December 19th, 2016

Holiday Procrastinators Rejoice: 4 Tips for Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Whether you only have a few items left on your list, or you’ve yet to buy a single gift, here are four shopping tips to keep you sane (and even help you save!) as you wrap-up your holiday shopping this year.

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December 16th, 2016

The Ultimate 2016 Gift Guide

Still haven’t finished your holiday shopping? Don’t sweat it, we’ve collected all our 2016 Gift Guides into one easy-to-shop list. 

Starting back in November, London Drugs has posted one new gift guide each week to help you surprise and delight a tricky-to-buy-for group on your list.

In case you missed them, or need a refresher, you’ll find each list below.

Top Gifts for Busy Women

A guide for women with schedules full of work, family, and community engagements. She’ll love these gifts, once you slow her down long enough to open them.

Top Tip: Your gift should help her get more done–or at least feel better doing it all. Ideally, both!

[Shop the full Busy Women Gift Guide]

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Top Gifts for Techies


This is a guide for those who can’t resist at least trying out every new gadget that catches their interest. Virtual reality? Smart homes? Tiny computers? They want it all.

Top Tip: Shopping for techies is about more than gadgets; there are also cables, adaptors, cases…

[Shop the full Techies Gift Guide]

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Top Gifts for Foodies

A guide for those often found either standing in a kitchen or sitting behind a plate. More than a hobby, being a foodie is a mindset saying, “I don’t eat to live, I live to eat.”

Top Tip: Think your foodie has every kitchen tool they need? Trust us, they don’t. 

[Shop the full Foodies Gift Guide]

* * *

Top Gifts For Photographers

This one’s a guide for those who see life through a viewfinder, even when not holding a camera. And speaking of cameras … photographers need so many extras that no camera even appears on the list.

Top Tip: If you share a computer, an external hard drive for pictures will help you both.

[Shop the full Photographers Gift Guide]

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Top Gifts for Music Lovers

Finally: a guide for those whose favourite songs list is about as long as all the songs most of us can name. Young or old, music lovers appreciate good music from any era.

Top Tip: In 2016, music fans want to easily enjoy their tracks anywhere, and wireless earphones and speakers can help a lot.

[Shop the full Music Lovers Gift Guide]

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For more gift advice, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online. And to continue your search for that perfect gift, here are more Gift Ideas For Everyone.  

Until next year, London Drugs wishes you and your family a Merry Christmas and a truly lovely New Year.



December 14th, 2016

Top Gifts for Music Lovers

It’s halfway through December, which means the window for holiday shopping is closing fast. Have a few gifts left to buy? We can help with the music lovers on your list!

xmas-shopping-2016-blog-1200x630

Starting with Busy WomenTechiesFoodies, and Photographers we’re posting gift guides for a different group each week.

This week, it’s our gift guide for music lovers. Whether you’re shopping for a musician, an audiophile, or mainly a fan, we’ve got you covered.

Music Lovers Gift Guide 2016 London Drugs

Here’s our guide to pitch-perfect gifts for the music lover on your Christmas list.

1. Rock Out Anywhere, Wirelessly

Music Lovers Gift Guide 2016 London DrugsThe need for a good pair of headphones is nothing new. But if there’s one 2016 tech trend music fans can agree on, it’s the shift to wireless audio.

Which type of wireless earphones is best for the music lover in your life depends on how active they are. If they tend to exercise a lot, wireless active earphones will be best.

Still, even the most active music lovers will likely also want a pair that places superior sound quality above every other consideration. This can only be achieved by a quality pair of over-ear headphones.

No matter what type of wireless earphones they receive, they’ll be thrilled to no longer have a wire snaking between their music and their ears.

2. Kick It Old School with Vinyl LPs

Music Lovers Gift Guide 2016 London DrugsIn 2016, as music streaming gained in popularity, single album sales on compact disc and even in digital formats struggled. Meanwhile, vinyl LP sales hit sales levels unseen since 1988, the year George Michaels’ Faith topped the charts.

Audiophiles often claim that nothing sounds better than vinyl, which may be true. But the vinyl resurgence is also driven by the search for deeper connections to the music we love.

These days, chart-topping new releases are once again available on vinyl. But many music lovers also use the format to catch up on classic albums released before their time. This makes vinyl the ultimate bridge between music lovers of all ages.

At London Drugs, we carry LPs from every genre and era. Of course, we also have record players, in case the music lover in your life is just starting out or needs an upgrade.

