Save More Than $70 By Buying These Beauty Basics at Dollarama

Makeup Mondays

Hey guys!

This week’s Makeup Monday is a super special detective edition. I went into Dollarama last week and was shocked to find a whole bunch of really nice looking products that I hadn’t seen before in the beauty/ personal hygiene section. Naturally, I snapped some pictures on the go and rushed home to look up the products, as well as Dollarama’s competitor’s prices.

Here’s what I found:

Dollarama has some great deals.
Dollarama has some good quality beauty tools.
Dollarama has some name brand makeup.

Dollarama has some great deals on good quality beauty tools and name brand makeup.

Now, I’m not saying you should skip in to Dollarama and expect every beauty product (or even most beauty products) to offer good quality at an awesome price. What I am saying is that I went to two Dollaramas back to back to check out the deals this week, and I was able to find over $70 worth of savings on name brands, beauty basics, and disposable products.

Looking to make the most of Dollarama and find the best deals on beauty products?


Get This Gear

Makeup Mirror on Stand (1 Side is Magnifying)


Dollarama Price: $3.00
Walmart Price: $14.53
Savings: $11.53

Slanted Tip Stainless Steele Tweezers

Dollarama Price: $1.25
Walmart Price: $5.48
Savings: $4.23

*Note: These are actually better than my significantly more expensive tweezers… I’m in love with them*

Total Gear Savings: $15.76

Stock Up On These Basics


Cotton Swabs

Dollarama Price: $1.25
Walmart Price: $3.97
Savings: $2.72

Cotton Balls

Dollarama Price: $1.25
Walmart Price: $1.56
Savings: $0.31

Bobby Pins


Dollarama Price: $125
Walmart Price: $1.97
Savings: $0.72



Dollarama Price: $1.00
Walmart Price: $3.97
Savings: $2.97

Makeup Sponge Wedges


Dollarama Price: $1.25
Walmart Price: $2.47
Savings: $1.22


Total Basics Savings 7.94+


Buy These Brands


Ardell Lashes

Dollarama Price $2.50
Walmart Price: $5.97
Total Savings: $3.47


EOS Hand Lotion: Berry Blossom

Dollarama Price: $2.50
Walmart Price: $3.00
Total Savings: $0.50


Wet and Wild: Mega Protein Mascara

Dollarama Price: $3.00 Price: $3.50
Total Savings: $0.50



OPI Nail Polish (Various Styles Available)

Dollarama Price: $3.00
Hudson’s Bay Price: $13.00

Total Savings: $10.00

Sally Hansen: Magnetic Nail Colour

Dollarama Price: $2
Walmart Price: $8.97


Garner Nutriesse Ultra Colour

Dollarama Price: $3.00
Walmart Price: $7.96

Total Savings $4.96

Garnier Nutrisse Mousse

Dolllarama Price: $3.00
Walmart Price: $7.96

Total Savings: $4.96

L’Oreal Paris Excellence Creme

Dollarama Price $4.00
Walmart Price: $10.96

Total Savings: $6.96

L’Oreal Healthy Look

Dollarama Price: $3.00
Walmart Price: $8.46

Total Savings: $5.46

Brand Savings: $48.78


Total Savings: $72.48!!!


Tell me, what’s your favourite Dollarama beauty buy?


When to Reschedule Your Workout in the Face of Illness: Fitness Fridays

Fitness Fridays

 To workout, or not to workout; that is the question.

Cold and flu season is upon us. The pros of working are obvious: you’ll continue to burn calories, reduce stress, move towards achieving your fitness goals, and possibly boost your immune system. The cons of exercising while sick are also difficult to ignore: you run the risk of  wearing yourself down.

When you’re on a tight budget this decision bares more weight. On the one hand, missing a fitness class or skipping days on a monthly gym membership is basically like throwing away money. On the other hand, pushing yourself too hard can result in prolonged illness, which may even mean missing work or class…. once again money factors into the equation in an unfavourable way.

