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TSOM Cork Makeup Bag Review

05/07/2020

*press sample

I’ve shared a few cork items on my blog previously because cork is my favourite material, but none of those products were for beauty lovers. Today that changes because I have an awesome cork makeup bag from the brand tsom to share with you. Makeup bags are very handy for any beauty lover, as they allow us to store and carry products with ease. However, most of these bags are either made of leather, which requires the death of an animal and a lot of environmental damage to produce, or are made using a faux leather/vegan leather alternative, which is usually polyurethane (PU) or Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) . Faux Leather doesn’t have the same animal cruelty involved as animal leather, but it is a plastic and so it can take hundreds of years to degrade after you are done using it, and it can also create microplastics in the process. I care about both animals and the environment so neither of these common makeup bag materials really suit my needs, but cork is vegan friendly, sustainable and biodegradable, so it is the perfect material. 

tsom cork makeup bag in warm sunlight - sustainable and eco-friendly cosmetic makeup bag - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
tsom cork makeup bag in warm sunlight

tsom is a Melbourne based business specialising in eco-friendly cork leather jewellery and accessories. I originally found tsom when I went searching through lots of cork hashtags on Instagram trying to find any Melbourne based cork brands. I was really excited when I got an email asking if I would like to review one of their products, and even better, it was going to be a makeup bag. I have previously reviewed cork products, because I love this sustainable material, but none of the products have been something for beauty lovers, so I’m really excited to share this product with you. 

tsom cork makeup bag showing rainbow flecks - cruelty free and vegan rainbow flecked cosmetic bag - Love Alinta blog
tsom cork makeup bag showing rainbow flecks

Nadia, the founder and creative mind behind tsom, was born in Russia, but came to Australia to get a masters degree, and has now made Melbourne home with her family. tsom stands for ‘This Side Of Me’, which is a Savage Garden song that Nadia connects with as she hopes that this business will bring out her outgoing and creative sides. Nadia started tsom in 2016, as she was unable to find a job as a new mum, so she created one herself. tsom has grown and changed during that time. Originally the business focused on polymer clay jewellery which was a success, but Nadia couldn’t “quite make peace with the fact that polymer clay is basically plastic”. Because of that, tsom has now evolved into an eco-friendly cork based business. Nadia loves being a part of the creative community but most of all loves connecting with her customers, particularly in person, which is why she likes doing markets. As a customer, I also love going to handmade markets as I enjoy talking to the small brand owners and hearing about their real passion for the products they make. If you can ever make it down to a market where tsom is at, you will be able to see the whole range of cork products available, which includes earrings, bags, and accessories, like key chains. There are even some homewares ideas in the making which will be great to see in future. 

Bottom of the tsom natural cork cosmetics bag - big enough to store all the cruelty free beauty products you need - Love Alinta blog
Bottom of the tsom cork cosmetics bag

Cork is such a unique material because it comes from a renewable source and is biodegradable when it is no longer needed. Cork, the material, often referred to as cork leather, comes from the Cork Oak Tree (Quercus suber), which is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. Cork leather is made by removing the bark from the main part of the Cork Oak Tree, which leaves the tree unharmed. Cork bark can be harvested from a mature tree approximately every 9 years.  Most Cork Oaks live for well over 200 years, so many trees can be harvested 12 times. A Cork Oak will absorb CO2 from the atmosphere throughout its whole lifetime, so cork trees can be used as a sustainable resource while helping the environment at the same time. When a cork product is no longer usable, it can be composted – I do want to note though, that it’s only the cork leather of a product that you can compost so that needs to be separated from any other materials in the product. 

tsom cork cosmetics bag in warm sunlight - eco-friendly, sustainable and biodegradable - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
tsom cork cosmetics bag in warm sunlight

Cork is the perfect material for bags and accessories as it’s soft, light, flexible, strong and durable, plus it’s water-resistant, stain resistant and has anti-microbial properties. This natural, sustainable material can be sewn into traditional bag shapes and it comes in a variety of colours to suit lots of peoples preferences. 

