Ringing in the New Year with Ardency Inn

Hey Everyone, I apologize in advance for the image quality of the pics but I wanted to post my New Years Eve look :) The products I used are featured below - I decided to do a soft wash of color but also a color that would POP! I saw a few makeup tutorials using Ardency Inn's Royal over black cream shadow, but I found that a bit heavy... Afterall, for those of you know that know me, I am all about the natural looks. Have a safe and Happy New Years Eve everyone and see you in 2015!! 

December 2014 Empties

The Holidays are finally here and I must say, as I get older, it seems like time passes by even faster?? Wasn't it just summer? I don't know… I hope that you are all doing well this Holiday season and have some time to get some well deserved R&R and get some delicious food and be with friends and family. 

Here are my empties since October:
1. Minus 417 Spa - Micro Crystal Skin Exfoliator
I LOVE this product! Downside, you can only get it at the Minus 417 Spa and it is pricey. It does make your skin absolutely glowing from within, this one jar took me about 1 year to finish, I exfoliate about 2-3x a week, you only need about 1/2 a pump - the exfoliator consists of micro crystals, and horrible story, once I exfoliated too close to my eye.. some got in my eye.. and um, it didn't end pretty - I ended up going to an optometrist because the crystal actually lightly scratched my cornea… OY! SO YES, please..it IS crystals.. finely milled.. but use it with lots of caution!

I use this mask the most in the summer time. It really pulls the gunk out of your pores and controls the oil in the areas applied. In the fall/winter time, I have really dry skin, so I typically stay away from this and use it about once a week, and then the other day I will use more of a hydrating mask. 

3. Bath and Body Works - Paris in Bloom body wash

4. MAC fix plus
MAC fix+ does what it says, it sets your makeup. I like the packaging, you can lock the spritzer so you can actually pack and travel with it. I like this more than the Urban Decay chill setting spray, I am currently trying out the Ben Nye sealing spray and I'll report back on how I like it. 

5. Bath and Body Works - Cinnamon Sugar Donut Candle

6. Bioderma - Sebium face lotion
Meh. I didn't really find that this "controlled" the oil production on your face, and it didn't mattify you so i won't be purchasing this again.

7. Ah Naturel - Pink Sugar Deodorant 
MY HOLY GRAIL DEODORANT. It is made with natural products and I believe that it is titanium-free or free from some sort of special chemical that is in regular drugstore deodorants. The reason I found out about this product is because I was actually having alot of problems with any brand's deodorant. I ended up having clogged pores in my armpits (TMI I know, but for the sake of being a beauty blogger, I must give full disclosure). I also developed a rash, it was just not pretty and had to eliminate deodorant all together. I always go up to Muskoka, so in downtown Bracebridge, there's this natural product store called Ah Naturel and the girl who worked there told me about her similar issue but it got so bad, she actually had to go to the hospital to treat it. (I didn't ask for explicit details) but decided to give it a try, and have not regretted it since. I LOVE this product and I always have one extra stocked just in case :) You can call the store and the lovely owner can arrange to have this product shipped to you if you can't make it up there.

8. Bath and Body Works - Provence Garden Candle

9. Bare Minerals - Medium Beige Foundation
I used to love this product, however, I am now severely allergic to this product. Not sure why, but when I use it - I break out with pimples everywhere and I become itchy. I tried this out a few times to see if it was a fluke, but nope.. I'm allergic… too bad :( 

The closest exfoliator I could find that is basically a dupe of the Minus 417 one above (even in price, around the $90 range - this one is obviously a sample size). Also made with finely milled crystals and this one actually contains lactic acid which can act like a gentle "peel" on your skin. This one has a light lemony fragrance, while the Minus 417 one is more of a floral scent. This is not invasive, so do not be thrown off by "lactic acid" or exfoliator - use it like you are having a Spa session at home :) 

11. Various Lush Products
There isn't enough good things I could say about Lush Products. I love them especially in the winter, taking a long hot bath and unwinding after a long day.. I usually like to put on some Netflix on my laptop/tablet and sip on a cup of hot tea as well. 

