The Toronto International Film Festival has taken over the city once again, and it’s just the start. What happens during TIFF? Well, a whole lot of movies, red carpets, celebrities, parties and late, late nights. By the end, everyone’s pretty much walking the streets looking like living zombies. So how does one get through it? Here are some of my (survival) essentials…

My #TIFF12 experience was kicked off on Thursday night with Toronto Life‘s Most Stylish party at the Shangri La Hotel before the screening of Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Movie. Obviously as a “Brandie” there was no way I was going to show up without some glammed up hair. So I called upon the great team at Lush and Lavish to work their magic and create the gorgeous ‘do above.

The day before, I experienced my first-ever spray tan from Tan On The Run, which just so happens to use all-natural and organic products (amazing). I’ve never been one for the fake tan, but I’ve finally seen the light. Everyone I’ve come across over the past few days has complimented me on my amazing tan and asked where I vacationed. The best thing? I’m not streaky or orange whatsoever. Here’s a shot from the night with Disaronno Canada’s #RedCarpetReady contest winner:

You may recognise my outfit from the What I Wore preview I posted the day before, with the edition of my vintage leather jacket from Penny Arcade and this amazing slave bracelet from local Toronto designer, Dolorous Jewelry. I love that these two pieces gave more of an edge to my semi prim and proper outfit. Not that wearing a very sheer white mesh Marc Jacobs top with a black lace bra is prim, or proper. Here’s a shot of slave bracelet up close:

In terms of beauty, I’m general pretty low maintenance. Aside from putting time into taking care of my skin, when it comes to makeup I’m good to go with a bit of mascara and a bold lipstick. Now with my super amaze tan and extended lashes (applied by my girl Diahanna) I’m wearing even less makeup than ever. I never thought I would ever get a spray tan or eyelash extensions but I have now converted – it makes you look mega glam without having to do anything at all, even when you’re at the gym.

Ps. If are looking for an eyelash extender in Toronto, Diahana is the BOMB and will hook you up with an insanely good deal. Like $150 to apply a full set instead of the usual $250 price tag at most salons. Contact her at [email protected] for more info.

Products I’m loving right now are (clockwise from top): the mini sample bottle of Marc Jacobs Dot because it smells great, looks cute and is super easy to throw in your purse! The wickedly matte fire red NARS lipstick in Heat Wave. Elizabeth Grant‘s amazing Dare To Bare body exfoliator to get skin super smooth and gorgeous for the red carpet. Long lashes – except the extension kind. I’m also obsessed with Benefit‘s brand new Flawless Complexion Makeup Kit for its amazing packaging and convenient coverage palette.

If you’re going to splurge on designers shoes, you’ve gotta take care of them. One of the things I hate the most is destroying the super smooth soles of high-end shoes, because most of the time they’re just as nice as the rest of the shoe. As if an answer to my prayers, Protect Your Pumps reached out to tell me about their amazing product – which you apply to the soles of your lovely shoes to protect them. I’m even going to add them to my new SENSO flats that I picked up from Shop Sauvage. Yes, even I have to come down from heels sometimes.

These items were part of the “recovery” kit from the #TIFF12 Essentials Lounge but I feel like I need them already. An eye mask that wasn’t free on an airplane and might actually stay on my face? It’s a miracle! That, Tealish sleepy time tea and 3-day detox from Raw Juice Guru will most definitely be essential to my TIFF recovery this year. Wish me luck!