Style and Fashion, over 40.

What happens when you try to take your own Blog photographs?

Using a tripod to take your own photographs.

Blogging photography fails.

Picture the scene...My husband was away and I was itching to show you my latest outfit.
So the obvious thing to do, was a little D.I.Y.
I decided to take my own blog photos.

Loads of other people do it....it must be a piece of cake, right?


Set up the tripod.
Secure the camera.
Set the scene.
Do a test shot.
Go for it.
Brilliant photographs await!

Right?...Erm?... Wrong!!


Here I am I my "perfectly set up" shot......

Photography fail | Fake fabulous

Oh dear!
Not exactly what I had planned.
I had seriously underestimated the time and skill involved.
What an eye opener.
  • There was Loads of fiddling with the camera and settings to do...it took an age (even with all the fiddling, it still went wrong).
  • The drama of the wind blowing a hoolie....hair blowing all over my face, leaves whipping about everywhere.
  • Me fearing for the camera's life as it is perched on top of a pretty cheap tripod in the wind.
  • Jake was rushing around threatening to knock into said tripod (so most of my shots were of me shouting at the dog or looking confused).

I took about 300 photos (setting the camera on a timer to take 10 shots at a time) before I really had to stop.
All of them were rubbish.
The ones I am showing you (below) were adjusted and cropped to salvage something from my efforts.
Apologies to you all...but at least my head is in them!
You can see some of the outfit I was attempting to show you.

Taking your own photographs, fail | Fake fabulous

This dress is a cheap and cheerful bargain from TkMaxx.
Unlined and made with a poor fabric, but it works okay with a full slip and a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath (no photographs of that, sorry...they were even worse than these!).
I teamed it with this cropped biker jacket (last seen here when I decided to go all minimalist(ish)).
This jacket is so soft and comfortable, and leather is surprisingly warm to wear.
I wore my dark green tights with it (see a post about wearing coloured tights here) and my oxblood cut-out boots that I can hardly take off my feet so far this autumn! (last seen here).
My cute little red bag and teal scarf were the perfect finishing touches.

Taking your own photographs, fail | Fake fabulous

The easiest shot of the day...a shoefie.
I love photographing shoes next to the beautiful autumn leaves.
Phew, at least something worked!

Shoefie | Fake fabulous

So, my self-photography efforts were a major fail...MUCH more practise is needed (there are not enough hours in the day for all of the blogging tasks I want to do!)
Also, this whole process highlighted the need for me to buy a remote control for my camera (more expense).

I am going to have to try again soon though, as the nights are getting dark.
Photographs will need to be taken on my day off...by little old me. Gulp.
Maybe I could train Jake to take them instead?
He couldn't do any worse than I did here!

To all of the self-photographing bloggers out there...My hat goes off to you. How you do it? I am in awe (and envy) of your skills.

Have you ever attempted to take photographs without someone behind the camera?

How did you get on?
Please let me know in the comments...especially if you have any great tips!


Dress: Closet London (this one is nice, and good for layering)
Jacket: Superdry (here it is in black)
Scarf: Charity shop (this one is nice)
Tights: Gipsy (these come in funky & fun colours too)
Boots: La redoute
Bag: A gift from my son. (this one is great.)

Shop the look:




Cobalt Dress & Vintage leather Jacket | Bold colour.

Styling a cobalt blue shift dress with black leather.

Coloured tights and a houndstooth clutch.

Someone once told me I was an 'Autumn', and I should stick to Autumn colours in order to look anything other than;
"Death warmed up".
So, for years I used to think that blue was not 'My Colour'.
Always admiring it from afar, but never really doing anything about it.

Funny, because my Grandpa gave me cobalt blue ribbons (to tie in my hair) when I was a little girl and I always loved them.
Grandpas can't be wrong...can they?

Photographing yourself is a real eye opener when it comes to style (and beauty too, see my missing eyelashes post here).

Aspects of your look that you thought were okay, or nobody would really notice, are glaringly obvious on film!
For example:
  • Not grooming your eyebrows.
  • Chipped nail polish or old fashioned colours.
  • Shiny tights.
  • Bad posture.
  • Ill-fitting underwear.
Also, things about yourself (or your body) that you thought were awful, turn out to be not too bad after all.
For me, those things were:
  • My skinny legs are not as hideous as I had been led to believe.
  • Pale skin is not disgusting.
  • Wearing colours that are not "Muted and Autumnal" is okay!
  • Cropped hair does not make me look like a boy.

