December 27, 2016

Last Minute Getaway to Tarragona

Where to stay in Tarragona
La Figuerola Resort & Spa
About 2 weeks ago, we were home on Saturday with no plans and suddenly decided we wanted to do something interesting. We looked up available hotels in Tarragona and made a last minute decision to go stay overnight in a hotel which has a Spa so we can relax a bit and do some exploring. We chose La Figuerola Resort & Spa which is located in Vandellos, about 150km or 1.6hrs away from Barcelona. 

La Figuerola Resort & Spa Interior

The interior of the hotel has a natural vintage feel which is very cozy and comfortable. The hotel has an Outdoor Golf course, a Gym, an Outdoor Swimming Pool and a Spa. And if you're feeling like treating yourself, you can order a massage or a facial. There is also a restaurant, a cafe/bar, conference rooms, parking and wifi. Making it an amazing destination all year round for vacation and business.

Review of La Figuerola Resort and Spa in Tarragona, Spain

We arrived quite late on Saturday since it was a last minute decision, had dinner and just stayed indoors. The crisp white sheets were a dream to sleep on. The next morning, we had breakfast and headed to the Spa which is open from 10:00. The spa isn't very big, but was perfect for a bit of relaxing time before heading off to do some exploring. We spent about 1.5hrs enjoying the sauna, indoor swimming pool with cervical and lumbar jets, and Jacuzzi. 

Review of a Hotel in Spain

All the employees were pleasant and very helpful when we had a couple of questions. Which I think also contributes to how relaxed and happy we felt. And for a last minute booking, it wasn't too expensive. The only downside for us was that pets are not allowed, so we couldn't take Candy. But we had an amazing night alone and then drove off to L'Ametlla de Mar to meet up with some friends. 

L'Ametlla De Mar, Tarragona
L'Ametlla de Mar beach, Spain
L'Ametlla de Mar, Spain

L'Ametlla de Mar is a town in the province of Tarragona which has beautiful blue beaches and houses a small port. Fishing is very popular in this town, and at the port you can find private and touristic boats. The water here is very clear making it perfect for water sports, snorkelling and scuba diving. I'll definitely be visiting again in the summer as I love snorkelling and really want to try scuba diving. I love visiting new places and cannot wait for our next trip, so please leave me some suggestions on hotels and cities/towns around Barcelona which I should visit.

Don't forget to enter the international MAC giveaway currently open if you'd like to win a bunch products.

What other towns are a must see in the Tarragona area?

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December 20, 2016

5 Years Blogging: MAC Giveaway

International MAC Giveaway

Last week I wrote a thank you post to tell you all how happy I am about how far we have come together. This blog has evolved so much over the years and I am extremely excited to see what the future holds for us. In line with our yearly tradition, let's kick off the giveaways with a MAC Giveaway with €70 worth of products. Tell me all your favourite products and shades, and I'll be sure to include it in your package if you're the winner.

Terms and Conditions
- There is no purchase required to enter this giveaway.
- This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.
- Please enter via the rafflecopter form below.
- All giveaway accounts will be disqualified.
- Giveaway runs from 12AM EST 20.12.16 and ends 12AM EST 03.01.17.
- The giveaway is open internationally.
- The winner will be picked at random using rafflecopter and contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond, after which another winner will be chosen.
- The prize bundle is provided by me.
- Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites included have no liability or knowledge of said giveaway.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tell me what products you would like to receive. Best of luck!

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December 13, 2016

Celebrating 5 years of the blog

Happy Blog Birthday Style of Colours

Five years ago today, I sat down and created this blog. I didn't know a lot about blogging but I thought I'd give it a go. I had studied a bit of html so I was able to make a few changes to one of the simple designs. Then I began working on my first post. I blogged for a while and realized I would like to change the name and include more categories on the blog. Now Style of Colours covers topics such as Fashion, Beauty, Fitness, Lifestyle, Natural hair & Blogging tips. 

