These Handy Blush Sticks are Perfect for Makeup Newbies

Makeup junkies, here’s a new beauty product that you have to add to your travel kikay kit, stat: the Revlon Insta-Blush. These new beauty sticks let you add color to your cheeks on the go and they’re perfect for beginners, too!

The Insta-Blush comes in a twist-up stick that has a blendable cream-to-powder formula. It features unique mica-coated pigments that diffuse light, which give your cheeks a natural flush. It comes in four shades. Check them out:

The Revlon Insta-Blush sticks will be available in April at your favorite beauty stores for P575 each.

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez Shares Her Anti-Aging Tips

Believe it or not, Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez is now 50 years old.

At the Organique Acai media luncheon held last March 17 at the Paparazzi restaurant in EDSA Shangri-La, Tweetie cemented her status as one of the industry’s ageless beauties.

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What’s one of her anti-aging secrets? For Tweetie, it’s simply all about taking care of yourself.

The mother of four told the press, “That’s [the] only way to balance stress, to balance life, to look good, and to prevent illnesses.

“That’s really the secret to being happy and beautiful.”

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With age, health becomes synonymous to wealth in many different ways, especially as a committed family woman. She adds, “At this age, my priority is to be well because as the kids get older, parang they need you more. More than [when] they were babies.”

One of the ways that Tweetie invests in healthy living is opening herself up to new experiences. Aside from playing squash, the former fashion model has also tried her hand at tennis.

She confesses, “I’ve been a tennis fanatic. I know all the tennis players in the world. I look forward to training all the time. Nakaka-excite.

Siguro this is the secret to staying fit and energetic. You challenge yourself. You get excited about something new because I wanna learn this, you do everything you can to be good at it.”

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When it comes to food, Tweetie admitted that she has no diet restrictions. She reveals, “I eat ice cream, I love ice cream. I eat pizza. I eat white rice! I eat, but I eat enough lang. I don’t overindulge.”

In order to keep her diet healthy, she makes her meals “colorful.”

“I always tell my kids, the more colorful your plate is, the healthier it is because if you have greens, and orange, and yellow, and red in there, all that means is that you have a variety of vegetables which are really good for you,” she concludes.

This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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Two Often-Overlooked Beauty Hacks You Need For Your Underarms

When it comes to makeup removal, we’re meticulous to a fault. We won’t just wash our faces once — nope, we have to double cleanse (first with an oil cleanser or balm, then with a foaming facial wash) every single night if we want all traces of makeup gone.

But has it ever occurred to you that this method could work on other parts of the body, too? And by “others,” we’re talking about your armpits. Yes, you wash them on a daily basis, but are you actually doing everything to keep them clean? Sometimes, even after scrubbing your armpits with soap and water, a clear film of deodorant remains.

You can try to get rid of it the natural way. Just mix warm water with one-half cup of baking soda until you get a consistent paste consistency. Slather the baking soda paste onto your armpits with your hands, use a washcloth to gently rub it off your armpits, and then rinse it off when you shower.

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If that doesn’t do the trick, try this little experiment by Reddit user anonnewmommy. We’re now convinced that we *need* to oil cleanse our underarms, too.

Here’s what she shared on the Asian Beauty Reddit:

I made a post in the Facebook group about wanting to lighten my armpits (not medical related at all, I promise). A few ladies brought up deodorant being the culprit. I noticed that no matter how much I scrubbed my armpits, they still felt like I had something on them. Last night, after washing my armpits and having that same feeling, I decided to oil cleanse them. I let the oil sit for maybe 5-6 minutes as I did the rest of my shower routine. HOLY COW. My washcloth was covered in little white balls of deodorant. It just kept coming. After rinsing/rewashing with body soap, my armpits felt insanely smooth. This morning, they look lighter and they’re so much smoother. I may be on to something here.

We can bet it’s oddly satisfying — just imagine gross residue melting away once they come in contact with the oil. And with underarm-baring season well on its way, it’s definitely worth a try!

Additional text by Rachel Perez. This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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Yes, You Can Be A Fit Mama!

Pregnancy could be one of the most wonderful moments in a woman’s life. It could also be one of the most challenging due to the physical and emotional changes.

Louise Calderon-Tan, a 25 year-old CrossFit Level 1 trainer at Lifthard Philippines, knows that being fit is especially important during infanticipation and pregnancy. When she found out she was pregnant with her first born, she slowed down but did not totally give up her fitness regimen. “Before I got pregnant, my workout was all about intensity. I would train for hours getting myself ready for CrossFit competitions,” she reveals. She still did the same training all throughout her first and second trimesters “but with less intensity,” she emphasizes. By the third trimester, Louise slowed down and did more of yoga and labor preparation exercises.

