Benefits They're Real Mascara Review

Friday, December 20, 2013
Hi everyone, today I will be reviewing Benefit's They're Real Mascara. I'm sure everyone has heard of this mascara before as it is suppose to be the #1 Best Selling Mascara in the World (according to the box). 

I know many people, including my friends, love this mascara so for the longest time I wanted to try it. However, it is definitely expensive. It retails for $31 CDN + tax. Out of the many mascaras that I've tried, only two of them have been able to satisfy me. 

My eyelashes are extremely short, sparse, and straight. It's really difficult to achieve the results that I want (visible fanned up lashes) without the aid of my trusty mascara primer (Majorica Majolica Lash Bone Base). 

The two mascaras that have worked for me so far are Majorica Majolica Lash Expander (my #1 favorite) and Kiss Me Long and Curl Mascara.


 eyelashes for reference.

Benefit's They're real mascara's formula is quite dry and waxy. The comb is the plastic kind with very sparse spikes. It coats my eyelashes quite evenly. However, the tip of the comb does have a heavy amount of product, which when it does touch my eyelashes, lash clumps of the product attaches to my eyelashes which then needs to be brushed out. Because it is so dry and waxy, the product doesn't smudge all over my eyelids during application. The thin straight brush is easy to work with. Be careful not to poke your eyes with the spikes. I tend to poke my eyes quite often when I'm trying to reach my bottom lashes which is natural I guess since they're so short and sparse.

They're Real Mascara lengthens and volumizes my eyelashes while keeping them decently clump free after two - three coats. I think with this kind of sparsh spiked brush, it'll be difficult to clump the mascara. After three coats, I notice that the mascara does weigh down my eyelashes a bit. After I re-curl my eyelashes with my Shu Uermura eyelash curler, it stays up. 

One coat of mascara on top of my Majolica Majorica Lash Bone really helps hold the curl up and lengthens even more but more than two coats of mascara on top of the primer, my eyelashes start to look a bit clumpy.

It is really easy to take off as well, which I cannot say for the Japanese mascaras. I just press a cotton pad soaked in makeup remover to my eye for ten seconds and a majority of this mascara will come off. No tugging, no rubbing.

What I Love About It:
- lengthens decently
- volumizes nicely
- remains clump free - unless you touch it with the ends of the wand
- smudge resistant
- more acessible around the world
- easy to remove.

What I Don't Like About It:
- expensive
- weighs down my eyelashes a noticeble bit
- doesn't lengthen my eyelashes as much as the Majolica Majorica or Heroine Make mascaras (which are cheaper).

For the price of $31 CDN + tax, I can't justify the purchase of this mascara for the results it gave me. Although it has given me one of the best results any western mascara has given me, I will stick to my Japanese mascaras for now. They're 2/3 of the price of the benefits mascara and gives me the results that I want. It's still a really nice mascara that performs well and does a nice job. 

Recent Interest: Crazy IPad Editing

Saturday, December 14, 2013
Recently, I've developed a hobby for photo editing. These are some of my most favorite pictures. If you'd like to see more feel free to follow me on instagram. My instagram id is: chrissieblogs  ^^

Heywha, Seoul, Korea

Gwanghwamun, Seoul, Korea

Insadong, Seoul, Korea

Etude House Aloha V-Line Slim Maker Review

Friday, December 13, 2013
It took me a long time to realize that not all bronzers are orange. I had encounter so many orangey bronzers in the western drugstores that I had almost given up. I heard a lot of good reviews on NYC's sunny and I have that but for some reason it had always look a bit orangey on my skin tone.

After living in Korea for some time, I decide to venture back into the bronzer field and find myself a good bronzer. I've heard a lot of good things about the Etude House Aloha V-Line Slim Maker.

The Aloha V-Line Maker is a bronzer and highlight duo. There are two choices: #1 Sun Gold / Wood Brown and #2 Sun Pink / Cherry Brown.

  I picked up #2 because #1 seemed like it is more suited towards darker skin and the highlight of #2 was definitely more flattering on my skin when I switched it in stores. 

Isn't the print so gorgeous? 

This picture can be found on packaging. It illustrates a sad square shaped face turning into a happy v-line face. It's kind of cute but don't expect this kind of dramatic result using only this duo! That would be impossible.

