February 2015 Favorites

A month has come and gone, and once again I have compiled a list of my favorite products that I have constantly been reaching for in the month of February.

Featured here is:
- Bobbi Brown - Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Heather 30
- NARS lipstick in Damage
- Hourglass - Mineral Veil Primer
- YSL - Touche Eclat
- Miracle 10 - Cleanser and AHA Gel
- Jo Malone - Wood Sage and Sea Salt
- Charlotte Tilbury - Sculpt and Hilight 
- Smashbox - Photofinish Primer Water
- Nivea - In Shower Body Milk - Nourishing

Skincare has been a big area of focus for me this month - with -20-40c weather (including windchill) in Toronto, my skin has been really beat up. Strangely enough, even though my skin is so dry I also, for the first time ever, got some random pop-ups of nasty pimples and nothing I could do was curing it. Well, let me tell you - the Miracle 10 AHA Gel has been a miracle. It cleared my skin up when I used to everyday, and now that my face is baby smooth again, I incorporate the AHA gel 2-3 times a week instead of everyday. I have to ration this!! :) 

At first I was on the fence about the Nivea In Shower Milk as I didn't really see a difference the first few times I used it, however after about a week and a half? I noticed a substantial difference and I love it. I used to use the Lush Buffy Bar or King of Skin, and I loved the instant moisture it delivered however this is at a better price point. 

The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water has been a great primer that doesn't cause any negative reactions to my skin. In addition to priming my skin, I have also used it to set my makeup. The mist is fine, gotta appreciate that. 

The Hourglass Mineral Veil has been a gift from my close friend, I have always heard such great things about it but never brought myself to splurge on it. It keeps my oily/combination skin at bay and keeps my makeup lasting all day.

Makeup wise, I love using the NARS lipstick - it goes with every look I've been using this month and gives a sheer, but buildable, pop of plum to your lips. Cream shadows have become an easy way for me to get my makeup ready in the morning and I've been using the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks last month. This month I've been reaching for the Bobbi Brown cream shadow pots and if I'm feeling less-lazy that day I will lay some purple shadow on top to set it and blend it out. The YSL Touche Eclat has been great as a hi-lighter to help me fake some cheek bones. Finally - my newest baby and most coveted... my Charlotte Tilbury Sculpt and Hilight palette. The sculpt shade is cool toned, gives you a nice "shadow" color to your face, perfect for contouring. The hilighting shade is perfectly milled and adds a subtle shimmer and glow to your complexion. 

Finally, the Jo Malone fragrance, for those of you who know the brand... comeon, there's nothing more I have to say. It's delicious...

What have been some of your favorites this month? Please Share!

Until next time, XO - Miranda.

Aveeno Fresh Essentials Product Review*

Hey Everyone!!

Seems like I'm on a skincare exploration kick lately. Who can blame me, it's winter time, the air is harsh and cold and it's not doing anything good for my skin. That being said, I have been fortunate enough to be given a few things to try this winter season, and that includes the Aveeno Fresh Essentials Collection. 

I was given the following items to try:
- Aveeno Fresh Essentials Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30 ( $16.97 - $19.99 CAD / 74ml) 
- Aveeno Fresh Essentials Hydrating Night Cream ( $16.97- $19.99 CAD / 49ml)

My favorite product of the three, would have to be the Exfoliating Scrub. Out of my entire skincare routine that I follow religiously, I would have to say that exfoliating is my favorite. Nothing beats the feeling of scrubbing away the dead skin cells and grime off my face. Seriously, I am not joking. I take my exfoliators very seriously and very few pass the test. This one is oil free, hypo-allergenic. The exfoliator contains natural luffa and coconut pulp enriched formula. In addition, this range of products contains Southern Wood Extract, which is an antioxidant helping to restore the skin's moisture barrier to reveal healthier looking skin. 

I found the consistency to be great, it wasn't too thick and the exfoliants weren't too abrasive. The only comment I have is the scent, it is a fresh smell, but has some warm notes - it reminds me of Sandalwood or something, just the mildest hint of it, but I know obviously there isn't sandalwood. It's just a very warm sweet smell. I found it a bit to be overwhelming and I think that I prefer the Aveeno brightening line. I've been using that scrub for years now, and I always go back to it. 

