Barcelona is where my love affair with Europe began.

I remember my excitement from the time I planned and booked everything to stepping foot off the plane. There’s something so liberating about your first international trip. You tend to want to learn more about everything you’re seeing and know the history of it all. Till this day, I carry that desire to learn and see it all during my travels.

I actually took a cruise while in Barcelona (more about that in a later post) so I stood at 2 separate hotels, one prior to my cruise and then one when I returned and we also mixed up price points by doing a budget and then a luxury hotel. Even though they were opposite, we had incredible experiences at both and I highly recommend them.

Check them out — Hotel Curious // Hotel 1898

There is no shortage of great restaurants in this vibrant city but if I had to chose one to recommend, I would say book (far in advance) a reservation at Tickets Bar. I can’t really put into words the experience you get from this place. The food is literally a work of art. I promise you that your dining experience here will be the best visual and delicious 2 hours ever! Click HERE to see my review on TripAdvisor.

While in Barcelona you will want to see it all. I highly recommend focusing on Guadi. The Sagrada Familia is an absolute MUST! Do not leave Barcelona without going inside of this masterpiece. Park Guell is another major Guadi work that is not to be missed. Explore Las Ramblas, La Boqueria, the Magic Fountain, eat tapas until you can’t walk, drink a ton of wine and just get lost (while keeping alert because those pickpocketers are no joke in Barcelona) – sometimes you discover the most amazing things by just walking around town and exploring.

Here’s a look at my trip through my photos:

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If you have any specific questions – feel free to send me an email // pearlsandparis@yahoo.com

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L’Oréal Paris Brand Ambassador, Claudia Betancur created Shannon De Lima Muñiz look for last nights Latin Billboards.

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NSPIRATION:
“For Shannon’s look, I created a soft smoky eye to compliment the blue and nude tones of her dress. We didn’t want to overdo it with a bold lip as we wanted to highlight more her eyes and dewy complexion.” – Claudia Betancur

GET THE LOOK BREAKDOWN:
1. Claudia first applied, L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Miracle Blur ($24.99) as a primer to create a flawless canvas.
2. Next, she created a natural 3D effect by layering a sheer color of L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation (C4 Shell Beige — $16.99)
3. To give definition to her face structure, she used the darker shade in the L’Oréal Paris Pro Contour Palette ($12.99) and applied it right under cheek bones, on the temple and hairline of the forehead and along the nose.
4. Claudia applied, L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator ($12.99) with a defined brush on the tip of her nose, above the cheek bone and cupids bow. To give her skin more of a luminous glow, she topped it with, L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator ($12.99).
5. For the cheeks, Claudia lightly dabbed a soft pink cream blush to the apple of her cheeks.
6. For the eyes, she used L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eye Shadow in Paris Beach ($5.99) on her eye lids. For the smoky look, she first lined the crease with a black pencil liner, L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte-Matic Liner ($8.99) and smudged it with her finger. Claudia then applied, Colour Riche Monos Eye Shadow in Argentic, a gray shadow to the crease and on the outer corner to define it, she lightly applied, Colour Riche Monos Eye Shadow in Noir Cest Noir.
7. For full lashes, she applied two coats of L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt in Blackest Black ($8.99).
8. Claudia, went for a neutral matte lip using L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss in Statement Nude ($9.99) and L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Le Matte Lip Pen in 102 She’s so Matte ($9.99) in the center of the top and bottom lip.
9. To keep her makeup fresh all night, Claudia lightly sprayed, L’Oréal’s Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray ($16.99)

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Make Up For Ever has announced electropop singer-songwriter Charli XCX as the face of its latest launch, the Aqua XL Eye Pencil.

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Launching in May, the Aqua XL pencil is an enhanced version of the existing Make Up For Ever Aqua Eye Pencil, which is a part of the brand’s water-resistant franchise. The pencils come in a range of 20 vibrant hues, including various shades of blue, green, purple and pastels, along with traditional colors like black and brown. The pencils come in five finishes — Matte, Diamond, Satin, Iridescent and Metallic. An updated formula containing emollient oils and mango butter is said to make for a smoother application, and the pigment is more intensely saturated.

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Here is a swatch of all the pencils:

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All of the shades are vibrant, super pigmented and just stunning!

 I noticed that in some of my pictures the black shades looked to feather when swatched on my arm but I did not have that issue at all when applying to the eye. These liners are waterproof and extremely long lasting while still going on super creamy.

These are a must to keep an eye out for when they launch next month!

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As a big Urban Decay fan, I was really excited to test out their Matte Revolution Lipsticks.

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[Left to Right: Tilt, Stark Naked, Bittersweet]

I had the opportunity to swatch and test out 3 of the matte shades – Tilt, bright orangey red / Stark Naked, nude / Bittersweet, bright purple.

The Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipsticks are unlike other mattes. They are SUPER creamy and do not dry like a traditional matte lipstick. The formula, while applies buttery, drys with almost a velvet texture and is very long lasting. The three shades I tried were also very pigmented and did not feather when applied.

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[Left to Right: (with flash) Bittersweet, Tilt & Starknaked]

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What do you think about these shades? Which one is your favorite?

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While this is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Kohl’s and Latina Bloggers Connect, all opinions expressed are my own. 

With the crazy weather we’ve been having here lately in New Jersey, it’s been a little hard to think about warmer days. Either way, my Spring wardrobe needed some sprucing up so I headed to my local Kohl’s. Kohl’s is one of my favorite stores to shop at since you literally can find everything you need there from clothing, to beauty products to home decor.

I naturally gravitated to the Jennifer Lopez and LC Lauren Conrad Collections. They were filled with bright colors, bold prints and really cute styles. As you’ve seen from previous Fashion posts, I tend to lean towards darker clothing and this shopping trip was no different.

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I fell in love with this romper from the Jennifer Lopez Collection. It featured a mandarin collar which is super flattering to the neck line and came with a gold accent belt. I loved that it has adjustable sleeves which is perfect for the Spring temperatures. I paired this romper with these super cute Ivory Floral pumps from LC Lauren Conrad. I see myself wearing them a lot the next few months as they are a great neutral staple piece. The floral cut outs are a unique touch and make them so different than your normal everyday shoe.

I was also determined to find a really great outerwear piece for the Spring. I was looking for something that stood out and that would work with various outfits. When my eyes locked onto this dusty rose colored trench from the Jennifer Lopez Collection, I knew it was the one. The color was absolutely gorgeous and it was light weight which was perfect. It’s made from really soft material and the way it flowed while walking made me feel like I was on the runway.

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I plan to make another trip to Kohl’s soon as they had some really cute bags and accessories I was eyeing up.

Have you started your Spring shopping? If so, what are some of your must items to have for this season?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kohl’s and Latina Bloggers Connect. The opinions and text are all mine.