Showing posts with label Powder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Powder. Show all posts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dolce & Gabbana Beauty - Primer, Foundation and Face Favorites


I've been a long time fan of Dolce & Gabbana Beauty but it has been one of those hard-to-find lines that I don't have easy access to. For years I've ordered items sight unseen over the phone but now the line has started to expand into other retailers. They are currently available at Nordstrom and I'm thrilled that one of my local counters carries the brand so I can test everything in person. Since some of you still might be new to the line or not have easy access to the brand yet, I've teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my favorites in a two-part series. Today's feature will focus on face products I've tested including their primer, several foundations and a couple blushes I really like.

Left to right, Perfect Matte Powder Foundation, Foundation Brush, Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation, Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation and Sheer Radiance Make Up Base 

The Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation ($60 for 15 g) was one of the first items I tried from the line. I have used a couple shades over the past few years, but right now my skin match is Warm 100. This product is my holy grail powder foundation. I've lost count of how many times I have repurchased this one. I usually have two on hand at any given time. I have one for home and one to keep in my purse for touch ups. It offers medium to full but very natural looking coverage. It comes with a compartment at the bottom to hold a sponge applicator. I prefer to use a brush to apply it as a setting powder, although it does offer enough coverage to use alone. I really like how it offers phenomenal coverage but doesn't look cakey, heavy or flat. The lasting power on my combination skin is very good and stays put from morning to night. I do need the occasional touch up on the nose in the afternoon, but overall it lasts very long.


I don't usually do a traditional contour for my face but do like to add a hint of a natural color for warmth or depth. Two of the best natural cheek colors include Luminous Cheek Color Blushes ($45 each for 5 g) in Caramel which is a pinky beige caramel and Tan which is an interesting grey. I like layering them together. Caramel brightens the face by adding a hint of color that looks natural but warm. Tan is one of the most unique blushes I've seen that is a grey color but earthy in undertone. I sometimes use this on the eyes as well. The texture is soft and silky without any detectable fragrance. The pigment is medium but easy to build by layering.


In terms of liquid foundations, Dolce & Gabbana has four options right now. I used to use the Perfect Luminous Creamy Foundation a number of years ago and really liked it but once I used it up never repurchased, mainly because I prefer pump or squeeze tube foundations to large pots. (I mixed Warm 100 and Soft Sand 140.) Today I have three of the liquid foundations to review and compare for you. All of them come packaged in a sturdy glass bottle with a handy pump dispenser. Based on my experience, all the formulas have a slight variation in color but they do have similarities.

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The Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation ($60 for 1 fl oz) is my favorite out of all the liquid formulas. I use Caramel 110 and it is a perfect match with olive but neutral undertones. The formula has a medium liquid texture that is easy to blend and offers medium to full coverage. It evens out the skin tone and has a very subtle luminous finish. I would say this is good for normal to dry skin. It lasts all day for me and doesn't get oily or greasy as the day wears on. If you have super oily skin you may feel this is a bit too dewy for you. Dolce & Gabbana has a Foundation Brush ($41) made of synthetic material that I received as a gift with purchase many years ago. I've found it works well to apply liquid products, but I prefer to apply my foundations with a sponge like a damp Beautyblender.


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The Perfect Matte Luminous Foundation ($67 for 1 fl oz) is a full coverage matte finish foundation. Out of all the foundations I've tested from Dolce & Gabbana, the matte version gives the fullest most opaque coverage, but it doesn't make the skin look flat. The formula and coverage is phenomenal, but for me the downside is I can't find an exact match in this formula. I was told that the shades in the matte formula are slightly lighter than the other foundation formulas because it warms up to the skin and adjusts as your natural oils warm up the product. Caramel 110 is a bit too light and too pink for me. On my skin it will warm up after a few minutes and if I set with a slightly darker powder or mix in a bit of a liquid bronzer it works just fine. The next two shades up are quite a jump for me. Natural Beige 120 is very olive and Warm Rose 130 is very pink. The lasting power on this is really good and it will last all day. However you do need to take extra care to remove all traces at the end of the day because it really lasts (and sticks). I wish I had a perfect match to this formula because the finish is flawless. I have been mixing my Caramel 110 with a few liquid bronzers to make it work better. I have contemplated buying the Natural Beige 120 to mix the two colors but haven't splurged yet.


