Sunday, 10 December 2017

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

Sunday, December 10, 2017 2 Comments

It wasn't until I started this blog that I fell in love with makeup, lipstick in particular. Before that, I owned exactly three. One was a hand me down from a friend, one was a six year old Rimmel satin and one was an ELF lippy from 2010. I still have the Rimmel, because nostalgia, but since then I've acquired a bit of a collection. I also really like lip balms, as you can tell...

My Current Favourite Lipsticks

It was only when I did a mini de-clutter that I realised I had favourites. I won't ever cry "holy grail" because there will always be something better and more innovative that'll come along, but there are some that I reach for more than others. As I do have colour preferences, I tried to base this on formula. So, in no particular order, these are the 10 lipsticks I love at the moment...

Please excuse some sloppy application.

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks
I actually saw this in a sophdoesnails video and fell in love with the colour. For a long while, I hated the Liquid Suede formula, but I wasn't giving it proper chance to set. I'm kind of impatient. Once I did, I realised just how good this product is. It's a liquid lipstick, but it doesn't fully dry down. It's matte and hardly transfers unless you rub your lips - even when eating and drinking. There are tons of shades and they're all beautiful, plus NYX is easy to get hold of and it doesn't cost the earth.

Price: £7.00
Scent: None

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

The Soft Matte formula is definitely a firm favourite. I like the velvet matte finish and how easy they are to apply. The colours are all so pretty and there's so many to choose from. They aren't transfer proof but they do hold up quite well and for the comfort, I'm willing to touch up my lipstick a few times. I have four in my collection,  and the only one I have a bit of trouble with is Transylvania, a dark, vampy purple, but purple's are notoriously difficult to work with, so it's to be expected.

Price: £6.00
Scent: Vanilla/Cake batter

NYX Lip Lingerie in Embellishment

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

This is the last NYX product, I swear. The Lingerie formula is a lot more matte and transfer resistant than the others in this list. It doesn't stain, but it does hold its own in all weather and against most foods. For example, I wore this today and after a McDonalds and 8 hours wear, it didn't budge. It fades a bit, but it doesn't disappear.

Price: £7.00
Scent: None

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

A friend bought me this for my birthday in 2016 and I fell in love with it instantly. There's something so luxurious, but wearable about these matte lipsticks. They're creamy, soft but firmly matte. They last a long time, but can't hold up against anything oily or hot (so a kebab is out of the question). It's classy, the formula is gorgeous and definitely worth the extra bit of cash. This is my go-to fancy occasion lippy and it probably doesn't get as much use as it should.

Price: £24.00
Scent: Vanilla

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

Although these lipsticks have generally bad reviews, I really love the them. Like NYX Soft Matte, they have a velvet matte finish but are slightly more oily, which means they are more hydrating than the traditional liquid lip. They never properly set, so if you're a smudger, they aren't for you but if you don't faff with your makeup too much, you're golden. It can be a bit patchy, but its only seems to pick up in photos, like the one above. Sigh. The colours are all modern and interesting, they aren't too pricey and they do last a long time if undisturbed. 

Price: £9.50
Scent: Lemon/Mint

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

By far the cheapest product on this list, the Velvet Kiss formula is almost an exact dupe for NYX Soft Matte. It has a velvet matte finish, isn't transfer proof but doesn't fade without provocation, it smells exactly the same and even the tubes are similar. The only real difference is the shade range. NYX has dozens but there are only 6 for Collection

Price: £2.99
Scent: Vanilla/Cake Batter

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

I love a matte lipstick, I love purple and this is the perfect combination. The fiance bought this for me to use for my blog when I did "crazy" makeup looks but I wear this quite often on the daily. The formula is creamy, non-patchy, matte and doesn't pick up on the dry bits on your lips. Like most traditional lipsticks, it won't hold up against hot drinks or oily foods, but it does stain your lips underneath so that you can't tell too much where it lifts. I'm not a fan of staining products but I quite like that about this one, as it still easily removes with a lip balm or cleansing oil.

Price: £15.50
Scent: None

L.A. Girl Flat Velvet Matte in Snuggle

Unfortunately this has now been discontinued, but its still one of my favourites because its damn good. The lipstick is matte but not drying, creamy but not overly so and it lasts ages - even though its not transfer proof. The colour is a pretty nude and goes with most makeup looks.

