.

♥ Eye cream – This is vital to assist with keeping your eye area hydrated. The skin under your eyes can easily dry out through the winter months, so looking after yourself with a hydrating eye cream is crucial. This will assist with minimising any under eye creasing of your foundation on the wedding day as well!

♥ Exfoliate – I suggest exfoliating every second or third day depending on your skin sensitivity levels. Again this should be discussed as part of your skin consultation (refer above). When exfoliating ensure to really focus on the nose and chin areas as these are often the areas where dry skin can sit. Regular exfoliation will get rid of any build-up and dead skin, which will allow your foundation to sit flawlessly for the whole day (especially vital for your wedding day)!

SPF for your lips – It’s easier to prevent your lips from getting chapped than it is to repair them after they become damaged. A thick lip conditioner (not a lip balm) with SPF will help keep your lips hydrated, which will allow you to pull off any lip colour and finish on your big day with confidence. Dry lips can prevent darker lip shades and certain lipstick formulas from sitting nicely on your lips. If you are having an Autumn wedding and were thinking of having a vampy lip, then lip conditioners should become your best friend!

Schedule professional facials – Your wedding is the perfect excuse for some extra pampering. You may want to consider booking monthly facials to really refresh your skin (ensuring your last facial is at least 2 weeks before the wedding day so your skin has the chance to renew and look its best). Experienced aestheticians will massage your skin, scalp and neck to stimulate blood circulation and keep your skin looking healthy and glowing naturally. You can also request extractions, which is great for those hard to get blackheads. Your facialist will get all the dirt out of your pores, leaving your skin flawless and glowing. **Disclaimer: This is a nice to have and definitely not an essential**

“Shrink” your pores with microdermabrasion – Microdermabrasion, glycolic acid and other chemical peels will exfoliate layers of dry skin and minimize pore surface. This again is not essential. However, it all depends on your skin type and the size of your pores. A professional skin consultation is essential for this.

Nails – Don’t forget to look after those cuticles with cuticle oil and moisturising hand cream! You will be amazed how much your hands are photographed and looked at by guests on your wedding day so get onto those cuticles asap! Your nail technician will love you for it too!

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10 ways to use M.A.C Fix+

Those who know me, know that M.A.C is my go to brand for their product versatility and quality. The product I seem to get the most questions about from my clients, is the use of M.A.C Fix+. There is the common misconception that M.A.C Fix+ is purely a setting spray. This is not the case. A setting spray helps to seal your makeup and assists with the longevity of your makeup. The way M.A.C describes Fix+ is as follows:

Prep + Prime Fix+ – This lightweight mist of water packed with vitamins and minerals, infused with a blend of green tea, chamomile and cucumber to gently soothe and refresh the skin. Gives an instant boost of hydration while delivering a soft sheen to refresh and finish makeup.

I can definitely see where the confusion comes from since the product is called Fix+, implying it will ‘fix’ one’s makeup. However the intended purpose of Fix+ is outlined below at point 1.

There are so many uses for this product! Below is my list of 10 ways that I use Fix+. Enjoy!

  1. Freshen up! After the application of foundation, there can be several other layers of powders that are used on the face – setting powder, contour, highlight and blush. Often this can leave a powdery residue on the face and can leave the face looking cakey. Fix+ is used in order to freshen the face up and remove this powdery/cakey look, leaving a refreshed and dewy finish. This does not mean this will set the makeup – it just freshens up our beautiful faces.
  2. Hydrate! As Fix+ refreshes and hydrates our skin, it is perfect to use during the day over one’s makeup application. I like to have a bottle in my fridge and on hot days I love spritzing Fix+ as it leaves me feeling fresh faced.
  3. Skin prep! As part of my skin care routine I often use Fix+ in conjunction with my toner. I feel it gives me an extra level of hydration and the cool mist feels so lovely on a summer’s morning.
  4. Primer! Although Fix+ wont help with the longevity of the foundation applying a few sprays before applying foundation will assist in creating an even and smooth surface for makeup application.
  5. Thinning foundations! Spray Fix+ on your foundation brush before applying foundation, the Fix+ will help to thin out and evenly distribute the product easier, leaving a flawless finish.
  6. Beauty blender love! Dampening your beauty blender with Fix+ can not only assist with foundation application but it can do wonders for blending out concealer. It blends removes any unnecessary product that can contribute to your under eye area creasing.
  7. Refreshing cream products! After time gel and cream products can start to dry making them difficult to work with. A quick solution is to spray Fix+ directly on the product bringing it back to life and allowing easier application.
  8. Eyeshadow! Using Fix+ with eyeshadows can transform any colour. It makes the colour bolder and helps it pop. Spray Fix+ directly onto your brush before applying a pigment, glitter or eyeshadow and the colour will be far more intense!
  9. Blinding! Much like eyeshadows become bolder, your highlight can be come more intense as well. Dampening your brush with Fix+ prior to applying your highlight will help it pop and give that intense highlight look.
  10. Body shimmer! If you are feeling adventurous, you can sprinkle some pigment such as M.A.C Blonde Gold or Tan Pigment into your Fix+ bottle and have a refreshing skin hydrating mist for your summer nights out with a bit of sparkle to help you stand out from the crowd!

I would love to know how you use your Fix+, share your uses below!MB Logo


Welcome to Mural Beauty

Welcome to Mural Beauty!

Beauty has always been a huge part of my life. My passion for makeup started when I was 5 years old. I begged my Granddad to get me a portable makeup set for my birthday. It was “the works” (for back then), pressed powder, blusher, eye shadows, a mascara and a lipstick! I had never been so excited in my life to open up a present. Ever since then, makeup was my thing!

The passion for creating hair came from my need to complete the full look. I couldn’t have a beautiful face of makeup without the complimentary hair!

The name Mural Beauty came from the definition mural. 

Mural - A mural is any piece of artwork applied directly on a permanent surface. A distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture

I believe that makeup artistry and hair styling is an art that is directly applied onto a permanent surface (aka. our faces) where the elements (aka. the makeup) are harmoniously incorporated into the canvas (aka. our final look).

I have been working in the legal industry for several years now so I understand the importance of presenting yourself and wanting to look chic. Whilst the beauty and law industries are seen to be on the total opposite ends of the spectrum, there are quite a lot of similarities between the two. For starters, I want my clients to come to me because they trust that I will do a stellar job and I want them to leave feeling I have given them a wonderful and flawless finish.

Along with the quality of the work I perform, I believe in stocking a quality kit with premium brands. Having trained at The Makeup School, M.A.C products were used for our training and having loved these products, my kit is predominately stocked with M.A.C, along with my staples from Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, and Anastasia Beverley Hills (**can’t beat her brow products!**).

Please contact me if you would like to make a booking or have any questions about what I can do for you.

I can’t wait to work with your beautiful face!

Hrisoula xx

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