Living in Toronto is a special kind of thing. We’re Canada’s largest city, Drake lives next door to me, all you can eat sushi is a thing and we have cool events that go down – the Toronto International Film Festival is one of them.
Since I mostly work in the digital realm, and my beat is the Internet, it’s hard to see how I fit into the big picture. I’m sure PR companies wonder, “Is she tech? Is she pop culture? I don’t get it, so let’s just nix her off the list. Easy.”
Truth is, I’m a little of everything because the Internet houses a little of everything, it’s just how it takes shape, that’s the thing! So when it comes to TIFF, I look at it as a chance to network and promote N&M to future media partners. However, giving us the opportunity is met with a lot of scepticism for the aforementioned reasons (“Are they tech? I don’t get it…”).
At the same time, there’s one PR company that’s been so amazing, Chrissy Newton at Vocab Communications. She’s connected me with Jessica Glover at Glo Communications who felt comfortable in inviting me to her TIFF gifting suite to preview some of the swag that they’re going to deliver directly to celebrities during TIFF. So without hesitation, I hopped in my Chevy Trax and headed over – gifting suites are a great chance to learn about new products that I can use on and off camera. Full stop.
In the penthouse suite of the Pinnacle Condo development at the bottom of Bay was a plethora of vendors each one looking to share their wares. I was the most interested in the beauty and fashion brands because it takes 2 hours flat for me to get myself camera ready and anything that can give me the edge.
What caught my eye was:
Kiss – I use the imPress stick on nails when my nails look naff and I don’t have time to give myself a proper manicure. The only downside is that they look kind of chunky, they start to fall off after a couple of days and the ones they give to take home seem to always be very… creative.
Mary Kay Cosmetics – Listen, I never really considered Mary Kay. Ever. But, there’s a few of their products I’m starting to love. The limited edition glossy lip stains, and the cooling feeling of the smoke & shimmer eye wands. The mulberry forest lip stain leaves a great plummy colour when the gloss fades away and the eye wands are so fast for applying precise eye shadow.
Killigrew – softest shirts I ever did touch.
Conair – they have a novelty tool that sucks up hair and curls it. It automatically does a lot of things like determine when to let hair go. It’s gimmicky and kind of weird, but I want to play with it and see what happens.
All But Gluten – The brownies blew my mind. I’m buying a bag asap. Fancy dress nights = no time for bloat = gluten free day.
When all was said and done, I got home assessed the goodies in the bag and just really felt privileged to have had a chance to participate in the lounge. I’m legit going to use a lot of the products, it was a really worthwhile lounge. And I wish all the successes to all the vendors. I’m really looking forward to adopting a few products into my TIFF preparations!
If you’re curious, the full list of suite sponsors included:
All But Gluten™: All But Gluten™ cookbook and All But Gluten™ coconut macaroons;
Brown’s Shoes: gift bags sponsor;
Chique and Unique Home Staging;
Conair®: lightweight full size dryer;
Designs by the Yard: design sponsor;
Diversion Books: Outcast by Adrienne Kress;
DK Publishing: Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Toronto, new edition;
F*CK Cancer: charitable partner/t-shirts;
Green & Black’s Organic: 70 per cent dark chocolate bars;
Girth Music: custom music playlists;
HarperCollins: After Her by Joyce Maynard;
Hope4Help: charitable partner;
Kellogg Canada Inc: Special K popcorn Chips;
Killigrew: Peruvian pima cotton t-shirts;
Kiss and Broadway Nails – imPRESS Press-On manicure and nail dress;
Louianna Inc.: Organic extra virgin olive oil;
Mary Kay: limited edition Fairytales and Fantasy collection that includes Smoke and Shimmer eye wand, Glossy lip stain, Kohl eyeliner and Nail Lacquer; a collection of fragrances that includes True Original™ cologne spray, Thinking of You™ eau de Parfum and TimeWise Repair® Eye Renewal Cream; as well TimeWise Repair® set which will be gifted only in hotel rooms;
Nutrisoya: enriched almond beverage, with such flavors like chocolate, vanilla, original and unsweetened;
O.N.E. Coconut Water, the water sponsor;
Penguin Random House Canada: Kitchen Cures by Peggy Kotsopoulos and Cataract City by Craig Davidson;
Pinnacle International: venue sponsor;
Product Magazine: media partner;
Sarah Mulder Jewelry – custom jewelry;
Sharp Magazine: Sharp, The Book for Men;
S/Style & Fashion: media partner;
Sully Wong: celebrity bag sponsor;
UNLIMITED Personal Services: transportation sponsor;
Wolf Blass: 2012 limited edition Yellow label