Toronto media know not to party too hard on Labour Day weekend. Like a cold glass of water in the face, nothing snaps us out of summer mode than the craziness that is the Toronto International Film Festival. For members of the media, TIFF means double the workload, tighter deadlines and turnaround times, a jam-packed social calendar and ample networking opportunities. Oh, and pretty much zero sleep. With everything virtually planned down to the hour, there is no room for things to go wrong. The bottom line is that you need to be ready. After all, things can change on a whim – as in you may score a last minute celebrity interview or invite to a hot ticket party.
Of course, this means that all clothing must be freshly dry cleaned and chosen ahead of time, booze consumption is kept minimal and friends must be forgiving of your unreplied messages. We do, however, get a little more help. Admittedly, one of the highlights of being media is the perks – and TIFF time is no exception. EGPR’s annual Essentials Lounge offered a little help to get us through the festival. Unlike most TIFF lounges and gifting suites, the Essentials Lounge is strictly dedicated to the media, and we were among the lucky (and grateful) ones to hit the penthouse of the Templar Hotel for a little star treatment for ourselves. We left armed with everything we needed to both survive and recover from TIFF.
We entered the suite feeling like a frazzled grub, but left ready to hit the red carpet and to take on the evening. The beautifying treatment included eyelash extensions from Winks Eyelash Boutique (it was our first time, but may just be our new obsession), makeup application from the very fun and bubblegum Hard Candy Cosmetics, stress-relieving hand massages and hair styling (as we typed away on our laptop) by the beloved Aveda and pedicures by MICRO Pedi.
The experiential lounge experience also included a skin consultation and product sample with Elizabeth Grant Skin Care and a bra fitting from Calvin Klein Underwear, after which we got to take home the perfect T-shirt bra for when the evening dresses come off. A glacéau vitaminwater® & glacéau smartwater®, bar kept us hydrated and we could even opt for a supply the favourite water to be delivered to our home for the duration of the festival.
The media appropriately left with two jam-packed gift bags- one for survival and one for recovery. Here are some of our favourite products:
Survival Swag: Our Favourites
The HP Slate7 HP, with its 7- inch diagonal screen and weight of 13 ounces, makes a trusted personal companion while on the go this TIFF.
AVEDA products like the Stress Reliever and the Control Force hairspray to keep us calm and in control.
SOREL’s ultra cozy slippers to rest those feet from those sky-high heels.
Elastoplast®’s SOS Blister plaster to make us feel better about purchasing those ridiculous shoes.
Better Moisturizing Beeswax Lip balm to keep our lips moist during all that chatter.
Depuffing, cooling and soothing skin care products from Elizabeth Grant. The Collagen ReInforce Rejuvenating Gel Eye Pads are especially useful to combat those late TIFF nights.
The MICRO Pedi to keep our feet celeb worthy as it works to buff away the dead, hard and jagged skin on the heels.
Soap & Glory’s 3-in-1 Off Your Face™ Cleansing Wipes to cleanse and tone the skin, and remove the makeup, dirt, oils and dead skin build up that accumulates during an 18-hour workday.
TUMS Freshers’ offer two TIFF essentials: fast heartburn relief and fresh breath.
Hard Candy Cosmetics to ensure we look like we belong there.
A lash wand and grooming kit from Winks to keep our new lashes looking full and fluttery.
Ethical Bean Coffee. Essential.
The Nike+ FuelBand to hold us accountable to burning off those extra TIFF calories consumed as it tracks our daily activity.
Aveda’s Invati Scalp Revitalizer, Invati Exfoliating Shampoo and Invati Thickening Conditioner. Because our hair needs a little post-TIFF spa treatment too.
A $50 gift card to Creeds to take care of all the red carpet dress dry cleaning needs.
Two week unlimited passes to Moksha Yoga Downtown and Moksha Yoga Danforth to detox and re-set the chi.
Because we will inevitably be partied out by the end of TIFF, teALCHEMY’s gift set offers a great way to enjoy the stillness.
To replace the hair we ripped out during the fest, Viviscal daily supplement helps reduce hair loss and supports existing hair growth. It actually works as well.
Order It code for $20 credit for next Sunday evening on the couch.
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have places to be.
All Images: Arthur Molla