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What's New at McDonald's in 2017 -- Mobile Order & Pay and Delivery!

What's New at McDonald's in 2017 -- Mobile Order & Pay and Delivery!

By Thomas Kenzaki

McDonald's is one of the largest and well known quick service restaurants around. In recent years a lot of competition in this space has sparked the need for innovation and change. Recently McDonald's has added digital coupons through their mobile app, all-day breakfast and digital ordering kiosks where you can order your own food including custom build-your-own burgers (triple patty, double bacon, Sriracha & avocado burgers anyone?).

Even with all those changes in place they're still looking to do more. In addition to continuing to improve their food offerings, McDonald's is also looking for more ways to bring in new customers and improve the overall customer experience and satisfaction. Earlier today we heard about their trademark sauces hitting the grocery store shelves and a recent press release from the company shed light on a few more upcoming projects that we can expect to see soon.

Mobile Order & Pay

This is not a brand new concept as Starbucks is already offering it and Tim Hortons is currently testing it out in select markets. What this does is it allows you to order and pay for your food via a mobile app on your smartphone. You then just show up at the pickup location you selected and grab your food. It works for drive thru customers too in which case you'd just drive right up to the pickup window. This not only saves you time but also means you don't have to interact with anyone unless you really want to. I don't know about you but I definitely get tired of repeating my order 3 times into the speaker and then driving away with an order that doesn't even resemble what I asked for. The order accuracy benefits alone would be amazing!

Delivery

For those of you who don't even want to put on pants to go out and get your food, this is for you. According to McDonald's 75% of the population lives within three miles of one of their locations in it's top 5 global markets. This creates a huge opportunity to capitalize on those people who want McDonald's but would instead order pizza or another delivery option because they were too lazy to go out. In select areas in the US you can already try this out. I was recently in Orlando and delivery from McDonald's was available via the UberEATS app. There was a $5 delivery fee with no limit on how little or much you had to order. There's no word on if McDonald's Canada will be handling delivery themselves or using a 3rd party delivery service such as UberEATS when they launch here.

Hopefully we won't have to wait too long before we see both of these new services arrive here in Canada. We expect Order & Pay to arrive first with delivery starting sometime after that. Are you excited about the launch of these new services here in Canada? Let us know in the comments below.

McDonald’s Bringing Signature Sauces to Grocery Stores This Spring

McDonald’s Bringing Signature Sauces to Grocery Stores This Spring

By Simon Hung

The Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken are three of McDonald’s most popular sandwiches and it’ll soon be easier for you to make your own versions at home, because the restaurant has announced plans to bring their signature sauces to Canadian grocery stores this spring!

Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken sauces will be available at launch. (via Foodology.ca)

The restaurant has partnered with Kraft Heinz to bring three sauces to grocery store shelves later this year -- Big Mac Sandwich Sauce, Filet-O-Fish Tartar Sauce and McChicken Mayonnaise Style Sauce. They will come in 355mL bottles and according to a company rep, will taste identical to the sauces used in restaurants.

No additional information was given about specific release dates, but the company will be announcing further details in the coming weeks. However, it’s fair to speculate that the sauces will be available wherever you can find Heinz products and they do not appear to be a limited-run product.

Reactions ranged from 'excited' to 'weird-but-understandable' after the announcement.

Reception has been very positive since the announcement, with hundreds of responses on Twitter and Facebook praising the company for making what appears to be a very popular product -- anyone who has attempted to replicate the sauces at home will know that homemade versions just aren’t the same.

Let us know if you’re looking forward to making your own Big Macs at home and if you’ll be stocking up on these sauces once they’re in stores!

Apple Introduces New iPad and Special Edition iPhone 7

Apple Introduces New iPad and Special Edition iPhone 7

By Simon Hung

Apple quietly updated their product lineup today and unveiled some new products including a brand-new 9.7” iPad, a special edition iPhone 7/7 Plus and made storage configuration updates to some other products.

Breaking from tradition, Apple made the new product announcements via press release instead of a keynote address. All of the new products are viewable now at the Apple Store and we have everything you need to know about Apple’s shiny new gadgets.

iPad

Apple finally introduced a successor to the three-year-old iPad Air 2 with a brand-new seventh-generation model, simply named iPad. The design is identical to the previous generation, but it is slightly thicker and heavier, coming in at just over one pound.

The new iPad is priced lower than the previous generation and starts at $449.00.

The new iPad is more powerful and includes an Apple A9 processor (the same processor found in the iPhone 6s) along with a brighter 9.7" Retina display. Otherwise, it keeps the same set of specs from the previous generation, including an 8MP rear camera, 1.2MP front camera, two speakers, Touch ID, 802.11AC Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Most notably, the starting price has been lowered -- the new iPad starts at $449.00 (previously $499.00) and is available in Space Grey, Silver or Gold with 32GB or 128GB capacities and Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Cellular connectivity options. Apple will begin taking orders at 8:01 AM PST (11:01 AM EST) on March 24.

iPhone

New special edition iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models were also unveiled, which feature a vibrant red exterior to support (PRODUCT)RED. Apple has partnered with (RED) for 10 years and donates a portion of all (PRODUCT)RED sales to help to support HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

The (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus special editions come with a red exterior and white front bezel.

The new phones are functionally identical to the existing iPhone 7 and 7 Plus -- same design, same display, same cameras, same processor, same accessories, same lack of a headphone jack.

The special edition iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are only available in 128GB or 256GB capacities and priced the same as the standard colours, starting at $1029.00 for the iPhone 7 and $1179.00 for the iPhone 7 Plus. Apple will begin taking orders at 8:01 AM PST (11:01 AM EST) on March 24.

Other Changes

  • iPad mini 4 is now only available in a 128GB capacity and saw a price cut, as it now starts at $549.00 (previously $599.00) with Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Cellular connectivity options
  • iPhone SE had its storage capacities doubled and is now available in 32GB and 128GB capacities (previously 16GB and 64GB) with no price changes
  • New Apple Watch Bands are available, with new colours for the Sport, Woven Nylon, Leather and Hermès Leather Bands. Nike Sport Bands are also available as a standalone accessory for the first time
  • New iPad Smart Covers are available for the new iPad in five colours
  • New Silicone and Leather Cases are available for the iPhone SE, 7 and 7 Plus, with new colours including Azure, Taupe, Sapphire and more
  • Clips, a new video creation app for iOS, was introduced. The app lets you easily create short video clips with overlays including filters, emoji, text and music, which you can then upload onto various social media platforms

With the new iPad announcement, now is the ideal time for shoppers to buy one if you've been looking to buy an iPad. On the other hand, if you've purchased an iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 4 recently, it may be worthwhile to see if you can return it or get a refund, since the new products are priced less than before.

Finally, be on the lookout for older generation products to receive a price cut at retailers including Best Buy, Staples and Walmart, as they'll likely try to get rid of excess inventory.

