Friday, 29 March 2013

Guest Post: Makeup Tips to Make The Most of Your Features

I’m sure that I’m not the only girl out there that has things that I like about my face and things that I like to improve with the makeup I use. This got me thinking about what other women do and if they have any tips or tricks that I don’t know about. I decided to combine all of the best tips the ladies gave me for great looking makeup and put them into this post so that hopefully anyone starting out with makeup will find it useful.


While most of us use concealer, a lot of people aren’t aware of the different types of concealer that are out there. If you find that regular concealers aren’t giving you enough coverage look into coloured ones. Green concealer for example works on covering redness because the green cancels out the red. You can experiment with different coloured concealers on different areas of your face to give you a nice even complexion.


One of the best tricks around - highlighting can literally change the way your face shape appears. If you have a round face you can give yourself cheek bones and angles, and if you do have an angular face you can make it appear much softer. Contouring uses highlights and shading in order to make your face look a certain way or just enhance the features that you like. If you want to make an area more prominent such as the top of your cheek bone or brown bone use a light colour to highlight it. Dark colours will make it look less, so if you apply shading to the area just below your cheek bones this will make it look as though you have a slimmer face with great bone structure. 


With your eyelashes you can of course fake it if you want to, but for day to day I prefer mascara. Black mascara will accentuate the whites of your eyes and make them appear bigger and more open so it is great for anyone with almond shaped eyes. Use an eyelash curler beforehand so that the eyelashes are already curled before the application. Do one coat of mascara and the most important thing is to let it dry before you apply a second coat, this way you will avoid clumps.


Your eyebrows are a really important part of your face and not one that you should neglect. If they need shaping or tidying up you can do this either by tweezing yourself or getting a professional to do it, but remember to stick to the natural shape of your brow. If you go and try to give yourself a different brow shape you are going to come up against some hurdles. The best thing that you can do it keep them as close to natural as possible and if you have any gaps fill it in with a light motion using a powder or eyebrow pencil. A tip I found useful was to not get a brow pencil that is too dark for you. It can be very tempting to get a dark colour but it can look very unnatural, so try and choose a good match and have a light hand. A good structured eyebrow frames your face and instantly makes you look “done” even if you’re not wearing any makeup.


The way that you choose to apply lipstick or lip-gloss can completely change the way that your lips look. Depending on whether you want to accentuate your lips or play them down depends on how you should approach this. You can first apply foundation to your lips in order to remove any natural pigment and this will also mean that any lipstick colour you apply will be more true. You can also line your lips to define them more and experiment with matte and gloss colours to find the ones that suit you best. Light colours will reflect the light so if you are looking to make your lips look fuller try a nude colour. The opposite can be said for dark colours so if you’d like them to seem smaller this is something you can try. Also if you don’t have that perfect pout you can put a little bit of lip-gloss on your cupids bow and the middle of your bottom lip; this will make it appear like you have full pouty lips. 

This post was written by Ashleigh Sheard on behalf of House of Fraser. I hope you all enjoyed reading Ashleigh's post and I'd love to know your favourite makeup tips for making the most of your features?

Beauty Bird xx 


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Review: Percy and Reed Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish

The April edition of Glamour magazine came out earlier this month and with it four different Percy and Reed freebies to collect; a Really Rather Radiant Colour and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, Smoothed, Sealed and Sensational Volumising No Oil Oil (for fine hair) and a Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish. I was very well behaved and only picked up the latter, the 100ml Finishing Polish. I was particularly attracted to this product as it can be used to smooth, control or groom unruly hair and with a bit more product, add definition and hold. 

The formula of Percy and Reed Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish is a thick cream rather than a serum, containing horse chestnut extract and sunflower wax. It has a lovely almost fruity smell to it and doesn't feel greasy or sticky. I use a pea sized amount as recommended, rub this into my fingers and then smooth through my hair. This is the best product I have tried to date that controls my naturally static, fly away hair and for once, makes me look more groomed! This Finishing Polish doesn't sit on top of my hair either, it seems to absorb into it so I don't even know it's there; needing to wash my hair at the end of the day not necessary! I haven't been using it so much to hold and definite my hair, but when I have it really does deliver. It won't replace an extra hold hairspray, but it's perfect to use in the day for a low maintenance look.