The next thing was the Aveeno Hydrating Night Cream. As I don't actually have a night cream, I have been using the same moisturizer for night and day, I have been trying this out after I use my Miracle 10 AHA Gel. I pack this on before bed, and let it work its magic overnight. There is a blend of antioxidants and vitamins packed in this bad boy, and with time, it helps to rebuild your skin and leave it soft, smooth and moisturized. It combats any environmental stressors and supports the natural moisture levels of your skin. Again, the scent of this lotion was quite strong, I found it a bit overwhelming as I am quite sensitive to smells, however my friend Samantha loves this product and swears by it! Obviously, to each their own right?

Finally, the day cream - it contains SPF to protect your skin from the sun's harmful UVA/UVB rays. People have to remember to use SPF regardless of the season. The sun isn't any stronger in the summer as it is in the winter. This formula is incredibly lightweight, you won't feel any greasiness to the face. 

* In a clinical study, 100% of women who used the Aveeno Fresh Essentials showed improvement in the look of their stressed skin, including dark under eye circles, dry patches and dullness. This line contains Active Naturals ingredient, Southernwood Extract and vitamins A, C, and E. 

Overall, I would say that their prices are very reasonable compared to a product of equal quality elsewhere in a department store, I would say, if you are looking to try out some new skin care, or if you are looking to switch things up, you could give this a go. I personally would only be purchasing the scrub again, and probably in the Aveeno Brightening Scrub range as the smell of that one is much lighter and refreshing.

Have you tried these products out? Would you?

Until next time, XO - Miranda.

Word of Mouth Beauty Bloggers Event - Miracle 10 Skincare*

Last November, I had the opportunity of being invited to the Word of Mouth Beauty Bloggers Event at Miracle 10 at Yorkville. The event brought together a small network of beauty bloggers, and we had some light refreshments, little makeovers compliments of Dior, and a guest speaker who talked about the latest in skincare. To be honest, I haven't had much exposure to Miracle 10 products before this event, and being ever so passionate about my quest for amazing skincare, I was really excited to attend this event.

For going, we were all gifted full sized products which were carefully selected for our individual skintypes. I was categorized as Normal Skin, and then was given the products below and was invited to participate in the 10 day Skin Care Challenge. Miracle 10 really spoiled us, the skincare goodie bag was valued at approx $300 and we were also invited back for a skin peel/facial.

The reason it has taken me a while to upload my review is because I had to finish using the products I currently had and I finally had the chance to start using the products in the end of December.  Before I provide any reviews, especially for something that is higher end/price pointed, I wanted to really use it on myself to provide an honest and detailed review (which is attached below). I did complete the 10 day challenge and I must say I did see results within 10 days. They say that within 10 days you will see the discoloration and dullness visibly improved and by 10 weeks you will see diminished wrinkles and pore size. I don't have wrinkles yet (knock on wood) however, I have really problematic black pores/heads on my nose which had improved significantly.

Starting with the cleanser, they say to use 1 pump in the morning and 2 pumps in the evening. when I initially pumped 1 pump onto the palm of my hand I said "no way... that's it?!" It was the size of a sesame seed.. well 2 sesame seeds. I applied it onto my damp face and sure enough, it foamed up and did its job. It smelled refreshing, clean and left my skin feeling baby smooth after. To be honest, I was quite excited. If the cleanser was THIS good, I thought - wow, how will the rest of this pan out??

Following the cleanser, they say to take a cotton pad and apply the toner/solution onto the skin and let dry. I found that this really helped to remove any leftover dirt on your face that you thought you had removed with the cleanser. With me, I found out that I wasn't carefully cleaning around my nose, and this prompted me to pay more attention to those areas next time. The solution is ph-balancing, and contains aloe and witch hazel - both which are calming to the skin and provides hydration without irritating the skin.

For the morning, they say to use the light serum, which is a light moisturizer which contains Vitamin A, B, D3, E, and K. In addition, it contains Oligopeptides which trigger collagen renewal and Hyaluronic acid which hydrates the skin. This serum is extremely light weight, absorbs quickly and doesn't leave a sticky residue. Even thought it is so light weight - it provides alot of moisture. With the harsh cold weather here in Toronto, my face was peeling a bit, and this one helped combat that when my other skin moisturizer that I was previously using didn't.