10 Awesome The Legend of Zelda Collectables Worth Owning (Besides the Games)

10 Awesome The Legend of Zelda Collectables Worth Owning (Besides the Games)

By Ambia Staley

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been out for two weeks now, and if you've just finished it, or are still in the midst of exploring Hyrule, you may be looking to get you hands on all things Zelda related.

Luckily, with a game series as popular and long-lived as The Legend of Zelda -- the series celebrated its 31st anniversary this February -- there are a plethora of items you can add to your collection! So gather up your rupees and take a look below at our list of 10 The Legend of Zelda items worth owning (besides the games)!

10. The Legend of Zelda Triforce Journal ($31.99 at Best Buy)

Use this fancy book to write down your feelings on being called Zelda for the past 31 years.

Whether you want to write new tunes, doodle pictures of the princess, or record the location of all 900 Korok seeds, having this journal on hand will come in handy for variety of day-to-day uses.

9. The Legend of Zelda Triforce Lamp ($35.99 US on ThinkGeek)

Why split the pieces with Zelda and Ganon, when you can keep the entire Triforce to yourself?

Keep goddesses' treasure safe in the comfort of your home (or on your desk at work as one of our editors does)! This lamp is more fun than functional, as it's not very bright, but when powered with batteries or a USB power cord, the lamp emits a golden light, and even has cutouts on the side that will project the Hylian crest onto the nearest wall.

8. The Legend of Zelda Board Games (The Legend of Zelda Chess Set$84.38 on Amazon or The Legend of Zelda Monopoly $43.98 at Best Buy)

Pass Go and collect all the rupees -- no pot smashing required.

If you're a board game aficionado, you'll want to grab the Zelda-editions of some of your favourites! You can find Zelda versions of popular games like Monopoly and Yahtzee, or you can spend a little more and pick up a fancy collector's edition Zelda-themed chess set.

7. The Legend of Zelda Posters/Wall Decals (The Legend of Zelda Stained Glass Wall Decal $19.99 US on ThinkGeek)

So fancy, friends will think you paid a few silver rupees.

If you want to have walls with fancier art than the Louvre, you can pick up The Legend of Zelda posters and wall decals from a just about every Legend of Zelda game. If you're worried about your home looking a little childish with a giant picture of a cartoon Link plastered on your wall, you can also pick up more subtle posters featuring a map of Hryule, or the story of the hero.

6. The Legend of Zelda-themed Jewellery (Stainless Steel Navi Necklace $46.03 on Amazon)

Hey! Listen! There are tons of Zelda-related jewellery pieces out there.

If you want to accessorize, there are plenty of options available for The Legend of Zelda fans. Ranging anywhere from $5.00 to over $100.00, you can find stylish necklaces, charm bracelets, pendants, and other jewellery pieces that are perfect for yourself, or gifting to that special Zelda fan in your life.

5. The Legend of Zelda Cups and Mugs (20 oz Mug $14.99 US at ThinkGeek)

LonLon Milk not included.

Before setting out to save Hyrule in the morning, drink your potions (or coffee), from one of the many different Zelda-themed cups, mugs, and water bottles. Most options are available for under $20.00, so they're inexpensive items worth collecting or gifting.

4. The Legend of Zelda Nendoroid Figures (Breath of the Wild Link DX Version $84.99 pre-order at EB or Wind Waker Zelda $53.99 at Indigo)

They aren't toys, they're collectables!

These cute mini figures are popular collectables in Japan, and often come with extra body parts, accessories, and faces so that you can recreate your character's favourite poses. Until recently, you could only get them via import from Japan, but you can now find popular figures, including many Zelda related Nendoroids, at Canadian stores including EB and Indigo.

3. The Legend of Zelda-themed Clothing (Link Pocket Tee $19.99 at Bluenotes)

It's dangerous to go alone! Take this!

Wear your love for The Legend of Zelda on your sleeve (literally), with the plethora of clothing and accessory options on the market. Stores like ThinkGeek, EB, and Bluenotes carry quite a few styles online (and sometimes in-store) for both men and women.

2. The Legend of Zelda Soundtracks (The Legend of Zelda: 30th Anniversary Game Music Collection $49.38 on Amazon)

Ocarina sold separately.

The Legend of Zelda is famous for its soundtrack. Whether it's the iconic "Overworld Theme" or fan favourites like "Zelda's Lullaby", or the "Gerudo Valley" theme, fans will often find themselves humming away to the game's music. If you're tired of listening to yourself humming the themes off-tune, then pick up one of the many soundtracks available from the series and listen away to your heart (container)'s content.

1. The Legend of Zelda Books (Hyrule Historia $25.54 and Art & Artifacts $32.78 at Indigo)

I would place another pun here, but I don't want to tri and force it.

Most fans know that The Legend of Zelda games all fall somewhere on a complicated triple-branched timeline. You can read all about the timelines, the games, people, and history, as well as view art from the past 30 years in both Hyrule Historia, and its sequel, Art & Arifacts. Both are great reads, and a must-have for any fans of the game!

Do you own any of the items on this list, or have any other Zelda-themed merchandise you're crazy for? Share your favourite items with us, as well as your (spoiler-free) thoughts on Breath of the Wild in the comments below!

If you plan on shopping for any of these items, it's dangerous to go alone! Take a friend with you!
How to Shop at Costco Without a Membership

How to Shop at Costco Without a Membership

By Simon Hung

Costco is one of the most popular stores in the world with an extensive product selection and ultra-competitive prices, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also one of RFD’s favourite retailers.

Perhaps the most well-known characteristic of Costco is the requirement of a paid membership in order to shop and despite having over 10 million members in Canada, there are many Canadians who don’t own a Costco membership and aren’t familiar with the Costco shopping experience.

If you’re one of those Canadians who don’t own a membership but want to shop at Costco, there are a few ways you can do so and we’ve listed them below.

Get a Costco Cash Card

Costco Cash Cards can be used by non-members both online and in Costco warehouses, but with a few caveats. Only Costco members can buy a Cash Card and non-members must register for a one-day shopping pass to use them in Costco warehouses (non-members can only receive two one-day passes per year).

Cash Cards are available in various denominations from $50.00 to $1000.00.

In addition, non-members cannot have a remaining balance on the Cash Card after shopping -- any remaining balance on the card will be refunded with cash, while excess balances can be paid with cash, debit or MasterCard. Costco Cash Cards have no expiry date and are available in denominations up to $1000.00.

Shop Online

You do not need a Costco membership to shop online at Costco.ca, where you can find a wide range of popular products including televisions, video games, Apple products, LEGO and more!

Costco.ca features a number of product categories and weekly promotions.

Shipping fees are included in all pricing, which means online prices will be about 5% more than warehouse prices, but you can often find many products at lower prices compared to other retailers, even with the small surcharge.

Find a Friend

Costco members are permitted to bring up to two guests with them when they shop, so tagging along with a friend or relative who is a Costco member is another way for non-members to shop at Costco.

You can shop with a friend or relative as one of their guests.

