Subscription Week: Birchbox August 2015

Hello Everybody!

It is my favorite time of the month!! Subscription week :).

This week I have lots to share but thought I would start out with my August 2015 Birchbox. For those of you who don’t know, Birchbox is a $10 monthly subscription box that sends you 5 beauty samples – anything from skincare to lifestyle samples.  Sign Up Here!

August 2015 Birchbox
August 2015 Birchbox

This month I opted to get the Candidly Nicole Guest Editor Box and was SO Excited for the goodies!

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OOTD: Taylor Swift Concert

Hey Everybody!

I hope you guys had a great weekend :).

This past weekend my sister and I went to the Taylor Swift concert and omg it was amazing! The crowd was insane and everybody was having a blast.

We threw on a couple of cutesy summer outfits and I obviously had to do a red lip! Overall it was a great night full of singing, dancing, and very sore feet.

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My Holy Grail Face Brushes

Hi Everybody!

I have been loving a handful of my brushes for summer. There are certain brushes you just know will never let you down so I thought I would share my current holy grails!

Current Holy Grail Face Brushes
Current Holy Grail Face Brushes

Beauty Blender & Solid: I love this little sponge. I know there are a lot of more affordable versions of the beauty blender and I’ve tried a couple, but there is something about the technology of the beauty blender that I find cannot be replicated. The way that it blends out my foundation or concealer makes it look so natural, I love it. I got this solid as a 100 pt sample from Sephora and it is perfect for quick rinses of my brushes. I have heard however though that just a simple bar of soup works just in well!

Mac 125 Split Fibre: This was part of the Mac Wash and Dry collection and I thought the packaging was so cute. I ended up buying the face brush version of this first and thought the split fibre idea was so cool so I bought the contour brush as well. I think this brush is really great for both cream and powder products. I actually find this brush to be the only one I like when applying the MUFE Pro Bronze Fusion.

Real Techniques Stippling Brush: I’ll be honest and say I HATE the packaging of real techniques brushes. I am slightly OCD and like all of the brushes in my little brush cup to look nice and clean and pretty and this brush throws off everything. That being said it is my all time favorite for applying my foundation. I rarely use anything else. I LOVE this brush probably more than any other brush I own. The way that it applies my foundation is so flawless looking, I couldn’t ask for more. I especially like this over some other more typical foundation brushes because I feel that it doesn’t eat any product – whereas some of my denser brushes I feel like half of the product gets lost in the brush.

Sephora – Pro Domed Stippling Brush: I pretty much only use this brush with my cream bronzers, but it does suuuuuch a good job of blending out product it is great! This is easily my favorite way to warm up my face on just a day to day basis. I feel like this brush is really well made and is perfect for cream products.

Sephora – Pro Contour: I use this brush primarily for setting my under eyes. I think it is the perfect size and shape for getting powder in smaller spaces. I do also use it for contour because the tapered edge is great for getting into the hollows of your cheeks. This is prob my most used / versatile brush.

Zoeva – Face Shaper: This brush I use with my Kevyn Aucoin creamy glow duo (which by the way is the best contour product ever!). This brush is also great for cream products – and for contouring in general. It is the perfect size for precise placement

Zoeva – Silk Finish: When I am not using my beauty blender, I use this brush. I think it blends out product beautifully. It is super soft and yet dense enough to really blur out any clumps of product or harsh lines.

Zoeva – Powder: This is another one of my most used brushes ever. I think this brush is fantastic. It is large and great for powdering your entire face. It is extremely soft which is one of the main things I look for in a powder brush, and just does a great job of evenly applying powder. I also use this at the end of my makeup application for any finishing powder or to do one last little bit of blending.

Elf – Ultimate Kabuki: I got this brush online after hearing great things about it online. I think this was such a good purchase! Elf is so affordable and this brush has so many uses. I use it as an all over powder brush and also as a sort of bronze/contour brush as well. When I want a more natural / all over bronze look rather than an actual contour this is my go to. It is super soft and for the price you really can’t beat it!

