"Why then the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open."

Hauling with Optimum points


I’m always looking for the most economical means to satisfy my shopping needs. That includes taking advantage of points programs, gift with purchases,Β  and sales! Most unfortunately, these seem to reel me in much more than they help with my lack of funds… Hm…

One of my favourite places to shop is… Dollarama! Although you really need to have time and patience, because it’s notoriously difficult to find what you’re looking for – and to walk out with only what you were looking for. I was only trying to find a glass jar, and ended up with cute extras that I couldn’t help buying.

The pink Bic permanent markers caught my attention because they were… well… pink. The glass jar was what I had wanted to get – it was perfect, but it was the last one. I spent 20 minutes scrutinizing every aisle – three times – to no avail. Then I saw the cute mini drawers and picked one up. On my second venture through the aisles, I decided that they were so cute I needed a second one. The package of mini containers are handy to have, especially if I wanted to put them in my new mini drawers! I figured that the drawers would hold my Sephora samples pretty nicely, too. When I have a chance to organize all my cosmetics, I’ll probably end up going back to hunt for more mini drawers, if they don’t run out of them. Stock at Dollarama is always unpredictable 😦

In Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM)Β is a drug store that usually sells everything quite overpriced, in comparison to prices at Walmart and at grocery stores. The only consolation is that when they have sales, the price usually drops to below that of competitors. An additional perk is the opportunity to collect Optimum points for almost every dollar spent. Some purchases will give you extra points, depending on the weekly deal. Once in a while, you have the opportunity to earn 20 times the number of points if you spend over a certain amount – usually $50-75 CAD. Along with gift with purchases, the deals can become pretty hard to resist. You can collect points with an Optimum card, which you can get for free. You can earn additional points if you have an Optimum MasterCard for purchases outside of SDM as well Β Optimum points can be redeemed for merchandise value. After a recent 20x points event, I had enough points to redeem $85 CAD worth of merchandise from SDM.

Left to right:

  1. Soap & Glory The Fab Pore facial peel ($25 CAD)
  2. Dollarama jar full of Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer for fair to medium skin keep your pants on, I’ll explain) ($6.99 CAD sale)
  3. La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Melt-In Cream SPF 60 sunblock ($28 CAD bonus set)
  4. Maybelline Color Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in 50 Edgy Emerald ($7.99 CAD sale)
  5. L’Oreal Infallible Lipstick in 421 Charismatic Coral ($7.99 CAD sale)
  6. L’Oreal Infallible Lipstick in 112 Unending Kiss ($7.99 CAD sale)

I gby these free after redeeming with my Optimum points. You can choose to purchase essentials too like Kleenex or eye drops – anything goes! πŸ™‚

I had never heard of Soap & Glory until recently, when I read reviews by other bloggers about this brand. I’m always looking for pore-clearing products, and The Fab Pore sounded promising. Then again, all products sound pretty promising if you go by their description alone… In any case, I’m excited to try this out, in addition to the other handful of pore products I’ve recently acquired. This may take quite a while…!

Okay. I got the Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer because of the Earth Day event at Sephora on April 22nd: bring in a full-sized empty moisturizer container to receive a free full-sized Origins moisturizer! I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had an empty (I know, I’m horrible!). I also didn’t have my moisturizer on me at Dark’s. Since the Jergens moisturizer was on sale, and I could redeem it as part of my Optimum points reward, I essentially got a free moisturizer and traded its container for another moisturizer! It’s convenient when things work out so nicely πŸ™‚

The Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer is supposed to darken your skin tone gradually. I actually didn’t realize that it did until I picked it up in store – I had my eye on it during pre-haul flyer perusal. I thought it was a temporary illuminating moisturizer, with reflective properties. I’d love to see exactly how well it works out – ideally, the best way to do that would be to apply it to one leg only and then compare the two. But with summer approaching (aka leg-baring season), I’m not that brave. So, this may have to be more guesswork than I’d normally like. Maybe I could save it for winter before I do such a comparison – there’d be less opportunity for me to walk out with one dark more tanned than the other πŸ˜‰

Sephora offered two Origins moisturizers for the Earth Day event: Starting Over Age-Erasing Moisturizer with Mimosa (50 mL for $57 CAD) or A Perfect World Antioxidant Moisturizer with White Tea (50 mL for $49 CAD). The Age-Erasing Moisturizer with Mimosa targets mature skin, helping “to rebuild collagen, repair visible lines, and improve skin texture and tone.” The Antioxidant Moisturizer with White Tea aims to prevent skin damage with the properties of white tea: “potent antioxidants, anti-agers, anti-stress, anti-smoke, and anti-pollution.” Both moisturizers are usually packaged in jars:

I chose the Antioxidant Moisturizer because I’m really not at the age where I have defined lines to fix, despite the Age-Erasing Moisturizing being the more expensive one. I suppose I could have given it to my mother, though. Either way, I’m glad that the Earth Day event moisturizers were packaged in tubes as opposed to the regular jars – much more sanitary and travel-friendly!

