The place to soothe your soul…CRETE, GREECE

Have you ever visited a place where you just feel at ease? The harmony of the beach, the ocean and the mountains surrounding you and blessing you with serenity? If you haven’t, you should absolutely find that happy place for yourself.

I found this in Crete, Greece which is a large island located in Southern part of the Aegean Sea.

I have noticed a pattern in my favorite traveling destinations. Where the locals are extremely welcoming and there are few tourists, I tend to fall in love. Greek people are seriously some of the most welcoming people in the world, and some of the happiest. As you drive around this island, you see how little they have, but how happy they are, and it really warms your heart.

If you love beaches and mountains, this will be the perfect place for you. If you do happen to visit Crete, here are some of the locations you cannot miss!

Plakia Beach

Doesn’t this just look relaxing? The beach has very grainy but soft sand with tons of different pebbles. The day that I visited, it was quite windy (all of the tourists ran away, yay!), but the air smelled so good and the sun felt so glorious on my skin. When the weather allows it, you can play volleyball or enjoy water sports. There is a small strip full of cafes and bars right along the beach and a grocery store is also located near by, so if you want to grab some snacks and just enjoy the beach, you have an opportunity to do that too. Also, there is a cemented sidewalk right by the beach which is ideal for taking a walk or riding bikes.

Samariá Gorge National Park

This is actually a park that Peter and I discovered unexpectedly. We were looking for a cool beach to hang out at, and we saw an entrance to here. So happy that we ran into this gem! This happens to be one of the worlds Biosphere reserves. You can check out what that means here. As the name implies, it is a gorge. It measures about 16km long, so it is quite the hike. Instead of doing an actual hike, we ended up exploring some of the huge caves and walking down to the beach. I can’t even describe how superb this beach was.  The sand wasn’t really sand, it was full of beautiful pebbles of all different shapes and sizes. It was extremely relaxing to just sit on the pebbles and stare out to the water. Also, if you are into camping, you are allowed to set up tents and fires here, which is perfect!

Seitan Limania Beach

This was for sure my favorite destination of the whole trip. I mean, look at the beauty of this place!!! Ah, I miss it so much! The water was so crystal blue and the beach was so soft and white! The cliffs surrounding this were safe enough to jump off of. I mean, what else can you ask for? Even the drive to this place was to die for, literally. Thank goodness we were driving a small compact car, because those mountain roads are no joke. If you make one wrong turn, bye…you’re off of the mountain. This is also quite a far hike down to the beach and back up, therefore if you are traveling with little children, I would probably not recommend this. I personally tripped and did some damage to my legs. If you are not traveling with children, this is a must see and do. Really have not seen anything quite like this and I travel a lot. Bring some beer, some snacks and spend the whole day in the majestic environment.

Besides the beaches, be sure to eat everything in sight! Greeks have some of the best cuisine I have ever tried. GYROS GYROS GYROS, meat and fish! This is an island therefore I do suggest taking advantage of the fresh fish while it is available. Also, throw away your phones and just drive around. Getting lost on this island is what made this vacation one of my favorites. Peter and I met some of the coolest and nicest people and ran into the most exquisite places while frantically trying to get back to a familiar place. Some trips just don’t need to be planned out, and this is one of them, which is a great way to spice things up in your life.

I can honestly say that this was the most refreshing vacation I have ever been on. Where was your most relaxing  vacation?

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Shadow/Lipstick | Review

I think this is very quickly becoming one of my favorite brands. ABH has outstanding eyebrow products and now they are venturing out into highlighters, eye shadows, contouring creams and lipsticks. Since I love their eyebrow products and highlighters, I decided to order a single eye shadow and liquid lipsticks and see if these products can pass my test.

Can I just begin with the processing and shipping? Yes, just yes!! My order was processed in a day and I received the package in 3 business days. Now this makes me happy!!

EYESHADOW:

I order an eye shadow single in Henna. Just look at how beautiful this shade it! It is so pigmented and blends so well! I am in love! Thank you ABH for creating this color! For the biggest color payoff, get the amount you want on the brush, spritz with MAC’s Fix+ and apply to the eyelid. It comes out to be the perfect coppery/red color.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow in Henna

Here is the swatch on my skin. It looks a little orange, to get the foiled look, use a spritz of MAC Fix+.