Because Louise maintained her program, her weight gain was a mere 10 lbs., making her total weight only 145 lbs. at the peak of her pregnancy. She explains, “Being a fitness coach helped me to get to know my body. While I was pregnant, I was more aware of how to listen to my body, learning what it can and can’t handle. Being a fitness coach also helped me make healthier food choices.”

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This first-time mom didn’t plunge into exercise right after giving birth though. It took her a month before she hit the gym again, opting to relish those precious firsts with her baby boy Lucas. Slowly, Louise eased herself into shape. “One of the things you lose when getting pregnant is core strength. I started working out again at four weeks postpartum, focusing on core strengthening exercises,” she says.

In spite of her background and training, it still took Louise a while to get back into shape. The adjustment, late nights, and additional responsibilities all played a factor. “I did not know that it was going to be difficult trying to get back into shape, especially since I worked out all throughout my pregnancy. I also did not realize that my body was going to feel really weak,” she sighs. Louise persisted in exercising, aiming for her fitness goals slowly. “It is difficult to balance having a baby and keeping fit,” she admits. “But it is doable!”

Louise has chosen to help fellow moms be healthier and fitter. She is now taking prenatal and postnatal courses to arm herself with the right knowledge. “I’m really passionate about helping people get healthy and fit,” she says with a smile.

Women, moms especially, shouldn’t neglect the fitness aspect of their lives. Even if it’s just 10 or 15 or 30 minutes daily, Louise encourages moms to move it, so to speak. “I know how difficult it can be to find the time to work out,” she says sympathetically, “but I also know that when we do take action to strengthen our bodies, there will be a positive impact on our daily lives as persons and mothers.”

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Like Louise said, taking care of one’s family while staying fit is doable. Here are some of her suggestions to making exercise fit into your busy schedule:

1. First things first.
“Try to workout first thing in the morning. If you waited until the afternoon, it’ll be more likely for you to skip the workout.”

2. Schedule your workouts.
“Schedule it as a part of your day and make it a non-negotiable.”

3. Be kind to yourself.
“Don’t beat yourself up about your body, your current fitness level or your supposed lack of willpower. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to learn and improve.”

4. Check your expectations.
“Expecting too much too soon can lead to frustrations. Try not to be discouraged by what you can’t do.”

5. Include your kids in your workout.
“While it’s important to have your alone time, there are plenty of ways to combine fitness and family.”

6. Get a workout buddy.
“Someone who can motivate you and keep you accountable — and vice versa!”

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Despite The Imperfection, Jessy Is Like Any Other Kid

A few years ago, when my daughter Jessy Isidra was only two years old, we were browsing the shelves of a department store in an upscale mall in BGC when the sales ladies took notice of my little girl and began playing with her. A kid born with Apert Syndrome, Jessy stood out among the crowd because of her large eyes, slightly bigger head, and her visibly different ‘gloved’ hands.

The sales ladies, who by then formed a small crowd around Jessy, were polite, although evidently curious about her condition and asked me outright, “Saan niyo po sya pinaglihi?” It was a common question I usually get in public areas, one that I don’t really believe in so I just gave my usual spiel, “She was simply born special.”

When we were about to leave, I noticed one of the patrons (a very well-dressed lady), who has been eyeing my daughter for a few minutes already, approached us and without any provocation, started kissing my daughter’s head and hands, and then wiped her Pierre Cardin hanky on my daughter’s chest — the way you would a wooden saint during processions.

She did not say anything to me, and I was too stunned to react. She simply left right after her ‘ritual’, and when she turned her back, the friendly sales ladies started laughing. “Baka po naisip niya pampasuwerte po yung anak nyo.” (Maybe she thought your daughter would give her luck.)

This is the life of a parent with a special kid. The reactions of meeting someone like her border on the extremes: Curiosity, awe, the ‘crazies’, and sadly, extreme pity and at times, dislike as well, especially among other kids. It still pains me when I remember the time a little girl her age cried out of fear when Jessy tried to hold her hand, or when a little boy we saw in a cafe was staring intently at her, muttering quietly “why is her eyes like that?’

Parenting has always been hard, but parenting for a special child definitely needs a different set of operating instructions.