For night time, they say to use the cleanser and toner, and to use the AHA Gel instead of the light serum. The AHA Gel was what made me quite nervous to be honest. Before this, I had no exposure to any type of skin care that contained acid (except for Salicylic which is in most Acne Treatment products).  AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Gel - it acts as an exfoliator promoting cell renewal and collagen synthesis thereby reducing any fine lines. It brightens the skin and makes your skin radiant the next morning when you wake up. The instructions do state that you may feel a slight tingling sensation and when I put it on initially, my face turned pink and I really really REALLY felt the tingle. I was slightly nervous but I kept saying, no pain no gain! ... turns out the feeling subsided after a few minutes, and by the next morning when i woke up and saw that my face looked radiant and more plump (in a good way), I was so happy. The 2nd night, I didn't feel any tingling sensation at all - so YES!! I could continue to use it. I think I had a slight reaction to it only because it was the first time I had ever used a product like that.

Finally, they were also kind enough to include a tube of sunscreen and I am so glad that they did. Before this, I had never found a sunscreen that was light weight enough to be used on my face under my makeup. With this, my search has ended and I will continually purchase this.

Overall - I will have to say that they have gained me as a customer. I will continue to buy these products. Yes, they appear to be more expensive - for e.g. the skin cleanser is priced at $39 however, you need so little of it, that you end up having to make less trips to replenish your cleanser. Plus, the benefits and results from the product is more than worth it.

My philosophy is that of all things I will splurge on, it will be my skincare. This is only because you only have one chance to really take care and cherish your skincare. You have to baby it and nurture it before the signs of damage come because by then, it will be really hard to reverse the skin discoloration, UV damage or even wrinkles. I learnt this at a really young age from my mom. She is now in her mid 50's yet her skin still looks like she's in her early 30's.

I have these products on my washroom vanity and I even went as far as to labelling the lids with when I had to use them as in the beginning I always forgot. This way, I know I am following the recommended usage and making sure I can achieve optimum results. 

Attached below are some pictures from the event in November taken by the staff there. Once again, I want to thank Miracle 10 for inviting me, and I look forward to trying out new products from them and hopefully have the opportunity to attend another event again.

Until next time, XO - M.

Guest Post: Kaitlyn's Favourite Pink and Red Lip Products!

This month's theme for our group's guest posts is "Red, Pink and White" - we could write about anything, so long as it was in those color ranges. I actually met the amazing Kaitlyn, who is posting this month on my blog at the Anna Sui Luncheon and she is both beautiful and super friendly. Alright, without any further adieu, here's Kaitlyn....

Hi everyone! I'm Kaitlyn from
Kaitlyn Elisabeth Beauty and I'm so happy to be guest posting on here for Miranda Loves. I've had the pleasure to meet Miranda in person and she is absolutely lovely :) Thanks to the Canadian Beauty Bloggers Network for arranging this every month!

The theme this month is red, pink and white so I thought I would highlight my favourite red and pink lip products. Hope you enjoy!

The Reds

MAC Lipstick in RiRi Woo - I love Rihanna, so much. When this lipstick launched, I immediately picked one up. I even bought a backup when her second collection came out. I should really start wearing it more but I almost don't want to because I don't want to be without it. A super matte blue-red lipstick (very close to MAC's Ruby Woo as this is limited edition).

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Mrs. Mia Wallace - I love Pulp Fiction more than I love Rihanna (even have my DVD of it signed by John Travolta!). Another must purchase for me. This is a matte-satin lipstick that lasts super long on the lips. The formulation of the Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks is fantastic regardless of shade so go check them out!

MAC Lipglass in Viva Glam Rihanna 1 - I swear I don't have many MAC products but when I want a shimmery red lipgloss MAC and Rihanna did a great job. Sometimes I'd prefer to rock a glossy red lip and this product delivers. It's still available for purchase online as well.

Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Ruby Twist - These are some of my favourite lip crayon products as they provide good pigmentation, a glossy finish and actually last on the lips. This shade is a perfect sheer wash of cherry red to the lips.

The Pinks

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Primrose - When I need a soft pink lip, I immediately go to Primrose. Super creamy on the lips and can be amped up with a pink gloss or made more neutral with a nude gloss. Very versatile, flattering colour.

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick in Pink in Confidence (#8) - While Primrose is my soft pink lip go-to, this YSL lipstick is my go-to pink lipstick in general. I feel so fancy when I pull this out and the colour and shine are amazing. This is a "Your Lips But Better" shade for me and a staple in my beauty bag. Worth every single penny.

NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss in Beige - Holy grail status in my world. Still a bit confused as to why it's called Beige because it's actually the perfect pink lipgloss. Great on it's own or over nude or pink lipsticks.

Bourjois Paris Color Boost Glossy Finish Lipstick in Peach on the Beach - While this shade swatches very coral/peach, on my lips it's a great light pink with a bit of peach. These lip crayons have a gorgeous shine to them and feel amazing on the lips. If you want a cheaper option, the Rimmel ones are very comparable.

Well I hope you've enjoyed seeing what my favourite red and pink lip products are! What are some of yours?

Make Up Forever - Give In To Me Review and Look

I hope that all of you had a lovely Family Day weekend and Valentines Day! My husband, and furbaby (picture below) decided to surprise me with gifts, even though we said nothing big. I got him a silly Mr. Strong mug since he's been hitting the gym so much and getting all fit.. it's from those Miss Sunshine, Miss Messy etc those cartoons when we were kids? I made him coffee on Saturday Morning and put it in that mug for him... and there he goes presenting me with a BIG Sephora Bag.. putting me to shame.

As you can see from the pictures, he bought me the Make Up Forever - Give In To Me limited edition 50 Shades of Grey set. It comes with the eyeshadow quad, lipstick, lipgloss, liquid liner and mascara all in a gorgeous box that you can definitely re-use.

I decided to create two different looks below - one is more of a natural look and the second one I buffed in the grey in the outer edge and crease. The lipstick is a perfect nude color, and the lipgloss is pink with some sparkle in it. This is the first time I have used Make Up Forever shadows, and I've always wanted to buy it, but never had the chance. I am so happy he gifted this to me (swoons).  The entire look below is created with the set here and I used the Bobbi Brown liquid foundation and Make Up Geek Blush to complete the look.

Fun Fact: did you know that Make Up Forever did the makeup for the entire movie? I didn't... now I'm even more intrigued...


Until Next Time... XO - M.

February 2015 IPSY Bag

I am super impressed and happy with this month's Ipsy bag and thank GOD i didn't cancel my subscription last year when it was kind of getting crummy near the end of the year. 

In theme with Valentines, most of the items I received were pink themed and can I say it is so adorable, especially the angled brush! :) It has currently made its place on my vanity - I need to put a post up soon of my vanity/blogger desk area. It's almost ready....

This month's bag includes the following items:
1. Cargo Cosmetics - Mini Lip Gloss
This is a baby pink cream based lipgloss - very neutral, can pair it with any look and can be easily worn at the office without looking to BAM!

2. Hey Honey! Take it off exfoliating peel off mask
I would love to see how this product holds up to my current Honey peel off mask I bought at the Minus 417 Dead Sea Spa in Richmond Hill (I go to this spa all the time for facials, I love it!)

3. Luxie Beauty - Large angled face brush no. 504
I already said, this is a beauty and has made it on my vanity/desk :) bristles are quite soft, but definitely not as soft as my Real Techniques brushes.

4. ModelCo - Blush
Rosey Mauvey baby pink. Need I say more?

5. 'Tini Beauty - Rob Scheppy for 'Tini Beauty Eyeshadow
Champagne Satin/Sheer finish eyeshadow - again, need I say more? This can be used as a hilighter as well.

Are you guys currently subscribing to any monthly subscription services? if yes, please let me know! I'm always willing to try some new stuff out!
Until Next Time,
XO - M.

Valentines Day Look ft. Anabelle Cosmetics Spring 2015 Releases*

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!! I hope that you are all spending this lovely day with your friends and loved ones doing whatever it is that makes you happy. For me, it'll mostly consist of spending time with my hubby, my furbaby and getting a good lunch together and then maybe watching a movie at home tonight. My hubs unfortunately has work tomorrow and on Monday (Family Day in Toronto) so booo...

Anyways! I have the pleasure of teaming up with Annabelle Cosmetics to test out some of their new Spring 2015 releases! This includes:

1. Perfect Bronze Bronzing Pressed Powder in Sun Heat (a new shade)
- mineral based enriched with silk powder
- velvety, blendable.
- comes in soft matte or lightly lustrous tones
- paraben/gluten free
- other new shades released: sun shine, sun breeze, sun chic.
- retails for $11.95 approx for 10g

2. Blushon in Peony (new shade)
- weightless, micro-milled powder
- smooth and velvety formula, blends like a dream and pigmented
                                                                          - choice of soft matte or subtle shimmer finished
                                                                          - paraben/gluten-free.
                                                                          - retails for $11.95 approx for 15.4g

Additionally,  they launched the Anabelle Lipsies (I was told this would be back for good). These are SO amazing, it's moisturizing, has a glossy finish to it, NOT stick at all (YAY), and has a good color payoff if applied in 2 layers. One layer would give you a sheer finish. The below pictures are with two layers. I bought the lychee one (yes, it smells like lychee and it is AMAZING) and was given Fruit Punch and Cherry to try. Oh by the way, the balms come in retractable packaging which is super convenient. I am going to pick up some more ASAP - not kidding!

