Sunday, April 21, 2013

Shopping in the USA is the best.

If you are a Canadian, it really is.  For the most part, you can really see the difference for what you are being charged for items. 

Canadians have been screwed over for a long time by being charged inflated prices at home for everything ...  from clothing to groceries to liquor to gas ... and inflated conversion prices if you are buying online -- and then paying the duty charges and shipping charges on top of that.  That is, if you can find something online that will ship here.  It is better than how it used to be, more stores do ship to Canada now but there are still many products that I like that cannot be shipped to Canada or the product is still cheaper to buy it in the US, so it makes sense to just wait and buy it on one of our trips.

So it's no wonder I do the majority of my personal shopping directly in the US.  We also buy groceries in the US when we can, as the savings do make a difference.  The US has different products than we do and the variety is wonderful.  (I also like that you can buy your groceries and liquor in the same store in the US).  There are no such stores as Macys, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, CVS, etc where I live, so I usually save up big-time once we decide to go on a vacation.   I generally make it worth my while and stock up on what I like.  Thank goodness the duty limit has gone up!

As always, I buy my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizers in Porcelain (LM does not ship to Canada and the US/Can conversion is ridiculous - Sephora in Canada charges $13-15 more per moisturizer than buying it in the US.)  I also bought my Bobbi Brown gel eyeliners and a cream eyeshadow after getting a makeover done at Macys.  I was impressed with the cream eyeshadow - it stays put all day.  I bought the gel eyeliners in Black Ink and Chocolate Shimmer Ink and the creme eyeshadow in Galaxy.


I love my Molton Brown shower gels, this time they did not get confiscated at the airport!  Yippee!


I went to CVS Pharmacy to get some toiletries, I usually just buy shampoo & conditioner minis whenever I go somewhere.  CVS has the best products, I could spend hours perusing the aisles.  Many of the products they have are far less expensive than here, or they have products that we don't have at all.   I tried the Salma Hayek Nuance Raw Honey Shampoo and Conditioner minis and loved them so much that I went back and bought the bigger sizes.  Don't think I can buy these in Canada.


I LOVE Henri Bendel.  The NYC flagship is one of my most favorite stores ever and those iconic stripes make me happy.  I was delighted to discover the Henri Bendel store in Chicago.  I was in need of a jewelry case and a makeup bag, so I bought those, together with a pearl bracelet as a gift to myself.


Here's a better photo of the bracelet:
                                                        www.henribendel.com

I also discovered the joy of Jo Malone perfume.  I had received some samples when I bought some makeup one day and I loved the Blackberry & Bay scent so much that I went back and bought a big bottle of it.  Again, another product that does not ship to Canada!  Arrghh.  Hopefully this bottle lasts awhile!


Hubs bought me this Dooney and Bourke wallet from Macy's as a 10th anniversary present.  Goes with my tote.  He is the best!


Rubber boots are mandatory this spring, even just to walk on our slushy street.  So it was off to Nordstrom to buy a pair of Hunters.


I did very well at Banana Republic, I loved the dresses from the latest Mad Men Collection and bought two of them.  I also ordered one of the scarves and a clutch after I got home as those items weren't available in the store (and they are actually now on sale!  Yay!)



Went to Topshop and bought a bodycon dress that I actually feel comfortable wearing, the green jacket is from Nordstrom Rack, I also bought one in black.  (The green jacket looks brighter here but it is actually more of a darker aqua).


I was very pleased with my finds!   The next round of savings has begun.  

Do you shop on vacation?

27 comments:

  1. I do shop on vacation. I agree that the prices and products in the USA are better. I dislike paying Canadian duties which is ridiculous on top of the taxes. It's crazy. I shop in Europe too because you the VAT tax back as a refund. Your shopping buys are all wonderful.

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    1. I always shop on vacation too (the majority of our trips are to the US). Two of my co-workers were away on holidays the same time I was; one went to Vegas, the other to Scotland. We spent most of last Tuesday discussing our fab buys and the deals we scored. And just the different things you can find when you go away somewhere!

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  2. Look at you with all your great purchases! You look fab in these pics! Agree about shipping to Canada - have been trying to buy a pair of jack Rogers all day but refuse to spend $50 more in shipping and duty!