Scout - sharing his favorite as well
Scout – sharing his favorite as well

Just for fun – thought I would share Scout’s favorite too as he was so eager to show it off 🙂

Let me know your fave brushes or recommendations!

xxoo Melissa

Tatcha – Luminous Dewy Skin Mist : Review

Hi Everybody!

I don’t know about you, but I have been hearing about the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist everywhere. I know it came out that this is one of the tools Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist uses and I think after that everybody wanted to try it – myself included!

My Goodies!
My Goodies!

I have heard many bloggers and youtubers RAVE about this product, but I didn’t want to shell out the almost 50 bucks on it! I was able to find the perfect solution. They sell a travel size for only $15! I ended up buying the travel size and finding a coupon for a free deluxe sample of the Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder as well.

I was so excited when I got my package because the $15 travel size has a really good amount of product (1.35 fl oz). With a mist like this, a little goes a long way. I have been spraying two – three spritzes on my face and I can see amazing results. For someone who has dry skin – this product really is worth all the hype.

It is a milky spray that has red algae and their signature HADASEI-3 Biactive Complex. As soon as you spray it on your face you truly do look dewy and luminous, there is no other way to describe it. At first I thought ok, well I just sprayed my face of course it is going to look wet & dewy, but this product soaks in almost immediately and your skin is left glowing. I really am happy I found the travel size to try out because it was worth every penny. This isn’t something I use everyday, but on those occasions where I just need a little more life and radiance on my skin this doessss the trick.

I was also really happy to hear that Tatcha is a partner with Room to Read – so every purchase you make you are helping provide education to women in developing countries! So Cool :).

I haven’t yet tried the rice enzyme powder although I did think it was great that they provided so many samples with my purchase.

Overall, I am very happy – and I think if you’ve been dying to try the skin mist the $15 bottle may be the perfect solution!

xxoo Melissa

Sephora VIB Rouge – Beauty before Brunch Haul

Hello Everybody,

Last weekend I went to my first VIB Rouge event! I was super excited for the goody bags and the 4x point perk didn’t hurt either! I took my Mom as my plus 1 and we ended up getting some great stuff so I thought I would share :).

Damage Done
Damage Done

We ended up buying a selection of things – some for myself, some for my mom, and some for my sister. As you can see we had fun!

The Entire Haul <3
The Entire Haul ❤

Here are some of the things I got:

My Haul - Mainly Skincare
My Haul – Mainly Skincare

I ended up gravitating to the skin care products as my face has been sorta freaking out the past couple months. The BEST thing we found was a build your own sample pack. You could choose any 5 samples within a certain section for $25 and they came with a super cute little bag (as you’ll see in my mom’s section of the haul). The things I personally picked out were the four items in the back left –

Algenist – Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser: I have the full size of this product and LOVE it. I first saw it on KathleenLights Youtube channel and thought it sounded interesting, so naturally I went to buy it. It starts out as a gel formula and then as you put it on your dry face it turns into an oil. When you go to wash it off it turns into almost a milk and washes off literally all your makeup. I was super excited when I saw this sample because first of all it is HUGE and second of all it is perfect to travel with so I don’t have to take my full size.

First Aid Beauty – Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay: I am a big fan of clay cleansers because I think they do a really great job of cleaning out my pores. I saw this and decided it would be a fun one to try and again, I love samples for traveling. I think it is fun to do a couple little mini spa nights while on vacation.

Dr Dennis Gross – Alpha Beta Peel (Original Formula): These were actually not in the 5 for $25 section – I ended up grabbing them while in the checkout line (gets me everytime!!) BUT, the more advance version of these were – which is incredible to me because I think these “samples” retail for around $16! I am still just in shock at the great value we got with all these samples. If you have a local Sephora I highly recommend going to take advantage of this deal! ** I just checked and they have this deal online too! FYI 🙂

Ren – Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask: I haven’t tried this product yet, but as you can see I am all about the masks right now and really anything that says radiance sounds good to me! I am excited to try it out as it has some really good reviews online!