However, guests do not have purchasing privileges and only Costco members are allowed to pay for purchases. As a result, make sure your friend or relative is alright with paying for whatever it is you want to buy and reimburse them accordingly.

Use the Pharmacy

Most Costco warehouses have a pharmacy and you do not need a membership to have your prescription filled, as licensed pharmacists are required by law to serve all patients. Costco pharmacies also hold seasonal immunization clinics, which are open to non-members.

Pharmacists are legally obliged to serve all patients.

Many customers have found that dispensing fees at Costco pharmacies are much lower than other pharmacies, making it a savvy way to save money on prescription medication. However, it’s important to note that while prescription medication is available to non-members, you will need a membership to purchase over-the-counter medications like Aspirin or Tylenol.

Get Your Eyes and Ears Checked

Similarly, most Costco locations have an optical department with on-site optometrists and opticians who can administer eye exams, even if you don’t have a membership. Some locations also have hearing aid centres where audiologists can conduct hearing tests for non-members.

You can have your eyes checked by an optometrist at Costco even if you aren't a member.

These exams are usually not free, but in some cases it may actually be cheaper than private clinics. While the exams are open to non-members, you’ll need a membership if you want to purchase glasses or hearing aids from Costco, so remember to ask for a prescription after your exam.

Eat in the Food Court

Fun fact: in the United States, the price of Costco’s famous $1.50 hot dog and soda combo has not changed since 1985 and Canadian Costco stores actually lowered their prices to match it back in 2011.

Costco's signature $1.50 hot dog combo is a staple at all locations.

The food court is usually located near the exit in most stores, so you're unlikely to meet resistance when visiting, although some stores may be more lenient to non-member visitors than others. In addition to hot dogs, the menu typically includes pizza, sandwiches, baked goods, desserts and various drinks.

Buy Alcohol (in Alberta)

If you’re in Alberta and need alcohol, be sure to visit Costco, because Alberta liquor laws prohibit the requirement of a membership fee to purchase alcohol, so non-members can purchase booze from Costco.

You can find larger pack sizes and Kirkland Signature liquor at Costco.

Costco Liquor Stores typically carry a huge variety of liquor at competitive prices -- this report from 2010 found that liquor from Costco was consistently priced lower than competing stores. Plus, you'll often find rave reviews about hidden treasures from the Kirkland Signature brand, including this thread about their XO Cognac and this thread about their 20-year-old Scotch.

Of course, a guaranteed solution to this problem is to simply purchase a Costco membership, which starts at $60.00 per year as of June 1 and grants you purchasing privileges, an industry-leading return policy and more. Plus, you'll be able to make use of our popular Costco deal roundups every week.

There are over 90 Costco locations in Canada (with more coming this year), so be sure to try some of these tips if you don't have a membership -- you might find out why so many people love Costco!

Free March Break 2017 Events Around Canada!

Free March Break 2017 Events Around Canada!

By Ambia Staley

It's that time of year again -- March Break is just around the corner for school children all around Canada. If you plan on staying close to home over the break, but still want to keep the kids stimulated, you may be happy to hear that there are plenty of free activities in which you can take advantage of!

So put your wallets away, get the kids ready, and check out our roundup of free March Break activities happening around Canada!

1. March Break Events at Indigo

Head over to your local Indigo store this March Break, as they're hosting a different craft or gaming event each day of the week! Dates vary for each location, but should match up with your local area's holiday schedule.

Notable activities include:

  • Hasbro Gaming Day - Try out some classic and new favourites from Hasbro Gaming
  • Hats off to Dr. Seuss - Celebrate 60 years of Dr. Seuss’ Cat In the Hat with crafts and games
  • Come Play-Doh with Us - Create pretend meals with Play-Doh Kitchen Creations

Check out our post for more information on dates and locations.

2. March Events at Toys R Us

Every Saturday throughout March, Toys R Us locations are hosting fun events including Make and Takes, demos, and giveaways. While these events occur on weekends, a few are bound to bookend your child's March Break holiday, so they're worth taking note of!

Notable activities include:

  • Mega Construx Halo Make and Take
  • Beyblade Burst + Play Doh Demo & Crafts
  • Beauty and the Beast Event Make and Take

Check out our post for more information on dates and locations.

3. Free Events and Workshops at Your Local Library

Libraries are not only a great place for borrowing books and DVDs, but most also host free classes, lectures, and workshops year-round. Be sure to check out your local library branch's event schedule around your child's March Break holiday, as most are bound to be hosting fun activities, workshops, and story-time sessions for kids and teens!

Places worth checking out include:

4. Free March Break Events at Mastermind Toys

If your kids love games and crafts, then you'll want to take them over to your local Mastermind Toys, where they can take part in a series of free Make and Take events every day during March Break!

Notable activities include:

  • Funky Pin Board Craft
  • Plushcraft Fab Fabric Craft
  • Crayola Model Magic

Check out our post for more information on dates and locations.

5. Free March Break Events at IKEA

If you've been thinking about heading to your local IKEA to pick up some new home decor, now's your chance, as various IKEA locations across the country are hosting a series of free games, activities and more that will keep the kids entertained throughout the week!

Notable activities include:

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Mad Science
  • Scavenger Hunts

Dates and activities will vary from location to location, so head online to your local store's page to check out the complete list. Also be sure to check out our post for more information.

What are your plans for the kids this March Break? Do you know of any other free activities in your area? Let us know in the comments!

A Visit to the 2017 Canadian International Autoshow

A Visit to the 2017 Canadian International Autoshow

By Paresh Pandya

February is typically met with a sense of malaise. The cold winter season is still in full force, the excitement of Christmas and New Years has worn off, and the dreaded tax season starts. But all is not doom and gloom! The Canadian International Autoshow also takes place in February. It's one of Toronto’s most exciting family event and 2017 wasn't any different.

This year’s event saw a record breaking attendance level of 20,218 on opening day. To tie in with our country’s 150th birthday, the theme of the show was O’Canada and this was celebrated by a number of notables:

  • the North American debut of the audacious Aston Martin AM-RB 001 hypercar
  • the North American reveal of Jaguar’s slinky F-type 400 Sport
  • CIAS’s first Global vehicle debut of the 2018 Hyundai Accent, an event which was live streamed around the world
  • plus 16 other fabulous concept cars on display

With over 650,000 square feet of floor space, the show was packed with a wide array of vehicles, interactive exhibits (including virtual reality demos), guest speakers, and vendors. Another perennial favourite were the freebies some manufacturers gave away, including the ever-popular recycled shopping bags (Toyota’s are my favourite).

