Review: Benefit All You Need Is Gloss Set

2.28.2011


I mentioned these in my February favorites video and promised swatches....so here they are :D!  I'm still perfecting how to take swatch photos since the macro on my crappy-ass camera only works if the lighting is (I kid you not) PERFECT >_>  I have since discovered that using the bathroom counter under the skylight around 2pm results in the best pictures.  While I'm super pleased how the pictures I take there turn out, this means I can only take pictures on the weekend -_-  *sigh*

OPI Hello Kitty Blueberry VS Zoya Jo

2.27.2011

As much as I was drawn to Blueberry from OPI's Hello Kitty nail collection for Sephora ($10), I didn't purchase it for myself because I was convinced it was a dupe of Zoya Jo ($7), which I already had.  However, Julie from PDXbeautiful gave it to me in a swap so I got to try both and learned my lesson about calling dupes without trying it for myself xD  So yep, on this lovely Sunday afternoon, I thought I'd experiment with these two colors.


Pinkie: Blueberry, Nubar 2010
Ring: Jo, Nubar 2010
Middle: Blueberry, Seche Vite Top Coat
Index: Jo, Seche Vite Top Coat
Thumb: Blueberry, OPI Flurry Up
No top or base coats.

Ehhe, I was just having a bit o fun ;) I like how Flurry Up looks but Nubar 2010....meh.  It looks so much better over dark nails.


Zoya Jo is one of my personal favorites, my 3rd favorite Zoya polish (#1=Freja, #2=Adina).  It is just a beautiful complex periwinkle blue that is surprisingly opaque.  Here's the review that convinced me to get Jo :)
Zoya Nail Polish in Jo can be best described as: Delicate and serene looking medium periwinkle blue with subtle silver and blue toned shimmer. This calming, flattering blue is like stress relief therapy on your nails!

Color Family: Blues
Finish: Metallic
Intensity: 5 ( 1=Sheer - 5=Opaque )
Tone: Cool
Original Collection: Twist 
I just adore this color - the official description describes it very well, "a periwinkle blue with subtle silver and blue toned shimmer."  What I especially like is that it is not sheer, it's quite opaque just as they promise.  It's also a very complex blue, surprisingly so, and perfect for Spring/Summer.  It applies silky smooth and has a very nice, smooth finish.  No complaints.


OPI Blueberry caught my eye after fuzkittie wore it a week or so straight xD  But from the bottle I was so sure it was a Jo-dupe so I contented myself to whinging on about how cute the bottle was xD The only official description they have of this color is an "opaque pastel periwinkle blue."  After applying it to my nail though, I'd say it's an "opaque, pastel periwinkle blue with no shimmer." It's a little harder to apply than Jo; it's a tad streakier and prone to chipping at the cuticles and tips a bit.  The formula seems a gooier overall.


You can see how jagged Blueberry applied around my cuticles :P It's harder to apply than Zoya, the formula is goopier and the brush is harder to use. Anyway, it's easy to see that the two colors are very different! Jo is defintely a complex, deeper cornflower blue while Blueberry is a flat pastel periwinkle.

Flat pastels are probably going to be trendier next season but I personally prefer Jo, if only because I like a little shimmer in my polishes.  Overall, both have their place and time.  Jo is a classic, spring/summer color that would be chic on all ages.  Blueberry is a fun, trendy color that would be great for the upcoming spring.  I think nail art would go particularly well over Blueberry as well. Zoya is cheaper at $7/bottle but we can't deny that the HK polish collection is just ridiculously cute in the packaging department.  It just depends on what style you're going for I think.


Last thing, I'm pretty disappointed how Nubar 2010 looks on anything but very dark polishes :P In the end, I think both Jo and Blueberry look best worn alone without any fancy top coats. 

