April - May 2015 Empties

I was able to finish up quite a few products this month, there was only 2 products that I just gave up on and threw away because I recently found it at my parents, which means I haven't used it in about 3+ years so it's time to part ways and say goodbye. To see what I loved and disliked - please continue reading. I'll also let you know whether I will be repurchasing them as well below.

1. Dior Show Mascara - samples
Will not be repurchasing, of the Dior line, I like the Iconic Overcurl the best

2.  Maybelline Great Lash - Lots of Lashes
Will not repurchase. I HATE this line, the original was way better this brush was massive, it was fat on one end, and thin/pointed in the end, it barely got between my top and bottom lashes and the long bristles did nothing to build or separate my lashes.

3. Temptu Hilighter - sample
Will not be purchasing, it gave too much of an iridescent sheen that was kind of greenish gold and silver.

4. Seche Vite Quick Dry Topcoat
Will not repurchase as you all know my holy grail top coat is the Nails Inc Caviar Top Coat. It does not become thick overtime as quickly as the Seche Vite does.

5. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Basecoat
Will not repurchase. It was a good base coat, but does not live up to the claims of hardening my nails. So far I'm liking the Nails Inc Kale Basecoat or the Seche Vite fortifier basecoat.

6. Philosophy - Animal Cracker Shampoo, Conditioner and Shower Gel
Will not repurchase. This was such an impulse buy for me because I had a $10 gift certificate at The Bay plus it smelled divine but really it wasn't worth the price tag.

7. Urban Decay Perversion - Sample
May repurchase, but I want to see what else is on the market since new ones always come out.

8. Sephora - Eyeliner Pencil (purple)
Will not repurchase. Got this as a 100 pt perk. It was not smooth and did not work well.

9. Diorskin - Nude Foundation
May repurchase depending on what other types of foundation come out in the market. This was really good, sheer to medium coverage and gave you a nice dewy finish.

10. Saje - Tree Scents
Will repurchase. Love this for my diffuser! I'm on my 3rd one now!

11. Clarins - Instant Light Perfector - Sample
Will not repurchase. This was kind of like the Temptu sample, gave too much iridescent glow, not my cup of tea, I like a sheer shimmer like the Guerlain liquid meterorite primer.

12. Sephora - Soothing Cleanser Milk
Will not repurchase. It was good when it lasted, I got it on clearance during the VIB Sale in November, however it was too oily feeling and left my skin with a film. I prefer cleansers that make me feel refreshed and tingly.

13. Revlon - Lip Butter
Will repurchase, but at a later time. I have too much lip products right now. This offers a sheer, but buildable, color on your lips.

14. Graydon Skincare - Hair Smoothie
Will definitely repurchase. I actually ended up getting a litre bottle. It has helped me grow alot of baby hair and added volume to my roots. A little goes a long way, don't be fooled. When I first used this, I used 2-3 pumps thinking it wasn't working because it doesn't have your typical conditioner texture where it's slippery.

15. Bath and Body Works - Garden Herb Handsoap
I bought lots of backup of this because for me, it is very difficult to find a scent that I like at BBW. I find most smells too sweet and packs too much of a punch. I prefer the calmer, lighter and cleaner scents.

16. NARS - Radiant Creamy Concealer
May repurchase. I understand the hype of this product, it is really good - however there's alot of other concealer products I want to try to see if I can find my holy grail product. The next one I want to get is the Cle de Peau one.

17. Stila - retractable eyeliner
Will not repurchase. It wasn't creamy, it wasn't purple enough, it just didn't work for me.

18. MAC - Margin Blush
May repurchase, however, being a blush hoarder and lover, my heart just commit to one blush.

19. MAC - Studio Sculpt Concealer
Will not repurchase. It was too thick and creased.

20. Turqoise liquid liner from Ipsy Bag (forgot the brand)
Will not repurchase, the turquoise liner was patchy and wasn't pigmented. It was sheer and took alot of layering, in which case it bunched up and looked horrible. Also, the smell was quite chemically.

What were some of your empties? I'd love to know!
Until next time, XO - M.

Summer Purple Eye Look with Makeup Geek Shadows

I decided to play around with some color and turned to my Makeup Geek shadows to create this purple plumy look. I finished it off with a purple liner and lots of mascara. What better time than now in the summer to incorporate colors to your look.