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LIQUID LIPSTICK:

For the lipstick I ordered a Liquid Lipstick in Pure Hollywood. This is the perfect nude! I have been looking for the shade that fits my fair skin and after years of looking, I finally found it! I am so darn happy! The formula is so creamy, it dries matte but does not dry my lips out at all which is a huge plus! It wears very well all day long and requires very little touching up.

Liquid Lipstick-Pure Hollywood

Here is the swatch on my skin. It has a pink undertone which is why it’s the perfect nude. It’s also not too light which is nice, since lighter shades end up washing me out and making my lips look strange.

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Here is the look I created with both products!

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Have you used ABH products? How do you feel about them? Feel free to let me know in  the comments below!

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Spring in Barcelona, España!

About a week ago I took a trip with my family to Barcelona in order to celebrate my sister’s 30th birthday! What a beautiful reason to travel out of the country and explore!

I was there for three full days, which speaking from experience, is plenty of time to explore a city the size of Barcelona. I did a lot of planning beforehand and narrowed down my list to what I wanted to see and do. As always, you can’t see everything in one go, which trust me, I am not complaining about. I will take any reason to go back to Barcelona! It is such a charming city that combines old and new so exquisitely.

Without any further ado, here are the must see’s and do’s in Barcelona.

Montserrat Mountains & Monastery:

This may have been my favorite part of the trip. I have never seen mountains that were so unique in shape and color. The Montserrat Mountains are made out of a sedimentary rock called pink conglomerate, which is what creates this uncommon appearance. Now let me tell you that this mountain is no joke. The highest point of it is 1,236 meters above sea level and we took a little train all the way to the top. I was literally walking in the clouds. Two other sights to explore up there are the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey church and the “Steps to Heaven”.

Las Ramblas:

This is the most famous strip in Barcelona. It is hustlin’ and bustlin’ from morning to night time. The street is full of shops, restaurants, bars and of course, tourists. It is great for shopping and just taking in the culture of Barcelona. Walk around, buy some souvenirs and have a couple of drinks. If you’ve had some drinks, don’t be afraid of the street performers! They are awesome!! Drop some money in their bins and see what they do!

**I would not suggest eating here because it does lack authenticity and you are sure to get a very mediocre meal. Try venturing out of the way to find mom and pop restaurants to try real Spanish paellas and sangria.

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El Molino:

Oh my lanta is this Burlesque Bar a blast!! I seriously had the time of my life! You can buy one ticket, which is 33 euros or two tickets for 50 euros. If you buy the two people deal, you also get a bottle of champagne, plus the show. You really can’t beat that. The show is passionate/ funny/ engaging and just over all so special! This was my first time seeing a show like this so I was excited to begin with, but the greatest thing of all is that I ended up getting pulled on stage, by two hunky lumberjack men. It was HILARIOUS! It was basically a scene out of Magic Mike… I will leave it at that. It is for-sure great entertainment for a night out in Barcelona.

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Montjuïc:

Ah, this place is so surreal. The overall location is technically a hill but everything on it is to die for. The main place here is Palau Nacional which hosts the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Even if you do not want to go inside of the museum, the outside of this palace is magnificent. When you climb all the way up to the top of the stairs, you can see the whole city of Barcelona and the mountains behind it. Breathtaking….that is the only way to describe that. Also, if you’re feeling adventurous, do approach the man with the spray painted pigeons, you will not regret it! He has trained them to not be afraid of humans so you can take pictures with them! Quite the experience. 

Olympic Stadium:

If you’re a history buff and love sports, this is the location for you and even if you’re not, it’s wonderful to visit a site with so much history and character! This stadium was used for the 1992 summer Olympics and is used for sports/music events to this day. There is a beautiful area where you can walk around and some tables where you can enjoy lunch. You are welcome to bring your pets here to play as well, plenty of grass for them.

Windsor Restaurant:

We really did not go out to eat much but from the places we visited, this was the best. There was a mix up with the reservations but the staff was so professional and accommodating that they set up a private room for us. Everything we orders was superb! The lamb, the chicken, the fish, the calamari…everything! All of the ingredients were extremely fresh and cooked perfectly. And the deserts? Don’t even get me started!! I had chocolate ravioli with chocolate on top…soo delicious.