Some of you are new to the blog, and others have been with me from the very beginning. I would like to say thank you. Because without you, this blog wouldn't be what it is and I wouldn't be given the opportunities I am. To all the brands I have worked with, thank you. It has been a pleasure getting to know your products and being able to share it with my readers. I am glad I enjoy something so much I have been doing it for 5 years and I look forward to what the future holds for us. 

Now, we've got a tradition that this time every year we host a couple of giveaways. We're going to keep those traditions in place, so make sure you stop by and enter. One giveaway will have some MAC products included, so please let me know your favourites and I'll try and get them. If you'd like to see any other products from other brands included, just leave a comment and I'll check them out.

What would you like to see in the giveaways?

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December 5, 2016

The Secret To Longer Lasting Manicures

The Secret to Longer Lasting Manicures

The perfect manicure definitely puts together a girl's look, but most nail polishes tend to last 2-3 days. Which is why I went on a hunt to find the best faux gel nail polishes which do not require a UV Lamp. I've tried a few and some stayed on longer than others, but my current favourite is the Rimmel Super Gel. You can read my full review here, but I'll say this much: even though the polish says it will last 7 days, it actually doesn't last that long on my nails. 

How vinegar can help your manicure

While researching and trying out different polishes, I also came across a beauty tip which has saved my manicures. It really took a 3 day manicure and made it last an entire week, which means I can now just do my nails on the weekends. The product you need is Vinegar

How to make your manicures last longer

Step 1
Apply some vinegar on a cotton disc and use this to clean your nails.

Step 2
If you're using a 2 step system, apply the nail polish in your chosen colour. Wait for it to dry and apply a second coat of the nail polish. If you have a base coat, then apply that prior to applying the chosen colour.

Step 3
Apply the top coat which comes with the system.

That's all that is needed to achieve a long lasting manicure which will get you through your busy week with no fuss. I've been using this trick for a while now and I no longer have to worry about my mani during the week, unless it is a special evening and I want a fresh mani.

Do you have any tips for longer lasting manicures?
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November 28, 2016

Review: Makeup Revolution's I Heart Makeup Lip Lava Liquid Lipstick

I Heart Makeup Lip Lava
I Heart Makeup Lip Lava Review

Liquid lipsticks are all the rage now. They are available from both high end and drusgtore brands and you can find them in different packaging, shades and finishes. A while ago, my gorgeous friend Laura sent me the I Heart Makeup Lip Lava Liquid Lipstick from Makeup Revolution to try, and I have been using it on and off. I didn't pay much attention to the consistency or stay, I just enjoyed wearing it and that was all. But recently I realized how much I love it and knew I had to share this with you all.

I Heart Makeup Lip Lava Liquid Lipstick in Firestorm

The first thing you notice about the I Heart Makeup Lip Lava Liquid Lipstick is that it looks very similar to the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks. It comes in a squeeze type tube letting you regulate how much you need on the applicator. It has a creamy consistency and is very pigmented making just one layer of lipstick enough to give you that bold lip which is perfect for Autumn. It goes on smoothly and has a glossy finish when first applied, which later dulls down to a nice matte finish. The shade Firestorm is such a pretty red and perfect for the festive season we're in. This lipstick also contains Vitamin E which helps protect your lips.

I Heart Makeup Lip Lava Swatch and Review

But, the best part of this liquid lipstick is the staying power. I've worn this for a day at work where I end up drinking quite a bit of coffee, tea or water and it stayed put. I feel like even if I eat a burger, it's still going to be there looking amazing. I am SO impressed and I can tell you that for me, this liquid lipstick rivals the MAC Russian Red and I would actually favour this liquid lipstick on a night out. So if you haven't tried this yet, I'd suggest you go get yourself a tube, or even all 5 colours which are available because it is that amazing!

Overall Summary
Price - approx. €4
Likes - pigmented & the lasts forever without the need to reapply.
Dislikes - None.
Available - Superdrug, Makeup Revolution.

