The Toronto Film Festival has been in town for close to a week now and I've been fortunate enough to sample a small taste of the celebrity lifestyle thanks to the countless gifting lounges across the city. Not only are these hidden sanctuaries the go-to places for celebrities and media to be pampered and prepped for their next big red carpet event, but they also offer the chance to sample new goodies, which in most cases, visitors can take home with them.
I guess you're now wondering, what with their Scrooge McDuck bank vaults, why do stars need free stuff? Well, aside from the fact that they're usually too busy to shop, celebrity gifting suits offer the chance for brands and designers to get their wares onto those famous bodies in the hope that they'll be photographed.
So what kind of swag was on offer at this year's festival? I visited three different lounges to gawp at the goodies.
The Essentials Lounge
The goods: First up is EGPR's Essentials Lounge which, I must say, is the most anticipated event amongst media pros. This year, the EGPR team outdid themselves with a bounty of goods ranging from John Frieda hair products, Benefit Makeup (if you haven't tried their POREfessional, I suggest you head to Sephora now!), Calvin Klein underwear, and Elizabeth Grant skincare.
The services: The Essentials lounge was the one-stop shop for all your head to toe needs. John Frieda hair care were on standby to tame tresses; Calvin Klein Underwear Fit Consultant and expert Claudia Tonna was there to size media up…and down (turns out I've been wearing the wrong bra size); Winks Eyelash Boutique technicians were on hand to extend and enhance lashes; and Tan on the Run founder and airbrush tanning technician, Nicole Hyatt, was there to skillfully bronze and contour those who were looking to add a little glow to their flow.
The attendees: Media moguls from the likes of Toronto Life, FASHION, More Magazine and CosmoTV.
The IT Lounge
The goods: NKPR's IT Lounge is usually reserved only for celebutants, but on certain days, very special media members are allowed to ogle the products, which included Lia Sophia jewelry and RW&Co's Fall/Winter collection.
The services: Tweezerman and MAC makeup were waiting in the wings to get visitors photo ready for the Portrait Lounge, a place where guests could be photographed by the likes of Patrick Demarchelier. Yes, you just read that correctly.
The attendees: Patrick Demarchelier, Victoria Duffield (pictured above), Jeanne Beker, and MuchMusic VJ Liz Trinnear who was kitted out in RW&Co threads.
TDot TV Lounge
The goods: Celebs could take away a pair of comfy Lazy Pants, as well as pick out some red carpet bling from Rebekah Price's ever-eye-catching designs.
The services: Nail polish gurus Cheeky Monkey were on hand to paint talons (I picked a colour called "Ball Buster") and Doll Bar Inc. added some fun with hair feathers and extensions (I left with a streak of pink).
The attendees: The TDot TV team sat down with Looper’s Noah Segan, singers Danny Fernandes, Cory Lee and Jarvis Church, Canadian Olympic swimmer Tera Van Beilen, and the stars of Bachelor Pad.
Canadian Film Lounge
The goods: Guests got to pick products from Vasanti Cosmetics, Stella Margaritis Jewelry, Wink Intimates, and a Dragon's Den featured product Dressed'N-Case (no kidding, it's a handbag that truns into a dress).
The services: Complimentary services at the Beauty Bar where stylists from Fiorio Salon gave guests red carpet ready hair, makeup artists from Vasanti Cosmetics did makeup touch-ups and Wright Spa (a mobile spa service) eased away any tension with soothing massages and treatments for tired feet.
The attendees: Countless Canadian film favourites including Emily Hampshire, Gabrielle Miller, and Kristin Booth.
Photos via EGPR, NKPR, Williams PR, and Random Minds.