Haulage! beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart (February 2017) fivezero's Chanel & Dior haulage

Haulage! beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart (February 2017)

Over the weekend, Shoppers Drug Mart held another Spend Your Points Plus event, and I redeemed 95,000 Optimum Points for $170 worth of haulage from beautyBOUTIQUE, Shoppers’ online luxury beauty store. Since this was a Plus event, I’ll get $30 worth of Optimum Points added to my account, as well.

It’s not as good a deal as some of the older Spend Your Points events (where you’d get to redeem 95,000 points for over $200 worth of stuff), but it looks like Shoppers has been phasing those out. It’s disappointing, but the Optimum Rewards are still pretty awesome.

beautyBOUTIQUE recently added Chanel (in its own boutique section, not mixed up with the riff raff in regular product categories!) and Urban Decay to its online store, which is great since those brands are not available in most Shoppers’ beautyBOUTIQUE locations. It was always a massive pain to redeem points in-store if I wanted products from several brands. beautyBOUTIQUE online has a lot of the brands together in one place, so I’m much happier redeeming points online, now. Plus, you can use ebates.ca for additional cashback!

Anyway, I would like to give beautyBOUTIQUE another huge rave! I’ve experienced a lot of crappy cosmetics delivery in Canada—cough! Hudson’s Baycough! Yves Rocher—but beautyBOUTIQUE has been fantastic. Everything arrived in a pretty little cardboard box, with bubble wrap and tissue paper so that delicate products are nicely protected. Free samples came in an organza bag tied with a ribbon.

Contrast that with nail polishes chucked into a massive cardboard box with no padding whatsoever, or a single crumpled up piece of brown paper at best, like I get from Hudson’s Bay and Yves Rocher. Yes, I’ve had luxury polishes shipped from HBC like that:

#PackagingFail by @hudsonsbay #wasteful and poorly packed. Loose #nailpolish in a huge box?! #smh

A post shared by Chris (@fivezero.ca) on

Also, I placed my order on Saturday, and my order arrived the next business day, Monday. I do live in Toronto, but damn if that isn’t awesome service! They even sent me a shipping notice less than three hours after I placed my order.

Final verdict? beautyBOUTIQUE is pretty great. I’ll be shopping with Shoppers/beautyBOUTIQUE for most of my beauty products at the moment, since I’m currently grabbing my wallet and avoiding Hudson’s Bay, Winners/Marshalls/HomeSense, Amazon, and storefronts using Shopify.

On to the fun stuff! Here’s what I hauled:

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New Release: Dior — Diorific Vernis (Holiday 2016)

[Images: dior.com]

Collection: Dior Holiday 2016, Diorific Vernis

Dior’s Holiday 2016 Diorific Vernis collection consists of four festive lacquers.

From Dior:

The couture signature of this Holiday 2016 collection, Diorific Vernis comes in four statement colours around a pearly heart.

  • Nova (001), a glimmering “broken mirror” top coat
  • Golden (328)
  • Splendor (850)
  • Cosmic (899)

I haven’t tried these annual releases, but they do look wonderfully luxe and holiday-perfect, don’t they? I wonder how they stack up against the exceptional Dior Vernis line.

Dior Diorific Vernis, Holiday 2016

Happy shopping!

♦♦♦♦♦

Dior Vernis retails for US$28 / CA$34 and is 0.4 fl oz / 12 mL. The polish is free of toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and is made in France.

Christian Dior Cosmetics is a division of Christian Dior S.A., based in Paris, France. Dior and LVMH are both controlled by Bernard Arnault.

Dior Vernis in Skyline, swatch

Dior — Skyline (Vernis)

Collection: Dior Fall 2016, Skyline

After falling head over heels in love with Glory last year—and it was my pedi most of this spring and summer—I resolved to get a few other Diors. When Hudson’s Bay recently offered a couple of coupons for almost 20% off beauty ($20 off $100), I thought it was a good time to finally do it, especially with the new fall collection out.

