Clear Eyes, Full Eyelashes, Can't Lose

Alright, let's settle this once and for all: what mascara do you use?

I ask because I think I've tried every single one known to man—drugstore and high-end, American and British, lengthening and thickening, small brush and long brush, brown and black and blackest black—and I have yet to find one that I truly like. I've been burned so many times by the promises of marketing (fibres: like a wig for your lashes!) and I'm tired of the disappointment, Internet, just plain tired of it. The one mascara I found and liked—Maybelline Pure Perfection Vibrating Mascara (I know, I know, but it worked a treat)—has since been discontinued because it didn't get approved by the FSA. I've found that I can still buy it on Amazon, but part of me wonders whether the pursuit of perfect lashes is worth the potential risk of a future baby with two heads. (Super bummer if she's a girl; double the mascara to buy.)

My dreams are small, Internet. My wishes are few. I just want my lashes to look longer and I don't want any clumping. Hell, they can make kitty litter that doesn't clump, why can't they do the same for mascara?

So here's what I think we should do. You tell me the mascara you use—I mean, you have to like it, obviously—and I'll make a pie chart of all the results.  (There's just one rule: don't tell me to buy that "classic" pink and green one by Maybelline. I hate it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns.) I'll buy the top three and I'll test them out, with before and afters on the site, and if all goes well, we will crown, by the end of next week, the homecoming queen of mascaras and none of us will ever be disappointed again. Sound like a plan? Oh no, I couldn't possibly accept that Nobel peace prize, sir. I'm just doing my part for humankind.

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Jan 27, 2012

My favourite at the minute is Max Factor Masterpiece Max macara in brown, although saying that I'm in Scotland so I don't know if you guys even get it in America!

Excited to see which mascaras get the most votes, I think the quest for the best mascara is one we've all had to suffer at some point!

Jan 27, 2012

Benefit's THEY'RE REAL! mascara has changed my life. Seriously. And since they're SanFan-founded/hq'd, you can be all I SHOP LOCAL, YO!

Jan 27, 2012

Almay Get Up & Grow is amazing. I've tried everything, and this is the one for me!

Jan 27, 2012

I can't recommend the one I'm using because it's pretty lame. But man, I am tempted like crazy to just go ahead and try that Latisse. So expensive, but I know a doctor that said it really works!

Jan 27, 2012

I love the Bobbi Brown everything mascara. I recently got the Boobi Brown smudge free and it is horrible which really stinks because I am so cheap that I will make myself use it up before I buy more...uggg!

Jan 27, 2012

Maybelline Full & Soft waterproof in very black (even though I'm blonde). Doesn't irritate my contact lenses and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Jan 27, 2012

This is a bit of a cheat since it involves two at one time, but I like to layer Maybelline's "Falsies" mascara over Rimmel's "Extra Super Lash." Just one layer of each. Seems to thicken and lengthen and all that good stuff, plus they are each fairly inexpensive, so using the two of them together is still cheaper than buying the big leagues stuff!

Also -- can we discuss the NAMES of mascaras? Who is coming up with this stuff??

Jan 27, 2012

So I have been burdened with freakishly long, thick lashes (my cross to bear, I guess), but have had great success with Estee Lauder's sumptuous extreme maximum volume mascara and highly recommend it. It's light and doesn't clump, stays on all day without flaking, and is very easy to take off at night. It's pricey, but the tube I have has lasted quite a while without getting all dried out and clumpy.

Jan 27, 2012

I use Almay but that's only because I'm freakishly allergic to most others that I've tried. Who is allergic to mascara, really?? I look forward to the results!

Jan 27, 2012

Boots No 7 Lash Adapt is far and away the best stuff I've ever used. It has never clumped on me (even when scraping the ends of the tube) and I swear it makes my lashes look longer.

It probably won't be a top 3 but if you're still looking when you're next over this way give it a whirl... :)

Jan 27, 2012

Latisse really does work! Even though it's expensive, you can make one kit last two or three months.

Jan 27, 2012

I've been surprised by how well Maybelline Lash Stiletto works for me and my most favorite fancy mascara is DiorShow in Azure Blue. Super bright in the tube but my lashes are pretty dark so it ends up being a nice wash of color.