With so many vehicles on display it’s hard to choose a favourite. Here are a few that caught my eye that will be of interest to the average Canadian shopper:

2018 Toyota Camry

Canadians love their Toyotas as evidenced by their consistent leading sales figures each and every quarter. The Camry is no exception. With a reputation for reliability, comfort, and retained value (winner of the 2017 Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value award in the mid-size category) it’s always big news when this staple under goes a model revision. Two models were on display, the sporty XSE and the eco-conscious Hybrid XLE. Unfortunately, they were not open to the media, however the models did a good indication of what to expect. Aggressive styling on the XSE not typically associated with the brand with large air scoops, blacked out grilles and pillars, a rear air diffuser, and a blacked out roof to complete the makeover. With a lower stance and wider track, the new car injects a sense of capability not found in the outgoing model. A new interior imparts upscale ambitions with a larger 10” colour display option, premium soft touch materials, and an available heads-up display. Expect to see this model hit Canadian markets later this summer.

2018 Hyundai Accent

Making its global debut (the first time this has happened at CIAS), the Accent represents Hyundai’s relentless pursuit for providing value without sacrificing style or content. Borrowing styling elements from its bigger brothers Elantra and Sonata, the new Accent uses Hyundai’s own high-strength steel to give the car a solid chassis and improved rigidity. This gives the car improved driving dynamics, reduces road noise, and should help with its crash test ratings. With a longer and wider footprint, the new Accent is larger than the outgoing car it replaces, and although it’s classified as a sub-compact, it would be easy to mistake this for a compact sedan. Fuel economy has also improved by 7 percent through the use of lighter materials and a rethinking of how parts are engineered (the transmission was reduced by 2kg, a testament to how serious Hyundai takes fuel economy). With available options like a touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a segment-first available autonomous car braking system, the Accent will no doubt be a strong contender in the market place. The 4 door sedan will also be available in a Canadian exclusive 5 door model, giving consumers plenty of choice to meet their needs. Look for both models hitting showrooms later this year.

Cadillac Escala Concept

This stunning concept is an indication of what to expect from the brand in the coming years. The 4 door flagship sedan starts with a beautiful blacked out grille complemented by a monochrome badge and flows to the rear with strong shoulders and a fastback roof commonly found amongst German competitors. Recalling the large vertical tail lamps of yesteryear, the concept takes this detail and successfully integrates it into this thoroughly modern example of what it means to be a Cadillac. Under the hood a twin-turbo V8 ensures there will be plenty of power on-tap for the driver, while inside the cabin is outfitted with sensible cloth seats, wood trim, and a panoramic glass roof lending to a sense of openness. Some concept details will disappear if it moves to production, like the trick trunk floor which rises to help load and unload the matching custom designer luggage.

With so much going on at the show it’s no wonder the Canadian International Autoshow continues to break attendance records. I can't wait to see what they have in store for 2018!

New Forum Feature: Thread Hiding

New Forum Feature: Thread Hiding

By Thomas Kenzaki

Today we released a new feature to the forums called Thread Hiding. This will allow you to hide any thread which you do not want to appear while browsing a forum. There are times when you'll see the same thread which you have no interest in appear over and over again and now you have the ability to remove it from your view. To do so just follow the steps below:

Enable thread hiding here: Account & Preferences

where to find

You'll then see an eye icon next to each thread while browsing the forums. Clicking this icon will hide the thread and the next time you refresh the page it will be removed from your view. If you accidentally clicked this icon, want to make a thread visible again or just want to see what you've hidden, you can view those threads on the same page where you enabled this feature.

how to hide

We hope that you'll enjoy having the ability to hide threads and that it will make browsing the forums a more organized and enjoyable experience. If you have any comments or questions about this feature please let us know in the comments below. Note that this feature is only available for registered users so if you don't already have an account with us, sign up today.

Costco's Membership Fees Will Increase in June 2017

Costco's Membership Fees Will Increase in June 2017

By Kate Musgrove

Costco has announced that they are increasing their membership prices in the US and Canada effective June 1, 2017. After the increase, an Individual membership will cost $60 a year (up from $55 a year) and an Executive membership will cost $120 a year (up from $110 a year). This is their first membership price increase since 2011.

Costco generates about 75% of its operating income from membership fees.

If you're a current Costco shopper, is the fee increase a dealbreaker for you? If you're not a current Costco shopper, you've still got several months to get a membership before the price increase takes place on June 1, 2017.

BCBG Max Azria to Close All Canadian Stores

BCBG Max Azria to Close All Canadian Stores

By Kate Musgrove

BCBG Max Azria has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada and will be closing all 51 of its Canadian stores. It is said to be looking to continue selling the BCBG line in Canada's Hudson's Bay stores. It's currently unclear if all BCBG stores in the US will close -- currently, only 120 of the total 175 US stores are actively slated for closure.

At this time it's unclear how many jobs will be lost from the Canadian store closures.

BCBG is a reference to the french slang term "bon chic, bon genre" which means "good style, good attitude."

Sunrise Records to Move into 70 Former HMV Locations Across Canada

Sunrise Records to Move into 70 Former HMV Locations Across Canada

By Ambia Staley

In move that some might call risky, Sunrise Records announced this past weekend that it plans to take over 70 retail spaces soon to be vacated by HMV.

Canada's biggest music retailer, HMV announced plans in January to close all of their locations by April of 2017, after failed restructuring and attempts to turn a profit in a market that is largely turning to digital consumption of music and movies.

Regarding the decision to purchase so many locations once used by their former competitor, Sunrise president Doug Putman says, "The reality is there is a large amount of customers that want that physical product that they can touch and hold and have". He also noted that by lowering head office costs, renegotiating leases, and having a more in depth catalogue, Sunrise can succeed where others have failed.

Putman purchased Sunrise in 2014 from Malcolm Perlman, who had closed all but 5 Sunrise locations in the years leading up to the sale. Since his takeover, Putman has opened up 5 more stores in Ontario, all of which he claims are profitable.

The 70 purchased spaces are located in malls across Canada including locations in Edmonton, Burnaby, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Mississauga, and Saint Bruno. The new Sunrise locations are expected to open later this spring once HMV has liquidated their stock, vacated the spaces, and removed their signs.

Are you surprised to hear this news? Do you think Sunrise Records can succeed where HMV has failed? Let us know in the comments!

March 2017 Video Game Release Dates

March 2017 Video Game Release Dates

By Ambia Staley

March 3 Update: new titles with confirmed release dates have been added on March 23 and 30.

It's almost March, and that means a big month of new video game releases is ahead! On March 3, the latest console from Nintendo, the Switch, hits store shelves, along with one of the most highly anticipated game titles of 2017, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for both the Switch and Wii U.

While there's plenty to play this month, if you're looking for previously released games, you can also check out January and February's list of released games here on RedFlagDeals.