NOTD: Purple Glitter Gradient

2.26.2011

Seche Vite Base Coat
Sally Hansen Xtremewear in Rockstar Pink 05
OPI for Sephora Flurry Me Up
Seche Vite Top Coat

Hi peeps! Oh man, I slept like a baby last night....for like 12 hours straight. Fell asleep at midnight and woke up at noon today ahah my favorite way to start a weekend :}

Anyway, I wore these nails for like....two month straight or something because it just lasted that long! This Sally Hansen glitter is insane - it is impossible to remove!! But it never chips either ^^  It literally took me an hour to remove this NOTD, I had to soak a cotton pad and leave it on each nail for 5 minutes and almost scape off the glitter ><  It was like they were glued to my nails.  But the main reason I kept this polish mostly because it's really easy to do the gradient nail look.  Just add one thin coat onto your whole nail.  Wait for it to dry (dries really fast). Then add a second coat to the upper half.  The glitter builds really fast so it becomes essentially opaque after 2-3 coats.   Then I added the big glitter specks from Flurry Up because...I felt like it xD  And viola~ gradient nails that last at least a month!

Rockstar Pink is a glitter bomb with blue, purple, and silver glitter.  It's very builable, lasts a very long time, and dries 8-10 minutes/coat. I recommend this polish if only because it's so easy to create gradient nails with these without the hassle of sponging.  Sally Hansen in Rockstar was actually the first Sally Hansen polish I tried along with 270 Lacey Lilac. I bought them both at Walgreens while there was a Sally Hansen BOGO 50% off.


I was just playing around with different ways to wear Rockstar Pink ^_^  I like it best as a gradient over with no base color.  Anyway, I wasn't crazy about Lacey Lilac.  I was looking for more of a pure lavender with a blue undertone but this has a gray undertone that I think looks a little sickly.  I don't really recommend it, honestly.  Application wise it was fine though.  Pastels and lighter colors tend to be streaky I think but this applied pretty smoothly.  And here's closeup:


You can tell I'm more of a short-nail person ^^  My new interest in nail polish has helped me grow them out a bit but I tend to cut my nails when I'm stressed (no really) so they're usually pretty short.  As for the dry skin ahah I have no excuse other than laziness xD

Swap + Zoya Adina NOTD + Randomness!

2.24.2011


Quick, random post tonight...really tired today ;_;  But I just wanted to share the swap I had with PDXBeautiful aka Julie.  I've been following her YT Channel since the beginning and she does great reviews on drugstore and Asian skincare products.  She's a licensed Esthetician in Portland, OR so has a very practical outlook to her reviews.   She also one of the nicest people I've met online ^_^  Anyway, we did a swap for Valentine's Day and I just wanted to share the package she sent me :D


Here is her video of the stuff I sent her:


Also, here's a current favorite polish of mine - Zoya Adina!  I think it's my second favorite after Zoya Freja (gunmetal) in terms of polishes I wear without glitter/fancy top coats and still looks eye catching yet professional.

Zoya Adina + Seche Vite Top Coat

I just LOVE the duochrome-ness of this polish!  It goes on a deep mauve lavender but flashes a vibrant apple green.  The polish itself is infused with delicate silver micro-glitters.  It goes on very smoothly and 2 coats (though I usually do 3) are sufficient. And just for fun~


An old school Green Apple Tootsie Pop - ahh I feel young again ^_^  also I couldn't help noticing that my nail polish was a lighter version of the tootsie pop :} And as if this post couldn't get any random....For people who don't know the cuteness that is My Milk Toof - isn't the teaser just so adorable xD!?


I haven't been this excited about a Blogger-celebrity book release since Bakerella, the cupcake pop queen :D!

Last thing - Sasa has been grating my nerves with their obnoxiously slow shipping this time.  I placed an order with expedited shipping in January and it's still not here :P   I have to admit part of it is that I can literally see my face getting worse without it's daily sheet mask treatment :(!  In the last 3 weeks sheet mask-less, my face has gotten redder, I've been breaking out more, and my skin texture has gotten rougher.  It's a little unreal how much a difference sheet masks have made for me.  I've ordered from Sasa 4-5x before and it's always taken 3-4 weeks max and it's been almost 5 weeks this time.  I guess why I'm really troubled is because Sasa didn't provide a tracking number (never worried about it before) and it's literally been in transit for 3 weeks, which is pretty long even from HK.  This won't prevent me from ordering again from Sasa again but this really just reminds me of the severe lack of reliable Asian cosmetic/skincare retailers in America -_- *sigh* Anyway, this delay is why I haven't done my Uber-Sheet Mask Ranking video yet :(  There are seven more sheet masks I want to include in my ranking, which haven't arrived in my Sasa haul so that video will just have to wait...sorry peeps :(

Reviews: Boscia Reviews + February Favorites

2.23.2011


I just discovered that Boscia is a Japanese brand and that explains why their products have such a natural wholesomeness to it, I think~ I love the slightly herbal, fresh scents and how everything (except the Black Mask) seems to lean on the gentle (albeit pricey) side.  Anyway, this video is a short run down of my February Favorites and a review of the above two Boscia items.