For my face - First, start off with a clean and freshly moisturized face. I primed my skin with Too Faced Primed and Poreless, especially around my nose as I have more evident pores there. I tried out the Lancome Miracle Cushion  that day, I'm in the color no.4 - for those of you who order from Sephora, you will see that they offer a broader range of colors and their codes are identified differently then The Bay. I was told that this was due to the US method of coding their colors, vs the Canadian. The Canadian has a smaller range. The concealer of choice today was the NARS - Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger. To set the undereye, I used the Laura Mercier - Secret Brightening Powder. To bronze up my skin, I used the Diorskin Nude Tan Healthy Glow Enhancing Powder in 002 Sunlight. I applied it on my outer forehead, and lower cheeks. My blush is the Clinique - Cheekpop in Heather. It's a beautiful dusty rose pink, it's sheer yet buildable and no matter how much you put on, it'll never look cakey.

For eyes - I used all Makeup Geek shadows to create this eye look: Vanilla Bean all over the lid, Frappe on my crease, Twilight on my outer 2/3 of my lid and darkened the outer V and crease with Sensuous.

The Eyeliner was L'oreal Silkissime - Plum and my Masacara was Maybelline - Lash Sensational Mascara. It is a very good dupe for the Benefit - Roller Lash, and the cost of the Maybelline is only about 1/4 of it especially if you find it on sale.

Lips: was the lipstick from the Fifty Shades of Grey Makeup Forever Give Into Me Set.

I hope you enjoy this look!
Until next time - XO, M.

Sunday Cleaning - Organizing Your Makeup Brushes

I had to find a way to organize my makeup brushes at home and picked up the CosmoCube from Sephora during the VIB Sale a few weeks back. The only problem was, that my brushes kept tipping over or gathering to one side of the holder, and I wanted them to hold upright. I had always found pictures on Pinterest and online about acrylic beads, but no matter what I did, the only places that I could order from, were from the US and shipping to Canada cost a dime and a leg. We were talking close to $100 for acrylic bead vase fillers. 

I was then on a hunt at Walmart and Michaels, no luck - and then one day strolling through the dollar store I found bags of vase fillers for $2 a bag. I purchased 3 and I have to say that I am extremely happy with how this turned out.  I didn't want to use glass fillers just in case it scratched the acrylic holder. This one was perfect. Just be careful when you are filling it up because there is a bit of static that holds the beads to the plastic bag so it may fly around everywhere if you're not careful.  

Also, just make sure to keep doing spot checks when you are filling the container because the more brushes you put in the holder, the more the beads will push up and may therefore spill over. So, for the bigger brushes in the back, I used less filler than the front and it works out to looking the same. 

Until next time, XO - M.

DIY: Affordable At Home Pedicures!

Summer season is upon us, which means it's time for open-toed shoes and flip-flops. From first hand experience, I know that visiting a salon once every few weeks to get that pedicure might not be budget-friendly to everyone (including myself), so I found a few items that have allowed me to obtain the same results at home.

I used to go to a salon to get a pedicure because I dreaded dealing with my dry heels, and would never be brave enough to buy one of those blades to use on my heels (like they do at the salon). I figured, there had to be a better, and healthier way. I heard that the more you use a blade to scrape/slice off the dead skin, the thicker it grows back.

After trying a few different products - I have found my essential 4 items that I want to share with you all.
1. Heel to Toe - Callus Softener ($8.69)
Heel To Toe Callus Softener gel gently softens and removes calluses leaving feet smooth and free of rough calluses. Use between pedicures to keep that fresh from the spa look and feel.

2. Heel to Toe - Foot File ($1.99)
Use the Heel to Toe Pedicure Foot File for the removal of dead, dry skin and calluses. Perfect for use at home or at the spa to leave feet soft and smooth. Use on wet skin only!

3. Heel to Toe - Peppermint Soothing Scrub ($6.99)
Heel To Toe Peppermint Smoothing Scrub is an intense exfoliator to smooth and soften even the roughest skin. Infused with peppermint oil, this easy to use scrub exfoliates dry and rough skin leaving feet feeling soft, smooth, and refreshed.

4. Flexitol - Heel Balm for maintenance (approx $15.49)
Flexitol Heel Balm (112g) contains 25% chemically synthesized Urea in a highly concentrated, moisturising and emollient base. Recommended for adult skin only. Extremely effective in the treatment of very dry and cracked skin on the heels and balls of the feet. Recommended to patients by health professionals including dermatologists, chiropodists and diabetes educators.