The full name of this Vernis polish is actually a mouthful: Vernis Couture Colour Gel Shine and Long Wear Nail Lacquer. Seriously! The longer and more unnecessarily complicated a product name is, the less luxurious it tends to feel to me. What’s wrong with just Vernis? Tack on the Gel Shine, if you must, for marketing purposes. At least all that verbiage is absent from the bottle itself:

Dior Vernis in Skyline

Skyline (848) is one of four neutral shades in Dior’s fall collection. It’s a deep, rum raisin chocolate in a glossy cream finish. Browns can be a little tough to pull off without looking a bit too circa 1990s, but the taupeish plum tone means it is really just the hottest vampy mauve-brown, ever.

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Haulage! beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart (September 2016)

This Haulage! post also serves as Part 2 to Online Store Review: beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart (Part 1).

My order was placed on September 17, it shipped on the 22nd, and it was arrived to me in Toronto on the 23rd (5 business days), so delivery fell well within the advertised 4–7 business days.

Firstly, I want to mention that about a week after I placed the order, I happened to notice something while I was doing my weekly coupon-loading on Shoppers Drug Mart’s website/app (it’s totally worth it, by the way—I’ve racked up so many Optimum points using the personalized coupons they are constantly cranking out!). My Optimum Points total seemed unusually low, even considering the 95,000 points I had just redeemed over the weekend. Then, under my Transaction History, I saw this:

They’d deducted my redeemed points twice!

As I was already on the Shoppers Drug Mart site, I shot off an email to them via their contact form. Shortly afterward, I received an email saying my message could not be delivered because my Yahoo email wasn’t being accepted. Guys, it’s coming from your own web form. Then, a tweet came to nothing as they asked me to direct message them, and then, via DM, asked me to send them an email. I emailed, then they asked me to call in.

I suppose I could have just called from the start, but what on earth are web forms and email and other methods of online communication for, then? In the end, I had a light bulb moment and checked beautyBOUTIQUE.com, where I’d actually made the purchase. They had their own web form for contacting customer service, so I tried that. (Frankly, it was already 4pm and there were constant drilling sounds coming from an adjacent apartment, so I didn’t feel like shouting over the phone with a CS agent. Not to mention Peanut is very keen on talking to everybody on the phone, even if it’s not for him.)

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Perfume Notes on Labour Day

I got bitten by the perfume bug again and wanted to hit up Shoppers Drug Mart for some sniffing. For those who don’t know, Shoppers is a Canadian drugstore chain with a fantastic selection of higher-end beauty products sold at locations with a BeautyBoutique. Unfortunately, I went on Labour Day yesterday, and I was greeted by a cordoned-off prestige fragrance section!

Shoppers Drug Mart, Ontario Retail Business Holidays Act, Labour Day

I asked a sales associate about it, and it turns out that Ontario has a Retail Business Holidays Act which states that only pharmacies under a certain square footage may open on holidays like Labour Day. So, this Shoppers Drug Mart location, being over the allotted size, cordoned off certain areas to circumvent the by-law. I noticed that other sections blocked off were the prestige skincare section (Vichy, Nuxe, La Roche-Posay, etc.) and, bizarrely, the shampoo aisle. The SA said she’d be happy to help me out if I wanted to try any of the fragrance testers, but I didn’t want to bother her since my plan was to try out quite a lot of perfumes.

The fragrances on my shortlist were:

  1. Balenciaga – Florabotanica & Rosabotanica (re-test)
  2. Burberry – Body
  3. Burberry – My Burberry Black
  4. Givenchy – Hot Couture (EDP & EDT, re-test)
  5. Gucci – Rush (for some reason, I’ve never tested this)
  6. Jean-Paul Gaultier – Classique & Classique X (re-test)
  7. Jean-Paul Gaultier – Ma Dame
  8. Lolita Lempicka – Elle L’aime (re-test)
  9. Lolita Lempicka – Sweet
  10. Marc Jacobs – Divine Decadence
  11. Miu Miu
  12. Oscar de la Renta – Live in Love
  13. Paco Rabanne – Olympéa
  14. Rihanna – Nude & Rogue (re-test)
  15. Salvatore Ferragamo – Signorina (EDP & EDT)

I wasn’t sure whether all of these were available at one location—but now, with most of the “prestige fragrances” blocked off, I’d probably only get to try some of the less expensive items on my list.

