• 8 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Kim Kardashian

    Kim Kardashian has transformed herself from a closet organizer and stylist to a multimillion-dollar brand. If Google’s most recent list of the most searched people is any indication, she’s one of the most famous people in the world.

    Wear it dry, and you’ve got your standard dusting of color—classic and predictable (in a good way). But wet! Wearing it wet opens a whole new world of opportunity. “What you’re doing is bringing out the pigmented nature of the shadow,” makeup artist Vincent Oquendo says. “Whenever I wet an eye shadow, it’s when I really want it to pop—but it really has to be a special kind of product to be able to blend after it sets. Because a lot of the times when it sets, you get streaking.” Nobody wants that. In order to avoid any wet shadow mishaps, follow these guidelines:

    Product

    Kardashian sister hasn't left much to the imagination.

    Kardashian sister hasn’t left much to the imagination.

    First, go with the obvious: any eye shadow labeled wet-to-dry. The Nars Dual-Intensity line is the standout—the singles come in 12 different shimmery shades, and there’s a corresponding brush (then there’s the newly released Dual Intensity Blush line, which was all over Fashion Week—but that’s a product for another post). Burberry also makes a few very versatile shades specifically for this in their Wet & Dry Silk Shadows. And the technique-specific eye shadow category isn’t just a ploy to get you to buy more product. “You can’t just use any eye shadow for this,” Vincent says. “Certain ones will harden up on top and become unusable because they’re not made for this.”

    Baked shadows are also fair game—we’re fans of Laura Mercier’s Baked Eye Colour Wet/Dry and Lorac’s Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in particular.

    For more advanced players, Vincent suggests moving on to straight pigment (MAC or even OCC’s Pure Cosmetic Pigments). With the added moisture, they’ll become easier to layer with other products. For a look with more depth, try using a cream shadow as a based before swiping with a wet powder shadow. “It’s like insurance,” Vincent says. “You’re doubling your wearability.

    Brush

    After Kim's near decade in the spotlight..

    After Kim’s near decade in the spotlight..

    This all depends on exactly what you want to do. “Mind the resistance,” Vincent says, particularly if you’re looking for uniform color across the lid. “I tend to recommend a blender brush, which is the brush that looks like a feather duster. If you do it with a stiff brush, you’re defeating yourself before you even start. The joy of a wet-to-dry is you have to get it right amount of product loaded up, and then it blends itself. If the brush is too stiff, it will leave the shadow streaky and then much harder to control.”

    However, if tightlining or waterlining is in the cards, a much thinner brush is required accordingly.

    Liquid
    Do not, repeat, do not put eye drops, water, or any other sort of liquid directly on your eye shadow. This’ll screw up your product for later use. “Lately, I’ve been wetting the brush with the Glossier Soothing Face Mist, but Evian Mineral Water Spray is good for sensitive eyes,” Vincent says. If the top of your powder does get a little hardened by wet application, there’s a trick to remove it: Get a clean mascara spoolie and “exfoliate” your compact, Vincent recommends. This won’t crack the compact and will make it ready to go once more.

    Photographed by Tom Newton.

  • Zac Efron and Sami Miró Are Still Going Strong!

    Zac Efron and Sami Miró stepped out together on Thursday, when they sweetened their week with a couple of smoothies.

    Tabloid in long-form, Anger details the scandals of Tinseltown’s very first stars (including Rudolph Valentino, Roscoe Arbuckle, and Clara Bow) against the backdrop of a city charged by rampant debauchery and high glamour.

    Whereas Hollywood Babylon deals mostly with the era’s nightlife, the workday habits of early film stars were pretty wild too. For our purposes, it’s all about the prep. Hence a little history lesson today, particularly about how one might get ready for a period moving picture.

    Early movies were shot on orthochromatic film, which was not sensitive to yellow-red wavelengths (so colors on that end of the spectrum became almost black). Blue and purple tones, in turn, showed up pale and whitish. The unfortunate on-screen effects of this were myriad—actors with ruddy skin looked dirty, and blue eyes would turn blank and spooky. The latter pitfall almost foiled the ambitions of eventual Academy Award winner Norma Shearer when she was told by D.W. Griffith, The Birth of a Nation director, that her eyes were “far too blue” to have any success in cinema.