The full size Finishing Polish is £10.00 for 125ml, so spending £2.00 on Glamour for 100ml is well worth it. The May edition of Glamour isn't out until 2nd April so there's still time to get your hands on a Percy and Reed freebie! I'm tempted to see if I can find another Finishing Polish so I have a spare! Though as you don't need a lot of this product I can see the tube lasting a long time.

What freebies have you picked up this month? Have you tried any products by Percy and Reed?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 25 March 2013

My Hand Cream Collection

I absolutely love hand cream. I apply it at least two or three times a day and have one in every convenient place, so I never have to look far when my hands need some TLC. I keep one at work, one in my handbag, one in the kitchen and the rest on my bedside table. As I'm only going to briefly touch on each of these hand creams, please let me know if there's any you'd like to see a more in depth review of! 

Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Hand and Nail Cream (100ml = £5.99)
The Dr Organic hand cream is perfect if you want a hydrating hand cream that only contains bioactive, natural and organic ingredients. It also smells absolutely divine! It's great when you're really busy as it is fast absorbing and treats your nails as well as your hands. It's such a great price too! You can read my full review here.

Soap and Glory Hand Food (125ml = £5.00)
If you want a great all rounder, Soap and Glory Hand Food is the one. Out of all the hand creams I own, this is the best value for the size, yet is still a quality product that does what it says on the tube! However it does have the thinnest formula, so isn't the best for super dry hands. It has that lovely classic Soap and Glory scent, which I don't think I will ever get bored of.

balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream (100ml = £14.50)
This hand cream contains 98.8% ingredients of natural origin and really is super moisturising. It has one of the thickest formulas out of all the ones I own. However the scent of this is really strong and a little overpowering. It smells very much like concentrated lavender essential oil. Unfortunately this means it's the hand cream I reach for the least, despite it being so hydrating.

Neal's Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream (50ml = £10.00)
This is currently being given away as a freebie with the April edition of Marie Claire. This is my favourite scent, a mixture of honey and orange essential oil, ingredients that also mean moisturised and nourished hands. I can't believe how soft my hands are after using this, wow! The Bee Lovely Hand Cream also helps save the bees and contains quite a few organic ingredients.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Dry Skin Hand Cream (30ml = £8.00)
The L'Occitane hand cream works out the most expensive per 10ml out of all the ones I own, but this one is my absolute favourite hand cream. It contains 20% shea butter and the formula is as result very rich and also very thick, so you don't need a lot. It is an intense treatment that is my hero when I my hands are really dry. I also have the Mango Flower one, which I keep on my desk at work. 

What's your favourite hand cream?

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 22 March 2013

Review: Lush King of Skin Body Butter

Lush King of Skin Body Butter is the first product I've tried from Lush that isn't a bath bomb or face mask, so it feels good to branch out and start trying more of their amazing sounding range! King of Skin is literally body butter in a solid bar and costs £5.25 for 75g of product. I'm very lazy when it comes to moisturising after a shower with body lotion or butter, so this product is really is a lazy girl's best friend.

Lush King of Skin contains lots of natural, delicious sounding ingredients, including cocoa butter, shea butter, extra virgin coconut oil, organic jojoba oil, almond oil, oatmilk, organic bananas and avocado, plus essential oils. All of these ingredients work together to moisturise and soothe skin. 

At the end of my shower, I step away from the running water and run this bar over wet skin, giving it a quick rinse before getting out and then patting my skin dry. The bar does soften and melt slightly when wet, so glides across skin without pulling or tugging. Wow this really does what it says on the Lush paper bag! My skin feels AMAZING! This is a step above anything else I've tried, my skin doesn't feel just soft, it feels buttery soft! You really don't need to use a lot of this and I've found that if you do, your skin goes from feeling buttery soft to quite oily and filmy. The scent isn't your standard sweet or fruity Lush scent, I can't quite place it but I think it's a mixture of the shea and oatmilk. I can't say it's my favourite, but it's nice all the same.

