When it comes to makeup, my regimen is so constant that I barely have to look in the mirror: moisturizer, primer, concealer, powder foundation, bronzer, blush, then Chapstick for day or a red lip for night, and done! The whole process takes about 5 minutes, if that, and I’m usually running out the door right after so there’s little room for creativity, though my lackluster skills wouldn’t allow for much more than the basics anyway (I struggle with basic mascara application). I’m secretly envious of beauty bloggers, who seem to have all the answers.
Every year, though, I have the same New Year’s resolution (in addition to that ridiculous ‘no more shoe purchases’ one I consistently fail at): focus more on hair, makeup and skincare. I figure I wear this face and these locks on my head every day of my life, so I should do more to take care of them and present them in the most flattering light. So this year, with the opening of the brand spanking new Sephora store at Toronto Eaton Centre just a few weeks ago, I thought I’d get a jumpstart on that New Year’s resolution.
I set up a private appointment with one of the store’s Personal Beauty Advisors (complimentary with a $125 purchase), who, over the course of an hour, made me look all fresh and pretty, and taught me easy-to-follow tips and tricks on how to achieve the look myself. From personalized product recommendations based on my unique features (short eyelashes, shiny T-zone, uneven skin tone) to step-by-step application lessons for every product he used on my face, my new best friend Adi taught me everything I ever wanted to know about skincare and makeup, and then some.
These were my key takeaways:
- Prep the skin! Don’t even bother putting foundation on before applying a great moisturizer and primer that the makeup can cling to. Also, a serum under your moisturizer will give a boost of hydration for the entire day.
- Liquid foundation for the win! Liquid foundation gives skin a cleaner, fresher and younger look. Use powder where required only, like on the t-zone, or all over only for extremely oily skin.
- Fix that makeup mistake like a pro! Accidentally coloured outside the lines? Don’t fret. Erase the error without removing your makeup base with a q-tip and some concealer or primer.
- Line those lips! A lip pencil holds your favourite gloss or lipstick in place and makes it last longer. After lining the lips, blend right into the lip, which will even out lip tones. Try using a q-tip for just the right amount of product.
- Have fun with it! Says Adi: “There are such beautiful colours coming out all the time, and if you stick to the same colours, you’ll never learn what suits you best. Whatever colour you fear the most is probably what looks best on you. Always have makeup remover beside you; if you don’t like what you did, then just erase and start over!”
Armed with my newfound knowledge and (possibly false sense of) confidence, I left Adi and the private Personal Beauty Advisor room feeling ready to conquer, well, the makeup counter. I took the opportunity to explore the rest of the new Sephora store at Toronto Eaton Centre and was blown away. It was an 8,941-square-foot wonderland of beauty products, complete with an incredible MAKE UP FOR EVER shop-in-shop, a colourful nail studio, a fun eyelash bar, and an intriguing Sensorium where shoppers can find new fragrances. The store has also expanded its brand selection, now stocking shu uemura and Giorgio Armani (part of my loot that day!) for the first time, among others.
Adi confessed, “I’ve been waiting to have a beautiful store like this for the Canadian consumer to come and get lost in this wonderful world of makeup.” Adi, it was such a pleasure getting lost in the wonderful world of Sephora Toronto Eaton Centre with you!
Interested in your own PBA session at Sephora? Stop by the new TEC location to book your appointment, and pick up some holiday gifts for the makeup-obsessed ladies in your life while you’re at it. And here’s one last tip for you: don’t forget to use TEC’s free gift wrapping service! Follow Toronto Eaton Centre on Facebook to find out more about the Centre’s holiday programs.
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With a media preview, fashion show and after-party on the schedule, the final day of World Mastercard Fashion Week was unofficially Express day. The U.S. retailer of men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, which has over 600 outlets south of the border and a new store set to open at Toronto Eaton Centre in November, closed out fashion week with a bang with the help of a supermodel, a top Canadian band, and a very on-trend Spring 2013 collection.
