Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rita Tesolin Jewellery Design inventory sale

I get a lot of unsolicitied stuff in my inbox. Every once and a while, I come across something inspiring. That’s how I felt when I saw this photo from Rita Tesolin’s email about her sale this weekend. My original plan was to interview her and share it with you sooner but life got in the way. If she’s still willing, stay tuned because I’d still like to interview her one day soon. (Note: in all fairness to Rita and her staff, her email included an unsubscribe option.)

Rita Tesolin Jewellery Design inventory sale

Canadian jewellery designer Rita Tesolin is having an inventory sale with up to 80% off her regular prices and items starting as low as $5. You’ll find a mix of stuff including costume, sterling silver and semi-precious jewellery collections and a wide array of one-of-a-kind belts. Different items will be throughout the weekend. Now is the time to buy designer accessories at bargain prices.

Cash only!

63 Wingold Ave., Suite 103 (map)

Saturday, Feb. 28 & Sunday, Mar. 1
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
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Friday, February 27, 2009

Tip of the Week - Podcasts for your listening pleasure

Wondering why I’ve been so quiet lately? I’ve been busy working on PodCamp Toronto. It took place last weekend.

There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not podcasting is dead. Far from it. To prove my point, I’m going to share three podcasts with you:

Mannequin: The fashion podcast from FGI Toronto
Hosted by Graeme Spicer
I met Graeme at PodCamp Halifax last month. He’s got an impressive background and is no stranger to retail or fashion.

Six Pixels of Separation
Hosted by Mitch Joel
In episode 144, Mitch interviews Bob Young, CEO of where they discuss Lulu’s success as an online book publisher.

Community Divas
Hosted by Eden Spodek and Connie Crosby
Okay, so it’s a shameless plug but only because I interviewed the every so lovely Ali de Bold from in episode 11 and wanted to share it with you.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which are your favourites? Any particular episodes you’d like to share.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Have you tried Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream?

When Martin Waxman at Palette PR asked me if I was interested in trying Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, I said sure. I thought it was a moisturizer and I was running low. Plus it has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

The next day a nice package with a friendly note appeared on my doorstep with a regular-sized jar of the cream. I didn’t realize it was really more of a deep massage treatment to help tighten up sagging facial skin. There were detailed instructions about how to apply the product. What did I get myself into? I don’t have a lot of time to get ready for work in the morning so to add another 3-5 minutes to my routine was a minor inconvenience.

Well, I hadn’t really noticed whether or not my face was sagging but I felt a responsibility to give this product a proper try. For the first few days, I applied it religiously day and night. Then it became a night-only ritual. Now I’m using it in place of my regular moisturizer.

Did it tighten up the skin on my face and neck? To be honest, I should have taken before and after pics and let you decide. I can’t see a noticeable difference.

What I do know is my face was incredibly dry when I started using the product. I received it right in the middle of a cold snap and the strong winds and below-freezing temperatures weren’t forgiving. Now my skin looks fresh and well-nourished without any dry patches, not bad for a rich moisturizer with a suggested retail price of $35.

Have you tried Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream or a similar product? If so, what did you think?

I found a link to coupons and special offers on Let us know if you use any of these products and what you think of them.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Of Coats and Carriers

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny shares some of her smarter purchases. Doesn't the M coat look wonderful? Wish they had those when I had my kids.

Confession time. I’m often guilty of the worst of shopping errors: buying items for fantasy, rather than reality. Essentially I sometimes buy things because I envision how they will change my life, make me a better more fashionable person etc. – then they don’t, of course.

But I’m pleased to report that two of my major baby-related purchases have actually turned fantasy into reality! When I bought the M coat I immediately had visions of my post-baby self squiring an adorable newborn around town in a front carrier, snugly zipped inside my fashionable and practical adjustable parka. However, I secretly feared that it wouldn’t work out and I would have invested heavily in an adjustable maternity coat for no good reason.

Well, this time the dream has actually come true. I’m so happy with both the M coat and my Ergo carrier that I wanted to post this update to recommend both items! I’ve enjoyed many walks on even the coldest days recently with baby snug and warmly nestled against my chest. I love that she’s zipped inside my own coat so that I can more easily sense her temperature and adjust her positioning; and the Ergo carrier nicely distributes her weight so that my back doesn’t suffer even after several hours of carrying her (admittedly though, she is only about 8 lbs).

