By: Amy Ng
The arrival of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) kicks off a marathon of premieres, parties and press conferences for the 350+ films screening at this year’s festival. Along with the glitz and the glamour come long hours, aching feet and a general lack of sleep that can make it hard to keep up with all of the action.
Luckily it’s Esther Garnick to the rescue with her fourth annual EGPR Essentials Lounge aimed at arming media with all of the ‘essential’ items to both survive and recover from TIFF.
Held at the trendy Templar Hotel this past Wednesday, the Essentials Lounge welcomed guests into a unique loft environment with different rooms dedicated to prepping and pampering.
My first stop was the kitchen where I fueled up on vitaminwater and bumped into the brains and beauty behind EGPR, Esther Garnick.
Afterwards I made my way into the cozy Aveda lounge where stylists were offering complimentary scalp massages and showing off their signature collection of botanical based products.
To battle the stress of long lines at theatres and ticket counters, Aveda’s Stress-fix Concentrate ($25.50) soothes the senses with a calming blend of French lavendar and clary sage, while their Control Force Firm Hold Hairspray ($34.00) keeps manes tamed and camera-ready.
MICRO Pedi and Sorel teamed up in the same room for the ultimate foot pampering experience for tired media.
The MICRO Pedi ($69.95 retail) pedicure tool is a unique, battery-powered micro mineral roller spins 30 times per second sloughing off dead skin gently and effectively. It’s a waterless system works best on dry skin making which is great for travel.
Sorel may be known for their winter footwear, but their new fall collection is sure to turn some heads with their fun colour-blocked boots and cozy indoor slippers (from $70) that look smart enough to wear outside for a quick Starbucks run before screenings.
Fit consultants were on hand to help guests find their perfect bra with Calvin Klein’s latest Icon Collection. With modern contouring and shaping, the Icon collection comes in three classic colours and three styles (t-shirt, push-up, and plunge) to help ensure every outfit at TIFF is red carpet ready.
The upstairs portion of the Essentials Lounge was all about makeup and skincare.
Known for their intense colour and signature smoky eye, Hard Candy makeup artists were happy to provide demos and tips on stunning looks for TIFF.
Winks Eyelash Boutique similarly knew how to bring the drama with their premium collection of single lash extensions offering volume, length and curl. Synthetic lashes are applied individually with a medical grade adhesive and the flirty, fluttery results last for about two months.
At the very top of the lounge, I discovered the spa-like oasis housing the luxurious Canadian skin care line, Elizabeth Grant. Equipped with a whole arsenal of skin care products to take you from morning to night, each product is infused with the company’s exclusive Torricelumn compound – a highly effective combination of ocean minerals, proteins, nutrients and natural active ingredients designed to both nourish and restore your skin.
My last stop at the Essentials Lounge was in the Templar Hotel lobby where I had a chance to learn about the HP Slate tablet while sampling some of the hotel’s to-die-for cookies.
Thanks to EGPR for getting us ready for TIFF with their clever survival + recovery kit!
Ready to win your VERY OWN Essentials Lounge survival + recovery kit swag bags? I’m hooking up ONE lucky reader with approximately $1000 in swag, with a few of the items mentioned above PLUS fantastic products from Be. Better, Centrum, Dial, Elastoplast, Ethical Bean Coffee, Sensodyne, Soap & Glory, Creeds, Moksha Yoga, Orderit.ca, Viviscal, teALCHEMY and TUMS.
THE BIG ITEMS?
WIN the Nike FuelBand ($149.99 retail) + HP Slate Tablet ($169.99 retail) too!
The Nike+ FuelBand uses a sports-tested accelerometer to measure your movement in NikeFuel, a universal metric of activity. It tracks your daily activity, each step taken and calorie burned. You can also sync with the Nike+ FuelBand app and see your activity history, stay motivated, and connect with your friends.
Contest opens to Canadian addresses only. I’ll be choosing a winner on the *last* day of TIFF at 11:59 PM on September 15th, 2013. Prize must be accepted as awarded. Winner has 72 hours after contact email to claim prize or another winner will be chosen. Follow the instructions below to enter and good luck!