I have been using La Roche Posay’s sunscreen for a few years now, ever since I decided on it during my sunscreen-craze two years back. The bonus 50 mL in addition to the full-sized 100 mL was a great deal at $28 CAD, especially since my own tube is running out. The sunscreen isn’t overly greasy, nor does it have an unbearable scent. I’d hated sunscreen as a kid because Coppertone Kids sunscreen felt like grease and smelled like plastic – so I never wore it. Horrible, I know, but I always thought I was invincible, and was quite proud of my t-shirt tan, thank you very much. I have never burned with this sunscreen, despite being in the sun all day. Granted, I am more careful with application and apply it more frequently.

I have also been hearing many good reviews of Maybelline’s Color Tattoo eyeshadows. I’ve never had much confidence in the staying power of any eyeshadow, simply because my eyelids produce natural eyeshadow repellent. No, I’m serious. Despite many different primers and many different brands and many different formulations. In any case, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try Color Tattoo, since it’s inexpensive and I was redeeming it with my points anyway.

I had never been a lipstick girl. My lipstick arsenal consisted of lip balms, glosses, and any lipsticks I owned were either from my mother or obtained in GWP’s. angelandthings‘ lipstick obsession has infected me quite recently, though. Since my first NARS lipstick purchase, I’ve been on a roll, looking for lipsticks left and right. I was intending to get L’Oreal’s Color Riche SPF 15 balms, but they weren’t very pigmented and were still around $10.99 CAD on sale. The testers also looked very mushy and gross – not appealing at all. So I opted for the Infallible lipsticks, which were packaged very nicely:

I really like these – and they were only $7.99 CAD on sale at SDM. Charismatic Coral the one on the left, and Unending Kiss is on the right. Swatches and review to follow!


Author: pearlessence

She who loves shopping, baking, gaming, and all things Disney! All on a student's meager budget :)

25 thoughts on “Hauling with Optimum points

  1. Are those drawers a dollar too? :O

    I agree- why is Shoppers so overpriced?! But it’s location and convenience is so much better I go there constantly. I GOT THE Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer!! Another nth time we shop alike πŸ˜€
    I’ve been on a lipstick roll too 😦 Superstore (aka your Loblaws) have color riche lip balms for in the states had it for $5.99! But they barely show up fyi, so good thing you didn’t get it. Charismatic Coral looks pretty!

    I still have not redeemed mt points at SDM..slowly saving them up..

    • No, sadly, as you probably know, Dollarama has been not-just-a-dollar-ama for a few years now πŸ˜› So the mini drawers were $2 each.

      Hahaha have you tried out the Jergens moisturizer yet? It’s a good thing, we can compare notes πŸ˜‰

      Everything in the States is always marked lower… things are so ridiculously expensive here in Canada 😦 And our tax is twice as high! Swatches of even the darkest Color Riche balms barely had colour! I also feel like SPF products on my lips may not be the best idea either, since I have sensitive lips and apparently SPF ingredients really irritate and dry out the lips more.

      Definitely take advantage of 20x events, as well as spend-your-points events for even higher value! I was just impatient and wanted my things ASAP haha

      • Haha, hm don’t think we have a Dollarama in dollar stores, but dollar stores are never just a dollar anymore I guess 😦

        I tried the moisturizer once – it has sparkles in it lol. I stopped using it though, since it’s still kind of chilly here, and I’m planning to use it when the weather gets warmer and I’m going to wear shorts. My legs are ghastly pale.

        OH YES, Toronto has the same tax as BC right? 12%? 😦 UGHHHH I’m getting poor. Yeah, I don’t like the “taste” of Color Riche – I rather use the more expensive Fresh Sugar Rose from Sephora that has SPF 15 and smells 10x more wonderful.