So for all you moms-to-be expecting a bundle of joy to arrive this coming fall – I heartily recommend the M coat as being well worth the investment (particularly if next winter is as bitterly cold as this one turned out to be)! And for those seeking a baby carrier, I’m delighted to recommend the Ergo carrier just as enthusiastically.

What’s your best dream-come-true purchase?

Monday, February 16, 2009

How to stay warm in the colder weather if you're pregnant

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Rebecca Atkinson shares tips for staying warm when you’re pregnancy belly starts showing during the last stretch of winter. Jenny, who needed a maternity coat for the whole winter shared her experience last fall.

The only problem with being pregnant in the winter months is that a growing belly can mean more than just trouble doing up your pants – it can also affect your outer layers. I’ve been finding that I’m having more and more trouble closing some of my winter coats lately, which given the minus double digits Toronto has been getting lately gave me two options:

1. Buy a new coat that will last me for the next six weeks (based on our Wiarton Willie’s predictions) and hope that if I become pregnant again it will be during the winter months again;

2. Hibernate until Spring (which considering I do work from home, could have been a real possibility).

As I was explaining this dilemma to my neighbour Moira she looked at me and said: “Oh no, you don’t need to go buy a new jacket, I have two options for you.”

1. Get the biggest, longest scarf you have (or invest in one, it will be cheaper than a jacket) and wrap it around so it hangs down in front of your belly. Now look at your jackets and see if you have one of the following: a) a double zipper that you could work to do up above your belly, or a jacket with snaps/buttons/Velcro (with or without a zipper option too) that you could then again just do up above your belly. This way you are warm(er) and even somewhat fashionable without spending big bucks.

Your second option, she advised me – especially if we had a lot more winter to go through, was to:
2. Go to a second-hand clothing store and look at picking up a jacket (bonus if they have any maternity clothes) in a size that would fit my expanding belly.

Now I personally prefer Moira’s first option, especially because I like the idea that it can be somewhat stylish and I can save my money to buy other maternity clothes that I’ll be wearing for longer periods of time. I was really impressed with the idea though and realized a few things from just that short conversation.

Lessons Learned:
1. If you find yourself facing a pregnancy-related issue and are looking for a cost-effective solution, ask your friends and neighbours who have had children if they had the same problem and see what they offer – you’d be surprised at the little tips and tricks you can pick up.

2. For the amount of time you’ll be wearing it, it doesn’t make any sense to buy new – especially if you can cash in on someone else who decided to buy new for a short period of time and then no longer needed it. Looking around online at forums also seems to provide this same advice. Sure buy a few pieces new, but again for the amount of time the clothes are usually worn, you can get some great deals at used clothing stores, although from the sounds of it, you have to look often as they seem to go fast.

Do you have any pregnancy clothing tips to share that will save other expectant moms money? If so, we’d love to hear them.
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Club Monaco and return policy mishaps

You know times are tough when retailers start reevaluating and changing their return policies.

When it comes to return policies, flexibility defines good service. At the same time, I understand the need for retailers to set limits. I understand it's difficult for stores to turn a profit when customers are allowed to return items indefinitely. There needs to be a balance.

That being said, I usually don’t have a lot of time to shop and prefer trying most clothes on at home. Stores with the most flexible policies tend to get my business.

I bought a pair of pants and a top at Club Monaco after Boxing Day. I was in a rush and didn’t try them on in the store. When I got home, I realized I didn’t really need the pants but I didn’t have a chance to return them right away. I thought the 30-day return policy was ample.

Two weeks ago, I looked at the bill and realized I had gone passed the 30 days. I thought I’d have to suck it up and keep the pants. I called a location nearest me. The women who answered the phone told me I could still return the pants but they’d have to give me a store credit. I didn’t see that as a problem; I was delighted.

Well, I didn’t make it to the store right away. Today I went to the Yorkdale location to return the pants. The cashier gave me a funny look and said she’d only be able to give me a credit for the current sale price. What!!!

I told her about my call with the other location. After some resistance, she called over her manager. He stood by what the cashier had said and offered to give me a store credit for the current sale price. According to him, that was the store policy and the other store was making an exception. If I wanted to get a refund for the full amount paid, I’d have to go back there.

I told the manager, as a customer, this was confusing and unacceptable. To the best of my knowledge, I didn’t speak to the manager at the other store and I hadn’t offered special treatment. I suggested as a chain, they needed to have more consistency between their locations. He said if I didn’t like it, I should call head office. I told him I wanted my credit and suggested he share my feedback with head office.