    In order to create an impactful (and hopefully, natural) look under such conditions in the 1910s and ’20s, most actors were tasked with applying their own makeup (A common press photo set-up was very Top Shelf-like and featured the starlet at her vanity.), and studios would distribute guides for proper use of color. Blue-toned greasepaint was applied as a foundation and contouring shade, while lips were painted yellow. In real life, actors must have looked truly bizarre when they arrived at the studio. Early greasepaint was texturally problematic. Since it was applied with a heavy hand, the surface layer would often crack when the actor’s expression changed (not great for a medium that relied so heavily on overly dramatic, silent expression). It could also be hazardous—as was in the case of Dolores Costello (Drew Barrymore’s paternal grandmother), whose complexion and career were both damaged beyond repair by early film makeup. In 1914, Max Factor, a wig and cosmetic shop owner in Los Angeles, developed a solution in the form of Flexible Greasepaint. After its invention, he became the most sought-after makeup artist in Hollywood and the leading figure in cosmetic development for the industry.

    Factor’s personalized approach to makeup artistry cemented a few specific, studio-endorsed “looks.” For Clara Bow, he drew her sharply peaked cupid’s bow; Joan Crawford’s signature “smeared” lip (extending far beyond her natural line) assuaged the actress’ thin-lipped insecurities and was all thanks to Factor. Industry standards also required actors’ eyes to look deep-set and moody by shadowing them from lash line to socket, and eyebrows were drawn straight, bold, and very, very long (think Louise Brooks).

    When orthochromatic film gave way to panchromatic in the 1920s, shiny hair and eyelids captured the glow of incandescent bulbs used on-set to great effect. Factor kept pace, developing specific light-refracting hair dyes to suit this technical shift—even sprinkling gold dust on to Marlene Dietrich’s wigs when asked. He couldn’t rest on his laurels for long though—Technicolor was on the horizon, and with it came a new set of cosmetic challenges.

    A final note: In the early ‘30s, still riding the panchromatic “high shine” wave, Factor created a slick lip coat for his famous clients. The formula would go on to become commercially sold as “X-Rated,” the world’s very first lip gloss. Something I think we’re all still kind of into.

    —Lauren Maas

  • Angelina Jolie Is Stunning as She Speaks Out For Syria

    Angelina Jolie made a special trip to NYC to attend a United Nations Security Council meeting on the Middle East and Syria on Friday.

    “Today I was asked when I realized I was in the wrong body. As much as it took me a really long time to come to terms with it, I think I have known since I can remember—since I could even think about gender or notice it. I was thinking about when I was in pre-K ,and I would dress up as Cinderella and do girl things. If I decided to wear a dress or roleplay as a princess, my teachers would tell me I couldn’t do it because I was a boy. So when you have everyone in your life telling you that you’re a boy, you kind of start to believe it, even though none of it comes naturally to you.

    Angelina-Jolie-United-Nations-April-2015My transition has been a very gradual, very cerebral process. For a lot of people, it’s very easy to reduce gender to bodies, and that’s terrible. So to answer that question that I was asked today, I realized I was a woman after I was already living as a woman for about a year or so. Before that, I had this platinum blond hair, acrylics, and would dress in skirts, and wear purses—but I still identified as male. I was open-minded enough, growing up, to think that even if my outward appearance was female, I could still be male. If you read enough queer theory, you realize any sort of conjunction is possible. There are boys who want experience life as women but still be boys, and that’s valid.

     

    I never understood why people would think that men couldn’t be as beautiful as women, so for a long time I didn’t have a word for myself. I was like, ‘I’m not a boy but I can’t let myself be a woman.’ So at the time I was like, ‘OK, I’ll be something else.’ It was weird for me, and in some ways, my thinking allowed me to keep putting off how I felt inside by just covering it up with this cerebral explanation.

    [blockquote author=”” pull=”normal”]There is a lot of psychological tension in trying to discuss anything with gender identity.[/blockquote]

    I used to wear a lot more makeup. I fucking love Boy George, and I would put on that amount of makeup—like Boy George amounts of makeup. My eyeliner would like reach my hairline. I would go really crazy with it. I would try to overcompensate. Now I’m much more toned down, but I feel like all girls have that phase when experimenting with makeup for the first time. Though, if I started off putting on the amount of makeup I wear now, I knew I would just look like who I really am, and I think I was just not ready for that.