GlamGlow – SuperMud Clearing Treatment: This was my main purchase of the day and really the only thing I planned on splurging on. It is nott cheap but in my opinion worth every penny. I got a sample of this when I bought the SuperCleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser and while I do love the cleanser this mask is unreal. It is easily the best mask I have ever used. EVER. I have combo to dry skin and the pores around my nose / T – zone can get oily and are bigger than I would like. I used this and when I looked in the mirror afterward I couldn’t see a single pore. It was unlike any mask I’ve ever used. The next day I woke up and my skin was clean, tight and radiant.

First Aid Beauty – Facial Radiance Pads: These were just an extra sample the woman threw in for us as we were paying – but I can’t wait to try them. I am a big fan of makeup wipes / pre moistened pads just because they are so easy to use.

Sephora Masks – Rose Face Mask & Honey Eye Mask: I love these little masks from Sephora – they are super inexpensive and I think they are great for a more frequent treatment. I have used a number of them and find them to be really great on my skin. I love the variety of types that they have.

Kat Von D – Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lovecraft:  This was actually one of the point rewards that was available – We ended up getting three (one for everyone!) because of what an incredible shade it is. It is a great mauve shade that can be super versatile. As one of the Sephora workers told us – you can make it lighter/fresher by pairing it with a pink liner or deepen it up with a darker nude / brown liner.

My Mom/ Sister's Haul
My Mom/ Sister’s Haul

My mom went for the 5 for $25 samples as well and opted for the same Algenist Cleanser, Ren Mask, and Dr Dennis Gross Peel.

In addition she got:

Dr Jart+ – Water-Full Hydrogel Mask: This is a super hydrating face mask. It is supposed to increase the hydration, elasticity and bounce to skin. It also has some anti-aging properties!

Murad – AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser:  My Mom opted for two of these because she loves the Murad brand. She was looking for some more good exfoliants and this is great because it has the acid exfoliant in addition to jojoba skin-polishing beads.

Lancome – Grandiose Wide-Angle Mascara: I think this mascara is super cool. Not only is the packaging gorgeous but the wand is super unique (go check it out!). It has a swan neck type bend in it which makes it super easy to apply. It is a clump free, lengthening mascara and is long wearing without being waterproof (so its easy to take off at night).

Deborah Lippmann – Cuticle Oil:  I just used this last night as I was prepping my nails for a little at home manicure. This oil is great! It has the most amazing coconut smell that is so yummy. The thing I love most about it is that it drys quickly and yet is super hydrating.

Smashbox – Camera Ready BB Cream: This was my sister’s purchase and she has been loving this BB Cream. It is a repurchase for her so that goes to show that it is a great product. I have used hers a couple of times and the amount of coverage is great. I would say it is a medium coverage that feels really light and gentle on the skin. It also has SPF 35 so is great for summertime!

VIB Rouge Goody Bag
VIB Rouge Goody Bag

Sorry this post is so long! But I just wanted to lastly and certainly not least-ly show you the goody bag we got! It came with the following products:

BareMinerals – Moxie Lipgloss

Boscia – Detoxifying Black Cleanser

Benefit – Porefessional 

L’Occitane – Hand Cream

Formula X – Nail Polish

Chloe – Perfume 

Korres – Wild Rose & Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial

All in all we def. got our moneys worth when looking at the Rouge goody bag and the amazing 5 for $25 offer. I highly recommend checking it out in store or online – make sure you use Ebates if you’re shopping online to get cash back and an even better deal!

Sign Up for Ebates – Click Here

Let me know what your favorite skincare products are or what you end up getting in your 5 for $25 pack!

xxoo Melissa

Nars Audacious Lipstick – Review and Swatches

Hey Everybody!

Happy Saturday :).

Today I wanted to go through some swatches of my fave lipstick of all time – the Nars Audacious Lipstick. I know these are hyped up everywhere but let me tell you, they are worth the hype and worth every penny. TRUST ME. If I were to recommend any one single lipstick this would be it – I personally would save my money and instead of buying two MAC lipsticks invest in one of these.