By this time, a line of customers anxious to pay and get out was building up and they overheard our discussion. Reluctantly, I got a credit for the full amount.

As an aside, you should know that as of Jan. 1, all sale items at Club Monaco are final sale. I don’t know about you but I’m not thrilled about the change in policy and I’ll think twice before buying any sale merchandise there from now on.

What about you? How much does a store’s return policy influence your purchasing decisions? Do you think a retail chain should honour the same policies at all locations?
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day 2009!

We’re not huge on Valentine’s Day in my house. We exchange cards, Mr. B. buys me my favourite Gaultier body lotion every year and we give the kids some candy. I’d like to think we don’t need a special day to show our love and affection for one another because we do it all year long.

I’m making a nice dinner at home because we make a point of avoiding restaurants on international date nights. Besides, spending money can’t buy me love (but it will help the economy.)

Regardless, there is something a bit magical about today. If you’re a fan of 30 Rock like me, maybe you and your loved one will be dropping a few bucks at the Golden Arches and picking up a pair of McFlurrys like Jack and Elisa.

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Tip of the week: saving at Starbucks

It’s been ages since and I’ve decided to revive Tip of the week. I’ve been inspired by a company going through a rough patch and with the way they’ve been doing things lately, it may get a bit rougher.

cut 1,370 jobs in the U.S. and Canada this week. They’ve also been busily closing non-performing stores – perhaps a smart move – in my neighbourhood there are four locations within a 10-minute walk from my front door!

I had been a loyal customer. Last week, all that changed. I’m a decaf drinker. (Okay, you can stop laughing now.) Apparently, Starbucks has a new policy: no brewing decaf after 12 noon. So, afternoons and evenings when people probably consume the most decaf coffee, they aren’t keeping it on hand. Instead, if you ask for decaf, either you’ll be offered an Americano for the same price, or they may offer to brew you a fresh pot if you have an extra four minutes to wait. Not very practical at an office tower where the majority of the clientele are employees running downstairs for quick fix.

Contrast that to Tim Hortons. My office is connected to a subway station. One location is always swamped. Line-ups are long (they’re smart enough to have three separate ones) and move fast. The staff may not be as cool or knowledgeable as the Baristas but they know how to brew and pour basic coffee plus make change real fast.

Around the same time Starbucks stopped brewing decaf at noon, Timmies opened a second subway location – brilliantly located so customers need not go through the subway turnstile to get their java jolts. Now they have one on either side and brew fresh decaf all day long. If only they served decaf lactose-free lattes, they’d be almost perfect.

So, what you drink, when and where is your call. However, if you’re a decaf drinker, especially if you like Americanos, and you’re near a Starbucks after the clock strikes noon, take if from me. Ask for a regular decaf and get your specialty drink for the regular price.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

SWAP - Don’t Shop clothing swap party #3

Glad to see Hope and the gang are at it again only bigger and better. It’s just so grassroots and sounds like a lot of fun. Swap parties are also an inexpensive and green way to refresh your wardrobe, clean out your closet and give to those in need.

Swap - Don’t Shop clothing swap party: A fun and frugal way to revamp your wardrobe

Gather up your unfortunate holiday gifts, regrettable impulse sale purchases and other unwanted clothing, and come out to our first co-ed clothing swap, where you’ll leave with bags of wonderful new wardrobe favourites!

All men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, and other accessories (with the exception of socks & undies) that are clean and in fairly good condition are welcome.

As well as fabulous clothing and yummy snacks, sewers will be on hand to do basic alterations and demos on reinventing your wardrobe.

At the end of the day, all unclaimed clothing will be donated to a local charity.

Beaver Hall Gallery
29 McCaul St. (north of Queen St.) (map)

Saturday, Feb. 21
11 a.m.-2 p.m.

11 a.m.: Drop off your clothes, socialize, and enjoy the yummy snacks and drinks.
Noon: The swapping frenzy begins!

At the end of the day, all unclaimed clothing will be donated to charity.

How Much?


Join the facebook group
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Monday, February 09, 2009

Hidden costs of childbirth

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny returns and shares her perspective on the costs of giving birth in Canada. (Note: I’m pleased to announce both Jenny and Rebecca will both be contributing to this column from now on.)

I’m never more grateful to be a Canadian as when I have to be in the hospital. Sure, there are a few things wrong with our health-care system – shortage of doctors, long wait times, crowded ERs – but you have to admit that when it comes to having babies, Canadian health care is a true bargain compared to our American neighbours.

