skincare

ESPANA

So my last post was April 3rd…I always tell myself I won’t allow any of these long hiatuses to occur, but here we are. A lot has gone on since April and between work and my personal life this took a back seat, but I am back – and what better way to come back with a nostalgic post about Spain?! Around this time two years ago I was travelling all over Spain, loving every second of it, even the historical heat wave we faced in Madrid (well, maybe not that part). Spain was absolutely beautiful with such an incredible culture and people, so I cannot wait to share these images and stories with you!File_003(2)


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  • Madrid

Our first stop was Madrid. Beautiful beautiful Madrid! I have never been to Spain before so I wasn’t too sure on what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. Throughout all my European adventures, I have never seen such detailed architecture before. The plazas were extremely large, much bigger than the ones I saw in Italy. The nightlife was unmatched – watch out NYC, they are the true city that never sleeps…well, aside from the whole siesta thing (yes it is real!). Literally everything shuts down during siesta time, I had extreme trouble finding even a convenience store to just grab a bottle of water!

I loved exploring everything Madrid had to offer, from the museums, to the parks, to the flamenco dancing, and of course the tapas and wine! They also have great trips available to places like Toledo (so sad we didn’t get to go!). I would definitely recomend renting a bike (we were able to do so at a gas station lol), see a flamenco show, and explore EVERYTHING. Don’t be afraid to get lost!

Oh and if you’re there in the summer be sure to order a the popular summer wine cocktail, tinto de verano. It literally translates to red wine of summer. Super light and refreshing 🙂

Let’s start with some of the sites you can’t miss!

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The Palacio Real de Madrid (The Royal Palace of Madrid) is just breathtaking. The size alone will leave you in awe! No pictures are allowed to be taken inside but surely what you see will be engraved in your memory. The rooms are so beautifully (and ornately) decorated and full of indulgence, you could only imagine a king living here! They have gardens surrounding the place, making it hard to believe this is right in the middle of Madrid! They also have an armory full with an incredible collection, some even say the best in Europe.

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Plaza Mayor is a typical plaza full of street vendors and little stores, but what makes it so unique are the murals painted on the Casa de la Panaderia (Bakery House). the building was constructed in 1619 and as assumed, has undergone many renovations. It was originally designed to house the Baker’s Guild, which was extremely powerful as they controlled grain prices. the original paintings on the walls were redone in 1992, so pretty recently! It is now home for the Madrid Tourist Information Center, so if you are looking to get any information, this is the place to stop by! Also, typical to touristy areas, I would stay away from the cafes in the plazas, you can find a much more authentic and reasonably priced place one off the beaten path.

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Statue of Felipe III in front of Plaza Mayor

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Plaza de la Villa – just a cute little square close to Plaza Mayor 🙂

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  • Marbella

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Down to Andalusia we go! Marbella was a great way to relax on beautiful beaches and drink some tropical dranks after a bunch of touristy things (and a TON of walking) in Madrid. There were a ton of British and Russians there when I was there, I am not sure if they like to vacation there or if they kind of took over. Nonetheless it was absolutely beautiful. From the little stone pathways, the winding tiny streets. It reminded me of Sorrento or Cinque Terre. They had the cutest boutiques, the most quaint little cafes. I would totally recommend just walking around and getting lost and see what you stumble upon. They have wonderful ocean front dining and clubs at night right on the beach. I have honestly never heard of it before coming here, I assume places like Ibiza overshadow it, but it seems pretty family friendly too as I saw a ton of families with young kids! We literally just ate, drank, and relaxed on the beach during our time here, we didn’t do much exploring at all.

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  • Granada

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Our final stop before heading back to Madrid to go home! And WOW, what a way to end a trip of a lifetime! Granada was just breathtaking, from the 1000 year old Alhambra and the views, to the wonderful markets and vendors, to the Turkish baths, to the modern shopping and dining, Granada has it all. I will certainly be adding more pictures as I unearth them from my computer, but the views I was able to capture from the Alhambra Palace are literally nothing like I have seen before. It was totally worth the trip to see and explore the grounds here. It truly felt like I was time warped to the past. This is another city with a ton of winding little alleys and streets that you should get lost in. It also had a very Arabic feel, with Arabic restaurants, vendors, etc. Completely different vibe and energy form Marbella and Madrid and anywhere I have been really. Loved every second of it.