The Heel to Toe products are available for purchase at Sally Beauty Supply and Flexitol is available for purchase at London Drugs, Walmart, NailPolishCanada.com and select Loblaws, Lawtons, IDA, Guardian and others. In total, you're looking at $33.16 + taxes for the products, which you can use repeatedly. That is the cost of one pedicure!

The process is really quite easy. I usually do this near the end of my shower, when my feet has been exposed to the water for 15-20 minutes. I squeeze some of the Callus Softener onto the Foot File, and begin to file the ankle area, and the sole, arch etc. When doing this, make sure to occasionally feel your ankle with your hand to see if there are any rough or hard patches left and focus on that area. Do not work too hard, you do not want to damage your skin. Use your own discretion when doing this - you know your own limits. Work one foot at a time. If your heels are bad, it will take about 2-3 times to make them soft. After both of your feet are filed, I would rinse it off with warm water.

Afterwards, I squeeze some of the Peppermint Soothing Scrub, and use my hands to rub it all over my feet, top and bottom and around the ankle. The tingly feeling is amazing, makes it feel refreshed when you're done and dry. Again, wash off the product after you exfoliate.

Dry your feet and body and apply some Flexitol or an ultra rich balm or lotion to your feet and you're ready! :)

Hope you found this post useful! I've been doing this myself at home every week now, and I do not find the need to go get a pedicure!

Until next time, XO - Miranda.

May 2015 Ipsy Bag

Another month has come and gone, and I often find myself thinking, does time go by faster and faster, the older you are? I remember back in highschool the weekends took forever to come by, and now a whole week passes by with a blink of an eye. Bleh. With that being said - I'm so glad that we are finally getting some Summer weather here in Toronto! The sun's out, the temperature is always 15c+ and I can't complain. I've been spending alot of time outdoors playing around with my new camera that my hubby surprised me with. 

Enough rambling.. back to the topic at hand, the May 2015 Ipsy bag
Contents of this month's bag include:
- Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide on Lip Pencil and two samples of the Revolution High-Color Lipgloss
- Chella - Eyebrow Color Pencil
- St. Tropez - One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion
- Luxie Beauty - Tapered Blending Eye Brush 205
- CoTZ - Face Natural SPF 40.

This is my second time receiving a Luxie brush, my first was the angled face brush and I have to say, I'm really taking a liking to this brand. The bristles are incredibly soft, and the barrel is a beautiful baby pink.. :) 

The Chella eyebrow pencil is a universal taupe color, which is perfect for me. I can't use anything with a red-ish/orange tint to it... 

The CoTZ product will be perfect for my summer spent outside, I always forget to put SPF on my face so this will let me experiment on a new product to see if I like it. I always have a fear that SPF will break me out on my face - so we shall see. 

The St. Tropez Instant Glow Body Lotion will come in handy for any weddings or events I have this summer. It'll give me that JLO glow all over my body temporarily without having to go fake and bake! Yay!! I've been using the Sephora aerosol one, let's see how a gel formula holds up. 

Urban Decay recently came out with a line of highly pigmented and super glossy lipglosses. I'm the owner of tons of lipglosses so having two relatively big samples of it, allows me to live vicariously and use the lippies without having to commit to buying them! :) double win.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this month's bag - Can't wait to see what I get next month.

Oh by the way - HOW CUTE IS THE BAG THIS MONTH? I wanted these bags when Sephora carried them - the Sephora version is double the size of the Ipsy version, but hey - this is super portable to throw in my purse or cross-over. 

Until next time, XO - M.

April Drugstore Haul

I know this post is a bit late, but I still wanted to share last month's drugstore haul with my readers. I was up in Muskoka visiting family, and I picked up the Wet n' Wild Palette, NYX shadow crayons, a lip liner, 2 soft matte lip creams and a sparkly roll on pigment.

At the Walmart, I picked up the Real Techniques Core Collection - thought it'd be a good set to travel with - it contains all of your main essential brushes required to do a full look on your face. It comes in a black travel case, in which you can flip over - tighten the string, and it becomes a stand-up porfolio (like in the picture on the box) and it keeps things very hygenic. I love it!! At Walmart, it was $19approx and at Rexall, it was about $25 - a big price difference. Something you might want to consider when you are shopping around for it.

Back in Toronto, I was at the Loblaws Superstore and picked up the Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Peppermint Soap to clean my makeup brushes. I will be sure to post a review on my thoughts of this product after I have thoroughly tried it out. I decided to go with a clean peppermint scent so that if the scent lingers on my brush - it won't be something I didnt like.