In case you are not familiar with the term V-Line, it basically means having a slim v-shaped chin. Having a v-line is something many Korean girls want. It's very appealing in Korean society, just like double eyelids, being fair and bright in coloring, having a tall nose and so on.

Here you can see the happy model contouring. In the After picture, you can see her v-line chin is more prominent. Keep in mind, her face angling is also more to the side compared to the Before picture.


#2 Sun Pink is a really rosy highlight with nice sheen. It is very pigmented so you'll want to be careful and not over apply. I usually just tap my brush lightly on the product before applying it to my face so that I have more control over the highlight.  It just adds a nice natural glow after being blended out.  I would say that the powder is not extremely fine but unless someone is nose to nose with you, all they will see is a nice glowy sheen. Cherry wood is a soft, warm tannish brown. Although it is more pigmented than #1 Wood Brown, I definitely do need to swipe it over my skin a couple of times for it to show up. On my skin, I don't find it to be orangey. It adds a bit of warms and shadow to my face when I use it to contour. It definitely looks very natural and it blends nicely.  [* I don't use the brush that comes with this product - I've lost that. I use my Real Techniques brush].

Of the many Koreans bronzers which I've came across, I haven't experience any that has heavy pigmentation.I think the reason for lack of heavy pigmentation in Korean bronzers is because many Koreans don't like the heavy obvious contoured look. They tend to prefer the more subtle "no makeup" makeup look. So bronzers with lighter pigmentation allows for more subtle and natural shadows which is more wearable for everyday life. Let me know what you think. 

I used the bronzer in this picture to create some depth under my blush and also along my chin. It looked really natural and gave my face more dimention.


I really love the sleek slimness of this duo. I rarely find compacts this thin. It's quite easy to slip into my bag and it has a large mirror, definitely a plus. It also comes with a separate small, dense flat brush which is housed in its own plastic cover. One complaint I do have is, I don't think the fun cuteness of the cover matches the elegance of the print design on the product.

Comparing the Tony Moly crystal blush to the Étude House Aloha. I consider the Tony Moly blush to be of regular width. You can see the Aloha duo is about 2 millimeters slimmer than the Tony Moly. It may not sound like much, but you can definitely feel the difference. I don't think the Tony Moly blush pans are much wider than the Aloha but its plastic case definitely adds more bulk to the package. 

Note: There is a small hole at the top of the back which allows you to easily depot this item. If you want to learn how to safely depot Korean eyeshadow/ pan items check out my post on depotting the Holika Holika eyeshadows. The procedure would be the same for this item.


14 000 Won (about $14 US) and available at all Etude House stores in Korea.

What I Love About It

  • very natural but effective bronzer
  • highlighter gives a nice and natural glow
  • convenient
  • slim packaging
  • the compact contains a large usable mirror
  • elegant flower print on the product
  • affordable 
What I Don't Love About It
  • may be difficult for people outside of Korea to find
  • the highlighter powder is slightly noticeable up close 

The Bottom Line

I highly recommend this product to anyone who is looking for an affordable highlighter and bronzer. It is a really convenient duo that I would carry with me when travelling. 

L'Occitane Fleur Cherie Hand Cream Review

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Let me start off this post by telling you this, I have never been one to finish using up anything. Why? 1. I lose interest in the scent 2. I love the product I'm scared of using it all up 3. I get bored and buy new products. However this is not the case with this hand cream. I've almost used all of it up and there is some kind of satisfaction with that!

 L'Occitane hand creams to me was one of those passing trends in the beauty community. One season everyone has it and raves about it and the next people have moved onto other things. As per usual with most items.  I actually never gave it much thought but ever since I've moved to Korea, I've received two of them as gifts. I think L'Occitane has an especially high prestige value in Korea because 

1. It's sold in department stores 
2. It's expensive for a hand cream
3. It's imported from France

All these qualities make it a very good gift for someone you're not too close with but respects.


I'm not very good at describing scents, but I think the Fleur Cherie hand cream has a very unique and expensive scent. I've allowed my guy friends to use my hand creams before and they like it as well. The scent is not too sweet and not too heavy. It's smells like slightly musky orange blossoms - very elegant, slightly feminine. I find it a very relaxing smell.  Orange blossom scents are quite unique in Western markets. The only other place I've seen orange blossom scented products is at Innisfree (It's my favorite Korean store). They made a shower gel and lotion but the scent is extremely overpowering compared to the L'Occitane. Fleur Cherie scent lingers for about an hour before fading off.