        I haven’t gone to any spend-your-points event..cause I’m still sitting around 28 000 points LOL. Not enough for those events 😦 I should do the 20x points some time when I find $50 worth of stuff to buy

      • Isn’t Vancouver known for its relatively mild weather? πŸ˜› Haha I’m just teasing. This Spring has been ridiculously cold 😦

        Ontario has 13% tax, actually. Alberta and the 3 Territories sit at a measly 5%. *sigh* I also hate HST, I have to pay more tax than I did before on things that only charged PST 😦

        The Sephora birthday gift this year includes a mini Fresh Sugar Rose! I’m so excited to try it πŸ™‚ Is it pigmented?

      • Haha Vancouver = rain.

        13%?! Omg….that SUCKS. BC and Ontario are seriously trying to scam us….I should move to other provinces after I graduate just for cheaper living + higher wages.

        YES I was so glad to see Sephora giving those out this year! It can be sheer and build up to pigmentation! It looks natural, but red. πŸ™‚ It’s also really hydrating!!

      • Haha it’s ok, remember that we have lots of things in Vancouver and Toronto that other cities don’t have… Ease of transportation, and proximity of malls (which is obviously the more important thing lol).

        I can’t wait to try out the Fresh sugar lip balms! I’ve always wanted to try it, but could never justify the price tag… Just one lip balm is so expensive! The mini duo is so cute, though! Even better haha ^_^

      • Yeah! They’re so overpriced 😦 I felt pretty broke after buying them, but the color payoff is so wonderful, and so moisturizing. My lips are like the queen of dryness T_T

      • Me too! My lips are always dried and peeling, it makes it so hard to wear lipsticks. Which was why I’d never bothered with lip products before. Everything from Fresh is stupidly expensive… 😦

  2. $85 in points, that is amazing! My points only ever get to about $10 and I redeem right away. You must’ve been ecstatic!!! What a great haul! ❀

    P.S. Can't wait to see the lipsticks on you!

    • I made a big purchase during a 20x points event which gave me half the points for the $85 limit haha. I probably should have waited for a spend-your-points event for more value redeemed, but I couldn’t wait πŸ˜‰ You know how it gets!

  3. They sell soap and glory at shoppers? WHAT?!

    I can’t wait to see the lipsticks on you!! Great haul! πŸ™‚

    • At least at the one North of Yonge and Wellesley. I’ve never seen Soap & Glory at any other SDM…

      It’s so dangerous buying lipsticks without trying them on my lips…! >___>

      • That’s so far away! Dang! I will just get them in the States… oh boy my shopping list for the states is already way way too long!

        Yeah buying lipsticks without trying them on lips is dangerous, I always go for shades that’s similar for what I know works for that reason… but that’s also why I stick to MAC lipstick for the most part! I figured if a lipstick is good quality.. I can justify the price haha. And MAC isn’t that much more than drugstore lipsticks in US… Sigh prices in Canada is so ridiculous

      • I can pick some S&G stuff up for you, do you know what you want?

        I’m not very good with choosing lipstick shades, so I just go with what looks pretty on the back of my hand. Which really doesn’t work that well, but maybe it’ll be better with practice! πŸ™‚

  4. Great post! I have also seen Soap & Glory at the SDM at Charles St. W. and Yonge (maybe that’s the one you were referring to)!

  5. I have used the Jergens self-tanner. It works well, BUT you have to start by applying a regular moisturizer to your elbows, knees, ankles, hands, and feet because these areas darken more. And also wear plastic gloves when you apply the tanner so it doesn’t stain your palms and finger nails! I haven’t had a real tan in years so I’m a pro at this now πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the tips! I’ve never used artificial tanning products before, I always just relied on the sun. Do I need to use anything else to apply the cream or worry about transfer? I wouldn’t want to stain my pajamas or my bed sheets!

  6. Let me know how you like the Loreal lipsticks!

  7. You’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Award πŸ™‚
    Check it out here:

  8. You’ve been nominated for the Sunshine award!! Congrats! πŸ™‚

  9. I’ve been saving up my SDM points for the next bonus redemption, when they give you an extra $30 or so. I’m so tempted to buy the Soap and Glory products (sucker for pretty packaging), but haven’t caved yet!

    • I really wanted that moisturizer to use as an empty for the Earth Day event, so I just went for it. Plus, most of the items I got were on sale, or had a bonus like the sunscreen. So it was worth it! πŸ™‚

  10. Pingback: L’Oreal Infallible Le Rouge lipstick: Swatches and review | pearlessence

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