28 April 2016

V TORRES EXPERIENCE ALTEA


Torres is a 5th generation family owned winery that originated from the Penedés Region in Spain. They have since expanded to several other Spanish wine areas and even gone abroad. They own a winery run by Miguel Torres in Chile and one in Sonoma Valley that is run by Marimar Torres.
Last weekend they chose our home town to celebrate their V Torres Experience in which you could taste over 60 wines for as low as 10€ and attend food & wine pairings for only 4€!!!
The wine stands were scattered all over our main church's square, not the most comfiest place what with the paved cobblestones but it sure looks nice.
I started out the Saturday morning by attending a food & wine pairing. Of course I totally forgot to take a picture of the second "tapa" and only remembered when I was chewing it away.
First we had an oyster bathed in some kind of asian sauce. I'm not particularly keen on oysters but I have to admit that this one tasted dang good.
The second was a tiny steak tartare served on a bed of some sort of cereal grain that I can't remember the name of. This one above was the third bite: a tuna tartare with a twist, don't ask me, I'm the worst at describing food and I can't even remember what it was paired with.
Last one was a beef tataki with an asparagus, that's supposed to be very difficult to pair with any particular wine or so we were told by our very knowledgeable and funny sommelier.
The following day we went to the Italian Cuisine & wine pairing and my batteries died so I had to ask the hubby to take the pictures of the food for me. 
Some of the more expensive wines and champagnes you had to pay extra for, but not much, only 4€. We had some pink champagne on the Saturday but I can't seem to find the picture anywhere. On the Sunday I went for this wine from the Spanish Priorat Region:
I did my best to try all the wines but I could only make it to 36, although I think I had some refills of the wines that I'd loved. If I had to choose one brand that I was pleasantly surprised with I'd have to mention the Jean Leon wines. 
So far, best weekend ever! A huge thank you to Torres Wines for organizing such a fantastic and delicious event, I hope they'll come somewhere nearby in the future.

P.S. I'm the one on the far right.

19 April 2016

Food Truck Groupie


Food trucks have become increasingly popular in Spain thanks to TV programs like Master Chef. Its success opened the way for similar food related programs like "Cocineros al Volante" which, more or less, translates into Chefs on wheels. 

These moving restaurants had never proliferated before due to the strict regulations we have in this country. The permit will only allow them to participate in certain food fairs and markets and they aren't allowed to set shop anywhere else. 

This venture needs less of an investment than opening a restaurant and, with taxes and fees sky rocketing since the crisis began, many chefs have decided to jump on the bandwagon before the novelty wears off.

For the last few months the hubby and I have been following them around the area, a 100 km tops for now. Whatever it takes to enjoy a sunny day outside and put some tasty food inside our belly.

In Albir during Easter weekend we enjoyed the Tuna Ceviche from Ellas Sushi & Art and the Kangaroo steak from the Aussie food truck. I forgot to take pictures of the food: worst blogger ever!
A couple of weeks later we followed them to Denia and I went for the Tuna Ceviche, again. The hubby ordered a Japanese sandwich which had both chicken and tuna in it, which sounds a bit weird but paired really well.
This food truck had the funniest name: the "Pulponeta", it's hard to translate but it's a mix of two words: "pulpo" (octopus) and "furgoneta"(truck). We tried the octopus sandwich which was very tasty.
At the Aussie food truck we ordered the Surf 'n Turf: a mix of kangaroo meat and crawfish. We could have done without the latter, not our cup of tea. Give me a plate of shrimp instead!
For dessert there were some cute vintage food trucks to choose from but we went for a Japanese mojito instead: it's made with sake and strawberries, the rest stays the same: mint leaves, brown sugar and soda water.
And these are the other food trucks we could have chosen from. Next time I want to try out the barbecue skewers, they smelled and looked yummy.
Last weekend we wanted to visit them in Mutxamel but the hubby didn't feel well so we had to stay in. Next week they will be nearby so I'm sure not going to miss it, even if I have to go alone.

What would your dream food truck look like? 

16 April 2016

Sephora & Primark Haul


The perfect chance to go shopping is when you're in a faraway town you hardly ever visit. The hubby had to go for some tests to a hospital far away from home. As he's such a cry baby with anything medical I decided to take a day off from work and go with him for moral support. I brought my eReader with me in case it would take up all morning but within 15 minutes we were out the door. 

