Float Away in the Open Thread

Published in: Just For Fun

I feel extra chatty today, and I hope you do, too. Shall we entertain each other in today’s open thread? 🙂


Makeup and Beauty Blog Open ThreadIf you’re new to the open thread, here it is in a nutshell:

It’s just a post where we comment back and forth about any topic under the sun (or the rain clouds, whichever the case may be) — makeup, pets, holiday highs and lows, music, movies (have you seen Tron yet?), you name it!

Except for an errand or two, I’ll be around all day long, so stop by if/when you can. See you inside!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Karen says:

    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to tell you all that I think you guys are awesome. 🙂 I don’t say this to you nearly enough, but you make MBB such a joy for both me and Tabs.

    Anywho, are y’all squared away with your holiday shopping? I’m almost done (FINALLY), whee!

    Thank goodness for Amazon is all I gotta say…

  2. Fieran says:

    Extremely glad you’re almost done with your Christmas shopping 🙂 You must be relieved.

    Not much is up here in icy/snowy Oslo. Can’t believe Christmas is almost here. Looking forward to 2 three-day-weekends (Christmas + NYE). I’m planning to hunt for authentic asian ingredients and recreate some of my Mother’s Malaysian dishes.
    Fieran recently posted … When Life Hands You Parsnips

    • Karen says:

      Hi Fieran,

      I know that hunt all to well. There aren’t a lot of Asian grocery stores here in the North Bay so whenever I want real-deal Filipino food I need to drive at least 45 minutes and cross a bridge to get it!

      What are you doing for Christmas and New Years?

      • Fieran says:

        I’m in Oslo with the bf. Usually he goes to Germany to see his parents and I bum around my apartment – cooking, cleaning, reading, watching heaps of movies etc. This year he thinks he’s traveled enough so we’re in Oslo. I’m thinking of cooking something German-ish like a roast or something. Maybe some apple cake for dessert. Ah now I’m getting hungry.

        Not much is up for NYE either – our expatriate friends are mostly traveling so we’ll probably stay indoors and cook something nice and then bundle up and head to the nearby park to watch the fireworks. I dream of going to New York/Barcelona/London for New Year’s Eve..someday I’ll do that.

        I’ve been wondering, are you vegetarian? I notice you always mention vegetarian dishes 🙂 but rarely meat ones.
        Fieran recently posted … When Life Hands You Parsnips

        • Radhika says:

          Hii Fieran..I wanted to ask the same thing…are you a vegetarian, Karen?

          • Karen says:

            I’m mostly veg, but not particularly strict about it. If given the choice between a vegetarian dish and one with meat, 99% of the time I’d pick the veggie dish, but if a particularly delicious slice of prosciutto crossed my path I wouldn’t say no, LOL!

        • Karen says:

          I just finished eating lunch, but if I was still hungry, I’d totally be drooling at the thought of some yummy apple cake.

          How long have you and your sweetie been together?

          • Fieran says:

            About 3.5 years now. I met him at work when I moved to Norway for a job. Now we don’t work together anymore, which is a shame actually because I’d like to think we handled the whole ‘dating a colleague’ thing pretty well.

            It’s kind of nice how you always choose the vege option – the BF is quite similar too as his Mom who lives in Germany is fully vegetarian. We don’t eat that much meat here, generally, because there are some really good dishes at the restaurants we frequent that don’t necessarily need meat – the dishes are that tasty without meat.

            I did go to Chipotle and have their veggie burrito when I was in SF. There was a branch right opposite my hotel. It was very, very good. You have great taste in food! 🙂
            Fieran recently posted … When Life Hands You Parsnips

  3. Tiffany says:

    Hey lady! We all think you are awesome!!! It’s funny because I used to read a bunch of blogs, but now I only read yours regularly, and I stop by two others if I’m looking for something specific or if I’m bored and surfing. my husband even knows your name (LOL) because I so frequently talk about funny things from your blog and I got tired of saying “the chick who runs my favorite blog” 🙂

    Anyway, I went to targhay this AM to get stocking stuffers, so I’m DONE! still have a little wrapping to do since there’s a few things that haven’t been delivered yet.

    I think we need a pic of Tabs with some holiday-related decorations on him! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      LOL, soo you’re gonna laugh, but El Hub knows your name (and a bunch of the gals who frequently show up in the comments) too. He gets the update on what’s new on the daily! 🙂

      I’m gonna brave Target later on today too (good luck to me). Was the parking lot a nightmare when you went? Because the one near my house is like awful to the Nth degree whenever there’s a major holiday!

      Speaking of Tabs, I have a big red ribbon that I’ve been saving just for him. He’ll have a holiday photo session soon… just you wait!

      What are you up to today? Just chillin’ at home?

      • Tiffany says:

        it’s nice – you have such a great community of readers here!

        I was just thinking – I wish I would’ve gotten something to decorate/embarrass my dog with in the pet section at target! maybe if I make my way over there again this week.

        my target wasn’t bad actually – but we were outta there by 10:30 am. and in Atlanta there’s like a billion target’s so I feel like the crowd spreads out among them 🙂 good luck with yours!

        yeah I got home and wrapped gifts and now we’re just watching football/being lazy. my dog is snoring away! what are you up to today?

        • Karen says:

          Target seems to have a great selection of seasonal outfits for dogs (I check the pet section all the time and there’s never any cat stuff). Petco’s is pretty extensive too. If you end up finding something you gotta bust your camera out and take a few shots! 🙂

          I’m not looking forward to braving the parking lot… wish me luck, sigh!

          I got up early this morning to do some writing and so far am on schedule (YES!). El Hub and I will probably brave Target and the mall later to pick up some stocking stuffers. Almost done, almost done!!

          You know a lot about football, right? One of these days you and Nina (she comments here a lot) should talk shop. She’s in a fantasy football league and knows a lot about the game.

          • Tiffany says:

            I am not brave enough to head to the mall the weekend before Christmas! good luck to you!!

            oh cool, I’ll have to catch up with Nina sometime. I play fantasy football, too – my team the called the kung fu pandas 🙂

          • Karen says:

            Seriously, this is probably not one of our more brilliant ideas. But we have to go and get it done, sigh. To top it all off there’s a storm right now and it’s raining like crazy. Time to bust out the rain boots!