The Body Shop + Kiehls Sale Alerts

2.19.2011


It's crazy late but I just had to make a quick post because of two amazing sales going on right now:

1.) The Body Shop is having their Semi Annual Sale, buy 2 Skincare products get 1 full-size product FREE and on top of that FREE shipping on ANY order (usually it's $50+).   The free shipping is just for President's Day Weekend (aka it ends 2/21).  Also don't forget, Ebates gives 5% cash back!  Sadly, it's no longer 10% cash back since that was just a promotion but still better than nothing :}  I'm going through a TBS phase right now and lemming the Wise Woman Eye Cream - anyone have thoughts on it?  It has great reviews on Makeup Alley.

You know the drill now
1.) Ebates (my referral link if you don't mind)
2.) Click through Ebates to The Body Shop to get 5% cash back
3.) Add 3 skincare products to cart (no coupon code needed for free shipping this weekend)

And you get 3 full size products w/ free shipping + 5% of your order back :D


2.) Kiehl's is a pricey brand, no question. But right now they're having the best sale I've seen from them so far.  Basically if you buy any Age Fighting product (the most popular ones below):


...and use AGEFIGHTER coupon code...


....you get FREE shipping on any order (usually $50+) AND a full size Strength Deep Wrinkle Filler (which I'd give to my mom ehehe).  Luckily Kiehl's is on Ebates too for 4% back too.

You get 3 free samples with every order (you get to pick) + a bonus sample of Rosa Artica, which is a limited time promo for this new product I believe.

FYI I've been getting mixed news on the deadline of this offer.  My email says this promo code ends on 2/21 (aka the end of President's Day which makes sense) so I dunno when this will end really.... In case that promo ends early, use code JOLT if you purchase the Rosa Arctica to get Free Shipping + deluxe Midnight Recovery Concentrate & Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ at Kiehl's (Ends 04/01/2011).   Obviously, AGEFIGHTER is the better promo tho ;)

So yep, just wanted to share these real quick before I go to sleep ^^

Review: TonyMoly + The Face Shop + Missha

2.18.2011


I think I only have one or two things left to review from my 2010 Korea-trip haul now :D They're all sunscreens and not "popular" items people want to know about so yahhh ^_^v  I also made a few small orders of more sheet masks (I know, I'm insane but I actually used ALL the ones I ordered last time and my skin has really improved from 3-4 months ago).  I purchased a number of masks from lesser known Korean brands like Cosline, Skinlite, and VOV along with the usual MBD and Silk Whitia.  I can't wait to review them but Sasa has been taking forever - almost three friggin weeks (they were exceptionally slow this time, it's usually just 2 weeks) but it should be here in a week or so.


For people who skipped the end ^^ there were some general announcements:
1.) Giveaway to win a UD Naked Palette (w/ pencil) ends in 10 days (2/28).  Minimum donation of $5, that's it :)
2.)  I've opened a little Blogsale (tab in the horizontal menu) with a few items I am weeding out.  Most of these products aren't necessarily bad - they just don't work for me and I figure it's better to let people who might want to try these for pretty darn cheap if I say so myself ;)
3.) I have v-log channel of ridiculousness.
4.) And...hi real-life peeps!  You guys know who you are ^_~  And uhhh, try not to laugh at me too much hehehe >0< Like at my overuse of emoticons @_@

TonyMoly eggpore Blackhead Out Oil Gel + Silky Pore Balm
Full review here.