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The Perfect Reveal Lift Foundation ($72 for 1 fl oz) is the newest addition to the Dolce & Gabbana foundation lineup. This one is enriched with special skincare properties designed to add moisture and reveal younger-looking and natural skin. I've been testing this for a couple months now and think it is a decent foundation. The color Caramel 110 is a very good match for me. The formula on this one offers sheer to medium coverage on my skin. It does smooth out the skin and does give it a youthful appearance but I haven't noticed any changes to my skin yet. I suspect one needs to use this over a long period of time to see the skincare effects. Out of all the foundations Dolce & Gabbana has to offer, I think the Lift formula will be the most universally suitable for a wide variety of skin types. It seems to be the type that will suit normal, dry or oily skin. The coverage is medium and although it's not sheer, I do find I need a powder foundation on top to give me more coverage.


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Last but not least, I have a review on the new The Primer Sheer Radiance Make Up Base. I am usually hesitant to test primers without trying a sample first, but I went ahead and ordered this sight unseen. Many of my readers have e-mailed me asking for thoughts on this. After doing some testing on this, I am very glad I ordered it. This primer has SPF 30 and comes with a pump dispenser. I like that it comes in the same size bottle as the liquid foundations for packaging consistency and easy storage. The primer is a white fluid with a medium texture. A little goes a long way and I've found I only need one pump to cover the entire face. The primer does leave a slightly white cast to my medium/olive skin, but most of my foundations have enough pigment to cover it entirely and cancel out any white cast. I am really impressed with how this primer feels and how it makes a visible difference in how foundation goes on the skin. The primer gives the skin a soft feel and preps the skin well while offering a slightly moisturizing feel. I like that it's not heavy, greasy and doesn't have that silicone feel that many primers have. I give it a huge thumbs up, however, I'm not an everyday primer kind of person. The Dolce & Gabbana foundations work so well on their own, I don't think this is an absolutely necessary step. That being said, this is one of the best primers I've tried and I do think it's definitely worth looking into. For me it's a huge plus that there is no detectable fragrance.


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Here are swatches of the Dolce & Gabbana liquid foundations I have and the primer. I've added swatches of the Matte formula in 120 and 130 for reference:


A few comparison swatches to other foundations I have in rotation for reference:


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My top two picks are the Perfect Matte Powder Foundation and Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation. I do like the Matte Liquid formula however color matching is essential when it comes to foundations and for me, the current color lineup doesn't have my exact match. The newest Lift formula performs well, but after a few weeks of testing, I haven't really seen any changes in my skincare to warrant the extra price (it is still a very good formula though).

I hope you found this roundup helpful! If you're in the market for a good powder foundation, I really recommend the one by Dolce & Gabbana. If you've tried any of the face products or foundations from the line, I'd love to hear your thoughts.





This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions my own. For more information please refer to my disclosures.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide


The latest foundation innovation from Laura Mercier is her new Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation. She's well known for her "Flawless Face" concept which includes four easy steps to achieving the most natural and smooth complexion for your skin type. The main steps include Prime, Cover, Conceal and Set. I used to use the Tinted Moisturizer religiously many years ago when I was in college with near-perfect skin. These days my face needs more than sheer coverage. I have some acne scars and areas I need medium to full coverage, but I still want something that looks natural. The new Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide offers medium to full coverage that looks like skin. It comes in 24 different shade options with a multitude of undertones which made me very excited.

I had an appointment with a Laura Mercier artist last month to tested the new Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide. The artist swatched several shades of the foundation along my jawline and on other areas of my face to find a good match. The foundation comes in a sleek tube that requires shaking to mix the formula inside. It's very fluid but blends nicely on the skin to give medium coverage. If you try this at the counter, you will need to smooth it out with a finger to see how it wears on your skin - the color adjusts as you blend. I was matched to Honey. The foundation is designed to offer 12 hours of wear. It's described as humidity-proof, sweat-proof, water resistant, oil-free, non-comedogenic, non-greasy and non-drying. It's formulated to be suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin). I found that it worked well with my sensitive acne-prone skin.


Since it had been a while since I had used any of the Laura Mercier foundations, the artist walked me through the Flawless Face process as a refresher.
  1. After cleansing and moisturizing my face, she used the Radiance Primer to prep the skin. There are multiple types of primers. My main concern was that I wanted a medium to full coverage foundation but didn't want it to look too matte. The Radiance Primer was suggested to give a glow-from-within look.
  2. Next she followed with a thin layer of the Tinted Moisturizer in Sand. For good skin days she recommended the Tinted Moisturizer all over and then using a more pigmented foundation on areas I needed more coverage. She used the Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Honey on the forehead and cheeks for more coverage.
  3. For spot coverage and under the eye brightening, she mixed the two shades of the Secret Camouflage Concealer in SC-3. Concealer was set under the eyes with the Secret Brightening Powder.
  4. The final step was to set with the Loose Setting Powder in Translucent (a classic that I've never stopped using).