Nars Audacious Lipsticks -  Raquel, Anna, Brigitte, Juliette, Catherine & Anita
Nars Audacious Lipsticks –
Raquel, Anna, Brigitte, Juliette, Catherine & Anita

They are insanely pigmented, super creamy, and wear incredibly. I have a real problem with lipsticks fading on me and kinda beading up on my lips throughout the day. I also am awful at re-applying, so halfway through the day I tend to just look a little crazy. THESE saved my life, they sort of stain your lips so as you wear them throughout the day they never get splotchy or uneven. I highly recommend trying one.

Nars Audacious Lipsticks
Nars Audacious Lipsticks

Here are some close ups of the shades I own (please excuse my grown out gel polish!):

Raquel:

Raquel
Raquel

Raquel is the most true nude shade that I own. I think it is such a pretty color, but may not work as well with darker skin tones – it may end up coming off a little “dead body” looking. I find that if I put a little pink liner as a base it is the perfect pinky beige for everyday wear.

Anita:

Anita
Anita

Anita is my personal fave. It is a great dusty rose color that is one of those “your lips but better” type shades. I love how this wears and how it looks with any makeup look I may have on. I actually just purchased this one for a second time – that’s how much I love it.

Anna:

Anna
Anna

Anna is described as a smokey rose – but the best way I can describe it is a purpley mauve. This is very Kylie Jenner-esk and is such a pretty color for everyday in the fall/winter time. Again the way that these wear on your lips is so amazing. I can put this on in the morning and at 5pm my lips still have even color, without reapplying once.

Brigitte:

Brigitte
Brigitte

Brigitte is a great nude rose. I think if I were going to recommend one it would be this one because of how versatile it is. It would look great on any skin tone because it is just that perfect everyday deeper pink. (This one is my Mom’s personal fave).

Juliette:

Juliette
Juliette

I bought Juliette for the spring and summer time because I have been obsessed with pinky – coral shades. I think this one is great because it is not super orangey. It has the perfect balance for everyday wear – yet you can play it up and make it more fun depending on the other makeup you pair it with. I think this is prob my second fave color!

Catherine:

Catherine
Catherine

I got Catherine online before seeing it in person – so it is a little more orangey than I would typically go for. I had envisioned more of a Juliette when buying this one; however, the color is still really pretty and great for summertime. It is described as a sunny guava, but I would say it leans more orange than that. It is a little more of a true coral color as you can see in the swatches below.

Here are some swatches of the shades that I have! The first photo was taken in the shade and shows more of the true color of each lipstick. The second photo was taken in the sun and you can really see how creamy and pigmented they are.

Nars Audacious Lipsticks
Nars Audacious Lipsticks

Just FYI – I ran each lipstick down my arm ONE time – that just tells you how crazy pigmented these are.

Nars Audacious Lipsticks
Nars Audacious Lipsticks

I hope you guys liked this post! Let me know your fave shades or ones you are dying to try! I know I personally also really want to try Lana (a vivid orange red).

xxoo Melissa

July 2015 Favorites

Hi Everybody!

I can’t believe July is already over! Here are some of the products I have been LOVING this month. With the heat I have been sticking to minimal makeup while going for that dewy, glowy look.

July 2015 Favorites
July 2015 Favorites

July 2015 Favorites – As pictured above (Left to Right, Top to Bottom)

Stila – Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush – Water Lily:

I got the shade water lily which is the perfect peachy pink sheer wash of color. I was a little scared at first as I am not used to liquid / gel blushes but this blends out super easily and provides the perfect amount of color.

Stila - Water Lily (blended out)
Stila – Water Lily (blended out)

Too Faced – HangoverRx Replenishing Face Primer:

This primer is my holy grail. I have dry skin and this works perfectly. It makes my face feel hydrated and keeps my makeup on all day. I will be repurchasing this over and over and over.