The Face Shop Oil Blotting Papers


I don't like these.  I've seen these go on Ebay for as low as .99/packet (not including S&H of course) but even so, I don't think these are worth buying.  The famous Boscia blotting papers are just so superior, even at $10/packet.  The texture, feel, and paper-y scent of the TFS sheets literally makes you feel like you're blotting with brown lunch bags :\  The only positive I have to say about these is that since they're thick, they don't tear easily even when soaked with oil ;)

The Face Shop Gold Eyelash Curler


This is the eyelash curler I use at the moment but I'm not particularly fond of it.   It works and fits my eye well (much better than American brands) since it's flatter, but it is tarnishing and it's been less than a year :( And that is all I have to say about this.  Maybe the silver color will be fine but the gold one - stay away :P

Missha The Shining Stick Eyes
Full review here.

Overall
Lots of 'nays' in this batch review, unfortunately. I don't recommend the TonyMoly Blackhead Out Oil Gel, the TFS Oil Blotting Papers, or the TFS gold eyelash curler.  I recommend the TonyMoly Silky Smooth Balm only to those with small textural scars and wrinkles.  The only thing I do recommend for everyone to try are the Missha The Shining Stick Eyes.  However, considering how difficult it is to get in America, I'd add that you should only buy it online if you can get it below $8 USD at least.  Anything more, you may regret it since there have been people saying it creases a lot on them (why it doesn't on me I'm not sure).

Review: Missha The Shining Stick Eyes

2.17.2011


This was my first experience with an eyeshadow in stick form.  Even though I bought these last summer, I didn't start using them till this January because I just wasn't interested. Now I use the white one daily ^_^

Review: TonyMoly eggpore Blackhead Out Oil Gel + Silky Smooth Balm

2.16.2011


Finally got around to reviewing these - eggs from the ever popular eggpore line xD There are three eggs in the line:

The whole family!

I don't have the tan egg in the middle - the Tightening Pack (Cosmetic Candy's review of all three) - but I hear it's pretty good.  Normally, these eggs are used in the order shown above to "maximize" effectiveness.  The white egg removes blackheads, the brown egg tightens your cleaned pores, and the golden egg is a MAKEUP (not a skincare) product that fills in enlarged pores/wrinkles/textured scars to create a smooth canvas for makeup.  I have no particular reason why I only picked up two of the three eggs...I think I just chose based on color ^^

Spreadin' the Love. Late.

2.15.2011

Craaaaaaapppp I had this vision of posting this on Valentine's Day to "spread the love" so to speak, but true to my procrastinating ways - IT'S LATE xD  In any case, what better way to spread the love in the blogosphere than AWARD TAGS wheeee~  I haven't been commenting on other blogs lately (busy :( ) but once February is over...more blogstalking!


I Love Your Blog Tag
Tagged by Bella Chic :D She seems to have a very similar skin type to me so I stalk her constantly when I'm debating over what upper end brands/Japanese brands to buy.  I was pretty excited to do this tag, especially since it's a bit different from the others :}

1. Why did you create this blog?
I'm not really sure.  It was an intersection of a growing interest in makeup/skincare, wanting to share tidbits of info on lesser reviewed products, and an overgrown desire to just jump into the blogging world :}

2. What kind of blogs do you follow?
Mostly makeup review blogs.  A small selection of fashion and Korean culture/ex-pat blogs. 

3. Favorite makeup brand?
Hard one!  I can't pick just one so I'll just list all of them ^_^ Urban Decay, Boscia, Skinfood, My Beauty Diary, and Benefit.  Maybelline is inching its way on this list too.

4. Favorite clothing brand?
Walmart ahah but seriously, all my "staple" items like tank tops, long sleeves tops, and sweaters come from there xD  On the other hand, I'd have to say Ann Taylor with Banana Republic being a close second.

5. Your indispensable makeup product?
Skinfood Mushroom BBcream. After it oxidizes, Shade 1 is my perfect match.

6. Your favorite color?
Green. In case you haven't noticed ^^

7. Your perfume?
Versace Bright Crystal: clean, sophisticated, and mixes well with my natural body scent.

8. Your favorite film?
ahhhhh another hard one!  Ocean's 11 is what comes to mind first.

9. What country would you like to visit and why?
Oh lord, this one's so hard.  I want to travel the world eventually, but Italy would be fantastic place to start.

10. Make up the last question and answer. What book are you reading right now?  Malcolm Gladwell's What the Dog Saw.  I love his crisp writing style - I think my favorite articles so far has been John Rock's Error and The Talent Myth (and god knows it makes me feel better ^_~).  I can't wait till his next book!

