I want – I got Does TIFF – Tastemakers Lounge

I want - I got Does TIFF - Tastemakers Lounge
I want – I got Does TIFF – Tastemakers Lounge

I participated in a little bit of  TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) events this year. First stop on my journey for 2012 started at the eight annual Tastemakers Lounge at the InterContinental Toronto Centre hotel. They had a number of brands including Yorkdale Mall, La Senza, Indeed Laboratories, The Tea Emporium, Kiss, Popchips, John Allan, Demeter Fragrance Library, Kimberley’s Own All Natural Granola, Bobble, Le Dolci, Viviscal Maximum Strength, Me + You… and Emjoi MICRO Pedi in the lounge and all ready to give free stuff to celebrities coming through.

I want - I got Does TIFF - Tastemakers Lounge
I want – I got Does TIFF – Tastemakers Lounge

Media types got a smaller selection of goods with big-ticket items going to talent.

I want - I got Does TIFF - Tastemakers Lounge
I want – I got Does TIFF – Tastemakers Lounge
I want - I got Does TIFF - Tastemakers Lounge
I want – I got Does TIFF – Tastemakers Lounge

Here are my top swag picks

  • Kimberley’s Own All Natural Granola is wheat- and gluten-free, oat-based granola. I had the Just Seeds flavour and I’ve already finished off the bag I was given. It was delicious.
  • I love Microsoft mice. Every mouse I’ve loved to death has been an MS product. So, I was delighted to get the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse “Year of the Dragon” from Yorkdale, who will be welcoming a Microsoft store as part of their expansion.
  • La Senza is the only store I shop at for underwear for many years now. The reason is simple, variety of styles in my size. Other shops I’ve visited don’t stock very many styles in 32A and it gets frustrating when you find out you have four styles to choose from in a stores with dozens of styles available. I received a bra from their latest “Beyond Sexy” collection which I love and is different from the standard neutral colour I would normally choose. I took home a $75 gift card too which I promptly spend on underwear.
  • I haven’t made my mind up about Indeed Labs‘s eysilix, the 5 in 1 eye contour treatment. It claims to do it all so I’m going to see how it stands up to my favourite StriVectin-SD Eye Concentrate.
  • My favourite tea shop, The Tea Emporium was there and I got a little pack of Garden of Eden/Crimson Sunset tea mix to take home.
  • I’ve tried the imPRESS Press-On Manicure product and was pretty impressed. People thought they were real. They were showing off some fun new colours like neon pink and navy blue. I’m still not convinced about the Nail Dress products which are stickers. I tried some Sally Hansen nail stickers the weekend before and got two nails in before I quit. At the lounge they had manicurists apply the stickers. That didn’t go well either, it was a bit rushed and I ended up removing the stickers before I got on the elevator to head back to the office.
  • Demeter Fragrance Library had their fragrance bar setup and I got to learn a lot about the company and their scents from the CEO. I’m kinda obsessed with them now as the scents are so pure.
  • My number one product from the Tastemakers lounge is Emjoi’s MICRO Pedi. This portable, hand-held pedicure product is the best thing ever. It’s a micro mineral roller that gently and effortlessly buff away the dead skin on soles and heels. It’s the best beauty product I’ve tried this year.
I want - I got Does TIFF - Tastemakers Lounge
I want – I got Does TIFF – Tastemakers Lounge

Many celebrities passed through the Tastemakers Lounge over TIFF and you can check out the photos of their adventures courtesy of Rock-it Promo’s flickr site.

images: courtesy of Rock-it promo

TIFF 2011 – Alliance Films Party Red Carpet Photos by Paul Baik


The whirlwind that is the Toronto International Film Festival has come and gone. This year TIFF was very quiet for I want – I got. I wasn’t on vacation like last year and client deadlines at the day job resulted in a low-key festival. I did send my friend and photographer Paul Baik to hit the red carpet at the most hyped TIFF party hosted by Alliance Films celebrating the 21 films they submitted to this year’s festival. Huge celebrities were invited and expected to walk the red carpet for this event.

Michel Hazanavicius 3

It didn’t turn out that way and the major celebs didn’t walk the red carpet. That’s the way things go sometimes. Paul stuck it out for a few hours and he said he had a good time (it was his first TIFF!). Here are some of his shots.

Sarah Silverman 5

Evan Rachel Wood 4

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Paul Giamatti

Robin Wright

See all of Paul’s photos in the slideshow.