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Jessy was born as a pleasant addition to my little family. Her brother was already six years old when I found out I was pregnant with my second child, and I didn’t really expected to get pregnant again. I had an uneventful pregnancy and nothing seemed out of the ordinary as far as my checkups were concerned.

When I went into labor though, I knew something was wrong. I was in pain for almost 12 hours before my OB decided that I was going under the knife. When I woke up a few hours later, I felt quite confused when the nurses refused to show me my baby. They told me something about my baby having a cleft palate and fused hands. Still groggy, I demanded that they show me Jessy. They reluctantly brought her to me but I was too weak to carry her at that time. I thought she was perfect.


The next few days was a roller coaster of emotions. I found out that Jessy was born with a genetic condition called Apert Syndrome, an abnormal fusion of the skull which results to her head growing abnormally. Aside from the size of her skull, other symptoms also appear such as syndactyly or the fusion of her fingers, and a cleft palate which meant she couldn’t feed properly the way normal babies do. Aside from that, she was born with a slight blood infection which meant we couldn’t bring her home immediately.

It was a roller coaster ride, and I wasn’t sure I could handle everything that was happening to me and my daughter. I couldn’t fathom the idea of how she could be born like that. Doctors started asking me questions like whether I took meds while I was pregnant with her, did I suffer high blood pressure, or if I actually tried to terminate the pregnancy during my first trimester. Needless to say, I was made to feel that all these might have been something I caused, and for that, it was my daughter who’s now paying the price.

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So what got me through the ordeal? As simple as it may sound, but it was love that got me through. It’s the love in different forms: From my husband who has been so supportive and understanding from the start, the love from my son who thought his sister couldn’t be anymore perfect; the love from my family and friends who showed me unconditional support as Jessy grew up; and the love I have for my little girl, because the more difficult our journey became, the more love I felt for her.

And everyday, I see how, despite the imperfection, she grows perfectly just like any other kid. Her hands often amaze her. She would raise them slowly, and they float like graceful fishes, or little birds taking flight. And she would stare at them like the little miracles that they are. She couldn’t suck her thumb when she was small, but she relished on the softness of her little hand, the way I do when I kiss them every chance that I get.

She can’t hold my hand the way babies should, but she has learned to use them and guide my fingers towards her little lips and suck at them like an extension of her little digits, an extension of my heart. She has learned how to feed herself growing up, handling her utensils with as much care as anyone with her condition could muster. Her hands are so loved that they inspire kindness and tenderness, and I see them in the looks people around her give her … the same kindness that I now show for kids like her.


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Of course, there are still times when I catch myself asking why, among the millions of babies born every day, was she the one to have been ‘blessed’ with this kind of condition. …read more    

5 Nail Salons Perfect for Your Moms’ Day Out

Catching up with the mom squad soon? Make it a pampering session with mani-pedis and have a nail sparty! You can even get matching nail art if you want to level up your #SquadGoals. Below, we round up 10 salons around the Metro perfect for your next girls’ day out.

1. Kallista Nail Pamper Lounge


2/F S Maison, Conrad Hotel Manila, Marina Way, Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Contact: 0977-259-1147
www.facebook.com/kallistaph
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

If you and your girlfriends dream about living the goddess life (you know, dressed in swanky silk robes while getting pampered), Kallista will turn that fantasy into a reality. Posh interiors, plush seating, and gold accent pieces will whisk you away from the hustle and bustle of the city to a place that oozes old-world charm. This Grecian-inspired space really treats you like a true goddess! Get spoiled with a complimentary beverage, a fluffy blanket, and an eye mask so you can fully relax as they transform your digits into gorgeous tips painted with polishes from Zoya, Butter London, Orly, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, YSL, or Christian Loubotin, among others.

Must-try services: Kallista Signature (P435/hands, P715/feet), Goddess Glow (P875 to P1,000), Aphrodite’s Ritual (P2,300)

2. Manos Nail Lounge



Unit 2-I Crescent Park Residences, 30th Street corner 2nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
Contact: 478-4057 and 0917-315-6627
www.manosnaillounge.com
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Tuesday to Friday) and from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)

A mani-pedi sesh at Manos isn’t only about you and your pals getting pampered it’s about supporting local and preserving the environment, too! Step inside and you will be greeted by a display shelf that showcases some of the local products from homegrown brands that the nail salon uses for its services. The nature-inspired interiors also reflect their advocacy to support local and eco-friendly products. They use formaldehyde-, toluene-, and DBP-free nail polish brands and vegan brand Zoya so you won’t have to worry about harsh chemicals damaging your nails.