I am realising that I CAN wear blue and my Grandpa was right all along (I knew it!)

So, the camera never lies (unless it has been photoshopped, but that is another story).
In my case, the camera is telling me that blue can be "My Colour" and I have subsequently worn lots of it!
(On a Shopping trip and with a Cropped top/skinny jeans combination, for example)

Cobalt blue and Black leather.

Cobalt blue and black leather is a mixture I would have avoided a few years ago.
But, today it makes a smart and simple outfit.
I tried to maintain a pop of colourful personality with the addition of blue tights. Any opportunity to wear bright hosiery, and I am there!
I know I should probably go for a bolder lip colour...orange maybe??....but I am still a lipstick novice (more to come on that subject). I am trying to get better at it!

Cobalt Blue and Black Leather | Fake fabulous

Here, I am trying to look all moody and sultry (attempting to get into the Bond-girl vibe) but I just end up looking a bit miserable...Fail!
Moody (or pouty) is not a look I pull off very well.

Cobalt Blue and Black Leather | Fake fabulous

This vintage leather jacket was a charity shop find that I have had for many years.
It is a classic shape that never really dates. 
I know there seems to be a cycle of leather-styles, that do the rounds, season after season:

 Bomber - biker - blazer

But, this style always pops up somewhere...It never really goes away.

I decided to layer two dresses together, under the jacket.
Mostly for warmth, but the sleeves of the bodycon dress add some colour and interest and just a little more personality to the blue shift.
Layering is a great way to make items, that are perhaps too thin or too short, a bit more wearable.
See this bodycon dress, on it's own, in this post Very tight and Very short!
And, I have worn this blue shift dress before (see that post here), layered with an orange shirt.

Cobalt Blue and Black Leather | Fake fabulous

Black knee boots are a classic. 
I bought this pair from a shop that makes boots to fit different calf widths, from very narrow to very large.
Having always rattled around inside knee boots, I was so thrilled to zip up a pair and them to touch my leg.
It is a great feeling when something, you never thought would ever fit you, finally does!
I now need to get saving for a second pair, with a punch of colour this time maybe?

I added this little houndstooth clutch for a pop of contrast and pattern.
See how I wore it to a wedding HERE.

Do you avoid certain colours because they are not 'your colour'? Or, just not you?

Can you find knee boots to fit?
Please share your thoughts in the comments....Especially if you know places to get great boots!

Cobalt Blue and Black Leather boots | Fake fabulous


Blue tights : Fogal c/o Uktights
Dress: M&S (kids department!) This one is nice
Bodycon dress: Illustrated People (a gift) This top is fun, and would give the same effect.
Boots: Duo (now Ted and Muffy) These are lovely and have buckles too!
Bag: River Island (another Charity shop purchase...with tags still attached) I am coveting this one.
Jacket: Vintage (this one is gorgeous!)

Shop the look:



Like this post? Have a look at some more houndstooth in the form of fun tights,  a cape. Or in the more classic form of a pencil skirt.

False eyelashes, over 40 | Where have my lashes gone?

False eyelashes, are they easy to wear?

Can we wear them, over 40, without looking like a clown?

It has come to my attention (thank you blogging photos) that I no longer have any eyelashes.

Okay, this might be slightly melodramatic but, my once long and lush lashes are now short and (quite frankly) a bit pathetic.

Sometimes they look alright,  with lashings of blue mascara for example (see the original post here).

Blue Mascara | Fake Fabulous

Or made-up for a wedding (see the full post, here).

Orange lips and red hair

Unfortunately, at other times, they look quite tragic....



Like here...it looks like I have plucked them all out! (see the original post, here).

What can I do?
The obvious choice is to try False-Eyelashes.
They must be popular for a reason.

BUT, I have never used false eyelashes before and, too be honest, I am a little bit scared of them!
My main "issues" are:
  • Are they not just for teenagers, clubbers, celebrities and people on the TV?
  • Will I look mildly ridiculous and a little bit too much like Coco the Clown or someone auditioning for Strictly come dancing?
  • They will probably irritate my eyes and be uncomfortable to wear.
  • They could fall off, or be left hanging in a comedy style.
  • They will probably be really painful to take off.
  • I don't want to look too fake or like a pantomime dame.
Is it too much hassle?