At home, the same Flawless Face look was easy for me to replicate. I added some color to the cheeks for a natural glow with the Matte Radiance Baked Bronze Powder in Bronze 02. For the eyes, I've been layering the cream shadow Caviar Stick Eye Colors. Three easy-to-use colors for a classic no-fuss look include Rosegold, Amethyst and Tuxedo. Rosegold highlights the entire lid naturally Amethyst gives a nice medium contour and is layer able for a natural or smokey look. Tuxedo doubles as a smokey liner. All the shades are blendable and layer well together. For the lips, a thin layer of the Lip Glacé in Pink Pop brightens the face with a sheer wash of color.


Above: Radiance Foundation Primer, Spiced Rose Creme Lip Color, Tinted Moisturizer in Sand, Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Honey, Lip Glace in Orchid, Bare Baby, Pink Pop and Nectar, Matte Radiance Baked Powder 02, Secret Brightening Powder and Caviar Eye Stick in Rosegold


What I used at home for a flawless face with a very natural look:






I've been really pleased with the way the Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide foundation in Honey wears.  At first swatch I thought it would be too warm but it blends in flawlessly with my skin. The warmth in it adds a bit of color to my face but is still an exact match. It has a thin fluid texture but isn't too runny as long as you shake the bottle properly before use. It blends easily onto the skin and covers dark spots and uneven areas quite well while still looking natural. I've been using the fingers to apply or a damp sponge and the coverage is quite nice. Those sensitive to fragrance will be happy to know that there is no detectable scent in this foundation. As a plus, it photographs well with a flash. Lasting power is quite good when set with the Translucent powder, I was able to get 10 to 12 hours of wear each time I tested without any touch ups required mid-day.

Have you tried the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide foundation? What shade do you wear? If you haven't tested it, I highly recommend you give it a look the next time you're at the counter.

Shop the post:





Special thanks to Laura Mercier for sponsoring this post. For more information, refer to my Disclosures page.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powders


I've fallen in love with the Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder ($65 for 60 g/ 2.1 oz) ever since I ordered it back in July. It's a unique water-activated enzyme powder cleanser and exfoliator in one product. This is a great alternative to traditional scrubs which I find can be too harsh for my sensitive skin. The Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powders are designed to be used on skin without makeup. I find it's effective even with makeup on, but prefer to remove makeup at the end of the day with a Cleansing Oil first (favorites here). After I purchased the full size, Tatcha released a Travel Size version ($15 for 10 g/ 0.35 oz) which they kindly sent to me to feature alongside the full size option.

These cleansing powders are really easy to use. Pour a small amount into wet hands and add a tiny bit of water to lather up the product into a creamy foam. Apply on the face and massage like a regular cleanser for about 20 seconds and rinse.


The packaging is designed really well - it has a clever opening on the top with a small push back cap for the product. The small opening at the top prevents you from over pouring powder into your hand and also seals the packaging shut making these ideal for travel. There's no worrying about liquids or creams leaking and the size of both the full size and travel options are compact enough to carry with you in a small bag. One of the things that keeps impressing me with Tatcha is that the packaging design of the travel sizes matches the same quality as the full size.

On the nails, Formula X Wonderous

More packaging details, travel size versus full size shows similar packaging design:


Both have the same cap design with the clever push back cap opening:


I bought the Classic Rice Enzyme Powder version (and love it) but Tatcha has also released two additional options for different skin types. There is the Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder (pink powder) and Deep Rice Enzyme Powder (green powder) - both also available in the Travel/Trial sizes. With any online Tatcha order you have the option of selecting samples, these powders are often in the lineup. These packets have also been featured in several special edition kits they've released.

Tatcha sent samples of the Gentle and Deep versions for me to put to the test. Aside from the color difference, the formulas are all equally gentle but I could definitely feel the difference between each option. The Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder is designed for dry sensitive skins. After using this one, my skin felt noticeably more moisturized. The Deep Rice Enzyme Powder is recommended for oily skin and does make the skin feel more clean. I wish I had discovered this one earlier in the summer when we had really hot humid weather, it would have been perfect when my skin was more oily. After testing each, I still prefer the Classic Rice Enzyme Powder for my combination skin type.



Classic Rice Enzyme Powder ingredients: Talc, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Polyethylene*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Papain (Papaya Extract), Dextrin, Red Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin (Pearl) Protein,  Phenoxyethanol.


Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder ingredients: Talc, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Papain, Dextrin, Red Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Cl 73360, Iron Oxides (Cl 77492).