According to my employer’s insurance company, in the U.S in 2008, an uncomplicated vaginal birth could cost up to $7,000 and an uncomplicated C-section could add up to over $12,000. Most American insurance companies will only cover 80% of those costs – and other costs, such as prenatal care, newborn care, and anesthesiology, are billed in addition to that basic amount charged by the hospital. Compare that to the cost of a hospital birth for Canadian citizens: Free!
My own recent experience, in which we welcomed Girl #2 to our family, entailed a C-section and a 4-day hospital stay. With all the worries and sleep deprivation that come along with birthing a premature baby through major abdominal surgery, I’m eternally grateful that I never once had to worry about how I would cover the hospital bills!

That said, there were some “hidden” costs of our hospital birth – and ways that I wished I’d bargained around them.

TV and phone vs. wifi
Both our girls were born at Women’s College Hospital in downtown Toronto. When our first was born, the in-room phone and TV – separate costs, billed at $4/day and $8/day – were necessities. This time, we should have saved our money – we ended up using our cell phones and laptop much more frequently and didn’t really need the land line or teeny-tiny TV. Women’s College Hospital has free wifi and although broadband downloads (such as movies and tv shows) are limited, you can access all your favorite websites, and update your blog and/or Facebook with pictures of your adorable newborn as soon as you get back to your room!

Another cost is parking. We left our car in a parking garage for the entire duration of our stay in hospital at a charge of $22/day, which added up to quite a lot. In hindsight, I wish I’d taken cabs instead, it would have been cheaper and more convenient in the long run. Or, given the outrageous amount of gear we toted with us, we could’ve maybe asked a friend or family member who visited to drive our car home for us, to save on a few days’ worth of parking charges.

As a patient, all of my food was provided by the hospital; but my darling husband, who stayed with me in my room the entire length of our 4-day stay, had to get his sustenance from the hospital cafeteria or local fast-food restaurants, an additional cost of $20-30/day. Only after our discharge did I learn from our nurse that, had we asked, we could have kept a few items in a pantry available for family members! If I’d planned ahead I would’ve brought along a few reheatable items for hubby to save on the fast-food prices.

Baby Needs
One unexpected cost that turned out to be a bargain is the hospital’s “post-partum package”, a bag of newborn diapers, wipes, and feminine pads that was free when Girl #1 was born and now costs $20. At first I was aghast that this formerly free perk now costs money; but after our first foray buying the same baby gear at the supermarket I realized that the hospital was offering name-brands at or below retail cost – a bargain comparable to the best price cuts available at warehouse stores.

If you’re heading to hospital in the near future for your own birth experience, learn from my mistakes and save your cash! You’ll need it for all the diapers your newborn will soon be using!

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Connie Crosby's quest for an HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition digital clutch

I wrote the OneDegree Week in Review (WIR) post last week and you know what they say, timing is everything.

On the heels of co-presenting at PodCamp Halifax with my speaking and podcasting partner, Connie Crosby, and the other camps that took place that weekend, WIR focused on the camp movement. So, when I received a social media news release (SMR) announcing the new HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition digital clutch was now available in Canada at BestBuy, I included a link to the SMR in my post.

Connie was in the market for a PC. She read my post, watched the video about the new digital clutch netbook and she ended up with an interesting story to tell. Here’s our interview…

Connie, I think it’s fair to say you’re a bit of an Apple fan girl. Why were you looking at PCs?
One of the things I do as an information consultant is conduct online product reviews for clients, primarily in the legal industry. Because the legal market primarily uses Windows and Internet Explorer, I need to be using that environment also for my reviews. I could have set myself up with Windows for Mac but it is helpful when working to either have the online product running on one machine, and be writing the review on another, or at least having two screens for more working space. I figured that some of the notebooks and even laptops are fairly inexpensive so wanted to check those out. I was looking for something with Windows already included (I didn’t really care which version), wireless capability, and an Intel chip. I wasn’t fussy about battery life or whether it had MS Office or a webcam included.

Which computers were you considering and why?
I originally saw a basic Acer laptop at The Source for only $450 just after New Year’s. That is the price I had stuck in my head. But then last week I saw the Mini HP Vivienne Tam edition mentioned on the web. They were advertising it as a “technology clutch purse” although it is actually a netbook. I am probably the perfect demographic for this netbook – a woman who loves technology and tries to be fashionable. From the photos, it looked stylistically like quite a nice machine. And being a netbook, I thought I could justify the extra cost – it was going for about $800 – since it would be good for travel to conferences when I didn’t want to carry my full Macbook Pro. But really, it was the style of it that attracted me. And Best Buy Canada, who was selling it, was including a special cover for it and matching wireless mouse, so that sweetened the deal.

The HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition digital clutch looks great in the photos and video I received as part of a social media news release. How does it compare in real life?
When I first saw it I was disappointed. It did not bode well that, even though this was the big “launch” of this supposedly unique machine, it was plunked in amongst all the other netbooks and notebooks on the store display without anything identifying it as special. When I found it, I discovered the look and feel of the machine was not as special as some of the photos led me to believe. A lot of the HP machines have a sleek, pearlized or metallic finish. Instead, this was plastic with what seemed like a flower decal on it. It seemed more like a child’s toy than a fashion accessory to me.

I hunted around to see the special cover and mouse that was part of the deal, but couldn’t see them on display. The store was quite busy (this was a Saturday afternoon) with a number of people looking at this and other machines, but there were not a lot of sales clerks around. I finally found someone and asked about the special offer. He didn't know anything about it, but went to the back to ask. He came back with a typical gray neoprene laptop cover and told me it would like like that in red. I was doubtful and so asked to see the case and mouse, but was told they were in the box and I would have to buy them before I could see them. He wouldn't open a box to show me. I was already disappointed, and this poor service sunk the deal for me. I had a friend with me, and she wasn't exactly impressed either. I left the store without considering any of their other machines.

I’m sure in the past, you didn't need to think much about where to buy a computer. How did you decide where to go and what was your experience like?
I knew that Best Buy had the exclusive rights to the Vivienne Tam special edition, but thought I would see what else I could find that suited my needs. I headed to Future Shop. They had an HP representative on hand who was quite helpful, who helped me find one of their machines for about $550 that he said was basic and was all I needed. But then he handed me to a Future Shop representative to close the deal, and that person pushed hard to up-sell me to a more expensive machine. I left that store unimpressed, and decided to go back to The Source to see if the Acer I had originally seen was there. It was, although the sale had ended.

What did you end up buying?
The Source had another end of the line Acer laptop they were clearing out for $500. I found a sales clerk, and she was quite patient with me answering my questions. At this point, I decided the price was right and I liked the service I got, so that is what I purchased. So far I am happy with it, and glad I did not spend the extra money on the HP netbook.

What about YOU?
Does this video inspire you to check out the HP Mini Vivienne Tam Edition? Have you seen it yet? If so, what did you think? Would you consider buying a fashionable laptop or netbook? Leave a comment.

Monday, February 02, 2009

What to name the baby?

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Rebecca Atkinson wonders what to name the baby and shares a bunch of resources both online and in print.

Now that I’m past the first trimester, it’s time to get serious about things such as names for the little baby growing inside me. I mean after all, you can only call the unborn-one “It” for so long before it begins to make baby Atkinson sound like a scary Stephen King clown.

Being first-time parents, we had absolutely no idea where to begin. First stop: Chapters. Mark and I spent a long time pouring over the baby-name books. We wanted to make sure we had something that would have more than just celebrity baby names. After going through a dozen or so titles, we settled on 100,000 + Baby Names: The Most Complete Baby Name Book for $16.95.

Being a web marketer, I really should have turned online first, as the book was a bit of a disappointment. We ended up wowed by the number of names it claimed to have, instead of paying attention to the focus. Nothing against many of the names, they would have been fine for many babies born in France, Korea, Germany, Iceland… you get the picture. It also counts each form of name as a separate name, rather than giving the root name and all the possibilities or spellings; thus making that 100,000 number not so realistic.

It was only when Eden sent me a link to read about Baby Name Brainstorm: Interactive Baby Naming, did I realize the error of my ways. Baby Name Brainstorm is an interactive tool that lets you explore names and their connotations, even helping parents find similar names that sound like one they might be interested in.

The web is full of baby name sites – a quick Google search shows Mark and I could have saved our shekels and just gone online and found everything we were hoping to find in the book we bought, if not more, for free on the web.

Here are a few more websites aimed at helping you find that perfect name – many of which have forums and communities that you can participate in if you register (for free) so you can share/discuss your baby name dilemmas with other parents around the world.