Nearby there was a huge department store and, you know me, well you don't but you can imagine, can't you? We went there to have a browse and I stumbled upon a Sephora counter and I couldn't not stop and peruse through all the products. I decided on a whim to get the Kat von D Everlasting liquid lipstick in Lolita after hearing 300 zillion people rave about it, and now I know why. It's the most gorgeous and complimenting shade ever! 
Sephora Corte Inglés Elche
I also picked up a midi size Make Up Forever Step 1 Smoothing Primer to test out as I've been quite disappointed in the Instablur primer by The Body Shop.

Total expenditure: 37.50€
Kat von D lipstick = 20€
MUFE primer = 17.50€

On the way home we stopped at a Primark store and hauled a few things. I was in need of some new bras so that's what I went in for even though you know deep down that you'll never succeed in getting to the till with just that. You always end up throwing random things into your basket while thinking "it's such a bargain!" or "I really do need this!".
Primark Accessories from 1.50€ to 3€
So I ended up getting a velvet sleeping mask, a glitter phone case and some nail buffers. The PEZ dispenser shaped like Darth Vader and the Chalkboard magnet are gifts from the hubby because he's also unable to stick to his list.
Primark bras from 3€ to 5€
As for the bras, I got a cute summery bralette to wear under my tank tops, some comfy padded ones and one with no padding. 
Primark Summer Dress: 5€
This summery dress is perfect to wear to the beach. It's very airy and comfortable but cute and girly at the same time.
Primark Side Split Top 5€
The hubby bought me this tank top because he liked the message: Less is the new more. It looks great with my denim shorts. Sorry it's a bit wrinkled, I just washed it.
Primark sport socks set of 5: 3€
Having bought my first black trainers ever, I needed some socks to go with them as all my other sport socks are white.
Primark Rose Gold Fairy Lights: 6€
Rose gold fairy lights, anyone? Enough said.
Primark Chalkboard & Key Hanger: 4€
The hubby picked up this chalkboard for the entryway so we can hang our keys and leave cute messages, such as: Take out the garbage, you lazy bum!
Primark Set of 10 Velvet Hangers: 6€
At the till I grabbed this set of velvet hangers. My thought process was as follows: if I change all my bulky hangers for these slimmer ones I could fit more clothes in my closet and that means that I can go shopping for clothes!

What do think of my reasoning? On point or not? What do you like shopping for?

12 April 2016

Cleansing Devices: Clarisonic, DermaNew or Foreo Luna?


Although I never got around to purchasing a Clarisonic device and I can't say how it compares to what I've been using instead, I wanted to share this post with y'all.
DermaNew vs Foreo Luna
A few years ago I decided to get the Dermanew Microdermabrasion system as it was far cheaper than the Clarisonic and it seemed to work quite similar. The bristles don't rotate, they only vibrate but I preferred using the other head it comes with, a sponge type one, in conjunction with the microdermabrasion cream, in order to get a deep exfoliation once a week.

Not long ago I came across a blog post, sorry I forget who it was by, in which the blogger mentioned that granulated exfoliators weren't that good for the skin. What she had to say about the matter was that the tiny exfoliating particles could be uneven and cause microscopic damage to the skin. So, not noticeable immediately but on the long run your skin could suffer without you knowing what had caused it. She recommended using chemical exfoliators and mentioned a few products. Of course it could be that the post was sponsored but what she said sounded very reasonable and it stuck in the back of my mind. I went for the cheapest option also because I wanted to try something from this brand that I kept hearing about. I got the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. Unfortunately, I can't say much about them yet as I'm trying to use up my other exfoliators first.
DermaNew Facial Rejuvenation Formula and Garnier Pure Active Fruit Energy
On Black Friday last year I finally decided to get the Foreo Luna mini as I thought that the silicone protrusions would be more gentle on the skin than the plastic bristles on my Dermanew. I got a very good deal as it was already on sale and on top of the reduced price I got 25% off so I only had to pay 88.42€, yay for me! 

