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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Review: Montagne Jeunesse T-Zone Peel Off & De-Clog Pore Strips

This is the last in my series of reviews of the Montagne Jeunesse Skin Heroes range; the T-Zone Peel Off Treatment. Like the other masks in the range, this consists of a mask and a follow-up moisturiser to complement the mask's action. Containing Tea Tree Oil, Canadian Willowherb, and Witch Hazel, this product is aimed at removing impurities from the skin and treating problem areas. This is suitable for normal, oily and combination skins, but those with a drier skin should probably steer clear.

The packaging is similar to the other products in the range, consisting of a sachet split into two halves. The bottom half contains the face mask, and the top half the moisturiser.

Um, excuse my face. As you can see, this was a pretty much clear mask (contrary to the image on the front of the packaging, which suggests it will be bright green. Disappointed much!?) which went on nicely and smelled fairly strongly of tea tree - like I've said before, I love tea tree so it's fine with me, but others may find this a little off-putting. There was plenty in this sachet for my whole face (avoiding the eyes and lips) and my neck as well. I applied this to cleansed, steamed skin and sat for about 25 minutes until it had dried and started to peel, as in the second photo above. I love peel-off masks and this one was very satisfying, coming off in nice big chunks.

The moisturiser again is quite strongly scented with tea tree and has a lovely light texture. I found this took a while to work into the skin, but it did leave my face feeling fresh and soft. The next morning, my skin was looking clearer, with blemishes less red, though they were definitely still there. There's enough moisturiser in the sachet for four or five uses which is nice. The T-Zone Peel Off is priced at £1.49 for a single application sachet.
The fifth element of the Skin Heroes Range is the De-Clog Pore Strips, which come in a set of three individually packaged strips in one sachet. Suitable for all skin types, the strips contain natural Citrus oils to draw out impurities and de-clog the pores - pretty much as the name suggests really. I've used some of these as treatments on their own, and some to follow another treatment, such as the peel-off mask.

As with all pore strips, you peel these off the clear plastic backing, apply to clean, dampened skin, and wait for 10-15 minutes or until the strip goes stiff. You then carefully peel it off to reveal (theoretically) beautiful unclogged skin.

Check out my scowl there! These strips have quite a strong citrussy smell, I didn't find it unpleasant but I know a few people have disliked it. There is no such thing as a pore strip that fits my nose as it has a weird dip in the bridge, but these got a decent amount of skin contact and dried to a nice stiff strip which was satisfying to peel off. I have to say, these are the best pore strips I've ever used - never before have I been able to see evidence of them working on the actual strip, but with these I could! Gross, I know, but it's nice to know they're effective. They sting a little as you peel them off but other than that I love these! Priced at £1.49 for three strips, these are a lot better value than many of their competitors as well.
All Montagne Jeunesse products are available from their website and from the usual places - Asda, Tesco, Boots, etc.

Remember to check out my reviews of the Dry Skin Mask, Shine Control Mask, and Break-Out Mask as well! Which is your favourite from the Skin Heroes range?

(These products were provided for review purposes. As always, I have given my honest thoughts on the products.)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Seven Days, Seven Dresses

Kirsty is currently hosting a competition on her blog in conjunction with New Look; you can read more about it here if you'd like to enter! This is my entry.
It's always nice to wear something bright and cheerful on Monday to combat the end-of-the-weekend blues, so I've chosen this AX Paris Abstract Print Skater Dress, £22. Ideal for the summery weather we're currently experiencing (touch wood!), this is perfect to put a smile on your face at the start of the week. I'd team it with nude accessories so as not to take the focus away from the dress. (Nude Patent Chain Toe Court Shoes, £24.99; Marla London Layla Satchel, £54.99).

I'm going out for lunch with a friend today, and this Red Mini Butterfly Print Dress, £16.99, is the perfect level of smart/casual for our tapas date! An added bonus is that it's not too fitted, so it'll remain comfortable even after a decent-sized lunch. It's a bit breezy today so I'd wear this with a Limited White Lace Blazer, £34.99, for the walk to and from our date. This Facet Stone Ring, £3.99, is the perfect finishing touch!