Natural and rainbow flecked cork makeup bag by tsom - eco-friendly and sustainable cork leather cosmetic bag - Love Alinta cruelty free blog
Natural and rainbow flecked cork makeup bag by tsom

The tsom cork cosmetics bag that I chose is made of half natural cork and half rainbow flecked cork. The rainbow flecked cork looks like regular cork in some lighting, but then when the light catches it, you can see the rainbow of colours reflecting back at you. I tried to show you how pretty it is with the photos in the blog post, but I think it looks better in person. The inside is lined with a light lilac waterproof fabric and includes an internal slip pocket, to store smaller items in. There are other cork and lining colour options on the tsom website, so you can choose the one that you like the best. Each cork makeup bag has a flat base and wide opening to make it easy to store a lot of products in them. The current bags on the website are 25cm x 15cm x 8cm, so they can easily store a whole face of makeup in them. The zipper is really sturdy, so it’s not going to break after a few uses like so many of my makeup bags have in the past. The quality of the cork joins and stitching is impeccable, it is a very well made product, so I know it will last for many years to come. 

The waterproof inside lining of the tsom cork makeup bag - big enough to fit all your cruelty free and vegan beauty products - Love Alinta blog
The waterproof inside lining of the tsom cork makeup bag

I am very happy to have an eco-friendly way of carrying my beauty essentials around now. This tsom makeup bag is big enough that I can store a whole face of makeup in it, and I know if there’s a product leak, that it won’t make it through the layers of this bag and on to everything else. The stitching is really well done, so I know this bag will last a long time, and when I am no longer able to use it, I know that the cork can be composted. I hope to replace more items in my life with cork as it’s such a great material with it being plant based, vegan, sustainable, renewable and biodegradable. I was sceptical about how much I would love cork before I bought my first item, but I am such a convert now. If you haven’t tried a cork bag, I recommended picking one up so that you can see how soft and nice to use this material is. If you’re a beauty lover, then a tsom cork makeup bag is a great place to start. Otherwise there are a whole range of cork products out there that you can try. You can buy one of these cork makeup bags from the tsom website, and check out the other tsom products which includes cork pouches, bags, earrings and accessories. If you like eco-friendly products then check out my eco-friendly posts. I am trying to make more sustainable choices in my life and like sharing some of things when I can. What is your favourite eco-friendly product swap that you have done in your life? Cork is obviously one of mine. If you want my new blog posts sent to your inbox, then sign up to email updates, You can also find me on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter

What do you think of this tsom cork makeup bag? Will you be picking one up to make your makeup bag more sustainable?