Price: £6.00
Scent: None

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

My 10 Current Favourite Lipsticks

I got this in a Dollibox and I fell in love. It's creamy, it's easy to work with, it smells delicious, the colour is stunning, it removes so easily and doesn't stain the skin. This lipstick doesn't feather at all and for a bright red, that's rare. It's not impervious, so it doesn't last incredibly long but it more than makes up for it in pigment and hydration

Price: $10.00
Scent: Vanilla

What are your favourite lipsticks?

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 2 Comments

I've been on the look out for a new foundation for a while. What I wanted to do was buy a higher end one, which meant I would have to venture forth into Liverpool or Manchester and at Christmas time, that's just a disaster. So I decided to find a decent one online that if it turned out to the wrong shade, I wasn't too bothered about. After a tiny amount of research, I decided on The Ordinary Coverage Foundation which includes SPF 15.

The most difficult part of this was choosing the shade. I read other people's reviews, watched a few vlogs and finally decided on 1.1N, which is the fair with neutral undertones and the third lightest shade out of 21.

A lightweight, full coverage foundation.

Available in 21 shades, Coverage Foundation SPF 15 is suitable for all skin tones. Rich and buildable, this cream like texture smooths seamlessly over the skin to even, conceal and disguise fine lines and wrinkles.

Those are a lot of promises for a £5.95 foundation.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

I really like the packaging. It's matte plastic without the unnecessary lid, but it still has a twist lock feature for the pump.

With all full coverage foundations, less is more. I dispensed about a third of a pump on to the back of my hand to check out the shade before applying and immediately worried that I'd gone too light. I decided not to use primer on this occasion as I don't always wear it and tend to get a better feel for a product without it.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

I applied this and another half pump to my face and bounced in with my Real Techniques blending sponge (not pictured as it could do with a good wash). 

I was pretty impressed with the coverage. It isn't full as my freckles show through completely, but it hides most of my blemishes (except for the massive spot on my temple). It blended out so easily, I've never had a foundation that required so little work. The end result is demi-matte and I really like it. I do have combination skin but matte foundations make my cheeks dry, so this offers the best of both worlds.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

I didn't notice at the time, but after taking this photo, my foundation had already oxidized a shade. You can mostly tell around my mouth as the skin there is more yellow toned than the rest of my face. It's not too dark and I can lighten it with concealer in future, so I don't mind. Next time I will definitely choose the lightest neutral shade, 1.0N.

The product settled nicely around my nose and I did apply another thin layer on my cheeks to get this level of coverage, as I have a lot of redness there. It's barely peeking through and I'm pretty pleased with it. With the rest of my makeup done, I found that it definitely seemed darker. Maybe another shade, so now two shades darker than my neck. Which is a bit of a disappointment. 

The other products went on top of it like an absolute dream. Everything blended perfectly, the powders went on smooth. My pores and fine lines looked slightly blurred. It didn't do much for the texture on my cheekbones but that's what I use primer for. I'm definitely impressed.

The finished look:

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

I checked it again around 5 hours after application and a little oil had come through, but not a massive amount. I also had a little creasing around my nose, but nothing crazy. I think that it would last fine all day with a setting powder. It definitely is one of the better foundations I've tried in the last 12 months and I will be incorporating it into my makeup routine.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Shuffle The Music Tag!

Sunday, December 03, 2017 3 Comments
Shuffle the Music Tag

I've been ill for the last few weeks of November and, not wanting to have a Sunday without a post (I've done pretty well keeping up with them this year), I thought a tag would be quick to do and pretty entertaining to read. Unfortunately, I haven't been tagged in anything this month. So I did a quick search and came across the Shuffle The Music Tag on Tania Michele's blog. Music tags are few and far between, so I thought it would be a nice change from the norm.

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog
2. Shuffle your entire music library and talk about the FIRST FIFTEEN songs that come up
3. Mention the songs as well as the artists
4. Tag 7 people or more to do this tag and let them know

The Music
1. Heart Shaped Box - Nirvana
I LOVED Nirvana when I was in my mid to late teens and although Heart-Shaped Box wasn't my favourite of their songs, I did listen to it a lot back then.

2. Feed My Frankenstein - Alice Cooper
What can I say, I love Wayne's World.

3. Burning Love - Elvis Presley
Who doesn't love Elvis?

4. Constellations - The Shears
There's a terrible MTV movie called The Dorm and this is from the soundtrack. It's poppy in a 2009 way that I sometimes miss.

5. Detroit Rock City - Kiss
This is one of those songs that I find it impossible to ever listen to enough. Kiss are one of those bands that I always enjoyed but didn't realise how much until I had to import all my music to a new laptop and it went missing in the transfer. I was gutted!