Until next time - XO, M

Merry Christmas!! / Holiday Look and Presents received pt.1

Merry Christmas everyone!! :) 

This is Bentley with his Christmas present :) 3 of his favorite type of toys - all squeaky and the racoon one has the crinkly paper inside that he loves to humor himself with. He quickly grabbed the red one and took it to his bed and spent the afternoon occupied with it.

This is part 1 of my Christmas gift haul (and no, not bragging, I just see alot of people sharing their gifts on social media, especially bloggers and youtubers so I wanted to share in the christmas cheer with everyone else here). These gifts are from my hubby, parents, sister-in law, a former coworker and (I cheated, I included the purse I bought myself for Christmas - I figure, yes! it was $200+ off and I want to buy myself a new purse!!) I will attach part 2 pics when I get them from my friends when I meet them :)

Hubby knew that I have always been eyeing the cast iron pans and dutch ovens and he gifted me with em :) now I can make more yummy stews, soups and more for us...

 For my Holiday look, I decided to use my new $5 Elf Palette - I did a post about this previously. I need to find a better camera to capture the look better. I included one shot in the light, and one in regular lighting to show the effects I included. 

 Products used include:
Elf Palette, Dior Skin Nude foundation, MAC Warm Soul mineralized blush, MAC dipdown gel eyeliner, EtudeHouse brow pencil, Anastasia brow gel, MAC pro-longwear concealer and finally Lancome lipstick in L'absolu Nu - 304.

 I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas!! I went to Christmas service with my parents on Christmas Eve, and today I had Dim Sum early morning with my in-laws and family who came out from Muskoka. Then went to visit my grandpa at the senior home in Sauga and went for family dinner... stuffed myself to the brim.. had to basically waddle to the car!!
The award for the most decorated house that I have seen this year was down the street from hubby's aunts in Sauga... CRAZY!! I would be so paranoid with the possibility of a fire hazard?! have you guys seen some extreme decorations this year?

Until next time - XO, M.

elf holiday eyeshadow palette

I recently was at the Loblaws Superstore near Scarborough Town Center, and I found a big ELF section there. I have now come to realize that the Superstore carries alot of products that you may not necessarily find in the common drugstores in Toronto. It was here, that I first encountered Milani cosmetics and went around telling my friends about it.

The Elf eyeshadow palette featured here, is a part of the holiday collection, and is only $5! I included swatches below. the darker shadows are perfectly creamy and very pigmented. the first two glitter shadows - the white-ish silver and gold one is really chunky. There is alot of of fall out and the glitter will rub off chunky. Hey, for a $5 palette, I really can't complain. I will be sure to post a look of this soon :)

Do you own any elf palettes? will you try anything?

Let me know! XO, Miranda.


I thought that I would leave the most simple, yet thoughtful gift idea for last - just in case you are still scrounging around for last minute ideas. For those close to me or I like to do something a bit extra for, I like to hand make Holiday greeting cards for them. They are unique, one of  a kind, and shows the added effort and thought behind it :)

I bought the blank cards and markers at Michael's. these markers come out opaque and doesn't bleed through the paper, leaving you with perfect hand drawn cards. You can always pair these cards with a DIY gift basket, cookies or anything else.

Some ideas include:
- Spa pampering basket - fill a basket you can easily by at the dollar store, with a loofah, face wash, body wash, exfoliator, masks.. etc. For added luxury you can always get higher end brands like Laura Mercier bath products or Lush :) mmm...lush.
- Food basket - include all snacks/foods/spreads that you know the gifted individual will enjoy

Remember, Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, friends and family, it really isn't about the value of any gift you receive, but the thought you put behind it. 

Happy Holidays Everyone! :) 

It's so warm in Toronto that we're getting a foggy, wet and damp Christmas this year I think! :( Fingers crossed that somehow a white Christmas will come? What do you all have planned?

XO, Miranda.


Hey Everyone!! Welcome to Sam and I's last segment of the 5 week Holiday nail art challenge series.