    I was 14 years old when I got my first taste of makeup. I was in a band as the lead singer and we were playing one of our first shows. At that point all I could get away with was straightening my hair maybe once a month. So yeah, I was at my first show, and I remember finding a Revlon retractable black eyeliner in the bathroom. I put it on my waterline, not even thinking about the fact that I could get an eye infection as I picked it up off the floor—it was disgusting. I guess the cool thing about being in a band is that there is so much more freedom. There’s the classic ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)‘-feel. I felt like I could wear the eyeliner, and no one would care because I was at a rock show. Then I wore it again to a crowd that was more of a hardcore scene, and it wasn’t a cool experience. They were screaming at me to get off the stage and calling me the F word. I was just like, ‘Wow, OK.’ I was 15 at that point. It was a terrible wake up call to me, all because I was wearing eyeliner—it’s not that big of a deal, and yet, people are already policing me for not performing this gender that I’m pretending to be. Obviously I was doing a shitty job at performing male. Sometimes I tell people that I really feel like I was in drag for over a decade, in the sense of performing male gender roles. I’d end the night and make sure to wipe off my eyeliner before I got home.

     

    I had really bad acne in high school, so I’d get away with wearing coverall and that’s it. Still, my mother would look at me from her bed—I did, and still do, my makeup in her room because it has the best lighting—and be like, ‘What are you doing?’ I used to tell my mom like, ‘Don’t worry! I’ll never wear mascara!’ But it all happens…100 YouTube tutorials later you emerge in full face [Laughs].

    I always admired makeup. I’d watch my grandma doing her makeup, and she’d always be put together. She would tell me that photos are forever, you can’t take it lightly, and you have to perfect it. Little things like that really stuck with me. Without my mother’s permission, I dyed my hair platinum blonde as a teenager. Having white hair changes your life, regardless of gender identity. It is a really crazy experience. You learn about so many different sides of people and how they perceive you—it’s crazy. It was motivation, I guess, and it was the first instance of feeling like I can’t hide myself.

    I was really obsessed with Final Fantasy at the time, especially the Final Fantasy villains. If you really look at a Final Fantasy villain and analyze it, it’s a female head on a male body. I felt connected to the possibility of being really pretty, even if my body didn’t match up—there was a chance for the head portion to be on-point and consistent with how I view myself. After that, I started really diving into makeup as identity. Beauty can be a big deal for all girls, but beauty for a trans girl could be life-or-death. There’s moments when you could be placed in danger for not passing as a woman convincingly enough. One time I was walking with my friend and a guy was trying to holler at me, then he took out a knife. Makeup is much more serious to trans women. Even cis girls can relate—they get attacked and bullied in schools, growing up, because they’re not pretty enough.

    I really feel bad for a lot of trans people and trans women who don’t have the experience [with makeup] before they come into themselves and have to learn to do their makeup in no time. They’re 35, they have kids, and they need to transition then—that’s the bravest thing ever. That’s not to say that I think people transitioning later in life necessarily need to wear makeup to be who they are. I just identified with it. The way I did it was just like how every girl picks up makeup skills—where your mom is like, ‘You can only put on lipgloss.’ You need time to practice, so it looks good. I used to just have these Zen three-hour makeup sessions. Of course, during the day I just wear tinted moisturizer, concealer, and maybe mascara. Sometimes I’ll do a wing, but just a little bit on the outer edge. But at night…at night is when I’d really take my time. I’d do my makeup from 7pm to 10pm and go out at midnight.

  • An Homage to Jessica Alba’s Superhot Bikini Body

    Jessica Alba turns 34 on Tuesday, and we’re celebrating with a look back at her best bikini pictures. Jessica’s been no stranger to the two-piece and looks equally as fantastic in a swimsuit on screen as she does while lounging on the beach.