The Verdict
If you're looking for something different to your standard body lotion and you're lazy with moisturising like me, I highly recommend giving this a try! I've used this about six times so far and there's still over 50% left. It's not going to last as long as your normal pot or tube of body lotion and so is expensive in comparison, but it's great as a treat when your skin needs an extra shot of moisture!

Have you tried Lush King of Skin Body Butter? What are your favourite moistursing products?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Review: Korres Lip Butter in Quince

Korres is a brand that I've only become aware of since blogging and when Evelyn from We Were Raised By Wolves posted about these lip butters, I knew I had to have one!

Korres is a Greek brand whose formulations are developed based on natural ingredients. Korres lip butters are essentially tinted lip balms in a 6g pot that contain shea butter and rice wax to soften and hydrate. They do not contain silicone or mineral oil. Their lip butters come in a range of gorgeous sounding shades, including Jasmine, Pomegranate, Wild Rose, Quince, Guava, Mango and Plum. After much deliberation I opted for Quince. It retails at £7.00.

In the pot Quince looks like quite a deep, pigmented raspberry pink yet actually applies a lot sheerer to the lips than you expect. I'm not sure if this is the same with the darker colours in the range, but if you're looking for something really pigmented, Quince won't be for you.

As you can see from the photo above, Quince delivers a light wash of pink to the lips with a lovely subtle sheen. However you still need to apply this with a mirror; it is pigmented enough that you can end up with pink around your lips too!

The formula itself is absolutely lovely; just like the name implies it's very buttery! It's quite thick but it glides on the lips so easily, meaning a little goes a long way. It's brilliant at moisturising my lips and I can still feel some of that buttery goodness over an hour later, even after having a drink.

My only disappointment with this is that the scent is very subtle and slightly artifical. It would be lovely if it really smelt as fruity as it sounds!

The Verdict
I am firmly a Korres Lip Butter fan. It's perfect if you want to treat yourself to a lip balm which is that bit extra special; the buttery formula and shiny tint are what I love about this. I'd really like to add another to my collection!

Feel Unique currently have Quince on offer for £6.00, so get in there quick!

Have you tried any of the Korres Lip Butters? Which one is your favourite?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 18 March 2013

Review: Origins Out of Trouble Face Mask

When I buy a face mask I always go for one that is suitable for my oily/combination, spot prone skin. After reading so many positive reviews about Origins face masks in general, late last year I picked up the Out of Trouble face mask. This is described as a "10 minute mask to rescue problem skin". This costs £20.00 for 100ml of product. What I love about Origins is that as a brand, they use plant based, natural and certified organic ingredients.

Doesn't it sound amazing?! The formula looks like white clay, but the texture is a lot smoother and creamier than a clay formula. The main ingredients of this are actually Zinc Oxide, Sulfur, Camphor and Salicylic Acid, which all work together to mattify oily skin, remove dead cells and debris and calm breakouts. Origins Out of Trouble has a very strong herbal, minty smell, which I believe is the Camphor. If you've ever tried the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion it smells exactly like that! 

Origins recommend keeping this mask on for ten minutes, but I've found that I get a better result from keeping this on for a bit longer; usually about fifteen minutes. The formula does dry out but it doesn't tighten. After rinsing this off my skin looks healthy, refreshed and re-balanced. It doesn't irritate or worsen the drier parts of my face either. In terms of breakouts, my spots are slightly reduced and look less red and inflamed. However I'm not convinced it stops spots forming in the long term as the description suggests.

The Verdict 
I think Origins Out of Trouble is a great face mask for re-balancing and calming oily, problem skin. I'd particularly recommend it if you aren't keen on formulas that tighten the skin. However I do think it's more of a short term fix than long term. It is an expensive choice, but I've been using it weekly for about three months and I've got well over half a tube left.

What's your favourite face mask? Have you tried any by Origins?

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 15 March 2013

Nail Varnish Haul & a NOTD

One of my beauty obsessions is nail varnish. I love having painted nails and doing a bit of nail art when I have time too. I'm not sure that I could ever have enough nail varnish...!