            Yeah, you guys should talk shop! I don’t know anything about fantasy football other than what I’ve learned from The League. The trash talking looks like fun, haha!

          • Vonvon says:

            May i interrupt?

            Speaking of parking at the mall….. normally I shun the malls on weekends because of the crowds and difficulty in looking for parking spot. But today, the mall I went to , their parking lot is full to the max, and there were congestion everywhere in the parking lot! LOL
            Vonvon recently posted … My Favorite Lancome Products

          • Tiffany says:

            awww, oh well, try to look at it like a holiday adventure and maybe you’ll have fun! and grab some hot chocolate or a chai latte or something while you’re there!

            do you have any good book recommendations? I need something light and cheerful (chick lit?), to balance out the somewhat stressful pregnancy book I’m reading, lol.

          • Karen says:

            A few years ago my pregnant friend had a pregnancy book out on her table. After I flipped through it, I got very, very sweaty and nervous! Did I ever mention I’m a pain wimp?

            Anyway, re: books, I just started one by Stephen King called Under the Dome. It’s not exactly chic lit, but it’s an easy read and doesn’t require too much brain power.


          • Tiffany says:

            thanks I added that to my list! the photo on the cover makes me think of the simpsons movie, lol!

            ugh, I made the mistake of reading the article on babycenter about ‘what labor really feels like’ – I ended up feeling sick! 🙁

          • Karen says:

            Oh gosh… did they go into extreme detail or something?

            I can’t believe the ancient cavewomen had to go through childbirth without any help. More power to them.

          • Tiffany says:

            they just described ridiculous amounts of pain, lol! and said things like – “I begged my husband to push me out of the car while we were driving to the hospital because I was in so much pain”

            I know, right – major props to women who delivered babies before modern medicine, lol!

          • Karen says:

            Ohmygosh. I’m gonna cross my fingers and hope that it goes smoothly for you! Think positive thoughts, think positive thoughts…

        • Vonvon says:

          Hi Tiffany, we had a late lunch after parking the car, me and my girl.

          Hmmmm… some light reads?? May be my blog? 😉

          I hardly read books nowadays, mostly blogs. The last book I read…err, I had to google up the title….it’s by Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol, and I didn’t even finish that book. That’s me and books! Well, perhaps, you want to pick up some beauty-related books, or magazines, etc. sorry, can’t be of much help. Haven’t been reading much since quitting my job to be a full-time mom.
          Vonvon recently posted … My Favorite Lancome Products

          • Tiffany says:

            that’s true – magazines are great light reading and I have a ton I haven’t read thru yet!

            how are you liking being a stay-at-home mom? I’m having my first baby next year and I’m feeling conflicted about what to do with myself!

    • Tekoa says:

      I just finished a Stephen King book called The Stand. Its one of his earlier novels. And Misery? Very scary! I wish Mr. King would write an article for this blog. But what would he review?

      • Karen says:

        I read his column every week in Entertainment Weekly.

        And yeah… that would be so rad if he was a guest poster.

        “This week, Stephen King shares his favorite haircare products for dudes.”

        That would be awesome.

        • Vonvon says:

          To Tiffany’s question on being a SAHM…..

          Mixed feelings. The first few months after my daughter was born, it was fine. Then, I just kinda get ‘bored’ doing the routines of washing and sterilizing the bottles, cleaning and changing diapers, etc etc. But as she grows older, it got more fun, but with moments of craziness too.

          Then I started to blog in my free time, just to get my mind off motherhood chores.

          But at the end, it’s quite fulfilling just being with my girl 24/7.

          Good luck to you, Tiffany!
          Vonvon recently posted … Reviews- AromaFabulous Fushia Fantastic Body Wash &amp Body Souffle

  4. Arianne says:

    Hi Karen!

    I am happy to say that I am done with Christmas shopping! I did pretty well and way under budget too. 🙂

    This year is Scherbatsky’s first Christmas and we’re so thankful to have her. She is such a sweet kitty. The other day I bought her a Mrs. Claus dress that she actually wore for an hour. The cute little thing. Here’s a twitpic. http://twitpic.com/3gao0c

    How’s the big Tabby? Do you have a tree that he likes to take down?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Arianne,

      Aw, look at SHERBIE!!! She could walk the catwalks of Milan/Paris/NY in her Christmas outfit.

      Tabs is doing well. Apart from the Christmas Tree Incident from last Monday (it “mysteriously” fell over… there was a shower of pine needles, broken ornaments and water all over the living room), he’s managed to stay out of trouble. We still can’t confirm/deny his involvement, but I have caught him drinking the tree water and swatting a few of the ornaments on the lower branches.

      What’s Sherbie getting for Christmas? Tabs is gonna get a pet bed and some soft, squishy toys. Oh, and ribbons of course!

  5. Jen says:

    Hi Karen! I’ve never commented on your blog before but I absolutely love it! And I learn a lot from you, for example I never would have ever tried spaghetti tacos if it weren’t for you! haha… Really though, you do such a great job. I hope you and Tabs have an awesome Christmas 🙂

  6. Radhika says:

    Karen, love your blog…LOVE Tabs..and the photos here are amazing 🙂 Christmas shopping – I shopped wayy too much this month..can’t use that excuse to get anything more now 😀

    • Karen says:

      Hi Radhika,

      Tabs loves you right back ten fold!

      (BTW, he’s staring at the twinkling lights in the tree right now and plotting his next move, LOL!)

      Did you end up picking up anything for yourself during your Christmas shopping adventures?

  7. Radhika says:

    Am terribly selfish…ONLY for myself 😀 We don’t really celebrate Christmas….but am willing to call it my Christmas shopping. A bit of Lush and a bit of MAC, but the bits somehow add up to a lot on the bill..

  8. Stephanie says:

    Hi Karen,

    I, too, love your blog. I don’t get to comment often (I am in medical school). But, when I take a short break from studying; I always see what you have going on. BTW, I finally found those WNW palettes (old news, I know), but I have not had time to play, yet. Thanks for the help! ^-^

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      I’m so glad you get to take breaks with me! 🙂 Am also glad you managed to snag a few of the Wet N Wild Palettes. Which ones did you get?

      How’s medical school going, btw? That was once a (very brief) dream of mine, until I figured out that I can’t stand the sight of blood, LOL!