Jan 27, 2012

OH also, I feel I must chime in with another "do not buy this" warning. I tried Maybelline volume express waterproof mascara and it was a nightmare to get off. Wouldn't wash off in the shower with cleanser, wouldn't come off with waterproof eye makeup remover, WOULD NOT COME OFF. I ended up having to scrape it off each individual lash with my fingernails. Never. Again.

Jan 27, 2012

Clinique Lash Power! (although it's a tubing mascara which may or may not be your cup of tea)

Jan 27, 2012

I've been using Cover Girl Natureluxe mousse mascara lately. It's nothing to write home about, but it was a free sample. Last time I paid for mascara, I bought Maybelline Full & Soft.

Jan 27, 2012

Maybelline - Volum' Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara

I'm relatively new to the daily mascara game b/c I always thought that I should get the washable kind b/c it was easier to remove...but it was also quicker to run/flake/smudge. So I am VERY happy with this mascara. And it comes off pretty easily with Almay eye makeup remover pads.

Jan 27, 2012

So, I never spend this much on makeup, but based on a review by another blogger ( I purchased Dior 'Diorshow Maximizer' Lash Plumping Serum ($28) with a gift card. It's clear, but holy crap does it plump and lengthen....I'm shocked by how good it works. So, I put that on (and it' really doesn't take a lot) then I apply Covergirl Lash Blast Fusion over the top. Awesome, awesome results.

Jan 27, 2012

I second the Maybelline full & soft vote. I'm also a blond, but I buy it in the brownish black color, and I love it. Have been using it since seventh grade! Any time I try something newer/fancier/more expensive, I find myself going straight back to this one. The brush is perfect, and I rarely, if ever, have clumping issues. It's also been the gentlest on my contacts, too.

Jan 27, 2012

My current favorite is Benefit's They're Real, which holds curl really well. I'm on my second tube, but somehow it doesn't seem AS great as I first thought it was? I'll probably try a new mascara when this one runs out (tell me which one to buy!!). But my old standby is Lancome Definicils, which has a skinny, easy to use brush and gives you good separation without clumps.

Jan 27, 2012

another vote for Maybelline Lash Stiletto in very black. i have tried SO many brands, this is the only one that doesn't smudge, run, clump, etc.

Jan 27, 2012

I think I have tried every mascara ever. I abhorr everyone's favorite Maybelline in the pink tube. When I'm feeling flush I LOVE LOVE LOVE Chanel's mascara Inimitable and when I'm feeling....not flush...I like CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara.

Jan 27, 2012

So, I use CoverGirl Lash Exact because I am cheap, and every time I open a new tube, my lashes look much better. As I work my way through it, though, things go downhill, so I wouldn't say that I LOVE it. It just works the best from the drug store ones I've tried, so I stick with it because I am afraid of change (and cheap).

HOWEVER. I got a prize at a bridal shower that included a mini Fresh Firebird mascara (like this: and it was AMAZING. I now use it for special occasions and hope it never runs out.

Jan 27, 2012

I keep going back to L'oreal's Voluminous (waterproof/blackest black).

Currently using Maybelline Falsies and it's not bad but I don't love it.

I recently read that waterproof mascara isn't the greatest for volume & length. The make-up artist recommended buying both the regular and waterproof versions of a mascara. Start with the regular and once dry, put on the waterproof version for staying power.

Jan 27, 2012

Fresh: Supernova mascara

The first couple of times you use it, the brush tends to be COVERED with product, but after that, this stuff is a dream. It's really soft and creamy, so you can add it with out drying out the lashes. It's the only stuff I use.

Jan 27, 2012

I have been using Estee Lauder More Than Mascara (in black-brown) for years. It's my go-to mascara for sure. Recently I've also started applying their Lash Primer first. I get compliments on my long, pretty lashes! But it's really just the mascara. :)

Sarah Cool
Jan 27, 2012

DiorShow Mascara. Done. I'm even including a helpful link below. I also hate Maybelline pink & green mascara... and I find that a lot of mascara drips down on my face as the day progresses. DiorShow hardly ever runs unless I completely lose my shit and start sobbing (what? I'm planning a wedding.) - and it isn't even the waterproof version.