Lesson learned from this baby name experience:

1. Do your research online first before you commit to purchasing anything.
2. Look to see if you can get the same thing online for free.
3. Participating in online communities can help solidify your choices in an unbiased environment, or expose you to new ones you never would have considered.
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Sunday, February 01, 2009

My take on L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara

I’ve been approached by Matchstick (a word of mouth marketing company) to do product reviews several times. Unlike most of the companies who contact me, Matchstick required me to complete a survey first to ensure I’m part of the demographic they are targeting for their clients. In the past, I’ve never made it past the survey stage because of my age.

Things have changed. This time around, I wrote back and asked Danah, their new blogger relations co-ordinator, why they keep contacting me since it was a waste of everyone’s time. I also mentioned that you – yes, all of you reading this post right now – don’t belong to one age band and it was short-sighted of them to discount Bargainista because I am older than the top of their age band for most products. (People who follow this blog are anywhere from teens to at least mid-50s.) She approached me because of a mascara program for L’Oreal Paris. I assured her women their 40s still wear mascara. ;-)

Danah and I met at a Toronto Fashion Bloggers’ Brunch. I talked to her about blogger influence, the next day she had a chat with her client and they decided to include women in my age group in the program. Well, I’m still not convinced they made this decision for the right reasons but I was happy to participate, get a better sense of what Matchstick was all about and try some new make-up.

I was quite impressed when I received a cosmetic bag (“The Glam Kit”) filled with two containers of L’Oréal Paris European version Double Extension Beauty Tubes Mascara. the product I was asked to review and some other stuff:
• 1 x L’Oréal Paris Cosmetic Bag
• 1 x L’Oréal Paris Cosmetic Brush
• 1 x L’Oréal Paris Eye Shadow Quad in Grey
• 1 x Carbon Black Liquid Liner
• 1 x Guide to Smokey Eyes

You may remember it wasn’t that long ago I reviewed another new mascara. So I hope you don’t mind if I make a few comparisons.

I’ve been spending a lot of money on mascara so I wasn’t expecting much from L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara – it’s available for $14.99 at most drug and grocery stores. I’ve been using this product for about a month now. (I figured I needed to try it for a while to give it a fair shot.) At first, I was pleasantly surprised. The biggest benefit was this product didn’t smudge. I wear contact lenses and usually buy waterproof mascara. It still smudges. Guess what this cheap stuff that isn’t waterproof doesn’t smudge at all.

Similar to the Lancôme XXL Cils Booster, the first step of the L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara is a white cream I applied to my lashes. The second step is a black mascara. I like how both tubes are part of one package but I found the application awkward because the two brushes emerge from the middle and the cream and mascara products need to be screwed apart from either end. It would be easier if the brushes were contained in the tops like typical mascara tubes.

I really liked the staying power of this product. It lasts all day and stays on all night if you’re like me and sometimes to tired to remove your make-up before bed. (shh!). My eyelashes looked long and lush. It also washes off very easily with soap and water.

What I didn’t like was my eyelashes looked a too thick and unnatural. (I much prefer the appearance of my eyelashes after an application of Lancôme Oscillating Mascara.) I also found my eyelashes were more likely to fallout while I was washing it off.

At first, when the product was fresh it had a perfect consistency. Not to thin or thick. After two week, it became very gummy. I guess that’s where it shows the difference between premium beauty counter products and drugstore brands.

I’ve had a lot of eyelash experience in the past few months. Coincidently, I wore professionally applied lash extensions for my cousin’s wedding in December. If you watch this video, the make-up artist claims you’ll get the same results from Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara. The lash extensions looked natural. They made me look like I had more lashes. I disagree that Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara produces the same results.

Expert Advice

Over to you…
I’m not ready to give up on L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara entirely. I don’t miss raccoon eyes. So if you know of another mascara that also staying power but maintains a fresh consistency until the last application, please leave a comment and let me know.

Save $5…
If you’d like to try L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara and get a coupon mailed to for $5 off, you can sign up online and enter the code “2HMT” in the upper right-hand corner. I’m not sure about you but I think it would make a lot more sense and be more eco-friendly if you could print a coupon right off their website. Don’t you? Besides, then you could buy it right away

If you’ve tried L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara, Matchstick would love to get your feedback too. Please take a couple minutes to complete this survey.

One more thing: Matchstick, I’m so glad you let me participate in this program but I find the process you put your bloggers (and “influencers”) through to onerous. I much prefer trying products without any strings attached. Oh ya, and I haven’t received follow-up phone call from you yet. Your instructions stated you’d be calling me for feedback about a week after I received “The Glam Kit”. Several of the links you’ve sent me are broken too.
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