6. Dear Prudence - The Beatles
The Beatles are undoubtedly one of my favourite bands of all time. This song is haunting and beautiful. In fact, the whole of The White Album is a masterpiece.

7. Freak On A Leash - Korn
I have a confession to make. I had heard of Korn, but never really listened to them until I saw Queen of the Damned and became obsessed with the soundtrack, which was produced with front man Jonathon Davis. I'm not a massive fan but I defy you to not love this song.

8. Cupid - Sam Cooke
This is a song that has always seemed to be in my music collection, somehow. I don't remember ever downloading it. I don't know where it came from but I like it.

9. She - Green Day
A throwback to my early teens, She is one of those songs that I used to love to play loudly and it probably annoyed the shit out my mum. Back then, the bands I listened to were considered "weird" and "goth" which is so strange considering how things are today.

10. Jumpin' Jumpin' - Destiny's Child
Are you even a 90s child if you don't love Destiny's Child?

11. Scars - Papa Roach
When I googled this and realised it was from 2004, I felt horribly old. This song feels like its 5 minutes old, despite the fact that it is really dated. Seeing this live in 2013 was a highlight. I loved Papa Roach.

12. Coppers - Rancid
I'm back into Rancid again lately. Every few years I "rediscover" them and pick a new song to adore. This is definitely one of my favourites right now. It encapsulates everything about the punk movement that I missed because, you know, I wasn't born.

13. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band
The Band are a classic rock group that no one seems to know about these days. Whether its a generational thing, or they've just been forget to some degree, I don't know. But I do know that this song is fantastic.

14. Torn - Natalie Imbruglia
You can't forget this relic, also the David Armand mime.

15. Living in a Suitcase - Jack McManus
Ah :) I haven't heard this in forever. I bought the album after seeing him support John Mayer on tour. Jack McManus was one of those artists that had one underwhelming album and disappeared from the charts forever. But he married Martine McCutcheon so it all ended well.


Wednesday, 29 November 2017

What I Read In November

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 2 Comments
What I Read in November

Time has been difficult to come by this month. Between work and being ill, I've not had much to myself. Which explains why I read so little, even though it's kind of sad.

What I Read in November

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius". 

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into a wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad - Goodreads

The Girl With All The Gifts is DEFINITELY not the book I thought it was going to be. I didn't think too much about it, when reading the synopsis, but its evident early on that this is a zombie novel. Whilst that's a bit 2015 in itself, this is unlike any other zombie book I've ever read. Mostly because the subject of the story is a child.

The children are kept in a pseudo-boarding school environment in which everyone is terribly afraid of them and they are starving for human affection. Spending their lives isolated and strapped to chairs, they are wasting away on an army base in the aftermath of some sort of apocalypse scenario of a virus that affects humans, that are then dubbed "hungries". Melanie is a child desperate to win the approval of her favourite teacher and discovers just quite what she is capable of. After the hungries make it onto the base, Melanie and a handful of adults must make their way to safety.

It's odd to read an adult book from the point of view of a small child, but it worked. The Girl With All The Gifts is sad, heroic and well written. Whilst it's not the best book I've ever read, it's entertaining. I enjoyed the complexity of some of the characters, but Miss Justineau was predictable and her background was disappointing.

I'm not sure why, but I can never take books set in UK that incorporate action seriously. It's not the British way. We don't run around with guns shooting first and asking questions later. We queue for three days to evacuate the country or accept our lot. But that is not a fault of the writer, more of my dislike for dramatics while British.

Overall, I liked it, but I didn't love it.

Rating: 3/5

What I Read in November

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets, whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now... - Goodreads

Everyone has heard of The Handmaid's Tale. It's one of those books that, even if you haven't read it (or seen the recent TV series), you're aware of its existence and it's often on your reading list. It was definitely on mine, because I knew it was 1984-esque, but I had never actually looked it up to find out what it was about. However, unlike most dystopias, this doesn't centre around a character that has never experienced what came before, it's smack bang in the middle of a strange new life and I am here for this. I get so sick of people fumbling over phones, or being confused by basic things.

The story takes place something like 3 years after the fall of the USA and formation of Gilead. Women have become "protected" citizens whose body is the only thing deemed worth anything - thus they become nothing more than baby making machines; where possible in such a declining population. They aren't allowed to do anything without permission from the man of the household, after which the handmaiden is named. They aren't even allowed to read. Propaganda runs rife, people are executed and displayed along The Wall as a deterrent, and for crimes committed before the wars - when their actions were still legal. Our protagonist Offred was torn from her husband and daughter and became a handmaiden, she must serve whichever household she belongs to. Told in fumbling prose, Offred weaves seamlessly from present day to recent past and continues to be effortlessly engaging in the process.