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    1. Thanks WMM! Shipping & duty charges are ridiculous, especially when you live somewhere that is not near a major centre.

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  3. I sometimes shop on holiday, but not always. I'm planning to visit some 'coupon' shops in Montmartre this week. I may or may not buy. One one trip to Paris quite a few years ago, I bought several items from Agnes B and I still wear and enjoy them. Which reminds me, I must look to see if we'll be anywhere near one of those shops. I have Hunter boots I love for walking on the beach in winter and I've enjoyed my B. Brown (brown) gel eyeliner. Less hard than water based and stays put where pencils no longer do. I find Britain's prices extortionate as well, with 20% VAT on everything but very basic food and children's clothes. I'm hoping to develop better sewing skills and perhaps identify a shopping plan for the Continent. Glad you find your US shopping a treat! (I stock up on basics when I'm there as well).

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    1. Have fun with your shopping and hope you find some great buys! Agnes B -- I have heard of it.

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  4. Great selection of goodies, LR. You look so pretty - and I love your hair. I have that LM tinted moisturiser as well.I have to shop on holiday because I live on a tiny island where everything costs the earth and yet there's not a lot of choice. I shop a lot in Florida and France and Italy. I get it while I can, because once I'm home it's back to the same boring old shops. We are also taxed on goods over a certain amount and postage costs a fortune.

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    1. Thanks Sulky! Oh I hear you, there's a few good stores where I live but most are still fairly expensive and there's not a lot of choice (or sizes!)

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  5. I love your pearl bracelet!
    In all honesty I think you've shopped magnificently and come home with some great loot.

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    1. Thanks Hostess, I love it too. I was thrilled HB had the bracelet in the store as I had been eyeing it on the website for awhile. Chicago has great shopping.

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  6. I try to shop on vacation but my husband is so impatient with me shopping it sucks all the fun out of it. I still manage to squeeze in a little whenever we travel.
    Love those dresses on you! And I have the same boots. I am guessing you'll wear yours way more than I wear mine.
    Salma shampoo is the best! I have been using it for a couple of years now - even blogged about it once.
    I used to have a Canadian boyfriend whom I would visit regularly in Vancouver. This was in the late '90's when my US dollar went a long way. I scored some great buys on Robson street's Club Monaco store! I think I saved about 30% - 40% with the exchange rate.

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    1. We used to go to the US all the time in the late 80s/early 90s but by the late 90s, the dollar really tanked so we didn't go as often. i'm sure you scored some great buys! The quality was probably better then too.

      Hubs is usually patient when it comes to my shopping -- up to a certain point. :) Usually after an hour or two, he's bored and wants to leave so I usually plan my hard-core shopping days on my own. Most times I know what I want to buy in advance so I make it quick.

      I've already worn the boots quite a bit! They are comfy and practical.

      YES - I remember now, it was your blog that I read up about the Salma Hayek shampoo! When I found the minis in CVS, I had to try them. Thanks for the recommendation! (Bloggers are the best)

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  7. Look at you in all your Chicago finery! You found some great things. Love the dresses on you. The bracelet is gorgeous! You and I have something in common, I have to travel to Chicago too to find Jo Malone perfume. I bought a bunch of samples ones time on Ebay just so I could "try" before I buy. I am a Vintage Gardenia gal...even my husband loves it. xo H

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    1. These finds will keep me going for months! :)

      Thanks A! Hubs likes my cologne too. I also like Wild Bluebell, I will have to hord my samples and not use them frivolously. I will check if Vintage Gardenia is with my stash - I'm sure it smells divine, like the others!

      My sister is totally on board with going to Chicago now, and my Mom is interested too. I didn't have time to make it to stores like TJ Maxx and Designer Shoe Warehouse (my sister's fav) and I didn't make it back to the mall that has Zara, L'Occitane, Anthropologie, Godiva etc (the one across the street from the Marshall Field's Macys). We walked through it on the first day, we tried some chocolate samples at Godiva and then I told Hubs oh I won't bore you, I'll come back here to shop during the week...and didn't get a chance!