Thank you Paul for braving the TIFF scrum!

images: paulbaik.com

TIFF 2010 – Donato Salon + Spa at The Brill Building

Deborah Lippmann Nail PolishDeborah Lippmann Nail Polish

Brill Communications set up a two day mini Donato Salon + Spa at their office, The Brill Building. I didn’t get my makeup done here but I did get my nails done. The nail polish was by celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann. It is amazing.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish

My first colour was Bad Romance which is a GaGa blackened fuschia (pictured above).  I really love this nail polish colour.  I visited the Tastemakers Lounge earlier in the day and had a Joe Fresh jade colour put on.  It was TIFF and I was feeling indulgent so I had the jade removed and Bad Romance put on.  I really do love the sparkly nail polish add purple to that equation and I’m easily sold.  The second day I returned and had a combo of two nail polishes put on.  The results was a blood red sparkly mix that looked amazing.  I can’t remember the rich red colour used but the sparkle was Ruby Red Slippers.  I love the names of Deborah Lippmann’s nail polish too.
TIFF 2010 - Donato Salon + Spa at The Brill Building

Check out the Deborah Lippmann’s Steps For The Perfect Manicure video.

Deborah Lippmann nail polish can be purchased at Donato Salon & Spa and Holt Renfrew.

TIFF 2010 – Signed. Sealed. Delivered

TIFF 2010 - Signed, Sealed, Delivered

There is still time to check out Signed. Sealed. Delivered, a signature memorabilia show which is showing at Gallery One (121 Scollard Street) until September 30, 2010. The pieces are from The Signature Library. Torontonian, Bryan Ulrich has collected signatures of the worlds most famous celebrities for over 20 years. He has the largest collection of Micheal Jackson signatures. It was pretty weird standing in front of the signed Thriller jacket encased in glass. Signed. Sealed. Delivered also has album covers, photos and a number of beautiful guitars signed by rock gods like Brian Wilson, Guns and Roses and Neil Young. I attended the opening party during TIFF and met Bryan later on that night at the after party at Moroco.

TIFF 2010 - Signed, Sealed, Delivered

TIFF 2010 - Signed, Sealed, Delivered

TIFF 2010 – Lia Sophia

TIFF 2010 - Lia Sophia

The lounge that most surprised me was Lia Sophia. I knew it was a jewellery line but I didn’t expect to fall in love with it. On display was the newest red carpet collection called La Belle Rose. The collection used materials like silver, gold, copper, black diamond crystal, clear crystal,  jet crystal,  Hematite, Tortoise resin, jet enamel and lapis resin.

TIFF 2010 - Lia Sophia

The most interesting thing about Lia Sophia is that the collection isn’t sold in stores, it’s a direct selling company. It’s much like Avon where you buy items from a Lia Sophia Hostess at a jewellery party or from an Advisor in your area. Lia Sophia jewellery also comes with a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee which could come in handy if you ever lose a stone.

TIFF 2010 - Lia Sophia

The gift bag for this lounge was a choice of jewellery from the collection. It was a hard decision but I was attracted to the steampunk looking Runway style of the collection which featured Black Diamond Crystals in Matte Silver and Matte Gold or Clear Crystals in Matte Silver and Matte Copper.

TIFF 2010 - Lia Sophia
Runway Rings with Crystals

I left with a huge cocktail ring and 3 bracelets (two thin and one wide) in the Black Diamond Crystals in Matte Silver and Matte Gold finish. I’m kicking myself now for not picking up a matching necklace. They are statement pieces. I’ve had nothing but compliments and someone always notices I’m wearing them.

TIFF 2010 - Lia Sophia
Runway Wide Stretch Bracelet

TIFF 2010 – DPA Gifting Lounge

TIFF 2010 - DPA Gifting Lounge

The InterContinental Toronto Centre on Front Street welcomed the Dubois, Pelin and Associates (DPA) Gifting Lounge during the Toronto International Film Festival. The Presidential Suite, which has this amazing wrap around terrace and fantastic views, was the location. Sponsors for the DPA Gifting Lounge included: MICALLA, FeenieBeadie, ANZIE, Ruby Wow!, Royal Blush, Glass Harp Gallery and Susan Hood designs, Michique, Roots, LouLou Bell, SwissTEC, Imperfect Indulgence, RevitaLash, Sula Beauty, Bathing Belle Swimwear, Snoflake, Barbara Bela, Sodaliscious, Turbine, Eva Varro, Pearl Resorts & Spa, Jumeirah Hotels and Resort Kusmi Teas, FUZE, The Berry Company, Galloping Cows, Ridiculous by Jilli, Manitobah Mukluks, Marchon Eyewear, AMC, Author Ann Kaplan and Lomography.

TIFF 2010 - DPA Gifting Lounge

There were a lot of great Canadian brands at the lounge, too many to talk about individually. It was great to see Canadian content getting pushed to the celebs. ANZIE jewellery initially invited me to the DPA Gifting Lounge so I could get a look at the collection. I was familiar with the brand as I’ve seen them at Holt Renfrew before. I didn’t know that they were Canadian and based out of Montreal.

TIFF 2010 - DPA Gifting Lounge

It was great to talk to Ana of Imperfect Indulgence about her beautiful handcrafted leather bags. They are available at Pho Pa in Toronto.  I love the Butterfly handbags (posted above) and the Armor Necklaces.