Have you tried the I Heart Makeup Lip Lavas? What is your favourite liquid lipstick?
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November 24, 2016

Clearing up Acne and Acne Scarring with IQ Natural Skincare

IQ Natural Skincare

A while ago I started testing out some IQ Natural products in the hopes that it will help with my acne and acne scarring. I was very excited to see the result these products will give because the cleanser, tonic and moisturizer all contain Alpha Hydroxy Acid, also knows as AHA or Glycolic acid. What glycolic acid does is exfoliate your skin and help bring new skin cells to the surface. Skin regeneration helps reduce acne scarring which is what I am mostly suffering with at the moment.  

IQ Natural products for clearing acne & acne scarring as well as reducing breakouts

IQ Natural is a US skincare brand which makes all natural products for different skin issues. So depending on what bothers you the most about your skin, you can find the right products to target this problem. For example, for acne and acne scarring, the Alpha Hydroxy Damage Reduction Set and Retinon Serum are recommended; for rehydration and repair, they have created the Hydration Daily Care Set and for those worried about wrinkles, the Anti-Aging Daily Care set is available. They offer international shipping so everyone can give these products a try. I received the Alpha Hydroxy Damage Reduction Set* & the Retinol Serum*.

IQ Natural Alpha Hydroxy Damage Reduction Set Review

Alpha Hydroxy Damage Reduction Set*

The Alpha Hydroxy Damage Reuction Set contains a cleanser, a toner and a moisturizer. The cleanser and toner contain natural ingredients such as Aloe Vera which heals the skin, MSM which has anti-inflammatory properties, Witch Hazel and Tea Tree Oil which battle acne, Glycolic Acid, Vitamin C and more. I received the travel set size which comes in 60ml bottles and is advised to be used twice a week. It is aimed at clearing up acne, reducing breakouts and fading acne scars and wrinkles. The cleanser and tonic are all natural products which are Vegan, Gluten free, Paraben free, Sulfate free, Cruelty free, are high in organic content and pH balanced. The recommended application for both these products is twice a week. Gently massage the cleanser on your face and neck in a circular motion for 2-3 minutes and rinse with luke warm water. Then follow up with the cleanser which can either be spritz on or applied using a cotton disc.

The moisturizer comes in a 30ml jar and contains ingredients such as Glycolic and Salicilic acid which exfoliate and heal the skin, Shea and Mango butter which moisturize the skin, Vitamin E which protects the skin from UV rays, bilberry and more. Apply the moisturizer on your face and neck daily after cleansing and toning. It is recommended to apply a generous amount, and this gets absorbed very easily so even if you use more than needed, there is nothing to worry about. I usually apply about a pea-sized amount to the 5 points on my face and then gently massage it in, because not a lot is actually required for you to feel that your skin is moisturized.

Retinol is amazing for promoting skin regeneration. I have tried using tretinoin for a while and one thing I noticed was that it made my skin extremely dry. Even when it wasn't peeling, you could see my skin was dry which didn't make my foundation look very good. The Retinol Serum on the other hand contains retinol as well as hyauluronic acid which penetrates deep into the skin and moisturizes it. The serum is aimed at repairing damaged skin and fighting against aging, making it great for acne scars. You can add this to your skincare routine by applying it after toning and then applying your moisturizer on top. The serum absorbs easily and looks quite matte when dry making it perfect for my oily skin. 

I have been using a combination of these products over a couple of weeks and I can definitely see a difference. My acne scarring was quite serious and included very deep scars which made the skin uneven. Slowly, I can see the dept of the scarring reducing and I have had only a few breakouts since starting using these products. I am happy with the results I have gotten so far and look forward to it improving even more. 

You can order all these products from the IQ Natural website, and even though international shipping might take a while, it will all be worth it once you start using the products. The products included in the Alpha Hydroxy Damage Reduction Set can either be bought separately or as a kit. The full size version of the kit costs $69 while the travel size is $34. You can get the Retinol Serum for $34. But since you will not be using most of the products daily, they will last you quite a while. So be sure to check out what products target your skin concerns and try out a few of their products.

What skin issues do you struggle with? Ware your holy grail products in your skincare regimen?