Love, Alinta

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What is a sustainable product? I have spent months thinking about this and what I want to write and on my blog and post about here. There is no easy answer to this. Just when considering greenhouse emissions for a company alone, it’s immensely complicated. There was a good article in nature recently going over how Microsoft are trying to achieve net zero, but most companies don’t have the means that Microsoft does. Most companies rely on carbon offsets, which is often planting trees (problematic solution in itself), rather than ensuring their business has no emissions at all. And they don’t take into consideration all the emissions that occur from suppliers and freight of suppliers etc. Then there is the problem of waste. Ideally, I don’t want there to be any permanent waste to occur from any product I buy, but that’s certainly not the case. Most beauty products can’t even be recycled in curb-side recycling bins. I would preferably want my products to be biodegradable, refillable at home, or reused and refilled by the company so that there is no waste. However, I don’t know of an actual solution that encompasses those criteria for some things - like vegan makeup brush hairs as seen with eco tools brushes. I do prioritise this lower than single use plastic, as I get many years of use from makeup brushes. But it’s just another level of complexity that I’ve tried to figure out. So in saying all that, I don’t have the solution or a perfect company or product to talk about as I don’t know of one. I do however intend to support and share about the companies who are trying to be more sustainable. I hope that in supporting them, we will get to a point where companies can fit my ideal criteria. I would like to write a blog post on this but that requires more energy than I have right now - I would however love to hear your thoughts on sustainable products. What is a sustainable product to you? Eco tools was actually the first big company I ever noticed that was promoting eco beauty. It’s interesting how much has changed since then.
*press sample  #lovealinta #sustainablebeauty #sustainablebrand #ecobeauty #ethicalbeauty #ecotools
What is a sustainable product? I have spent months thinking about this and what I want to write and on my blog and post about here. There is no easy answer to this. Just when considering greenhouse emissions for a company alone, it’s immensely complicated. There was a good article in nature recently going over how Microsoft are trying to achieve net zero, but most companies don’t have the means that Microsoft does. Most companies rely on carbon offsets, which is often planting trees (problematic solution in itself), rather than ensuring their business has no emissions at all. And they don’t take into consideration all the emissions that occur from suppliers and freight of suppliers etc. Then there is the problem of waste. Ideally, I don’t want there to be any permanent waste to occur from any product I buy, but that’s certainly not the case. Most beauty products can’t even be recycled in curb-side recycling bins. I would preferably want my products to be biodegradable, refillable at home, or reused and refilled by the company so that there is no waste. However, I don’t know of an actual solution that encompasses those criteria for some things - like vegan makeup brush hairs as seen with eco tools brushes. I do prioritise this lower than single use plastic, as I get many years of use from makeup brushes. But it’s just another level of complexity that I’ve tried to figure out. So in saying all that, I don’t have the solution or a perfect company or product to talk about as I don’t know of one. I do however intend to support and share about the companies who are trying to be more sustainable. I hope that in supporting them, we will get to a point where companies can fit my ideal criteria. I would like to write a blog post on this but that requires more energy than I have right now - I would however love to hear your thoughts on sustainable products. What is a sustainable product to you? Eco tools was actually the first big company I ever noticed that was promoting eco beauty. It’s interesting how much has changed since then. *press sample #lovealinta #sustainablebeauty #sustainablebrand #ecobeauty #ethicalbeauty #ecotools
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Picture from a Bloomberg article of a graph showing world average temp over 2000 years with obvious uptick since 1850. Title saying heat spike. 
#climatechange #climateaction #ipcc #ipccreport #lovealinta
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4 months ago
View on Instagram |
2/9
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Thanks to everyone who checked in on me. I’m hoping my recent iron infusion will help me to feel less like one foot is in the grave but only time will tell. 
Leave a comment to let me know what silly things your pets or kids have been up to lately so we can all have a laugh 😊
Picture of a white and grey dog looking at the camera and licking his nose. 
#rescuedog #rescuedogs #dogsofmelbourne #lovealinta
With Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane all In lockdown, I thought a cute pup picture in your feed might be appreciated. You can swipe to see a cute video of a scruffy puppy Kobi not long after he came into care as a foster dog - he found himself in the pound at 3 months of age. Kobi was probably thinking about food in this photo because he is a bit obsessed with eating. He will even happily eat dirt - I’ve had to clean dirt off his chin far too often lately (don’t worry the vet says there’s nothing wrong with him, he’s just gluttonous). His favourite method for dirt eating is face planting straight onto the ground. It’s certainly an interesting technique. Thanks to everyone who checked in on me. I’m hoping my recent iron infusion will help me to feel less like one foot is in the grave but only time will tell. Leave a comment to let me know what silly things your pets or kids have been up to lately so we can all have a laugh 😊 Picture of a white and grey dog looking at the camera and licking his nose. #rescuedog #rescuedogs #dogsofmelbourne #lovealinta