TIFF 2010 - DPA Gifting Lounge

Manitobah Mukluks is a great Canadian success story. This native owned business produces everything in Canada with a focus on helping the Native community. Mukluks aren’t really my taste but I can see the benefits of them outside of the city where the snow is fluffy and white. However, they do make them with rubbers soles which helps for city dwellers. I don’t really look at them as any type of fashion statement, they are purely a functional boot. That being said the Limited Edition Tall Wrap and Half Wrap boots are kinda nice. They’d be perfect for Whistler.

TIFF 2010 - DPA Gifting Lounge

Susan Hood is an amazing glass artist that creates wonderful jewellery.  I’m dying over her Phantasea shell necklaces.  I’ve never seen anything like it in glass.  There were no Phantasea shell necklaces on hand at the lounge but she had some lovely blown glass pieces.

TIFF 2010 - DPA Gifting Lounge

This lounge had the a lot of stations and it took much longer to get through than I anticipated.  I didn’t learn anything about the Lomography cameras that were being gifted to the celebs. It would have been nice to learn a bit more about the company and see some units up close. I didn’t even know about the resort gifting to Tahiti and Dubai till I started doing research for the post.

TIFF 2010 - DPA Gifting Lounge

DPA Gifting Lounge Gift Bag Favourites (These are products I found interesting. In some cases I’ve tried them and in others I’ve excited to try them):

  • Flower Silver Bracelet by ANZIE – I got a lovely purple Flower Silver Bracelet that hasn’t really left wrist since.
  • Kusmi Teas – I love tea and the sample pack from Kusmi will go to great use. The packaging is just beautiful
  • Ridiculous by Jilli – The best biscotti I’ve ever tasted.
  • Sula Beauty Paint & Peel nail polish – I find the idea of paint and peel nail polish very interesting. I wonder how it treats your nails.
  • Ruby Wow! – I love the beautiful Surfer wrap bracelet made from leather and silver.
  • SwissTEC skin care products – I’m always interested in high end skin care. This line of products can only be bought through a physician.
  • Snoflake tank – It’s cute but I wish I picked a bigger size.  A Snoflake small is tiny.
  • Bathing Bell – I received the Anchor Baby monokini. After trying it on I’ve come to realize that monokinis and my shortwaist don’t go together. I think I’d be more suited to Fancy Fanny or Taj.
  • Brandy Cranberry Marmalade by Galloping Cows – It’s easy for food to be on my favourites list. I wonder what this would taste like with some soft cheese.

TIFF 2010 – Murale/Sally Hershberger Lounge

TIFF 2010 - Murale/Sally Hershberger Lounge

The Murale/Sally Hershberger Lounge set up shop in the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville Hotel. I was at the Intercontinental so much it almost felt like a second home. I laughed at people wondering if I was famous walking into and out of the hotel. Of course, I had my neon green Prada shades on. Sally Hershberger is a well know celebrity hairstylist who brought some of her crew to Toronto do get everyone’s hair red-carpet ready. There was also complimentary makeup applications and I took advantage of those services. Sponspors for the Murale/Sally Hershberger Lounge included: Coty Inc, Sally Hershberger Professional Hair Care, Murale

TIFF 2010 - Murale/Sally Hershberger Lounge

I had my makeup done on Saturday and Sunday at the lounge. I had Dino on Saturday and he gave me a bit of smokey eye. It wasn’t dramatic but it was quite pretty. Sunday I had my make up done by Anil Bhatoo of Murale and he gave me dramatic makeup to go with the leather Danier dress I was wearing. It was my favourite look of TIFF. I also discovered the wonders of YSL mascara and it’s on my list to pick up next. I’m really bad with taking pictures of myself. I know there are a bunch out there of me, I’ll track them down.

Murale/Sally Hershberger Lounge Gift Bag Favourites (These are products I found interesting. In some cases I’ve tried them and in others I’ve excited to try them):

  • Harajuku Lovers Fragrance – I really don’t care what they smell like but I freaking LOVE the bottles. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I got Music and Baby. The little tote they came in is cute too
  • StriVectin eye concentrate – I don’t have wrinkles but I’m always looking for a good eye cream
  • Balenciaga Eau De Parfum
  • Marc Jacobs Lola solid perfume – Solid perfume, this should be interesting
  • Spa Ritual Shoot for the Stars nail polish – It’s purple

TIFF 2010 – BMW Toronto Celebrity Gift Lounge

TIFF 2010 - BMW Toronto Celebrity Gift Lounge

BMW Toronto Celebrity gift lounge was setup at the Hugo Store in Yorkville for the Toronto International Film Festival. Greg May Hair and TDotTV teamed up to produce the lounge. Guests were treated to mini spa days with hair by Grey May, facials by Mayavii using the Black Pearl Collection products, make up by Jessica Llyod and massages from the Toronto Performance Health Centre

TIFF 2010 - BMW Toronto Celebrity Gift Lounge

Sponsors of the lounge included: Mayavii, BMW Toronto, Greg May Hair Architects, Toronto Performance Health Centre, Elizabeth Grant and Mondia Alliance.