To be honest, after looking at the "plucked out lashes" photograph, I decided, hassle or not, it was time to bite the bullet and take action.

I bought some false eyelashes from my local chemist and got to work...

Apologies to anyone who has just eaten but here is a photograph of my eye and brow area, freshly washed, and untouched by makeup.
Look at those poor lashes!


The application of the false eyelashes was surprisingly easy:
  • Snip them to size.
  • Apply glue along the edge (Note: The glue is latex based, so if you have a latex allergy avoid them).
  • Wait 20 seconds.
  • Press in place.
And, despite my reservations, they were easy to remove too...What was I worried about?

So, here I am after applying the false eyelashes (and the rest of my makeup).
I think they look quite natural and not too OTT.
Well, nobody handed me a red nose and a pair of giant trousers, anyway!


Makeup over 40 |Fake fabulous

My only problem was that you can 'feel them' on your lids, but perhaps this is something you get used to?
Mine were Cheap ones (only £4.99) but this still seems quite pricey, and some of the high-end lashes are quite expensive.
They are reusable but still so easy to lose, one of these became attached to my cardigan and mangled after removal.
If you were applying them daily, it could become a very expensive habit.

I am not sure if I would bother will them everyday.
I have, however, decided to give them another go next time I have a night out, or a special occasion, because I do really like the way that they look.

They are easy to apply and easy to get hold of..

Wow! I did not realise there were so many different types from the 'natural look' to the full on party lashes. There are even websites that sell nothing but false eyelashes.
It must be big business.

What do you think of False eyelashes?

Are you a regular user? Or, are they not for you?

Please let me know your thoughts...especially if you have any favourite brands or tips and tricks!


Get the look:



Too old for a Leather Mini Dress? | Layering Wool and Leather, over 40.

Am I too old for this leather mini dress, I wonder?

How many times have you asked yourself that question?
Ok, maybe not about a leather mini dress, but perhaps a new pair of skinny jeans or a leather jacket?
If you are anything like me, it will have been a few!

We have all heard the phrase,

"Fashion should be fun!"

And yes, I agree, Fashion should be.
But sometimes it is not!
No matter how hard we try...Fashion can make us feel inadequate.
Too short?
Too flabby?
Too old?
In a youth obsessed culture, it is easy to feel not quite good enough.

So, if fashion is not always fun.
In fact, if it is downright depressing at times. Then what is the point of it all?
Should we just give in, and grab something comfortable? Gradually becoming invisible?

Well, it may come as no surprise to you that...I say NO!

The good news is that Personal style is definitely lots of fun.
Check out some of the fantastic ladies in my "favourite blogs" list (on your right)....they are all uniquely stylish and having plenty of fun with it!

My Four favourite colour and texture queens are:
  • Sacramento @ Mispapelicos...colours explode and patterns clash. She is art on legs! Her "inspiration" photographs are always breathtaking and beautiful.
  • Ann @ Krembe de la Krembe....a more muted colour palette but no less interesting. Feathers, fringes and pompoms a go-go! With a fantastic can-do attitude to match.
  • Monica @ Senora Allnut... A plus sized blogger with a passion for colour...and the skill to make anything work...a real breath of fresh air. I love her combinations.
  • Melanie @ Bag and a beret....she is off the wall and unapologetic. A little bit bonkers and totally unique.....with fabulous hair, and legs to die for.

Personal style does not need to be anything to do with high fashion, if you don't want it to be.
Or, it can be all about the latest trends, the choice is yours.
Whatever YOU want to do...personal style is personal to YOU and it IS fun!

The great thing about getting older is that no one expects you to be "fashionable"...thank goodness for that.

The look that I have chosen today is not high fashion (although leather comes back season after season) but I like it, and that (at the end of the day) is all that really matters.

Leather and wool, over 40 | Fake fabulous.


This (faux) leather dress was a charity shop purchase and still had it's original tags.
I am guessing the first-time buyer bought it, then bottled out of wearing it.
I do understand.
It is VERY short, leather (look) and just a little bit too 'out there' for many people.
And, the fabric (because it has a sheen) accentuates every lump and bump.
Breath in!