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    2. p.s. I mean, thanks H! (gettin' you & Adrienne mixed up! ha ha)

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  8. Great shopping haul!
    The blackberry/bay cologne sounds lovely.
    I think that pearl bracelet is so sweet as well.I love pearls.
    The outfits are great but you especially look great in the green and white sleeveless.
    Does the Bobbi Brown eyeliner last? I have trouble finding one that really lasts through the day.

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    1. Thanks Annie! I love the dress, I already wore it to work yesterday.

      The gel eyeliner does last all day - it works for me! I do use a primer (Urban Decay) before applying my shadow & liner so maybe that helps a bit too.

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  9. Oh my gosh - LOVE that green Mad men dress on you. I think you look better than the model in it! Your red hair looks glorious with all those colours and love your bangs! Agree - stuff is so cheap here, my sister was here last week from New Zealand where everything - meals out, clothes everything is so much more expensive

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    1. Thanks Jody! I remember you're a fan of green too, I loved the green outfit you got a little while ago.

      p.s. Glad you enjoyed Getty Villa! I'm sure the dinner there was lovely too.

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    2. Actually it looked beautiful but was very salty - I actually left half my scallops which was a first - the view was stupendous though!

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  10. Your hair is magnificent, and I love your finds. Looks like you got to BR on a good day!

    In the days of a strong US $ - a long time ago in a galaxy far far away - we shopped like crazy on vacations. Of recent times, the $ has been wobbly, and so I explained to Himself that rather than buy a bunch of dust-catchers, one or two really wonderful things that would last are a better choice. We live in great shopping country, of course, and many stores are international, so my vacation shopping focuses on stuff that "isn't everywhere." And as stores expand, even small family operations, that's getting less and less likely. Did Paris really need a Ralph Lauren? I wouldn't have thought so, but it's very popular. Wouldn't there always be an England without a Gap? So if there's time when I'm on the road, I pay a call to Liberty on Regent Street, to the little "monastery goods" stores, and always to whatever Sephora is closest to where I am at the moment, because demographic and tariffs determine how each Sephora is stocked. Himself thinks it's funny that I didn't find our local Sephora - 3 blocks away - worth the bother, but love the one on the peninsula in Lyon.

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    1. p.s. Actually a lot of people didn't find our local Sephora worth the bother, because it closed.

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    2. Thanks Fred! The BR Chicago store on Mag Mile was fantastic, I easily could have bought more items. Had to ration myself. I completely agree -- all the Sephoras I have been to are slightly different - I didn't even go to one in Chicago though. I love finding those shops & gems that not everyone else has - aren't those the best? One of a kind places.

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  11. LR, I had no idea you guys were paying so much more for things up there. And why no shipping to Canada for some things? Also, that's just robbery adding $13 or more to an item! So not fair.

    Well, I'm glad your Chicago trip was great and I love all you bought. You look amazing in the green! Gorgeous dresses on you..Banana has really had some great things this year. I also use the Laura Mercier moisturizer and love Joe Malone!

    Looking forward to catching up on the rest of your Chicago posts!
    xx
    Kim

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    1. Isn't it ridiculous? (the shipping is just as bad in Canada too .... once I had to order through a different Sephora in another province and had to pay through the nose for shipping. sigh...) Not sure why some places won't ship to Canada but I know there's an issue if some products contain SPF and don't have a DIN number (so I've been told). That's why whenever I'm in the States, I stock up to last at least 6 months! I just love shopping in America -- for practically everything. Clothes, purses, accessories, cosmetics, groceries, home decor.....the list goes on and on...

      Thanks! I love green, not everyone likes it but it's a go-to colour for me!

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  12. I hate shopping when I'm up in Canada. It's so ridiculously priced. My daughter who lives in Vancouver, pops over the border for most of her shopping. She even has a U.S. PO box for online purchases because lots of American stores won't ship to Canada.
    I always like to shop on vacation. They're called "souvenirs" in my house.

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    1. Your daughter was very smart to get a US box number, I'm sure she has found it to be worth it. We have talked about doing that since Hubs goes to the States quite often for work trips.

      I love my souvenirs too! :)

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