TIFF 2010 - BMW Toronto Celebrity Gift Lounge

Mayvaii is an importer of Sea of Spa & Dr. Kadir Laboratories skin care lines. They are bringing the famous Dr. Kadir Matrix Gold Mask which was made popular by Kate Moss. Two 2011 BMW 5-series cars were on hand for viewing. I was all about the pampering this TIFF so I took advantage of the facial with Ilan and really liked the Black Pearl products he used. I also had my makeup done with Jessica Lloyd.

BMW Toronto Celebrity Gift Lounge Gift Bag Favourites (These are products I found interesting. In some cases I’ve tried them and in others I’ve excited to try them):

  • Laser pointer pen and USB key from Black Diamond – My cats think this is the best thing ever. So do I
  • Dr. Kadir Exclusive Organic Car Clay Mask
  • Elizabeth Grant hand and foot cream – I like their mascara, maybe the cream will be nice. It’s got Camphor in it so maybe I’ll only use it at night.
  • Greg May Hair Architects shampoo and conditioner – In the winter months I do have some hair on my head I’m usually using Greg’s products

TIFF 2010 – RealTVfilms Social Media Lounge

TIFF 2010 – RealTVfilms Social Media Lounge

RealTVfilms Social Media Lounge presented by The Cutting Room was another gifting lounge I visited during the Toronto International Film Festival. It also followed the Festival and parked itself in the Abode Public Residence, close to the Bell Lightbox. Chic Little Devil, LA’s largest style house joined the lounge for their first appearance in Canada. They were on hand to dress celebrities for red carpet and parties during the festival. RealTVfilms host, Samantha Gutstadt, was on hand to interview celebs. Justin Rousseau from Brennen Demelo Studio was the lounge’s official hair stylist and Caroline Grenier was the makeup artist.

Sponsors for the RealTVFilms Social Media Lounge included: TChad, Ketel One, Grazie Restaurant, Inspire Cosmetics, L’Oréal Professionnel, Dearfoams footwear, Oshun Spa, vitaminwater, Les Pieces Uniques, The FHE Group, You Rock Guitars, Winks Eyelash Boutique, Feri Designer Lines and Rowenta Beauty.

TIFF 2010 – RealTVfilms Social Media Lounge

The You Rock Guitars were very cool. It’s like Rockband but you play cords and there are strings. I had the chance to schedule an appointment to get my lashes done with the Winks Eyelash Boutique. They had set up shop in the middle of the lounge. I love false lashes but decided against it. They last for a couple of weeks but I looked into the removal and care commitments and decided I was much to lazy. It’s kinda the same reason why I probably would never get a Shellac manicure. I like the kind you can remove at the end of the night with no commitments. Gail McInnes had them done and they looked amazing on her.

TIFF 2010 – RealTVfilms Social Media Lounge

I wasn’t gifted any eyewear from the Les Pieces Uniques but I liked some of their sunglasses offerings, especially the tortoise-shell and cat eye ones. The FHE Group has these tissue bath mats that I love. They are sold at The Bay, Home Outfitters and Homesense.

RealTVfilms Social Media Lounge Gift Bag Favourites (These are products I found interesting. In some cases I’ve tried them and in others I’ve excited to try them):

  • Dearforms Signature slippers – super soft terrycloth spa slippers
  • Grazie recipe book – tempted to try the pasta options

Big boo to the Ed Hardy water bottle in the gift bag, I don’t know what is up with that.

TIFF 2010 – The IT Lounge

TIFF 2010 - The IT Lounge

NKPR Inc. returns for a fifth time to the Toronto International Film Festival with the IT Lounge. It moved south with the festival and was held at the new NKPR head office, just steps away from the Bell Lightbox. Toronto Interior Design Group partnered with NKPR to turn the office space into the IT Lounge. This year the lounge partnered with Paul Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) in order to raise money for Haiti.

The lounge featured laptops from Rogers with mobile internet built-in. They are Internet ready because of the integration but I don’t know if I like the idea of having my machine that committed Rogers. I got a media pass that gave me access to the lounge and these computers during the festival. I could write posts or check email, etc. I was running around too much to take advantage of this.

TIFF 2010 - The IT Lounge

Sponsors of the IT Lounge included: Fila, RW&CO., Andrea Professionals, Ardell Lashes, Stila Cosmetics, Moroccanoil, Esprit, Goody, Sharpie, Dagmar Jewellery, Diane Lai skin care line, Kobo eReader, Baker Street and FIJI Water.