    Wear it dry, and you’ve got your standard dusting of color—classic and predictable (in a good way). But wet! Wearing it wet opens a whole new world of opportunity. “What you’re doing is bringing out the pigmented nature of the shadow,” makeup artist Vincent Oquendo says. “Whenever I wet an eye shadow, it’s when I really want it to pop—but it really has to be a special kind of product to be able to blend after it sets. Because a lot of the times when it sets, you get streaking.” Nobody wants that. In order to avoid any wet shadow mishaps, follow these guidelines:

    Product

    Source: FameFlynet

    Source: FameFlynet

    First, go with the obvious: any eye shadow labeled wet-to-dry. The Nars Dual-Intensity line is the standout—the singles come in 12 different shimmery shades, and there’s a corresponding brush (then there’s the newly released Dual Intensity Blush line, which was all over Fashion Week—but that’s a product for another post). Burberry also makes a few very versatile shades specifically for this in their Wet & Dry Silk Shadows. And the technique-specific eye shadow category isn’t just a ploy to get you to buy more product. “You can’t just use any eye shadow for this,” Vincent says. “Certain ones will harden up on top and become unusable because they’re not made for this.”

    Baked shadows are also fair game—we’re fans of Laura Mercier’s Baked Eye Colour Wet/Dry and Lorac’s Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in particular.

    For more advanced players, Vincent suggests moving on to straight pigment (MAC or even OCC’s Pure Cosmetic Pigments). With the added moisture, they’ll become easier to layer with other products. For a look with more depth, try using a cream shadow as a based before swiping with a wet powder shadow. “It’s like insurance,” Vincent says. “You’re doubling your wearability.

    Brush
    This all depends on exactly what you want to do. “Mind the resistance,” Vincent says, particularly if you’re looking for uniform color across the lid. “I tend to recommend a blender brush, which is the brush that looks like a feather duster. If you do it with a stiff brush, you’re defeating yourself before you even start. The joy of a wet-to-dry is you have to get it right amount of product loaded up, and then it blends itself. If the brush is too stiff, it will leave the shadow streaky and then much harder to control.”

    However, if tightlining or waterlining is in the cards, a much thinner brush is required accordingly.

    Liquid
    Do not, repeat, do not put eye drops, water, or any other sort of liquid directly on your eye shadow. This’ll screw up your product for later use. “Lately, I’ve been wetting the brush with the Glossier Soothing Face Mist, but Evian Mineral Water Spray is good for sensitive eyes,” Vincent says. If the top of your powder does get a little hardened by wet application, there’s a trick to remove it: Get a clean mascara spoolie and “exfoliate” your compact, Vincent recommends. This won’t crack the compact and will make it ready to go once more.

    Photographed by Tom Newton.

  • Look Back on Carmen Electra’s Bombshell Evolution

    Carmen Electra recently celebrated her 43rd birthday, to which we had only one reaction: “WHAT?!” If you grew up anywhere near the ’90s and 2000s, you likely remember Carmen for heating up the screen on Baywatch and Singled Out and inspiring your love of low-rise jeans, crop tops, and trucker hats.

    Tabloid in long-form, Anger details the scandals of Tinseltown’s very first stars (including Rudolph Valentino, Roscoe Arbuckle, and Clara Bow) against the backdrop of a city charged by rampant debauchery and high glamour.

    Whereas Hollywood Babylon deals mostly with the era’s nightlife, the workday habits of early film stars were pretty wild too. For our purposes, it’s all about the prep. Hence a little history lesson today, particularly about how one might get ready for a period moving picture.

    Early movies were shot on orthochromatic film, which was not sensitive to yellow-red wavelengths (so colors on that end of the spectrum became almost black). Blue and purple tones, in turn, showed up pale and whitish. The unfortunate on-screen effects of this were myriad—actors with ruddy skin looked dirty, and blue eyes would turn blank and spooky. The latter pitfall almost foiled the ambitions of eventual Academy Award winner Norma Shearer when she was told by D.W. Griffith, The Birth of a Nation director, that her eyes were “far too blue” to have any success in cinema.

