Toronto’s style set tell us their favourite beauty products for TIFF

The Toronto International Film Festival is all about the films but it’s also about the red carpet events and the parties. With all that means we often get caught up in the all the flashing lights. Hey, you never know who is taking your photo or who you might meet, right?

I tapped into a few of my network of the oh-so-stylish friends to find out what their favourite beauty items are for this crazy fun TIFF season.

Nathalie Martin, fashion and beauty blogger for and tells me she has two must-haves! NARS new Powermatte Lip Pigment because “it’s weightless and doesn’t dry your lips out.” Her trick is to start off with a bit of lip balm to hydrate the lips, then line them with a good lipliner and finally top it off with a liquid lipstick. “The staying power will last through cocktails even when wearing a colour like red and your lips won’t feel dry.” Nathalie’s other go-to is Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation. “It’s a buildable medium to high coverage foundation that evens out imperfections in a thin veil. I’d describe it as weightless just like the NARS liquid lipstick. It has a matte finish that looks natural on the skin and leaves my complexion looking radiant.”

Stephanie Fusco, of lifestyle and beauty blog Leopard is a Neutral tells me that her absolute must-have is Maybelline’s Super Stay Matte Ink lipstick for those long days. She tells me that it lasts a full 16 hours and the bonus is you really don’t have to carry it around. It also stays put through “eating, drinking, smooching and whatever.” And what’s her preferred shade? Heroine! A delicious movie-star red.

Iva Grbesic, Style Expert seen on  CityLine and has her own blog Falling In Style tells us her must have is Caryl Baker Visage Radiant Glow Drops for dewy pretty skin. This beautiful product offers the skin a more natural glow in a lightweight formula. In case you’re not familiar with Caryl Baker Visage, they’ve been beauty experts in Canada for over 40 years!

My super fun-loving friend Natalie Deane, journalist for the Toronto Sun tells us that she really loves EOS Lipgloss. “It makes my lips kissable in case I run into my fave TIFF hotties!” Yep, George, Colin, and Idris pucker up! Natalie also likes to keep a mini perfume for freshening up any time of day or night. YSL Mon Paris is her fragrance.

Freelance writer and on-air personality  Natalie Preddie of The Adventures of Natty P & Co is also a big fan of lipstick and proof that when you have one that you love, you really don’t need much more. Her go to is by Beauty Counter Sheer Lipstick in Twig. “I literally ordered more.” This progressive line of beauty products is devoted to safer ingredients in their products backed with extensive research. You can bet that I’ve noted this one now for more information.

Some of the products that are in my personal beauty regime? Given the sheer number of events, screenings, parties and interviews I’m working on I need beauty products that last and don’t stress me out. I rarely have time to even take a break so here’s what I rely on to keep up with me.

First off, for TIFF I always have eye lash extensions put in place. Winks Eyelash Boutique  does a great job with consulting what my needs are. I don’t want to look overly done up but enough to make me look awake. A set of natural lashes will keep me going well past the two weeks of TIFF. The bonus is I won’t have to use mascara (I’m a baller in films — by that, I mean crier).

Nothing worse than dry lips under those beautiful lip colours! So I’ve been applying LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask and overnight treatment to help soften and nourish lips. It’s an easy way to take care of replenish and hydrate. Also good as we head into cooler months here. No one wants cracked lips for all the dry air.

For a hint of sun kissed glowy skin (because we really didn’t have much summer) I did some pre-TIFF prepping with Cocoa Brown. I’m obsessed with this natural tanning product because it’s vegetable-DHA based and takes only one hour to achieve the look I want. The line was developed by Marisa Carter a celebrity make up artist famous for her contouring tanning technique on the likes of the Kardashians.

On a daily basis I’ve been using Nivea’s Q10 Plus Firming Body Oil that’s an all-in-one nourishing treatment and it helps reduce the look of stretch marks and skin marks. It’s not greasy but this multipurpose oil can be used all over to give your skin to give you a more even skin tone.

This may seem insignificant BUT I’ve been wearing heels for six days straight and aside from 20 minutes of leg stretches everyday, I swear by using Band-Aid’s Friction Block Stick. It provides a invisibly barrier between your skin and your shoes. Applied to where you may think a blister could appear before it happens and it keeps your skin protected.

In my handbag you’ll also find a very handy mini manicure kit for those emergencies! Tweezerman’s Mini Nail Rescue Kit is the perfect for quick emergency nail fixes and will fit even in my smallest party clutch.

YANA Daily Collagen Shots popped up on my radar last year during TIFF when the celebrities at one of the gifting lounges were introduced to this liquid supplement. It was yet to be available to the public at that time. Now it’s here! I’ve been taking it for a month now to boost my skin’s collagen production. Their research has shown that diets in North America don’t include much natural intake of collagen rich foods but in China, for example, regular diets have been known to include it for centuries. YANA is a supplement that can be taken daily.

Since my hair has been styled a several times for the party circuit I heavily rely on nourishing my hair after all the blow-drying and curling that can leave hair brittle and damaged. I’ve always treated me hair after a busy season with a moisture rich hair treatment. L’Oreal Ever Creme Renourishing Butter is new on the market. It not only restores moisture back to my long hair, it’s also sulfate free.




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

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