      • Stephanie says:

        I found all of them. I think that the display had just been put up, but those babies were gone the next time I went to Walgreens.

        Medical school is okay. You get over not having much of a life, hehe. But, I see light at the end of the tunnel (third year is coming up soon). I do have a fun balance in my life, though. I love to obsess over makeup and skin care, but I also love to volunteer at HIV clinics and such. For some reason, many people think that we ladies cannot have both sides.

      • Karen says:

        I figured they would sell out fairly quickly. They’re so pigmented for the price!

        I think to achieve great things you’ve got to make sacrifices; before you know it you’ll be walking across that stage and I’ll be saying, “What’s up, Doc?” to you here in the comments! 😀

        So what made you decide to go into medicine?

        • Stephanie says:

          I wanted to go into rural medicine, which would be a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in International Medicine. I had problems with access to healthcare (I come from a poor family), and thought that I could make a difference.

          The thing is, when you get here, you learn about so many fields of medicine that you never knew existed. I am really interested in addiction psychiatry and neurology. I am told that your field of medicine will choose you in the third year. Did you have any specialty in mind when you were contemplating medical school?

  9. marisol says:

    Hey girl,

    Are you hibernating at home? I am glad for the rain but I am also glad that I don’t need to be out. Finished all my Christmas shopping. We are celebrating Christmas tomorrow since my mom leaves for Mexico on Wednesday night. This is the first time in 10 years where I don’t have the last two weeks of the year off. Boo!

    How was Hibiscus?

    • Karen says:

      I’m gonna brave Northgate and the Village soon. GOOD LUCK TO ME!!! I don’t really want to, but El Hub and I need to get a few more last minute stocking stuffers. In order to dull the pain there might be a pasta filled carb-rich lunch thrown in the mix, too, haha.

      As for Hibiscus, the meat eaters in the group really enjoyed the fried chicken. I swear the moment the server brought the plates out the table got really quiet because everyone was just going to town on their food. I had the Market Special, which is a bunch of beans, plantains and seasonal vegetables together. It was DELISH!

      Also, I found another yummy restaurant that’s in your neck of the woods — The Moss Room in the California Academy of Sciences:


      Cindy and I had lunch there and it was really yummy. It was definitely a food filled Friday.

      What are you doing for Christmas and New Years?

      • marisol says:

        Good luck with the rain & the crazies out there. I stopped by CostPlus during the week and took me like 15 minutes just to get out of the parking lot.

        I think the best fried chicken I’ve ever had was at Foreign Cinema last year. So good! If you’ve never been there, it’s a nice place to go for a special night out. It’s in a shady area (the Mission) but such a cool place. I’ll have to check out the Moss Room.

        Christmas Eve my sister and I are going to see Black Swan (perfect holiday flick, right?) and then go out to dinner somewhere. Christmas Day I am going to my friends house in P-Town and spending it with her family. NYE I am having dinner with a friend in the Peninsula. Still trying to figure out where. How about you? Is Tabs giving you the holidays off?
        marisol recently posted … Monday Weigh In – Week 12

        • Karen says:

          I’ve heard of Foreign Cinema but haven’t gotten around to going there. The Mission has so many great restaurants but it’s such a pain to park there, isn’t it?

          The Moss Room is really nice. If you’re going make reservations beforehand. We rolled in there at about 12 and were lucky to snag a spot at the bar (otherwise we’d would’ve had to wait two hours for a table!). I didn’t have anything to drink, but their drink list was very interesting and looked really good.

          For Christmas El Hub and I will probably head to the East Bay to hand with my fam; still not sure what we’re going to do for NYE. Probably a restaurant somewhere local. Tabs is DEFINITELY not giving me any time off. 🙁 Catering to his every whim is a 365 day job!

          • marisol says:

            It’s best to cab it when going to the Mission. I don’t think that they even have valet parking there. But it is worth it.

            Have you been to Brick & Bottle? It’s in Corte Madera in the same shopping center as Book Passage. Girl, you & El Hub need to go. Such good food! I was there on Thursday and my friends had the rotisserie chicken with smoked gouda mac n cheese. I had the roasted beet salad and a side of the mac n cheese.
            marisol recently posted … Monday Weigh In – Week 12

          • Karen says:

            I’ve seen the sign (“I saw the sign!”) but have yet to go. It’s really that good, huh? I love me a good beet salad.

  10. I’m doing all my xmas shopping this week. I’m getting the t2i for myself this year. I’m obsessed with your picture taking. Nothing new on my front. I advise everyone to try the Tarte Royal Collection palette. It is my favorite palette of the moment. I’m also going to watch some movies today, The fighter and True Grit, other than that, nothings up with me. What’s new on your end? Are you doing Fashion week in feb?
    beautylogicblog recently posted … JOICO K-PAK RECONSTRX VAPOR IRON IS AMAZING &amp New Giveaway!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mildred,

      I’m DYING to see both those movies. I also need to watch Black Swan. Have you seen it yet? Will the little one be your movie date today?

      As for Fashion Week, I’m not sure yet. We’ll see if I end up making it… New York is way too cold for me right now, LOL!

  11. Tracy says:

    Hey Karen! Good luck finishing your shopping today! Hope it’s not too busy!
    I’m going to go do some grocery shopping-I haven’t made anything yet and my daughter is screaming for cookies! She’s busy putting the finishing touches on her Art Portfolio-she’s applying for college this year and it has to be sent in by Jan.5.
    I think you are awesome too!
    Tracy recently posted … Subtle Christmas Sparkle

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tracy,

      Oh, wow! That must be so exciting (and scary) to see your baby girl get ready to spread her wings and fly off to college. Does she have a specific school/program in mind?

      I’m in the mood for cookies, too! Somebody needs to make me some chocolate chip ones, haha.

      • Tracy says:

        It is! She’s applying to one school in Canada and one in California-CalArts. Both for animation.I hope she’s successful!
        It was snowing outside so I decided not to go get cookie supplies. I hate snow, specifically driving in the snow. Guess tomorrow it will have to be!
        Did you finish your shopping?
        Tracy recently posted … Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy Forever Stay Eye Pencil

        • Karen says:

          Oh, is that the CCA here in San Francisco?