Deep Rice Enzyme Powder ingredients: Talc, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Polyethylene*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Papain, Dextrin, Red Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Houttuynia Cordata Extract (Dokudami), Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Ultramarines, Iron Oxides (Cl 77492)


I highly recommend these. My personal favorite is the Classic Rice Enzyme Powder option. I use it in a double cleanse method (cleansing oil first, then rice enzyme powder. The powder is a gentle but effective cleanser and helps to improve skin texture for those with sensitive skins. It's suitable for everyday use but I tend to alternate cleansers on a regular basis and use this 2-3 times per week. These work well to clean and gently exfoliate. They are non-irritating and don't dry out the skin either.

The Travel Sized options are perfect to put these to the test before committing to the full size which I find is on the pricey side. The full size is fairly large though and a little goes a long way so it will last you a long time. If you're new to Tatcha you may also want to look into the Ritual Discovery Kit ($59 each) which comes in Normal, Oily, Sensitive and Dry Skintype options. These are really nice starter kits with enough product to give you a two-week trial introduction to the line. Another useful tool is the Tatcha Online Personal Skin Consultation which is a questionnaire designed to help you pick items that suit your skin type.

You can find Tatcha products online at Tatcha.com and Barneys New York, stockists listed here. I  highly recommend ordering from their website. Tatcha takes great care in their packaging and sample offerings, everything is delivered beautifully wrapped.

P.S. Right now there is a promo code for a complimentary deluxe sample of the Tatcha eye cream (valued at $45) with any Tatcha.com purchase - use code EYECREAM at checkout, it expires on 10/31.

Tatcha sent the mini powder and sample packets courtesy for review. The full size purchased by me.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chanel Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Face Powder - Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive


This year's Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive for Chanel is the stunning Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Face Powder ($80 for 6 g/0.21 oz, made in Italy, limited-edition). It comes with an exquisite embossed lace detail. The powder is a gorgeous mix of beige, rose, and champagne. On the skin it has the prettiest beige glow with a hints of pink, champagne and bronze mixed in. At a glance it seems like it's just another pretty beige highlighter with an expensive price tag. While you can get a similar effect with other illuminating powders, I do believe the mix of shimmers in Dentelle Précieuse gives it a truly amazing effect on the face. It gives the perfect glow from within that isn't too subtle and isn't too frosty. The mix of pink and bronze in the powder give the face a bit of color so it's not just your standard beige frost.

It comes with a black soft pouch that holds both the powder compact and a small angled brush:

On the nails, Chanel Tapage

The color is difficult to capture in swatches but I found the photos on Color Me Loud and Indigo Kir Royale both demonstrate it's complexity with swatches using different pressures in application. It also shows how it gives more color to fair skintones, while it acts as a highlighter for medium to darker skin. Here are a few photos at different angles to show how the light reflects on the shimmer. On my medium/olive Chanel B30 skin this is clearly a highlighter.





Here are a few comparisons to other highlighters, I have two sets to show you. On screen the effect is very similar between highlighters so I'll share my thoughts on the differences.


Set one with Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Edward Bess and Burberry illuminating powders:
  • Chanel Mouche de Beaute (discontinued) has a more gel-like texture with a transparent quality, it has a lot more glitz and sparkle giving it a paler look since the shimmers are more on the silvery side
  • Chanel Pearl Glow Powder (discontinued) has a more matte base, it's also more powdery and has more yellow with gold shimmers
  • Bobbi Brown Beige Shimmer Brick ($42) is significantly more frosted, the pale champagne shimmers give it a paler finish
  • Edward Bess South of France ($45) is a quad with soft pinks and pearls, it has a softer finish with less shimmer, it's also more pink in tone
  • Burberry Golden Radiance ($48) has a lot more frost to it, it's also darker with more taupe/tan/gold tones


Set two includes some from MAC, Hourglass and Estee Lauder:
  • MAC Shimpagne Mineralize Skinfinish (discontinued) has a high frost finish with pink/champagne tones, below you can see it pulls more pink
  • MAC Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish (original) has a paler beige shimmer, it's less complex compared to the Chanel Dentelle Precieuse
  • Hourglass Luminous Light is one of my favorite highlighters, it pulls more pink and a bit more shimmer on the skin, on me it's more champagne vs beige
  • Hourglass Radiant Light is more golden compared to the Chanel, the hourglass also has a less complex finish and mix of shimmers
  • Estee Lauder Modern Mercury (discontinued) is significantly more pink with a metallic finish


I didn't want to fall in love with an $80 powder but Chanel has created the perfect beige highlighter. On my olive skin many neutral highlighters tend to pull pink or almost white with the silvery shimmers they have. The Chanel Dentelle Precieuse has a stunning mix of bronze, peach, and rose that gives this more color giving a lively glow to the face. It's still manages to be a true soft beige highlighter without going into the gold/tan zone. It's pure love for me and I even bought one backup.