It retails for 12 000 Won for 30ml


Not too light nor too thick. It feels like a milky lotion and absorbs immediately leaving my hands feel soft and moisturized but not greasy.


This hand cream provides slight hydration. When my hands are extremely dry, I don't find that this hand creams makes that much of a difference but yet it never claimed to be a heavy duty hand cream. It's wonderful to use if you have slightly dry hands that need occasional moisture.


This is definitely small and convenient enough to stick into my makeup bag. I love how it comes in a tube and not a had plastic case. It's also pretty to pull out and use.

Bottom Line

I don't find that the L'Occitane hand creams to be increadibly amazing or anything for moisture but they do have it nailed when it comes to scent. I think they make wonderful indulgences and excellent gifts but I don't think I would buy it if I just need a hand cream to moisturize my hands.

Banila Co. The Black 17 Sleeping Pack Review

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My first encounter with this product is through a sample pack. I've had the sample for the longest time but I never really had any high expectations of it. To me, Banila Co. is a brand well known for their eyeliners and their primers, it wasn't a skincare focus brand. However, one day as I was updating my bag of sample, I decided to pull this out and give it try.


I tried to resist purchasing this because I already have three other sleeping packs that were not nearly finished, but eventually I caved in.

Although the packaging doesn't have any formal English ingredients list, it did have this picture list of what the The Black 17 black food complex consist of:

The product is like a thick jelly texture. It looks almost black in the tube but it's actually a clear deep indigo blue with white beads, which are suppose to be capsules of moisture. When I first tried this from the sample packet, I didn't actually feel any beads but when I tried the tube I felt the beads.... strange. Maybe they updated the formula over the timespan that I've had the sample (about a year). It feels a bit grainy at first but then it disappears.

A close up

Spread Out


The product should be easily spread on the face. It feels slightly cool and hydrating. Not sticky at all, just like a layer of gel. It absorbs quite quickly. When you wake up in the morning, you definitely feel no residue left on your face nor see any on the pillow.

I notice that my skin looks brighter, firmer, and more hydrated.

I'm not sure if it's because of the 17 food complex but whatever it is, it definitely helped my skin especially when I'm stressed.

What I Love About It:
- inexpensive for a Banila Co. product: it is 14 000Won - the same cost as their Eyelove Eyeliner
- keeps my skin hydrated through the night
- makes my skin look brighter
- absorbs easily and leaves no noticeable residue on my pillow

What I Don't Love About It:
- although there is a ingredients list in pictures on the box, there's no actual ingredient list mentioned in English.

Score: A

Overall I love this product and would highly recommend it. It's gives so much hydration and keeps the skin looking bright and bouncy. I would rank it as my second favorite sleeping pack after Innisfree Canola Honey Sleeping Pack. It would be nice to see a full list of ingredients in English though.

The Face Shop Mango Seed Lip and Eye Makeup Remover

Saturday, November 30, 2013
One of the things that drew me to this remover is ... the colors: I lover how cool and mango-y it looks. I always love dual phase make up remover because they look cool and because they usually do a great job at removing waterproof makeup.


Although this makeup remover removes all of my eye makeup, it does take s
Slightlynlonger than my Innisfree Juicy Eye Lip and Eye Make Up remover and my Neutrogena Lip & Eye Makeup Remover. Usually I shake the bottle to mix the two liquids, I soak my cotton pad with it, and then hold the cotton pad to my eye for about five to ten seconds. It usually removes half my eye makeup (eye shadow, liner, mascara). It definitely has a harder time removing my eyeliner and mascara than my eyeshadow. For your reference, I tend to wear water-resistant eyeliner and mascara. One thing I notice is that sometimes, the liquid just lifts and moves the makeup around my eye area whereas when I use the other makeup removers, the makeup would stick onto the cotton pad better. After a few more swipes with more cotton soaked cotton pads, the make up does eventually all come off. 

If you do get this in your eyes, your sight will be blurry but the blurriness is gone once you wash the oil off with water. It doesn't sting my eyes at all. 