Camp Nou:

My dad has been a soccer coach his whole life so this trip destination was for him and he loved it!! Soccer has been in my life ever since I was born. Although I never played it, I do enjoy watching the big games. This was a fun excursion for me too! To be in that massive field and walk around where truly talented men play the sport was really cool. They also have a museum part with tons and tons of trophies, old/new gear and memorabilia. It was very interesting to walk around and see how the sport has evolved and changed and especially how well the Barca team has done over the years. A must see for sure!

La Sagrada Familia:

Now I am into more traditional and Renaissance churches but this one is quite out of the ordinary. So this is the church that many of you have heard about, its almost like an ongoing joke on how relaxed the Spanish are. This church was designed by Antoni Gaudí and the construction began in 1882. If you aren’t aware, its now 2016 and the church is still not finished. It’s been 132 years. The church itself is extraordinary, just like everything else that Gaudí designed. It looks like a sand castle with extremely intricate colors and designs on the tops of the towers. It is really an interesting interpretation of Gothic architecture.

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Platja de la Mar Bella:

Even though it was cold, we did decide to stay on the beach. Our apartment overlooked the water and it was so breathtaking to wake up and watch the sunset every morning. We did venture to the actual beach to stroll around and it was great. The actual beach sand is clean and soft. There is a skate park nearby which was very interesting to observe. I am sure that during the hot months this beach is full of all different types of people, activities and cafes.

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Overall, I really did enjoy Barcelona and everything that it has to offer. It has a great nightlife scene, superb food and beautiful scenery. What else could you want? I did enjoy visiting during the spring, even though it was chilly, there weren’t a crazy amount of tourists and I finally was reminded of how gorgeous Spring is. There were blossoming flowers and little leaves sprouting on trees. Really quite the sight!

 

Have you ever been to Barcelona/ do you live there? Did I miss out on anything that is special? Let me know in the comments below!

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MORPHE Palette/ Brushes | Review

**Here is an updated version of my thoughts on MORPHE a year later.**

https://theruteleblog.com/2017/07/18/i-gave-morphe-a-second-chance-my-honest-review-rutele/

I just want to start this post out with a little disclaimer…I am sharing my personal experience with the products. I do not mean to insult or offend anyone/the brand. I try to be a positive person and this post is not meant to trash the company. Also, in no way is this blog a way to spread negativity. If the products suit you, by all means keep using them. I just wanted to review the products honestly and hopefully help certain individuals save some time and money. Now with that being said, let’s get started.

When all of the big YouTubers, such as Jaclyn Hill, started talking about Morphe and how awesome the products were, I was really excited to try them out. They are so affordable and from what everyone was saying, they are great quality. As with every other big make up purchase, I did a lot of research online and surprisingly did not find any negative reviews of the brand, which should have been a red flag to me. There is no product that everyone loves…it just does not exist. Everyone’s tastes and preferences are so different, therefore for one brand to fit everyone’s needs…. is not very likely.

I went ahead and ordered an eye shadow palette (35P – 35 COLOR PLUM EYESHADOW PALETTE **NEW**), a makeup brush kit (SET 684 – 18 PIECE PROFESSIONAL BRUSH SET) and one single brush (M439 – DELUXE BUFFER). 

Let me just start off by complaining about the processing and shipping/ customer service. OH MY LANTA are they slow. It took on average 8 days to just process my orders and then an extra two weeks for the packages to get to me. My personal opinion is if you have such a high demand for your products, hire more people and get the job done quickly! This is usually something I can overlook if the products blow my mind, but this was not the case, so this just ended up being another negative to add to the list. Also, I ended up emailing the company about the slow processing and no one ever responded back to me…how nice of them right?

35P – 35 COLOR PLUM EYESHADOW PALETTE

I will start off by talking about the shadows. This is what the palette looks like.

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From the initial glance, these look like great quality eye shadows and the colors are very pretty (I will give them credit for that). They also swatch well and seem to be very pigmented, but oh boy is that misleading. These shadows aren’t pigmented at all, which makes it so hard to build the color to look like it does in the palette. The most annoying part of these shadows is the formula. They are so hard to blend!! Honestly who has the time to blend for two hours everyday? Overall, I would give this product a 2/10. This palette has been siting in my drawer for over six months without being touched. BOO!

SET 684 – 18 PIECE PROFESSIONAL BRUSH SET

Now  on to the brush set. Here is what the packaging and brushes look like.

