TIFF 2014: Favourite Moments

Another TIFF came and went, and while I was only here to catch the first few days of the festival, this year’s celeb sightings were pretty memorable to say the least. Below are my top 5 TIFF experiences this year. Grab some snacks, it’s going to be a long one.

Variety Studio Presented By Moroccanoil At Holt Renfrew - Day 4 - 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

1. Variety Studio Presented By Moroccanoil At Holt Renfrew

Last year, Variety Studio was definitely a highlight, but this year…oh, this year was juicy! After enjoying my amazing Moroccanoil hand/arm massage just like the one celebs were getting (hey, Jemy!), I settled down on the couch to people celeb-watch, and let me tell you, being a fly on the wall at one of these things can be very insightful. While there was no Fassbender action this year, I did find myself in the eye of the Cumberbatch-Redmayne-Worthington-Goode-Knightley-Jones-Leech tornado…the Brits taking over the room in a loud, accented storm of hugs, compliments, and camaraderie. You could just tell that all those actors are truly fond of each other, and are definitely not “over it” all just yet.

For all the Cumberbatch fans out there, your beloved did seem to be genuinely nice and funny. Upon arrival, he checked out the Moroccanoil station, trying a bit of cream on his hands, before joining the rest of his group for a lively chat. Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch were hugging right above me as I shrinked back into the leather couch, trying not to trip anyone with my feet and knees. That’s when I overheard Redmayne exclaiming post-hug “You smell…delicious!” to Cumberbatch. Must’ve been the Moroccanoil. Redmayne’s fiance Hannah Bagshaw was in the room too, looking lovely and normal, sharing a hug with Cumberbatch, not stuck to Eddie’s side, navigating the room on her own. But back to Cumberbatch…at one point, when the cameras were rolling for a Sam Worthington interview, and a Variety staffer yelled out: “WE ARE ROLLING! QUIET, PLEASE!”, Benedict cheekily and loudly quipped: “Rolling with Sam Worthington? Let’s talk louder then!”, before peeking behind the interview curtain to wink at Worthington.

Variety Studio Presented By Moroccanoil At Holt Renfrew - Day 3 - 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

Out of all the hot Brits in the room, Keira Knightley was actually the one I wanted to get close to (not in a creepy way, I promise!). She’s one of my favourite young actresses, and I was most definitely starstruck. I tried to summon the courage to ask her for a photo, but she was never alone – either chumming it up with her co-stars, or chatting with her hair and makeup people. She wore a beautiful Chanel dress, and I tried to inconspicuously sneak a few shots for my Instagram. She smiled a lot, laughed a lot, shared that she was tired, but definitely didn’t look it. She looked happy, thin, but not frail, healthy, and so very beautiful. Can you tell I have a bit of a crush?

Other notable moments at the Variety Studio included: grabbing a photo with the delightful Bill Nighy, who was walking around with an apple in his hand, never having the moment to himself to actually take a bite, and who made eye contact with everyone in the room, instead of ducking his head and avoiding the normals; watching Richard Gere chatting up the hot tequila girls; realizing that the woman on the couch next to me is Elizabeth Banks, who changed out of her white pumps and into some Birkenstocks for comfort; observing the insanely handsome Matthew Goode and super-stylish Jena Malone light up the room with their larger than life personalities (on two different days) – definitely not wallflower types; sitting on the couch next to Downton Abbey’s Branson’s publicist, before Branson Allen Leech himself leaned over me to talk to her; sharing a serendipitous moment with Mark Ruffalo outside the Variety Studio’s bathroom – if life was a movie, that would’ve been our meet-cute.

More after the jump!

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Giveaway: Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight

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As someone with naturally wavy/frizzy hair, I am always on the hunt for hair products that will make my unruly hair look and feel more manageable. So when I was offered the opportunity to try the new Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight styling creme, I didn’t have to think twice. I was in!

After my first time using the Aveda Smooth Infusion shampoo, conditioner, and styling creme, I was hooked! Even after one application, the three easy-to-use products left my hair feeling softer, shinier, and yes, smoother. And two weeks later, my natural wave was practically gone. Don’t get me wrong, I still had to use a hair straightener to achieve the truly straight and smooth look, but most of my work was already done for me by the hair products I was using. And the best part was that even on hot, humid days, my hair stayed straight and frizz-free!

Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight styling creme promises to progressively straighten curls with every use, and it definitely delivers. Organic cassava root helps form a barrier against intense humidity to help you battle frizz, while the  plant-derived fibers help create a locking layer to help you keep your hair straight longer.

After about 2 months of using Aveda Smooth Infusion line on my hair, I took part in a little photoshoot, showcasing my smooth, straight locks, among other curly-haired Torontonians. You can check out everyone’s incredible results below.