Chanel – Soleil Tan de Chanel:

I think this bronzer is perfect for summer. It is extremely warm and gives my face the perfect hint of JLo. I apply it with a large stipple brush in the places I would normally contour and it instantly warms my face up. I love throwing this over minimal makeup to give my face dimension. I also love that a little product goes a long way which is a plus given how pricey it is.

Becca – Shimmering Skin Perfector – Champagne Pop:

This Limited Edition highlight has been my favorite! I love applying a little bit of this on the high points of my cheeks. It is the perfect champagne highlight that can be used for a natural glow or an intense disco ball look.

Champagne Pop - on the top
Champagne Pop – on the top

Cover Fx Custom Cover Drops – N30:

I love these drops. I have been using them a lot with different moisturizers and even adding them into bb creams – like with my other favorite the Maybelline Dream Pure BB. They are essentially drops of pure pigment which is perfect for adding a hint more coverage to anything!

Maybelline – Fit Me Concealer – Light (10) and Medium (25):

I have been loving these concealers as a way to brighten my under eyes (w/ light) or cover any blemishes / trouble spots (w/ medium). It is so lightweight and blends out really smoothly. I think it is a great everyday concealer that provides a good amount of coverage without looking cakey or settling into any fine lines.

Maybelline – Dream Pure BB – Light/Medium:

I think this BB is great. I was actually really surprised with the amount of coverage it provides. It is really smooth and lightweight on the skin but evens out my skintone really well. I also love that it has 2% Salicylic Acid – so on days where I feel like my skin needs a day off or some acne help this is my go to.

Clinique – Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer + Rouge Intense + Base – Nude Pop:

I think this color is perfect for a “no makeup makeup look.” It is moisturizing and feels almost like a chapstick when applied. It has a lot of pigmentation and is the perfect everyday nude pink color.

Clinique Pop - Nude Pop
Clinique Pop – Nude Pop

Loreal – Telescopic Mascara – Carbon Black:

This mascara is one of my new favorites. I know i’ve raved about it before, but it really is the only mascara that keeps my lashes curled all day. My only con to this is that it is more lengthening than volumizing. If I could mix the Too Faced – Better than Sex formula with this one it would be my perfect mascara ever!

ColourPop – Super Shock Shadow – Lovely:

This shade is soooo pretty. It is a metallic soft gold shade that really brings light to your eyes. The colourpop formula is so unique and one of my favorites for shimmery shades. The mousey texture allows the shimmer to really pop on your eyes and I find that they stay all day. I love pairing this with a darker color in the crease or outer v. You can intensify it for a dramatic night look or even just put it all over the lid during the day.

ColourPop - Lovely
ColourPop – Lovely

That’s all for my monthly favorites this time around! Let me know what your favorites have been :).

xxoo Melissa

My MAC Collection – Lipsticks

Hi Everybody!

Happy Friday!

I know I missed National Lipstick Day by a couple of days, but I figured it was as good a time as any to give you a little glimpse at my current MAC lipstick collection!

MAC Lipsticks (outlined from L to R below):
MAC Lipsticks (outlined from L to R below):

I have 9 lipsticks from MAC – a mixture of Lustre, Matte, Retro Matte, Frost, and Satin finishes.

(L to R, Top to Bottom): Velvet Teddy, Angel, Syrup, Razzle-Dazzler, Call the Hairdresser, All Fired Up, Amorous, Rebel, Viva Glam III
(L to R, Top to Bottom):
Velvet Teddy, Angel, Syrup, Razzle-Dazzler, Call the Hairdresser, All Fired Up, Amorous, Rebel, Viva Glam III

Velvet Teddy (Matte): a true neutral deep-tone beige. – One of the Kylie Jenner shades. This is a great shade, I think it is perfect for a fall nude lip!

Angel (Frost): a soft baby pink. I typically don’t like super frosty lip shades, but this wears beautifully on the lips. It is one of my go to everyday shades that is a nude pink with a hint of shine. It almost looks like a neutral, pinky gloss. I think this formula is also pretty moisturizing, although not tremendously long wearing.