Various countries received the Chanel Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Face Powder highlighter earlier in the year at certain retailers. In the US it is an exclusive to Nordstrom for this year's Anniversary Sale (available now). On me it's a stunning beige highlighting powder with a bit of color. If you search for other reviews you may find it looks almost bronzey on fairer skintones. It's a splurge, but in my mind worth every penny. I love it and think it's a definite must for Chanel lovers. It is limited-edition so if you're interested I suggest acting sooner than later.




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi-Colour No. 02


This spring-summer Chanel has launched an extension of the original Les Beiges line with two new color options of Healthy Glow Multi-Colour Powder ($65 for 11g/0.39 oz, limited-edition) and five new shades of the Healthy Glow Fluid ($45 for 30 ml/1 fl oz). These launched in Europe first and I've been eagerly waiting for the collection's arrival in the US. I opted for the darker powder shade Les Beiges No. 02.


The new Les Beiges Multi-Color powders come in a three-color stripe compact. Similar to the original Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Color, the new ones come in a beige and black compact with a small domed brush. No. 02 which has three luminous powder colors of a light champagne, medium tan and warmer terracotta bronze. The three shades swirled together make a perfect glowy bronze. It's visible on my medium olive skin for a subtle contour or bronzer. Although you can probably dust all over the face for warmth I think No. 02 will be too dark for those purposes (I have yet to try the lighter color No. 01). Each stripe is also wide enough for you to fit a smaller detail brush or an eyeshadow brush if you want to use the colors individually on the eyes or for contouring. My favorite way to use this has been to simply swirl a blush brush in all the colors and apply on the face as a blush or bronzer. I find the color pigmented enough and warm enough that I can wear this alone over my powder/foundation. It also layers well with blushes or cream highlighters. I've found it to be extremely versatile.

If you have the other original Les Beiges colors you might be wondering if you need the new No. 02. My answer is yes. The Multi-Colour No. 02 is more pigmented and more glowy but still very natural. The regular Sheer Colour Les Beiges have less shimmer but still give that all over natural glow if you buff into the skin. I've used both in conjunction with each other, using the Sheer Colour Les Beiges No. 20 as an all over setting powder, then the Multi-Colour No. 02 as a contour or bronzer on top. If you have dry skin you may want to use a sheer cream highlighter or bronzer underneath to help the color adhere better. I'll show you swatches side by side below. First some more photos and close ups.




Chanel Les Beiges No. 02 swatched individually and then blended along with Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluid No. 30 (review later this week)



You can see my review on the originals Les Beiges No. 20, 30 and 40 with comparisons and swatches here and here. Comparisons between the new Multi-Colour Les Beiges No. 02 with Sheer Colour Les Beiges 20, 30 and 40 below.

For a quick overview of how I use these:
  • No. 20 is used as a regular setting powder since I found the powders to run a bit dark (I'm usually 30 in the Chanel foundation lines), I use it all over the face with a fluffy brush after foundation or tinted moisturizer, I use either the Kabuki Brush or the Touch Up Powder Brush from Chanel (any powder brush will do, I just prefer the Chanel because I find they pick up color well)
  • No. 30 and No. 40 are used for contouring, they are close in color, you don't really need both if you're looking for a darker natural contour see my original review for more thoughts/swatch comparisons, I use any regular blush brush to apply these
  • No. 02 is used like a regular blush or bronzer (I haven't tried the lighter option yet, planning to visit the counter this week and see if it will actually show up on my skin, it looked very light), the compact brush is good for touch ups but on the small side, I prefer using the Touch Up Powder Brush or Blush Blush to apply this to the face



Overall love. I really didn't know what to expect based on promotional photos. Since I already own 20, 30 and 40 I was a bit worried Chanel might have just combined already released colors into one palette. I'm happy to report they did not. Although you can get a similar effect with the darker colors of Sheer Colour Les Beiges, the new No. 02 Multi-Colour Les Beiges option has a softer texture with a much more glowy finish. There's a bit more warmth and red in the bottom color that helps brighten the complexion (I tend to avoid terracotta for the face but this one is lovely).

The Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi-Colour powders are listed as limited-edition for $65 each. There are two colors, No. 01 and No. 02. I'm definitely getting a back up of the No. 02.

Now at Chanel counters and online at Chanel.com, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.



 

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