Finally, at Winners I picked up the Thickr Hairspray - I tried it out in store, and I love it. I have really thin hair, and this actually helps by acting as a texturizing spray. You can use this on your hair, damp or dry. It is very similar to the Bumble and Bumble Texturizing Dry Finish spray that is around $35 - so at half the price and double the volume, I really can't complain! The only difference I felt was the scent of the BB one is better.

What have been some of your hauls lately? Please share them!

Until Next Time - XO, M

Self Tanning Essentials

Now that Spring is in full-force in Toronto, I'm slowly transitioning into the Spring/Summer gear - Shorts and Skirts. However, the winter has left me colorless and pale, and that's no way to rock my arms and legs - no one likes the pastey-ness!

I have found 3 products that are essential to my self-tan routine, that will provide me with a nice hint of color that will NOT make you end up looking like an oompa-loompa!

The Jergens Natural Glow line is a Gradual tanner in which you apply everyday, and you will gradually see the color appear on your skin. Usually you're looking at 3-5 days before you see the color slowly starting to appear, and it is really natural. You won't turn orange at all. Just make sure that you apply it after you exfoliate, and rub it thoroughly like a regular moisturizer and wash your hands after. THIS is key!! WASH YOUR HANDS. if you don't you will get discoloration on your knuckles etc. Just wash your hands, and then use the palm of your hands to rub out your wrists to spread the lotion back onto your hands again to blend it.

Next is the Sephora brand, Tinted self-tanner body mist. I apply this with the St. Tropez mitt. I spray it onto my legs about 6-8 inches away from my body, and use the mitt to rub and blend the product out. This is safe enough to use on your face too. Just make sure you spray it evenly and far away so that you don't have any targeted areas that are too dark. This will make you 1-2 shades darker with each use.

Hope these products and easy steps to self-tanning help you out to give you that pre-summer glow!

Until next time - Miranda.

Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Palette - Look #2

Here is a more neutral look with the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Palette. This would be something I'd wear as it is more neutral toned.

Products Used:
- Coconut Creme + Butter Pecan - brow bone
- Mousse - Crease
- Peanut Butter - define the crease with a smaller blending brush
- Puddin - to further define the crease and outer V and lower lash line
- Bon Bon - rest of the lid

Hope you liked this look!

XO, Miranda

April 2015 Favorites

Another month has come and gone, seriously - as I age, I feel like time flies by faster and faster. Crazy... does anyone else feel the same? With Spring approaching it was time for me to switch up my skincare. In the winter time and colder months, my skin gets super dry and now it's starting to become oily/combo again.

My favorite face wash in the warmer months is the Bliss - Foaming Face Wash. It has a light fruity scent, is oil-free and is a gel-like formula with gentle exfoliating bits inside, gentle enough to be used on a daily basis.

I used to use the Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo a few years ago, and I can't remember the reason why I stopped. It's perfect for my thin hair, it adds volume while cleaning out the gunk. I love the mint component of this shampoo, it energizes you and leaves a slight tingle to your scalp.

At the One of a Kind Show, I picked up the LoveFresh - Guava Hand Lotion . For those who know me, know that I am really picky with scents. I can't stand the Bath and Body stuff, or the Body Shop fragrances because they are way too strong and artificial. Once in a blue moon, I'm lucky enough to find something to my liking at BBW, but normally I stay away from them.... Anyways, back to this hand lotion. It is paraben and petroleum free - meaning, NO greasiness. It is rich and super absorbent, and leaves your hands feeling baby smooth. I just looked at the ingredients, and there's Kimchi in it! HOW FUN! however, it does not smell like it at all.. lol.. they only use a component of it as a preservative. I can lather this stuff on, and it doesn't irritate my sensitive hands - I have slight eczema on my knuckles. I highly suggest it. Their Vanilla Bean smells divine as well, however a tad too sweet to my liking. This one is perfection!

The next few items I have mentioned before are my favorites, and they continue to be my recurring favorites - Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, NailKale Superfood Base Coat and a Limited Edition Chanel Polish - Eastern Light.

I bit the bullet and bought 3 of the Makeup Forever Artist Shadows - I decided to get all matte shades, just so that I can create a matte look or use them to buff out any shadows in the crease. I love them, perfectly pigmented and soft like butter but there's no fallout.

Lastly, the Benefit Ultra Plush Lipgloss  is the perfect consistency, not sticky but moisturizing. It gives you a light tint of colour and it smells and tastes like CANDY.. mmm...

What are some of your monthly favorites? Please share! Until next time, XO - M.