I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to use all of the Anabelle products to create a Valentines Day look for all of you. I included the 3 different lip colors below so you can see what they look like. They retail for about $4.95 for 3.5g).
Lychee, Fruit Punch, Cherry.

Other flavors include:

Here's some information about Anabelle for those of you who aren't too familiar with them:
About Annabelle®
Annabelle® Cosmetics is the leader in the eyeliner category in Canadian drugstores. Annabelle® caters to the makeup needs of all women and focuses on the latest colours and innovative technologies to please the eager 16 to 24 year old fashionistas and beautistas alike. Annabelle® Cosmetics is a registered trademark of Groupe Marcelle Inc., a Canadian manufacturer headquartered in Lachine (Quebec). Close to 200 people are employed in the research, development, production and marketing of its products. The makeup brand has been offering a complete line of colour cosmetics since August 1967. Annabelle® Cosmetics products are available at Annabelle.ca, in pharmacies and mass retail stores across Canada.

Thank You Very Much to Anabelle Cosmetics for sending me these products for review.
All products mentioned will be in drugstores effective February 2015.
Until Next Time, XO - M.

Last Minute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Images Courtesy of Sephora, Purdy's, Indigo and David's Tea. 

For those of you looking to do some last minute realstic shopping for your significant other or friend, I've included some reasonably priced gifts for your hunt. You can always opt to do something more personalized like cooking them dinner, drawing them a bubble bath and spending the night in. Also, you can also definitely go to places like Lush or Pandora to pick up something to pamper them.

From David's Tea, I included my favorite tea of all time, appropriately named Mint to Be - it has a blend of coconut and peppermint (I feel it is more vanilla then coconut) but it's delicious! Next is the Earl's Valentine and obviously you have to include a pink teapot to make all this delicious tea in and a cute mug from Indigo

Next, we're off to Sephora *swoon*. If you don't know what your other half likes or they are beginning to venture into the world of makeup, you can always opt to go for a multi-purpose palette - it has a bit of everything, and they will be sure to appreciate it. My two picks are 1) NARSissist - Blush, Contour and Lip Palette and 2) Urban Decay - Naked on the Run.

Everyone should have a decent makeup brush set. This will help you with the application process for sure. There's no point in having all the products if you don't have the tools to help you apply them. I would suggest the Perfect Pink Sephora Brush Set in this case, it is reasonably priced and a good starting set.

Finally, you can get some limited edition products like the Too Faced - Soul Mate Blushing Bronzer named after Carrie & Big and Ross & Rachel (two well-known on-screen couples, perfect for Valentines Day - unless you hate Carrie and Big? I personally think they should've named it Aiden and Carrie... but... that's debatable as well.... ).  Another limited edition product, if you know your other half loves lip products, would be the Buxom - Pink with Envy 6 piece mini lipgloss set.

Finally, for some misc items - you can never go wrong with chocolate!! For that, I choose Purdy's True Love Velvet Heart box of chocolate. I love Purdy's Chocolate, more than Lindt and Godiva. MmmMM.. AND they are Canadian Based :)

To set the mood, how bout some candles? Bath and Body works has a TON of candles - I just picked one here that goes with the Valentines Theme - the Love 3 wick Candle, but there are literally DOZENS of scents you can pick from to set the mood.

Have an amazing Valentine's Day everyone!! 
Until next time - XO, M.


For those of you who are always watching YouTube Videos or following the Makeup Gurus - you'll probably have heard of, or watched Marlena (MakeupGeek's) videos. She launched her own line and her stuff is incredibly priced and packs a real punch in terms of pigment. Both her blushes and shadows are buttery smooth and blend out like a dream. The real amazing thing is, her products are alot cheaper than the big names out there - for e.g. regular eyeshadow pans are $5.99 and her blushes are $9.99 for the pan. You can easily buy the pan versions of everything and pop them in your own Z palette like I have done below.