I've picked up a few new nail varnishes over the past couple of weeks and thought I'd share with you what I've bought!

Left to right: 
George by Asda Quick Dry Nail Varnish in Jeopardy and Smarty Pants / Topshop Nail Varnish in Valley / Barry M Textured Nail Effects Nail Paint in Ridley Road and Atlantic Road / Models Own Nail Varnish in Freak Out

As you can probably tell, I'm loving the colour green right now! I think mint green is going to be my favourite colour for Spring/Summer. 

I really recommend George by Asda nail varnish; for only £1.75 you get a nice and thick, quick drying formula. They have a fab colour range as well! I can't wait to try the Topshop and Models Own varnishes as I'm a big glitter fan. The Topshop one is very subtle and will be perfect for daytime, whereas the Models Own one really stands out and for me, has that wow factor. I love Models Own Disco Mix, so Freak Out is a perfect addition to my collection.

Now onto the Barry M Textured Nail Effects... I'm having a bit of a love/hate relationship with these. I love the gritty texture and the beautiful, bright colours. However I didn't think about the fact that you can't wear a top coat with these if you want the gritty effect, so they started chipping less than a day after I applied them. I wish I had only bought the one now, I think they're a bit of a novelty really.

I also have my eye on Moonshine from Topshop (a gorgeous rose gold), the L'Oreal Confetti Top Coat and the Models Own Fruit Pastel Collection. 

What nail varnishes have you picked up recently?  

Beauty Bird xx

p.s. Yesterday I bought three Maybelline nail varnishes from Tesco and five Essie nail varnishes from Fragrance Direct, so expect another haul post soon!!


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Review: Benefit Brow Zings in Light

Recently I have been paying much more attention to my brows. Last year I stopped plucking them so they would grow out and then I had them re-shaped and tidied up at a local beauty salon - for the first time ever! The beginning bit of my brows are very sparse due to an unfortunate over-plucking incident when I was in my early teens. Blogging has really opened up my eyes to how much difference a more filled in and defined set of brows can make to your face.

Before buying Brow Zings I'd tried some MUA Eyebrow Pencils and the Look Beauty Brow Perfect Kit, but none of the colours seemed to match my eyebrows and gave me that overdone drag queen look. Then at the Benefit event I attended recently, one of the lovely Benefit ladies did my brows with Brow Zings in Light and I was sold. My hunt for the perfect brow colour was over!

Benefit Brow Zings costs £22.50 and contains a pigmented wax for shaping on the left hand side and a powder for setting on the right hand side. The kit also comes with a mini pair of tweezers, a hard angle brush for the wax, a blending brush for the powder, a lesson booklet and a mirror. It is available in three shades; light, medium and dark.

First of all I shape my brows with the wax, however I use my Real Techniques Brow Brush as I find it easier to shape them with a larger brush head. I then fill them in with powder using the mini blending brush. The colour of this powder is almost perfect for me, it's very natural and can be built up really easily. I absolutely love the finished result. Plus it lasts all day!

Top: Wax / Bottom: Powder

In the above picture I have applied Brow Zings to my eyebrow on the left, leaving my eyebrow on the right au naturel, so you can really see the difference! The only thing I think is missing from this kit is a fixing gel or wax, so I bought a clear mascara to use after Hannah from Midnight Violets recommended it, which seems to work pretty well.

The Verdict
If you're on the look out for a new brow kit I highly recommend going to a Benefit counter, having a look at Brow Zings and asking for it be demonstrated on your own brows. I'll be honest, before trying this myself I couldn't understand the hype about this product and I certainly didn't think it was worth £22.50. But now this is my new favourite Benefit product because it delivers 100% what I wanted colour wise, although I do wish it came with a fixing product! Plus it's nice and compact, so perfect for travelling.

What do you use on your brows? Have you tried Brow Zings?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 11 March 2013

Bristol Blogger Meetup - Goody Bag GIVEAWAY!

On the 23rd February myself and another blogger, Alessia, organised and hosted a blogger meetup in Bristol. For the meetup we put some goody bags together and you can now win some of the goodies from this bag! Alessia is also running a separate goody bag giveaway, click here to go to her blog!

