So many options: McDonald’s Canada launches Create Your Taste in Manitoba

TitleThere’s only about a handful of brands that I can think of that when they reached out to me I get fangirl excited for. Considering I’ve worked with a large number of companies and brands, when McDonald’s Canada sent me an email inviting me to experience the new Create Your Taste concept here in Manitoba, I was ecstatic.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the fast food giant. From going there as a kid to now as an adult, everyone just seems to be nostalgic about McDonald’s. Whether it’s fantasizing about the long-gone McDonald’s pizza (RIP) or visiting locations wherever my travels take me (I made sure to scoop up some macarons at the McCafe in Paris three years ago), McDonald’s is just one of those places everyone knows and loves (who can say no to a nugrun at 3 a.m. after the bar?).

Placing orderOrder total

Anyways, my bestie and I were greeted at the McDonald’s location on Regent this past Tuesday to get the full Create Your Taste experience and try out their new touchscreen self-ordering kiosks. Create Your Taste and the touchscreen systems aren’t new in Canada, they rolled it out this past fall first in Ontario and now it’s making it’s way across the country, one province at a time. Once it’s fully rolled out here, there will be 29 participating restaurants in Manitoba to offer it.

We were greeted at the door by the manager of the Regent McDonald’s (located at 1475 Regent Avenue West), a couple PR reps, a customer experience rep, and a server (yes, a server). We were walked through how the new touchscreens work, as well as how to build our own burgers using Create Your Taste, which is a totally customized burger with heightened menu options (they also have some pre-set burgers if your creativity gets stumped). A lot of the toppings are included in the price ($7.49), but there are some add-ons as well.

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Options include:

  • 3 buns: Black + White Sesame Seed Brioche-Style Bun, Artisan Style Bakery Roll, or Lettuce Wrap
  • 5 cheeses: McDonald Classic Cheese, Monterey Jack Jalapeño, Natural Cheddar, Swiss, or Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 12 toppings: Tomato, Lettuce, Guacamole, Sundried Tomato Pesto, Caramelized Onions, Crispy Onions, Sliced Jalapeños, Long Sliced Pickles, Grilled Mushrooms, or Red Onion Rings
  • 9 sauces: Ketchup, Garlic Aioli, Mustard, Smokey BBQ, Big Mac Sauce, Chipotle Aioli, Grainy Mustard, Mayo, or Sriracha Sauce

Since McDonalds was paying, I didn’t hold back on choosing the ingredients for my ultimate burger. I went with the sesame seed bun, monterey jack jalapeño, tomato, lettuce, guac, caramelized onions, jalapeños, long-sliced pickles, red onions, garlic aioli and chipotle aioli. Like I said, Create Your Taste starts at $7.49 here in Manitoba, but it also includes fries and a drink (the one on Regent will give you any drink you want, so my friend and I both got McCafe frappes). For a limited time here in Manitoba, they are also doing unlimited refills on the fries and drinks. Yes, you heard that correctly, unlimited McDonalds fries.

Close up of tray Eating burger Flay lay on table

Once our order was put through, we were handed a tracking number, which the server will use to find you and give you your order. Once you’re done paying, go sit down and the waiter will find your tracker using this really cool system that knows exactly where you are sitting. Before we sat down though we were taken into the kitchen where we got to watch the chef make our burgers.

Shortly after we sat down out waiter came and placed down two wooden trays with our mouthwatering creations. The presentation on these are totally new and so not your typical McDonald’s. The fries are placed in a basket and the burgers are much larger and more gourmet than your traditional Big Mac.  But the taste is still there.

My creation was a big messy, so thankfully the waiter brought me tons of napkins. He also brought over some ketchup and McChicken Sauce for our fries and checked up on us after a while to see if we needed anything else. This was the first time I’ve had tableside service at McDonald’s and it presents such a heightened experience to the whole brand.

Like a lot of Canadians, I’ve been going to McDonalds for as long as I can remember. The manager, my friend and I were getting nostalgic about our neighbourhood locations and how they evolved through the years.  We’ve grown with them and just like us, the brand has evolved.   You would think by having the self-order kiosks implemented in locations, that would take jobs away, but that isn’t the case. To give a heightened experience, they’ve hired new guest experience leaders to engage with guests, whether that be a hello or a goodbye. There’s also dedicated wait staff that will deliver the Create Your Taste meals to tables.

mccafe trayLooking at McCafe

Just as we thought we couldn’t eat anymore (as a side note, no I didn’t get the refill on the fries..), we were brought an assortment of the new McCafe offerings. We got to try the new cream cheese danishes, brownies, lemon pound cake, French croissants, the mini chocolatine, and other delicious creations that are making their way across Canada in McCafe locations.