Jessica Stam, one of my favourite models of all time, opened Express’s runway show in a cute striped frock, and was followed by a stream of pretty party dresses, ladylike floral print pieces, and a whole lot of peplum. The show highlighted chic, easy-to-style looks that will have us (and you!) covered for every occasion, from office meetings to first dates, next spring. The men in our lives won’t feel left out either; Express sent out one handsome male model after another looking quite dapper in the brand’s suit offerings.
And if we weren’t already taken with Express after a stunning Stam closed the show in a pleated LRD, the after-party, featuring a private performance by Canadian band Dragonette, sealed the deal. Express + Jessica Stam + Dragonette was just too fabulous a combination to resist.
In between songs, Dragonette singer Martina Sorbara confessed to the crowd, “I learned today that peplum is in style.” And Express, I would add, is definitely the place to find it. Shopping date at the new Toronto Eaton Centre store next month? Yes please! In the meantime, follow TEC on Twitter and Facebook for updates on Express’s upcoming launch.
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World Mastercard Fashion Week (WMCFW) is currently in full swing and there’s no more fashionable a city in Canada right now than Toronto. Whether it’s models strutting their stuff on the catwalk, editors and VIPs sitting front row, or bloggers getting a sneak peek backstage, everywhere we turn it’s a fabulous feast for the eyes.
Being surrounded by many of the most sartorially gifted industry insiders for 5 days in a row is both inspiring and dangerous; our fall/winter wish lists have grown rapidly while we’ve people-watched over the course of the week, not so stealthily ogling the sea of chic ensembles around us. Unable to resist the urge to shop, we snuck a trip to Toronto Eaton Centre (TEC) in between runway shows. Armed with the top street style trends we’ve spotted at the fashion week tents just down the street, we scoured the 3-floor fashion mecca for pieces that would help us – and you! – get the looks.
We loved freelance fashion writer Bianca Teixeira’s cobalt blue, double-breasted pea coat, which she donned over a similarly-hued frock for a monochromatic look on opening night of WMCFW. Want a vibrant pop of colour in your fall/winter outerwear rotation too? Stop by Toronto Eaton Centre for a teal lapelless option at H&M ($129), an oxblood wool biker coat with leather sleeves at Zara ($269) or a raspberry wool blazer with contrast piping at Juicy Couture ($361). These are sure to cheer you up on a rainy fall day.
Whether it’s zebra, cheetah, or snake, the animal print trend is going nowhere fast. While it was a wonderfully loud leopard print coat that caught our eye, you can start small with a scarf like Massimo Dutti’s woollen green snakeskin foulard ($59.50) or a handbag like Banana Republic’s ‘Jamie’ box clutch ($150). For those of you who are ready to fully embrace animal print, a dress is surely the way to go. Who needs a LBD when you can rock Ann Taylor’s zebra knit jacquard sheath dress ($98) or Juicy Couture’s ponte knit green python dress ($218) instead?
We’ve spotted everything from crisp white cotton button-downs to colourfully-printed silk blouses so far this week, and one of our favourites has been the studded collar shirt we saw on Jenn Campbell, FLARE Magazine’s Senior Digital Editor. TEC has tons of collared shirts to choose from and whittling the list down to just 3 was a tough task, but J. Crew’s silk boy shirt in heart throb ($158), Club Monaco’s ‘Patricia’ silk shirt with contrast leather piping ($149.50) and Mendocino’s graphic print blouse by Clover Canyon ($312, arriving in November) are our top picks.
When it comes to statement necklaces, blogger Nelia Belkova is the queen; we’ve seen her sporting one fabulous piece after another every day this fashion week. Go big or go home, her accessories philosophy seems to be, and it’s ours too. Hang a conversation starter like H&M’s insect necklace ($14.95), BCBG Max Azria’s rocker statement necklace ($178), or the Lulu Frost for J. Crew crystal petal necklace ($220) around your neck to take your fashion week outfit to the next level with some help from TEC.