It's time to strap on your boots, get your sword ready, and set out to save the princess -- here's a look at what's coming out this March:

  • 1-2-Switch (Switch) - March 3
  • Human Resource Machine (Switch) - March 3
  • I Am Setsuna (Switch) - March 3
  • Just Dance 2017 (Switch) - March 3
  • Little Inferno (Switch) - March 3
  • Skylanders Imaginators (Switch) - March 3
  • Snipperclips (Switch) - March 3
  • Super Bomberman R (Switch) - March 3
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch/Wii U) - March 3
  • World of Goo (Switch) - March 3
  • Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey (PS4/PS Vita/PC) - March 7
  • Birthdays the Beginning (PS4/PC) - March 7
  • LEGO Worlds (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - March 7
  • Loot Rascals (PS4/PC) - March 7
  • Nier: Automata (PS4/PC) – March 7
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands (PS4/Xbox One/PC) – March 7
  • Danganronpa 1-2 Reload (PS4) – March 14
  • Star Trek: Bridge Crew (PS VR/Oculus Rift/Vive) – March 14
  • Styx: Shards of Darkness (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - March 14
  • Mass Effect Andromeda (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - March 21
  • Toukiden 2 (PS4/Xbox One/PS Vita) - March 21
  • Troll and I (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - March 21
  • Battle for Orion 2 (PC) - March 23
  • Rock Band VR (Oculus Rift) - March 23
  • The End of an Age: Fading Remnants (PC) - March 23
  • Dreamfall Chapters (PS4/Xbox One) – March 24
  • Mario Sports Superstars (3DS) – March 24
  • Has-Been Heroes (Switch/PS4/Xbox One/PC) - March 28
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix (PS4) - March 28
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix (PS4) - March 28
  • MLB The Show 17 (PS4) – March 28
  • PaRappa the Rapper Remastered (PS4) – March 28
  • Strafe (PC) - March 28
  • Thimbleweed Park (Xbox One/PC) - March 30

Release Dates TBA

  • Old Time Hockey (PS4/Xbox One/PC)
  • Outcast: Second Contact (PS4/Xbox One/PC)
  • Overload (PS4/Xbox One/PC/Mac/Linux)
  • The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (Switch)
  • Routine (PC)

Note that video game release dates may change due to various reasons, but we'll try to keep this list updated as news becomes available.

Will you be picking up any of March's new game titles? Do you plan on purchasing the Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments below!

Loblaw Resets All PC Plus Passwords Following Security Breach

Loblaw Resets All PC Plus Passwords Following Security Breach

By Simon Hung

If you’re a member of the popular PC Plus loyalty program, you’ll need to create a new password to access your account, because Loblaw has reset all account passwords following a security breach.

PC Plus is used in over 20 Loblaw-owned grocery stores across Canada and this is the second time in less than a month that the company has issued a security notice to its members regarding the breach, which compromised an unknown number of accounts and resulted in points being stolen.

Upon entering the PC Plus site or opening the app, all members will need to create a new password, even if they had already changed them recently -- note that password changes cannot be done through the app and must be done via their website. Loblaw has issued a statement saying that the breach was likely a result of some members using weak username and password combinations across multiple sites.

It’s unknown when exactly the breach occurred, but a thread was created in our Shopping Discussion forum in December 2016 after a member discovered that their points were missing. Any PC Plus members who suspect their points were stolen should contact customer service via email or phone (1-855-672-7587) to have their points reimbursed.

The 2016 Free Tax Software Roundup for Canadians

The 2016 Free Tax Software Roundup for Canadians

By Simon Hung

Spring may not begin until March, but tax season is already here and it’s easier than ever to file your income taxes with the help of tax software.

NETFILE -- Canada Revenue Agency’s electronic tax-filing system -- will begin accepting electronic transmissions starting February 20 and the deadline for most individuals to file their 2016 personal income taxes is May 1, 2017.

There are dozens of programs you can use to file your taxes and many are completely free! To help you decide which one is right for you, we’ve listed a few NETFILE-certified programs -- note that any pricing reflects the suggested retail price, but you can often find paid software for less at stores like Best Buy or Costco.

Free programs are exactly that -- free. There's no financial commitment, but some programs offer a "pay what you want" option and accept donations. All of these free programs will file your tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency, but some are basic iterations of software and offer more features with a paid upgrade.

Free Programs
Program
Platforms
Overview
Price
Web
Full program is free, promises a return in under five minutes, website design is dated
FREE!
Windows
Full program is free, comprehensive return options
FREE!1
Web, Windows
Returns for all tax scenarios are free, able to import past returns, extra features require paid upgrade
FREE!
Web
Full program is free, clean interface, maximum refund guarantee
FREE!1
Windows, Mac
Full program is free, step-by-step tutorials available
FREE!1
Web, Windows, Android, iOS
Basic returns are free, mobile apps available, extra features like deduction searching require paid upgrade
FREE!
1These programs accept "pay what you want" donations.

Free-to-start programs operate with a "try before your buy" strategy, where you're able to use the full program and fill out your return, but you'll have to pay a fee to actually file your return with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Free-to-Start Programs
Program
Platforms
Overview
Price
Web
Website is buggy, free to fill return, must pay to file with the CRA, cheapest paid option
From $5.99
Web, Android, iOS
Mobile apps available, free to try and fill return, must pay to file with the CRA
$9.99
Windows
Cluttered interface, free to try and fill return, must pay to file with the CRA
From $7.99
Windows, Mac, Linux
Linux support, free to try and fill return, must pay to file with the CRA
From $6.99
Web
Free to try and fill return, must pay to file with the CRA
From $9.98
Windows, Mac, iOS
iOS app available, free to try and fill return, must pay to file with the CRA, step-by-step tutorials, confusing website
From $9.95
Windows
Comprehensive return options, free to try and fill return, must pay to file with the CRA
$12.99
Web, Windows, Android, iOS
Mobile apps available, more features than free version, free to try and fill return, must pay to file with the CRA
From $19.99
Web, Windows
Can import from other software, free to fill return, must pay to file with the CRA
From $17.95
Web
Free to try and fill return, must pay to file with the CRA, website design is dated
$12.99

Paid programs require an up-front payment before using the software, but these programs are usually very robust and offer more features to help maximize your refund. These programs are also generally well-known and have a history of providing reliable tax returns.

Paid Programs
Program
Platforms
Overview
Price
Web, Windows
Paid version includes features like multiple returns, auto-fill, curated tips and product support
From $14.99
Web, Windows, Android, iOS
Mobile apps available, available in most retail stores, includes features like multiple returns and deduction searching
From $14.99
Web, Windows
Paid version includes features like multiple returns, business returns and product support
From $21.99

Whichever program you decide to use, there are some general tips that you should keep in mind when filing your taxes.

  • Free programs offer a maximum of 20 returns per computer, as mandated by the CRA, since the software is meant for individual use only
  • Gather all necessary tax forms and receipts before filing your return to streamline the process. H&R Block has a useful checklist you can use for reference
  • Filing your return online is instantaneous, but it's a good idea to file early to avoid headaches and last-minute procrastination panic -- note that some individuals may also be subject to a late-filing penalty
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions in places like our personal finance forum or seek advice from a professional for more specific questions
  • You can file your taxes the old-fashioned way by downloading your province's tax package and sending your return to the CRA via mail

Taxes used to be a major headache, but many of these programs are easy-to-use and you won't even need to dust off your calculator to file your return! Be sure to let us know which program you'll be using this year and share any other tax tips you have!

