Monday, October 13th, 2014

NARS Virtual Domination Blush Palette
NARS Virtual Domination Blush Palette

NARS Virtual Domination Blush Palette ($65.00 for 0.95 oz.) includes a highlighter, three blushes, and a bronzer. It is a Sephora exclusive and launches November 1st. All of these shades have been released before with Sex Fantasy and Final Cut being limited edition, and the other four are part of the permanent range. It’s a decent palette, and I like the value behind it, though I wish the quality was at least as good as the standalone versions that have been released. They don’t fall too short, but in general, the texture had a thinner quality to it that made it less luxurious compared to full-sized blushes. Overall, the palette had good color payoff, blendable textures, and most wore for around eight hours. I felt like the palette was too bulky/heavy for what it was, but it at least doesn’t feel cheap.

NARS blush retails for $30.00 for 0.16 oz., and Bronzing Powder retails for $38.00 for 0.28 oz. This palette has 0.60 oz. of blush, which is a $112.50 worth of blush. Now, go figure, but this palette contains more than a full-sized Laguna (and far more than the one included in the Algorithm palette!) at 0.35 oz. or $47.50 worth of bronzer! The palette contains a total of $160.00 of NARS Blush/Bronzer, so it is a great value. In terms of price, for the cost of just over two full-size blushes, you’re getting five shades (sometimes a better way to think about value if you rarely finish products).

Miss Liberty is described as a “soft shimmering peach.” It’s a light, golden peach with a white sparkle and warm undertones. The way the shimmer and sparkle of this one act, it looks almost like a wet sheen on the face, but there are noticeable sparkles on the skin–it is by no means a particularly subtle highlighter option. It seemed slightly lighter than the permanent version I have, though effect for most skin tones will likely be the same since it is so sheer. It wears for seven hours on me. This shade is part of the permanent range of Highlighting Blush. See swatches of all dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Deep Throat is described as a “flirty sheer peach.” It’s a medium, coral with gold shimmer and hints of pink. The texture was soft, a little thinner than the permanent version, but it was blendable and had fairly good color payoff–it just looked a little faded compared to the permanent version. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me. This shade is part of the permanent range. See swatches of all dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Laguna is described as a “diffused brown powder with golden shimmer.” It’s a medium-dark brown with warm, yellow undertones and a golden shimmer-sheen finish. It has more buildable color payoff than full-on, rich pigment. The texture was soft, lightweight, and blendable, though it can be a smidgen on the powdery side (which it seems in this particular palette). NARS has a tendency to put this in many of its palettes, so you may find you already have one (or half a dozen), and it is part of the permanent range. See swatches of all dupes of dupes / view dupes side-by-side side-by-side.

Sex Fantasy is described as a “pale lavender pink.” It’s a very light, cool-toned pink with a hint of lavender. It has a totally flat, matte finish. The texture is soft and finely-milled, but it is powdery (more so than the permanent version). On me, it lasted for eight hours. See swatches of all dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Final Cut is described as a “peach coral.” It’s a softened, medium coral-orange with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and silky, and it was only a smidgen powdery. It wore well for eight hours on me. See swatches of all dupes
/ view dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Virtual Domination

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Miss Liberty

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Deep Throat

A-

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, September 26th, 2014

MAC Scone Bronzing Powder
MAC Scone Bronzing Powder

MAC Scone Bronzing Powder ($27.50 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a “neutral tan.” It’s a medium, subtly warm-toned brown with a hint of sheen–it’s almost matte. Tarte Park Ave. Princess #2 (LE) is lighter, yellower. MAC Sculpt (P, $16.50) is darker, grayer. NARS Paloma Contour (P) is slightly grayer. Urban Decay Bronzer (P) is warmer, lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC describes it as a “lightly frosted, tinted powder that gives skin sheer, natural colour effects and highlights.” Initially, it had a stiffer, harder surface, but after a couple of swatches, the powder seemed to give and became softer and easier to use. It had semi-sheer color payoff that was buildable to mostly opaque color coverage, if desired. It had a lightweight feel, didn’t look powdery on, and blended easily on the skin. The bronzer wore well for eight hours before fading on me. I was disappointed that the compact only contained 0.17 oz., whereas a full-sized Bronzing Powder (from the permanent range) contains 0.35 oz. If you prefer your compacts with mirrors, note that this one doesn’t have one.

The Glossover

LE
product

Scone

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow ($65.00 for 0.56 oz.) is compact that features a bronzer and a highlighter. I can see why this is one of the most raved about products from the brand’s offerings, as the texture of both powders is soft, finely-milled, and silky, while the bronzer is not too orange or yellow, and the highlighter is luminous without emphasizing pores. There’s also quite a bit of product in the compact, so it’s a better value than some of the other products in the range. They’re both nice products, and if you regularly bronze/contour and highlight, it may be convenient to have it a single palette together. If you have a healthy stash of bronzers and highlighters, you may find this more dupable.