It’s the last day of WMCFW today, and U.S. retailer EXPRESS, which is launching a new store at Toronto Eaton Centre next month, is set to close the week. We’ll be live-tweeting tonight’s 9pm show, so be sure to follow @backseatstylers and @toeatoncentre on Twitter for updates straight from the runway.
See you at the tents one final time this season – and then at Toronto Eaton Centre! After all those fashion shows this week, you’ll want to do some serious shopping at TEC’s newest boutiques: Canada’s first unisex J.Crew, North America’s first Massimo Dutti, and Canada’s first Ann Taylor. We know we will.
xx, T & S
Sponsored by Cadillac Fairview
Image credit: George Pimentel
Ann Taylor has officially landed on Canadian soil. This week, the New York-based specialty retailer finally opened the doors to its first international store, at none other than Toronto Eaton Centre. Having attended both the fall and holiday previews over the last few months, I’m rather excited to finally be able to get my hands on the collections.
At the very top of my wish list? Several gorgeous pieces of statement jewelry, as well as a few pairs of chic shoes, all of which is fairly pocketbook-friendly. In fact, Ann Taylor pricing in Canadian stores will be the same as in their U.S. counterparts. Yes, you read right: the price tags will be the same no matter which side of the border you happen to be on. Cause for celebration? I should think so.
If you want in on this Ann Taylor action but aren’t anywhere near Toronto, don’t fret, my dear fellow Canadians. The retailer is currently working on expanding its online shopping site to include Canada, and is expecting to launch in the spring of 2013. In the meantime, check out the gallery below for snaps of Ann Taylor’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebrations at Toronto Eaton Centre earlier this week.
Me, T, Nelia Belkova and Kimberly Lyn with Lisa Axelson, Creative Director of Ann Taylor (Image Credit: George Pimentel)
FASHION Magazine’s Caitlin Agnew
Blogger Anita Clarke checking out the – what else? – shoe section
Kimberly Haire Giddens, Regional VP at Ann Taylor
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J.Crew has landed! For those of you who, like me, have been shopping online or making the trek to Yorkdale, your favourite source for the preppiest of sartorial goods has finally set up shop in downtown Toronto. The brand’s second store in the city finally launched yesterday at Toronto Eaton Centre to much excitement from the hipsters, the Bay Street crowd and everyone in between.
The new boutique opened up bright and early for a breakfast preview that saw some of our favourite Toronto industry insiders stop by to fondle the cashmere and ogle the statement jewelry whilst waiting for the opportunity to chat with Tom Mora, head of women’s design, and Frank Muytjens, head of men’s design at J.Crew. We caught the Beckerman clan plotting their next street style shoot, Fashion Magazine‘s Caitlin Agnew hanging out doing research in the shoe section, and a contingent of my male fashion blogging counterparts looking really, really pleased with the first J.Crew menswear offerings in the city.
I, for one, can’t wait to get the Mister all outfitted in J.Crew’s fall collection…but I think I’ll start with me first. Do you blame me really?
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Shopping parties are the best when raided with an equally fashion-minded sister (at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique). (Image Credit: Richard Fabregui)
And just like that, Fashion’s Night Out Toronto has come and gone, but while it was here on September 6, we sure took full advantage. It was a jam-packed evening of shopping party after shopping party, the very best kind by our measure.
We kicked off our night at Toronto Eaton Centre (check out our recap), and the FNO fun was only just beginning. Next stop? Holt Renfrew, of course, where we joined a very magenta street party complete with pink confetti, limited edition pink Diet Coke bottles and a pop-up shop selling exclusive Holt Renfrew 175th anniversary paraphernalia. There may have been some confetti throwing and dancing in the street on our part (and photographic evidence).
From there we made the short trek to Hazelton Lanes to pay The Shopping Soirée, hosted by Toronto Fashion Incubator, TNT and Fashion Cares, and the MasterCard Stylicity Lounge a visit. There we chatted with a Mary Katrantzou-clad Suzanne Rogers, ogled the Kara Ross jewels on Gail McInnes and Kelly Claman, and caught up with some of our favourite fellow fashion bloggers, including Style Blog‘s Nelia Belkova, who also chose Clover Canyon for the occasion (take a gander at our FNO outfit post). There were also tables and tables of stylish goods to covet.
