Drugstore Beauty Department Finds

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Here are some things I got on a couple of recent “point-spending” shopping trips at Shoppers Drug Mart. As mentioned in previous posts like this one, they have an excellent points program and I like to save them to use on products in the beauty department. This way I get to try out things I might otherwise not purchase.

Shopping-sprees using Shoppers Drug Mart points certainly are fun and leave me highly motivated to shop there on a regular basis for many of our daily needs, including some food items. And, it’s not like you have to spend loads to get enough points because they often give significant bonus points if you spend a certain amount on pretty well anything in the store on particular days, so your points add up very quickly if you plan when you shop. You are informed of these bonus days by being on their email list and access them by loading them to your card via their website.

Now, of course, while their points program results in free things, nothing is really free, right? I am aware that the reason they have the program, in addition to encouraging us to spend our money there, is to track everything we buy and use that information in a way that benefits them. But, I see not reason to be concerned if they track what I’m buying, and on the whole, I find that their prices are reasonable and in-line with other similar retailers, and pretty well everything goes on sale regularly. So, if you plan it right you can really save a lot of money there, as well as earn the points.

Note that I am merely a fan of Shoppers and their point program and have not been hired by them to publish the “Drugstore Beauty Department Finds” posts that I do. Yes, I got this stuff for free, but it was because of their points program and not because they sent it to me for review or anything like that.

So, on with the goods!

Starting with a new brand here in Canada — Joe Fresh Makeup — that I believe is only sold at Shoppers, Lablaw’s and Joe Fresh Stores :

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I picked up one of the cream blush sticks in Peach Dream. It’s a really nice product — nice and smooth and well pigmented and such a pretty colour. It blends right in with a few finger taps and looks very natural and dewy. When I look at the results with a magnifying mirror, I see that there is a small amount of shimmer to it, but it’s very subtle. I’ll definitely be replacing this when it’s done, and might add the pink one to my stash in the meantime.

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This next product is a little thing, but blotting papers are something I always have on hand (or in my purse) in the summertime. I prefer using these rather than powder to get rid of shine, but have been having a hard time finding them since the brand, Essence, that used to offer them, had discontinued their blotting papers, so I was happy to see that Joe Fresh was carrying them.

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I needed some foundation so asked the cosmetician to recommend something light that would do well over sunscreen, for daytime use. She suggested Maybelline Fit Me, in the Matte and Poreless formulation. She also helped me pick the right shade, 110 Porcelain, which looks very pale in the bottle, however since the product is so thin and light it doesn’t make me look too white and it covers my natural rosiness which can be a bit extreme. In other words, I have a perpetually red face that needs some toning down, and this does that. I’ve been applying it with a dampened latex sponge (an imitation Beauty Blender — the one in this post). This foundation’s “matte-ness” does a good job at taking down shine but isn’t so matte that it leaves skin looking dry. It suits my needs, although if you’re looking for something with more coverage, this might not be the one.

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Speaking of sunscreen — while I still really like the Olay 30 spf one for sensitive skin (discussed in this post), which is good for everyday use when I’m not going to be in the sun for long periods, I wanted something with a little more spf for days I’d be out for longer periods.

Having tried many of the “regular” drug store brands designed to be used on the face and finding that my extremely sensitive skin couldn’t take them, I decided that this was something I wanted to spend a little more on (keeping in mind that it was points I was spending and not cash), so I began looking at the pricier brands in the “luxury beauty” section of the store. I must admit that $64 sunscreens, that I wasn’t sure would work on me was a bit daunting though! Then I spotted this brand that I’d not heard of before, Cliniderm. When the cosmetician saw me looking at it, she told me that this was a sunscreen designed very much with sensitivity in mind. It was the product she recommended to anyone needing special care that way.

I was a bit concerned because it is a “barrier” type of product, which sits on the skin and reflects the rays of the sun, rather than a chemical one, that is absorbed by the skin and combats sunburn and damage via a chemical reaction and barrier sunscreens have a tendency to be thick and white, leaving you looking very much like you have it on. That is not the case with this Cliniderm product. It goes on sheer and disappears. And it’s not oily at all.

Additionally, chemical sunscreens are the ones that you have to wait 15 to 20 minutes after applying before going in the sun, because they take time to get working properly. Since this product forms a barrier over your skin it is effective as soon as applied, something that comes in very handy in my situation, given that Nick often asks me if I’d like to go out for a walk when he already has his shoes and hat on!

Although this brand was found amoung the luxury products, it was very reasonably priced for something this good, because they were offering a package that contained the sunscreen spf 45, along with a bonus tube of lotion, also designed for very sensitive skin — a combined $48 value — for $30. That’s a good deal in itself but made even better in that, this week, Shoppers has it on for $20. Since the sunscreen was nice and fresh, having a best-before-date of Feb 2018, I’m going back to get another one!

I’m really happy to have discovered this and recommend it with confidence if you have sensitive skin or prefer not to use chemicals.

Be aware though, that these barrier types of sunscreens are not recommended if you’re going to be photographed using a flash because they reflect it and ruin the pictures.

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Ok, now that I had sun protection, and foundation to go over it, I wanted something that would add a wee bit of summery colour back to the mix. Actually, what I was interested in was trying out the contouring techniques I’ve seen on the beauty blogs lately. The cosmetician recommended this natural bronzing powder by Rimmel for the job, in the lighter shade they have — 021 Sun Light. It’s completely matte and apparently often used for contouring in addition to adding a sun-kissed appearance.

I’ve played around with it a bit and am getting the hang of it.

