Most Coveted Gifts at TIFF

We’re recuperating from the Toronto International Film Festival. As always, it’s a few weeks of caffeine injected days and cocktail swirling nights and taking in the nightlife with all the film lovers is something worth experiencing.

We’ve all heard about the gifts that are handed out at festivals like this. Gifting lounges are nothing new and how they work varies. Brands offer goodies to celebrities, producers, directors, media and the city’s movers and shakers in hopes that a) the items selected are useful and b) there’s hope that they love it so much it’s worth a mention or photo somewhere down the line. Remember when the Duchess of Cambridge (then Kate Middleton) was photographed wearing Toronto-based Smythe? Local and international sales when through the roof and really put the clothing company on the global fashion map.

During TIFF we hustled with our Vitamin Water in hand to a few hotspots and took note of some of the most coveted gifts offered…

Over at EGPR’s Essentials Lounge we took a sneak peek at a new line of outerwear coming from Italy. COLMAR is an iconic brand that is well-known in Europe for fitting the Italian National Ski Team with the latest high-tech wear in the industry for men and women. Graphene is a carbon-based material that is 100 times more conductive to insure warmth is dispense and preserved. Another tech advancement in textiles include a reflective material that includes tiny particles of glass infused in the fabric for better visibility in the evenings. While warmth and performance wear are key selling features, the styles are also suitable for city dwellers. European touch of style of super light weight and water repellent finishes makes our other winter coats look so blah. The line of outerwear was hands-down the most coveted TIFF wants. You’ll start seeing Colmar in stores beginning this fall at higher-end sportswear shops like Sporting Life, Harry Rosen and others. We snapped this pic of the reflective jacket at the gifting lounge. In daylight it’s a beautiful taupe but once light shines on it this is what you’d see. Amazing! You definitely want to check them out online.


Cosmetic company SMASHBOX was on hand to offer make up touch-ups and had everyone party ready. The company is known for creating go-to beauty products for runways, magazine, and television shoots with celebrities and models alike. Make up artists love this line and we have always loved the Photo Finish Foundation Primer (but now we’ve also spotted the Pore Minimizer). SMASHBOX also gave us a sneak peek at what’s coming out for the Holiday gift season. Check out the limited edition neon box sets — a collaboration with California artist Meryl Pataky!


KMS and a team of stylists saved us since it was so humid out with stand out red carpet ready hair styles that held the looks right into the night. Thank goodness!

Saucony launched a new line of “hybrid” lifestyle wear and shoes aptly named “Life on the Run” that is designed to take you stylishly from gym to running errands of everyday needs…or in my case, running from screenings to interviews to coffee and back. Shoes include comfortable memory foam that takes the shape of your feet. Ever walked on a marshmallow?

Essentials Lounge 2016

Always searching for a good read, especially when we were waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the celebrities to arrive at events we started getting into IN A DARK, DARK WOOD by Ruth Ware (Simon & Schuster Canada) is a suspenseful and twisted psychological thriller about a reclusive writer, Leonora who was invited to a party in a glass house in the deep English countryside. Reluctantly she goes to what should have been a fun weekend getaway. 48 hours after arriving at the house Leonora finds herself in a hospital bed. I can’t tell you anymore as I’m just getting into what happened…or what she had done.

EGPR Essentials Lounge 2016

I’ve always appreciated proper skin care particularly this time of year when the scheduled is jammed. The nights are late and the mornings come too soon. Serums like Skinceuticals‘ C E Ferulic are potent treatments and this Vitamin C serum helps neutralize the skin along with it’s antioxidant protective benefits. We have to mention that we were relieved to have been also introduced to the line’s Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 — humidity was crazy and we can’t deal with that shiny face look in the photos. This really helped!

Vitamin rich masks are all the rage and we love them! It’s no secret that the asians have cornered this market with advancements in sheet masks. The western brands are quickly catching up. FOR BELOVED ONE is made in Taiwan and is considered a miracle product by beauty editors and fans alike. The brand’s Bio-Cellulose facial mask is a constant best-seller and we will definitely try out and post later about once we catch our breathes. Stay tuned!

At the end of the day we were grateful for the trio of essential oils from THURSDAY PLANTATION. We were already fans of this line that can do SO much. We’ve used Tea Tree Oil on blemishes, the Eucalyptus Oil helps with colds but the Lavender Oil is what we loved after a long day to help calm us down. Did I mention I ran into Mark Wahlberg at Wahlburgers during TIFF? Yeah, go see my Instagram @theculturepearl




Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

Be first to comment