Jan 27, 2012

I love Benefit's THEY'RE REAL. I put it on one night and my sister asked me if I was wearing false eyelashes. Yes, it's that amazing.

Jan 27, 2012

I'm obsessed with L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes. Best thing I've ever used.

Jan 27, 2012

Every time I find a mascara that I moderately like, they discontinue it.

I am currently using Maybelline's Lash Stiletto in Brownish Black, which is pretty okay. The brush is long and thin, which I like, and it's affordable. I definitely stick to changing mine every 3 months and can't afford a $30 mascara.

Oh, and speaking of changing every 3 months, here is my tip. I use nail polish to "write" on the end of my mascara tube the month that I started using it so that I know when it is 3 months old and time to replace.

Jan 27, 2012

Another vote for Bobbi Brown! I actually like the no smudge kind, though, especially because it lived up to its name the day I got married and was, um, extremely emotional.

Jan 27, 2012

So, I would normally never spend this much on make-up, but based on a recommendation from I purchased Dior 'Diorshow Maximizer' Lash Plumping Serum ($28) and holy crap if it's not AWESOME! It's clear, so you put just a swipe on and it lengthens and thickens. I then apply Covergirl LashBlastFusion over the top. That Dior is a miracle worker!

Jan 27, 2012

Maybelline Define a Lash in soft black. I wouldn't call it life changing but I've been fairly happy with it. It glided right on with no clumps. However, now that i've had it for a while and am getting to the end, it is starting to clump a bit. Can't wait for the results!

Jan 27, 2012

I also love Maybelline Full & Soft. Cheap, easy to find anywhere you go, non-irritating for contact wearers, awesome brush, and virtually no clumping issues (see: awesome brush). I've used it since 7th grade, and any time I try something newer/more expensive/fancier, I always go running back to Full & Soft!

Jan 27, 2012

I use Clinique High Impact and I like it pretty well. I'm with you -- I'd love to find one I love. I used to use a Maybelline mascara that I really liked but was also discontinued. It was great because while it wasn't technically waterproof (so it wasn't hard to take off when you wanted to) you could cry or even swim with it and not end up looking like a raccoon. Anyway, I'm totally looking forward to the results here.

Jan 27, 2012

Count me in the Benefit camp, I use the BADGal line. Clinique Lash Doubling has done well by me, also.

Thank you for saying that about the pink and green Maybeline goop - it's simply dreadful.

Jan 27, 2012

THANK YOU. Can't wait for the results!

Jan 27, 2012

I use Almay intense i-color with light interplay technology mascara (and yes, I just copied and pasted this from their website) in black steel. I like that I can apply it while I am driving and don't have to bother to look in the mirror to make sure it looks ok (and I am sure the other drivers on the road appreciate that fact as well.

Amber, theAmberShow
Jan 27, 2012

Tarte, with Amazonian clay. It's amazing.

Jan 27, 2012

Cheapie: CoverGirl Lashblast Volume (black)
Luxe: Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara (noir - but of course!)

Jan 27, 2012

You said not to suggest it, so I won't. But the first time I used Great Lash, I HATED it. It clumped like crazy and I wondered what everyone thought was so damn great about it.

A few years later, I got a free tube of it on a JetBlue flight. Well, I'm not going to toss out free makeup. Long story short, I've been wearing it ever since. Maybe they reformulated it or something. But I heart it.

Good luck in your search, intrepid woman.

Jan 27, 2012

I am a big fan of L'Oreal's Voluminous Mascara. Not the variations such as fancy bajillion-gold-flecked-silicon-infused one, but the original (here: I've been using it for years and love it.

Jan 27, 2012

When I have extra money burning a hole in my pocket I swear by DiorShow. Otherwise I'm a fan of Cover Girl's Lash Blast. I am very excited for the results! And your impending peace prize, of course.

Jan 27, 2012

BadGal, by Benefit.

Although I gave mascara up entirely and got lash extensions, so... :)

Jan 27, 2012

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes. I am constantly trying new mascaras and this is the only one that I have bought multiple times. Love it!

Jan 27, 2012

My favorite for years and years has been L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof. Nothing I have tried has come close to beating it. If they ever discontinue the original Voluminous line I will be a hot emotional mess with thin stubby lashes!