Leather and wool, over 40 | Fake fabulous.


Leather and wool, over 40 | Fake fabulous.


I was worried about channelling Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (especially with this hat) so I brought the whole look down a notch with some gutties (sneakers or trainers).
Trainers can take the edge off a tricky item.
Imagine this dress with high court shoes...a totally different look.

I kept the rest of my outfit toned down too.
Grey tights, muting the palette.
A polo neck under-sweater, covering things up (too much flesh is not cool at any age)...see one with a 70's spin here.
My preppy leather backpack and this cool houndstooth hat.
It is hard not to smile when wearing a cute hat like this!

Leather and wool, over 40 | Fake fabulous.



This cosy, and slightly fluffy, coatigan (part cardigan, part coat) covered me up, kept me warm and toned things down even more.


So, what do you think about leather over 40?

Should we step away, or grab it with both hands and have fun?


I thought I would leave you with this silly shot of me fixing my wrinkly ankles.... (see my post on wearing tights here)
"Hang on a second, Nora Batty wrinkle alert, stop clicking!"

Dress: Lipsy (Similar) I bought mine in a charity shop...have a look for a bargain!
Coatigan: River Island (very old) I like this one
Polo neck: Topshop
Shoes: Guess I like these!
Tights: Gift from a friend. I like these ribbed ones.
Bag: Clarks (old)... (this one is really nice)
Earrings: Local shop

Shop the look:


Easy Halloween makeup, part 3 | Witch, Skeleton & Bat-Dog!

D.I.Y Halloween makeup.

Facepaint substitute for sensitive skin.
I'm sorry to say that these three costumes are not home-made. My skills can not stretch this far without serious amounts of time and money to dedicate to the cause.
They have been borrowed, bought and recycled.
But, luckily, they are just as much fun to wear.
Although, I am not too sure Jake would agree with me...poor boy!

Halloween fun, Part 3

A Witch, a Skeleton and a Hell Hound (aka Bat dog):

Children having fun at halloween.

The little ones had loads of fun dressing up and going 'on the hunt' with our very own Hell-Hound....Bat dog (don't worry folks, it is only Jake in disguise).

Easy child's witch costume.

The Witch costume consisted of an old dress and hat, bought from a charity shop (this one is nice), Tights (like these), a Broomstick, Wig (like this) and black boots.

The make up is so quick and easy....you can be made up, and out scaring, in a matter of minutes.

For this Simple Witch makeup you will need:

  • Black or grey eyeshadow
  • Green eyeshadow
  • Brown eyeliner pencil
  • Black lipstick

Notice how the makeup is missing from her chin and nose tip?
Bat dog got in on the act and, as the witch tried to eat him, he licked off her makeup!
Not phased at all by her transformation.

Child's witch makeup.

What to do:

  1. Cover the face with green shadow or dust (I used Mac pigment) using a brush.
  2. Darken around the eyes using grey or black shadow.
  3. Draw free-flowing lines, where wrinkles would naturally form. It was easy to do on me (mine are pretty well developed!) but it is trickier on the perfect face of a child. 
  4. Blacken the lips and a couple of teeth (lipstick stays on the teeth surprisingly well if you dry them first).
  5. Add some attitude and you are good to go!


Witch makeup | Easy DIY.

My little skeleton was ready for action too...

Child's skeleton costume.

Too much hilarity considering they were meant to be 'terrifying'....focus please!

Children having fun with their pet dog at halloween.

Costumes.

Witches costume: Old... This Child's one is nice.
Dog costume: Local Bargain shop.
Skeleton costume: Borrowed from a friend (this one is cool)

Makeup

Black lipstick: Barry M
Green pigment: MAC
Eyeliner: Aveda
Black eyeshadow: I used this one from Bobbi Brown (you only need use a tiny amount)



Dog dressed as a bat.

Are you dressing up this Halloween? 

Or, do you switch off the lights and wait until it is all over?



Mixing patterns, over 40 | Tartan trousers & Statement shoulders.

Mixing patterns without looking like you got dressed in the dark.

I was reading a blog post recently which had compiled a list of  "Worst fashion fails".
Many of them I agreed with; Leggings worn as trousers and PJ's/Onsies in public, for example.
But, I could not agree with one:

Mixing patterns.