Syrup (Lustre): a true pink with almost purple / lavender undertones. This is one of my other most used shades. It is a perfect “my lips but better” color that I can wear with virtually any look.

Razzle-Dazzler (Lustre): This shade is a creamy peach color – almost like a creamcicle – perfect for summer! I love this lipstick paired with a shiny gloss and a simple face of make up. So cute for everyday in the summer to add some freshness to your look!

Left Top - down and right:  Velvet Teddy, Angel, Syrup, Razzle-Dazzler
Left Top – down and right:
Velvet Teddy, Angel, Syrup, Razzle-Dazzler

Call the Hairdresser (Lustre): This lip was from the “MAC is Beauty” collection – and I am happy that it is permanent! It is described as a “rosey mauve” but I find it to be more of a true rosey almost hot pink color. I love this one because it is a lot more sheer than my other lipsticks. With the more vibrant pink I think it is nice to be able to start out a bit more sheer and then build up the color depending on your mood 🙂

All Fired Up (Retro Matte): I bought this color recently in preparation for my upcoming trip to Hawaii. I wanted a really eye catching fun color that I wouldn’t normally be able to get away with in day to day life. I can’t wait to pair this bright fuchsia with a summer dress while I’m away.

Amorous (Satin): This was my first MAC lipstick! I remember walking up to the counter and wanting a “dark” lip to wear for my holiday christmas party. I had never really strayed from the neutral pink lip gloss at this point so I thought all dark lips looked silly on me. The woman at the MAC counter was great and helped me pick this cranberry shade out – to this day still one of my favorites for a night out!

Rebel (Satin):  This is a cult favorite and for good reason. It is a creamy plum purple that looks great on a variety of skin tones. I love this color for the winter time. One of my favorite berry shades for holiday parties!

Viva Glam III (Matte): I’ll be honest and say that I totally accidentally ordered this color. I think I meant to order Viva Glam II as I was browsing around the site for some Kylie Jenner -esk shades. When I got this in the mail I was pretty surprised to find this shade as it is VERY dark compared to even the dark shades I wear. This is described as a brownish plum, which I would agree with. It is quite dark, so with my fair skin looks a little silly. However, I could see it being beautiful on a darker or more olive complexion.

(L to R, Top to Bottom): Velvet Teddy, Angel, Syrup, Razzle-Dazzler, Call the Hairdresser, All Fired Up, Amorous, Rebel, Viva Glam III
(L to R, Top to Bottom):
Velvet Teddy, Angel, Syrup, Razzle-Dazzler, Call the Hairdresser, All Fired Up, Amorous, Rebel, Viva Glam III

Let me know your favorite MAC shades and finishes! Another couple I have been eyeing is Creme Cup and Coral Bliss and Ruby Woo.

Hope you enjoy!

xxoo Melissa

Makeup Look: Pop of Pink

Hey Everybody,

As you may have seen in my recent Nordstrom Anniversary Sale post, I purchased the Nars “Blame it on Nars” cheek palette. I, of course, wanted to use it right away. I figured a casual Friday night out was the perfect time to try it out!

Check out the look I came up with below:

Pop of Pink Summer Look
Pop of Pink Summer Look

I used the following products for this look and think it came out great!

Products Used - details below
Products Used – details below

Face:

Maybelline Dream Pure BB – light/medium (I mixed this with a couple of the FX Custom Cover Drops)

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops – N30

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit – Vanilla set my under eye area and Fawn for a light contour

Nars “Blame it on Nars” – Day Dream

Becca – Champagne Pop

Eyes:

Not sure why the lips look so orange in this light - but the true shade is shown in the first pic :)
Not sure why the lips look so orange in this light – but the true shade is shown in the first pic 🙂

Too Faced – Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette

– Butter Pecan all over the lid

– Bon Bon smoked out from the middle of my lid to the outer corner

– Caramel in the outer corner as well

– Truffled in the crease blended with Mousse

– Peanut Butter smoked out in the crease for a hint of warmth

Mac Fluidline Gel Eyeliner

Loreal Telescopic Eyeliner – mixed with Greater than MDM Flow mascara

Brows: 

Benefit – Gimmie Brow in medium / deep

Lips: 

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig

Summertime Pop of Pink
Summertime Pop of Pink

Hope you all like the look!

xxoo Melissa

Take Me Back – Barcelona Travels

Hi Everybody,

In attempts to get over my hump day blues, I thought I would relive my amazing trip to Barcelona this past New Years. While it took 15+ hours to get there, it was worth every second – a place I’ll never forget! The atmosphere, sites, and food were incredible! Truly a place worth visiting.