          I just got back from the mall and I’m happy to say that I’m *almost* done. Parking wasn’t as crazy as I thought it would be, but it was storming like crazy — thunder, lightning and buckets of rain! I suppose it’s better than snow.

  12. danielle says:

    hi how are you doin karen:D so here’s a question i’ve always wanted to ask you, what is “el hub”s opinion of your makeup? does he prefer you a certain way?(with/without) and does he not want to kiss you if you’re wearing a lot of lipstick? what does he think of your job/makeup in general? im just curious cuz you mention him every once in a while but never anything to do with makeup at least not that i’ve seen. k c ya

    • Karen says:

      Hi Danielle,

      He doesn’t seem to care either way (with/without), although he’s not a fan of kissing me on the lips if I’m wearing a lot of shiny lipgloss. I’ve accidentally smooched him a few times with MAC Nymphette on and it actually looks really good with his skin, haha!

      I think he can appreciate makeup a little more than most guys because I talk about it a lot in casual conversation (“Wow, the new Chanel release has some really cool textures!”), but I can definitely tell he thinks I need to chill out on the lip products. I have a weakness for pink gloss, so if we’re at the mall and he catches me playing with something at the counter he’ll be like, “Do you REALLY need another pink lipgloss?” I just send him away and end up getting it anyway!

      Anywho, how’s your weekend going? Are you done with your holiday shopping?

      • danielle says:

        it’s going pretty good thanx. i’m not a huge christmas person if that makes sense but i did get gifts for my immediate family. my original gift to my brother was to go grocery shopping so he could save the money this time, which i did (safeway was packed! mucho traffico) but i also got him a ps2 and some games, and i got my mom a dvd player + some dvds. my brother got us a huge flat grill on black friday, so we should be enjoying some philly cheese steaks soon wooo hoo. lol what are you doing for christmas?

        • danielle says:

          * the holidays
          how do i know you celebrate christmas..lol

        • Karen says:

          Hi Danielle,

          I have a few friends in my life who aren’t big into the holidays, so I know what you mean. It sounds like your brother and mom will enjoy their gifts, though! 🙂

          El Hub and I will probably celebrate by hanging out with my family. They live about an hour away and celebrate on Christmas eve, so we’ll do dinner/presents/maybe midnight mass if my mom feels like going.

          BTW, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a philly cheese steak!

          • danielle says:

            oh my goodness you should definitely try one! the one at my work comes with mayonaise (melted on heated bread so it tastes a little different- by the way the bread is amazing) steak, provolone cheese, grilled onions, green bell peppers, and franks red hot sauce. mmmmmm 😀 it’s also good with tomatoes on it

          • Karen says:

            I go crazy for good bread, so I’d probably love one! I’ll give the the meat to El Hub, though, and swap it out for extra veggies. 🙂 YUMMM!

  13. Vonvon says:

    Hi Karen,

    Am in a chatty mood as well. But it’s past midnight here in Malaysia and most of my friends are asleep. Those over in Europe are probably having their dinner, hanging out, last-minute Christmas shopping, etc etc……

    Nothing particular…..just having some yo-yo mood….was down, then up after chatting with a good old friend of mine whom I have not met for almost 7 yrs. Had a fun mother-daughter shopping afternoon with my little girl.

    You have a great day! 😀
    Vonvon recently posted … My Favorite Lancome Products

  14. Maddy says:

    Hey Karen!

    I got all my holiday shopping done today, and I am so relieved. I have school tomorrow, (I’m a Sophomore in High School) so I’m writing an essay for English now… on Othello. :3 I love Shakespeare, so things could be a lot worse. I’ve been giving more poor mom a really hard time… she’s been searching for the Naked palette everywhere, as it’s my #1 Christmas thing… as well as liquid liner in Perversion… Still no luck with either! XD I’m just happy I got all my family’s gifts. I’m so relieved…

    Went to Petco today and got stuff for my kitties’ stockings. They are so spoiled… I swear, I’m a cat lady at 15… it’s kind of terrifying! How’s Tabs?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maddy,

      As a former English major, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’m just not into Shakespeare. Believe me, I’ve tried! I know a lot of people, like yourself, who could live and breathe it. Maybe I’m just missing the Shakespeare gene or something, LOL!

      Oh yeah, I also have to go by Petco today so I can fill Tabs’ stocking, so thanks for the reminder.

      What are your kitties like?

      Cat ladies 4EVER!

      • Maddy says:

        I’ve got two kitties, a boy and a girl.

        Domino is morbidly obese but still awesome. I love her, but she has disabilities, poor baby. She’s 27 pounds of cat. Black and white. Very reserved but loving. She’s seven.

        Dylly is 2 now, and muscled open a window last year on the 17th. Both of our kitties are indoor, but he’s an adventurer. He came home on the 19th, and it was kind of the best Christmas present ever as he came home in a snowstorm. He was a rescue kitty, and has the bone structure of a Siamese but the coat of a Russian Blue. Gorgeous boy, but a massive troublemaker. I just walked into my room and he has his Christmas present mousie in his mouth… but he’s so cute I can’t resist 😛

        • Karen says:

          They both sound like sweet, lovable cats. Do they both get along well?

          Before we moved up to our current home, El Hub, Tabs and I used to live in an apartment complex. Tabs was both an indoor/outdoor kitty then (now he’s strictly indoors because where we live is pretty country and there’s coyotes), and one day he just up and disappeared. We walked and drove all over the neighborhood calling his name for several days, but he was nowhere to be found.

          Just as we were starting to lose hope, he showed up about a week later on our doorstep. We had just returned from a funeral and were both emotional and sad, and then, bam. There was Tabs meowing and purring and giving us love when we needed it the most.

          I’m so glad your kitty came home! I bet it was a very special Christmas for you and your family.

  15. The BB says:

    Happy Holidays to everyone! I truly love this time of year, minus the massive amounts of people everywhere. It’s a little overwhelming sometimes. 🙂 I’m almost done with my shopping, and lots of people are getting beauty items this year! And my kitty has his own stocking and holder (from Target-that holds a picture of his adorable face), so cute! I hope everyone enjoys their holiday with family, friends and fur-babies alike.
    The BB recently posted … Chanel Giveaway

    • Karen says:

      Hi BB,

      Congrats on almost getting your shopping done. Did you pick up anything for yourself while you were out and about!