Filmstar Bronze is a medium tan brown with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish. It had good color payoff with a soft, smooth consistency that applied easily and blended out nicely. It wore well for eight hours on me. Tarte Park Ave. Princess #2 (LE) is darker. IT Cosmetics Warm Radiance (P, $34.00) is more shimmery. MAC Aphrodite’s Shell (LE, $33.00) is lighter. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (LE) is yellower. MAC Nude on Board (LE, $30.00) is warmer. Chanel Sable Beige (LE, $60.00) is yellower. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Filmstar Glow is a pale, champagne beige with a luminous sheen. It seems almost frosted initially, but it blends to a very luminous, glowing finish that doesn’t emphasize pores or the skin’s natural texture. It reflects light without looking metallic. The powder’s texture is silky, finely-milled, and very blendable. On me, the highlighter stayed on for eight hours before fading slightly. Cle de Peau Sand Beige (13) (P, $55.00) is warmer. Chanel Dentelle Precieuse (LE, $80.00) is darker. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is darker, more shimmery. Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is lighter, more shimmery. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P, $24.00) is yellower. Chanel Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder (LE, $80.00) is more shimmery, darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
palette

Filmstar

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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product

Filmstar Bronze

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Filmstar Glow

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Too Faced Everything Nice Palette
Too Faced Everything Nice Palette

Too Faced Everything Nice Palette ($56.00 for 1.76 oz.) contains twenty eyeshadows and four bronzer/blushes. It comes with a glittery, pink pouch, three short-handled brushes, and a deluxe-sized Better Than Sex Mascara. It’s new and limited edition for the holidays. It’s slim with a variety of neutrals and jewel-tones, matte and frosts, which makes it a more versatile, travel-friendly palette (though Too Faced could use more satin/pearl finishes in the range).

Overall, it’s a decent palette, and there’s a lot of value packed into it–the eyeshadows are 0.06 oz. each, which is larger than the average full-sized eyeshadow (e.g. MAC/Urban Decay are 0.05 oz. in full-size). The quality was present with the majority of the shades, though there were a few misses and so-so shades. Most of the shades wore well for eight hours, with a couple wearing less or more than that (noted below if it was shorter or longer).

I would have loved to have seen a cooler-toned shade for cheeks, because I think the four included run warmer. The brushes aren’t really useful, but they might work in a pinch, as the shapes seem really specific and less universal. Avid Too Faced fans will likely see the repetitive nature of the brand coming through in this palette, which is often the case with any brand that releases mega-sized palettes regularly. One thing I was happy to see is that Too Faced re-used some of the colors from previously-released palettes that weren’t just renamed, though there were still some shades that seemed to be repeats with new names.

Turtle Dove is a brightened, neutral ivory white with a matte finish. It had fairly good color payoff that went on smoothly without being powdery. This is a shade that Too Faced has done in a lot of palettes with different names (not all of them are exactly the same, but there are many that are very similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Dream On is a light, yellowed beige with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had nice pigmentation but had a moderately powdery textures, so you’ll want to be careful when applying. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