If these symptoms apply to you, forgo your workout until you feel better (for your sake and your wallets):


Your Symptoms are ‘Below the Neck’

Generally speaking, if you have above the neck symptoms (a cough, sore throat, eye irritation, a runny nose, or a headache) you should be fine to continue working out as normal. 

If your symptoms are below the neck, including stomach illness, fever, full body exhaustion, or intense pains, skip your workout.

You’re Stuck in Bed

Even if you have an above the neck illness, you may find yourself unable to get out of bed. If you’re having a serious migraine, for example, skip your workout.

If you’re too weak and tired to get up, rest. If you push yourself too hard you run the risk of collapsing while away from home or when using dangerous equipment.

Your Exercise Class Contains Seniors, Children, or Immune Compromised Individuals

You may not always know the health status of other members in your fitness classes, but if you are taking a class with one or more individuals who you know are put at a significant risk by catching a cold or flu, opt for home workouts until you are no longer contagious.

Generally speaking, it’s considered good gym etiquette to avoid crowded sessions when you’re sick. If you absolutely can’t stay away from the gym, remember to thoroughly clean all of the equipment you use. Wash your hands regularly and do not share towels or water bottles.


You’re Having Trouble Breathing or You Feel Faint

If you have a really bad cough or serious congestion you may find that you are feeling exceptionally dizzy. If this is the case, avoid rigorous exercises such as intensive cardio or deadlifting. Instead, opt for a more relaxed form of exercise such as walking, yoga, or repetitive lifts with low weight options.

Sick and restless? Try a short, laid-back workout like Jessica Smith TV’s Under the Weather Workout, to get a little bit of movement into your day. You can do it more than once if needed!

Remember: a few missed workouts pale in comparison to the hefty financial (and fitness) burden of prolonged illnesses such as pneumonia. Rest up and stay hydrated!

Tips For Flawless Mascara on a Budget: Makeup Mondays

Makeup Mondays

Last week’s edition of Makeup Mondays focused on saving money by purchasing drugstore mascara. To recap, this is a sensible budget decision due to mascara’s short lifespan and the negligible difference between high end and cost efficient alternatives when put to the test by experts. Basically, as long as you know how to correctly apply mascara and get a good product that does not run or flake too much (suggestions given in the link above), you can save $50-$100 a year on this product alone.

I promised to follow up last week’s post with a more in depth look at budget friendly mascara application tips and techniques, so that those of you looking for luscious lashes can make the most of your mascara.

Without further ado, I now present you with these tips for flawless mascara on a budget:

Curl Your Lashes

Curling your eyelashes is a great way to achieve a voluminous look. It’s also super easy. Oh, and did I mention that it’s totally free?

Simply place your upper lashes in the curler with your eye open and the curler resting along the base of your lashes. Press the curler closed and pulse for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat this process midway through and at the end of your lashes in order to get a full curl.

Looking for more information? You can find a WikiHow tutorial for curling your lashes here.

If you don’t already own an eyelash curler, you can pick up one by Trim at Walmart for under $5.

No time for Walmart? The above WikiHow article also explains how a spoon can be used as a makeshift eyelash curler if you’re in a pinch.


Try Heating Your Curler

If you don’t own a heated eyelash curler you can warm a regular eyelash curler with a hairdryer, or in a glass of hot water, before curling your lashes to achieve a similar result. Check the temperature of the instrument regularly throughout the heating process to make sure that you don’t overheat the curler. Avoid directly touching your eye or eyelid with the warmed product.

Rotate Your Wand

Turn your mascara wand with your wrist as you move it along your eyelash, away from your eye. This allows product on all sides of the wand to disburse over your lash, resulting in longer, thicker lashes.

Coat Both Sides of Your Lash For Maximum Thickness

If you have thin lashes, coating both the bottom and the top of the eyelash can help you achieve a thick look for gorgeous lashes.

Crush Clumps By Wiping Your Wand

Lightly wipe your mascara wand over a tissue to remove access product and crush clumps before they happen.