      Oh, and tell me about your kitty. I still have to get Tabs some stocking stuffers… shhh, don’t tell him!

  16. Phyrra says:

    I love the sea horse pic!

    Happy Holidays 🙂

    We’re supposed to see Tron tonight if I’m feeling better. I’m sick with an annoying cold, blah.

    I’m happy for the upcoming holidays so I can have a break! I’ve been crazy busy with work. Still trying to read all your posts, but lacking as much time as usual for commenting.

  17. Nina says:

    hi karen and hi ladies!

    other than stocking stuffers and waiting on a gift for my sister, i think im done w/ christmas shopping. ill wait til after the holidays to mail out my gift for my MIL though … the lines at the post office — CRAZY!!!

    i went to the mall over lunch last wednesday and parking was a nightmare … i only needed to exchange a pair of pants so i really regretted that decision.

    we went to ikea yesterday … today i think were staying in. feeling the teeniest bit lazy!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nina,

      We’re gonna go to the mall in a few, and I’m starting to dread the thought. It’s gotta get done though. Sigh…

      What did you end up getting at Ikea?

      Oh! I wanted to introduce you to Tiffany here in the comments. She’s a big football fan, and like you, is in a Fantasy Football league! You guys should talk shop. 🙂

      • Nina says:

        we got some bath mats and uhm … chocolate! 😀 those chocolate bars there are pure <33333

        i also went shoe shopping last friday!

        hi tiffany! 🙂

        • Karen says:

          Really? I don’t think I’ve ever had their chocolate bars. I do enjoy eating in their cafeteria though!

          So tell me about the shoes you got!

        • Nina says:

          we did eat at the cafeteria — swedish meatballs FTW! the chocolate bars are the ones right by the register and theyre pretty great. they also have daim chocolates whc i also love.

          i went a lil crazy buying shoes – i got 2 pairs of mary janes in brown and black for work and also a pair of cage heels (they were so comfy) and a pair of flat booties in my fave color ever – gray! 🙂

          • Karen says:

            Cute! Mary Janes are so versatile. You can wear ’em with jeans, slacks and dresses. Good call. 🙂

            You’re so lucky you can pull off cage heels! I tried on a pair once and looked like a stumpy gladiator!

          • Nina says:

            thats why i picked those mary janes – i figure now i can wear them w/ jeans and pants and socks and in the spring w/ skirts and dresses!

            i think the trick to cage heels is that theyre not so high up on the leg. that pair stop at just the ankle bone so my short stumpy legs dont look shorter!

          • Karen says:

            I like MJ’s became of the strap, too. I find they help keep the shoe on my foot, whereas sometimes I just fall out of regular heels, ya know?

            What color are your cage heels?

          • Nina says:

            theyre black! it was just so edgy, i had to have it!

            i thought the hubs would think the MJs were a bit too kitschy but he liked em too! 🙂

          • Karen says:

            Cute. I bet they’ll look cute with skinny jeans and a black top!

            El Hub is always talking crap about my shoes. He still hates the Blanche Boots and makes fun of them all the time!

          • Nina says:

            i like those blanche boots! 🙂

            i was going to wear them to christmas mass with skinny jeans and a flutter sleeve top that i got at the gap for like 5 bucks! i have a black jacket to go along w/ it!

          • Karen says:

            I’m about to wear them to the mall! I’m finally getting out of the house, YAY! It’s pretty late in the day here so hopefully parking won’t be too crazy.

            See, great minds think alike! What accessories are you thinking for your outfit?

          • Nina says:

            pearls! 🙂

            i have this really pretty pearl necklace and it makes me feel so festive! i also have dangly earrings to wear w/ em! 🙂

          • Karen says:

            Cute! Pearls go with everything — they’re timeless and classy, ya know?

          • Nina says:

            ive had those pearls forever 🙂 i always go back to them — such a classic!

  18. Maria Luisa says:

    Firstly, your blog is the only one I read regularly. And I love Tabs. I often show my husband the photos you post of Tabs.

    I bought presents for my two goddaughters but still have to buy for the husband and Seamus (puppy extraordinaire). I wish I could find a cute Christmas outfit for him but I find few places carry clothes for big dogs (60lbs).

    I love, love, love make up and I so enjoy your posts as well as the posts of your readers.

    So….thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maria Luisa,

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoy the site, and Tabs is thrilled to hear he has a fan. He sends purrs and headbutts your way!

      Do you live near a Petco or Target? Usually they have a pretty good selection of dog outfits. I love Seamus’ name, btw. It reminds me of one a poet I like, Seamus Heaney.

  19. Tiffany says:

    anyone wanna chat about MAC? I am so excited for the new collection next week! their day-after-Christmas collections are always my fave – they always have lots of shimmer!

    • Nina says:

      i am liking that eyeshadow quad in the cham-pale collection. for sure im gonna grab a couple of those chromagraphic pencils…

      • Tiffany says:

        there are like a million things I want from collection! the champagne-looking eyeliner, feline eye kohl, and the highlighters, and the gold-ish nail polish….

        so, what’s your fantasy football team name? 🙂

        • Nina says:

          its a surprisingly pretty collection … when i first read the description i felt like it was a bit meh but … its pretty! 🙂

          i have several fantasy football and basketball teams and the names of the teams are variations of Tinkerbell (eg TynkBelle, TinkerBelle, MightyTynks … you get the idea) … i <3 Tinkerbell and ive used those names pretty consistently for the past 4 years or so! 😀

          whats your team name? dyou play in a league of girls/boys or all boys? im the only girl in our league and its kinda fun esp when i beat them in matchups!

          • Tiffany says:

            that’s cute – I especially like MightyTynks! I’m the kung fu pandas 🙂 lol

            yeah I am the only girl too!

          • Nina says:

            its fun when we win and can rib the boys over their loss, no? 😀

            i like your name too! 😀

          • Tiffany says:

            so true! and some of the boys take it so seriously, lol!

          • Nina says:

            yes they do! one time i got all this flak about a trade i wanted to do … they were all saying its unfair blahblah and i told them … well im a GM and i think i know enough to trade when i want to trade!

            they werent happy about that. some even vetoed the trade!

      • Karen says:

        I’m looking forward to the Lipgelees in that release. I love their smooth texture!

    • Karen says:

      I’m looking forward to Stylishly Yours, especially the Beauty Powders, the CCBs and the Fluidlines!