I've been using it regularly ever since, usually in conjunction with my favourite gel cleanser: the PureActive Fruit Energy energizing and purifying gel by Garnier. I am also using it once or twice a week with any type of exfoliating product, such as my Dermanew Facial Rejuvenation Formula

The device is very easy to use: it has a button down at the center to switch it on and off. It will start to vibrate and will give a set of pulsations every 15 seconds to indicate that you need to change your cleansing zone (chin, nose, cheeks and forehead). After you're done with your whole face, the device will give you a final more insistent pulsation to tell you that you need to switch it off because the cleansing routine has ended or you could go on in case you'd like to continue, it's up to you.

I don't feel the need to use this every single day but I could as it's very gentle, although I don't need to be careful as my skin's quite bulletproof. Whenever I use it my skin feels silky soft and smooth, even for a few days after its use. It's small and therefore more travel friendly than the regular size, plus it's cheaper. It's very easy to clean and it dries down quickly to avoid any bacteria from building up. It's 100% waterproof so you can use it and store it in the shower, like I do. The batteries are rechargeable and will last you for up to 300 uses. The only downside for it lasting so long is that I've forgotten where I put the charging cable :(

What do you think? Do you regularly exfoliate your skin? Do you think it makes a difference?

Don't be shy and comment below or send me a tweet to @13byeva.

9 April 2016

Glamour Beauty Festival - Part 3


I wished I had planned my visit better because I had to catch my plane back to Spain and I was a bit in a rush. I had time to visit a few stands and got my hair and eye make up done but I feel like I could have done better. 
Glamour Beauty Festival
As I was waiting for the doors to open I saw Jim Chapman and Fleur de Force arrive to the Saatchi Gallery. I so wanted to talk to Jim but my shyness got the best of me and I remained seated and watched 2 other girls approached him to get a photo.
Beauty x Social Media talk
The doors were opened punctually at 10AM and those of us who had chosen to attend the first talk had to wait in line for a few minutes to enter the theatre were a discussion on Beauty x Social Media was hosted by Jim Chapman. YouTubers Estée Lalonde and Fleur de Force, and Glamour beauty director, Alexandra Steinherr where part of the panel.
Illamasqua stand
After the talk I first had a look around before deciding which beauty stand to visit. I was so focused on taking pictures that I missed what was just in front of me: Estée Lalonde was talking to a small group of people at the Illamasqua stand. I would have loved to say hi and tell her how much I enjoy her videos.
Liz Earle stand
I also missed on a pro cleanse at the Liz Earle stand but I'd a full face of make up on and we got a full size bottle of their Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser inside our goodie bag anyway.
Balance Me stand
My favourite stand was the Balance Me one. I had my skin scanned for a personalized diagnostic. They didn't tell me anything that I didn't know before hand but it was nice to get confirmation. 
Before going up to the second floor I had a glass of bubbly at the Chandon Bar. I even had an extra ticket that the winner of my last giveaway had given me when I handed over her prize.

At Lancôme I got to try out their new Juicy Shaker glosses and the make up artist fixed my mascara and added some blush. The gloss is supposed to be super hydrating but it didn't feel like it was. The pigmentation is very sheer and doesn't last so I left without purchasing any.
Glamour Covers wall
Before I left I had someone take a photo. My eye make up was done at the Illamasqua stand and my hair was up in a rose bun by Redken. Unfortunately, I had only brought warm jumpers and jeans with me expecting cold weather but it was unseasonably warm.
Saatchi Gallery
I very much enjoyed the experience and would love to come back next year. If you lost your chance and would like to go to a similar event have a look at the Vogue 100 Festival in association with Harrods. 

You may also like:
Part 1: Glamour Beauty Festival Goodie Bag
Part 2: Glamour Beauty Festival Haul