I took swatches of all the products I have, in hopes that they will help you when you decide to order some!!

Until next time, XO - M.

Mani's for Valentines Day

I have teamed up with Samantha, from Gemstone Beauty to bring to you some Valentines Day inspired manicures. It was kind of funny that we both came up with exactly the same idea when we exchanged pictures earlier - we both went for a fun and flirty one and a darker vampy one...

Here's my cute, fun and flirty one. I did this on fake nails and adhered it to my nails for the pictures. I haven't been growing out my nails recently, but wanted to have enough room to make a cute heart accent nail. My inspiration from this came from those adorable conversation heart candies.

Here are the polishes I used to create the look: 

Next, I decided to do the opposite of this, and create a darker valentines day nail - and that was inspired by the 50 Shades of Grey movie that is now out everywhere.

This look was created by using the new L'oreal 50 Shades of Grey line.

Below are Samantha's beautiful creations, as you can see - she also went for one cute and flirty mani, and one that was deeper and darker. I love that she wrote the word "love" on the two nails :) super original!! Please visit her page and show her some love and support!

I hope you enjoy our collaborations :) I think Sam and I are a great fit, we never discuss what we're actually going to painting for our nails, we usually just say "sooo, want to team up and do something? Sure! Theme? Valentines? Cool! Due date? Done!" and then we somehow are always on the same page, and come up with the same ideas! Match made in heaven I say!!

Until next time! XO - M.

P.S. I'll be posting something up with Sam soon, she's taking me on a pretty fun adventure! Can't Wait!!

Miranda's Chocolate Chip and Banana Bread

So, I've been tweaking this recipe now for a while and I think I finally got it, PLUS it has gone through a secret taste test with my husband's friends and they all said it's AMAZING and asked where it's from, where upon my husband said that I made it. 

Here's the recipe for those of you who are interested :)

- 3 frozen bananas, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar (you can use 3/4 if you want it sweeter, but I'm adding chocolate chips, so I chose not to make it too sweet).
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of chocolate chips - I splurged and used Soma's :)
- 1 tsp baking soda

- preheat oven to 350 degrees C
- line a loaf pan with either parchment paper or grease with butter
- mash the bananas until runny, add the melted butter and then the baking soda, egg, salt, vanilla extract and sugar and mix well.
- add the all purpose flour in batches until well combined
- add in chocolate chips.
- pour batter into pan, and bake for 50-60 minutes until lightly golden brown. Depending on your oven, it will take a different amount of time for everyone. I would suggest checking at 50 minutes and stick a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, it's ready :)
- when ready, take out of the oven, and let cool in pan for at least 20 minutes.

Why frozen bananas?
After trying it with ripe bananas, and frozen bananas - I found that the frozen bananas made a much more moist banana bread. Usually we freeze the bananas (with peel - we chuck them literally into the freezer as is) and it will turn brown, but don't worry, it's fine. When I'm ready to make banana bread, I take the frozen brown banana and thaw it - it'll become liquidy and mushy. I peel it and you will think the banana has gone bad based on its color and how it is so watery, but really it is FINE. I was inspired by this idea when I watched a baking segment by one of Momofuku's bakers and she did that to her bananas as well. The wetness of the banana when combined with the other ingredients honestly creates a very moist texture. Give it a try!

I hope you love this recipe, and will give it a try, my husband usually eats half the loaf the day I make it!

Until next time, XO - M.

Empties - Dec'14 to Feb 2015

Here's my list of empties for the past 2-ish months:
1. Baby Skin - Instant Pore Eraser
- my second bottle. It is good for what it does, I don't think that I will be repurchasing this - I want to give some other drugstore primers a try.

2. Kiehl's Imperial Body Balm
- this is a very rich and luxurious balm and consists of ingredients inspired by Russian herbal remedies. It contains sea buckhorn berry oil - it revitalizes dry skin and is said to have anti-aging properties. I don't know how I feel about this, it is super super thick and almost "greasy" feeling, even though it quickly absorbs into the skin, I used this before bed just in case though and the smell was quite pungent, very unique and herbally. I think I like the whipped soy milk and honey creme de corps ALOT more. Like the name suggests, it is whipped, it smells divine and it provides the same amount of moisture. So in conclusion, I will not be rebuying the Imperial Balm.