It claims to contain Mango Seed Oil but I didn't find it more or less moisturising than the other makeup removers.

What I Love About It:
  • the colors - I love how the liquid is like a mango yellow - very different from the typical blue and clear 
  • removes all my makeup
  • affordable
  • contains mango seed oil
  • Doesn't sting my eyes
  • Doesn't make my eye area feel oily
  • Easily rinses off with water
  • Not drying

What I Don't Love About It:
  • takes more effort to remove makeup than my other makeup removers
  • more expensive and less effective than Innisfree Juicy Apple Lip and Eye Makeup

Score: B+

This makeup remover does the job but it certainly takes a bit more time and effort than my HGs. Nonetheless, it's still a decent and affordable eye makeup remover that does eventually get ALL the makeup off and doesn't sting your eyes.

If you catch The Face Shop sales when this is 50% off - I do recommend that you pick it up because it is effective and super cheap. If not then I suggest you get the Innisfree Juicy Apple Eye and Lip Makeup remover instead. If that's not available than the Neutrogena Deep Clean Lip and Eye Makeup Remover.

Physician Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Creamliner Trio (Brown Eyes)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Recently I opened my back up product after over a year of purchase and it was still creamy and useable...

This set is specifically for Brown eyes, but I'm pretty sure the colors are suitable for whatever color eyes.

  • "unique gel creamliner in three eye enhancing shades for glamorous definition"
  • "long-wearing and water-resistent formula glides on effortlessly and provides the precise definition of liquid liner"
  • "Pro-eyeliner brush fro easy and accurate application"
  • "Hypo-allergenic, frangrance free, safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, paraben free

Packaging: This product comes with three square pots in plastic cubes which can be stacked on top of each other. It comes with a:
  1. a purple - it's actually more of a true purple (like the lid on the packaging) than in the picture
  2. a black with purple shimmers - the shimmers are not noticeable on the eyes
  3. a deep brown
  4. a small useable brush (the brush is not in the picture because I lost it)
What I love about this product: 
  • it's super creamy 
  • it comes with a variety of colors: a purple, brown and black
  • it does not smudge
  • it also comes off easily with a makeup remover or a cleansing oil
  • Non-irritating and suitable for sensitive eyes 
  • Good for natural makeup

What I don't like about this product:
  • The consistency of these gel pots can be a bit "watery" which can be a bit streaky when you swipe it on the eye. You can either reapply it or dot your liner across the lash line to prevent it from looking streaky.
  • The colors aren't that intense like my Innisfree Eco Gel Liner. It looks intense in the swatches but it comes off as more of natural line on the eyes if you know what I mean. This is personal preference. 

Score: B+
I would definitely repurchase and recommend this product to people. The price and quantity is both there in this product. For $8-15 (CDN) for three eyeliner is definitely a bargain. Smudge and water resistant, long wearing as well as being suitable for sensitive eyes, it has all the things I really need in a gel liner. 

10 Things About Me

Sunday, November 24, 2013

1. I love chai tea!
2. I  use my iPad for everything - blogging, youtubing, reading, researching, etc.
3. Salt and Pepper chips are my favorite
4. I'm really petite
5. I love makeup 
6. I'm not artistic but I love taking and editing pictures
7. I tend to make awkward mouth shapes when people try to take candid pictures of me
8. I check blogger, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram first thing in the morning 
9. I've recently started watching Taiwanese dramas after being extremely frustrated with Heirs (the Korean drama with Lee Min Ho)
10. I've lived in Korea for over a year now.

Innisfree Eco Gel Eyeliner in Black Review

Friday, November 22, 2013

Everyone knows that a good liquid pen liner is a necessity - but why is it always so expensive? After the cap of my K-Palette eyeliner fell off and the pen completely dried up, I've decided to use my Innisfree Gel Liner instead because chances are I will open another $18 liner and then completely forget about it - so I'm going to use what I have already opened.

I always tend to buy gel eyeliners but I never end up using it more than a handful of times. It's because they're inconvenient. They take up more space than a regular pen or pencil liner in my make up bag, they require a bit more patience and effort than a pen/pencil liner (at least for me) and also they need constant brush washing. This is why I need my gel pots to last longer than 6 months. 