Free Family Day 2017 Events Across Canada!

Free Family Day 2017 Events Across Canada!

By Ambia Staley

Family Day is just around the corner, and if you plan on spending it with your family, you might be looking for some fun and affordable options -- and what better option is there, than free?

Whether it's called Family Day, Louis Riel Day, Islander Day, or Nova Scotia Heritage Day in your province, there are plenty of events going on in most cities, including free skating at local ice rinks, or free games and activities at local libraries and community centres.

If you're looking for something free and fun to do over the long weekend, then mark your calendars and take note, as we've journeyed through the internet and compiled a list of some free events happening around Canada!

Alberta (Family Day: February 20)

Calgary (February 17-20) -- GLOW Downtown Winter Light Festival
Calgary (February 20) -- RBC Free Family Skating
Edmonton (February 20) -- Family Day at City Hall & Churchill Square
Edmonton (February 20) -- Family Day at the Legislature

British Columbia (Family Day: February 13)

Brnaby (February 13) -- Family Day Pancake Breakfast
Surrey (February 10-13) -- Free Skating, Swimming, and other Activities at Recreation Centres
Vancouver (February 13) -- BC Family Day Activities at Douglas Park Community Centre

Manitoba (Louis Riel Day: February 20)

Winnipeg (January 12 - February 26) -- Arctic Glacier Winter Park
Winnipeg (February 20) -- Community Day at the Forks

Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia Heritage Day: February 20)

Halifax (every day) -- Free Skating at Emera Oval

Ontario (Family Day: February 20)

Province-wide (February 18-20) -- Ontario Family Fishing Event (no license required)
Various cities (February 20) -- RBC Free Skating Events
Toronto (February 20) -- HarbourKids North
Toronto (February 20) -- Family Day at Purina PawsWay
London (February 20) -- Family Day at the Kinsmen Fanshawe Sugar Bush
London (February 20) -- Free Skate Presented by the Heart & Stroke Foundation
Oakville (February 20) -- Make Your Move Family Day
Kitchener (February 20) -- Family Day Activities and Events Around Town

Prince Edward Island (Islander Day: February 20)

Charlottetown (February 20) -- Islander Family Fun Day
Stratford (February 17-20) -- Stratford Winter Fam Fest 2017

Saskatchewan (Family Day: February 20)

Province-wide (February 18-20) -- Family Fishing Weekend (no license required)
Regina (February 20) -- Storybag Drop-In at Sunrise Library
Saskatoon (February 17-26) -- Waskesiu Snow Days at Prince Albert National Park
Saskatoon (February 20) -- Cameco Family Day Skating Party

Note that while these most events are advertised as free, certain things such as food, or equipment rentals may require additional payment. We've excluded Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut from this list as they do not have a statutory holiday in February.

What are your plans for the long weekend? If you'll be attending any of these events, or know of other free events in your area, let us know in the comments below!

Zellers: They’re Still Alive, If You Know Where to Look

Zellers: They’re Still Alive, If You Know Where to Look

By Simon Hung

Tucked away in a nondescript mall in Toronto's west end and a shopping plaza in suburban Ottawa lie two remnants of a past era. Two relics from Canada's bargain shopping heyday of yesteryear -- the two sole survivors of a franchise that once numbered over 300 in the 1990s.

Zellers became effectively extinct in 2011 when parent company HBC sold the leases of all 220 locations to the Target Corporation for their ill-fated expansion into Canada. However, reports of their death were greatly exaggerated, as many didn’t notice HBC’s quiet revival of the Zellers brand two years later and there are two locations that remain open today -- one at 1255 The Queensway in Etobicoke, ON and another at 2065 Robertson Road in Nepean, ON.

Zellers in Nepean, Ontario.

They’ve been open since 2013, but you won’t find much advertising for these two stores. In fact, the stores aren’t listed on the HBC store locator and you won’t find any mention of them on the HBC corporate website -- it makes sense, given the stigma surrounding the Zellers brand after their sale and association with Target.

But these aren’t your typical Zellers stores. Instead, they act as outlet centres, selling past-season, clearance and open-box merchandise from Hudson's Bay and Home Outfitters at a discount. Products are sold as-is with no returns or exchanges and selection typically varies depending on the season.

At over 95,000 square feet, the Zellers in Etobicoke acts as the surprising anchor store in an otherwise unremarkable Kipling Queensway Mall, with other tenants including Sobeys and a number of small businesses.

Zellers in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Those who remember Zellers will be hit with a sense of nostalgia upon walking into the store. It’s an esoteric yet familiar feeling, as the massive store features drab lighting, crude organization and handwritten signs -- there’s an organized chaos about everything that preserves that classic Zellers vibe.

Crowds were sparse and there was no music to keep your mind occupied, which meant you could easily hear patrons rummaging through stock or the pitter-patter of shoppers walking around the store. It’s not the most ideal shopping environment, but you do feel a strange, almost tranquil sensation when perusing the store.

Apparel

At a glance, approximately 70% of the floor space was dedicated to apparel, with a bounty of clothes, shoes and accessories marked down by up to 70% off, some with extra savings on top of the label price. Most of the items seemed to be summer or fall fashions and included casual shirts, sweaters, pants and sleepwear from brands including Calvin Klein, Dockers, IZOD and more.

Apparel was the most prominent section in the store.

There was a notable lack of any outerwear (with the exception of HBC’s iconic red Olympic mittens) and items were loosely arranged by brand, with sizing generally on the larger side across the board.

There was a plethora of shoes available, including this wall of boots.

The footwear section was the most chaotic area of the store, with many customers jockeying for space along the shelves and walls packed with various shoes -- from sandals to sneakers to boots -- all organized by size.

Appliances and Kitchen

Both major and small appliances were available in this store, with refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers among the most prominent major appliances. Most major appliances featured an extra 15% off the label price while small appliances were priced as-is.

There were over 100 refrigerators lined along one side of the store.

There were a few notable small appliance deals including a Vitamix Pro Series 300 Blender for $487.99 (regularly $649.99) and a T-fal OptiGrill for $155.99 (regularly $249.99), but almost all small appliance products were open-box (the Vitamix blender included no box at all), indicating that these may have been product returns at one point. While the savings were significant, purchasing an open-box product would be a gamble, as all sales are final and there’s no method to thoroughly test items in-store.

Products with open or damaged packaging was a very common sight.

Cookware and dinnerware sets were also available, but with the same caveat as small appliances, as most boxes were either open or damaged. Dinnerware in particular was noteworthy, as most products also included an extra 50% off the label price, which made some sets as low as $25.00.

Furniture and Home Décor

Towards the back of the store lay row upon row of couches, sofas, recliners and chairs at up to 60% off, along with a small selection of mattresses. Most chairs were priced individually while most mattresses featured an extra 25% off the label price. A delivery service is available for an additional fee.