The final theme for this week is Holiday Characters! We come up with our designs without letting each other know what we're planning and then the night before we exchange pics. We were both very amused at our Rudolphs - they look the same! (except mine looks like he's on a carrot diet all year, and his looks like he's been eating anything and everything - LOL.) My Santa also resembles the abominable snowman acting as an imposter! (says hubs - I must say I agree, I think it's the beard.. hahaha).

Products used:
Essie - Rock The Boat
White/Black & Yellow Polish -$2 ones I found at Walmart
China Glaze - Ruby Slippers 
Essie - Naughty Nautical
China Glaze - Folie Gras

I really hope that all of you loved our Nail Art Challenge the past 5 weeks, we were thinking of pairing up and doing this more often because it was just so much fun :) 

Please click below to check out Sam's Design in detail!

(Once again, thanks to Miracle10 for this lovely picture of us)

Until next time - XO, M.

IPSY Bag - December 2014

Products This Month Include:
1. Beauty Without Cruelty - AHA 3% Face Cleanser
2. Cailyn Cosmetics - Mineral Eye Polish
3. NYX - Butter Lip Balm
4. Sexy Hair - 450 degree Blow Out Heat Defense Blow Dry Spray
5. Tarte - Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 

I must say, this month I am 100% completely satisfied with my bag! The Cailyn eye shadow is a lovely rose gold color, perfect for my neutral eyes I wear to work everyday. Tarte mascara - YES! perfect for travelling, I put it in my makeup bag in my purse, or maybe I'll put it in my travel bag? All of the lip products I've ever tried from NYX are exceptional, and honestly really moisturizing and great value. Finally, the sexy hair products - I love their leave in detangler spray, so I'm sure this is great. The only thing I haven't tried is the BWC cleanser, I'm always up for trying new things, so I'll definitely put this in my travel overnight bag :)

For those of you who subscribe to IPSY, what did you get? For those who haven't ssubscribed would you consider it?

Please tune in tomorrow for my final Holiday Nail Art Challenge with the lovely Sam.

XO - M.

Holiday Gift Idea No. 3 - STAK CO.

Hey Everyone! I hope that you are all doing well these days and that you're keeping yourselves warm in this crazy and unpredictable weather! We are only a week away from Christmas, and I thought that I'd show you guys 1-2 more gift ideas, all local to Toronto or Canada of course!

I'd like to introduce all of you to these fantastic bracelets that one of my friends started making. They are quality products - beads are made from a variety of materials, she has wood, glass etc - and lots of different designs. They can come in either a clasp or elastic band which is very accommodating, and, she also gives you the option of customizing the length of the bracelet at no extra cost (within reason of course). They come in 7.5 inches, but I got mine extended to 8 just so that they are looser for when I stack them all together.

Hey, notice the word I used, Stack? well, this is the concept behind her brand, STAK CO, you can layer them to create your one of a kind customized piece.

Prices vary from $20-$22 and I have a 10% off coupon for all of you! The promo code is: mirandaloves - you just have to redeem it upon checkout. Each bracelet is hand-made with love and care and I got it within a week or so! The coupon code is valid until December 31, 2014 if you want to treat yourself to some arm candy! Honestly guys, these are great quality products and the prices are amazing. You'd probably be paying 2-3x the amount anywhere else!

Until next time, XO - M


Week 4 of the Holiday Nail Art Challenge is Gift Wrap. I decided to do my take on it and do a "Gift" theme. For that I chose to do the classic Holiday Tiffany & Co blue box as the gift. Who wouldn't love that little blue box under the Christmas Tree?? For those of you who don't know - Tiffany switches out their signature white ribbon for a red one during the holiday season.

I decided to paint them on my actual nails using a gold nail polish and take a gold glitter polish to do a gradient tip effect :)

Please check out Sam's interpretation of this week's theme below - I really love how she did the tips with gifts.. its a wonderful take on the french tip.. switch it up for the holidays!

There's only one week left to this nail art collab and I hope you come back next week to see what we have in store!

Until next time, XO - M.