After Hours is a warm, golden, medium-dark brown with a frosted, metallic finish. It had a very soft texture, but it sometimes looked clumpy applied, so it needs to be pressed against the skin to smooth it out, but it does have good color payoff. I had some fall out during wear with this shade. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Fawned of You is a medium, caramel brown with soft, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had so-so color payoff, and it is definitely a shade that would benefit from a good primer underneath, so it would adhere better to the skin. The texture was soft, silky, and just a smidgen powdery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Knockout is a dark brown with warm, reddish undertones and a matte finish. This shade looks a lot less warm-toned applied than it looks in the pan. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft but not powdery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Paper Roses #2 is a light, warm-toned pink-peach with a soft, frosted finish. It had good color payoff with a slightly powdery texture, but it was blendable and easy to apply. And just to be clear, there was a shade called Paper Roses in another palette, but the two are nothing alike (it actually made me wonder if this shade and Kindness is Free were mislabeled). See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Kindness is Free is a light-medium, yellow-toned pink with a frosted sheen. It had semi-opaque pigmentation, and it had a slightly dry, thinner texture. I found the intensity applied was always less than in the pan–it just didn’t want to go on boldly. I would recommend using only with a primer. It had a tendency to fade a bit faster, by seven and a half hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Mauvelous #2 is a silver-shot mauve with flecks of copper sparkle. This shade felt like they used sparkle, rather than larger glittery particles, and it was a lot less noticeable than the last one I remember, but it was also noticeably lighter. It had decent color payoff, but there was still fall out as none of the sparkle really binds with the actual color. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Be You is a subtly warm-toned, muted, dusty purple with a matte finish. The texture was soft but powdery, and I noticed that this one didn’t layer or build-up well. It was harder to blend than I thought it would be, as it had a tendency to stick where it initially applied without budging much further. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Secret Lovers is a dark brown with subtle, cool undertones and a pearly sheen. It had nice color payoff, and it was fairly smooth and easily blended on the lid. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Heaven is a yellowed white with a matte finish. It is noticeably powdery, though the texture is very soft and finely-milled. It had good pigmentation. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Shiny Happy is a neutral-to-cool-tone, dirty gold with a metallic sheen. It had nice color payoff, and it applied smoothly overall. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Honey Pot is a light-medium, orange-gold with a metallic sheen. It had excellent color payoff with a soft, smooth texture that was a dream to work with. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Don’t Settle is a muted, medium-dark brown with subtle, yellow-olive undertones and a metallic finish. It had good pigmentation, while the texture was a little dry, it still applied fairly well. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Girly is a warm, reddish-brown with a green-to-teal duochrome. It had nice color payoff, and the texture was soft and buttery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Totally Fetch is a bright, fuchsia pink with cool undertones and a pearly sheen. It had great, opaque pigmentation that went on smoothly. It seemed to have a higher sheen than the one in the Pretty Rebel palette. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Live It Up is a medium-dark, lightly cool-toned purple with silver/purple sparkle. The sparkle just goes everywhere but where you’d like it, as it doesn’t bind with the actual color. What little bit may transfer onto lids during application drops below the lid within the next couple of hours. It had semi-sheer color coverage, though the texture wasn’t stiff, it was just thin. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Too Glam is a brightened, green-leaning teal with a frosted sheen. It had great color payoff, and the texture was soft and smooth to work with. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Head Over Heels is a glittery, blackened navy blue with purple and lighter blue flecks of glitter. It had sheer color payoff, and the texture had an almost wet-like feel to it. The glitter seemed to be more prominent when applied to the lid, but this was a one-way trip to Fall Out City. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Chocolate Moon is a dark, blackened brown with subtle, cool undertones and gold sparkle over a matte finish. Again, the sparkle doesn’t bind with the color, so most of it is lost between the brush/underneath the eye. It had decent pigmentation, though the texture was a little dry and less blendable than desired. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sweet Pink is a medium, lightly warmed-up pink with a fine, golden shimmer. It had good color payoff, and it was blendable and didn’t emphasize pores when applied. It wore well for eight hours before fading along the edges. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Papa Don’t Peach is a muted, medium peach with warm, orange undertones and a frosted sheen. It had great pigmentation, while the texture was slightly powdery, it was easily blended on the skin without emphaizing the skin’s texture. It lasted for eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Chocolate Soleil is a medium-dark, tan brown with warm, yellow-ish undertones and a satin-matte finish. It’s a permanent product in Too Faced’s range, and it’s in nearly every holiday palette from them this year (and was often included in their various palette/sets released in the past). The texture is soft, silky, lightly powdery, but blendable and fairly pigmented. It lasts about eight hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Inner Light is an iridescent pink-peach with a strong, golden frosted sheen. It had fairly good color payoff, though the finish tended to emphasize pores slightly. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Everything Nice

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Turtle Dove

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Dream On

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Too Faced Beauty Wishes & Sweet Kisses Palette
Too Faced Beauty Wishes & Sweet Kisses Palette

Too Faced Beauty Wishes & Sweet Kisses Palette ($34.00 for 0.55 oz.) includes three eyeshadows, two bronzers, and a lip gloss. You may recognize the eyeshadows from Too Faced’s The Chocolate Bar. Both bronzers have routinely been featured in other palettes and are available individually as well. The lipgloss is a new formula called “La Creme Lip Gloss” that will officially debut next spring. The palette has a strong, chocolaty scent, so if you don’t dig sweet chocolate smells, you may want to look at other Too Faced offerings this holiday.

I think they could have chosen a more versatile set of shades, as I found the three odd to combine; the matte didn’t play as well with the shimmery shades, and when I tried to layer, it tended to look a little powdery/chalky. I think perhaps a more satiny finish for the lightest shade would have helped for combining the three, and if the darkest shade was darker, you could get more versatility out of these three. I just don’t love the way this is done, though the quality is good with the exception of the lip gloss, which was a total miss for me.