Our next destination was equally full of temptation for the pocketbook. A chauffeured BMW (by the way, how sweet is that?) took us to The Bazaar by RAC Boutique. More of the city’s independent boutiques than we can name had assembled together at the Burroughes Building to offer a carefully curated selection of chic offerings. The whimsical necklaces from Foe and Dear and statement jewelery from Love of Mine, in particular, were very hard to resist.
With closing time for Fashion’s Night Out just around the corner, we made one final stop at eLUXE‘s FNO bash. There was just enough time to admire the exclusive Smythe x eLUXE tuxedo jacket and make use of the photo booth with Toronto Is Fashion‘s Richard Fabregui. Fashion’s Night Out wouldn’t have been complete without the obligatory jumping session in the photo booth – am I right or am I right?
And with that, the clock struck 11pm, FNO was done for the year, and yours truly returned to our hotel room and ordered everything off the room service menu to cap off one hell of a Fashion’s Night Out. Till next year!
Me and Nelia Belkova – Clover Canyon loving twins! (Image Credit: Richard Fabregui)
Pink lemonade at Massimo Dutti at Toronto Eaton Centre – yes please!
Live-tweeting Toronto Eaton Centre’s fabulous FNO fashion show with PR all-star Jenna Stothers.
I really, really like confetti. Especially the pink kind at Holt Renfrew’s Hot@175 street party.
Well hello there, Gail McInnes, Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers (in Mary Katrantzou!), at The Shopping Soirée at Hazelton Lanes of course.
Fabulous Kara Ross statement necklaces for all! Except me…I need to work on that.
Bloggers Richard Fabregui, Nelia Belkova, Marc Piercey, Anita Clarke and me at The Shopping Soirée at Hazelton Lanes. (Image Credit: Nelia Belkova)
Jeanne Beker at the MasterCard Stylicity Lounge. (Image Credit: Justin Charles)
Chauffeured BMW pour moi et mes fellow media types. No big deal.
Being silly with Richard at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique.
Actor Adrian Grenier and his entourage (see how we did that?) at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique. (Image Credit: Ashlea Wessel)
Working on my photo booth jumping game with T and Richard at eLUXE’s FNO event.
Image Credit: Mike Palmer
It’s been 4 days since Fashion’s Night Out hit Toronto, and we’ve finally recovered from having all together too fabulous a time party-hopping around the city, in sky-high heels, no less. We’ve spent the last few days nursing our sore feet back to health and basking in the glory of one very fun night that kicked off for us at – where else? – Toronto Eaton Centre.
Me with Susan, our very first FNO giveaway winner
TEC had invited The Backseat Stylers to live tweet during their FNO party, a task that couldn’t be more up our alley. We’re addicted to both fashion and Twitter, so it was the perfect gig for us. We spent the evening gifting tweeters with official Fashion’s Night Out branded t-shirts and totes; we felt like stylish Santas – though S prefers her Clover Canyon dress from Mendocino over a red suit – and may have found our new calling in life.
The fashion show, hosted by She Does The City’s Jen McNeely, featured the latest fall arrivals from Juicy Couture, Gap and Stuart Weitzman. The chicly styled looks (and gorgeous models) were a hit with the big crowd of FNO revelers, and with us as well. Between a sharp black riding jacket by Juicy Couture, a grey blazer with neon trim from Gap, and Stuart Weitzman’s to-die-for shoes and boots, there was plenty to covet and add to our growing fall wish list.
It was quite convenient, then, that TEC’s doors were open until 11pm for some fervent late night shopping. We took the opportunity to stop by the freshly-launched Massimo Dutti boutique and newly-renovated Harry Rosen store for a closer look. Located on the upper level, both retailers will have new neighbours in a few short months with both Ann Taylor and J.Crew setting up shop this fall. TEC is just getting better and better, and we can’t wait to shop the new stores for some new autumn wardrobe additions.