I'll be travelling on Wednesday with a heavy suitcase, so an outfit that will keep me cool and allow plenty of movement is a must. This Pine Green Basic Jersey Skater Dress, £11.99, ticks all the right boxes and is a total bargain! Waiting around on train platforms can get a bit chilly, so I'd cover up with the Mizumi Blue and White Stripe Jumper, £19.99, and of course a nice big bag for all those last-minute essentials is, well, essential! This Jocasi Black Quilted Backpack, £99.99, has plenty of space for those who like to carry the kitchen sink around with them (guilty!), whilst leaving your hands free for wrestling with ticket barriers and the like.

I'm going to see Bruce Springsteen on Thursday (can you say "excited!!!!!!!!!"?) so my outfit needs to be suitably rock-chick whilst again allowing plenty of movement. The Brave Soul Black Rope Strap Dress, £14.99, fits the bill perfectly and can be dressed up with statement jewellery, such as this Mega Spike Necklace, £12.99. Everyone knows comfy shoes are a must for a gig, so these Dusky Pink PU Lace Up Trainers, £12.99, would be the ideal finishing touch.

I'm hoping to get some job interviews soon, and everyone knows that first impressions really count in today's economic climate, so it's important to choose an interview outfit carefully. A Smart Sleeveless Black Dress, £11.00, is a classic that makes it hard to go wrong. Bright accessories add a touch of personality and prevent you looking like you're dressed for a funeral. The Red Snake Print Structured Chain Bag, £12.99, makes it easy to find everything so you look super organised! Matching your accessories shows an eye for detail, so the Snake Wedge Court shoes in Red, £19.99, would finish the outfit off nicely.

This Floral Print Chiffon Midi Dress, £17.99, is perfect for wandering around the shops on a Saturday afternoon, with a Shell Pink V Neck Cardigan, £9.99, being the perfect cover-up. A pretty hair accessory like this Gold Triple Flower Double Alice Band, £3.99, is a lovely girly finishing touch.

As far as I'm concerned, Sundays are meant for sitting in beer gardens with your friends, catching up on each other's weeks and enjoying a nice cold drink in the sunshine. This Purple Shirred Bandeau Maxi Dress, £16.99, is just what the doctor ordered for drinking cider by the sea. Purple and gold always look great together, so a Biscuit and Gold Wrapped Chain Belt, £4.99, would cinch the waist in nicely. White Cross Strap Wedge Sandals, £11.24, are a lovely summery finisher and shouldn't result in broken ankles after one too many!

Have you taken part in the Seven Days, Seven Dresses challenge? I'd love to see your posts, so link me up in the comments!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Leopard Print Stars

If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram (@JesssRawr), you've probably seen that I got a new tattoo today! This is my second tattoo and, unlike my first, doesn't really hold any huge sentimental value to me; I just like stars, and leopard print! Nonetheless, I'm thrilled with how it's looking and absolutely in love with it! This is the photo I shared on Instagram, I'll take some more once it's healed a bit since it's currently still all swollen and bleeding a little. Let me know what you think!

If you're wondering, it's at the top of my right thigh, on the side, so it'll only really be on show when I'm swimming or wearing very short shorts/skirts etc. Since my tattoos are for me and not for other people, that's fine with me though!
I had this done by Gail at Feline Tattoo Studio in Sheffield, and once again I was super happy with them (I had the text in my other tattoo done there as well), definitely recommended if you're in the area!
Do you have any tattoos? Would you like one? What would you get?


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Nails Inc Lucky Dip

Nails Inc. recently ran a Lucky Dip promotion on their website, where they offered six full-sized polishes for the bargain price of £15 - a saving of over £50 on the full RRP! I immediately placed an order, which arrived a few days ago. These are the polishes I received (left to right).

Chelsea is described on the website as a "deep plum black shade", but appears far darker in the bottle than in the images online. I've yet to swatch this so I'll report back on how the colour translates to the nails!
Culross Street is a jade green shade which isn't on the website so I assume it's been discontinued. Paddington, a grey shade, Westminster, a bright purple, and New Burlington Place, a gorgeous pinky-orange glittery duochrome, are also missing from the website.
You may have noticed that that's only five polishes; sadly, my sixth polish, Old Park Lane, didn't make it to me in one piece. The neck of the bottle has snapped in transit, so I've contacted Nails Inc. to see what they can do about this. This shade isn't listed online either.
In other news, I recently wrote a guest post for Monique at Small Town Twenty Something on the joys of being British, I'd love for you to check it out and say hi to Monique! This was part of the Great Big Blog Swap organised by Helen of Eat.Enjoy.Live, and she'll be organising another swap in the next couple of months, so go check her out too!


