For those of us living in the northern parts of the American continent, some beauty products are simply unavailable, or hugely overpriced. The selection of brands and products in Canada are usually 1) slow to arrive and 2) more limited than south of the border and in the UK. However, thanks to our French cousins in Quebec, we do get quite an impressive selection of French pharmacy brands (i.e., Bioderma has been available in Canada for a long time now) – an interesting mix of products, for sure.
A recent long weekend trip to NYC had me hunting around in Duane Reade and of course, the mothership – Sephora, for any kinds of deals/steals/new products that I’ve been stalking on the internet – I didn’t end up with a whole bunch of stuff, but I definitely managed to do some damage (especially since the exchange rate is sh*te right now!).
At the drugstore, I managed to snag a few really great products I’ve been Googling and hearing about for ages – firstly the No7 Beautifully Matte Make Up Base. Interestingly enough, No7 as a brand is actually available here in Canada, but apparently this product didn’t make the cut when they were deciding what to bring over. Duane Reade has a large selection of Boots brand and No. 7 products, which is awesome. I’ve heard various people rave about this stuff, and while I’m somewhat apprehensive about primers in general, I’m really excited to try this one out. Another product I’ve been hearing rave reviews about from both UK and US bloggers is the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper in Medium to Dark. This product is only available here in the transparent shade, which is very annoying, as ever since the brow gel trend has hit the shelves, I’ve been dying to get my hands on as many drugstore versions as possible – I’m currently using the Maybelline offering after being too cheap to splash out on Benefit Gimme Brow. I’ll let you know how they compare once I crack the tube open!
Another item that is completely unavailable in Canada is any variety of benzoyl peroxide treatment over 5% in concentration – for some reason that is what they’ve allowed for topical use here, whereas in the US you can get up to 10%, so I excitedly picked up the Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10, which I’m hoping won’t dry out my skin too much. Lastly, is a product that is definitely available here, but for much more money. The Gillette Venus Snap Travel Razor costs around $20 CAD but I found it in the US for around $12. Much better, despite the dismal exchange rate.
At Sephora I tried to restrain myself as much as possible, as technically, 95% of the stock is available here as well, but because of the price difference, I had to pick up a couple things. The Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder is a product I’ve been lusting after – I find highlighters very tricky; I’ve tried a few beauty blogger cult favourites before but never seem to keep to using them, as they are too sparkly for my taste, and for everyday wear. This one is a lovely soft champagne peach with tiny tiny sparkles. The ‘matte’ in the name is actually somewhat misleading – it isn’t actually matte in the traditional way, but it definitely doesn’t have the larger particles that some highlighters contain. I’m really excited to start incorporating this into my everyday routine. Lastly, I thought I’d try a new Philosophy scent. While I’m not much for traditional perfumes (I’m allergic), scents that smell more like real things like fruits or flowers appeal to me much more than more ‘perfumey’ type smells – anyone get what I mean? Anyway, I’ve used and loved the Philosophy Unconditional Love and Love Sweet Love scents. Loveswept is a relatively new fragrance that smells similar to Love Sweet Love – though less citrusy. I’m going to love using this one during the summer.
What recent purchases have you made, and what new products have you fallen in love with?