One side of the store was lined with chairs.

Home accoutrements included some canvas artwork, a small section with towels and bath accessories, along with a few aisles of bedding, including sheets, blankets and pillows. All home décor products were new and priced as-is. Colour selection was not great, particularly with bedding, as there was abundant stock of neon orange and bright green sheet sets available.

There were no big-ticket electronics like televisions or video games and the deals weren’t outstanding, but this store does serve a niche of bargain hunters who don't mind the limited selection or roughed-up packaging. It isn't for everyone, but there are deals to be found for the savviest of deal hunters.

The days of this location may be numbered, as the Kipling Queensway Mall is slated for demolition in the near future and as a result, could make the Nepean store the last surviving Zellers location by the end of the year.

Overall, the 2017 Zellers experience was one part thrift store, one part outlet store, with a shopping experience similar to Winners but with far less selection and some questionable product quality. For a chain that once thrived and went to the brink of extinction, Zellers has found a way to survive and outlive the likes of Target, American Apparel and HMV. It may not be the Zellers you once remembered, but its spirit lives on in these two very unique stores.

Shoutout to wilson_wu for creating this thread in our Shopping Discussion forum, which served as the inspiration for this piece.

12 Multi Purpose Makeup Products That Will Save You Time and Money

12 Multi Purpose Makeup Products That Will Save You Time and Money

By Ambia Staley

If you're one of those people who wear makeup on a regular basis, but find your makeup bag is getting full and your wallet is getting empty trying to keep up with the latest Instagram beauty trends, you may be looking to simplify your routine. Luckily, that's a lot easier than you think, and it doesn't involve cutting out "unnecessary" steps like brows, highlighting, and contouring! Simply take one look in your makeup bag, and you'll find that many of your favourite products can serve multiple purposes in order to get you the polished look you desire.

Pulling out fewer makeup items when you get ready in the morning is not only a great way to keep your wallet filled, but it could also help shave time off your daily routine, which could then be used for more important things -- like sleeping in an extra 5 minutes in the morning. Whether you're thrifty, pressed for time, or just plain lazy, check out our list of multi purpose makeup items that will help save you time and money!


1. Clear Mascara as Brow Gel

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Clear - $3.46 at Walmart

Clear mascara is typically used to prime, groom or separate your eyelashes, as well as build natural looking length and volume. Now that bold and well sculpted brows are a trend that does not seem to be going away any time soon, you can pull double duty with the clear mascara and use it to set your brows and keep any stray hairs in place.


2. Translucent Powder as Lash Plumper or Dry Shampoo

Translucent powder already has a variety of uses when it comes to completing your makeup, such as setting your foundation, concealer and other face makeup. If you're looking to make the most out of the colourless powder, you'll be happy to know it serves a few other useful purposes as well. If you're looking for voluminous lashes, but don't own a lash primer, simply apply one coat of mascara, and then dust the translucent powder on your lashes before topping it off with a second coat of mascara.

Translucent powder is also an essential for many people with oily skin, as the powder is known to soak up access oils while helping your makeup stay put. If you wake up finding your hair a little greasy, but don't have time to shower, you can substitute your translucent powder for dry shampoo in a pinch. Simply shake a little of the powder into your roots and then rub it in with your fingers to soak up access oils in your hair.


3. Lip Balm as a Highlighter, Brow Gel, or Cream Eye Shadow Base

Lip balm is probably one of the most versatile products to keep in your makeup bag. Not only is it great for moisturizing and adding some sheen to your lips, but if you're looking to add a dewy glow to your skin, you can pop some balm along your cheekbones and other areas of your face in place of a highlighter. In addition to it's use as a highlighter, the thicker formula of colourless balms make it useful in place of a brow gel to tame your brows in a pinch.

If you're a fan of cream blushes or eye shadows, it's also useful to keep balm on hand to help transform your favourite powdered makeup to the cream variety. Simply mix some balm with your powdered eye shadows or blushes for a more sheer and glossy look. The bonus of switching out some powders in your makeup routine with lip balm is that the moisturizing effect it will have on your skin-- which is especially great during dry winter months.


4. Lipstick as Cream Blush

A lot of people have trouble matching their lipstick to their blush, and a quick Google search will reveal an almost endless amount of articles on the subject. Save yourself the study time and avoid a potential makeup disaster, by simply using your lip colour on your cheeks as well!


5. Blush as Lip Colour or Eye Shadow

Just like lip colour can be used as a blush, you can use your favourite blush to add colour to your pout. Both cream and powder blushes work for this shortcut, and they tend to give lips a matte finish, which is the trend for lipsticks right now. If you're going to use your blush as a lip colour however, just be sure to prep your lips with balm first as most powders and even some creams can dry them out.

If you're looking for a great pink or red eye shadow, but find them a little hard to come by, you can easily blend some cream or powder blushes onto your lids for a rosy flush. Just be careful not to go overboard with the pinks or reds, or you'll look less like an English Rose, and more like someone with a severe pollen allergy that just stumbled into a rose garden.


6. Eye Liner as Eye Shadow or Highlighter

NYX Slide on Pencils - $10.00 each at NYX

If you're without your favourite eye shadow palette, or find it way too complicated to create a smoky eye, there's no need to worry, as your favourite eyeliner pencil can also work as a shadow! Simply colour in the areas of your lid you'd like to dress up, and blend it out to achieve the look of a shadow. It's also a much easier to work with than a shadow if you need to layer on colour, as it's less messy and much more precise.

If you've got a nude eyeliner handy in your kit, you can also use it as a precise highlighter for your face in narrower areas like your cupid's bow, the bridge of your nose, or the inner corners of your eyes -- just be sure to clean off the tip of the pencil before sticking it in your waterline to avoid potential eye infections!


7. Clear Lip Gloss as Highlighter or Brow Gel

If you're using a clear lip gloss to add shine to your lips, you can also use it to add shine to areas of your face you'd like to highlight. Glosses tend to be a bit sticky, so it might not be the ideal thing to swab on your cheeks, but it's great in a pinch as a dewy highlighter.

The slight stickiness of most glosses will however come in handy when it comes to your eyebrows. If you're looking to keep the stray hairs in place, you can set your brows with a bit of lip gloss instead of a brow gel.


8. Contour Palette as Eye Shadow

If you want a more natural eye makeup look, just reach for your contouring and highlighting palette! Most people who match their controur correctly will own a colour a few shades darker than their own skin colour, making it the perfect shade to naturally define the outer corners of the eyes as well as your crease for subtle shading and definition. If your palette has a highlighter included, you swipe some of it along the inner corners of your eye or the centre of your lids to make your eyes appear bigger and more awake.