3. Bring Big Sound Anywhere

Improvements in data transfer technology have made today’s wireless speakers better than ever. So it’s no surprise powerful portable speakers took 2016 by storm.

Unlike stationary home audio systems of the past, wireless speakers allow music lovers to leave the living room in peace, moving the party elsewhere as needed. They are also much easier to set up than traditional sound systems. And compared to an old-school boombox, these modern marvels are lighter and smaller with longer battery life.

The result is that music fans have finally been set free. They can now easily share and enjoy quality sound in any room of the house, or really, anywhere in the world.

More Info: 5 Ways To Enjoy Wireless Audio

4. Sound (Better Than) Your Very Best

Music Lovers Gift Guide 2016 London DrugsFor many music lovers, no gathering is complete until the karaoke machine comes out. This is especially true during the holidays. The only problem? Not everyone’s pipes are quite ready for a public showcase.

That’s where the Singtrix Home Karaoke system comes in. Created by the team behind Guitar Hero, it uses advanced studio sound mixing technology to make any singer sound they way they’ve always dreamed they could. That is, like a total pro.

You can harmonize with yourself, apply incredible voice effects, and even sing your favourite extreme guitar solo. Of course, the brave can still perform unfiltered.

The possibilities are as endless as the laughs. It also works with your smartphone or tablet to display lyrics. Descriptions really can’t do this amazing gadget any justice.

Hear it in action below:

For more gift-giving advice for the music lover on your list, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online.

We’ll be back next week with a 2016 gift guide wrap-up. See you then! 



December 12th, 2016

10 Wonderful Ways to Halt Your Holiday Worries

The Christmas season is the most wonderful time of year, but it can also be jolly stressful. Here are 10 ways to give stress the cold shoulder over the holidays.

1. Get moving (even a little bit)

Good news! According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America a 10-minute walk is just as good as 45 minutes of aerobic activity at combatting stress and worry. Don your snow boots and mittens and enjoy a brisk view of your neighbourhood Christmas lights.

2. Celebrate cold weather

Try a new sport that helps you honour (rather than endure) peaceful, snow-drifted winter. Snow-shoeing burns 45% more calories than running on a treadmill, and is charmingly quiet compared to wilder downhill sports. Most Western Canadian cities and mountain towns have rentals and workshops. The Calgary Ski Club offers loads of group trips to Kananaskis, Canmore and Banff, if you don’t want to go it alone.

3. Shake it up

If you’re more indoors-y, try an exercise class that challenges the mind as well as major muscle groups. Tap-dancing calls on stamina as well as those little neurons responsible for keeping a beat, wherever they are. Here are nine unique workouts in Edmonton, Alberta, from trampolining to surfing. Look for equivalents in your nearest town.

4. Breathe deeply

Breathing comes naturally, it’s true–but it’s deep, conscious breathing that truly does your body and mind good. And thankfully, it’s simple. When you don’t get the Christmas cookies baked or the cards mailed, just stop and breathe. Or, try a routine: set a timer for five minutes per session to start. Just stop what you’re doing, pay attention to your breath, inhale and exhale deeply, and before you know it you’ll be relaxed and worry-free.

5. Let the sun shine in

The downside of living so close to Santa’s workshop is lack of winter sunlight. Many of us commute in the dark or stay indoors to avoid frigid temperatures. The Canadian Mental Health Association recommends taking a noon-hour walk and trimming tree branches near windows that may be blocking your light. Why not take those tips many steps further – right into the woods to chop your own Christmas tree! You’ll be exercising, soaking up vitamin D and proving that you are not a Christmas Grinch, after all. Check this website for a list of U-Cut tree farms in BC.

6. Laugh it off

Watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Or Christmas with the Kranks. Or whatever holiday comedy turns your crank. Research shows that laughter reduces stress hormones in the bloodstream, thus allowing more immunity-boosters, such as T and B cells, to make short work of viruses. Belly laughs also strengthen your diaphragm, heart, larynx, back and stomach muscles – no wonder you feel exhausted after a good giggle. Studies also show that laughter provides a safe release for intense pent-up emotions, such as fear or anger. So forgo the after dinner chats with bickering siblings and turn on the laugh tracks instead.