4 months ago
View on Instagram |
3/9
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Pic description: selfie of me in a mask with neon yellow sticker that says I have had the covid-19 vaccine, taken just after my second vaccination.
It’s been 6.5 weeks since my first Pfizer vaccination and 3.5 since my second, but I still feel like death warmed up. This isn’t surprising. My immunologist, GP and I all knew I would suffer, but that doesn’t make it easier to deal with. This isn’t a covid vaccine specific reaction, I react to all vaccines in the same way. I was out of action for 2 weeks after my meningococcal vaccine last December and most people don’t have any problems with that vax. My vaccine reactions are specific to only me, because of my unique immune deficiencies. My immunologist has never come across anyone else with the combination of immune deficiencies that I have. Unfortunately, one of my worse deficiencies is that of Memory B Cells, which means I don’t make immunity to many vaccines, and when I do, it doesn’t last for long. I still get vaccinated despite this, because it matters. So the point of this post - please get your covid vaccination when you are eligible to. Many vulnerable people like myself are relying on herd immunity and we’re just not going to get there if everyone doesn’t do their part. I didn’t get a pretty sticker but the potential of covid antibodies is better than any sticker. Pic description: selfie of me in a mask with neon yellow sticker that says I have had the covid-19 vaccine, taken just after my second vaccination.
6 months ago
View on Instagram |
4/9
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For a long time I’ve wanted to post about this sort of thing but I haven’t known where to start. I have no idea where the level of environmental and climate knowledge is at with the general public so I would love if you could let me know how much you know about it. Then at least I have a place to start. 
Also, thanks for sticking by me, it has been very hard to get through this subject whilst going through all my health stuff plus vaccines. I have my second vax on Thursday and a few more weeks of uni and then I’ll be around more often. 
Oh and don’t forget to show up to the climate strike on Friday 😊
Pic description - white lined notebook on black background with handwriting that says First Nations People’s and Earth Based Governance. 
#climatechange #alwayswasalwayswillbe #lovealinta
I think I’ve made it pretty obvious that I care about Indigenous rights as well as the environment. So I am particularly interested in how Indigenous people want to combat climate change because climate change action desperately needs to be decolonised. Unfortunately, those who are the least responsible for climate change are the ones who ones who will suffer the most, and many Indigenous people will be more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because of colonisation. Indigenous people and their knowledge are frequently left out of climate discussions and that needs to change. My climate change uni subject focuses on exactly that this week. For a long time I’ve wanted to post about this sort of thing but I haven’t known where to start. I have no idea where the level of environmental and climate knowledge is at with the general public so I would love if you could let me know how much you know about it. Then at least I have a place to start. Also, thanks for sticking by me, it has been very hard to get through this subject whilst going through all my health stuff plus vaccines. I have my second vax on Thursday and a few more weeks of uni and then I’ll be around more often. Oh and don’t forget to show up to the climate strike on Friday 😊 Pic description - white lined notebook on black background with handwriting that says First Nations People’s and Earth Based Governance. #climatechange #alwayswasalwayswillbe #lovealinta
7 months ago
View on Instagram |
5/9
Here are the ring details as promised. I think you all knew that my ring was going to be ethical in some way. It wouldn’t be me otherwise, would it? I’ve followed @ethicaljewelleryaustralia for years now, so I’ve known for a long time that I would want them to make a ring for me. It’s something that I will be wearing everyday, so I want it to represent my values. So the ring is handmade by #EthicalJewelleryAustralia in the design I wanted. It’s a round diamond with a four prongs that look like little petals. It’s made with recycled platinum and a lab diamond. Diamond and metal mining have a lot of negative social and environmental impacts, plus a lab diamond is far more affordable than a traditionally mined diamond, which means you can reduce your impact on people, the planet and your hip pocket. I hope lab grown diamonds are the choice of the future, as it is far better for human rights and the environment to make a diamond in a lab using renewable energy, than it is to mine them from the ground, using fossil fuels and unethical labor - just look into blood diamonds if you want to know how bad it can get. I also plan on trying to have a more ethical wedding too. I’ve already found a carbon neutral venue, but I’ve got lots of research to do on everything else. Let me know if you have any ideas for a sustainable wedding. 