Holiday Gift Idea No. 2 - Demo Soap

Prepare yourself for some utterly amazing goodies for your pampering and self-indulgence.... I present to you Demo Soap. I first found out about Demo Soap when I was walking around Liberty Village waiting for my hubby to get off work. I was on my way to get a cupcake, when I walked by this store with the cutest displays in the front windows. Glass jars filled with colorful soap, it all looked like candies in a jar. When I walked in, the wonderful fragrance and inviting displays made me want to buy everything!! Everything is hand-made in Toronto at their store, they actually have a soap making class you can take which is approx $40/person and you get to take home a few bars after (you have to call in and ask the details).

I even had my wedding favors done here, and Thomas was nice enough to hand package each one, tie it with a ribbon and put our thank you cards inside essentially leaving us with no additional preparation.

Thomas' team are warm, friendly and inviting. They will assist you with finding the perfect soap to fit your needs. They have fun soaps in different shapes like the fortune cookie and donut ones. They have naughty ones in a special drawer.... and finally everyday ones. They have bath bombs, lotions, and even soaps with pumice bars attached to them - it's not the stone type of pumice stone that is like a hard stone, these ones will reduce in size as you use it... so you end up using the whole bar. I always have to use the body butters when I'm in, I haven't splurged on them yet.. I think that's on my christmas wish list this year.

Please check out Thomas! And if you go, tell him I sent you! :):)

How cute are these holiday gift sets - Perfect for a gift for your loved ones...

XO - Miranda.


I recently had the opportunity of being sent the Demeter Holiday 2014 Collector's Edition ($45) to review. I had always seen these fragrances at Shoppers Drug Mart or Loblaws and found that their scents truly reflect the name on the bottle. Upon doing some research, I found the reason why - their scents are derived from 95% natural essences.

The Holiday Set includes the following:
1. Log Cabin - the site says that there are hints of Texas Cedar, Virginia cedar & Oak Moss. When I sprayed this, it reminded me of my grade 6 trip to Algonquin Park where we stayed in a log cabin. It was a week long trip and my first experience in the great outdoors and scenic nature and beauty of what the best of Canada has to offer.

2. Fireplace - need I say more.. it smells exactly like it says. You know that smell after you've sat around a campfire or fireplace for a while, and your clothes have that slight woodsy soot kinda smell? This also reminds me of the Soak & Float solid shampoo bar from Lush...my husband actually sprayed this on and at first, I was kind of thrown off with how it instantly smelled like the fireplace, however.. after about 10-15 minutes, the fragrance settled and what was leftover was pretty nice. He kept this for himself.. lol.

3. Christmas Tree - living in a condo, I don't have the luxury of hauling in a big fresh christmas tree, so in lieu, I have a fake one in my living room. I spritz this fragrance on the tree and long and behold, it's like I have a fresh tree in my own condo.

While I have to admit that most of these fragrances from this collection wouldn't be used as an actual body-perfume, they do have quite an impact as a room spray and that's exactly what I'll use it for..

I was also allowed the chance to pick one fragrance from their whole collection and I decided to go with Frozen Pond - it's slightly floral, but mostly crisp. When I sprayed this - it brought me back to the time when I learnt how to skate in an indoor skating rink. That crisp cool smell in the air when you set foot in the rink... don't know if I'm quite explaining myself properly.. haha..

Demeter and Canadian Beauty Bloggers is hosting a holiday Christmas Party on December 11th at 4pm pacific/7pm eastern - use the #scentmemory to join in on the fun! There may be some chances to win some prizes I think!!

Until next time - XO, M.

Holiday Nail Art Collab With Sam - Week 3

This week's theme is Christmas Decorations, and I must say - it was a pretty hard one considering I decided to use my real nails this week

... as such, I must admit, I kind of cheated and did two designs since I wasn't pleased with my original one (featured left) which is Christmas lights... I found it a tad "vanilla" so I set my sights on doing actual Christmas decorations on a Christmas tree. The second design is featured below - and that was even harder since I free handed everything on my actual nails... and I didn't have a proper Christmas tree DARK green nail polish....

Sam was a real sweetheart and optimist and told me not to worry since there are so many different types of pine trees that it can pass as anyone.. LOL :) I hope you like this design!! There's 2 weeks left to this series and I hope you'll all tune in to the end :)

Until next time - XO, M


Check out Sam's design this week on her blog - Gemstone Beauty