But that’s not all! If like me, you need a little help with your frizzy locks, make sure to enter our Aveda Smooth Infusion giveaway below. You could win a three-month supply of Aveda Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight styling creme – that’s enough to get you through the hottest and the most humid of summer days. Sounds good? Enter after the jump!

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Beauty: NARS Adult Swim Collection Summer 2014

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Well it looks like summer is finally here, and with it all of the new and exciting summer make-up collections. One I am particularly thrilled about is NARS Adult Swim Summer 2014 Collection, which includes an unbelievable selection of fun and flirty shades to put you in that summer mood and get you all dolled up. Because summertime is the perfect time to get adventurous and playful with your make-up!

Earlier this month, a few bloggers were invited to preview the collection at Holt Renfrew on Bloor, and we were treated to a demonstration and a Q&A session with International Lead Makeup Stylist for NARS – Jane Richardson. Jane graciously walked us through a make-up demo using the beautiful summer collection, while giving us fun tips on achieving that vibrant look for the summer. She used the Duo Eye shadow in Tropical princess, which is comprised of a lovely lime green/lavender eye shadow and used the lime colour on the lids. For the lips, she applied the lovely Wonder Sheer Lip Gloss, which is a mandarin orange colour with hints of pink and gold. Both looked beautiful on the model, giving her a fresh look without looking overdone, and made me want to try it out for myself. A perfect look for sipping margaritas on a sunny day!

NARS make-up is always at the top of my must-buy list – with their beautiful selection of colours, silky smooth textures, and lasting power, it just doesn’t get better than this. I’ll leave you with the tip that Jane gave me during our chat – try and take 5 mins before bed to play with your make-up. It’ll help you get to know your face and your bone structure and to create a look that will show-off the best version of you. As they say…practice makes perfect!

xoxo

Aleyda

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More photos of NARS Summer 2014 collection after the jump!

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Mother’s Day: Gift Guide 2014

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Though it certainly doesn’t feel like it, May is here, and with it – Mother’s Day! If you still haven’t figured out what to buy for your mom, as usual, we have some ideas to help you in your search. From a personalized leather tote, to a fancy perfume, to a bottle of delicious bubbly, to a pair of comfy pajamas, there’s something for every mom (and every budget) on our list.

What will you be picking up for your mom this year? Share in the comments!

1. Monogram Travel Mug – Indigo
2. Atlas Bangle – Tiffany and Co
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Gear – Best Buy
4. DOLCE & GABBANA Dolce Eau de Parfum – The Bay
5. Nespresso VertuoLine – The Bay
6. Personalized Leather Tote – Cuyana
7. Les 4 Ombres – CHANEL
8. Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui – Indigo
9. Pajamas – Joe Fresh
10. Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne – LCBO
11. D/N Bag – ela handbags
12. Orchid Statement Necklace – Banana Republic
13. Embroidered Floral Topper – Ann Taylor
14. Canapile Heels – ALDO
15. YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Lip Balm – Sephora

More after the jump!

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Giveaways: Olay Regenerist Luminous

After 8 weeks of sticking to the Olay Regenerist Luminous routine, I was pretty impressed with the line and what it did for my skin. Over the course of my trial, I met other bloggers who were using the same products, and learned that while we all loved the results, we also had different opinions on our faves from the line, and what did and didn’t work.

And though I’d already shared my personal experience with Olay Regenerist Luminous, I wanted to give you a chance to try it the line for yourselves and (hopefully) love it as much as I do. Sounds good? Here’s how you can win one of five Olay Regenerist Luminous line sets (Brightening Cream Cleanser, Tone Perfecting Cream, and Dark Circle Correcting Hydraswirl).

I want to make it as easy as possible, so for this giveaway you can do all four, or just one of the below – it’s up to you.

1. Comment below, and let me know which Olay Regenerist Luminous product you are most excited to try.

2. Tweet the following: “Hey @styleblogca, I want to win 1 of 5 @OlayUS #bestbeautiful prizes! http://wp.me/p1WxbY-6eY”

3. Comment on our Facebook page sharing why you would like to win an Olay Regenerist Luminous prize pack.

4. Comment on my Olay  Instagram photo sharing why you would like to win an Olay Regenerist Luminous prize pack.

Remember, you can do all four, or just one of the above and you will still be entered to win a prize pack! You don’t even have to follow me on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram…but of course, I appreciate it if you do.

This giveaway is open to Canadian readers only and will close on Sunday at 11:59pm EST. Good luck!

The winners have now been chosen and contacted. Thank you for entering!