The bag has been split into three giveaway prizes for three different winners! Each bag contains four full sized products and various sample products.

Here's what you could win!

Makebelieve Beauty Enhance Highlighter
Vichy Densifying Nourishing Balm Sample
DGJ Organics Berutti Oil
GlamGlow Youth Mud Treatment Sachet
Insitu Cosmetics Sample Pack
nspa Hot Cloth Polish
The Vintage Cosmetic Company Eyelash Curlers
Avene Rich Hydrating Cream Sample
Metique Tea Tree Oil Samples

Gardenia of London Lavender and Sweet Pea Body Spray
Skinetica Anti Blemish Solution
Shearer Candle in Egyptian Cotton
Benefit Fine One One
La Roche-Posay Moisturising Cream for Sensitive Skin Sample
Vichy Deep Corrector Sample
Xen-Tan Luminous Gold Gel
Amie Spring Clean Cooling Clay Mask Sachet
Dr Hauschka Hand Cream Sachet

Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Hand and Nail Cream
Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Day Cream
Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Night Cream
Aromatherapy Gold Aroma Squeeze Me Stress Ball in Lavender and Bergamot
Avene Cleanance Masque Sammple
La Roche-Posay Lipid Replenishing Body Balm Sample
Blinc Mascara and Eyeliner Minis
Dr Hauschka Hand Cream Sachet

The giveaway will run until Sunday 24th March and all entries will be checked. The first winner selected will win Giveaway Prize One and so on. Sorry but this giveaway is UK only.


Beauty Bird xx 

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Sunday, 10 March 2013

FOTD: Trying Out New Products

I originally took this FOTD photo just to put on Instagram (if you want to follow me, I'm beautybird87), but as I want to do more regular FOTD posts I thought I'd pop it up on the blog! The only thing is I took it on my phone so unfortunately it's not the best quality photo.

On this day I was trying out two new purchases - Benefit Brow Zings in Light and Revlon Matte Lipstick in Mauve it Over. I am absolutely loving both of these and will do full reviews at some point. The Brow Zings powder is the perfect shade for me and I can't believe I have never filled in and defined my brows before, it makes the biggest difference to my face! I bought the Revlon lipstick after seeing it swatched on Laurzrah's blog as a dupe for MAC Velvet Teddy, but for only £7.49. The colour is quite subtle but I think just adds a bit of warmth to my face. I'm finding it hard to describe the colour, but I'd say it's a pinky brown nude!

Base: Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation, The Body Shop Lightening Touch Pen, Jane Iredale PurePressed Powder in Light Beige
Blusher: Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Mineral Blusher in Parfait
Eyes: No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in Wheatsheaf (all over), MUA Heaven and Earth Palette Shade 2 (outer corner), Seventeen Doll'd Up Mascara
Brows: Benefit Brow Zings in Light
Lips: Revlon Matte Lipstick in Mauve it Over

What new beauty products have you been trying out recently? 

Beauty Bird xx


Thursday, 7 March 2013

February Empties

Although February was a short month, so much happened that it feels like it went on for ages! I didn't really empty out many products last month, but I love sharing them with you all the same!

Soap and Glory The Breakfast Scrub 300ml - £9.50
This is my absolute favourite exfoliator and I'm so sad every time it runs out! It contains oats, shea butter and sugar with organic cupuacu bio scrubs, bananas, honey and almond extracts. The exfoliating granules are so concentrated compared to other scrubs I've tried, you can really feel that the product is actually doing something. It also smells divine - the scent is maple syrup, which makes me think of pancakes every time!
Re-purchase? I'm now trying to use up some other scrubs, which have been squirrelled away in the bathroom cupboard, but after these have gone YES!

Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask 75g - £5.95
This face mask is designed for oily skin and looks and smells like melted chocolate, which I love. Unfortunately I found it a bit too drying on the combination parts of my face, but the oiler parts loved it. You can read my full review here.
Re-purchase? No - I'd rather use a face mask that will work fully with my oily/combination skin.