Picture description: fair hand flat out with fingers spread showing silver coloured ring on ring finger with a green background. 
#ethicalengagementring #ethicalengagement #labdiamond #recycledplatinum #lovealinta
Here are the ring details as promised. I think you all knew that my ring was going to be ethical in some way. It wouldn’t be me otherwise, would it? I’ve followed @ethicaljewelleryaustralia for years now, so I’ve known for a long time that I would want them to make a ring for me. It’s something that I will be wearing everyday, so I want it to represent my values. So the ring is handmade by #EthicalJewelleryAustralia in the design I wanted. It’s a round diamond with a four prongs that look like little petals. It’s made with recycled platinum and a lab diamond. Diamond and metal mining have a lot of negative social and environmental impacts, plus a lab diamond is far more affordable than a traditionally mined diamond, which means you can reduce your impact on people, the planet and your hip pocket. I hope lab grown diamonds are the choice of the future, as it is far better for human rights and the environment to make a diamond in a lab using renewable energy, than it is to mine them from the ground, using fossil fuels and unethical labor - just look into blood diamonds if you want to know how bad it can get. I also plan on trying to have a more ethical wedding too. I’ve already found a carbon neutral venue, but I’ve got lots of research to do on everything else. Let me know if you have any ideas for a sustainable wedding. Picture description: fair hand flat out with fingers spread showing silver coloured ring on ring finger with a green background. #ethicalengagementring #ethicalengagement #labdiamond #recycledplatinum #lovealinta
7 months ago
View on Instagram |
6/9
With it being #EarthDay, I thought I would share some on my sustainable cleaning products. Everyone has to clean, but supermarket cleaning products don’t tend to be very eco-friendly. Here I’ve got my @ecomaxbrushes Bottle brush which is made from coconut waste products and can be composted at the end of its life - it will just leave the wire which can be recycled. There’s my Safix biodegradable scrub pad made from organic coconut fibers which can be composted when you are finished with it. And @retrokitchenaustralia biodegradable dish cloth in a cute dog print. It’s made from cotton and cellulose and can be composted when worn out. I use them with the @koalaeco Natural Multipurpose Kitchen Cleaner which is cruelty free, vegan and palm oil free and comes in 100% post consumer recycled bottles that can be recyclable when finished. I get the big refill bottles and just fill up my spray bottle. I bought all the above from @floraandfaunaau and they’re actually having 15% off eco items today, so all of these are discounted. Don’t forget to use my #floraandfaunaau affiliate code on my blog if you ever make a purchase, it helps me out. There’s lots of other ways to make regular household chores better for the environment. It can feel overwhelming to charge, but just start with small steps. When one product runs out you can replace it with a more sustainable option. One of the last things I need to change is is my laundry detergent so I’m thinking I’ll try @thedirtcompany one. I would love to hear what you think of their products if you’ve tried them. Also let know what eco swaps you’ve made in your home so that I can get more ideas. #EcoSwaps #LoveAlinta
With it being #EarthDay, I thought I would share some on my sustainable cleaning products. Everyone has to clean, but supermarket cleaning products don’t tend to be very eco-friendly. Here I’ve got my @ecomaxbrushes Bottle brush which is made from coconut waste products and can be composted at the end of its life - it will just leave the wire which can be recycled. There’s my Safix biodegradable scrub pad made from organic coconut fibers which can be composted when you are finished with it. And @retrokitchenaustralia biodegradable dish cloth in a cute dog print. It’s made from cotton and cellulose and can be composted when worn out. I use them with the @koalaeco Natural Multipurpose Kitchen Cleaner which is cruelty free, vegan and palm oil free and comes in 100% post consumer recycled bottles that can be recyclable when finished. I get the big refill bottles and just fill up my spray bottle. I bought all the above from @floraandfaunaau and they’re actually having 15% off eco items today, so all of these are discounted. Don’t forget to use my #floraandfaunaau affiliate code on my blog if you ever make a purchase, it helps me out. There’s lots of other ways to make regular household chores better for the environment. It can feel overwhelming to charge, but just start with small steps. When one product runs out you can replace it with a more sustainable option. One of the last things I need to change is is my laundry detergent so I’m thinking I’ll try @thedirtcompany one. I would love to hear what you think of their products if you’ve tried them. Also let know what eco swaps you’ve made in your home so that I can get more ideas. #EcoSwaps #LoveAlinta
7 months ago
View on Instagram |
7/9
I have some news. I’m engaged! As a kid/teen I never thought this would happen as I didn’t believe in love - then I got sick and worried that no one would see past my illnesses. But I have found someone who loves me for me, faults, illnesses and all and I can’t wait to marry him. 
We spent yesterday afternoon attempting to take our own engagement photos in the yard with a tripod and this is the result. Having a photographer would be so much easier but my immune system wouldn’t appreciate that. 
Oh and I’ll tell you all about my ring in another post as I designed it ☺️#engagedtomybestfriend #lovealinta