Save Your Eye Shadow by Using A Spoon

Rest a spoon against your brow bone with the bowl turned inward so that it covers your eyelid while applying mascara. This will prevent the product from getting on your eyelid and ruining your eye shadow and eyeliner.

Place the spoon in a similar position, resting against your lower lash line, while applying mascara to lower lashes. This will prevent mascara from ruining your concealer and highlight.


This is my absolute favourite tip because there is nothing more irksome or wasteful than having to scrub off your look and start from scratch after finally blending your shadow/ concealer perfectly.

Wasted primer + shadow + liner + mascara+ time = wasted money!

Spot Save With a Q-Tip and Makeup Remover

If you mess up beyond the parameter of the spoon by getting liner on the inner or outer corner of your eye, use a q-tip dipped in makeup remover to spot treat your mistake. This will enable you to undo your mistake precisely, without damaging your overall look.

If you don’t have makeup remover, use a small amount of moisturizer on one end of the q-tip. Apply it to the spot and wipe away with the unused end of the q-tip for a flawless remover that is neither harsh nor drying.

Fall in Love With Layers

Apply multiple layers of mascara in order to build length and volume. Wait for the first layer to dry in between applications.

For touch ups, gently run a clean eyebrow brush, spoolie, or unused toothbrush through your eyelashes before mascara application in order to remove clumps and prevent flaking before applying a new layer.

Discover the Power of Powder

Apply a powder, such as eye shadow, baby powder, or blush, to damp mascara in order to thicken your lashes instantly between layers.

Learn to Love Both Formulas!

As I mentioned in last week’s article, you can combat the clashing desires for intensely long wearing and easily removable mascara by applying a coat of waterproof mascara over regular mascara. The undercoat will enable you to take the makeup off with basic makeup remover while the overcoat will prevent your mascara from running in heat or humidity.


While owning two formulas may seem expensive, by following the first link in this article you can find a regular and waterproof formula that can be worn together for roughly $10 for both products. For those living in warm, humid climates, or those who love hot yoga, this is a totally worthwhile investment!

What’s your favourite mascara hack?

Save Money on Mascara: Makeup Mondays

Makeup Mondays, Uncategorized

Looking to save money? Stop buying high end mascara right now!

The results are in: according to a study published in the Journal of the American Optometric Association, mascara should be discarded after 3 months of usage!

Yep. That’s right. Mascara has the shortest lifespan of any cosmetic product. 

Due to the mascara wand’s close proximity to the eye and direct contact with eyelashes during application, the product holds the potential to harbor microbial growth. Although the FDA does not explicitly regulate cosmetic products by way of setting expiration dates*, the tendency for bacteria, such as staph ,to accumulate in mascara over time makes the product’s short life inevitable regardless of the brand you use.

Don’t freak out. Mascara isn’t likely going to kill you, but if you insist on hanging onto your mascara for too long you do run the risk of ending up with a nasty eye infection.

*(Note: While the FDA doesn’t set an explicit expiration date they do have this awesome page , which contains several very important safety tips and facts regarding eye makeup usage. You should check it out on your own, but the key things to remember are to be extremely cautious of cross-contamination, and to throw out any eye makeup products that smell funny or irritate your eyes.)


In order to prevent separation anxiety while throwing out some ridiculously expensive mascara…

Don’t buy ridiculously expensive mascara.

Seriously. Think about it this way:

  • If you buy $40 mascara you still have to replace it 4 times every year
  • $40 x 4= $160…. You’ll be spending $160 every year on mascara alone
  • If this isn’t enough, you’re most likely not going to use a full tube of mascara in 3 months. If we’re going to be really realistic, you’ll probably only use 1/4 to 1/2 of the product even if you apply mascara every day, meaning that you’ll essentially be throwing out $40 to $80 each year if you buy expensive product.