TIFF 2010 - The IT Lounge

It was the biggest gifting lounge I visited. It was a bit of a circus on media day as so many outlets where going through the place. I signed in and recieved a very large and deep bag. I looked at it and was a bit surprised. Is this suppose to be full after this visit? If so, OMFG this is like the swag motherload. I was so glad to see Fraser Abe from Toronto Life come in at the same time. We could experience this strange trip together. It was your typical setup, we talked to brand reps at each station and then we were usual given a large quantity of product.

TIFF 2010 - The IT Lounge

We arrived at the Kobo eReader station and I immediately made a huge mistake when I said I saw the eReader at the competitor’s store in Santa Monica. I was quickly corrected and forgiven. I could tell that Fraser and I were thinking the same thing. “Please, please, please give us an eReader”. The rep mentioned that they were gifting these units to celebrities. My heart sank and I believe I heard Fraser’s heart breaking too. We aren’t celebrities, boo. Then like out of a dream, the rep asked us if we would like a white or black Kobo eReader. Weee! I took a white one with a great gelaskin to decorate it.

At the Stila Cosmetics booth I tried the custom color blush which looks neon pink but works for all skin tones. I already had makeup on from the Tastemakers Lounge earlier in the day so we played with blush only. The Stila One Step Makeup in the gift bag had me excited until I learned it wasn’t in my skin tone. Boo. I wanted to try the Moroccanoil but they were out of gifting items when I talked to the reps so we left empty-handed. One rep even made a point of mentioning the benefits for short hair like mine which I appreciated but it’s a shame I can’t try it for myself.

TIFF 2010 - The IT Lounge

I love false lashes so I didn’t say no when offered at the Ardell Lashes booth. It was only during research for this post did I learn that the lashes are 100% human hair. They were relatively comfortable and not as heavy as other types I’ve tried. If I had hair I would have gone crazy about the insane amount of Goody products I received: brushes, combs, hairbands, elastics. It was ridiculous.

TIFF 2010 - The IT Lounge

The Sharpie booth had an illustrator who drew the guests. I had mine done.

TIFF 2010 - The IT Lounge

The Dagmar Jewellery booth full of ornate and beautiful jewellery. It reminded me of India. It turns out that the collection is designed in Mumbai. The pieces were perfect for the red carpet and making a statement. We left the IT Lounge with massive bags. Thank god the Brill Communications office is just around the corner I was able to stash my bag there for the day and get my nails done.

The IT Lounge Gift Bag Favourites (These are products I found interesting. In some cases I’ve tried them and in others I’ve excited to try them):

  • Kobo E-Reader – Definitely the best thing I got all TIFF.
  • Ardell Fashion Lashes – I have to learn how to put these on by myself
  • Espirit Leather Jacket – I have a nice brown leather bomber to wear
  • Espirt Garment Bag – It had a loop at the bottom and Velcro to help it keep it’s shape when folded.
  • Bakerstreet Apple Pie – I sampled some of their other desserts and they taste like heaven.
  • Sharpie pens and the Sharpie Drawing of me.
  • My Tagalongs Handywoman’s Kit – A beautifully designed sewing kit that takes up very little space. Perfect for your handbag
  • Stila Custom Colour Blush
  • Baker Street – I have that apple pie to eat. I can’t get over how tasty everything is

TIFF 2010 – Aromachology

TIFF 2010 - Aromachology

I have meant to stop by Aromachology but our timing has been off. Aromachology is a personalized perfume shop that allows the customer to create their own special scent. They also have candles that make great gifts.  The idea of creating my own personal scent is very appealing and daunting. I like so many things and trying to put myself in one box is never going to work. I look at my fragrance collection and it’s all over the place, women’s, men’s, floral, oriental or musky.  Aromachology had a pop up store at the Four Seasons during  TIFF and I stopped by to check it out.

TIFF 2010 - Aromachology

Basically there are 5 base scents to choose from: Sophisticated & Sensual Floral, a Totally Edible Gourmand, an Exotic Spicy Oriental, a Clean & Fresh or a Bold & Brisk Woodsy. Then you make a choice between 15 top notes to add to the base: Creative – Juniper Berry and Carnation; Inspiring – Orange and Lemon; Spontaneous – Tuberose and Citrus; Graceful – Jasmine and Egyptian Musk; Courageous – Frankincense and Ginger; Confident – Frankincense, Jasmine, Cedarwood and Boysenberry; Empowering – Juniper Berry and Jasmine; Comforting – Geranium; Sexy – Amber, Jasmine, Rose and Vanilla; Open minded – Orange Blossom and Vanilla; Optimistic – Neroli, Orange Blossom and Lemon; Sensual – Jasmine, Ylang ylang, tuberose, musk; Seductive – Ylang ylang, rose; Uplifting – Basil and Clary Sage; Peaceful – Chamomile and Lavender.

TIFF 2010 - Aromachology

My personal scent was Sophisticated & Sensual as a base with Empowering, creative and sensual as top notes.