  20. Felicia says:

    Hey Karen 🙂
    I just wanna ask you something.

    I have highly pigmented lips (like… they are really really dark and am a pale person)… Do you know any good lipglosses (that you can buy worldwide) that are lighter but very pigmented? (:
    I feel like i can only wear dark colours cause’ thats the only thing thats gonna show up.
    I would just really like to wear lighter pinks or peachy light colours (: And i know that you can just put foundation or concealer under the lipgloss but,… i dont wear foundation and i just dont like the feeling of concealer on my lips. It makes me kind of… i feel bad.
    Bwarh! (:
    Anyways, im sorry, my english might not be the best, but i hope that you will answer my question! (:

    • Karen says:

      Hi Felicia,

      Hmm… a peachy/pink gloss, even the most opaque one, might not have enough coverage to show up on the most pigmented of lips. Have you tried “blanking” out your lips with a nude lip liner first? I know MAC makes several nude shades that could work to blank out lip color — just line, fill and then pop a lipgloss or lipstick on top. Check out Sublime Culture, Pink Treat, Summerfruit, Spice, Dervish or Subculture.

  21. cyra says:

    anyone have any ideas for a really glittery eye look? (for someone with pale skin and blue eyes?)

  22. Amber says:

    Yay, I missed open thread!

    Today I have to bake a million cheesecakes for gifts, but other than that my gift shopping is done. 🙂
    Amber recently posted … Christmas commerce

  23. syl says:

    Hi everybody and Karen,
    I am drinking some chai tea in honor of you, I got it from TJ Maxx (it’s in mix form, just add milk). I was wondering if you frequent the food section at Marshall’s since it’s close by for you; they have some great gourmet stuff there so check it out. But I’m thankful for your blog and Tabs and happy holidays!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Syl,

      Happy holidays to you! Not gonna lie, I barely make it out of the shoe section at Marshalls half the time. I get sucked in and it’s a struggle to get out, LOL! I’ll have to remember to hit up the food area next time I’m there.

      What brand of chai did you get from TJ Maxx? I’m still looking to perfect my at-home chai latte!

  24. Emma says:

    Yay, open thread is back! Today I have been to the mall, briefly, to exchange my Illamasqua foundation that I ordered from Sephora for a Laura Mercier. It just wasn’t the right tone and it was a bit drying (it was oil-free but didn’t say so on the website). Of course I came away with other things – a too faced flatbuki brust ($12.50 on sale) and a Korres showergel duo (sale for $5). I was supposed to try and find something there for the bro-in-law too, but had no idea what so I didn’t bother.

    I just made some fresh cranberry and choc chip muffins to use up the cranberries I had left from making the fruit mince for the fruit mince pies I’m making this week. It’s funny that the US doesn’t have the same Christmas treats as I’m used to in the UK and NZ 🙂

    Hope that other people have finished all the Xmas shopping. Merry Christmas… Looking forward to catching up with you in the New Year.

    P. S. We got a new cat, his name is Shadow and he’s a 1 year Maine Coon to be a friend for our 7 year Maine Coon, Rooster xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Emma,

      You know I love me some Laura for pictures. Which foundation formula did you get?

      So I’m dying to know about Shadow! What’s his personality like? And how’s Rooster handling it?

      • Emma says:

        Shadow is a purry, happy chappy. He is a white and grey tabby with gloves, socks and a bow-tie 🙂 He loves to explore (curiosity killed the cat) and play. He also likes to steal stuff, especially if it makes a crackly noise (bags of sweets, my toast…). He is a delight and makes us laugh so much. He likes people food but isn’t that keen on cat biscuits. He’s about 1/3 the size of Rooster but will grow until he’s about 4 so might catch up.

        He and Rooster have settled well together. It could be because Maine Coons are sociable cats, or because Rooster is alpha-male and bosses Shadow around. They started hanging out after 4 days separated and now they play together, groom each other and sometimes sleep together. We are very impressed at how well they get along 🙂

  25. steph b says:

    Had a great day so far. Hit the farmers’ market and brunch with a friend. Then ran a couple of errands and am chilling at home. I’ve got pizza dough rising for dinner. Now I’m just debating what color to paint my nails. I’m thinking Revlon Perplexed (the Chanel dupe). Gotta love a day where your most difficult decision is nail color.

    Oh, I swung by Panera while I was out to test out their chai. Gotta say, didn’t love it. It had a floral quality that didn’t float my boat.

    • Karen says:

      Really? Sorry to hear you didn’t like it. Do you like your chai on the spicier side?

      Oh… I just bought a bag of Big Train Chai to try out. I hear it’s good stuff!

      • steph b says:

        I like a variety of spice levels in chai depending on my mood. This just had a floral scent/taste that just didn’t do it for me. The online nutrition information says it is made with wildflower honey. That could be the culprit. I need to brew some chai at home and use honey instead of sugar and see how I like it.

        Have you had it chilled yet? Iced chai is heavenly.

        • steph b says:

          Oh – I meant to share the great buy I got at Ulta today. They have duos of mini-UD liners. I’ve been dying to try them and they had a duo with the two colors I’m most interested in — Stash and Bourbon. The two minis equal more product then one full size (0.8 g each vs 1.2g) for only $15 and Ulta has a 20% off coupon in their circular. Can’t wait for pretty eyes this week!

        • Karen says:

          I still haven’t tried it iced! I just started drinking chai lattes and its been way too cold here (well, cold for California) to even think about chilled drinks. I can’t wait to give ’em a go in the summer though.

          Oh, and I’m so stoked about your liners. UD Bourbon is MY JAM! 🙂 Let me know what you think of the glitter.

          • steph b says:

            I have one on each eye right now. I love both. Bourbon doesn’t look very shimmery compared to Stash but I think it will sparkle more without the competition! I typically go for gel liners or wet powders since I like thin lines, but I could really get into these pencils.

          • Karen says:

            LOL… well, you know the rule of mismatched eye makeup. The second you put it on someone shows up on your doorstep!

            Do you have any yummy golds or teals around? Bourbon looks great with either color!