However, The Handmaid's Tale seems to be more of a scare mongering cautionary tale than it is a story. Many parts of it make no sense and whilst this can be explained away from Offred's limited point of view, so very much of the padding is lacking. How has the country descended so quickly from liberalism to quasi-religious fundamentalism? I found it very difficult to believe that this would have happened in 3 years, from start to finish. It can take decades to change society in any notable way. Why have women become slaves to men? Some notions of control are introduced by the Commander, but that's it. What were the events leading up to this? Why is there a population crisis, who were the people who "disbanded" the government and what reason did they have for doing it? Why was liberalism rejected? I have a lot of questions. As an intelligent woman, during the uprising of Gilead, Offred would have known what was happening to a certain point and that could have been woven into the plot instead of one of the many flashbacks of her husband that served no purpose.

All that being said, I enjoyed this book but I don't deem it a "Must Read", not by a long shot. It's often sited as one of the best feminist fictions of all time and whilst it's a great story, the execution was a little lacking. We don't have quite enough information to truly understand the reasons for anything that happens and the lack of punctuation for speech drove me insane.

Rating: 3.5/5

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Dollibox November 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017 0 Comments

And so, my foray into the Dollibox subscription service is over as quickly as it began. It was without any prior warning that I received an email from the company to tell me that the November box was to be their very last one. I thought it was a little bit, dare I say, unprofessional that there was no warning that the box was about to be discontinued.

I can't say that I'm not disappointed because I really am. I enjoyed the previous two boxes and waited with gusto for the third one, which was said to contain their favourites, amongst other things. A one off box can be bought from Not On The High Street, but it's not the same as getting a monthly treat dropped off, especially since its now a LOT more expensive. But then that website isn't known for being reasonably priced.

Without further ado, this is Dollibox's swan song...

Dollibox November 2017

Dollibox November 2017

Dollibox November 2017

SkinJam Cosmetics Pink Lemonade Bath Bomb (no listings)

Box cost: £10.00 + £3.90 shipping = £13.90
Box worth (excluding SkinJam): £38.81

This is hands down the best value I've received out of all three boxes I ordered, but I probably won't use most of the items. 

The shampoo will definitely be first on the chopping block because I can never have too much. I just threw out four half bottles that I didn't like, so it's nice to have more variety. The nail polish is pretty, but I very rarely wear it, so I will probably pass this along to my mum as she is a bit of a nail polish junkie. I can't see myself getting too much use out of the leg and foot spray, but the boyfriend may like it - he is always on the look out for more foot products. I will 100% use the bath bomb (it smells very much like a more subtle Hawaiian Sunset) and the lash primer though, so at least I've got my money's worth.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Sunshine Blogger Award #3

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 0 Comments

The Sunshine Blogger Award #3

First of all, I'd like to thank Soph for nominating me for this award. This is the third time I have taken part in The Sunshine Blogger, if you would like to read my previous posts click here.

The Rules:
1. Recognise the blogger that tagged you
2. Answer the 11 questions left for you
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers
4. Give them 11 questions to answer

Soph's Questions:
1. If you could have any job in the world what would it be?
I would definitely be a writer. In an ideal world, I would have gone to uni, honed my craft and released my first book by 25. It has been my dream since I was old enough to read.

2. What is your favourite quote and why?
I'm not one for quotes and if I ever do use them, they're most likely from Parks and Recreation or Mean Girls.

The Sunshine Blogger Award #3

3. If you could trade lives with one person for a week who would you pick?
Whoever is currently dating Alexander SkarsgÄrd.

4. What is one thing you regret not doing?
I always wish I'd traveled more when I was in my late teens, early twenties. It's harder now that I have more commitments.

5. How did you meet your best friend?
Through a hellish job. But we didn't become best friends until years later.

6. What is the first high school memory that pops into your head?
Well it didn't take place at the school, but my high school best friend and I went to see Blink 182 waaaay back in 2003, just after the Feeling This album. Excellent night.

7. What do you prefer, Disney or Pixar?
Disney. I'm a 90s kid, what can I say.

8. If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you move to?
Amsterdam. It's such a chilled, vibrant and tiny city. I fell in love with it and I'm itching to go back soon.

9. What is your favourite cheesy pick up line?
If you were a vegetable, you'd be cute-cumber.
That's just adorable.

10. How long do you think you would last in a zombie apocalypse?
In this scenario, I'd either be Jessie Eisenberg in Zombieland (so nervous and dork-efficient that I somehow manage to stay alive and ride it out) or I'd be Sophia from The Walking Dead (as soon as I'm left to my own devices I end up dead and locked in a barn).