In Toronto, you can make an appointment to The Perfume Bar Studio at Avenue and Davenport where you can make your own customized scent.  Otherwise you can order online.

Update (Nov 29, 2010): I’ve discovered you can create a customized scent at Jacob & Sebastian at 622 Queen Street West, Toronto

TIFF 2010 – Diesel Lounge

TIFF 2010 - Diesel Lounge

The coolest lounge I visited was the Diesel Lounge in the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville Hotel.  It wasn’t a super swagged out gifting lounge like many of the others I visited.  Talent was gifted jeans and then had a portrait taken by Raphael Mazzucco.  This was the extent of the swag but the lounge itself was a nice place for people to get away, grab some food and a drink.  The Diesel Lounge had a fully stocked bar and table full of food for guests.  During the evenings they barbecued on the gorgeous balcony that overlooks the Intercontinental’s courtyard restaurant.

TIFF 2010 - Diesel Lounge

The decor was made up of items from Diesel’s home decor/interior line.  Some of these items are available at the flagship shop in Yorkville.

TIFF 2010 - Diesel Lounge

Monday morning, I returned to the Diesel Lounge and was treated to Champagne Brunch while we watched the web broadcast of the Diesel Black Gold Spring-Summer 2011 collection in New York. I finally was able to take advantage of the bar and food. It was a nice way to start the week, especially after going hard at the Ubisoft party the night before. Samples of the Diesel Black Gold Spring 2011 collection on hand for up close and personal inspection.

TIFF 2010 – Fresh Goods at The Tastemakers Lounge

TIFF 2010 - Tastemakers Lounge

The 6th annual Tastemakers Lounge has returned to the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville Hotel for the Toronto International Film Festival. Rock-It Promotions Inc produces this gifting suite and this year’s theme is Fresh Goods. Toronto design firm Marla Brown Events took care of the decor of the suite. Rawlicious, Toronto only raw food restaurant provided lunch boxes to guest and a super tasty Cocoon Macaroon. Sponsors of the Tastemakers Lounge included: MMCrystal, Bamjamz, Damn Heels, Guats Active. Life. Style., Indeed Laboratories Inc., Jessica Jensen, Joe Fresh Beauty, Keep Leaf, Mattel Inc., Wescan Optical and Me + You. It’s good to see the Tastemakers Lounge supporting local talent and majority of the sponsors were Canadian. It was strange to see the new Mattel games, they are so much more advanced now even Pictionary, it’s a man.

TIFF 2010 - Tastemakers Lounge

The Tastemakers Lounge had talent like Edward Norton, Colin Firth, David Schwimmer, Minnie Driver, Peter Fonda, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Josh Hartnett and Geoffrey Rush come through. Many of them signed Mattel games that will be auctioned off and a portion of the proceeds will go to SickKids Foundation. The auction will run from Tuesday, September 21 to Friday, October 1 at vonality.com/mattel.

TIFF 2010 - Tastemakers Lounge

This lounge was my first exposure to TIFF make up and nail stations. Tastemakers had Joe Fresh Beauty running things. It was TIFF and I was on vacation so I said hell yes. This began a four-day binge of makeup indulgence. I had some dramatic teal/green eye makeup with a neutral lip. I’m impressed with the make up, it lasted all night and I got a lot of compliments. I went for Jade nail polish that was applied by of  The Ten Spot owners.

Nails by Joe Fresh #tastemakers

I had green on the brain when I talked to the experts at Wescan Optical who help me choose a set of stylish frames from Fysh. I don’t wear glasses even though I’m slightly nearsighted but the idea of having some frames to switch up my look is implanted in my brain now. This was the perfect opportunity to try it out. Every time I look in the mirror I’m reminded of my mother though, ha ha.

TIFF 2010 - Tastemakers Lounge

Tastemakers Lounge Gift Bag favourites (These are products I found interesting. In some cases I’ve tried them and in others I’ve excited to try them):

  • Joe Fresh Beauty – I love the nail polish and I can’t wait to try the mascara and lip gloss.
  • Fysh Eyewear from Wescan Optical – I can’t wait to get some lens in these babies.
  • bamjamz nightdress – I reviewed bamjamz before and I love their bamboo offerings. They make for a comfortable sleep with its moisture wicking properties.
  • Loopz – It’s the electronic version of Simon says but without button pushing. I feel old just looking at it, but it seems kinda fun
  • My cat Sally Sally loved sitting all cute like in the large Me and You reusable bag

TIFF 2010 – Bask-It-Style Media Day

TIFF 2010 - Bask-It-Style

Media arrived at The Fairmont Royal York’s Prime Minister’s Suite to preview the products that are available in the Bask-It-Style gift bags. They were then distributed to visiting Toronto International Film Festival talent including Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox.  Jsquared2 Public Relations produces Bask-It-Style and has returned for its second year. Media and magazine sponsors for the lounge included FrontRowMag.com and Polysh Magazine. Pink Twig Floral Boutique decorated the Prime Minister’s Suite with beautiful flowers.