  26. j.j. says:

    Hi Karen! i don’t post much, usually on Mondays but I do read your blog daily. Thanks to your blog I knew about the Disney Villains/MAC line that came out this fall. That was a lifesaver in my holiday shopping. Around here, the products were gone fast. It took me trips to 3 Nordstroms and online hunting to get enough products together to give as gifts. But I had the girls checked off in November. After a round of mall shopping yesterday, I’m done with shopping woohooo!! Just saying….thank god I wasn’t driving. Now am wrapping gifts today and thinking about a glass of wine to go with the holiday music while I wrap.

    Family is coming here this year for Christmas. So I have until Thursday evening to get ready for guests. Started my new job last week, but we have Thursday and Friday off for Christmas this week. Not bad for not vacation time yet.

    Makeup wise, I am loving the Clarins mascara. During one of my Nordstrom trips, they were having their annual mascara event. I was talked into this one as one of my ‘free’ ones with purchase. It’s giving my go to Diorshow a run for the money.

    Hope you had fun shopping.

    • Karen says:

      Hi J.J.

      I’m happy to hear that you were able to get the girls their presents early. I’m sure they’ll fall in love their VenVil goodies! 🙂

      A glass of wine is sounding really good right now… maybe I should load up before we head to the mall, haha. That might help take the edge off (El Hub’s driving, woohoo).

      Congrats on your new job, btw. What’s it like? Are you enjoying it so far?

      Oh, and you’ll have to share which Clarins mascara you like!

      • j.j. says:

        The mascara is Clarin’s Wonder Perfect. Complete surprise which I am glad I tried. I’m super picky on mascara. It really lengthens on the first coat. A second coat is even better. Diorshow has always been my go to when I am not happy with every thing else I try. Love how it makes my lashes look fuller. Hmmm…wonder what the two would look like together. May try that in the morning. I also like the Clarins rouge prodige lipstick. One of the best reds I’ve found, but I don’t think it lasts as long as they claim. Definitely not hours.

        I’m enjoying my new job. It’s only been 5 days so everything is new. The truer answer will be in about 2 months when the honeymoon phase wears off. But I got a very good impression of my new boss in the interview process so I don’t think there will be a let down.

        No wine for me tonight. After walking the dog, a friend and I met for dinner. Hope you had fun at the mall.

        • Karen says:

          I loooove that mascara. A friend of mine gave me a tube for a present a few years ago and it’s really fantastic at building volume at the base! 😀

          Well, I hope everything with your new gig works out. It’s always a good thing to be working, right?

          The mall was actually not too bad. I went in the early evening so it wasn’t too crazy, and I also managed to snag some really good parking! The Christmas shopping is almost done, woo hoo!

  27. Kerry says:

    I’ve got to go out Tuesday and brave the crowds — everyone is shopped for except for my fiance. Still no idea what to get him. (Suggestions, please?)
    I’ve got a crapton of baking to do, too. Instead of buying my almost-in-laws gifts, I’m just making them some cookies, chocolate truffles, and bread.

    Side note: Are there any Philly fans out there? How ’bout that comeback???

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kerry,

      Why are boys so hard to shop for? Ugh! How about something related to one of his hobbies? That’s what I usually use as a starting point for gifts for El Hub.

      • Kerry says:

        True story. I’ll probably get him some Steelers stuff (how a Philly fan & Pittsburgh fan got together, I don’t know…)

        Thanks! <3

        P.S. I got most of my final grades back (missing one) and I JUST missed getting magna cum laude. Darn that government class!

        • Karen says:

          Wow, a lot of football fans are coming out of the woodwork today! 😀

          I know it’s kinda cheesy, but how about one of those team blankets? I can recall my football loving guy friends loving blankets with their teams on them for some odd reason…

          When does your last grade come in?

  28. Heidi says:

    Hi all… lovely rainy day here in Sonoma County. Managed to get to church with only minor drizzle, leaving — not so lucky. Started pouring. I was considering stopping by Whole Foods before coming home to get the rest of what I need for the week, but that will have to wait. Also, since our Whole Foods is in a shopping mall, I figured parking would be awful today.

    Missy is fast asleep. She’s exhausted after spending the night meowing at the rain. I will take the opportunity to get her stocking ready. I got her her favorite treats and a cat toy. It’s a colorful fish on the end of a stick. She loves those kind of toys, probably because Mommy has to work to help her play with it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heidi,

      All this water has put Tabs into full crazy train mode. He’s taking a nap right now, too (perhaps both he and Missy are refueling for later?).

      What treats is Missy getting in her stocking? Will there be any gravy up in the mix? LOL

      • Heidi says:

        She’s a strange kitty, nothing soft or mushy for her. She’s all about the crunchy. So she’s getting Temptations crunchy snacks, all of their seafood flavors. She awakened from her nap a bit ago and I had to keep her from getting upclose and personal with the lit candles. You’d think she would remember the singed whisker incident from a few years back!

  29. DonnaN says:

    So first of all—Happy Holidays everyone. With the impending birth of our daughter, I’m spending more time on preparing for motherhood and less about makeup–sad, but so worth it! I’ll be around, just lurking and lemming alot over all the beauty finds! Gotta say, I am FIRST in line for the Sephora HELLO KITTY collection coming in January—that’ll probably be my last MAJOR haul before my little LADYBUG arrives.

    Lots of last minute holiday shopping to do on Thursday and Friday…..Hubby’s got a MAJOR paycheck coming, so I’ll be able to finish up. I did get him (or us, depending on how you look at it) a new Nikon camera, so we’ll be learning how to use that for when the baby arrives. I’m hoping for some makeup stuff, some charms for my Pandora bracelet, some books and a new lighted makeup magnifying mirror.

    Oh, and starting Tuesday @ 2pm, I’m off until the 27th—hooray!

    • Karen says:

      Hi DonnaN,

      When’s she due? I’m so excited for you!

      • DonnaN says:

        Karen, my “offical” due date is April 5th, but she’ll probably come early, since I am considered “high risk”. We start our childbirth classes on January 3rd, so time is really gonna start to fly by.

        Are you and your hubby going to Hawaii again for Christmas this year?

        • Karen says:

          Hi Donna,

          I will think good thoughts for you and your fam. I’m sure she’ll arrive healthy and happy! 😀

          We will be staying local this year since we were just there for Thanksgiving. It’s been a while since we’ve spent Christmas with my folks here so I’m looking forward to it!

          What will you guys be doing for the holiday?

