Back to School for Moms

I’m the girl who goes into the drug store for a greeting card and walks out with $80 worth of stuff. I don’t know how I do it, but every little thing seems to whisper “buy me” softly into my ear. How can you say no to that?

When I was approached by Natalie to hang out at London Drugs for a couple of hours with her then write a post about it, I jumped at the chance.

Back to school doesn’t get me doing a happy dance as my kids are younger, but it still affects me. I have to leave the house earlier to miss the minivan traffic, the entrance to my dayhome is packed with kids and backpacks and I get super busy at work as my clients are back from summer vacation.

September to June is busy, busy, busy for me. So, I decided to focus on the most important piece of back to school for me, getting my butt out of the door on time with a 5 month old and a 4 year old.

I met Natalie at the London Drugs in Oliver Square. It’s been newly renovated and looked shiny. I love shiny things!

Natalie walked me over to the cosmetics counter and I got a little apprehensive. I have terribly sensitive skin and have had some interesting things happened from drug store cosmetics. Rashes, puffy eyes, breakouts and burns to name a few.

Even before I opened my mouth, the beauty advisor looked me over and said: “With your complexion and the red highlights in your hair, I can tell you have really sensitive skin. I do too! Let me show you some lines you can use”. Very cool!

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This line is made for sensitive skin. I loved seeing the yellow tags, which meant SALE! Everything was reasonably priced and starter kits were on sale for $20. Right now, just my facial cleanser cost that much.

The best part- if you have a reaction or it doesn’t work for you, it can be returned within 15 days with a receipt.

Next, she showed us some BB creams. I’ve heard of BB creams, but never considered one because of my sensitive skin. They’re supposed to be the cat’s ass. It’s a cream, foundation and skin brightener in one. The one that she preferred was by Marcelle.

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I watched her put the BB cream on the back of her hand. The cream blended into her skin tone like magic. Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like that before. I use a tinted moisturizer now, but it took almost 3 lines to find the one that matched the best. I also thought it was pretty smart as my skin is lighter in the winter than the summer and this would stop me from having to buy 2 different ones.

I looked at the box to see what else it did.

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I read it and immediately chucked it in my basket. It was worth a try. At $24, it was half the price of my tinted moisturizer now and HELLO, you get a free mascara with it right now. Cost justified.

The super nice beauty advisor also walked me through some other products that she has used on her own sensitive skin and loves. She showed me a make up palate with 3 smoky eye shadows, 3 lip glosses and blush. It’s a London Drugs brand called London Look and it was on sale for $4.99. You bet I added that to my basket.

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Now that I had quick make up, it was time to move onto their computer and tech stuff.

The first thing Jonas showed me was the Crayola Pen for the iPad. It’s on my Christmas list for Tenesea as anything I can bring out to keep her occupied is fantastic in my books. Especially when I am trying to get my clothes on, make up done and do my hair in the morning.

For $25, you get a Crayola Pen that kids can color pictures with (you download an app) and draw. You can also use the pen as a stylus.

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We then went through their tablets. They started at $150 and went up to iPads. I am a huge fan of tablets for kids. Mine uses hers to watch Netflix (which means I don’t have to watch Treehouse), plays educational apps and even reads her bedtime story books on it. In my opinion, I would spend my money on a tablet for a child than a LeapPad. They are more versatile and cost efficient in the long run.

Typical Jen, I asked Jonas hard questions about their lines and may have broken out some geek speak. He was well versed in his products and had a lot of knowledge.

I asked him flat out why someone would want to buy something from London Drugs and not a big box store. Especially when prices are typically around the same amount.

His reply was one I hadn’t considered before: “We’re a Canadian company. Also, look around. It’s not busy in here. We have dedicated people that can spend time with you to answer all of your questions”.

There is nothing I find more irritating at a big box store than having money to spend and no one to help me.

They had a really great selection of tablet accessories as well including mounts, cases and different types of styluses for touch screens.

I also looked through the iPhone camera accessories. As you can tell from my pictures on this post, I can use some help in this area. To be honest, I didn’t even know London Drugs sells iPhone camera lenses. I think I’m putting one on my Christmas list this year (hint, hint). Besides, I have a dedicated camera now and can never remember it. Maybe bringing a lens with me will help me get the pictures I want without kicking myself for forgetting my camera.

After wandering around the store for 2 hours, I forced myself to walk away from most of the shiny things.

I now have my BB cream, mascara and quick makeup palate to get me out of the door faster when school starts, and I’ve put some new things on my ever growing Christmas list.

*UPDATE* I’ve been using the Marcelle BB cream and mascara as well as the London Look makeup for a week now. I’ve had no reaction to any of the products and am now a big BB believer.

I was given a London Drugs gift card in exchange for writing this blog post. Woo-Hoo! These are my honest opinions on their products.

  • Bobbi Cullum

    The beauty advisor in #shpk told us they honor prices for up to 60 days…inpressive! I will forever be annoyed that those stores have 7 tills and yet I am forced to stand in line at costumer service 98% of the time. Also….the pharmacists always assume I am dropping off a prescription for my son or Husband. Surely they can check off “female” in their data base!!! Lol either way…Its only second to Sobeys for places I shop frequently:)

    • JenBanksYEG

      The Oliver LD is close to my work. Thank goodness I get too busy to hang out there. I could drop $100 easy every single time :)

  • http://twitter.com/nugglemama Julia

    I used to love shopping at London Drugs. They were always one of the few stores that I could always find help in and I love that.

    • JenBanksYEG

      I am always really happy with their customer service. While I was there, the team members still helped their customers and answered questions. I love that customer service is always their focus. It’s so different from a lot of big box stores.

  • http://twitter.com/Randwulven Randy Brososky

    I went a little shopping crazy at London Drugs for iPhone lenses. I’ll have to show you my ‘kit’ sometime.

    • JenBanksYEG

      Oh! That would be fun. Let’s do it! Also, I miss seeing you and your beautiful wife out everywhere.

  • http://twitter.com/frugalyegmama Lori

    Good call on the Crayola studio. Anything to keep the kiddo busy so she isn’t otherwise terrorizing her sister = good in my books. (;

    • JenBanksYEG

      Totally! I have it on T’s Christmas wish list. I think she would LOVE it!!

  • http://thedeliberatemom.blogspot.com/ Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    An iPhone camera lens? I have an iPhone 4 – I wonder how much the pictures are improved with a lens? I take so many pictures with my phone… I might have to add that to my Christmas wish list as well!

    Great post! Thanks Jen.

    • JenBanksYEG

      There is a whole other community totally dedicated to iphoneography. It’s super cool. LD had about 4 different lenses that do anything from taking closer to taking further away shots to opening up the view to landscape. It was all super cool. Can’t wait to try it out.

      • Tammi

        I have one! … yet haven’t used it yet.
        I know – wth Tammi!!!
        *sigh*

  • Tammi

    BB cream? You sold me, heading to London Drugs first thing tomorrow!!
    Muuaaahhh!

  • http://twitter.com/nugglemama Julia

    I have heard so many good things about BB cream. I’ll have to pick some up when my other stuff is gone. I used to love shopping LD’s Can’t wait to get back out west to familiar stomping grounds.