Photo 1 description: close up of the torsos of two people in dark colours standing side by side with arms stretched to the ground and holding hands. One hand over both arms showing silver coloured ring. 
Photo 2 description: man hugging female from behind with his arm around her chest. Her hands are on his arm showing ring. Both smiling at camera with greenery in background.
I have some news. I’m engaged! As a kid/teen I never thought this would happen as I didn’t believe in love - then I got sick and worried that no one would see past my illnesses. But I have found someone who loves me for me, faults, illnesses and all and I can’t wait to marry him. 
We spent yesterday afternoon attempting to take our own engagement photos in the yard with a tripod and this is the result. Having a photographer would be so much easier but my immune system wouldn’t appreciate that. 
Oh and I’ll tell you all about my ring in another post as I designed it ☺️#engagedtomybestfriend #lovealinta

Photo 1 description: close up of the torsos of two people in dark colours standing side by side with arms stretched to the ground and holding hands. One hand over both arms showing silver coloured ring. 
Photo 2 description: man hugging female from behind with his arm around her chest. Her hands are on his arm showing ring. Both smiling at camera with greenery in background.
I have some news. I’m engaged! As a kid/teen I never thought this would happen as I didn’t believe in love - then I got sick and worried that no one would see past my illnesses. But I have found someone who loves me for me, faults, illnesses and all and I can’t wait to marry him. We spent yesterday afternoon attempting to take our own engagement photos in the yard with a tripod and this is the result. Having a photographer would be so much easier but my immune system wouldn’t appreciate that. Oh and I’ll tell you all about my ring in another post as I designed it ☺️#engagedtomybestfriend #lovealinta Photo 1 description: close up of the torsos of two people in dark colours standing side by side with arms stretched to the ground and holding hands. One hand over both arms showing silver coloured ring. Photo 2 description: man hugging female from behind with his arm around her chest. Her hands are on his arm showing ring. Both smiling at camera with greenery in background.
8 months ago
View on Instagram |
8/9
It’s been a while since I posted makeup, so here’s some makeup 🙃 the @meccamax Off Duty BB Cream made it into my 2020 faves blog post, and it’s still my favourite base to use on the rare occasion that I put makeup on. I’ve just been too tired to wear makeup the last couple of months. The #meccamax Off Duty BB Cream is cruelty free and vegan. It however only comes in 5 shades. I use the lightest shade Vanilla, which has a good undertone for me, but I have to mix it with the same amount of white concealer to make it light enough to use. @MeccaMaxima have said they will extend the shade range of their home brands for years now, but they still don’t sell a single base shade that I could use by itself, and I’m sure that’s the same for dark skin tones. The other criticism I have of this product is the packaging. The lack of pump makes it hard to control the amount that comes out, and I would really prefer if it were in glass as that would be easier to recycle. The actual cream itself is amazing though. The formula works so well on my skin. It’s easy to blend with a brush and doesn’t cake up or feel heavy. Have you tried this BB cream? Do you have another favourite cruelty free and vegan BB cream? #meccabeauty #crueltyfreebeauty #veganbeauty #lovealinta
It’s been a while since I posted makeup, so here’s some makeup 🙃 the @meccamax Off Duty BB Cream made it into my 2020 faves blog post, and it’s still my favourite base to use on the rare occasion that I put makeup on. I’ve just been too tired to wear makeup the last couple of months. The #meccamax Off Duty BB Cream is cruelty free and vegan. It however only comes in 5 shades. I use the lightest shade Vanilla, which has a good undertone for me, but I have to mix it with the same amount of white concealer to make it light enough to use. @MeccaMaxima have said they will extend the shade range of their home brands for years now, but they still don’t sell a single base shade that I could use by itself, and I’m sure that’s the same for dark skin tones. The other criticism I have of this product is the packaging. The lack of pump makes it hard to control the amount that comes out, and I would really prefer if it were in glass as that would be easier to recycle. The actual cream itself is amazing though. The formula works so well on my skin. It’s easy to blend with a brush and doesn’t cake up or feel heavy. Have you tried this BB cream? Do you have another favourite cruelty free and vegan BB cream? #meccabeauty #crueltyfreebeauty #veganbeauty #lovealinta
8 months ago
View on Instagram |
9/9

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