When I first bought this eyeliner, I didn't really like it that much. I thought it was too wet. Whenever I applied it, it would get on my bottom lash line as well. However, after two months, it has dried slightly to a less wet version that is still smooth, pigmented, and easy to work with. It is now my favorite gel eyeliner.

- flawless expression of lines
- Free System: doesn't contain any harmful chemicals so you can use the product around sensitive areas
- contains green tea extract to sooth the skin

It comes housed in a square plastic container with a simple white lid. Innisfree offers two colors - brown and black. Since I already own a lot of brown eyeliners - I went for the black. You can not go wrong with either colors though. In fact, since I've grown to love this gel liner so much - I've decided that I am going to get the brown as well.  Although It doesn't say how much product is in the container, it seems like quite a lot. 
(It contains 9g. Source: cosmetic-love website)

BanilaCo Eyelove eyeliner (left) - 1 swipe , Innisfree Eco Gel Liner (right) - 3 swipes
*Update - February 9th 2014
It's been almost three months since I made this post and six months atfter opening this product  so I would like to do an update on how the product is doing. 

I have to say, this gel liner is still holding strong. The texture and quality of the product is still the same as it was back three months ago at the time of this post. It's still very creamy, pigmented and smooth. It hasn't dried out at all and I haven't encountered any problems with it yet. I still have tons of product left as well.

Here are some updated swatches: Innisfree Eco Gel Liner in Black
Please keep in mind that this picture is extremely zoomed up. On my hand, the one swipe looks pretty darn solid and pigmented. You may see some shine on the multiple swipes swatches - that is because the  product was freshly swatched and is still somewhat wet.

It's very mess free on the waterline. You can blot your liner brush on your hand to remove excess product to get a clean line.

I've also bought the one in Brown now. That's why there are a few new pictures added onto this post.

Swatches of the Innisfree Eco Gel Liner in Brown

You can read the review for the Innisfree Eco Gel Liner in Brown here.
*end of update


Initially it was just as creamier than the Tony Moly Backstage Gel Liners, but now that it has dried a bit it is a bit thicker. It's still very smooth, creamy and easy to work with,


Initially, it was too wet for me although it was still pigmented but after two months, it is now the perfect consistency for me to use. Not too wet, yet smooth and pigmented that I can have more control over it yet still produce a very pigmented line with just one swipe. The liner is a dark and solid black - not gray or watery at all, yet is doesn't crunch or clump as some other liners do.  It is intense enough that I can replace my liquid eyeliner with it and soft enough to replace my pencil liners. It takes a minute to dry but once it's dry, it will not budge. While it is still wet, you can smudge out the line for a softer pencil effect.

There is no information as to whether this is smudgeproof, waterproof, or water resistent. However, it has stayed on my eyes for a decent amount of time without smudging or running. I swiped a line on my liner and even after washing my hands and rubbing my hands, the line was still there. 

I wore this out and I saw very very slight smudging after 5 hours. Keep in mind, I've only encountered one eyeliner that hasn't smudge on me. I like to use this product on my upper waterline. Although the liner isn't as perfect as when it was first applied, quite a bit of it stays on the waterline even by the end of the day which is more than I can say for most of the eyeliners, gel or pencil, that I own. The thick consistency of it makes it easy to tightline cleanly. If you blink right after application, the product will smudge but once it sets, it won't really budge,

I've only had this product for 2-3 months so I'm not really sure how long it would take for this product to dry up. If you tend to use gel liner everyday, then you might definitely use your money's worth before it dries.

What I Love About It:
- very intensely pigmented
- very water resistent
- affordable
- soft and smooth
- large amount of product
- easy to use
- stays on my waterline better than any other gel liner

what I Don't Love About It:
- initially it was too wet for me to use (personal preference)

Score: A

This is my favorite gel liner and it's probably one of the most underrated gel liners in Korea. I think in terms of what it has to offer - it is definitly one of the best affordable gel eyeliners in the market. If you are looking for a great basic black or brown liner to tightline with, I recommend this over the Tony Moly Backstage Gel Liners beause it is more pigmented and lasts longer. I would buy this again, even if I have to wait 1-2 months after opening - that is how much I love this product. 