    In order to create an impactful (and hopefully, natural) look under such conditions in the 1910s and ’20s, most actors were tasked with applying their own makeup (A common press photo set-up was very Top Shelf-like and featured the starlet at her vanity.), and studios would distribute guides for proper use of color. Blue-toned greasepaint was applied as a foundation and contouring shade, while lips were painted yellow. In real life, actors must have looked truly bizarre when they arrived at the studio. Early greasepaint was texturally problematic. Since it was applied with a heavy hand, the surface layer would often crack when the actor’s expression changed (not great for a medium that relied so heavily on overly dramatic, silent expression). It could also be hazardous—as was in the case of Dolores Costello (Drew Barrymore’s paternal grandmother), whose complexion and career were both damaged beyond repair by early film makeup. In 1914, Max Factor, a wig and cosmetic shop owner in Los Angeles, developed a solution in the form of Flexible Greasepaint. After its invention, he became the most sought-after makeup artist in Hollywood and the leading figure in cosmetic development for the industry.

    Factor’s personalized approach to makeup artistry cemented a few specific, studio-endorsed “looks.” For Clara Bow, he drew her sharply peaked cupid’s bow; Joan Crawford’s signature “smeared” lip (extending far beyond her natural line) assuaged the actress’ thin-lipped insecurities and was all thanks to Factor. Industry standards also required actors’ eyes to look deep-set and moody by shadowing them from lash line to socket, and eyebrows were drawn straight, bold, and very, very long (think Louise Brooks).

    When orthochromatic film gave way to panchromatic in the 1920s, shiny hair and eyelids captured the glow of incandescent bulbs used on-set to great effect. Factor kept pace, developing specific light-refracting hair dyes to suit this technical shift—even sprinkling gold dust on to Marlene Dietrich’s wigs when asked. He couldn’t rest on his laurels for long though—Technicolor was on the horizon, and with it came a new set of cosmetic challenges.

    A final note: In the early ‘30s, still riding the panchromatic “high shine” wave, Factor created a slick lip coat for his famous clients. The formula would go on to become commercially sold as “X-Rated,” the world’s very first lip gloss. Something I think we’re all still kind of into.

    —Lauren Maas

  • When I was a teenager, I actually ended up in beauty school.

    I was going through a bit of a difficult time and my grandmother thought she was putting me in etiquette school…she obviously didn’t read the fine print.

    Horrific, but the best thing that came out of it was that a scout came one day and told me about modeling. He said, ‘You’re going to be a supermodel.’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry, but what’s a supermodel?’ I wasn’t into fashion. I was into music and Goth girls at the mall. He showed me Vogue, and I had never seen women like that. I had no idea of that level of beauty. That was the beginning. I dedicated my whole life to understanding fashion from then on. I looked it all very specifically—What is the light? How are they creating that light in their eye when it sparkles? How do they get those cheekbones? I don’t have prominent cheekbones—how do I make it look like I have them? What do I even look like? I’m not the type of model that’s like, ‘Just throw me in front of the camera.’ I have to work. It’ a job.

    Tonight I’m going to the Save Venice Masked Ball. I’m very glamorous when I go out at

    Because I have to wear a mask, I’m thinking an extraordinarily strong.

    Because I have to wear a mask, I’m thinking an extraordinarily strong.

    night because that’s when you get photographed in New York. So I like to create a character at night—it’s like I’m born again. I become this vampy, glamorous thing. That’s not how I am in the rest of my life at all. If I have any inspiration tonight, it’s Dita Von Teese. I’m wearing all Giorgio Armani tonight—I’m a big fan of his. When I tried this dress on, I was in a comfortable-yet-romantic mood. It’s not my usual—I usually wear a major gown and crazy things. At the same time, I like to feel comfortable. If I could wear sweatpants, I’d wear a sweatpants dress. Because I have to wear a mask, I’m thinking an extraordinarily strong cat eye would be good. With that, it’s nice to do a burgundy—what I like to call ‘fuck off’—lip.

    I have this lip trick—I have these exfoliating witch hazel pads, and I do like a real scrub with them on my lips. I go inside the mouth, which brings blood forth to the lips, and if you’re doing a natural lip, you don’t even need any color with this. You look like you just had Botox, which I won’t do. But if I need bigger lips immediately, for a shoot or something, I can do this, and it really works. I also like using Neosporin instead of lip balm on my lips. I like my lips to glide.