7. Treat yourself

Retail therapy – buying a little something new when you’re blue – sometimes does make you feel better. Running out of money does not. Another pair of ill-fitting jeans: also, not. Some suggest buying a new lipstick is a better solution, because makeup is generally cheaper, and you get that flash of happiness every time you look in the mirror. “The daily pick-me-up you’ll get from it will be more satisfying than clothes or accessories, which you’ll only wear every once in a while,” says Prevention magazine.

8. Drive, inhale, exhale

If you tend to lose your cool on the road, you might benefit from this Mindful Holiday Driving exercise. Instead of swearing at every red light, think: “Another chance to practice my breathing!” Sounds corny, but re-framing common triggers as opportunities is like positivity weight-training for your brain. Breathe slowly in and slowly out for as long as the delay lasts, noticing sensations in your body, emotions and destructive thoughts. Notice what you can’t control – poor weather or inconsiderate drivers – and focus on breathing instead.

9. Give thanks

Were you brought up to believe that Christmas cards have to be homemade and include a long family memoir about your year? So much pressure. No wonder some of us never even get started. The idea for Gratitude cards might work for you instead. Whether you make or buy the cards, personalization can come from writing one short but specific message of thanks. Just zero-in on family members’ good points, rather than their annoying habits. It’s a bit like that cocktail party trick for getting through small talk: focus on the other person and they’ll remember the conversation fondly.

10. Make your own gifts

We’ve all been there: overwhelmed with gift planning. How to choose – and afford – a great gift for spouses, kids, immediate family and in-laws? Try the old trick of just giving one gift, to the person whose name you’ve drawn from a hat, but–and here’s the twist–make it yourself. Indeed, not all of us are natural “makers” so it’s a real creativity challenge, often with hilarious results. Think: spicy pickled beans one year. Learn to knit and make a toque. Or scarves. Try a yoga-mat bag. Or hang printed photos from spray-painted tree branches to make your mom a “family tree.” You and your family will likely far more enjoy bumbling through your secret projects in the garage to grumbling through the mall.

These are some of the tricks that have worked for our extended London Drugs family. But if you still feel like cancelling Christmas and hiding under the duvet ‘til January, we say: do it. It’s your wonderful life, after all.



December 9th, 2016

Top Gifts for Photographers

There’s snow on the ground and cheer in the air. But wait, you still haven’t finished your holiday shopping? Don’t worry, we can help.

xmas-shopping-2016-blog-1200x630

Starting with Busy WomenTechies, and Foodies, we’re posting gift guides for a different group each week, covering everything from stocking stuffers to show stoppers.

This week, it’s our gift guide for photographers. At London Drugs, photography is one of our specialties. So if it’s a passion for someone on your list, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s our guide to buying picture-perfect gifts for the shutterbug on your list.

Note: This guide does not cover cameras. But you can find advice from LD Experts here: The Best Point-And-Shoot Cameras / Choosing The Right Camera.

And you’ll find Photolab gift ideas here: Giving Gifts They’ll Actually Love

1. Let There Be Lighting

As the old saying goes, “wherever there is light, one can photograph.” It’s true. But “brighter light, well directed, makes those pictures crisper” could easily be added.

For a hobbyist, the opportunity to take portraits, product shots, or really any posed photos using softbox lighting could be a dream come true. For an aspiring professional, it’s essential. You may also need an independent flash for certain shots, depending on if you’re adding light or simply redirecting it.

Then again, there is more than one way to achieve superior lighting. A light reflectorfilter, or a flash diffuser are great tools to have. And even the right light bulb and a directable lamp can provide an edge.

2. Moving & Storage (For Pictures)

For digital photographers, capturing the shot is just the beginning. Next, it’s time to upload, sort, edit, and ultimately store the image files.

But high-quality photo files are notoriously large. One detailed JPEG can be over five megabytes. So one gigabyte holds only about 200 good images. Meanwhile, moving groups of photos can take a long time. This is especially troublesome on a multi-use hard drive, like a laptop or family computer.

The solution is an external hard drive used only for images. Many hold one terabyte of data, enough for about 200,000 quality shots. Now that’s more like it! Some, like the Canon Connect Station, are custom-designed for use by photographers.

3. Upgrade Their Camera Bag

Most cameras come with a carrying case. But many photographers–especially nature photographers and frequent travellers–require more space to carry their whole toolkit. They need a dedicated camera bag.

But not just any backpack or saddle bag will do. A true photographer’s bag is specially designed to hold a camera, plus additional lenses, film, and more. Many have dedicated pouches for laptops or tablets, as well as rain guards to protect the valuable contents.