Tagging: Mara (He Calls Me Mara), Siwing (Life's A Beach~), Mookxi, Ssushoo, Jessica (Bubbles & Beauty), Nic Nic (Bang Bang She Shoots), Rinny (Rinny's Beauty Diary), Joyce (Happy Cloud Moments), Yumiko (ILOVEYESTERDAY), Stephanie (Beauty & Gardens), Julie (PDXBeautiful), Jennifer (Rainy Days & Lattes), Sisi (Sisi Sparkles), Elisa (Memorable Days), Sue Lynn (Where I Can Be Deeply Superficial), Lisa (HQCD), Msodapop, Winnie (Winniewingyi), Georgina (Coffretgorge), Ashura (Clover Beauty Inn)



I have to admit, I was rather surprised to get this since I'm about as stylish as...my 80 year old History professor (aka NOT).  But I won't look the gift horse in the mouth xD  So thank you Sisi Sparkles, who is the drugstore sale masta' :}
With the acceptance of the award, you must follow these rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person that awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.  <---....I'll try >_>
7 things about myself:
  • I collect socks. Like cute, funny socks...not Fruit of the Loom xD
  • I'm going through a stuffed animal/pillow phase (again). Most recent acquisition: a life size emperor penguin.
  • I hate talking on cellphones :\ I don't know what it is but I get a massive headache after a minute or so.  I prefer email/texting.
  • I hated mushrooms till I went to college.
  • I've had a Scutigera Coleoptrata on my arm once - one of the jumbo 2-3 inch ones not including the legs.  The story in a nutshell: Fell asleep on the floor of my dorm, felt a tickle on my arm, woke up to one of these monsters only 3-4 inches from my face, sitting on my forearm.  I screamed and almost fainted.  Tried to squish it but these demons are fast I tell you...all those legs *shudder*
  • Best smoothie I've ever tasted: Blueberry smoothie in some Philadelphia airport.  Still searching for a smoothie to top that.
15 Recently Discovered Blogs (I use the term "recently" very loosely, I have a bad sense of time...)
1. Ssushoo (she be so chill~)
2. Mishi a la Mode
3. Eyeliner & Heels
4. Fruity Lashes
5. Mad, Bad, & Dangerous to Know
6. Where I Can Be Deeply Superficial  (Has the best picture tutorials on YouTube)
7. Fannie D
8. Magdalina (cute name eh ^_^?)
9. xoladiihoneyxo
10. Pretty Little Thing
11. Ahleessa4realz
12. Pop Champagne (ok, she's not a "recent" discovery but she's one of the few fashion/celeb gossip blogs I follow regularly ^^)
13. Bubbles & Beauty (hosting a fundraiser/giveaway for the Sloan Memorial Kettering Center!  The prize is a Stila Make Me Love blush.  Another one of the chillest YTers around).
14. Makeup Fancy (does some of the best EOTDs around)
15. Drey Jewelry (a recent jewelry maker discovery. Does a lot of kpop inspired pieces that totally stroke me the right way~)


From Eyeliner & Heels - thank you ^^! She tis a new find for me and it seems like we share a similar taste in makeup so I am anxious to see how her blog unfolds :}
The rules say:
1. Post about the award and copy the rules.
2. Link to the person who gave you the award.
3. Choose 3-5 blogs you would like to give the award to and link them.
4. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know.
I am sorry but I think I've tagged enough blogs for one post >< so pooped
5. Write 7 things about yourself.
1. I read webcomics.
2. Initials of first crush or was it love ;)? D.W.
3. I am terrible at pronunciation.
4. Favorite TV shows growing up: Magic School Bus, Arthur, Wishbone, This Old House
5. I talk to my computer.
6. Food staples: cheese, chocolate, rice, potatoes, and avocados
7. I love cats but I'm drawn towards dog psychology books :\  I'm reading A.H's Inside of A Dog right now and while it's convincing me that cats are still "superior," the idea of owning a dog is intriguing me more and more.