          • DonnaN says:


            Just hangin’ with the family here in Delaware….most I don’t get to see that often, except for holidays. I’m expecting alot of belly rubbing this weekend! LOL!! Oh, and my cousin, who’s also pregnant and due two weeks after me….she’ll be here with here husband, so we’ll get to play catch-up and compare our pregnancies so far.

            Have a WONDERFUL holiday with your family!!

            DonnaN (and baby Makena)

  30. snoopysteph says:

    Hi Karen! Boy, I’ve missed having an open thread these past few weeks. 😀

    All is well here in Chi-town. Winter is here – been freezing my butt off and I’m starting to think the snow on the ground will never go away. I’m already counting the days til springtime! I haven’t done anything productive all weekend – yesterday all I did was play Super Mario on the Wii with my son (he’s actually better than I am, scary!!) and today we had some friends over for snacks & pizza.

    We got a new puppy last month after we got back from our trip to Denver. She’s a 4 month old miniature schnauzer named Pebbles (we already have a 9 year old mini schnauzer named Zoey). She’s suuuuuper cute & keeps Zoey active because she always wants to play….but it’s frustrating because it seems like we JUST got our 3 year old potty trained and now I’m going through the process all over again with Pebbles. The potty training process is going to take a little longer too because we live on the 3rd floor of a 3 flat – at least my thighs are getting a good work out going up and down the stairs all day!

    The only chai latte I’ve ever had was from Starbucks and I really liked it! It reminds me of Christmas with all the spicyness. I need to exchange something at Nordstrom so I’ll have to try their chai latte since you rave about it!

    Products I’m currently loving: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, Dior’s Holiday Collection Makeup Palette & NARS Melusine!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Steph!

      Glad to see you here in the open thread. I gotta hand it to you mid-westerners — I don’t think I could ever handle living in snow, for real. Speaking of Super Mario, did you ever play the old school version of the game on Nintendo? It’s still one of my favorite games of all time. I can’t wait to go to my folk’s house and play it on Christmas eve, haha!

      Pebbles sounds like a cutie, but maaaan, puppies are so much work! How are the two dogs getting along? Is the dynamic okay?

      BTW, I just got back from Nordstrom. I picked up a soy chai latte and it was DELICIOUS. You’ve gotta try it. While I was there I also got a new foundation from Chanel called Mat Lumiere. I’m going to review it soon, but in a nutshell it’s awesome.

      • snoopysteph says:

        I’ve lived here for almost 8 years now and I still am never really truly ready to handle the winter. I moved here back in 2003 from Las Vegas – what a shock that was! I’m originally from St. Louis but I haven’t lived there in 20 years.

        LOVE the OG Super Mario. I really wish we’d kept the original Nintendo (I still have Super Nintendo). In fact, they’re coming out with an anniversary edition for Wii – it has Super Mario 1, 2, 3 & Super Mario World. It’s on my Christmas list!

        Puppies are a lot of work, I agree! Hopefully we can get Pebbles trained so that she’s just like Zoey – very mellow, calm & sweet tempered. If I could clone Zoey I would.

        I grabbed a chai latte tonight at Starbucks and meh…it tasted very watered down. Did not like. Will try one from Nordstrom when I head over there this week! I’m getting more and more hooked on Chanel ever since I received my SoHo items…I have my eye on a few things from their upcoming spring collection. Looking forward to your foundation review!

        BTW my husband has several family members who live in the Bay Area. I know Filipino communities are tight – wouldn’t it be crazy if you knew one of them? Know anyone with the last name Victoria?

        • Karen says:

          Okay, so this is kinda funny, but I actually went to school with a few Victorias who were originally from the Chicago area. Do you know if any of his relatives are from Union City?

          • snoopysteph says:

            Yes! Quincy, Toni & Jennifer Victoria lived in Union City.

          • Karen says:

            HOLY CRAP. I went to middle school and high school with both Quincy and Toni. We were all in band together! My best friend, Jen, dated Quincy in seventh (or eighth?) grade. Toni and I both played in the flute section together.

            This is so random!

          • snoopysteph says:

            Wow, small world!! I’ve never met Toni but just saw Quincy over the summer at the Victoria family reunion here in Chicago. I’ll have to ask him if he remembers you! I had a feeling you knew him because you’re the same age as my husband, who’s a year older than Quincy. They spent a summer together in Union City when they were kids.

            I sent you a message on fb!

  31. Lucie says:

    Hey Karen! How is your week going? I went in to sephora for Christmas presents the other day-badddd decision! Completely broke now, whoops. 😛 But I found it! A HG product! The only highlighter I have ever used that makes me look glowy, not oily and ashy and gross. It’s Benefit’s Girl Meets Pearl, I think you reviewed it a while back? Sooooo happy with it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lucie,

      Girl Meets Pearl is amazing! I’m so glad you like it. Have you tried using it beneath your foundation? It adds a really nice subtle allover glow to the skin. 🙂

  32. Gia V. says:

    Wellll…. I’m totally new to this blog, but Karen I LOVE the way you write! It’s so much fun to read your posts and the fact you go from high end to inexpensive products is great. But my absolute favorite part is TABS! I love kitties, I have a kitty of my own and I’ve noticed a lot of beauty bloggers are also cat lovers (HMMM!). I had to take my kitty (aka Oreo) to the emergency clinic in the middle of the night, it was super scary, so I’m extra appreciative of our furry brethren. I’m also thinking of starting my own beauty blog… it’s a scary thought… it may not happen. But oh well, say hi to Tabs for me!

  33. Vero says:


    Your awesome and so funny! Out of all the blogs i read daily i read your first. Your an awesome cat lady and pretty too 🙂 I hear theres a $2 Urban Decay hautelook sale tomorrow. Sounds fun!

  34. Johanna says:

    Where is your turquoise necklace in the Sonia k post it’s amazing

  35. Katie says:

    Im new to Chai lattes. I get soy ones. Absolutely addicted now.

  36. HanaBerlin says:

    Hey girl! I LOVE your blog!!! I just got back from dinner at the BF’s parents house and feel like a stuffed pig! The food was delicious and here I am chillin by the fire with the computer watching football.

  37. HanaBerlin says:

    I had beef stroganoff, veggies and rolls. I ate sooo much! I’m def in a food coma.

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