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While she was there at the Rimmel section with me, I asked her about their new “Brow This Way” brow-sculpting kits. She hadn’t tried them herself, but agreed that they looked pretty good. She recommended I try the one designed for blondes — 001 Blonde — even though my hair is dark brown. And she was right … turns out I’ve been using brow products that are too dark for me. The lighter colour looks a lot more natural and is easier to use because I don’t have to be so careful about not over-doing it.

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Also, while looking at the Rimmel products, I chose one of their concealers. I’ve heard so many positive things about them on the beauty blogs. I got the Match Perfection Skin Tone Adapting Concealer 2-in-1 Concealer and Highlighter in 125 Fair. As you can see, it’s in a tube that is squeezed so product flows into the brush.

It’s not so much something that covers shadows around the eyes, but rather it reflects light making those shadow decidedly less noticeable. I really like it, although having allergy and hereditary induced perpetual dark circles, I also still have to use some of my regular liquid concealer (Maybelline Fit Me, discussed in this post), to get the job done!

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I loved the colours in this eye-shadow pallet — Maybelline’s The Rock Nudes. I should say that, after getting it home I saw some reviews by bloggers and vloggers who weren’t happy with the quality of these shadows, but I find them to be totally fine. I like the ratio of matte shades to shimmery ones and I especially love that blue colour.

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While I’m not big on wearing clothing is pastel colours, I’m good with pastel nails. This lovely violet colour by L’Oreal, called Royalty Reinvented 107, practically jumped into my basket on its own!

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Next up is something I hadn’t noticed before — Batiste Dry Shampoo specifically formulated for dark brown hair, so I picked up a can. I haven’t tried it yet, but assume that the fact that I got the last can on the shelf while the other versions of Batiste were still fully stocked, indicates that it is good. I’m interested to see how the “hint of colour” in this product looks.

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I like Quo brushes, and noticed a container of them that were deeply discounted because they were in the process of changing the packaging, so I picked up a couple (I think they were $3 each, for very good quality, but those discontinued ones are probably all gone by now.) I got an angled brush designed for cream blush, but being the same shape as a contouring brush, I’ve been using it for that. I also got an eye-liner brush.

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About this last product … you may be wondering what an umbrella is doing in a post about beauty products. Well, it goes along with all that talk about sun and sun screens. We all know that finding shade is the most highly recommended strategy when it comes to avoiding sun damage, so I picked out this charming cherry-printed umbrella, that’s tiny enough to carry around in my bag and therefore have on hand when I need to supply my own shade.

Apparently dark coloured umbrellas are best suited to providing sun protection, but a plain black one certainly doesn’t add much fun to a sunny afternoon — I think these cherries do the trick nicely!

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And that’s it. I am quite pleased with everything I got.

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Thanks very much for checking out my post.
xo loulou

Posted in Drugstore Beauty Department Finds | 4 Comments

Oldies but Goodies : Out to The Rivoli and The Horseshoe with Meghan

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Every time you turn your head in Toronto these days, there’s a new place to check out. Bars and restaurants seem to be sprouting like mushrooms, and certainly, I aim to get to my fair share of them over the summer.

That said, there is something to be said for the tried and true — those familiar places that are steeped in memories. This post is about an evening out with my friend, Meghan, to a couple of places that are in this latter category — The Rivoli and The Horseshoe.

These two places, located a few storefronts apart on the north-east corner of Queen Street West and Spadina, have been there for as long as most who’ve lived in Toronto can remember. They are amoung the places where I first bought a drink legally — places that I’ve been too many times to count since then.

Meghan and I met at the upstairs bar at The Rivoli to have a couple of drinks and talk, before heading to The Horseshoe, where we had tickets to see a band.

meghan

While she’s been to The Riv many times, in the concert venue and the restaurant, she’d never been to the upstairs bar. That’s because she always thought the upstairs part was strictly a pool-hall and she doesn’t play pool. Well, given the fact that the second floor is called Rivoli Poolhall, it’s understandable that she and many others don’t venture up there in search of a drink. That would account for the reason why you can usually find a nice seat in this lovely bar area, while all the other good places in the popular neighbourhood are packed.

I’ve found it to be the best place to go if you want to sit and enjoy a drink and have a good talk. They’ll also bring some delicious snacks up from the kitchen if you want.

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meegs

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I’m glad we went there when we did because this beloved “secret” place is soon to be found out. By coincidence, this article about The Rivoli in FYI Music News about just came out yesterday, telling about the happy changes that have been going on there in recent months. In a nutshell, the former owners were ready to retire from the business, but rather than selling it for the big bucks they surely could have gotten for it, from someone who was more interested in the location, than they were in maintaining the name, history and atmosphere, they generously chose to let it go for a lot less money to someone who wanted it because it was The Rivoli. It is now owned by three young women who have some great plans for it, all while keeping it the same place people have grown to know and love over the years.

When I read the article I almost got teary over this turn of events. I look forward to seeing what happens, even though I’m not likely to have the opportunity to enjoy the easy access to the gorgeous booths in the upstairs bar for very much longer. I’m so glad it will still be there and while I might not get a seat, I’ll be able to catch glimpses of the ghost of the past all about the place, including playing game after game of pool on those tables.

Heading over to The Horseshoe to see the band …

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La Luz are an all female surfy-rock band from Seattle, that Meghan loves and that I was happy to become acquainted with.

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It was a fun night out with a great pal.

Thanks for checking out my post. I hope you have a really good weekend.
xo loulou

Posted in Bars in Toronto, Live Music, Queen Street West | 2 Comments