Beauty: Olay Regenerist Luminous – 8 Weeks Later

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Okay, guys! It’s now been eight weeks since the first time I tried Olay Regenerist Luminous line, and it’s time to tell all! Who’s excited?!

To recap, at the beginning of my Olay journey, my main concern was the sun damage around my eyes and cheeks. Having those pesky dark spots on my face meant that I always looked extra tired and had to use a ton of concealer to cover them up. I also had some dry spots and redness here and there, and a bit of darkness under my eyes courtesy of way too many long nights working on the blog.

For the last eight weeks, I used the Olay Regenerist Luminous line religiously and without much effort – each and every morning and evening – cleanser, moisturizer, and eye cream, followed by sunscreen to make sure that I don’t accidentally undo all of the good work that the products were doing to my face. So what’s the verdict? Here are my thoughts:

Tone Perfecting Crème

The moisturizing Tone Perfecting Crème was my favourite product out of the three. My skin looked brighter and more even almost immediately, the texture was very smooth, and made make-up go on seamlessly…but did it actually help fade those dark spots?! Yes, it did! About five weeks into the trial, I noticed some of the darkest spots begin to fade. Eight weeks later, while I still have lots of freckles around my eyes, they are definitely lighter, and less prominent. Sadly, once the (sun) damage is done, it’s incredibly difficult to erase it completely, but just by using this great moisturizer, I was able to see definite improvement in my overall skin tone, and watch my sun spots fade. Because I loved this moisturizer a lot, I will keep it in my daily routine, and hopefully, those spots will eventually become history.

Dark Circle Correcting Hydraswirl

What I liked most about this eye cream, is that it wasn’t sticky or heavy, and was very easy to apply. My under eye area felt hydrated, and looked firmer after eight weeks of using the cream. As for the dark circles… sadly, I did not notice enough of a difference to say that they disappeared. The cream contains light-reflecting particles which gave the appearance of illuminating the under eye area, but I don’t think it actually made my dark circles lighter. I will still continue using this eye cream, because of its hydrating properties, and because of how much firmer my under eye area looks after using it. It’s a keeper.

Regenerist Luminous Brightening Cream Cleanser

While this cleanser left my skin looking brighter and feeling extra hydrated, my two-week mark concerns remained valid at the end of my Olay journey. Because of its creamy texture, this cleanser did not feel very…cleansing. And after washing my face with it, I still had grime and dirt on my face that needed to be washed away. If you don’t wear much makeup on a daily basis, this cleanser might work better for you, but in my case, I definitely need something a little more potent.

Overall, I was very pleased with my Olay Regenerist Luminous experience. Participating in the program meant that I had to use the products for at least eight weeks, and that I could not give up halfway… and I’m so glad that I stuck to it! Seeing my dark spots begin to fade was a very exciting development, as was the photo shoot and video shoot that followed my trial. I got to hang out with some really cool beauty bloggers on set in Toronto, where we all showed off our newly radiant skin, and shared our experiences. It was really fun, but also educational. If I learned anything from this program, it’s how super important it is to take care of your skin. Sunscreen is not optional… even in the winter! It’s much easier to protect yourself from sun damage than get rid of it later on. So, please, don’t forget to slather it on every morning before you leave the house. Your skin will thank you!

So this is my Olay Regenerist Luminous experience in a nutshell. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have, and I’ll do my best to answer in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Olay Regenerist Luminous brings you a complete regime to brighten your skin step-by-step.

Step 1: Olay Regenerist Luminous Brightening Cream Cleanser’s creamy formula instantly illuminates skin and leaves it feeling smooth, conditioned and even textured.

Step 2: Recapture healthy-looking, youthful luminosity with Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream. You’ll feel intense hydration immediately, and see visibly younger-looking skin in 2 weeks and more even skin tone in 8 weeks. 

Step 3: Luminous Dark Circle Correcting HydraSwirl uses a distinctive dual-swirl formula with a gel to hydrate and a cream to instantly reduce the appearance of dark circles.

For more information, visit Olay.ca.

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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Procter & Gamble via Glam Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Procter & Gamble.

Toronto Fashion Week: Best Hair and Makeup Looks For Fall 2014

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Greetings Lovely Readers! Toronto Fashion Week has officially wrapped up and although I’m still exhausted, it was a phenomenal experience watching the hair and makeup “magic” happen backstage.

Here are my favourite hair and makeup looks from the Fall 2014 season of WMCFW, with some handy tips on how you can achieve the same results at home. Enjoy!

Hair by Redken

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Pink Tartan hair was one of my absolute favourites last week. The collection told the story of a Canadian girl living a normal everyday life so the hair reflected that natural and lived-in look. The hair was set off-centre, with soft waves and looked pretty without looking structured. They really wanted the hair to have movement, making it look effortless.