3. Pert Plus - Classic Clean
- both my husband and myself didn't like this shampoo.  It made my hair super flat, easily became greasy the next day, static-y... nope, nope and nope. Will not repurchase.

4. Estee Lauder - Sumptuous Infinite Mascara
- I liked this mascara, Estee Lauder mascaras actually surprise me, most samples I have tried, I loved. This one has a drier formula and was good for building up. I have so many different types of mascaras, I won't be rebuying it in the near future, but if I ever do - yes, I will repurchase this.

5. Bioderma - Purifying cleanser
- for those who know me, will know that I love the Bioderma makeup cleansing water - so I thought that this would be something to try. This was gifted to me by a rep at Shoppers, and well - I have to be honest and say that this has done nothing for me. I would not pay premium for this product to repurchase it as it doesn't feel much better than your regular drugstore makeup.

6. Temptu - Retouch Hilighter
- will not repurchase. I got this as a sample, it is supposed to provide some hilight - meh.

7. Nars Lipgloss
- this is the old packaging, unfortunately I didn't get to finish it. Meh. not sure if I like it, I might give the new formula a try sometime. The one good thing about this was that it wasn't sticky and your hair wouldn't get caught in it.

8. Nails Inc - Caviar Top Coat
- those who know me, know that this is my holy grail. They have since changed the packaging (this is the 2nd time now, it started in the clear cylinder bottle, then the black cylinder bottle and now the rectangular clear bottle. Yes, I love the product so much I have repurchased it 3 times total. This is what allows me to change my polish all the time, it takes about 1-2 minutes to dry everything, even when I paint on 2-3 layers. LOVE!

9. Michael Todd - Tropical Fruit exfoliator
- contains papaya and pineapple enzymes - it helps to exfoliate and rid the face of dead skin and blocked pores. The exfoliating particles are quite fine, but you still feel it on your face so you know it's working. The best part of this is that the product contains real fruit and ingredients - when I read the label, I really understand what is in it. I would definitely repurchase this item.

10. Ole Henrickson - Truth Serum
 - I have a few bottles of this in the deluxe sample size. I do love it, it's one of those products where you see that your face is clearer and brighter, it isn't that BAM in your face but you definitely see a difference when you stop using it. I incorporate this before I use my moisturizer and I will repurchase this for sure, at some point, not right now.

11. Face Masks - Royal Jelly Mask
- I love face masks. They are like sheets of instant gratification. Whatever you want to treat, there is a mask out there for you. Hydrating, Brightening, Tightening you name it. I buy these at Pacific Mall - they sell them in boxes, lots of different types and usually goes for 2 boxes for $25-$30 and there are about 8-10 in each box, depending what type you get. I use a mask at least once a week, but only managed to save one. My favorites are the strawberry yogurt and this Royal Jelly one..

12. NEW! Lush Shampoo Bar 
- I have used this on and off for 8 years now. This was what really helped my thinning hair situation. When I went to school in London, Ontario (Western) my residence had really really old pipes, so the water that came out was really hard and I kid you not, CHUNKS of hair would fall out at once. By the end of the year, I had really thin and almost bald spots in 1-2 areas. If my hair was greasy, you could see my scalp - it really wasn't pretty and it made me lose alot of confidence. My hairdresser said that one of her clients actually went to Lush and got the NEW! bar - which is for "stimulating and reviving" your roots. It has a blend of cinnamon, mint and clove and I wet the bar, rub it directly into my scalp, lather up and let it sit for 2-3 minutes while I wash my body, and rinse off. I use this 3x a week? and I have to follow up with a hair mask or heavy duty conditioner. This does have a drying effect to your hair, but honestly, it has helped so much of my hair grow back, that I don't mind the dryness. I use the macadamia hair mask to repair any dryness and I am definitely not complaining and will continue to repurchase this.

13. Big Sexy Hair - Dry Shampoo
- this was okay, I bought it because it was the only one I knew in the market a few months back that had no white cast when you sprayed it. However, since then I have discovered Amika (holy grail) and Co-Lab, which is slowly rising to my holy-grail list (it just finally arrived in Canada a few weeks ago). I dont think I will be repurchasing this at $20...the smell of the spray was very "typical hairspray" so it didn't even make me feel refreshed. 

I hope you found this segment of empties useful and that it'll help you out if you're thinking of purchasing any of these items!

Until next time - XO, M.