Once we finished our desserts I don’t think either of us could breathe and I thanked god I wore stretchy pants. Since the restaurant industry is so oversaturated – especially with fast food – these new features that McDonald’s is implementing really are game changers. I even mentioned to my boyfriend last night that we’ll have to go back to try out the Create Your Taste concept again, and believe me, I would never usually have recommended going to McDonald’s on a date night ;).

Are you excited for Create Your Taste? Have you tried it yet?

Special thanks to McDonald’s Canada for letting me try this out. I am being compensated for this post, however, it will probably all go back to them for more Create Your Taste burgers ;).

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Light as air: Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo

TITLEI’ve never been a huge blush girl.

I always have friends asking me if I got any new blushes in, as they seem to go through them so fast. I love getting lipsticks or eyeshadows, but I’ve never known what all the hype was about blush. Yeah, it’s a must in every makeup routine, but it’s blush. Blush is blush.

Well now I know what everything seems to be freaking out about.

In case you haven’t heard, Marc Jacobs Beauty recently introduced a new blush that keeps you flushed all day. The Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo is a powder blush duo with two shades that are totally customizable. Available in five different colours, the two shades in the compact end up merging together, so it creates the most beautiful glow that applies effortlessly and like air. The texture isn’t powdery, but very soft, almost cream-like.

Night Fever and Hot StuffLines and Last NightI received two of these to try out, 502 Lines & Last Night (described as a creamsicle/deep tangerine) and 508 Night Fever & Hot Stuff (cherry/deep plum). The blush is housed in the signature Marc Jacobs Beauty black glossy compact and retails for a staggering C$57 each.  They are expensive, but they’re a great product.

The first thing you’ll notice is definitely the pattern on the actual product, which is inspired by a Marc Jacobs dress. The two colours work together and complement each other.  Sephora says the light shade highlights and the darker one contours. A little goes a long way, so go easy on the brush for a glow that will have you blushing all day long.

Lines and Last NightNight Fever swatched

The only downside I can see with this product is honestly the price. For C$57 for one blush, you can easily pick up a blush palette for less money, or about 20 drugstore blushes (okay, maybe not that many, but you get the idea). it is a great blush so, you if you feel like treating yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

Have you tried any of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo?

Please note, this set was sent by PR. All opinions are my own.

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Dive in! Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation

MUFE titleAs much as I love my full-coverage foundation, sometimes it feels too heavy on the face. For days when I just want to take it easy, I usually reach for my BB cream, but now that Make Up For Ever has released their new water foundation, I’ve been reaching for that.

Marrying the comfort and natural-looking results of a sheer foundation with the performance of a long-wear product, the new Water Blend foundation delivers a nice dewy finish in a lightweight, sheer, buildable formula. Like the name says, this foundation is comprised of 80 per cent pro-vitamin B5-infused water, which maintains the skin’s hydration and blends smoothly for a light glow. Once set, this foundation is transfer-proof and waterproof, making it perfect for those end-of-summer beach or pool days (plus it’s so natural looking that no one will think you’re actually wearing makeup).

Available for C$54, the Water Blend foundation is available in 20 different shades and is suitable for all skin types.

I received three of the shades, Y225, Y245, and Y305. All of them are on the lighter end of the shade ranges. Since Y225 may be a touch too light for my skin tone since it’s summer, I tried Y245 first and then Y305, and since the coverage on this foundation is lightweight both matched my skin nicely.

foundations

The consistency of the foundation is like the name, very watery and very refreshing. It does go on light, however, it leaves you with a nice coverage, suitable for everyday wear. Water-blend foundation seems to be a thing now as this is the second one I have tried out, the first one being Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation, which has a better coverage to it than the Make Up For Ever. Also, if you are having some deja vu with this foundation, Water Blend replaces their iconic face and body, delivering a “new and improved” version.

I have normal skin, but I think this would be great on dry skin or sunburnt skin (it feels so refreshing when you apply it). Because it’s so watery I’m unsure of how it would set on oily skin, however, I do enjoy going over this with a powder foundation for a little bit more coverage and setting power.  In my swatches I actually used the new Kat Von D Lock It Concealer (which is a heavy concealer) and the Young Blood mineral foundation powder to create really nice coverage on my skin.

Swatched

Make Up For Ever’s Water Blend Face & Body foundation launched last month in Sephora stores, so I recommend visiting your closest location and getting a sample to try out. It is on the pricier side of foundations considering it’s lightweight, but it would be amazing to have on hand for everyday wear.

Have you tried Make Up For Ever’s Water Blend Face & Body Foundation?

Please note, this post contains product that were sent by PR. All opinions are my own.

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