Saturday, 9 June 2012

11 Questions Tag

Hannah has tagged me in an 11 Questions Tag. It's been a while since I've done one of these so here are my answers! Click through to Hannah's blog, Confession Closet, if you'd like to check out hers.

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
2. Answer the questions your tagger has sent you as well as create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
3. Choose 11 people to tag and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them they were tagged.
5. No tag backs!
6. You have to really tag 11 people, not just say "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!" or something like that.

11 Things About Me:
1. I worked in a pet shop from the age of 14 until I moved away to Uni and I loved it; I also met my boyfriend working there.
2. I've just finished my Psychology degree, and in September I'm starting a Masters in Applied Cognitive Neuroscience.
3. I have some really weird, irrational phobias; feet, custard, and jelly being the main ones.
4. I really really love badgers.
5. I've been dying my hair since I was 12, although I haven't done it in over a year now - I'm trying to grow it out to see what my natural colour is as I can't actually remember! I've been various shades of brunette and red, purple, blue, black, pink, and ginger, as well as blonde for a few days when I bleached before going pink.
6. I am terrified of hairdressers - I sympathise with you on that one Hannah!
7. I love make-up but I also really like man things like power tools and sheds...
8. I wanted to be a vet for about eight years, then woke up one morning and I'd changed my mind. My mum nearly cried because it was the day of parents' evening in year ten!
9. I don't like Apple. As in iPhones. I hate them, in fact.
10. I have one tattoo and another one booked in a couple of weeks' time - it's a surprise though!
11. If I can retire to a cottage on a hill in Scotland, I'll be happy.

Hannah's Questions:
1. What is the beauty/Make-up product you use the most?

I'd have to say foundation, I'm really not confident about my skin so I'm not usually confident going out without it, even if I'm just nipping to the shop. My skin has been a bit better lately and I have left the house once or twice with just tinted moisturiser on, which is a pretty big thing for me!

2. Share one beauty tip.

I know it's a cliché, but making sure you drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep and do enough exercise really makes you look and feel so much better, as does eating properly!

3. What is your favourite thing to blog about?

I have a horrific attention span (my brother has ADHD and I definitely have some traits) which is why I'm more of a "lifestyle blogger" - I struggle to stick to one thing. At the moment I really enjoy sharing NOTD posts, but I'm sure I'll develop a new favourite soon.

4. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

Another cliché but I really love the friendly community, both on Twitter and in the Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Bloggers Facebook group I recently joined.

5. What is your most expensive beauty/ make-up product?

Probably my Naked2 Palette, although I didn't technically pay for it as I was lucky enough to win it in a competition held by Beauty Bay!

6. What is your most inexpensive beauty/make-up product?

The most inexpensive product I use regularly is probably my Natural Collection Foundation, a bargain at £1.99 but still one of my favourite foundations.

7. What item of make-up are you currently lusting after?

I'm currently really wanting some Essie nail polishes and keep looking at the diffusion line in Boots, but I have no money and can't decide on just one or two shades!

8. Is there a celebrity in particular whose make-up style you love? If so, who is it?

In honesty, I don't tend to pay a lot of attention to celebrities' make-up. I like people who have a classic style but put their own individual stamp on it, so I guess Katy Perry and Jessie J would be two obvious choice. Saying that, I don't think I'd ever wear either of their more "out-there" looks, but I love that they're doing their own thing!

Katy Perry Russell Brand married    

9. If you could only use one brand of make-up for the rest of your make-up using life, what would it be?
Oooh tough question as I tend to buy different products from different brands! My current favourite foundation is by L'Oreal so I guess I'll have to say them, although I love my NARS blusher and my MUA eyeshadow palettes too.