In the end, here’s what I got to test:Read More »

The Handbags That Got Away

[MARC by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Baby Aidan satchel. Image: farfetch.com]

I’m the sort of person who gets a little bit obsessive about one topic at a time (though luckily I stay pretty obsessed with nail polish, ha!), and recently I’ve been diving back into handbags because my birthday is coming up in the fall and I wanted to narrow down my choices and give myself time to find a good deal!

(Yes, DH and I don’t really exchange gifts. We just do gift budgets. It works out great because we no longer get disappointed about not receiving quite what we wanted! Before, I’d ended up with jewelry that I don’t really wear, and you should have seen the look on his face when I bought him an apparently subpar bottle of Scotch one year. He ain’t never gonna live that look down.)

Anyway, handbags are the only fashion items I’ve been interested in buying, simply because I’m losing my pregnancy weight and even my damn shoes are too snug right now. Clothing will have to wait. I’ve already decided that once I get back to my pre-pregnancy weight—and I will! Right?—I’ll treat myself to a new wardrobe. But for now, handbags! Weeee!

My shortlist is pretty small now, so I just have to decide what I really want. But while I was doing my research, it got me thinking about bags that, for one reason or another, I have had on my wishlist for ages. Many are discontinued (style or color), so the secondhand market is the only place to find them now. Most of these bags will remain on my wishlist forever, I feel, but I enjoyed compiling them into a single blog post for sharing.

 

Alexander Wang Rockie satchel in Nectar
Alexander Wang Rockie in Nectar.
Image: fwrd.com

Alexander Wang — Rockie
The Rockie is the perfect size for my petite stature (the Rocco is too large for me), but reviews all say this is still one heavy bag, thanks to all the gorgeous hardware it sports. Part of me also feels I’m not cool enough for the bag, so I continue to admire it from afar. I especially love this one in nude and pastel shades with silver or rose gold hardware.

 

Christian Dior Miss Dior in Crimson
Christian Dior Miss Dior in Crimson.
Image: bragmybag.com

Christian Dior — Miss Dior
This is beyond my comfort zone, price-wise. Simple enough reason! Isn’t that chain strap gorgeous, though? Most bag aficionados are gaga for Chanel’s quilted flaps, but for me, Dior and their cannage stitching is the grail. Sadly, I don’t see the Miss Dior on the official site any more.

 

Coach Borough in Retro Colorblock Oxblood/Olive
Coach Borough in Retro Colorblock Oxblood/Olive.
Image: thebay.com

Coach — Borough (Retro Colorblock Oxblood/Olive)
Coach has come out with some beautiful styles lately. Every time I see someone carrying this, I wish I’d gotten one—but I don’t work in an office and this bag doesn’t fit my lifestyle. (As if a Miss Dior does! Hahahaha.)

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Sale Alert: Sephora (And my VIB Wishlist)

Sephora’s VIB Rouge Sale just started today (that’s 20% off from Nov. 6–9, 2015 with the code ROUGE20).

Next weekend, VIB members get 20% off with the code VIB20. That’s the group that I fall into, so I’ve been plotting my purchases.

I’m supposed to be on a no-buy until December, but that was ill-advised, since November is my birthmonth, plus all those great fall sales start now! Aaargh.

I’ll just end my low-buy a bit early! I mean, I probably won’t even receive anything I order until late November, anyway. Right?

Here’s my tentative shopping bag. I don’t think all of these things will make it into the final order, and I certainly hope the stuff I really want (the Bésame lipstick in Merlot that I’ve been coveting finally showed up!) doesn’t sell out!

Fivezero's wishlist for Sephora VIB sale October 2015

‘Cause I need more nail polish and lipstick like I need a hole in the head…

What’s on your wishlist? Give me ideas! 🙂