Colgate Max White One Toothpaste 75ml - £3.99
I bought this when it was on offer so actually only paid £2.00 for this. I hate my teeth and am always on the look out for a good quality whitening toothpaste. I know toothpaste can only do so much, but this claimed to make you "one shade whiter in one week". To be honest I really didn't notice much of an improvement - if at all.
Re-purchase? No. I've now bought White Glo to try after quite a few Twitter recommendations!

Barry M Basecoat, Topcoat and Nail Hardener All in One 10ml - £2.99
This isn't technically empty but it's getting gloopy and considering I can't actually remember buying it, I thought it was time to let go! I've also been constantly having problems with my nail varnish peeling off and another blogger suggested it could be the basecoat. I really like this one because it's multi-tasking and a great price!
Re-purchase? Yes.

What empties have you used up this month? 

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

One Year of Blogging


One year ago yesterday I published my first ever blog post! I think when I hit publish on that post I never really considered that I might be inwardly celebrating a blogiversary one year later.

Blogging allows me to combine two loves of mine; writing and beauty, and I'm enjoying it so much! Although I would say my bank balance isn't as enthusiastic about it and I'm sure so many of you agree with me here!! I love discovering new brands and products though through reading other blogs. I also never thought that I'd find a new community of online friends through blogging and I've been lucky enough to meet some of them recently.

The biggest lesson I've learnt in the past year is that you have to give yourself time to let your blog grow and develop. If I could give advice to myself one year ago, I'd say that there are no rules to say that you should do things a certain way and at a certain speed. Blogging at your own pace isn't a crime. We all have different things going on in our lives, so if you post every day or a few times a week, it doesn't matter. It's the quality of the posts that count. I also didn't put my own touch on my blog with a bespoke design and header until about four or five months in. It was only towards the end of last year that I stopped being so anonymous and started putting up pictures of myself and mentioning my real name. But I reached a point where I felt confident enough to do that and although I wondered if these two things hindered my blog, I didn't want to make these changes until I was ready.

I don't want to make this post too long, so I'll end with a big thank you to everyone who follows and reads my blog - you are the ones that support and encourage me to keep going. Here's to another year of blogging!

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Benefit Blogger Event 28/02

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to go along to a blogger event in Boots, Bristol hosted by Benefit. This was my first brand event so I was a little nervous, but the Benefit girls Lucy and Sophie were lovely and the whole event was quite relaxed and informal. The table set up was pink and gorgeous, with lots of sweet treats and glasses of pink lemonade. It was so nice to meet back up with some of the girls who came along to the blogger meetup a few weeks ago; Alessia, Hannah, Becky and Natalie. 

The event was organised to launch Benefit's three new World Famous Neutrals Eyeshadow Kits, which each contain two creaseless cream eyeshadows, four longwear powder eyeshadows, a mirror and a tips and tricks leaflet. They retail at £23.50 each, which is great value considering a single cream eyeshadow pot normally costs £14.00. 

All these kits contain such beautiful colours, but my favourite has to be the Easiest Nudes Ever. Lucy did a makeup tutorial of a daytime eye and an evening eye on Sophie using the eyeshadow kits, amongst other Benefit products. We then got to have a look at the eyeshadow kits up close and it's fair to say that most of us had very swatched hands! Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the swatches, but you can see Hannah from Midnight Violet's swatches here.

During the event we also did a Benefit quiz and we all won a lipgloss! I won Hoola and Alessia won Coralista. The generosity didn't stop there and I was lucky enough to win the raffle prize - a POREfessional makeup bag filled with lots of Benefit goodies! Afterwards we got to browse the Benefit counter and the lovely Lucy did my brows. They looked amazing and I just had to buy Brow Zings afterwards. Of course, being the beauty bloggers we are, we also had a little browse around Boots before it closed and I picked up a Models Own nail varnish in Freak Out and Revlon Matte Lipstick in Mauve It Over.

All in all it was an absolutely fantastic event and I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Thank you very much to Benefit for having me along and I can't wait to attend the next one later on in the month!

Will any of you be picking up one of the World Famous Neutrals Eyeshadow Kits?

Beauty Bird xx

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