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November 21, 2016

Review: Catrice Velvet Matt Lip Cream

Catrice Velvet Matte Lip Cream
Catrice Velvet Matte Lip Cream Review

While picking up a few makeup bits for my friend a while ago, I finally got my hands on some lip creams. I had been wanting the Maybelline Vivid Matte for a while so I immediately picked that up. I hadn't heard much about the Catrice Velvet Matt Lip Creams but I have quite a few products from Catrice that I absolutely love, so I picked it up on a whim since it wasn't expensive. I love trying new product and lip products are one of my favourites. Honestly, I cannot even count how many shades of red I currently own, but another one is always needed.

Catrice Velvet Matte in shade REDvolution

The Catrice Velvet Matt Lip Cream comes in a lip gloss tube like a lot of lip creams. It is quite pigmented, but in order to achieve a true opaque lip colour, you'll have to apply 2 layers. This lip cream contains vitamin E which protects your lips from UV rays and acts as an antioxidant to fight against skin cell damage. It is very moisturizing and glides on smoothly. Once applied, it gives a velvet matte finish which feels soft and silky on the lips. I was expecting it to be a bit more matte, so I was slightly disappointed at first, but after trying it a few times I began to like it because it is creamy but not glossy.

Catrice Velvet Matte Finish Lip Cream

I picked up the shade the shade REDvolution and I've worn it both for a night out and for a day at work. Unfortunately, the staying power isn't very good. The lip cream tends to wash off quite easy, which is the downside to this product. When I apply it in the morning, everything is perfect till the moment I have to eat or drink something. So I'll only recommend using this during the day because having to reapply a bunch of times on a night out isn't something you want to be bothered with. 

Overall Summary
Price - approx. €4
Likes - contains vitamin E & has a creamy consistency.
Dislikes - Not matte enough, staying power isn't very good.
Available - drugstores.

What is your favourite lip cream & your go to shade?
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November 17, 2016

Views of Laspaules, Spain

Laspaules, Spain
Province of Huesca, Spain
Golden Autumn in Spain

A while ago, my friends and I decided to do some exploring around Spain and visited Laspaules, Spain which is part of the Huesca Region. We decided to go on a Saturday and stay overnight, so we have enough time to take a proper walk. Laspaules is located approximately 300km from Barcelona which meant we had quite a drive and arrived in the evening. It was already dusk when we got to the appartment, but I could already tell this was going to be an amazing place with loads of breathtaking views.

We made dinner and had a fun evening indoors. The next morning, we woke up to a golden dream. The colours of the trees and houses in the sun were unbelieavable. Barcelona is amazing and I'm glad it doesn't get too cold in the Autumn & Winter, but one thing I definitely miss are the golden leaves. Wherever I turned, it was a beauty to photograph, I couldn't stop 'wowing'. 

The perfect Autumn trip in SpainSnow in Spain

We climbed up the mountain and got high enough to see the snow on the top of some mountains in the distance. I've always loved snow, just not the cold that comes with it. But seeing it from this view, made me remember how much I love snow. 

Views of Laspaules, Espana
Un bonito pais en huesca, espana

If you are looking for a place to go to getaway for a while, with lots of quiet & clean air, I'd recommend you look this place up. Renting an appartment isn't expensive in off season months, so grab a couple of friends and go have an amazing weekend in Laspaules.

What do you love most about Autumn? Where in Spain should we visit next?

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November 14, 2016

Review: NYX Shine Killer

NYX Shine Killer

Makeup is a part of my daily life, and just like you, I want my makeup to look good. Unfortunately or fortunately, I have oily skin, which means my makeup tends to slide and come off very easily. Hence why I am always on the search for that miracle product which will make it stay put all day. I have been using the Inglot Mattifying Under Makeup Base for the longest time, and no matter how much I love it, I really wanted to try something new. After doing some online research on primers for oily skin, I decided to give the NYX Shine Killer a try.


NYX Shine Killer Review

The NYX Shine Killer comes in a 20ml tube {which is great for travelling} and contains a clear gel. All you need is to apply about a pea-sized amount to the five points of your face and spread it evenly. When the product is applied it feels a bit silky but you will start to notice your skin is a lot less shiny. I've tested this product using the MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation and it stays put for 4 hours before blotting is needed. You can already see some oiliness around the 3 hour mark, but it looks like a nice glow and is still acceptable at this point. 