I love mixing patterns.
I don't do it "for a dare" or to "try and look cool", as suggested in the article, it just comes naturally to me....and, I'm not going to stop anytime soon.

I picked up this vintage-inspired blouse in a charity shop and it has a definite 80's vibe. (See another 80's inspired look)
As soon as I saw it I knew just the thing to wear with it.
It would be the perfect partner for my tartan trousers!

I know that this kind of mix is not for everyone.
But if you want to give this a try, then pick items that have a matching colour palette and just go for it!

If in doubt, make one of your patterns a stripe or a spot. These can be easier to pull off for a beginner, as long as the two items have a similar base colour.

If you are nervous remember this:

 "If you believe it works, then it magically does!"

(Wise words from my 10 year old daughter)

Fake being confident until you make it real.

Nobody will know the difference anyway!

This blouse has turned out to be a bit of a trouble-maker, almost starting a fight in my house.
It is the subject of a heated debate.
Comments range from:
"Wow! that is cool!!"
to
"OMG, what is THAT?!?!"

It is certainly what I would call a statement piece, with numerous folds and pleats on the shoulders and cuffs.
{It actually had enormous shoulder pads when I bought it, great big upwardly pointing ones, which were cool (on someone else) but not my thing, so I snipped them out}.

I love a good debate, so it was interesting to hear different (and extreme) opinions on this blouse.
Even those who don't usually have an opinion about anything I wear, seemed to find a voice.
It seems to be a real love-it or hate-it item, no middle ground at all!

This really made me smile.
I wondered what it was about an item of clothing, especially this one, that evoked such an emotional response?
Despite the controversy,  I remembered the most important 'Rule' when getting dressed:

Please yourself.

So, because I like it, I was wearing it.

{Big "whoops" from the YES camp, and "Booo's" from the NO's}



It was all hands on deck to help me button up these fiddly (and teeny) buttons, especially on the cuffs.
Even the 'NO' camp helped with the buttoning.


These tartan trousers were the obvious choice for me.
They are really versatile, adding a punch of life to different looks (see how they liven up black HERE). They have only two colours in them, so they are perfect for complimenting another pattern.

Patterns are great if there are a few body imperfections (or lumpy and bumpy bits) you would like to cover up. Especially larger patterns, like these, they keep the eye moving and that is a good thing in my book!

I needed a layer of heat (and a grounding colour) so I wore one of my roll neck tops underneath.
I am not sure how to describe this colour, Nude? Beige? Taupe?
It is a good neutral anyway.

Now was not the time for a statement shoe, so I chose nude pumps with a slightly retro feel and a comfortable heel. 
I am not usually a fan of the nude pump.
I know many people recommend them because they "go with everything" and 'lengthen the leg" but I just find them a bit boring....and dare I say it...a bit old fashioned.
{I feel another 'heated debate' brewing}

Today though, I think they complemented things nicely.
Maybe I could change my opinion of the nude pump? Hmmmm......

They don't deserve a close-up photograph of their own though, sorry! 
I might nod off...zzzzzzzzz

I grabbed my trusty, old, mini tote and a couple of pompoms.
I know you are probably sick of the sight of these furry things, but I love them!

I forgot to get a photograph of my camel coat that I wore with this outfit (it is lying on the chair out of shot). You can see it Here, with a 70's spin, including the story of how I found it.

Attack of the Scottish Midge!

I thought I would leave you with these shots of me spotting a cloud of midges approaching, then trying (but failing) to swat them away. They are so small and light, that all that wafting is totally useless.

Oh no here they come....


...get lost you little monsters!


They are clever little beasties, and the pesky little critters ended up biting my ankles....grrrrr.
Maybe they disapproved of my nude pumps? Hahaha.


Would you be on team No? Or team Yes?
Do you like to mix your patterns? Or do you fear the "Oh, she must have got dressed in the dark"- look?

Please let me know in the comments....I'd love to hear your opinion.


Blouse: Charity shop. (This one would be easier to wear...no fiddly buttons)
Trousers: ASOS (these are fab!)
Bag: Hidesign (I am coveting this teeny one!...too cute!)
Polo neck: La redoute (I like this one)
Shoes: Vintage (these are cute and patent too!)

Wearing a Vintage knit, over 40 | Skinny cords and a pussy bow.