10. What is one product you don't like?
Nothing's really coming to mind.. I think Models Own nail polishes are over-hyped, I love the colours but I find they wear really badly on me and usually chip within a day. Does that count!?

11. Do you prefer a neutral make-up look or a more vibrant look? Why?

I tend to go for more vibrant looks, I'm not really sure why! I love bright eyeshadows.

My Questions For My Tagged People:
1. What's your earliest memory?

2. What's your biggest guilty pleasure? (Mine is eating whole packets of Jaffa Cakes in one go..)
3. Do you like your name, or did you always wish you were called something else? If so, what would you like to be called?
4. Where would you love to visit and why? (Country, monument, city, museum, whatever!)
5. Do you have any irrational fears? What are they?
6. What's your favourite thing to do to relax?
7. What make-up or beauty item do you own the most of? (Mine's nail polish, 89 at the last count!)
8. What are you wearing today?
9. Twitter or Facebook? Why?
10. What's your dream job, and what did you want to be when you were little?
11. What's your favourite thing about where you live? (Also, where do you live?)

Now comes the hard part - trying to think of 11 people to tag!
I tag:

1. Lucy
2. Annie
3. Lucie
4. Abi
5. Lizzie
6. Frances
7. Jade
8. Rachael
9. Leanne
10. Sammy
11. Steph

If you'd like to answer these and I haven't tagged you then obviously, feel free! Link me up in the comments because I'm a nosey buggar and I'd love to see :)


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Wishlist: Shoes

My shoes seem to be reaching the ends of their lives lately; on Monday I bought a new pair and threw away two pairs which had worn the soles through. I have another pair which the backs have worn away on to the point I can't wear them for more than about an hour without making my heels bleed, but I'm clinging onto them for some reason!
The shoes I bought were actually from Asda; they were £7 and, although they're not particularly summery, neither is the weather at the moment, so that's okay! They're super comfy and look great with skinny jeans, but I think they'd also look good paired with a casual skirt or some coloured shorts, so they should be pretty versatile when/if summer actually arrives.

£7, George at Asda

But this has got me thinking about shoes, and now I can't stop looking for more pairs to add to my lust-list. These are a few of my favourites, based on my current extremely limited budget!

£14.99 at New Look
These have lots of pretty summery colours and, although you can't really see it from this photo, there are chains on the straps too, so they'd be a little bit shiny. I do like shiny!

£10, George at Asda.
I love the polka dot detailing on these! George shoes are always great value and I find they wear really well too. And the patent leather effect has the added bonus of being shiny, as above!

Embellished Jelly Sandals
£5 at Matalan
These are so simple but so pretty; I love the multicoloured straps. They'd be perfect teamed with little denim shorts and a white vest top for a barbecue or a day in the park.

Colour Block Wedge
£20 at Matalan
I love the colours on this pair, perfect for a summer wedding to brighten up a darker outfit. I like wedge heels because my balance isn't great at the best of times and combining the obligatory champagne at weddings with walking on grass means that stilettos are a definite one to avoid for me!

£17.99 at Schuh
How cute is the cherry print on these!? I find toe-post shoes really comfortable and I love the unusual shape of the heel as well. These are an absolute bargain as they should last ages and they're so summery!
Which are your favourites?


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

NOTD: Jellybean

We all knew it was going to happen. I've been into the local shop three or four times now, only to find myself coveting the Ciaté nail polishes with this month's Marie Claire magazine. The object of my affections was Jelly Bean, a beautiful bright pink shade with a gorgeous icy-blue shimmer. Finally, I gave in and bought the magazine (£3.70), to my housemate's derision: "You fell for it!? They only give you free shit so you'll buy the magazine!"
Oh but look, it's so pretty and summery and so very me!

This applied beautifully, two coats were plenty for full coverage (if I'd used a thicker coat, I could have got away with one, but I find two thinner coats dry quicker and last longer!) and it was dry within minutes with my Essie Good To Go.

Have you picked up any of the Ciaté polishes with this month's Marie Claire? Which one(s) did you go for?