TIFF 2010 - Bask-It-Style

Gifting lounges have a standard format, you go around to each booth, talk to a rep and move on. Sometimes you get product at the booth and other times it’s all contained in a bag you leave with. The Prime Minister’s Suite is a nice but seem a bit dated compared to the newer and slicker hotel offerings out there.

TIFF 2010 - Bask-It-Style

Sponsors in the Bask-It-Style gift bag are: Author Adrienne Kress (Scholastic Canada), CARGO, Coty Inc, DK Publishing, emerginC, ESKA Natural Spring Water, Foxy Originals, , Author Lesley Livingston (HarperCollins), Me + You, Mind, Ball and Soul by Farhan Dhalla, Mistura Beauty, Old Dutch Foods, Pure Med Spa, Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland and UNICEF.

TIFF 2010 - Bask-It-Style

Bask-It-Style Gift Bag favourites (These are products I found interesting. In some cases I’ve tried them and in others I’ve excited to try them):

  • emerginC Kombucha Cleanser – 100% all natural cleanser that is 70% organic with Kombucha, a fermented tea with anti-aging and anti-oxidant benefits
  • Mind, Ball and Soul video – I don’t exercise enough and I have a ball at home
  • Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland – two words Champagne Truffles
  • Mistura Beauty 6-in-1 Beauty Solution – I’m always interested to see how well a product for all skin shades works

TIFF 2010 – Aveda Experience Centre

TIFF 2010 - Aveda Experience Centre

Some people have an immediate positive effect on me that usual end up with me having a huge crush. They can be men and women because it’s about the energy they radiate, the knowledge they hold and most importantly their passion. Ray Civello is one of those people. He is the President of Aveda Canada and has salons, spas and stores across the country.

I visited the new Aveda Experience Centre at 155 Cumberland Avenue. It carries the full range of lifestyle products, makeup, hair and skin care. Aveda is a line that is plant derived and natural. They’ve been around for 30 years and employ the top scientists in plant-based cosmetics to come up with their products. Guests are welcome to complimentary hand and scalp massages and makeup touch-ups. I had a hand massage and it was quite relaxing.

TIFF 2010 - Aveda Experience Centre

“We chose Yorkville because it is the epicentre of errand-running and multi-tasking for busy urbanites; our Experience Centre provides a refuge from the hustle and bustle with an opportunity to be nurtured and revitalized.”, says Ray Civello about the choice of location for this new Experience Centre.

The store is beautiful and uses reclaimed wood from a bowling alley in Toronto and a late 19th century (c.1880) barn in Cleveland. Lighting is stunning and features hand-blown pendants from designer Jeremy Pyles of Niche Modern in New York. They are a focal point hanging from the 14 foot ceilings.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Ray for about 45 minutes about Aveda and its history. I nerded out when he talked about the top scientists and the labs where Aveda formulas are created. I gravitate to smart, engaging people. There is nothing sexier than confidence with the smarts and personality to back it up.

TIFF 2010 - Aveda Experience Centre

Aveda created the TIFF Survival Kit which contains Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate, Hand Relief and Lip Saver, Peppymint for battling long TIFF days and nights. It retails for $39 and it’s a $52 value.

Aveda Experience Gift Bag favourites (These are products I found interesting. In some cases I’ve tried them and in others I’ve excited to try them):

  • Peppymint breath refresher – Place a few drops of this peppermint and anise mixture on your tongue for fresh breath.
  • Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate – Perfect for Blackberry thumb.
  • Hand Relief Moisturizer – This was used during my hand massage. It’s super hydrating and easily absorbed into the skin.

The Coat, Philip and I


I was send a video that brought back memories of taking this photo with Philip Sparks at the Holt Renfrew TIFF party. It was Philip’s idea to get for me to wear the racoon fur buffalo coat from the Fall 2009 collection. We come into play at 0:38 in the video. It’s originally from Radio Canada

We had a total blast taking the photo and I’m glad the moment is recorded somewhere. Loves It!

Anita <3s Philip.

Holt Renfrew Launches Vignettes


Holt Renfrew Launches Vignettes was their TIFF party this year.

The launch party for Vignettes will take place on Saturday, September 12 from 9 PM – 1 AM at Toronto’s Burroughes Building with a performance by The Stills and a special introduction by Coco Rocha. Holt Renfrew is also very proud to announce that the host of MTV USA’s IT’S ON Alexa Chung will be the special guest DJ for the evening.

What the hell are Vignettes? Well Holt Renfrew created some short films for their men’s and women’s collections this season.

The night was also the debut of my custom made leather dress from Mi Concept. It was a hit. I paired it with Luxury Rebel booties, YSL clutch and a Fizz Amethyst Ring borrowed from the Swarovski lounge at The Four Seasons Hotel.