Jan 27, 2012

It took me YEARS to find one that I loved. I'd always get some that had some good qualities, but annoyed me with other things. For example it would lengthen them, but clumped or didn't add volume. I could never find one that worked with volume, length, and didn't clump. I finally started using NYC Sky High (or is it Sky Rise? I know it's Sky something!) because my best friend had it on and her eyelashes looked SO good that I had to know what she was using! And the price? It's only $1.77 at Target! I was willing to pay A LOT for good mascara so the fact that it's under $2 is a bonus! I also found a good mascara putting on tutorial (sounds dumb, but I was just piling on coats one after another which I guess you aren't supposed to do!) which made all the difference! Sorry for the long review-like comment! As per your recommendation I went out and bought the LipSlick in Daring and I LOVE it!

I use Benefit's They're Real but only on special-ish occasions; mainly because I don't like having to use eye makeup remover to take off mascara (rather than just water or soap and water).

So my every day one is MAC's Haute and Naughty - I've gone through two tubes now. Two wands in one. Love it. Before that Maybelline's dual-ended mascara (white extend + black) for a budget version.

Jan 27, 2012

Skyscraper by Urban Decay. It's the first mascara I will buy again after it's gone. Bonus: no animal testing or ingredients!

Jan 27, 2012

Definitely try Cover Girl Lash Blast waterproof. I've tried the expensive ones, and this mascara far surpasses anything else. If you curl your eyelashes, this mascara holds the curl as if you applied hairspray to your lashes. They do not droop after any length of time. It does not clump, nor does it flake off. The black is a true black. I have had numerous comments asking if I use Latisse or if my eyelashes were fake. I recommend using Make Up Forever's Sens Eyes make-up remover (per Sephora make-up consultant, Cirque du Soleil performers use this to take off their make-up after a show). My daughter, who is now a convert, says that she's noticed the tube dries out a little quicker than other mascaras, but to me that is a small price to pay.

Kelly H
Jan 27, 2012

Beautiful breezy easy....Covergirl. Okay, I've watched too many seasons of America's Next Top Model.

I use Covergirl Professional All in One with the curved brush in "very black". It's a blue and silver tube. Not expensive but works great for me.

Jan 27, 2012

I'm also a fan of Maybelline Full & Soft Waterproof in Very Black. It really does keep your lashes soft-looking versus stiff and/or sticky, and there's no clumping. I keep trying others hoping my lashes will somehow look like the lashes you see on mascara commercials, but I think that's impossible. I always go back to Maybelline Full & Soft. By the way, I too hate that "classic" pink and green one by Maybelline.

Jan 27, 2012

I love Buxom Lash Mascara. I always go for blackest black. (I've never used anything but black, but I don't have a reason why OR an opinion on mascara color.) The brush is a "curvy hourglass-shaped brush" and that's supposed to promise that you hit each lash. There's a small pamphlet in the box. As someone who mined Seventeen for hair and makeup advice, that was really helpful. My lashes get big and a little dramatic. I've gone back to normal mascara but then I end up disappointed. So for me, the $19 (!) has been worth it because I'm not disappointed. I also like that it stays on all day, even when I have a serious crying session.

Buxom also has a mascara with a wand that you can turn to extend the bristles.

I went to a taping of Martha this month and we were all sent home with mascara from Loreal. If I can remember to look at the tube when I get home, I'll let you know!

Wow, this is a lot dedicated to mascara. Sorry about that!

Jan 27, 2012

Ugh, the stupid pink and green one (HAAATE). I swear by Maybelline Lash Discovery. My lashes are longish and full, but they stick straight out, so my eyes still look bald unless I curl the lashes and coat them in mascara. However, most mascaras makes them look clumpy and gross. The Lash Discovery mini-brush applicator is amazing -- it gets every last lash, but separates and defines, like you were born with the most naturally perfect lashes ever. I live in fear of the day they discontinue this one.

Novice Wife
Jan 27, 2012

I'm another vote for Maybelline's "Falsies" mascara - it's the only stuff that looks reasonably good on and doesn't give me raccoon eyes in approximately fifteen seconds . . .

