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New Loves and Old Favorites at TIFF’s Essentials Lounge


September is a truly magical time in Toronto. It can be a little hectic, exhausting and stressful, but those beads of sweat just add to the enchantment, making your face glow with an air of mystical sparkle. Or so I like to tell myself during the Toronto International Film Festival.

If you can put up with crowds, lineups and copious cocktails, then TIFF is the best possible opportunity for you to stargaze and check out some amazing films before they get released to the general masses. But if, like me, you need a little help navigating your way through the festival, then EGPR’s annual TIFF Essentials Lounge has again come to the rescue with a selection of the best products to get red carpet ready (and, more importantly, recovered). You see, each year, the savvy publicists at EGPR invite select media to stock up on essential items that will help them through the week. Hence the name, the Essentials Lounge – it just makes sense right?

This year, the haul exceeded all expectations with skincare sessions provided by Elizabeth Grant (and delivered by Elizabeth Grant’s granddaughter no less); hair by Aveda, with national creative director and celebrity stylist, Kristjan Hayden, providing consultations, styling and expert tips; makeup by Hard Candy’s well-armed glam squad; tootsies primped and cradled by Micro Pedi and Sorel; eyelashes by Winks Boutique; and silhouettes shaped by Calvin Klein underwear.

Once all the grit and grime was finally sloughed away from the rumpled press, HP was on hand to snap celeb-worthy portraits of their shiny new selves, which they could take home after printing onsite. Needless to say, it was like a media car wash: I went in looking like Special Agent Gracie Hart and out like a pageant queen (if you can buy my Miss Congeniality movie reference, but ‘tis the season).

You can check out some of my photos below that include all the products guaranteed to make your TIFF week run smoothly and even help after the red carpet has rolled. Now go forth fellow festival lovers and enjoy this celebrity-infested time of year!


Elizabeth Grant Gel Eye Pads: Keep ’em in the fridge and pop ’em on for a pick-me-up.


Elizabeth Grant Wonder Effect Concealer: It’s blue! Meaning it can be used on pimples and dark circles.


Hard Candy Pro FX: Giant bottles of salon-quality nail polishes for only $5.


The organized chaos that is the Hard Candy makeover station.


Botanically-based Aveda hair products featuring Invati Solutions for Thinning Hair and the must-have Stress Fix Concentrate Aroma.


MicroPedi is an electrical hard skin removal to take the manual labour out of at home pedicures.


Sorel’s new fall collection for all your footwear fancies.


Fact: The boots on the upper right hand are the same as those worn by Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in the upcoming Catching Fire movie!


AS HP proves, some people are incredibly photogenic. I am not one of those people.

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