Monday, 4 June 2012

Review: 17 Cosmetics Miracle Matte Skin Primer

Next on my mission for my Holy Grail face primer (to do something about my shiny face and man-hole pores around my nose), I picked up 17's Miracle Matte Primer from Boots, this is usually priced at £4.99 for 15ml but I only paid £3.99 for mine with one of the vouchers from the Advantage Card Kiosks. (It looks like it's currently on a promotion actually, the website claims you save £1, not sure if this applies in-store too or not!)

Apparently, this product is, "The solution to a stay-perfect look and shine-free base for up to 22 hours."
I apply this, as with all primers, over lightly moisturised skin and wait a couple of minutes for it to sink in/set before applying my foundation over it. This is a creamy white liquid, not too runny but not so thick that it's difficult to apply - the ideal texture. It has no discernible scent and applies smoothly over my skin, blending in to leave a smooth surface. However, I have found that you have to be really careful to rub it in really really well, or it dries to a weird white "crusty" (as my best friend put it) finish on your skin, which is not attractive.

Foundation applies nicely over this - I can speak for mousse- and liquid foundation, but I don't use powder foundations so can't say anything about that. I feel this does a reasonable job of covering my enlarged pores, they're not completely vanished but they're a lot less obvious than with no primer. However, I've been really disappointed with how this wears - I don't feel it increases the wear time of my foundation at all, and my skin still ends up looking shiny within a couple of hours.
For the price, this is a decent enough product if you don't suffer from incredibly oily skin, it's great for smoothing the skin's surface and hiding enlarged pores, but I wouldn't rely on it for shine-control if you have super oily skin like me. The search continues!
What's your favourite primer? You can check out my reviews of 17's Photo Flawless Primer and No7's Shine Free Primer if you're on the hunt as well!


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Review | Dead Sea Spa Magik Shampoo & Serum

I was recently sent a selection of Dead Sea Spa Magik products to try out, including samples of their Mineral Shampoo and Hair Magic Serum. Together, these products are meant to improve your hair's bounce, body, softness and shine, whilst reducing the problems of dry scalp and dandruff.


Paraben- and fragrance-free, the shampoo is ideal for people like myself with sensitive skin, although I'm lucky in that I've never really suffered with my scalp or from dandruff. I received a 25ml sachet of this shampoo, which was sufficient for a couple of washes, bearing in mind that my hair is long and quite thick. I found I needed to use more shampoo than usual as this was quite runny and didn't spread through the hair very easily, but it smelt pleasant and left my hair feeling really clean. One thing I really liked about this shampoo was that, once I'd rinsed my hair, it was left feeling lovely and soft. Usually I can tell while my hair's still wet that if I don't use conditioner, I have no chance of getting a brush through my hair ever again, but this wasn't the case with this shampoo, which I loved.

The Hair Magic Serum is a conditioning treatment designed for dry and damaged hair; the benefits it claims include anti-frizz properties and preventing split ends. Again, I received a 25ml sachet, which wasn't really enough to test the split end claim, but I did enjoy using this product. It had a similar scent to the shampoo, nothing heavy, just a pleasant smell. The sachet contained enough for three applications worked through my hair from root to tip, although I concentrated on the ends; if I'd avoided the roots and just applied to the mid-lengths and ends there'd have been enough for four or five uses. I left the serum on for about five minutes before rinsing, which was a lot easier than with some hair treatments. The instructions say to use once or twice a week, which I think would be plenty to provide a good deep-condition for your hair. Apparently this can also be used as a styling product on dry hair but I didn't realise this until after I'd used it up, so unfortunately I can't comment on that.

After using the shampoo and serum together, I found that my hair was lovely and soft, less frizzy than usual, and it didn't go greasy either which is always a bonus; it just felt really nice and clean! I really enjoyed using these products and I'd definitely consider repurchasing in the future, although the Serum is a little outside my budget at the moment. There is also a Conditioner available, which I'd be interested in trying in the future.
The shampoo retails at £8.26 for 330ml, whilst the Hair Magic Serum is £16.60 for 150ml, available to buy here.
Have you tried these products, or any other Dead Sea Spa Magik? What did you think?

(This product was provided by PR for the purposes of a review. This does not affect my review and, as always, my opinions are honest.)

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Delilah Dust Giveaway WINNER!