To reiterate the information in that FDA link if you haven’t read it yet, no, you can’t save money by sharing mascara with a friend or roommate, or by ‘reviving’ your mascara with hot water or… *shudder*… saliva. These ‘solutions,’ which are sometimes recommended by well meaning but ill informed sources, do nothing to quell the microbial issue and can actually accelerate bacterial growth.

On to some good news…

There is almost no noticeable difference between drugstore and high end mascara.

Don’t believe me? Believe the results in this Cosmo trial!

The trick is to get a decent drugstore mascara and to apply it skillfully.

(If you don’t know what I mean when I say ‘apply it skillfully’ stay tuned for next week’s edition of Makeup Mondays… Hint, hint!)

Now that we’re all on the same page, here are a few great drugstore mascaras:

1.  The Supersizer Fibers- Covergirl


As per usual I’ve decided to start with my newest favourite. As an individual who kind of hates applying fake eyelashes, I’ve long been in love with the convenience and the results of fiber lash extension mascara. Unfortunately, many fiber lash products tend to run on the expensive side and require either online purchasing or highly inflated distributor pricing. My mother, who initially introduced me to the wonderful world of fiber lash mascara, recently showed me this product as a budget backup. While The Supersizer Fibers does not have quite the length and precision of a product like Cherry Blooms, at a very small fraction of the price it is hands down the best drugstore mascara I’ve found for achieving a fiber lash look on a budget.

Unlike traditional fiber length mascara, The Supersizer Fiber does not include fibers and mascara in separate tubes. Instead, the fibers are mixed into the mascara which makes for a quick and convenient application.

The applicator wand for this mascara seems to be smaller and less dense than most drugstore mascara wands. While I was initially worried that this feature may result in an underwhelming application, I find that the wand actually does an awesome job of preventing clumps and creating the long, defined eyelashes that are characterized by fiber lash formulas.

Key features of this product: providing abnormally awesome length, busting clumps, creating long sleek lashes, and ultimately being the closest thing to a fiber lash mascara without being a fiber lash mascara

Cost: $6.95 at Walmart Canada

2. Great Lash- Maybelline

It’s not every day that you come across a cosmetic product that costs under $4 and has more than 4 stars with over 400 reviews. If you’re into getting the best bang for your buck, this might be the budget mascara fo(u)r you. (Sorrynotsorry 4 the pun… and again.)

Key features of this product: ultra cheap, well loved, and easy to apply

Cost: $3.46 at Walmart Canada

3. Full Lash Bloom (Waterproof)- Covergirl


This is a great product if you’re looking for a mascara that is waterproof. In fact, the biggest issue that most people take with this product is that it can be very difficult to remove because it is so increadibly durable.

Protip: if you have issues with removing waterproof mascara, prep your lashes with a base coat of non-waterproof mascara (regular mascara). By using waterproof mascara as an outer layer you can ensure protection from smudging, running and flaking even in hot conditions, while the underlayer of regular mascara ensures that the mascara can be removed without taking your eyelashes along with it.

Key Features of this product: waterproof, will not run, big bushy brush for lash thickening

Cost: $6.97 at Walmart

4. Voluminous (Carbon Black)- L’Oreal Paris

This is a classic product that offers a sleek look. If you’re not the type of person who wants to mess around with broad, curved, or otherwise experimental mascara wands this is a great standard formula.

Key features of this product: gorgeous packaging, no nonsense design, classically stand up formula and performance

Cost: $6.97 at

5. Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara- Physician’s Formula

This is an amazingly stand up organic product that uses only natural products without skimping on performance. While it is the most expensive product on the list, it is still quite reasonably priced for an organic cosmetic formula.

Key features of this product: organic, cost efficient for a natural product

Cost: over $10 at Shoppers Drug Mart


Can’t stand giving up your favourite high end mascara?

Try purchasing smaller sized quantities of your favourite mascara (known as trial or travel size depending on the shop and brand) so that you can save money and avoid throwing out mascara. These mini mascara portions actually tend to last about 3 months, making this option perfect for those who have trouble remembering to throw out old mascara.

What’s your favourite formula?

