Beauty Shop: Murale Opens in Toronto

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One of the things I like best about the Toronto location of Murale is the space. Not just that the Shops at Don Mills store is bright with natural light and shiny floors, but that the aisles are wide enough to allow people to wander through to the next pretty thing without bumping into you as you loiter to check something out. No beauty claustrophobia here.

Like Sephora, Murale showcases an extensive lineup of cosmetic and fragrance brands at a range of pricepoints. Murale differs with their prestige offerings -- here you can play with Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Nars, YSL, Guerlain and Shiseido. Sure, you can find those at department stores, but here you're really encouraged to play, try textures and colours, and decide what's worth your splurge.

You'll also find beauty-crowd pleaser Benefit, complete with brow-shaping station, Canadian innovators Cargo (and Plantlove) and CoverFX, new Pandora's Makeup Box (Canadian and exclusive), the so-tempting Lippmann Collection nail care, and trusted faves such as Clinique, Clarins and Smashbox.

A slew of skincare beckons, too, from La Roche-Posay and Neostrata to natural types such as June Jacobs (exclusive) and Dr. Hauschka (ohh, the rose body oil...) and derm brands such as Murad, MD Skincare, Tanda and Zeno. A skin-analysis station was popular with the beauty-ed crowd, and an actual pharmacy counter means you can pick up a prescription and check with an expert if you're concerned about whether your prescription will play nice with your skincare/cosmetics. There's even a treatment room for sspecialty facials with Murale's in-house aesthetician.

This coming weekend, you'll want to pop in for Smashbox's TIFF-inspired star treatment -- on Saturday September 12 from noon to 9pm and on Sunday the 13th from 11 am to 6 pm, you can have your makeup done in the Smashbox Beauty Trailer then have your photograph taken inside the store. In fact, the store has tons of promotional events on their calendar you'll want to keep your eye on.

The Shops at Don Mills (1090 Don Mills Rd) is Murale's third location in Canada after Ottawa and Montreal (Calgary is next). Staff forgot the camera for the preview -- *sigh* -- but clever Ali de Bold from ChickAdvisor.com took lots of action snaps. Staff could learn a lot from Ali, no? (Actually, I quoted Ali and a few other online lovelies in the piece I wrote on Murale for Metro News. Click here for their perspectives.)

Actually, the only thing that could improve Murale for me is a bag-boy service, nice strong fellows to carry my packages while I browse. I have hope -- Murale president Shelley Rozenwald paused to contemplate when I suggested it. Really, she did!

Image by George Pimentel courtesy of Murale. Visit Murale.ca for a complete list of makeup, skincare and accessories on their roster, as well as info on Murale news and events.