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Inside the best VIP gifting lounges at TIFF 0

Christopher Turner, Special to QMI Agency

The Toronto International Film Festival is all about films, celebrities, parties and serious swag. Wondering what visiting celebs score during their Toronto visit? Here's a look inside six of this year's hottest gifting lounges, held during the 37th annual celluloid fest.

Tastemakers Lounge by rock-it promotions

Where: InterContinental Toronto Centre

Inside: The eighth annual Tastemakers Lounge runs throughout the 11-day festival welcoming stars to preview products in between interviews and photo shoots. Guests snack on Kimberly's Own All Natural Granola or popchips and sip on loose-leaf teas courtesy of The Tea Emporium while browsing skincare products.

On display are products by Indeed Laboratories (its breakthrough eye treatment Eysilix has been in demand), Nicole Scherzinger-endorsed imPRESS Press Manicure sets, Viviscal (a natural hair supplement loved by Reese Witherspoon and Liv Tyler), Emjoi's portable MICRO Pedi system, Demeter fragrances (the most popular scent has been Dragon Fruit) and sexy bra and panty sets from La Senza's new Beyond Sexy collection (which hits stores later this month). Representatives from Yorkdale Shopping Centre are also on hand to discuss VIP services and gift little treasures like a sterling silver Tiffany & Co. bracelet engraved with the mall's GPS coordinates.

Guest list: Celebs that have stopped by so far include Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Emily Blunt, Adrian Grenier and Sarah Rafferty from Suits.

IT Lounge by NKPR

Where: NKPR offices

Inside: This year NKPR debuted the IT Lounge portrait studio and on Friday, visiting celebs were invited to be captured by fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier's legendary lens. Others snapping during the four-day lounge extravaganza included Toronto-based Norman Wong, Dustin Rabin (who has shot Jay-Z and Paul McCartney) and Caitlin Cronenberg (who has shot Robert Pattinson and Michael Fassbender).

When they weren't striking a pose, celebs hung out in a comfy eco-friendly space sponsored by Grain Farmers of Ontario and Great Lakes Biodiesel while snacking on soft-serve frozen yogurt from Yogurty's and sipping on Bottlegreen sparkling water or delicious SKYY Vodka cocktails. Swag up for grabs included fall gear from RW&Co., Tweezerman products (guests could also get a brow touch-up) and jewelry from lia sophia. VIPs could also get the 411 on STiKs Gaming, an organization that pairs gamers with celebs to raise money for charity.

Guest list: Celebs snapped at this year's lounge include: Darren Criss from Glee, model/actress Agyness Deyn, Trudie Styler with daughter Mickey Sumner, Jeanne Beker, model Yasmin Warsame and singer Matt Dusk.

Swarovski Fashion Suite

Where: Shangri-La Toronto Hotel

Inside: Swarovski's annual fashion suite is a favourite destination for celebrities and stylists looking to add a little sparkle to their TIFF red carpet looks. This year, the seventh annual suite has set up shop at the brand new Shangri-La Hotel and A-listers can schedule private appointments throughout the festival. Once inside celebs can browse through sparkling handbags and fawn over one-of-a-kind pieces, many of which are being shown in Canada for the very first time.

Most impressive? Hand-cut couture creations from Paris (one elaborate neckpiece took 140 hours to create and a chunky necklace took 120 hours) from Swarovski's Kingdom of Jewels catwalk collection. Here is a collection of accessories that would help any starlet make a glamorous fashion statement.

Guest list: This year the lounge styled Love it or List it co-host Hilary Farr, who donned a sparking Swarovski First clutch, Geranium Ring and vintage earrings at TIFF's Producers Ball) and actor Emily Hampshire (in Swarovski gold hoops and crystal wrap bracelet at TIFF's Opening Night Party).

Premier Celebrity Gift and Style Lounge by B.A.D PR

Where: Ritz Carlton Hotel and Residences

Inside: This year's most glamorous TIFF gifting lounge could be found in a stunning 3,500 sq. ft. private suite at the Ritz Carlton Residences. VIPs inside the weekend-only Premier Celebrity Gift and Style Lounge sipped on specialty teas from the Tea Factory and created custom Pandora charm bracelets, added balance to their life with Serendra's health and wellness jewelry, browsed through Canadian designer Jessica Jensen's luxurious handbags, picked up glitzy heels from the mother and daughter team at Red Lovo, selected delicate lingerie from Pope Joan or snapped up cosmetics from Lise Watier and Nurish Organics. But, this lounge wasn't just about scoring thousands of dollars' worth of swag -- chauffeur services from Audi Downtown are coordinated throughout the festival by the lounge and part of the luxe space is dedicated to helping celebs look their best with complimentary hair, makeup and styling services.

Guest list: Celebs spotted this year include Adrian Grenier, Gordon Lightfoot, Glen Peloso, Molly Shannon and model/actor Kevin Zegers.

 

First Weekend Club's Canadian Film Lounge

Where: Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Inside: The First Weekend Club hosted its third annual Canadian Film Lounge at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel just days after TIFF madness struck the city. The top-secret one-day event offered VIPs a cozy space to socialize, have a drink and check out goodies from a variety of Canadian companies. Guests customized their own gift bags selecting from thousands of dollars' worth of items including Vasanti beauty products, GreenShag cufflinks and luxurious cilque silk pillowcases.

The Fashion Closet showed off innovative Canadian designs like the 9to5 bra (designed to cover up cleavage in the workplace) and playful Dressed 'n Case beach cover-ups. Not in the mood for swag? Complimentary pampering could be found in the Beauty Bar, where Fiorio Salon styled red-carpet-ready hair, makeup artists offered touch-ups and mobile Wright Spa offered to ease away TIFF tension with massages.

Guest list: David Cronenberg, Tonya Lee Smith, Sook-Yin Lee, and actors Gabrielle Miller and Tara Spencer-Nairn were just a few of the Canadian stars who stopped by.

TDot TV Lounge

Where: Bata Shoe Museum

Inside: The crew at TDot TV teamed up with CANFAR (Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research) and returned to the Bata Shoe Museum for their easygoing two-day TIFF Lounge. Inside guests snacked on tasty treats from We Bake In Heels and sipped on afternoon martinis (made with organic, gluten-free Prairie Vodka) while they browsed through a range of products including Cheeky Monkey cosmetics (fab enviro-friendly nail polishes with giggle-worthy names), glam Rebekah Price jewelry and fleece lounge-pants from Lazypants.

Need to be in the know? Representatives from celebrity favourite Equinox Gym were on hand to chat about the upcoming Toronto launch as were the lovely ladies from doll bar inc., a sassy West Queen West salon that specializes in hair extensions.

Guest list: The all-Canadian guest list included singer Danny Fernandes, actors Noah Segan and Emily Hampshire and cast members from Bomb Girls and Degrassi.


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