Winter Running Tips: Fitness Fridays

Fitness Fridays

January is happening… where did the time go?!

At this point many of you have probably made New Year’s resolutions that are focused on achieving a fitter, healthier, and happier you. Awesome.

You’re probably also simultaneously trembling in the face of holiday spending aftershock. Less awesome. 

As a former year-round gym member, I can assure you that January is absolutely the worst month at the gym. The machines and workout spaces tend to crowd, tensions rise as both new and old members passive aggressively wait a little too long for equipment, and a mean streak of seasonal illnesses makes the close quarters all the more dangerous for everybody’s workout regimen.

Why not save yourself the money, and the dashed resolutions, and take up a form of free fitness? If you’re even kind of with me on this one, why not try running? After all, it’s totally free and you can easily burn 400-600 calories per hour.

Here are some tips to help you out if you’re new to the winter running game:

1.  Check The Weather Before You Go

The Weather Network is my laptop homepage. I love the site because it’s super easy to check hourly or weekly forecasts, which is essential if you’re outdoorsy. The former is great for when you’re planning a run on a free day: it enables you to figure out if there’s any chance of snow or rain during your run so that you can reschedule or dress accordingly. The latter is perfect for planning a week of exercise or activity: this way you can schedule at home workouts (like yoga, Pilates or HIT) for stormy days in advance, preventing less than ideal conditions from steamrolling your fitness motivation.


2. Plan Your Route

Many local trails are not maintained throughout the winter and make for better skiing or snowshoeing than running. Due to this as well as the sparsity daylight hours, I strongly recommend sticking to sidewalks during winter runs.

Sidewalks around universities are often cleared first and well maintained during the winter because these institutions tend to employ private snow clearing companies. Side streets and dead ends tend to get the short end of the stick and should be avoided or used with caution unless you’re certain that they have been adequately cleared and salted or sanded.

The website MapMyRun provides many pre-calculated running routes in Halifax and in other areas. GoogleMaps also provides accurate distance information and can be used to build a custom route in your own neighborhood. Simply break your run down into sections, plotting start and end points according to the route you plan to take, and add the distances to form a cumulative overview of your run.


3. Dress For Success

Let’s get one thing straight:

You don’t have to spend a fortune on name brand clothing in order to maximize your workout.

The clothing that you wear should fit comfortably and allow you to move freely.The aesthetic element of your run is way less important. Honestly, if you’re really putting your heart into it you’re going to be making a weird workout face anyway.


The main thing to remember is to wear plenty of light layers and good shoes.

Make sure that you coat your shoes with a weatherproofing agent to prevent them from being destroyed by the salt or sand that is laid down to combat icy sidewalks. Consider investing in an over-the-shoe grip product like Yaktrax ($30) to prevent slipping. Given the ice-pocalypse in Halifax a few years ago you should probably consider picking these up anyway: they’re almost half the cost of a monthly gym membership, which is way less than the cost of a missed day at work due to an ice related injury.

If you’re new to dressing for outdoor running check out Dress My Run, a neat-o burrito website that tells you what you should wear for a run based on the weather in your area. Don’t bother buying the Amazon clothing that’s linked to the website, just improvise with your own clothing.

Until you get used to dressing for winter runs, choose to run in multiple shorter loops near to your house instead of running in one large loop so that you can pop inside and add or remove a few layers as needed.

4. Hydrate Like It’s Summer

Since you don’t sweat as much in cold temperatures, remembering to hydrate sufficiently can sometimes be difficult for new winter runners. Drink water, a sports drink, or milk, after your workout to ensure that you do not get dehydrated.


5. Don’t Be Afraid To Take A Snow Day

It is not safe to run in extreme weather conditions. If you force yourself to go out into an intense blizzard or ignore warnings about dangerously low temperatures you run the risk of injury, or even death. Always use practical sense when deciding whether or not to cancel your run for the day. If you do have to cancel don’t sweat it, you can still sweat with an great home workout such as HIT (High Intensity Training) or Zumba.



Happy trails!