FNO revelers strike a pose
Missed the FNO shindig? Don’t fret. We’ve got a fabulous contest for you to make up for it. If you haven’t yet heard, we’ve teamed up with Toronto Eaton Centre to give one lucky reader of The Backseat Stylers a $400 shopping spree, lunch at Trattoria Mercatto and a mini style consultation with us! Contest details are over here. Enter now before the contest closes tonight at midnight. Good luck!
Free FNO swag make for happy shoppers
Thanks Toronto Eaton Centre for including us in your FNO festivities and to all you lovely readers for joining us for a gloriously fun time! We’re already counting down the days until Fashion’s Night Out 2013. Till then, follow TEC on Twitter and Facebook for news of upcoming fashion events.
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Fashion’s Night Out has finally arrived! And with so many exciting events on the official FNO Toronto calendar and only 5 hours to fit it all in, we thought we’d give you a hand by narrowing it down to our top picks for the evening.
We’ll be kicking off our Fashion’s Night Out at Toronto Eaton Centre and you should definitely join us for the fashion show and FNO merchandise giveaways between 7-8pm. After that, we can shop till we drop (or until 11pm) at TEC, or hit up some (or all, if you’re a speedy shopper) of the following:
- Aime by Monica Mei (198A Davenport Road, Upper Level)
Preview the latest collection and receive a gift with purchase where a portion of proceeds will benefit Fashion Cares (Elton John Foundation & Aids Committee of Toronto). Tunezy will be spinning tunes on the back patio and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
- eLUXE (355 Adelaide Street West, Ground Level)
Debuting its exclusive Smythe for eLUXE blazer, eLUXE will host guests with a trunk show from Rebekah Price, branded sweets from Megan Wappel designs and six giveaways. Photostar will be onsite snapping all guests.
- Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor Street West)
Holt Renfrew presents “Hot in the City” street party on Bloor Street West. The store will be open until 11:00 p.m.
- INTERMIX (130 Bloor Street West)
Fall in love with must-know designers, exclusive product and covetable pieces. ILIA beauty will treat you to a natural pop of colour while the DJ spins of-the-moment music. Champagne and sweets will be served. 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
- MasterCard’s Stylicity Lounge (Shops at Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road)
Visit the Stylicity Lounge to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, complimentary styling and make-up applications from Maybelline and Redken, mingle with fashion stylists and enter for a chance to win a MasterCard gift card. Shop The Peacock Parade’s Fashion’s Night Out sale onsite for special offers.
- THE BAZAAR by RAC Boutique (The Burroughes Building, 639 Queen St West)
The Bazaar will bring together a wide array of Toronto retailers including: Lab Consignment, Drake General Store, Rescue Vintage, Robber, Philistine, Chloe Comme Parris, Foe & Dear, Love of Mine, Fashionably Yours and more. Goods will include everything from jewellery to shoes to a wide array of clothing. The Bazaar will feature music, snacks, beer and cocktails. Attendees will have a chance to win a pair of plane tickets from Porter Airlines to anywhere Porter flies.
Visit the The Peacock Parade to buy official Fashion’s Night Out tees and totes, on sale now. On Thursday, September 6th, at 11am est, The Peacock Parade will launch its special Fashion’s Night Out sale, featuring exquisite jewelry from Kara Ross, and luxurious cashmere from White & Warren. Free shipping on all items in the FNO special sale!
- The Shopping Soirée (Shops at Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road)
The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI), TNT and Fashion Cares invite you to shop men’s and women’s accessories and apparel. Spend $200+ and get a special Fashion Cares 25th anniversary retrospective book. Spend $500+ and be eligible to win two VIP Gala tickets to Fashion Cares on Sept 9th featuring Elton John (a value of $3000), PLUS two VVIP passes to the after party and two all-access event passes! 10% of event sales will benefit the Elton John Aids Foundation and the AIDS Committee of Toronto. FLARE Magazine editors will be on duty helping guests style some of the industry’s finest fall pieces from TFI ‘s design stars and the racks of TNT’s international brands.