White Chocolate is a pale, light beige with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had a soft, silky consistency that had good color payoff without being powdery. However, when it layers or blends with the more shimmery shades like Creme Brulee and Haute Chocolate, it seems to make them appear a little chalky at times. I think the thinner texture (in comparison to the other two shades) also makes it less easily blended with them. It wore well for eight hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Creme Brulee is a brightened, medium-dark gold with a frosted, metallic finish. It is a little drier and thinner compared to the version in the Chocolate Bar, though the pigmentation was still good. It wore well for eight hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Haute Chocolate is a meidum-dark, bronzy brown with a frosted sheen and warm, reddish undertones. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and blendable, though it wasn’t as buttery or as dense as the version in the Chocolate Bar. It wore well for eight hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Chocolate Soleil (Bronzer) is a medium-dark, tan brown with warm, yellow-ish undertones and a satin-matte finish. It’s a permanent product in Too Faced’s range, and it’s in nearly every holiday palette from them this year (and was often included in their various palette/sets released in the past). The texture is soft, silky, lightly powdery, but blendable and fairly pigmented. It lasts about eight hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Snow Bunny (Bronzer) is a warm, light-medium gold with orange tones and a frosted sheen. It had a slightly thinner texture, but it was still smooth and blendable on the skin. The more frosted sheen did emphasize pores somewhat, so that may be a deal-breaker. I like it better dusted lightly over Chocolate Soleil as a highlighter, as that lighter application helps to minimize how much gets emphasized on the skin. It wears seven and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Naked Dolly (La Creme Lip Gloss) is a pink-peach with a cream finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage, but it settled into lip lines and applied unevenly. The texture was somewhat thick, and it was tacky on the lips. The gloss lasted two hours, and it was neither drying nor hydrating. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Beauty Wishes & Sweet Kisses

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

White Chocolate

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Creme Brulee

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, August 4th, 2014

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Eye & Cheek Palette
Tarte Rainforest After Dark Eye & Cheek Palette

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Eye & Cheek Palette ($38.00 for 0.70 oz.) includes one highlighter (0.14 oz,) one bronzer (0.14 oz.), one blush (0.21 oz.), and six eyeshadows (0.035 oz. each). It’s a nice palette for someone who likes softer, more muted colors in medium tones. I found the palette to be warmer-toned, though some of the eyeshadows are only a little warm-toned. My least favorite product was the blush, as I found it to be weaker in pigmentation and harder to blend–it tended to look uneven applied and took quite a bit of buffing to get to look half-decent.

I bought mine at Sephora and received it on Friday, and only realized on Saturday evening that, “Hey! You should review this now! Tarte has a F&F sale going on!” 30% off at Tarte through today with code FANDF.

Unleashed is described as a “nude rose.” It’s a light-medium, coral-pink with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had so-so pigmentation, but the texture was a little dry, slightly stiff. I found it difficult to blend on the skin, as it tended to stick wherever it initially was applied but wouldn’t diffuse. It lasted eight hours on me before fading (nowhere near the 12-hours the formula is supposed to wear). See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Champagne is a light, white gold with warm, yellow undertones and a frosted sheen. It had decent color payoff, and the texture was fairly soft. It wore well for eight and a half hours before turning patchy. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Park Ave. Princess #2 is a medium-dark, tan brown with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish. It had good pigmentation that applied well and blended easily on the skin. The color wore well for almost nine hours before fading. This is nothing like the Park Ave. Princess I have from last holiday’s Off the Cuff palette; they’re two distinct colors, and I don’t own the permanent, standalone Park Ave. Princess to tell you which is closest to that, but it is so frustrating when brands can’t match their own products from release to release. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Bare to Explore is described as a “pink beige.” It’s a pink-tinged beige with a matte finish. It had decent to good color payoff that was soft, slightly powdery, but blendable. It lasted for seven hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Make a Mauve is described as a “plum mauve.” It’s a muted, medium-dark plum-brown with subtle warm undertones and a satiny shimmer. It had good pigmentation that applied smoothly and evenly on the lid. This shade didn’t start to fade until after eight hours of wear. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Plum Away With Me is described as a “dark plum.” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned plum with a frosted finish. It had really good color payoff that applied beautifully with a smooth, even result. It wore well for eight hours before starting to fade slightly. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Up to No Gold is described as a “gold.” It’s a light-medium, orange-toned gold with warm undertones and a metallic finish. It was very soft and had great pigmentation, but it was a little powdery so it didn’t adhere quite as well to bare skin as I’d like (better over a primer). On me, the color wore well for seven and a half hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Tan-gled Up in You is described as a “tan.” It’s a medium-dark brown with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had good color payoff that was easy to apply and blend; soft but not powdery. It lasted well for eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Don’t Turn A-Brown is described as a “dark brown.” It’s a dark brown with a very subtle cool undertone and a matte finish. It had fairly good pigmentation, and the texture was just a smidgen powdery but easy to blend on the skin. This shade wore well for eight and a half hours before there was slight fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Rainforest After Dark

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Unleashed

C

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Champagne

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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