NYX Shine Killer for Oily skin

In comparison to my other favourite primers, I think I like this just as much as the Rimmel Stay Matte, but a lot less than the Inglot Mattifying Under Makeup Base, because of the staying power and how matte the result is. So if you are looking for a drugstore mattifying primer, I will definitely recommend giving it a go, but if you are looking for something that really mattifies your skin, then I would suggest looking at other options.

Overall Summary
Price - approx. €10
Likes - helps control oiliness.
Dislikes - doesn't stay matte for long.
Available - Feelunique, Boots.

What is your favourite drugstore or high end mattifying primer?
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November 7, 2016

Best Photo Editing Apps for Instagram

Best Photo Editing Apps for Instagram on iphone

Photography is a passion of mine. I am constantly editing one thing or another in photoshop, looking for photo session collabs, or scrolling through instagram. Even though photos look tons better when taken with a DSLR, I still believe you can take nice pictures just by using your smartphone as long as you have good lighting. I have tried countless photo editing apps and I'm constantly in search of new ones while cleaning my photography folder on my phone. Some of the apps include VSCO, Instasize, PS Express, Facetune, Rookie Cam. But from all the apps I have on my iphone, there are only a few favourites I use daily to create the looks I want.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard about VSCO cam. Everyone is using it and you can even find pre-written templates on what settings to use in order to achieve a certain result. I've seen quite a bit of these on Pinterest. I started using this app a while ago but didn't really get into it until a couple of weeks ago, and it immediately became one of my favourites. Once you get the hang of it, it is pretty easy to use. You can choose a filter and then make additional corrections such as exposure, contrast, saturation, temperature, sharpness and more. To add an image, click on the plus sign and load it from your camera roll, then save each change you make to an image using the circle at the bottom right. Easy as that! I have been using this app to edit all the images on my Photography Instagram Account and love the results I get each time.

PS Express photo editing app
This is the mobile version of photoshop which includes functions such as auto-enhance, filters, cropping, blemish control and lots more. But what I really like this app for is the possibility to adjust exposure, highlights, shadows, contrast and more. Which pretty much means you can fix almost any photo which was taken too dark or too light.


VSCO - photo editing app

Snapseed

I recently tried Snapseed on some of my travel photography and the results are amazing. If you're looking to add some contrast, saturation and texture to your travel photos, I would recommend trying the Total Contrast, HDR Scape or Drama Filters in this app. Also, if your image came out slighly blurry, try increasing the structure level under the Details Tool.

Snappseed photo editing app before and after

In my post on Photo Editing Tools for bloggers, I shared the desktop version of this. The desktop version is pretty much a cheaper alternative which has similar functions to photoshop. For easy and quick editing on the go, you can also get the mobile version which allows you to crop, adjust exposure, sharpen, remove blemishes, doodle on the image or even apply a frame. I'm not a huge fan of the filters available, although the filter "Sara" is great for increasing saturation and colour correcting images. What I do enjoy using is the autofix and adjustment section.



The Line Camera app has been one of my favourites for a very long time because it is extremely quick to use. You can apply one of many filters and adjust the strength of this filter, my favourite ones to use are Beauty, Fairy Tale and Pure. You can also crop your image, fix skin imperfecions, adjust the saturation and a lot more. Whenever I use this app, I can pretty much get away with just using a filter and cropping the image if it was taken in good lighting.


LINE Camera for editing fairytale images

These are my favourite photo editing apps and ones I think every blogger should try for their on the go editing. I usually alternate between the apps depending on the type of image and what I am trying to achieve. If there are any photo editing apps you think I should give a try, please let me know as I love finding new apps to play with. I would love for you to stop by my instagram (@styleofcolours) to check out some of the images I have created with this apps, and if you're interested, I've got an instagram account dedicated to my photography, and I would definitely love your support: @anebophotography.