Thespian Libby
Jan 27, 2012

I use two favorites, actually, at the same time. Maybelline Lash Stiletto, for length, then L'Oreal Voluminous for thickness. You just have to put the L'Oreal on before the first coat of Stiletto dries, otherwise it's clump city....

Jan 27, 2012

I use L'Oreal Voluminous in Carbon Black. I love it!

Jan 27, 2012

Clinique High Impact mascara in black. Also with the Clinique primer. I find the primer makes a huge difference with making my naturally platinum blonde eyelashes dark(er) and lush(er).


Jan 27, 2012

I wish I knew! Perhaps you've heard pregnancy can give you long and thick lashes? It's true. Anyway I read a post from another blogger giving tips about what mascara to use and she said to use Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum and Primer, and then Benefit’s They’re Real or Makeup Forever’s Smoky Lash. I haven't tried it but I'm thinking I might give it a shot. I would post the link but I don't want this to come up as spam. Her site is called Say No To Cosmo. Good luck and can't wait to read about the results!

Chris C.
Jan 27, 2012

I'm all about the basics when it comes to Mascara. I use Covergirl All-in-one Professional Mascara: Classic, simple, and the only one I've ever found that doesn't clump. Plus, it's cheap! I use the straight-brush kind, not waterproof, usually in brown-black, but sometimes in black. I think all those super-pricy newfangled mascaras just can't come close to this old classic :-)

Jan 27, 2012

I love Cover Girl's Lash Blast Fusion (purple tube). It goes on smooth, doesn't clump, and makes my stubby lashes look long and luxe.

Happy hunting!

Jan 27, 2012

Benefit - both BadGal and They're Real.

Jan 27, 2012

Cover Girl LashBlast Fusion in Black

Will you please take a photo at the end of the day when normal mascara has abandoned the lashes for the under eye area. Mascara can look amazing in the morning but it's useless if it flakes off by the end of the day. The above mentioned mascara does not flake.

Jan 27, 2012

Chanel Iminitable. I know, it's $30. Its worth it.

Jan 27, 2012

Last year my eyes started freaking out with various mascaras of all kinds for some reason, so I had to search out a new one. Hands down Clinique's Lash Power was my new go-to. No flaking, non waterproof but lasts all freakin' day. Even better, super easy to take off.

Debbie W
Jan 27, 2012

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes. I used to try different mascaras every time I needed a new one, but I am on my 4th consecutive purchase of this. Love it. Although I am now intrigued by Benefit They're Real!

Meghan B.
Jan 27, 2012

Lash Stiletto! I used to try something new each time I needed mascara, but since finding this one, I've never looked back!

Jan 27, 2012

Cover Girl Last Blast Volume. It comes in an orange tube, and it was one of Oprah's favorite things a few years ago. If that's not a ringing endorsement I don't know what is!

Jan 27, 2012

Right now, I'm using Neutrogena's Healthy Volume, which I really like, but it does tend to migrate under my eyes, and I haven't been able to find a way to stop it.

Covergirl's Lash Blast Volume Blasting mascara is my favorite. I don't know why I stray from it.

I got a sample once of Laura Mercier's mascara and it was GREAT, although it stayed on so well that it was actually hard to remove. But it was way too expensive to be my regular mascara.

Jan 27, 2012

I don't have a suggestion and am overwhelmed by the number of varied responses. And, a little ashamed to say I've tried almost all of them as well. For I too am afflicted with hopelessly wimpy lashes. (side rant: That Maybelline pink and green tube is total crap! I can't fathom how many makeup artists claim to use it. That is not even possible considering how horrid it is. They must be pathological liars, the whole lot of them.)

Jan 27, 2012

I second Julia and the Fresh: Supernova mascara. Pricey but worth it -- and easily comes off, too. Won't wear anything else!

Jan 27, 2012

Sounds weird..but I got this Bobbi Brown mascara as a giveaway one time and it was the best damn mascara I've had in my life. I used it up in just a few months it was that good and I have to buy another. I have pretty good lashes and it lengthens it and ..most importantly separates them out so I don't have a clumpy look.

hope that helps!

Jan 27, 2012

Oh my GOD, I'm just chiming in to say I can't wait for the results of this highly scientific survey benefiting humanity. At least the part of humanity that has been a grown-ass woman applying mascara for 15 years and still has no idea which one to buy (me) (and some of you). BRING IT, BURNS.