The Sunshine Blogger Award #3

11. Where do you want your blog to be in 5 years time?
I've honesty no idea. I don't know where I want to be in five years.


My Questions:
1. What was the last book you read?
2. Have you ever stolen anything and if so, what did you steal?
3. Who is your favourite fictional character and why?
4. Where is your favourite place in the world?
5. What part of your daily routine do you enjoy the most?
6. Do you have any hidden talents?
7. If you could go back in time to any era, when would you visit?
8. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
9. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy?
10. What is the best gift you've ever received?
11. What is the weirdest food you've ever tried?

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge Beauty Vault

Sunday, November 19, 2017 2 Comments

I am incredibly grateful and lucky to have received such a thoughtful gift for my birthday this year. It was such a lovely surprise from my fiance, who somehow remembers me mentioning this brand once, about 12 months ago.

I've never tried anything from Urban Decay before, the closest I've come is faffing with the testers and swooning over their super soft shadow formula. Seriously, its like touching a cloud. Earlier on this year, I popped into the Liverpool branch with my mum, only intending on looking around, and talked myself out of picking up one the Naked palettes. Now I'm SO glad I did as this set contains the best of the best of their eyeshadows and liners.

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge

Can we talk about this packaging though? It's pretty as hell, and huge.

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge

The description on their website states:

A mind-blowing collection 20 years in the making, this ultra limited-edition set features a whopping 20 shades of Eyeshadow AND 20 Shades of 24/7 Glide-One Eye Pencil that span our entire 20-year history.

From current bestsellers to vintage shades like UV-B and returning cult favourites (like Covet, Lucky and Deviant), this set has it all. We even threw in a couple of new shades! With a lineup that goes from neutral to bright, dark to light and a HUGE range of finishes, the possibilities are endless.

Since a set this good needs to be seen, we arranged everything in a gorgeous, collectible case with a removable inner tray. Life out the tray and store it on your vanity, then use the box to stash your other UD essentials or as a place to store jewelry.

Each Eyeshadow in this set features our Pigment Infusion System, the proprietary blend of ingredients that gives every shade its velvety texture, rich colour, serious staying powder and blendability.

Our highly saturated, waterproof Eye Pencils glide on, stay creamy for blending and dry down to a long-lasting finish that will not budge. And they're loaded with moisturising ingredients. Vitamin E hydrates, moisturises and conditions, and jojoba oil and cottonseed oil soften skin.

What you see is what you get:
Eyeshadow: Oil Slick, Roadstripe, ABC Gum, Shattered, Grifter, Gunmetal, Polyester Bride, Baked, Mildew, Asphyxia, Mushroom, Midnight Cowboy, Smog, Lounge, Flash, Vapour, YDK, Roach, UV-B and Last Call

24/7 Glide-On Pencil: Zero, Oil Slick, Gunmetal, Mushroom, Whiskey, Road, Smog, Lucky, Midnight Cowboy, Underground, Stash, Mildew, Covet, Deep End, UV-B, Deviant, Asphyxia, Ransom, Last Call and Crash.

Fill Weight: 54G / 1.8oz

The packaging for each shadow is the same. The pots are plastic with metal pans, but are much sturdier and of a better quality than that you get in the drugstore. For the individual price of £15.00, I should hope. The name of each shadow is stickered on the base. It's been a very, very long time since I've bought any single shadows, so it's nice to have the stickers to find the colour I'm searching for quickly.

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge


Oil Slick

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge

Polyester Bride
Midnight Cowboy

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge


Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge


Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge

Last Call

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge

These colours are beautiful. Some, like ABC Gum, have a shift to them that you can't quite pick up on camera but are simply stunning. I love every shade in this collection but the ones that really stood out to me are Lounge and Polyester Bride.

Moving into the liners, these aren't something that I would ever have bought. I haven't worn pencil liners since the late 00s. But, as soon as I swatched the first one on my arm, I was hooked. They are so soft and creamy. They glide onto the skin with zero effort, which means they won't irritate my eyes and the colours are to die for.


Oil Slick
Midnight Cowboy

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge

Deep End
Last Call

Urban Decay XX: 20 Years of Beauty With an Edge

The shades are unbelievable! Each one is vibrant and the shimmery ones aren't a little bit gritty - as I had feared. I honestly can't pick one I'm most excited about as I cannot wait to try all these out!

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