Just Opened: Murale launches its first Toronto location at the Shops at Don Mills

Just Opened: Murale launches its first Toronto location at the Shops at Don Mills

Shoppers Drug Mart's luxe cosmetics and skincare retailer, Murale, is designed to tempt beauty junkies 

Score another one for the Shops at Don Mills. The city’s first Murale store, Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation’s answer to Sephora, opened its doors at the centre last week, inviting members of the media for a tour and to try out some of the products. And as anyone who’s stepped inside Shoppers for toothpaste and ended up with a basket full of stuff knows, these people know how draw out dormant shopaholics.

Much like Sephora, the sleekly packaged goodies at Murale are organized by brand, though at 8,000 square feet, the space is larger, airier and easier to navigate. The staff is highly trained and includes an aesthetician, a “beauty master” with at least three years of experience in makeup artistry and a pharmacist who can consult on more serious skin-care ailments.

Another way Murale distinguishes itself is by offering spa-style treatments (using the store’s product lines, of course) like chemical peels, facials and body wraps. Many are reasonably priced: a 45-minute facial using the yummy-smelling Sensation Chocolat line is $60.

In the front corner is the Benefit Brow Bar, a designated brow shaping and tinting station that Holt Renfrew shoppers will be familiar with. We ask aesthetician Erica for a demo. She shapes the brows in small sections using not-too-hot wax (it’s even gentle on sensitive skin), allowing for greater precision. The result is a perfect arch with no post-wax redness. We’re not so lucky with a Chanel makeup application, which leaves us looking ready for a night on the Las Vegas strip. (It’s 10:30 on a Thursday morning. In Toronto.) We wipe most of the blue shadow off in the bathroom when we return to the office before our co-workers notice.

There’s much to swoon over at the store. A pretty mauve Chanel polish called Lilac Sky catches our eye, as do exclusives to the store like posh skin-care lines from Issey Miyake, Natura Bissé (the Inhibit-Tensolift cream is $900 and is reported to fill facial lines and decrease wrinkles) and 3 Lab. Toronto’s Pandora’s Makeup Box (the lip gloss wears well and smells like mint-chocolate) is represented in the niche cosmetics section. The store is set up so there’s plenty of room for customers to test products themselves, and we have a hard time keeping our credit card in our wallet. Well played, Murale. Well played.

Murale, 20 Marie Labatte Rd., Shops at Don Mills, 416-384-1864, murale.ca.