Jan 27, 2012

Mary Kay Lash Love

Jan 27, 2012

I use the one in the gold bottle. You know the one? It's sitting in my make-up basket next to the one in the skinny yellow bottle and the one in the pink bottle and the one in the black bottle with gold top (sampler size from Sephora) and the one in the black bottle with the silver top. See, I've tried just as many mascaras as the next girl and am at the point where I don't even know their names or brands. The one in the gold bottle is kind of working for me right now and the rest are lies. LIES!!!

Jan 27, 2012

I second the vote for CoverGirl All-in-One Professional with the curved brush, in Very Black. That shiz is CHEAP, cheaper than most other drugstore brands, and it has been my standard mascara for many moons. I worked at a fashion/beauty magazine for two years, and I was sent buckets of mascara samples, and my CG classic always rose to the occasion. That being said, If I had a bit more money in the bank, I would probably also purchase Guerlain's Le 2 de Guerlain and Clinique's High Impact curling mascara from time to time, which are my two "fancier" favorites. Still, for 4 to 5 bucks, CG Professional is where it's at.

Jan 27, 2012

I'm not really asking alot from my mascara. I have very sensitive eyes so all I require is for the mascara to not flake off into my eyes or make them itch. Right now I am using Dr.Hauschka for everyday and Bare Minderals (because I got it in a starter pack).

The biggest mascara let down I've ever encountered wad DiorShow, which I felt performed worse than drugstore brands. I also hate the pink and green Maybelline mascara!

Jan 27, 2012

Thank god someone's willing to do this hard-hitting market research for all of us. Here I was thinking I'd need to test them out myself until the end of time to find one I like, but this? This is a true service. Bless you, woman.

What about smudging? Clumping is one thing, and obviously needs some fixing. But smudging and repositioning itself under my eyes by the end of the day is another. Is this just me? Am I not grown up enough to avoid rubbing my eyes while wearing mascara, or is this a product flaw? Someone, educate me!

Jan 27, 2012

I've started using Benefit: Bad Gal, like a few of the people above. It looked good when the assistant put it on... not as good results on my own, but I suck at makeup.

Home Sweet Sarah
Jan 27, 2012

Maybelline's Volum' Express Turbo Boost mascara. This one:

Jan 27, 2012

Benefit Bad Gal is the one for me, for now.

Jan 27, 2012

i love, love, love covergirl's lash blast mascara in the orange tube. for years i used lancome's mascara, but this is even better (and, like, $14 cheaper).

Jan 27, 2012

CoverGirl VolumeExact. I also like CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion, but find the shape of the tube/wand not to my liking. It's too short and chunky. If I'm feeling rich I like Clinique Naturally Glossy.

Jan 27, 2012

Count me as another vote for Benefit's Bad Gal Lash. Hands down my favorite. And the only thing I've bought over and over.

Laura B.
Jan 27, 2012

Lash Doubling mascara by Clinique. I've tried all of Clinique's mascara and this is my favorite. I can only wear Clinique as I am allergic to all other eye make up. Boo!

Jan 27, 2012

Nothing to recommend -- just to say that I've got the horrible pink and green one as I've lost the will to try others. Save me from it, please!

Jan 27, 2012

Lancome Defincils is my favorite. I don't like to buy mascara, so I typically use whatever is part of the free gift from Lancome or Clinique when I buy other make up.

Jan 27, 2012

i've tried so many different kinds and keep coming back to CG lash blast, the volumizing version, though they now have a volume+length one that i'll need to try. the other thing i do which works miracles (though i've been told is not a great idea) is to blowdry my lashes after the final coat of mascara, from below, to ensure they stay nice and rounded all day. it works!

Jan 27, 2012

Urban Decay Lush Lash! It doesn't clump. I'm never satisfied though, so I want to try these two from Freah:

Jan 27, 2012

L'Oréal Voluminous Waterproof in "Carbon Black"

Jan 27, 2012

Almay Get Up and Grow, FTW!!! I have had HORRIBLE reactions to mascara in the past and this is the only one I have ever used that doesn't clump or flake, separates and lengthens my lashes, and makes them look...FULL. Love. And it's only like, 8 bucks (in Canada).

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