Exactly which bag is best for the photographer on your list depends on their unique needs. Luckily, we carry dozens of camera bag options, so chances are you’ll find just what you need.

4. A Quick-Draw Camera Strap

A regular strap, the kind that usually comes with a camera, keeps the unit resting on your chest. This is safe, but not always convenient. A great accessory strap keeps it out of the way, while also helping you capture the perfect shot.

So what should you look for? A great camera strap is comfortable, durable, adjustable, and ambidextrous. One of the most important features, though, is that it allows the wearer to quickly draw the camera to capture fleeting images in the blink of an eye.

At LD, we carry plenty of great camera straps that fit the bill. But one of the best and most versatile is definitely the Black Rapid Cross Shot.

For more gift-giving advice for the photographer on your list, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online.

We’ll be back next week with a top gift guide for music lovers. See you then! 



December 9th, 2016

How to Choose a Fragrance Based on Personality

Finding the right fragrance can be tricky, especially when there are so many out there to choose from! Whether you’re looking for a fragrance for yourself, or someone on your Christmas list, Beauty Advisors Sara and Hollis can help you choose the right scent based on personality and the notes of the fragrance.

Products Featured:

 

Subscribe to London Drugs on YouTube and stay tuned for more beauty videos!



December 8th, 2016

Makeup Essentials to Dazzle on the Holiday Party Circuit

The holidays are fast approaching, and with it comes party season! There will be plenty of opportunities to glam up your makeup look, between holiday entertaining with family and friends and office Christmas parties. ‘Tis the season to rock festive manicures, dramatic lipsticks and dazzling eye looks.

To help prep for the ever-growing list of social outings and soirées, Beauty Advisors from London Drugs have curated a list of the biggest beauty trends and colours that work best for the holidays.

 

Festive Nails
kiss-nailsessieYou can’t go wrong with the classics when it comes to holiday manicures, but try upgrading to a formula that will survive the Christmas party hop. Essie’s new 2-step Gel Couture luxurious wear formula lasts longer than the 12 Days of Christmas (up to 14 days, in fact). Essie’s Gel Couture in Hang up the Heels and Gala-Vanting are both beautiful classic shades that will match any holiday outfit.

Got a last minute party invite? Throw on a set of Kiss Gel Fantasy Ready-To-Wear Gel Nails in Faux Real for gorgeous nails in a pinch.

 

Sparkling Eyes

glitter-linerpaletteWith so many events and varying dress codes, London Drugs’ Beauty Advisors recommend an eyeshadow palette with a wide range of shades to adjust your look accordingly. A favourite is L’Oreal’s Colour Riche La Palette in Nude 1. With a selection of 10 neutral matte and shimmery shades, you can play your look up or down depending on the event. Creating a cat-eye with L’Oreal’s easy to use Superstar Eyeliner is the perfect way to amp up the look.

If a party calls for a little more sparkle, add a touch of glitter to the cat-eye. A long-time favourite is Lise Watier’s Eye Glitter Liner.

 

Holiday Face

highlighter

The easiest way to light up the room at any party is with a flawless glow. Our beauty experts suggest Makeup Revolution’s Vivid Baked Highlighter; it gives a beautiful shimmery golden glow to the cheekbones in just one sweep.

 

 

Holiday Lips

lip-paletteInvesting in a lip palette with a variety of shades will make switching up your look between parties that much easier. The L’Oreal Colour Riche La Palette Lip in Ruby Red has the perfect gradient of bright to deep reds that will compliment all of your holiday eye looks. For an extra trendy pout, London Drugs’ Beauty Advisors recommend applying a coat of Maybelline’s Lip Studio Shine Shot Lip Top Coat in Clear Vinyl over top.

 

Products to Last the Party Circuit

cargosetting-sprayTo make sure your makeup lasts from secret Santa exchange to cocktail hour, it’s worth adding these beauty products to your holiday makeup routine. Applying an eyeshadow primer prior to your eye makeup will ensure that the shadow (and your super glam glitter liner) don’t budge all night. Try the Cargo HD Picture Perfect Eye Shadow Primer: eyeshadow will appear more vivid and will be locked in place. Once makeup application is complete, don’t forget to mist your face with L’Oreal’s Infallible Pro Mist & Fix Makeup Extender Setting Spray. This spray will keep your makeup looking flawless all night long.

 

For more holiday beauty inspiration from London Drugs’ beauty experts, watch this L’Oreal Holiday Makeup Tutorial!



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