9. Eye Shadow Palette as Contour, Highlight, Liner, or Eyebrow Filler

Eye shadow palettes can be a bit of a splurge for some people, but if you choose the palette wisely, it will be useful for so much more than your eyes. Pick up a great nude pallete, and you'll have a series of browns and other neutral shades great for various areas of your face. Use a brown shade a bit darker than your skin tone as a contour for your nose, cheeks, chin, or anywhere else. Use a light beige, tan, white or another pale colour as a highlight for the bridge of your nose, cupid's bow, brow bone, or other areas you want to stand out. If you tend to go overboard with the contour and highlight, the small size of the eye shadow cake in palettes may keep you from applying too much.

If you find that your typical pencil, liquid, or gel eyeliners are a little bold for your taste, the browns and blacks in your eye shadow palette can also be used as a softer alternative for lining your lids. Various brown shades of shadow can also be used to fill in sparse areas of your eyebrows as an alternative to brow pencils and tinted brow mascaras.


10. Lip Liner as Lipstick

Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in Cherry Kiss - $6.99 at London Drugs

This one may be obvious to most people, but if you're looking for matte lip colour that won't budge, just grab your nearest lip liner pencil and fill in your entire lip instead of just outlining the edges! Just be sure to moisturize your lips beforehand, as liners are known to be quite drying, and the lip liner can accentuate your flaking lips.


11. Eyebrow Pencil as Eye Liner

If you're looking for a bold eyeliner, this one is probably not the option for you, but if you're looking for a soft and subtle liner, you can try lining your eyes with your brow pencil. The wax in a brow pencil is typically a bit harder and more matte, but if you line your lids and blend it in, you'll be left with a more subtle and natural look to accentuate your eyes.


12. Mascara as Eye Liner

This last option probably sounds a bit strange, but if you're used to drawing on dramatic winged liner every day and you've somehow forgot your trusty liquid or gel eyeliner, mascara is a great substitute and it's a lot safer than using a Sharpie! You'll need a liner brush to pull this one off, but if you've got one handy, just use your brush to take a bit of product from the mascara wand and use that to line your eyes the same way you regularly would with your favourite liquid or gel liner!


The possibilities with makeup are endless, so there are probably an abundance of ways to use products that we missed on this list. Are there any cosmetics products that you use for multiple purposes? Share your tips in the comments below!

Tim Hortons’ Roll Up the Rim to Win is Back for 2017

Tim Hortons’ Roll Up the Rim to Win is Back for 2017

By Simon Hung

It’s the annual tradition that unites Tim Hortons lovers and contest enthusiasts across Canada. A tradition so deeply ingrained into Canadian culture that it’s severed friendships and produced DNA test lawsuits -- it’s Roll Up the Rim to Win and it’s back for 2017!

Prizes this year include a 2017 Honda Civic, LG 55" 4K TV and more!

This year, there are a total of 294,069,480 contest cups available throughout the country with over $77 million worth of prizes available to be won, including:

  • 40 2017 Honda Civic Coupe EX-T vehicles (1 in 7,498,772 odds)
  • 100 $5,000 CIBC Prepaid cards (1 in 2,999,509 odds)
  • 150 LG 55" 4K UHD televisions (1 in 1,999,672 odds)
  • 24,000 $100 Tim Card prizes (1 in 12,498 odds)
  • 49,007,531 food prizes, including coffee, donuts and potato wedges (1 in 6 odds)

There’s also an overwhelming chance that you’ll see PLEASE PLAY AGAIN at least once, but that shouldn’t deter you from playing, as the thrill of the chase is part of the fun -- click here to view the official contest rules.

Interestingly, contest cups are not distributed evenly across the country, as you’ll find more cups in certain areas of Canada. We’ve charted the estimated cup distribution numbers below.

Region
Applicable Provinces
Number of Cups
1
British Columbia
20,916,600
2
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut
48,792,480
3
Ontario
154,202,040
4
Quebec
36,783,480
5
Atlantic Provinces
33,374,880

As a result, the number of prizes also varies by region and we've listed the total number of major prizes available in each region.

Region 1
Region 2
Region 3
Region 4
Region 5
2017 Honda Civic Coupe EX-T
3
7
20
5
5
$5,000 CIBC Prepaid Card
7
17
53
12
11
LG 55" 4K UHD TV
11
24
79
19
17
$100 Tim Card
1707
3982
12,586
3002
2723

In addition to the usual in-restaurant method, you can also play at home if you buy eligible Tim Hortons products, including ground coffee or K-Cups. Upload your receipt with the item listed and you could win one of two 2017 Honda Civic Coupe EX-T vehicles, one of five LG 55" 4K UHD televisions or one of 10,000 Tim Cards ranging in value from $5.00 to $100.00 -- click here to view the official play-at-home contest rules.

Roll Up the Rim to Win is on now until April 14 at all Tim Hortons restaurants and you have until May 4 to claim any prizes. Good luck and be sure to let us know if you win anything!

Shoes.com, OnlineShoes.com, and ShoeMe.ca Shut Down

Shoes.com, OnlineShoes.com, and ShoeMe.ca Shut Down

By Ambia Staley

In a sudden move, online retailer Shoes.com announced on January 27 that it would be halting business immediately.

All 3 of the company's online properties, Shoes.com, OnlineShoes.com, and ShoeMe.ca were taken offline, and its two physical stores in Toronto and Vancouver were closed on Friday.

Shoes.com employs approximately 200 people, who were also made aware of the closure on January 27. The company said in a press release that employees will be compensated through the end of January, although a small group are expected to stay on over the next few weeks as the retailer ties up loose ends.

The company is said to be working with its lenders in order to come up with a plan to liquidate its assets. Shoes.com also intends to file bankruptcy for all or some of its companies.

Shoes.com, OnlineShoes.com, and ShoeMe.ca reportedly served 8 million people across Canada and the United States. There's currently no word on liquidation sales, or how current customers can process returns and exchanges.

Are you surprised to hear about the sudden closure of Shoes.com and ShoeMe.ca? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

HMV Canada to Close All Stores Nationwide by April

HMV Canada to Close All Stores Nationwide by April

By Simon Hung

HMV, once one of Canada’s most popular physical media stores, has announced plans to close all 102 Canadian store locations by April 30, 2017.

The news comes after the company filed an application for receivership with the Ontario Superior Court, which was approved on Friday, January 27.

First opened in 1986, HMV had been struggling in recent years and the announcement doesn’t come as much of a surprise to many, as the popularity of physical media has sharply declined with the rise of digital streaming.

Most of HMV Canada's head office staff has been laid off and in court documents, the company is said to owe $39 million to HUK 10 Ltd., a restructuring firm that lent money to HMV. The documents also indicated that the chain owes $56 million to various music labels and was losing $100,000 per day -- the company would have required upwards of $5 million annually to remain open.

Expect to see clearance sales in the coming weeks as stores clear inventory, making it a great opportunity to look for music, movies and memorabilia. Their website currently notes that everything is up to 30% off, but expect steeper price cuts as we inch closer towards the closure date.

Surprised by the announcement? Looking forward to sales on Nicolas Cage movies? Leave a comment to share your thoughts about the closure or any fond memories you have of HMV.