6 April 2016

Easter in Wines: V Mendoza's Experience


For a few years now I've been really looking forward for Easter, not only it's warm enough to go to the beach but it's time for another edition of the Mendoza Wine Experience
For only 15€ you can visit the winery from 09:30 to 16:00 on the Easter Thursday, Friday, Saturday and, this year, even on Sunday!
The entry fee allows you to taste a few selected wines, such as their crown jewel: Santa Rosa. Not my personal fave but everybody else seems to really love it. You can also visit the different workshops they have spread all over the grounds. For the express tasting course you need to be early and ask them to put down your name as it gets filled up pretty quickly.
We started off with the limited edition Merseguera-Chardonay, the only white wine you can choose from. 
This year I didn't have a clear favourite wine, I just kept jumping between the Shiraz and the Merlot-Monastrell, which was a very nice surprise. Monastrell wines can be a little too strong for my taste but this one was perfectly balanced and had kind of a sweet aftertaste to it. Weird enough I didn't go crazy on the Petit Verdot, that's my all time favourite, but I still keep some bottles at home so I preferred to try the others.
For food we had a some cheese and smoked fish as an appetizer and then we had to wait in line for the tastiest paella by Restaurante El Xato in La Nucía. We were lucky to be early for the paella, I later heard from some friends that there wasn't any left when they wanted some and that they had even run out of sandwiches!
And I never got round to order a cup of coffee as I kept drinking wine... hip! Needless to say that I was in an extremely good mood after having a few glasses and that I can't remember much of what I did after they kicked us out of the winery. We got a parking ticket and the car got towed away, though, but that was the hubby's fault, not mine.
For the IV Mendoza Wine Experience click here and for an OOTD post on the III edition click here.

Until next year,

2 April 2016

March Yays & Nays


This month I have loads of empties to share with y'all so let's cut to the chase and start off with my nays:
I've been taking the Energex Plus tablets by Healthspan but I haven't felt that they have helped me be more active or feel less tired even though they contained guarana and ginseng, so I don't know if I would have felt worse if I had not taken them or that they don't work at all. Either way I don't think I'll repurchase them.

The Clarins Daily Energizer cleansing gel and moisturizer have been very convenient de luxe samples to take with me when traveling but they haven't especially wowed me.

Also the Bliss supershine shampoo I took with me from the W hotel in San Francisco was intended for traveling but I have switched over to paraben and sulfate free shampoos since then so I've let the hubby use this up. It's a great shampoo otherwise but they should get rid of those nasty ingredients.

The Roller Lash mascara by Benefit is another pass for me. I have sparse and short, although curled, lashes and this mascara would only clump them up making it look like I only had 4 or 5 lashes, not the look I'm going for!

And the last meh product is the Katari 2% olive oil revitalizing shampoo. As I mentioned before, I try to stay away from parabens and sulfates. The hubby used this up and was pleased with it although he rarely has anything bad to say about a product.

As for the Yay products:
Garnier eye make up remover: it's affordable, does a great job of removing stubborn eye make up and is very gentle. I've already bought another bottle but in the sensitive eye version (only because it was cheaper ;)).

La Roche Posay micellar water: I tried this 100ml bottle and I'm pretty impressed. I still haven't tried the Bioderma so I don't know if it's comparable but this does a very good job and has lasted me quite a while for being such a tiny bottle.
Kinetics Hand & Soul mandarin & bergamot hand lotion: the texture is very lightweight and doesn't leave any kind of residue. What I loved the most was the scent, it's a perfect balance between the citrus and the floral smell of the bergamot.

A similar but a tad more floral is the scent of the Le Petit Marsellais orange blossom shower gel. I like using this at night as the smell helps me relax. I'm already on my 5th bottle. The only thing I don't like is the packaging, it's a bit inconvenient and gets dirty very easily.
These two items have been a staple in my daily skincare routine: the Bioré UV Aqua Rich SPF 50+ as my sun protection and the Sephora smoothing primer to make my foundation glide on and make my pores look smaller. 

I really enjoy using Japanese sunscreen as they are very lightweight and you don't feel them sitting on your skin. The only downside is that they contain alcohol and you're able to smell it but my skin is immune to alcohol and the scents fades away once the product sets.

The Sephora primer I had lying around for the longest time and I was pleasantly surprised when I started using it as I really could tell the difference. It's a silicone texture but it feels more like a gel. It really glides on the skin leaving a velvety finish and it made my make up look freshly applied even after 10 hours wear.
And last, but not least, some samples I've been using up and my favourite lip balm by The Body Shop.

The Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster is something you need to try. It feels amazing from the start, it leaves the skin feeling juicy, healthy and glowy. This is definitely going on my wish list.

I'm off to the beach now. See u later!