Also, though there are no pictures here (we weren’t allowed to take them), of the first Turkish baths in Spain, I highly recommend going. After a long trip of travelling and walking around, see and learning and being apart of this awesome history was just incredible. The baths were beautiful and clean, and we got massages after!

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View from Alhambra Palace

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Food from restaurant that overlooked Alhambra – I want to say it was the Carmen Mirador de Aixa

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Amazing work being done by hand in the palace.

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KOREAN SKINCARE PRODUCTS

Alright so I’ll be the first to admit it that I fall asleep with my makeup on more often than I should. I won’t sit here and say I’ve been blessed with flawless skin, of course I’ve had my share of breakouts, blackheads, you name it. I’ve been to the dermatologist a countless amount of times and sure their regimens and products work, so long as I remember to apply them, or which cream goes on when, etc. There has been a ton of buzz around Korean beauty products and I can totally see why. Over the years, I have learned how important it is to treat your skin delicately and take care of it by washing your makeup off every night, moisturizing, the whole nine yards. This makes for a better foundation for when you apply your makeup and you’ll actually see yourself needing less and less. You’ll have that overall healthy glow without makeup – talk about confidence boost! Here are three Korean skincare products I swear by – I’m sure I’ll be blogging about more as I discover them!


 

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Let’s start with the Too Cool for School Takkoza cleansing wipes. Takkoza basically translates to cleanse and sleep. These saved my face. I have never come across a makeup remover wipe that literally takes it ALL off. Literally in one glide of the wipe, it is off – completely amazing. What I love about these wipes is not only they take every ounce of makeup and dirt off your face, but they leave my skin feeling refreshed and hydrated too. This is because they are filled with a ton of nutrients and vitamins – carrot water, beta-carotene, and vitamins A + C. These have absolutely saved me from falling asleep with my makeup on. They leave me no excuses to! If you can’t get around to washing your face, then keep these next to your bedside. It comes in a pack of sixty – so for only $16, you’re def getting your bang for your buck.

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Next, my most favorite product is the Caolion “Where is Pore” cleanser. This is a 2-in-1 cleanser. The top one is the blackhead steam foam cleanser and the bottom one is a pore tightening cooling foam cleanser. I use the top one first and then the bottom.  A little goes a loooong way with these guys. The directions say to leave on for ten seconds and the rinse off. For the the steam foam cleanser, you literally feel your face heating up and its like you feel the gunk coming out of your pores. I do leave it on for more than 10 seconds, around 30 seconds and then rinse it off in cooler water. It makes my face feel so clean. Then I follow with the pore tightening cleanser. Within ten seconds my face feels nice and cool and once I rinse it off my face feels tighter and my pores literally look invisible. It leaves my skin feeling so new and soft. When I first tried it, I remember I couldn’t believe it, I kept touching my face and I immediately called and showed my mother. It was that amazing. For $24 it is like I get a facial every time I use it. I’ve also tried their Pore Blackhead o2 Sparkling Soap and that worked wonders as well – my skin felt so polished. I certainly plan on trying more of their products.

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Lastly, the Creme shop had these limited edition masks that were made in Korea. I bought them around the holidays, so naturally they were peppermint cocoa sheet masks with the purpose of clarifying skin. The masks are infused with peppermint oil to treat troubled acne-prone skin. It came with a pack of five, so definitely a wise value. I’ve used three already, about one every month. As soon as I put it on, it is so cool on my skin and I feel my skin absorbing it all. With the excess liquid, I rub it on my neck to reap all of the benefits. I leave it on for twenty minutes and when I take it off, my skin feels nourished and my pores feel tight. I am a huge fan of masks and these are definitely in my top three. Here is me in my mask as I am writing this 😛

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