Berry tones, Autumn layers and Vintage style for real life.

How to wear a pussy bow knit, and not look like a frump.

After being inspired by the Gucci geek-chic look (that has now filtered down onto the high street) I was pleased as punch, to pick up this Pussy bow jumper in a charity shop.

I was drawn to the quality of the knit.
I usually run my hand along the rail of clothes, stopping at things that feel good and just hoping that they fit!

It is pure merino wool and a beautiful quality.
The size on the label was a 14, but it is a vintage 14 and I wanted to wear it slightly oversized (so I can get enough length at the cuff).
A good tip is to never dismiss a vintage item because of it's size label, always try it on, you just never know. Vintage clothes are (for the most part) smaller made.

I was quite pleased with my find.

BUT.

When I brought it home, my husband was not so impressed,
"Oh dear. what is that? It looks like something my granny would have worn"
I had to point out to him that it is so old his granny may well have worn it!

Could it really look stylish or was it an epic fashion fail?

I took comfort in the fact that I had given £5 to charity, whatever the outcome.

I have to concede that the pussy bow can be almost impossible to pull off.
They can look very matronly, frumpy and just plain awful.
The irony of the look on a 20 year old is lost at 40.

This jumper posed some major challenges for me:
  • The pussy bow would not sit nicely....it was all flappy and annoying.
  • It could look really old fashioned.
  • The jumper itself is not a shape I would normally choose.
  • I find this shade of (pepto-bismol) pink quite challenging to wear.
Oh crumbs! It is not looking good, is it?
But, as I love a bit of a challenge, I decided that the pussy bow would have to be beaten!

Autumn layers | pinks and berry tones with denim, over 40.

I wanted to wear it with my burgundy/plum cord trousers.
These are very skinny with a comfortable stretch and a really good rise.
I am NOT a fan of the muffin top.
I don't think it matters what dress size you are, unless you have abs like Sarah Jessica Parker, there will be some kind of ooze...it is never a good look.
I am not saying that your waistband should be under your chin, just enough to cover your fleshy bits.
My micro-muffin was tucked away nicely.

I am loving the berry tones this Autumn, and I know these trousers will be great with boots in the winter months. Cosy and warm.

I had to wear these gorgeous brogues today though.
I just love them!
Burgundy/oxblood leather with a tartan trim....Look at all of the great colours in the tartan.

I did pop a thin sheepskin insole inside them so I could go without socks (just keeping my feet cosy enough for an autumn day).

I then reached for my old faithful denim jacket. Denim never fails to give that laid back vibe.
It almost acts as a security blanket over a tricky item, if I am in doubt I add denim.
See how I styled Denim Jackets Here and here and here.

It was quite chilly today, so an oversized scarf was a must.
This fluffy one had all of the colours I needed to pull everything together, and is so cosy.

I was going to use a different bag (a blue one) but I thought I may as well go all-out on the pink and keep up the vintage theme.
This pale pink satchel was just the job!

Simple jacket-style earrings finished things off nicely (they are little sparkly balls, like shamballa).

Denim Jacket and a pussy bow jumper, over 40.

The pussy bow had a mind of it's own and was going all over the place so I decided to tie it like a gents neck tie.
That's better!

Pussy bow over 40 | Fake Fabulous

Here is a close up of the beautiful quality of the knit...and my attempt at a knotted Tie (apologies for that!). 

Pink pussy bow knit.

and here is my photographer, living up to his cheeky reputation:
"Nice pussy.....bow! What else?"
"Why are you laughing?"
Cracks me up!
Pussy bow knit and cords.

Check out these brogues.
I think I have a pair of tights to match every colour here!

Oxblood leather brogues with a tartan trim.

My monogramed bag.
A great gift from Hubby (cheeky but a talented gift chooser).
It still looks brand new, despite being a good few years old and pale pink.
See how I styled it in an early post Here...with a backless top!

Pink satchel from Cambridge satchel company | Fake fabulous.

So what do you think?

Did I get away with this pussy bow jumper? Or is it a little too Matronly for your liking?

Please let me know in the comments.... I love to read your thoughts and opinions.


Jumper: Vintage
Cord Trousers: Gap
Bag: Cambridge satchel company
Jacket: Boden (old)
Scarf: Newlook


© Fake Fabulous

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