Must-try services: Manos Classic (P520), Manos Express (P380), Manos Signature (P900)

3. Kiyosa Japanese Total Beauty



Unit Ground A F1 Hotel, 32nd Street corner Lane Q, Bonifacio Global City; 2/F S Maison, Marina Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Contact: 805-8888 and 0939-915-8888 (F1 Hotel branch); 771-1009 and 0917-620-4241 (S Maison branch)
kiyosa-beauty.com
Open daily from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. (F1 Hotel branch); and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (S Maison branch)

Get matchy-matchy nail art with the squad at the country’s first Japanese gel nail salon. Kiyosa flaunts a chic minimalist aesthetic, but don’t be fooled their nail art designs are the bomb! This is because Kiyosa takes nail art seriously. Their nail technicians all have to go through a three-month “Nail School” before they become licensed nail artists! To give you an idea of just how serious they are about nails, they shell out roughly half a million pesos to complete nail school. We kid you not. Kiyosa makes use of Ace Gel and special brushes to perfect their artwork on each digit. They also offer complimentary coffee and Japanese tea!

Must-try services: Gel Nail (P580/junior, P980/senior), Gel Art (P1,480/junior, P2,280/senior), Hand Spa (P1,000)

4. Nail Spa

See a list of Nail Spa branches
Contact: 687-4991 and 687-7011 (Shangri-La Plaza)
www.nailspa.com.ph
Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday), 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Saturday), and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sunday)

Sit back and have a relaxing sparty with your girl friends at this pretty nail salon. Nail Spa has romantic toile de jouy interiors by Ito Kish, making every corner eye candy and Instagram-worthy. Settle into their cozy couches and get ready to be pampered by their skillful nail technicians that can turn your tips into a masterpiece in just one session. Pick from their wide selection of polishes from Zoya and Essie, to Chanel and Dior, among many others!

Must-try services: Express Hands (P250), Bliss Hands (P720), Pamper Feet (P780)

5. St. Nails



G/F NFB Building, EDSA corner Arnaiz, Makati City
Contact: 586-0985 and 0917-866-2457
www.facebook.com/st.nails.spa
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Located between Dasmariñas Village and bustling Makati is St. Nails the busy girl’s sweet escape from the real world. Its concrete walls, plush purple lounge chairs, and black-and-white Victorian flooring give the nail salon a cosmopolitan vibe. They carry Lush Polishes to Premium Polishes from OPI, Sally Hansen, Cuccio, and Mattifier to Butter London, Glitter, Magnetic, and Crack Nails. They even do nail art with gems and stickers!

Must-try services: Classic Manicure (P200), Hand Bliss with Manicure (P350), Pamper Me Now (P800/Hand and Foot Bliss with Manicure and Pedicure)

More nail salons can be found at Spot.ph where this story originally appeared.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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This 25-Year-Old Went From Housemaid to PMA Graduate

Meriam Libongcogon is part of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Class Salaknib (Sanggalang ay Lakas at Bukay Para sa Kalayaan ng Inang Bayan). They graduate today, Sunday, March 12.

The Salaknib batch, which has eight women in the top 10, including the valedictorian, boasts the most number of female cadets (63) since women were accepted into the PMA 24 years ago.

Meriam’s story, though, deserves to be highlighted.

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“The 25-year-old Meriam is the second child (among six kids) of Mario (a carpenter) and Florida (a housewife) Libongcogon of Bambalan, Cebu,” reports Micaella Ilao on ABS-CBN News.

Meriam’s father’s income was not enough to support their family’s needs, so she learned to be industrious. After Meriam graduated from high school at age 15, she started working as a housemaid in order to fund her college studies in computer engineering.

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The report notes: “After being a housemaid in Cebu for three years, she transferred to Baguio City, where she met ‘Nanay Rose,’ the woman whom she considers her ‘foster parent.’ It was Nanay Rose who encouraged Meriam to join the PMA, and helped her enroll in the academy.”

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Meriam is set to join the Philippine Navy. She revealed that she plans to build a house for her parents in the future.