    I have Emi Kaneko doing my makeup tonight. From working in fashion, I feel like I can fake a good lip and a good eye myself, but I have not perfected unbelievable skin like she can do for me. It’s very hard to get the shine in the right spot and the contouring right, especially when your dress will change the texture of your skin. Shiny skin on a shiny dress is a big, sweaty mess. Whether you’re sweaty or not, you will look like a sweaty mess.

    [blockquote author=”” pull=”normal”]“Dekker is playing with maximum efficiency and extreme confidence.”[/blockquote]

    So tonight we’re using Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector that makes everything smooth and erases the look of pores when you put foundation on. It makes your skin look great. Then, over that, she used Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation. Mostly it’s the shade 05 Natural, but I like to mix a little bit of 04 Beige in because it’s not like my face is one dimensional. My makeup artist says it builds depth that way. Around my nose, it’s a little red, so she uses a slightly different color for more olive skin to cancel it out.

    When I don’t have a makeup artist doing my makeup

    When I don’t have a makeup artist doing my makeup

    Around my nose, it’s a little red, so she uses a slightly different color for more olive skin to cancel it out. When I don’t have a makeup artist doing my makeup, I love using Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation, Chanel Vitalumière Aqua, and Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation. Those are my go-tos for night, usually.On my brows, I love using Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara. I darken them with it—you can imagine how intense that it, and it keeps them in place like a gel. Funnily enough, I don’t like mascara on lashes so much. I like the eyelash-less look in a weird way… Maybe people on the street look at me like they’re scared, but I’m not scared. I look in the mirror and I’m like ‘That’s exactly how I want to be.’

    Hair

    I like the idea of experimental hair. One of my favorite looks I’ve ever done was for the Met Gala 2011. I went with Zac Posen and was wearing one of his dresses—I called it the spider web dress, and I asked for a spider web out of my hair. It was like a sci-fi ‘40s thing. I can scare people with my reference points—I sort of have to bring it back and be realistic. Like, OK we can sit here for 20 hours and do my hair, or we can be human beings about it.

    Tonight I’m going for a nice, soft wave in the front that will come down over my eyebrow and roll in on the back to create this faux-bob. All the products are Oribe, but I also have a lot of Redken in my own collection. First my hairstylist, Leonardo Manetti, used the Maximista Thickening Spray, then the Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse before blowing it out for a super-shiny texture. And then he finished it off with the Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Hair Spraysince this is a really sculptural look. I use Oribe all the time, but I just jump from product to product. I like to use it very thoroughly, and once I’m done with that, I’ll jump to another company.

  • 5 Things We Learned from Fashion Week 2014

    fashion-week-new-york-s1_2 (1)

    After the Madness

    Our 5 Fashion Week Moments

    Seven straight days of clothes, crazy people, coffee, cabs and more are officially finished for one more season. Like when anything comes to an end, it’s time for reflection. Navigating through the endless looks, designers and trend trend overload post Fashion Week frenzy can be daunting. So here are the top five lessons we’ve learned from this seasons marathon.

    1. Gym clothes not for the gym are everywhere – Bust out those sneakers! Nearly everything designer from Alexander Wang to Rebecca Taylor showcased sportswear inspired looks, perfect for not so athletic gals like myself.

    stella-jean-002  cynthia-rowley15  adam-selman15

    2. Tastefully Transparent – From sheer tops to fully transparent skirts, Spring 2015 is all about sexy translucent pieces. Slip optional.

    calvin-klein11  j-mendel05  simone-rocha21

    3. Bigger is better – This season we saw over-sized everything. Easy breezy loose fitting dresses, coats and tops that leave a trail of flowing fabric behind. Light luxe fabrics are ideal for the warmer months ahead.

    pucci-027  thomas-tait05  etro-012

    4. Makeup is out – The #Iwokeuplikethis trend is strong as ever, as countless designers including Marc Jacobs showcased barefaces. So start exfoliating and moisturizing your way into Spring 2015.

    marc-jacobs023  arthur-arbesser-001  maurizio-pecoraro08

    5. Gingham,gingham, gingham – The picnic friendly plaid also known as gingham proved itself as a major staple this season. The pattern gives any look a sweetness with a does of edge. Use it in your wardrobe for some pattern play and layering.

    houghton04  richard-nicoll28  dvf08

     

    What did you think of #NYFW, #LFW, and #MFW?  Paris is next!  Leave your comments below!

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