Holika Holika Single Eyeshadow Review

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Hi everybody, today I have a review on the Holika Holika single pan eyeshadows. They come in a wide range of colors , mostly shimmer, but I've only picked 6 which I am going to review for you today.

This line of single pan eyeshadows is called the Jewel lights which is why all the shadows have some kind of shimmer or frost to them - with the exception of SBR02 - which may have been added in as a blending out color. 

I'm very impressed with these shadows. The quality is quite comparable to higher end eyeshadows even though they are very affordable. They are very soft and pigmented. It has little to no fall out. They are easy to work with and easy to blend. I've never wore these with a primer and they still stay put for quite a good few hours.

The quality of the six I have are pretty uniformed with the exception of SBR03, I find that the black is a bit more dry and patchy than the rest of the shadows and I don't like how the blue shimmers fall off so easily. Other than that, they are by far my favorite Korean brand eyeshadows.

One thing to keep in mind is that, Holika Holika does not have empty palettes to store these in which is why I made my own using the tin case from Clio.  They are a bit of a hassle to carry around because they're small, even though they do come in sturdy individual cases.  They are easy to depot. You can check my post on how to depot them.

SPK02, SBE03, SBR03
SPK02: a very pretty frosty light pink-peach
SBE03: a satin-frosty steel grey blue
SBR03: a matte black with blue shimmers - I notice the shimmers fall off easily, leaving just a matte black

SBR02, SBK02, SBK01
SBR02: a matte peachy-brown; tan 
SBK02: A satin bronze
SBK01: A warm-tone satin brown

What I Love About Them:
- affordable
- high quality
- pigmented
- soft
- pretty
- easy to blend
- long lasting, even without a primer
- comes in an array of colors
- cute sturdy individual cases
- easy to depot

What I don't Love About Them
- may be hard to find out side of Korea
- not available in palette form - individual cases can easily be misplace.

Score: A

All in all, I think these single pan eyeshadows are fantastic, especially if you are a lover of shimmers. 

If they continue to make more matte or satin colors with this type of quality, I will be sure to collect even more of them. Holika Holika should come up with a empty palettes for us to store them in, so we can collect more colors.

Tony Moly Backstage Gel Eyeliner Review

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hi everyone, today's review will be on the famous Tony Moly Backstage Gel Eyeliners!

These gel liners have been well raved on about in Korea as well as internationally and for good reasons. I most Korean girls will have this gel liner staple in their makeup pouch if they don't have the Bobbi Brown gel liner. This gel liner is one of Tony Moly's bestsellers.

Tony Moly Backstage gel liners have a wide range of colors to chose from, about 12 to be exact. They are all very wearable colors. The one I have is in #3 Pear Brown. 

They are very afforable - 8 600Won each and sometimes on sale for 20% off on Tony Moly sale days.

#3 Pearl Brown is a wearable bronze brown with slight gold shimmer.

 I love all almost all the colors in the Backstage Gel liner range. They are fun and wearable. The color I chose is #3 Pearl Brown because I find that is the color I tend to gravitate towards the most. The color is pigmented with one swipe and applies smoothly and easily. The little brush  that comes with the package is usable and convenient. 

This eyeliner is smudge-proof after it sets and is long lasting as well as water resistant. I do find that it fades after about 6hrs but it disappears in small bits slowly, so it isn't very noticable.

I find that my eyeliner started drying out after about 6 months and it became a bit hard and difficult to apply. Which is sad because I've had my BanilaCo gel eyeliner for a year and it is still really smooth and pigmented.

Even though it is long lasting and water resistent, I haven't encounter any problems removing it with an eye makeup remover or a cleansing oil.

What I Love About It
  • Tony Moly offers a wide range of beautiful and fun gel eyeliner colors - more than most Korean stores offer
  • Affordable - 8 600Won
  • Pigmented
  • Smooth
  • Long lasting
  • Fades away in a very unnoticeable way
  • Water Resistant
  • Smudge-proof

What I Don't Love About It
  • Dries and becomes hard to work with after 6 months

Score: A

I really love that it doesn't smudge on my eyes and that Tony Moly offers such a wide range of colors, but the fact that it dries faster than most of my other gel liners is a bit of a bumer. Anyhow, for the price  I think it is an amazing alternative to the Bobbi Brown gel liners.

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