7 Beauty Characteristics
I was actually tagged for this by two peeps: Yumiko and Rinny.   Yumiko is a Nana-doppelganger I swear and has naturally gray eyes I covet (and feebly seek to emulate via circle lens >_>).  She also fangirls over kdramas and it's kinda cute xD  Rinny has a well-rounded blog covering the kind of makeup I'm interested in and petite fashion (tho the latter is something I am rather the opposite of xD).  She has a way of reviewing the exact type of makeup I'm interested in.  It's crazy because she's actually one of the first bloggers that popped out to me many months ago before I even had a blog ^^ So...7 things I like about myself:

1. Hair: I will never go bald. As uncooperative as it is, I have a lot of it and it has a lot of natural volume.

2. Brows: They're naturally full (and bushy without plucking). Never needed to bother about filling in brows or such very much.

3. Eyelashes: Pretty long though it wouldn't kill them to be thicker ;)  Overall, I am content.

4. Legs: I like 'em. Not too short or long and pretty slim.

5. Feet: I think having small feet make me clumsy since they're disproportionate to my height :\ But I usually get the shoes I want since 5.5 is rarely out ^^ and they feed my illusions of being some kind of Cinderella.

6. "Witty" conversationalist: I'm reasonably sure I cross the line between chatty and chatterbox too often but I think (and hope) that it makes me fun to be around ^^  And I think being fun to be around is a beautiful characteristic mirite ^^;;?

7. Child at heart: Or immature. I reckon I'm more the latter, but "child-at-heart" sounds so much more palatable to my deluded ego ;)

Everybody do this ^_^! Cause there's something beautiful about everyone yup :D

Review: The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick

2.09.2011


I was super excited to get this review up since I already know this is going to be one of my favorites of 2011!  I haven't been this surprised and pleased with a product in a long time.  I have tried many lip balms: Carmex, Rosebud Perfume, Burt's Bees (both original and pomegranate), Nivea, ChapStick, Blistex...I think the only "popular" lip balm I haven't tried so far is EOS and I've heard across the board that it's not "that" moisturizing so I'm pretty sure it's mostly hype and interesting packaging at work there.  In any case, after this lip balm, I'm not going to be switching any time soon.

Review: Almay Intense iColor in Trio of Browns + Get OPI Black Shatter!

2.07.2011

Excellent pics from A is for Awesome (colors are so accurate).

This was my first eyeshadow palette, so I have a soft spot for it :D This is the Almay Intense iColor in Trio of Browns, from their series that targets specific eye colors. The one above is the current version of the palette I have and I haven't tried the "new" version so I don't know if there has been any formula changes since.

Lunar New Year + Free Shipping @ The Body Shop!

2.03.2011

From Sempio - check out the recipe too ^^

Tis Lunar New Year today :D! My mom made a little pot of rice cake soup (떡국/tteokguk) ^_^ so we'll probably eat that tonight~  We don't do any of the bowing/dressing up in hanboks (I've had enough of that through jesa anyway), but I love tteokguk (especially with dumplings/mandoo :D).

For a little Lunar New Year trivia, here are some fun (and short) posts:
- Why Koreans call Lunar New Year gujeong/구정/"old new year" via Ask a Korean
- And of course, good ol' wiki :)

Happy Lunar New Year!
I wish everyone a wonderful year with lots of good luck!
(even though it's not looking so good for us rabbits darnnit -_-)


Also here are some pics of the snow we got in VA last week ^_^ The snow was excellent, all dense and heavy, great for snowball making :D Lots of people lost electricity for awhile though because many power lines went down under the weight of the snow and falling trees :(


Also, speaking of Lunar New Year....it seems like The Body Shop celebrates it too xD!  Usually you need to spend $50+ to get free shipping but now you can get Free Shipping with any purchase amount! And it get's better, on top of free shipping and the free mini duo with $25+ purchase - Ebates gives 10% cash back (which is a pretty hefty amount)!  Ends tomorrow (2/4).

So, to maximize your savings:
1.) If you haven't already, make an E-bates account.
2.) Go to The Body Shop E-bates page & click through "Shop Now" for 10% cash back.
3.) Add whatever amount to cart, though I recommend $25 to get the little gift set ^_^
4.) Free Shipping is automatically applied (no coupon code necessary).
5.) Same with the gift set, TBS will ask you which one you want automatically.
6.) Confirm purchase & you're done :D!

If I may humbly suggest the Vitamin E Face Mist (check out Rainy Day's review) and the Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick, these are great :D and I shall review them soon :)
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