It was a fun evening and I got to reconnect with a lot of fashion friends I missed while away. I didn’t take a lot of photos. I didn’t talk to Coco but I stared at her a lot. She’s flawless. I also managed to snap this photo on my blackberry of Coco talking to Philip. That’s about as close as I got to her. She was wearing Greta Constantine, a sneak preview of Spring 2010 from what I’m told.


There are some photos on the Fashion Magazine website and I’m included too.

Now, isn’t this the cutest picture of Philips Sparks and I.


images: courtesy of Holt Renfrew, Paul Baik, me

So this is where those media wall photos go

I was wondering where the media wall photos end up after my gifting lounge experience. Check out the link to see wearing me Jeremy Laing. Sorry but you have to register with the site to see the photos in large size.

Photos from Ultra Supper Club NightClub Toronto Smashbox Cosmetics Film Fest Swag Lounge at Ultra Sep 6, 2008

Smashbox Cosmetics Film Fest Swag Lounge at Ultra – Saturday Sep 6, 2008
Ultra Supper Club 314 Queen Street West , Toronto , Ontario
Smashbox Cosmetics held a special Film Festival Swag Lounge Saturday night at Ultra Supper Club. The girls of Canadian media came out in droves to get some swag, including the hosts and staff of Entertainment Tonight Canada, MTV and eTalk.

Edit: The TChad Party photos are here.

Tastemakers Lounge at TIFF

I got a media invite to see the Tastemakers Lounge at the Toronto International Film Festival.








Toronto, ON — Back for its fourth year, the Tastemakers Lounge will once again take up residence at the InterContinental Toronto Yorkville Hotel during the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Housed in the Portman Room on the second floor of the hotel (220 Bloor Street West), the theme of this season’s lounge is Ohhh Canada! – an homage to all the accomplishments achieved thus far by Canadians in film.

Twenty companies have been selected for the opportunity to introduce talent and other ‘tastemakers’ to their products. As in previous years, the mandate is to feature a unique group of products and services, including Canadian companies and brands that visiting talent may not be familiar with.

“The Tastemakers Lounge will highlight the latest trends in innovative interior design. We have selected exciting and creative work that will be inspirational to the sophisticated celebrity set,” said Jason MacIsaac, owner and founder of Ministry of the Interior.

The lounge design will feature one-of-a-kind elements such as custom-made Mountie stools by Samare; a Wrongwoods credenza and seating by Klauser & Carpenter from Established & Sons; two solid walnut Mushroom tables from Autoban; a sculptural stereo system from Geneva; an “I Was Here” bench by Jason Miller made from graffiti-proof recycled, plastic wood; a temporary wall showcasing Timorous Beasties’ damask wallpaper and flooring by the Shaw Contract Group.

Highlights include renowned hair stylist Jami Symons in the lounge for AG Hair Cosmetics to provide red carpet looks all week by appointment, while Strellson and Joe Fresh will outfit men and women head to toe with fashion-forward apparel and accessories. Guests will tote their swag home in a PUMA original bag.

Participants in the lounge include (asterisk denotes Canadian company):
** AG Hair Cosmetics (www.aghaircosmetics.com)
Burt’s Bees
** Carry Clean
** Cromwell & Cruthers (www.cromwell-cruthers.ca)
Eska Water (www.thesourcematters.com)
**Hbc (www.Hbc.com)
Ike & Sam’s (www.ikeandsams.com)
**Joe Fresh Style (www.joe.ca)
J.R. Watkins Apothecary (www.jrwatkins.com)
** JUZD (www.juzd.com)
** KISS MY FACE (www.kissmyface.com)
LypSyl (www.lypsylhome.com)
PUMA (www.puma.com)
** RAINCRY (www.raincry.com)
** Ruby Gloom (Nelvana Enterprises)(www.rubygloomtv.com)
SABON www.sabon.ca)
** Salt Spring Coffee (www.saltspringcoffee.com)
Strellson (www.strellson.com)
Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland (www.teuschertoronto.com)
Trollbeads (www.trollbeads.ca)

Official Lounge Sponsor:
** Ministry of the Interior (www.ministryoftheinterior.net)

Furnishing Sponsors:
Autoban built by De La Espada (www.autoban-delaespada.com)
Established & Sons (www.establishedandsons.com)
Geneva Lab (www.genevalab.com)
Jason Miller (www.millerstudio.us)
** Samare (www.samare.ca)
Shaw Contract Group (www.shawcontractgroup.com)
Timorous Beasties (www.timorousbeasties.com)

About Tastemakers: Tastemakers launched in 2005 as the first full-service, Canadian-owned and operated product placement company specializing in gifting lounges and ‘swag bags.’ The first Tastemakers Lounge premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Since then, Tastemakers has had a major presence at the Genie and Gemini Awards plus broadcast network, sports and corporate fundraising events. Tastemakers has garnered press in publications such as US Magazine, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star and many more.