Over the last few months, Loblaw, a Canadian grocery and pharmacy retailing giant, has been making a lot of changes to their online luxury beauty store, beautyBOUTIQUE.
For one, they changed their website from beautyboutique.ca to keep it under their Shoppers Drug Mart umbrella at beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca. This redirects to beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca/beauty-boutique, which seems a little redundant to me.
Anyway, secondly, they added a regular Beauty section to the Luxury Beauty section! This means that Canadians can now purchase a wide variety (though not a full selection) of drugstore beauty products online via Shoppers. This is great news for me—I’ve been sending messages about this to Shoppers whenever they ask for suggestions—since I hate having to hit up a few different locations just to find the all products I want.
I’ve noticed that there are still some growing pains. For example, not all brands are available online (L’Occitane and quite a few perfume brands in the luxury section). The weekly sales are not always posted at the right time. The database is a bit wonky: Mid- and lower-priced brands (Calgon, J.R. Watkins, Marcelle, Pixi, Cake Beauty, all lower-end fragrances) show up in the Luxury section. There are some other oddities: Vasanti is under Luxury, but similarly-priced Nude by Nature and Consonant Skincare are slotted into regular Beauty; Strivectin is Luxury but Fekkai and Redken are filed under regular Beauty.
The main drawback of the inconsistencies is that you get 3 free samples with Luxury purchases, but not with regular Beauty purchases. (And, if you’re signed up with PC Insiders, you get bonus points for Luxury purchases. I signed up for the $99/yr program only because they recently offered me 100k PC Optimum Points to do so, which basically pays for it and more if I redeem the points during a Bonus event.)
But for the most part, it is looking good. If they start putting the $19.99 perfume clearance shelf online, I’ll be broke in no time!
And, of course, always remember that you can use eBates Canada with Shoppers Drug Mart online, as well. The offer is usually “up to 4.0%.”
I’ve already ordered several times from the new Shoppers Drug Mart online, especially now that I have free shipping on all orders due to PC Insiders. Just over the weekend, I noticed that a bunch of Joe Fresh (Loblaw’s own clothing and cosmetics brand) products were on clearance at 75% off (they still are!), so I took the opportunity to spend a whopping $22 on:
- 8 Hr Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Champagne ($2.00)
- 8 Hr Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Plum ($2.00)
- 8 Hr Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Twilight ($2.00)
- Concealer Stick in Light/Medium ($2.50)
- Cream Lipstick in Kiss ($2.50)
- Cream Lipstick in Rose ($2.50)
- Gentle Eye Makeup Remover, 175 mL ($2.00)
- Long Wear Lip Liner in Cool Nude ($2.00)
- Long Wear Lip Liner in Nude ($2.00)
- Translucent Loose Powder ($2.50)
I didn’t get any samples since this was strictly a regular Beauty order.
I gave an eyeliner (Plum) and a lipstick (Rose) to my mom. I haven’t tried anything yet, but my mom says she likes the lipstick so far. Hey, for $2.50, how wrong can you go?
The packaging is also swell. Every beautyBOUTIQUE order I’ve ever received has come packed very securely in a rigid cardboard box, with plenty of shredded paper to pad everything. Way better packaging than you get from both Sephora and Hudson’s Bay (the less said about HBC’s packaging of delicate items, the better—and yes, I am shopping with them again).
I don’t think SDM online is going to replace in-store shopping for me—I still enjoy browsing the fragrance departments and checking out the clearance shelves—and of course it’s always nice to see products in person. But I am really loving the online option and it’s a boon when the stores near me don’t carry the brands I’m looking for!