The eagerly awaited local doors of Canada’s newest beauty mecca, Murale, recently swung open at the Shops at Don Mills much to the delight of the city’s beauty-obsessed, whose appetite appears merely whetted by Toronto’s four Sephora stores.

“I love Sephora like a kid loves candy,” says makeup artist Joy David-Tilberg, founder and editor of “Murale just offers a whole new experience. I love the bright, wide open space because I need all the room there is to play away. It also offers a lot of lines that Sephora doesn’t, like Chanel and YSL to Gosh and Quo.”

The retail store, which is owned by Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation, already has locations in Ottawa and Montreal with plans to open five more in Canada this year, including Vancouver and Calgary.

Ali de Bold, co-founder of social-media shopping site, is impressed with Murale’s service elements, which include a pharmacy counter, skin-analysis station, mini brow-shaping bar and a private cabine for spa services such as facials. “There’s a wide variety of price points, too, so you can get your favourite L’Oréal Paris mascara with a new Bobbi Brown eye shadow or Nars lipstick,” adds de Bold.

Murale’s range of niche and exclusive brands are a hit as well. The selection includes the Lippmann Collection, nail care and colour from celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann; Companie De Provence, a contemporary bath and body line with traditional en Provence roots; Potter & Moore, fine English fragrances with a story dating back to 1749; and Principessa Beauty, a sweet Canadian line of spa-inspired body treats.

“I’m all over this UK-based skincare line Rodial, whose Glam Balm wipes strip off makeup but leave skin feeling clean and moisturized,” says writer Katherine Flemming, who has a blog on the side called I Heart Beauty. “I’m also pretty impressed with the scent of Chocolat O Lait body lotion from Sensation Chocolat Paris: creamy and chocolatey, but not cloying.”

You don’t have to be an addict to appreciate Murale (, though. “It’s a great place for the beauty novice,” says David-Tilberg. “You can explore from brand to brand, and if it gets overwhelming, the friendly beauty masters can help. Don’t be intimidated. Just have fun!”

Exclusive skincare at Murale
With its sophisticated skincare department complete with skincare analysis station, the latest in serious skincare from dermatological to natural brands, facial services and full-time in-house aestheticians, Murale is something of a cheerleader for skin. Along with Vichy, Neostrata and Prevage, exclusive niche brands beckon for the woman in search of her skin's best pep squad:

• 3Lab is a full-line of facial care including cleansers, toners, serums, eye creams and moisturizers, formulated with a bio-engineered growth hormone to help skin repair and renew itself the way it did when it was young. From $16 to $440.

• Rodial for face and body, developed in the UK by a former beauty editor in conjunction with a team of plastic surgeons and derms, is chock full of naturally-derived ingredients designed to boost skin's firmness, smoothness and radiance. From $25 to $180.

• June Jacobs Spa Collection for face and body is all about potent botanicals, enzymes and plant extracts, such as red and green tea, aloe vera, vitamin E and goji berry. From $28 to $170.

• Natura Bissé offers The Cure Pure Serum, which puts a focus on stimulating sirtuin activity. Sirtuins are enzymes naturally produced by the body and thought to repair damaged cells and extend cellular lifespan. $315.

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