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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You’ve Never Seen a Thermometer Like This Before, Mom

Technology is advancing fast, and one of the many benefits it gives us is the added safety net in many areas of our lives. Pertaining to kids’ health in particular, these two news apps will alert you of an emergency and guide you on what you have to do next:

1. TempTraq

We know the anxiety that comes with having a little one sick at home. The nights when a child has a fever are sleepless ones for parents. The wee hours of the morning are spent soothing a flustered child and being constantly woken up by worry to check up on your child’s temperature. This is where TempTraq can help. A wearable thermometer and its accompanying app, TempTraq is a soft patch that you place under your child’s arm, near the armpit. For 24 hours, it will monitor and track your child’s temperature and send the information it collects to your phone via bluetooth.

Aside from giving you scheduled updates on your child’s temperature, it will also alert you if it’s getting fever spikes and high fever temperatures. If you’re giving your child fever medicine, you can also set it to remind you when it’s time to give your child a dose. TempTraq is definitely smarter than your average digital thermometer. It is single-use though, so the patch can only be used once. And for those wondering, big kids and adults can use it too. Check out the TempTraq website here.

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2. Sali (save-a-life)


Would you know what to do in the face of an emergency that requires CPR? A lot of Filipinos don’t, and with prompt emergency rescue still lacking in the Philippines, knowledge of basic first aid technique is crucial. This is how 2nd year college student Joel Alejandro, from the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, thought to create Sali, a CPR app, reported Rappler.

An estimated 60,000 deaths are due to sudden cardiac arrest, says Joel, a third of which can be prevented with CPR. “Having universally accessible knowledge about CPR, users will be more capable and motivated in cases of emergency,” he explained on the Sali website.

Sali is one of the top 6 finalists of the Sandoz HACk Healthcare Access Challenge, “a global competition that seeks young people who have innovative ideas and solutions for healthcare access challenges,” reported Rappler. Wishing you all the luck, Joel!

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Having Dreams of Your Hubby Cheating Can Be a Sign Of Insecurity

What would you do if you had a bad dream about your significant other cheating on you? Before you panic and go on accusing him of something that hasn’t happened yet (or probably won’t anyway), know that having this kind of dream might only be masking something deeper.

According to Delphi Ellis, a qualified therapist and specialist in dream analysis, having dreams of a cheating partner may indicate your insecurities and your fear of being abandoned. While it’s fair to say we receive messages from our subconscious on many levels, this dream usually suggests a fear a partner will cheat, rather than evidence they’re actually doing that.

Another reason you’re having bad dreams about your partner is because he doesn’t notice you that much; and the lack of attention makes you overthink. Those thoughts manifest into your subconscious and later on, you start to dream about it.

She also adds, “This is particularly the case where someone has been unfaithful in the past in real life, reflecting an insecurity it could happen again. The dream is most common, ironically, when the relationship is going well.”

But what if it was the other way around? What if you were the one dreaming of another man? Deirdre Barrett, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of The Committee of Sleep, says it may be because you feel dissatisfied with your relationship, and you desire the kind of man you’re with in your dream. When you wake up, ask yourself what characteristics the stranger had, and whether or not those are traits you wish your husband possessed.

This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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Kids Excited for Beauty and the Beast? They’ll Love This Magazine!

Prepare to once again be charmed by this tale as old as time with a magazine that reveals how the magic of the 1991 Disney animation was brought to life 26 years later!

Out now from Summit Media, the Philippine publisher of Disney publications such as Disney Princess, Sofia the First, and Frozen, is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Official Movie Magazine. It is the viewer’s guide to getting to know Belle, the Beast, and the movie’s many enchanting personalities; discovering how the lovable animated film was transformed into a live-action spectacle; and learning the important values this timeless tale continues to carry throughout the decades.

The Beauty and the Beast magazine opens with director Bill Condon and stars Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (the Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston), and Josh Gad (Le Fou) revealing the impact that the original Disney animation has had on them as viewers, fans, and actors.

Inside, readers are further acquainted with the classic characters and the talented thespians who breathe life into them — from Belle and the Beast, to the castle’s staffers-turned-objects, to the dynamic duo of Gaston and Le Fou.

Set photos, concept art, and behind-the-scenes revelations covering costume design, CGI technology, makeup and hair, and prop-making demystify the delightful magic that surrounds the new live-action adaptation.

Treats just for kids round out this Disney offering: learn to make your own enchanted mirror; find out how similar you are to the movie’s strong, smart, and compassionate heroine; and score two free Beauty and the Beast movie posters to hang up on your walls.

Grab a copy of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Official Movie Magazine (P150) before the film hits Philippine theaters on March 16, 2017. It’s out now in bookstores, newsstands, convenience stores, and supermarkets nationwide.

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