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Again, from the initial glance, the brushes seem to look functional and fairly well made. After testing them out, I cannot say that they are. For starters, the pouch smells terrible which obviously made the brushes smell really bad too. Its hard to describe the smell, maybe a little like mold? The set includes natural hair and synthetic hair brushes. The synthetic hair brushes are okay quality, but the natural hair brushes are very rough and harsh on the face. The bristles are very frizzy and all over the place. I threw away most of these and kept maybe three of the synthetic ones to use when all of my other brushes are dirty. Overall, I would give this product a 3/10.

M439 – DELUXE BUFFER

Lastly, let’s talk about the foundation brush. Here is what it looks like.

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This is the only thing that I have liked from Morphe. It is a densely packed, synthetic foundation brush. I can honestly say that I do love it and use it every time I use a liquid foundation. The brush doesn’t adsorb much of the product and smooths it all over the face evenly and gently. Since it is quite large, it also decreases the time you spend on distributing the foundation, which is a huge plus. It is soft and easy to clean. Overall, I would give this product a 10/10. Cheap and functional!!

Have any of you used Morphe products? If so, how do you feel about them? Do you love any other companies that carry similarly priced products? Please do let me know!

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I woke up like this…FLAWLESS | Skincare

Mona, thank you for this awesome topic request! If you want flawless skin, keep on reading, I promise you will not regret it!!

I am thankful for the fact that I have been blessed with pretty peaceful skin. All throughout puberty I did not have many problems besides the mild breakouts due to hormonal fluctuations and those annoying blackheads. Although I didn’t have acne to take of, I was always very diligent about preserving my skins beauty. Your skin is something that you will literally live with the rest of your life, therefore making sure to take really good care of is essential in looking youthful and radiant.

I have combination skin, oily in the T-Zone and normal/dry everywhere else. Which makes it pretty difficult to find products that cater to both needs, but I think I have done a solid job. Just as with anything, gosh there were so many trial and errors, and with so many great products out there, its hard to stick to just one line. But below is my night and mourning routine. Enjoy 😀

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Night Routine:

  1. Using the Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing oil I break down all of the makeup on my face. I use 1 to 2 pumps and gently rub all over my face then rinse it with luke warm water. IMG_3270
  2. Using any make up wipe of your choice (I use generic ones from Costco, can be off brand, the residue off of the wipe will be washed off) I gently remove all of the eye make up.
  3. Using a pea sized amount of the Purity One Step Facial Cleanser I start my Clarisonic and work in the cleanser. The Clarisonic is programmed to be on for a minute. Use that minute to wash your face in soft, circular motions. Don’t forget the neck. IMG_3268
  4. I then wash my face with warm water and pat dry.
  5. Once a week or sometimes every two weeks I will use a blackhead strip. As I have mentioned in my Holy Grails post, I use the Dr. Jart+ strips. These could be used after washing your face with the Clarisonic or after a long and steamy shower. IMG_3265
  6. If I have break outs, I use the Out of Trouble Mask by Origins. This significantly reduces any redness or blemishes. If a blemish is being really stubborn, put a small amount on it and keep it overnight. By morning time, it should be less problematic. IMG_3267
  7. Then I apply a heavier moisturizer before bed. The skin works the hardest when you sleep, so might as well give it the nutrients that it needs. I personally use the A Perfect World by Origins. It is infused with White Tea which hydrates the skin like there is no tomorrow! IMG_3266
  8. Lastly, I exfoliate my lips with the Satin Lips mask by Mary Kay. I take a pea sized amount and scrub my lips with it. The cream should sit on your lips for about 5 minutes. Afterwards, I wipe it off with a makeup wipe and apply the Satin Lips lip balm. Voilà, after these steps the lips feel like fluffy pillows. IMG_3271

Morning Routine:

  1. Using the Checks and Balances face wash by Origins, I wash my face with cold water (using my hands). This gently removes any access oils and also wakes me up.IMG_3269
  2. I then immediately apply any lightweight moisturizer that I have.

On top of these daily steps I do go get facials every 6 weeks. Makeup, stress and pollution all play a vital role in clogging the pores therefore it’s important to go to a professional. I usually go with a microdermabrasion or even a very slight face peel. If live in SWF, I have the best esthetician, ask me and I will give you the details!

I would love to hear your tricks and routines too! I am always looking to improve this routine. Let me know down below!

XOXO, Ruta.