beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart TIFF Suite - Red Carpet Ready

For the last few years, OverCat Communications - one of the best PR and event planning agencies in the city - is kind enough to invite me to their exhilarating get-glam TIFF suite, where a whole squad of beauty experts puts me together in time for the red carpet and celeb-packed galas.

I've come to look forward to the beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart TIFF Suite event as much as seeing Idris Elba just a few feet away.

My awesome squad this year? Only the very best:

-  St. Tropez Tan custom skin finishing treatments by celebrity tanning expert Sophie Evans

- Makeup application by Isabel Moore, Stila Cosmetics and beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart

- Eyelash applications by DUO

- PHYTO hairstyling services by  celebrity hair and makeup artist Anna Barseghian

Most of these lovely ladies were also part of my dream team last year.

Held on the 18th floor of the Intercontinental Hotel in partnership with with Entertainment One's TIFF Lounge, the suites were abuzz with celebrities, media and influencers getting ready. Audrey Hyams Romoff, president and owner of OverCat, understands that we're on the go non-stop for ten days and not having to fuss over makeup, hair and nails ourselves isn't just a huge help and timesaver, but a much-need, much-appreciated pampering during one of the most frenzied times of year.

- Solid Gold

Sophie Evans isn't just a tanner to the stars (Sophie Turner, Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Victoria Beckham, Bella HadidKate Moss, to name just a few) for red carpets - Oscars, Emmys, you name it. She's been seeing my naked bod for years now and never snickers or points out my flaws. She only exudes warmth and love, and well, when you're stripped down to a single pair of thin, barely-there paper panties, it's everything. She's also kind enough to add contouring, giving me a lovely six-pack and adding definition where there is only jelly. In other words, she's kindness  from head to toe, without a single judgmental bone in her body. She also happens to be damn funny, smart, and beautiful, to boot, and the best tanner in the biz. 

This was the first lie-down sesh I’d done with her (Usually it’s done in a tent with a spray gun). As you can imagine, I love talking with Sophie. She travels a ton and always has interesting tales to tell. We talk about food, film, fashion, politics - the whole gamut. So we’re talking away, catching up, when all of a sudden I feel sandpaper rip up and down my leg. Holy #%@! Sophie zips an exfoliator up and down my gams while describing the latest doc that’s captured her attention. It’s all very quick, just a few seconds long, and then on goes the sumptuous tanner.

She’s decided to go pretty dark this time around since I don’t have much of a tan going. She deep dives, getting right in between my toes (thankfully she thinks my feet are very soft), under my arms, all around my Kardarshian-sized backside, and ahem, 'round the front. It's a dirty job, but boy does she do it well. The deep colour is brown, never orange, and nary a streak anywhere. It's also not going to disappear overnight, so I've got about five days to rock this bronzed bod. I'll be up to here in sequin dresses and strappy heels covering TIFF events for the next week, so you best believe I'll be showing this golden glow off.

I look like I just got back from a long vacay in Barbados. Gorgeous.

As always, Sophie's made me look and feel like a million bucks. She is simply the best, inside and out.

Shopping list: St. Tropez at-home treatments are just as stellar - you just won't get great movie recommendations along with them (thank you Sophie!). Gamechangers include: Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask, Self Tan Express Mousse and Mist (1 hour/light, 2 hours/medium and 3 hours/dark tan that lasts for days), and One Night Only Body Gloss. And of course, don't forget  the all important Applicator Mitt

- All That Glitters is Gold

As you know Stila is one of my favourite cosmetic lines of all-time (see below for my recommendations), so getting a pro to apply the glowy products properly is very exciting for me, as I'm so bad at it. I wouldn't ever go near anything glitter on my own. Quel d├ęsastre.

Isabel begins with my beloved Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm. When I remark on how much I love it and have relied on it for years, she recommends I try it in a different shade. Mind blown. Of course, how could I not see it? This is just one of the many reasons makeup artists are so vital. In addition to learning where to set blush on my cheeks (I have a weird Scandinavian mug that unless a professional wields the brush,I seem to appear in 2D), she set me straight on a bazillion things I was doing wrong. She is one of the many MUAs who works in-store at beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart, so go get yourself a makeover. The tutorial alone with change everything, not to mention you look so good, date night just got moved up to mid-week.

She covers me in Kitten everything because it delivers a delicious, warm and inviting lustre instead of disorienting, bewildering unicorn/disco ball glare: Heaven's Hue Highlighter applied with Wonder Brush, and new product Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Kitten Karma, which is the best glitter shadow I’ve ever tried.

Lips get Stay all Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiore, which later people deem "my" colour.

I pass on getting DUO lashes. Because I wear glasses, I always feel like it's a lot of effort for something that won't get noticed. But she convinces me otherwise. Isabel wears specs  too (so similar to mine, with her blonde hair and light eyes, we could be mistaken for sisters). She applies them with ease and covers them in HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara to really amp things up. She was right. I never wear them IRL, but wow - I could get used to this. They look completely natural but with added emphasis. Think: padded bra for the eyes. Oomph.

I haven't been able to see much without my glasses, so I put them on for the final reveal. It's astonishing the difference a professional makes. I am not just camera ready, and not just HD either, but 4K close-up primed and prepped. I close my eyes and say a small prayer: If I'm ever going to run into an ex, please let it be today.

I realize I forgot to put on perfume before I left the house. I wear perfume every day so I feel naked without it. She takes me over to a display of Gucci Bloom Eau de Parfum, spins me around, and spritzes away. Heavenly doesn't begin to cover it (Stay tuned for a closer look soon).

We take cute selfies in an adjacent room, then I head over to hair and nails. I may be leaving soon, but the tips she gave me are for LIFE. Thank you Isabel, for upping my game.

Shopping list: Check out my Stila must-haves including Beauty Balm, All Day, Summer, Roundup, and Glitter Underground.

- Tressed for Success

Anna  styled my hair last year and made me feel like a ROCKSTAR, so of course I couldn’t wait to put myself in her hands. Added bonus: she’s great to talk to as she’s also a MUA and food-obsessed.

She decides to go in softer direction this year - sweeping, tousled layers that fall gently around my face. Sigh. I look like royalty with a teeny bit of edge. Love. It. And she did it in just minutes.

Shopping List: PHYTO Plumping Serum which revives your hair like no other, and PHYTO Cleansing Care Cream - the ultimate rehab for the driest of dry hair.

- Nailed It

Melissa is a very in-demand nail artist in the city. She works at a salon in the east end, and is called on to do big runway shows and magazine shoots. Anyone who’s anyone sees her. She also happens to be a hoot. Spending time with Melissa is like catching up with an old friend you haven't seen for awhile - it's non-stop talking, laughing and commiserating. 

Roughly 80 per cent of the crowd's choosing pastels, but I am looking for something more dramatic. Plus, I've been knee-deep in pale, confectionary hues these past few months. I could do with a change.

She chooses a dark red and it’s the best manicure I’ve ever had. She also manages to do it in less than 20 minutes. And here’s the thing - my nails were in the worst shape of my life. For the last few months, they’d cracked, peeled and basically fallen apart despite various lotions, oils, serums, and intensive repair systems. And yet, in Melissa's hand, they were the picture of perfection. To say that she works miracles is an understatement.

Shopping List: QUO by Orly Breathable Nail Polish.


You don't have to be working TIFF to get your own red carpet look at home. Shop these beauty products in-store and online at beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart now.


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