I've drawn the winner of my Delilah Dust giveaway now! The lucky lady was Courtney, and her details have been passed on. You should receive your bracelet soon, Courtney! Thanks to everyone who entered, and keep your eyes open for another giveaway in the near future!

Sale Bronze Infinity Bracelet On Waxed Cord

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend, and enjoy the four-day-weekend if you're in the UK!


It's Just My Luck

Luck really has been on my side lately! I hope you don't think I'm "showing off" or anything, I genuinely just want to share the gorgeous things I've received and say thank you to the generous people who've sent me them.
Emma from A Kitchen Goddess (In Training!) held a giveaway to celebrate her blog's first birthday, and I was lucky enough to win a selection of baking goodies. Emma has a great blog, with all sorts of recipes for healthy meals, desserts, cakes, and more; I definitely recommend checking her out!

Jessie over at 87Life hosted a giveaway for a gorgeous bracelet from Etsy shop Starfish and the Sea. I was so excited to receive this, it's beautiful! There are so many pretty things in the shop so definitely have a look and see if anything catches your eye, and check out Jessie's blog whilst you're at it for a lovely mix of fashion and beauty posts.

Beauty Bay held a "pin to win" giveaway on Pinterest. On the offchance, I pinned the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette from their pinboard and promptly forgot all about it. Imagine my delight, then, when I was contacted on Twitter to tell me I was a winner! I've purchased a few things from Beauty Bay in the past and they have a great range of beauty items at good prices, so they're worth a look. If anyone is interested, I'll do a review post for this.

Cocktail Cosmetics held a giveaway on Twitter and I was one of five lucky winners of a Real Techniques Face Expert Brush. Cocktail Cosmetics stock a range of professional and niche beauty brands, including Sigma, Sugarpill and OCC, and are well worth checking out. I was really excited to try this brush as I've heard so many good things about the Real Techniques range in the blogging world! Would anyone be interested in a review for this?

I also won a bottle of Treacle Moon Shower Gel in Iced Strawberry Dream flavour from Evelyn at We Were Raised By Wolves. This smells amazing and I can't wait to use it!

Hannah gave away five tins of Vaseline Crème Brûlée over at Betwixt Beauty and I was one of the lucky winners. I'd been wanting to try this for ages but resisted due to my self-imposed lip balm buying ban, so I was thrilled to win this!

Thank you so much to Emma, Jessie, Evelyn, Hannah, Beauty Bay and Cocktail Cosmetics.
Have you won anything lovely recently? Remember you've still got a couple of hours to enter my Delilah Dust giveaway, I've only had a few entries so far so you have a really good chance of winning the beautiful Infinity Bracelet! I'm also planning a little giveaway when I reach 200 followers so keep checking back for that and remember to follow so we get there sooner!


Friday, 1 June 2012

Benefit Minis with July Glamour (UK)

I'm sure it's news to no-one that July's Glamour magazine (£2, out yesterday) comes with a free Benefit cosmetics sample; you can choose from Bad Gal Lash mascara, The POREfessional pore minimiser, and That Gal brightening primer, collectively worth £35. I've already picked up a POREfessional and a That Gal, I've tried Bad Gal before and not liked it so I'm giving it a miss this time.

There are some other pretty good freebies this month as well; Marie Claire (£3.70) has a choice of three shades of Ciaté Paint Pots, a lilac shade, a hot pink and a pinky-nude colour, each worth £9.
Easy Living (£2.90) has a choice of Rituals Body Lotion or Body Scrub, worth £5 each.
ELLE (£3.90) comes with a free Reiss vest top in a choice of three colours - grey, white or pink - and David Beckham looking rather good on the front cover as a bonus!
RED (£3.90) comes with a Jemma Kidd make-up product - choose from Eyeliner pencil or Mascara, worth £29 together.
Finally, InStyle (£3.80) is keeping up its freebie front with a choice of The Body Shop Big & Curvy mascara or 2 Eye Definer pencils in Black and French Navy. All together these are worth £26.
Will you be picking any of these up this month? What's your favourite magazine freebie?

(PS, Remember my giveaway sponsored by Delilah Dust closes at 3pm tomorrow so get your entries in to win the beautiful Infinity Bracelet! Click here.)
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