We visited many of the historic sites including taking tours of the famous – I’m gunna say artist, not architect for reasons you’ll see below – Antoni Gaudi’s inspired creations. We visited the Sagrada Familia (a work still in progress, being finished in Gaudi’s vision), Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, and Park Guell.

Antoni Gaudi's Incredible Sagrada Familia
Antoni Gaudi’s Incredible Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is an amazing Basilica that is believe it or not still incomplete. Construction began in 1882 and Gaudi took over in 1883. He created an incredible vision is actually still being carried out today. Words cannot describe the beauty inside and pictures can’t do it justice either. This is a must see if you visit Barcelona – and the guided tour is definitely worth the price.

Small portion of the incredible stained glass interior of the Sagrada Familia
Small portion of the incredible stained glass interior of the Sagrada Familia

We also visited the beautiful Casa Batllo, completely inspired by nature, it is an extraordinarily unique place. The interior features two huge light columns bringing the natural light down throughout the entire home.

Exterior of Casa Batllo
Exterior of Casa Batllo

Another incredible place courtesy of Gaudi is Park Guell. It was originally commissioned to be a park surrounded by expensive, technologically advanced homes, to create a sort of wealthy exclusive community; however, the project never took off and instead we were left with the beautiful park.

“El Drac” – the dragon at the main entrance of the park

From the top of the park, you can see the entire city of Barcelona – looking out over the beautiful mosaic bench Gaudi created.

Looking out at Barcelona from Park Guell (photo taken from Park Guell's instagram as I couldn't find the one I wanted)
Looking out at Barcelona from Park Guell (photo taken from Park Guell’s instagram as I couldn’t find the one I wanted)

Not only did my family enjoy the sites of Barcelona – but we enjoyed the food. A lot of food. A lot a lot of food. Paired with a lot of Sangria. We went to some amazing restaurants, had a lot of Paella and Tapas, and visited the Mercado de la Boqueria (as seen in the header picture – taken from my sister’s instagram @isabellekh14)!

Squid Ink Paella at L'Arrosseria Xativa
Squid Ink Paella at L’Arrosseria Xativa
Shrimp Paella #omnomnom
Shrimp Paella at L’Arrosseria #omnomnom

The squid ink Paella from L’Arrosseria Xativa was one of our favorites throughout the trip. It may look scary but it is delicious!

tapas
Tapas from Tosca – so good we went twice!

We had tapas almost everywhere we went but some of our favorites were from Tosca, a cute little cafe / bar a couple minutes away from our hotel. This place was so good we ended up going twice! My favorite tapas of the trip were the Patatas bravas (potatoes), Albondigas (meatballs),  and Croquetas.

We celebrated our New Year’s Eve at the restaurant Agut. An amazing family owned establishment. It was established in 1924 and still has the same paintings hanging within today. They served a prix fixe menu that was delicious, we devoured every course! This was a perfect place to soak in some of the true Barcelona culture – and have a great time on New Year’s Eve!

New Year's Eve - Livin the dream at Agut in Barcelona
New Year’s Eve – Livin the dream at Agut in Barcelona – can we talk about the guy in the background and his foil hat!

Overall the trip was amazing and I think Barcelona is a fabulous place to visit. I know my family and I had an incredible time – I hope this post (although long) gives you some idea of the experiences to be had!

Take me Back!
Take me Back!

If any of you are planning a trip soon and need a tour guide feel free to reach out 😛

xxoo Melissa