Star Products: Pillow Proof Primer, Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray

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As a huge fan of Joe Fresh, I was very excited to see what the fall hair would look like. For hair, Joe wanted to have a more bohemian feel so the models wore a dishevelled side braid with lots of texture. Again, they didn’t want it looking too polished but rather wanted something with more of a grunge feeling with soft wisps framing the face. One great tip that Jorge Joao, Lead Stylist for Redken gave us was to take the elastic and tie the hair at the top before you start the braid. Once you are done, cut the top elastic so your hair and braid looks fuller and not as structured. The big focus of this look was to make the models look chic and effortless.

Star Products: Pillow Proof Primer, Redken Fashion Waves 07

Narces

Narces hair had more of a classic feel to it. It was all about being sleek, stylish, but again without looking like you spent hours doing your hair. As a result, sleeked back, smooth hair was pulled into a classic small bun at the base of the head. As with other looks, hair was once again primed with Pillow Proof Primer, prepped with mousse for texture and then finished off with Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray to get rid of flyaways and give the hairstyle that polished sleek finish. Definitely a look you can wear to the office or after work for some drinks!

Star Products: Pillow Proof Primer, Redken Full Frame 07 Volumizing Mousse Foam, Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray

More after the jump!

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Beauty: CHANEL Les 4 Ombres 2014 Collection

Chanel Les 4 Ombres - 2014

Since 1982, CHANEL’s Les 4 Ombres have been on every beauty junky’s must-have list…what with their stunning colours, smooth texture, saturated pigments, and of course the iconic packaging. Well, this year, CHANEL released 8 new Les 4 Ombres quads, and they are amazing! Inspired by the iconic tweed fabric, the shades range from intense to natural, and finishes from silky to metallic.

Earlier this month, I got to meet CHANEL’s uber-talented make-up artist Kris Wares, who introduced me to the new Les 4 Ombres collection, and showed me a few cool eyeshadow application tips. There are so many different ways that you can wear Les 4 Ombres – from using the darkest shade as eyeliner, to smoky eye, to going for a natural look – these eyeshadows are really versatile. Kris used #232 Tissé Vénitien on my eyes, using the darker shades on my eyelid, and the lightest to line my lash line, making my eyes pop, and I’ve been recreating this look ever since!

If you are interested in checking out the new CHANEL Les 4 Ombres collection, all of the new shades are currently available at Holt Renfrew, so make sure to stop by and discover your favourite!

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More after the jump!

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You Are Invited: Blogger Beauty Brunch at Do My Hair!

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Exciting news, lovelies! Right in time for Toronto Fashion Week, my blogger friends and I will be throwing a fun Blogger Beauty Brunch at Do My Hair salon on Mt. Pleasant! Join us for an afternoon of pampering, light refreshments, and fun. The salon will be offering complimentary haircuts, blowouts, and make-up applications, to get you ready for fashion week, or to just treat yourself, because spring is coming, and we all could use a little TLC!

But that’s not all! If you attend our event, make sure to post some photos, using hashtag #beautybrunchTO for a chance to win a makeover valued at up to $500! Pretty awesome, right?! Oh, and did I mention gift bags? We’ll have those too! So if you are interested in getting pampered and joining us at the Blogger Beauty Brunch this Sunday, check out the details below and don’t forget to reserve your spot! See you there!

WHEN: Sunday, March 16, 2014 10:30am-2:30am
WHERE: Do My Hair, 583 Mount Pleasant Rd
WHAT: Choice of a complimentary haircut, blowout, or make-up application (spots are limited!)
WHO: Style Blog, The Backseat Stylers, The Souls of My Shoes
Call 416-544-0505 to book your appointment!

Lancôme Celebrates International Women’s Day

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Growing up, Women’s Day was always a really big deal in my home-country. Male classmates would create elaborate parties for the girls and female teachers, complete with handmade cards, flowers, and little presents. It was really fun and made the girls feel special. As a grown woman, I still love flowers on Women’s Day, and this year, Lancôme will be doling out random acts of kindness throughout Canada to celebrate women and to make their day a bit brighter.

On March 8th, in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Lancôme’s helpers will be giving out thousands of roses to put thousands of smiles on Canadian women’s faces. But that’s not all! Among the thousands of roses that will be distributed at Yonge & Dundas Square in Toronto, 20 will hold an exclusive invitation on behalf of Lancôme. The 20 women who will receive this special rose will be invited to a VIP dinner event with a female guest of their choice, on the evening of March 8th at one of Toronto’s top restaurants!

Interested? Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for beautiful roses at the below locations, and Happy Women’s Day!

Locations after the jump!

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