Best photo editing apps for instagram available for your smartphone

What are your favourite apps to use for editing images for instagram?
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November 3, 2016

Review: Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick

Maybelline Vivid Matte

I've seen the Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick all over the web but somehow never seemed to find it in stores, until recently. I went over to the shopping mall with a friend to get her some new makeup and saw the Vivid Matte range, and obviously I had to get at least one. I picked up the shade Fuchsia Ecstasy which is a gorgeous pink that looks amazing on tanned skintones.

Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick
Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Review

The Maybelline Vivid Matte Lipstick comes in a tube just like lipgloss. The lipstick is nicely pigmented which allows you to achieve a gorgeous lip colour in just one layer. The first thing I noticed and was really happy about was that it isn't sticky like regular lipglosses. It is moisturizing, easy to apply, glides on smoothly and doesn't clump if you add more layers. The fact that the finish is matte is something I was really excited about with this lipstick, and I wasn't disappointed. The lipstick is so matte that it was actually even a bit drying when applied directly to the lips without priming. Since I quite often use a lipbalm before applying lipsticks, I tried that and liked the results a lot better.

Maybelline Vivid Matte Review

I've worn this lipstick to work and on a night out, and the stay is really good for a drugstore product but still isn't as long as I'd like. Depending on what and how much you eat and drink, you might have to reapply around 3-5 times. Either way, I still love this lipstick and I'm looking forward to getting additional colours. If you're looking for a new lip product to try, I would definitely recommend this because all my friends who have tried it, love it.

Summary
Price - approx. €9.
Likes - pigmented and non-sticky.
Dislikes - stay not long enough.
Available - 
FeeluniqueBoots, Superdrug.

Have you tried the Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick? 
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October 31, 2016

Travel: Exploring Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal
Red roofs in Portugal
sightseeing in Porto

Earlier this month, I took some days off and hopped on a flight to Porto, Portugal. My friend who used to live there 2 years ago was going for a visit and I decided to go with. We had a place to stay outside the city and rented a car to make moving around easy. Because I was only going to be away for 3 days, I packed light knowing I might find some lovely things in Porto which I'd want to buy and didn't want the luggage to be overweight. 


Tourism in Porto
Palacio da Bolsa

The first day was spent calmly. We had sushi for brunch because I was starving and then took my friend's dogs to the vet. While the dogs were being groomed, we drove to The Style Outlet in Vila do Conde to check out what's available. I was able to get myself a pair of Guess sunglasses which I love and think it was a complete steal for just 49. The rest of the day was spent resting and researching locations for the touristic trip I had planned for the next day.


Dom Luis I Bridge, Porto, Portugal
OOTD in Porto

On the second day, I picked up another friend from the airport and we headed into Porto. We decided to park the car and cover the city by foot, because it's a lot more interesting that way and things aren't so far from one another. We stopped by the Palacio da Bolsa and then headed for the Dom Luis I Bridge. On our way, we saw a few stands along the Ribeira and couldn't resist getting some new scarves and a few souvenirs. 


Architecture in Porto, Portugal
Avenida dos Aliados, Porto
Cais da Ribeira, Porto

The view from Dom Luis Bridge was breathtaking. You can literally see all of Porto and its cute red roofs. We spent quite a while just taking in the view and making countless pictures to capture the beauty of it all. We still had a couple of hours before we headed back, so we stopped by the Se Cathedral which I must say it extremely tall and the ceilings are so high, something I haven't seen in a lot of Cathedrals. Lastly, we stopped by Avenida dos Aliados. In the very heart of the city, the white buildings are beautiful and definitely worth visiting.


Visiting Porto, Portugal

On my last day in Porto, we heading off to the Jardins do Palacio de Cristal to see the view of the city, visit the romance garden and see if any peacocks felt like opening up to us. Finally, because the Cafe Majestic is so popular, we just had to stop by and check out the place the first book of Harry Potter was written. If you're thinking of where to go next, add Porto to your list, because it is definitely worth seeing.

Have you been in Porto? Please leave me your recommendations on where to visit next.
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