- Toronto Eaton Centre (220 Yonge Street)
For one night only, Toronto Eaton Centre will extend mall hours, remaining open until 11:00 p.m. In addition, the mall will host a public fashion show at 7:30 p.m. in Centre Court, featuring signature looks from retailers Stuart Weitzman, Juicy Couture and GAP. Throughout the night, Toronto Eaton Centre will give away official FNO collection items via Twitter (www.twitter.com/toeatoncentre).
Don’t forget to follow @FNO_Toronto, @toeatoncentre and @backseatstylers on Twitter, and tweet us with the #FNO_Toronto hashtag to win some official FNO swag.
Happy Fashion’s Night Out everyone!
xx, T & S
We’ve been counting down the days until September 6, when the spectacular Fashion’s Night Out shopping extravaganza hits Toronto. With so many incredible events on the official FNO schedule, the task of planning which to hit up, and when, can be daunting. Between shopping parties in Bloor-Yorkville, Queen West and beyond, there are plenty of must-visit destinations throughout the evening, but only one place to be to start your night off right: Toronto Eaton Centre.
TEC is pulling out all the stops for the shopping centre’s very first time participating in Fashion’s Night Out. Not only will its doors remain open until 11pm for all your late night shopping needs at selected retailers, but it will also be kicking off its night of FNO festivities with a fashion show. Featuring the latest fall arrivals from Gap, Juicy Couture and Stuart Weitzman, the show starts at 7:30pm at Centre Court, and you won’t want to miss it.
We know we don’t! The Backseat Stylers will be right there in the mix, live-tweeting during the show and as we shop at some of our favourite TEC retailers. We’ll also be giving away official Fashion’s Night Out merchandise over Twitter. Intrigued? Then make sure your fashionable self is at Centre Court between 7-8pm with smartphone in hand, and be ready to tweet at @toeatoncentre and @backseatstylers using the #FNO_Toronto hashtag for a chance to win 1 of 24 prizes available.
Is all of this feeling a little like the holidays have come early this year? Because there’s more. We’ve teamed up with Toronto Eaton Centre to give one very lucky reader of The Backseat Stylers a fabulous shopping experience that will make this Fashion’s Night Out even more epic than it already promises to be! Here’s what’s up for grabs:
- One $400 Cadillac Fairview shop! card® gift card
- Lunch with The Backseat Stylers at Trattoria Mercatto
- Style consultation with The Backseat Stylers (we’ll happily help you spend that $400 gift card!)
Want in on this incredible prize pack? Contest rules are below. Good luck everyone!
In the meantime, don’t forget to stop by Toronto Eaton Centre for a swanky new FNO outfit. S paid TEC a visit this past weekend and picked up a printed Clover Canyon number from Mendocino that she’ll be sporting on the big night. What will you be wearing to the Fashion’s Night Out festivities at Toronto Eaton Centre? We can’t wait to see. It’s a date!
xx, T & S
- To enter, leave us a comment on this blog post telling us how you’d spend the $400 gift card and ‘like’ Toronto Eaton Centre and The Backseat Stylers’ Facebook pages here and here.
- For a bonus entry (you must complete step #1 first), follow both @toeatoncentre and @backseatstylers on Twitter, and tweet the following: “The @backseatstylers and @toeatoncentre are giving away a $400 shopping spree for #FNO_Toronto! Enter here: http://bit.ly/OaSI9R #giveaway”
- The contest closes at midnight on September 11, 2012. The winner will be selected randomly and announced on September 12, 2012. The winner will be notified by e-mail.
- There are no prize substitutions. Prize does not include travel and cannot be redeemed for cash.
Sponsored by Toronto Eaton Centre
Addicted to Zara? It’s time for you to meet her sister, Massimo Dutti. Already available in 53 countries, the Spain-based chain, owned by Zara’s parent Inditex, opened up its very first North American location last week in Toronto, with two more in Washington, D.C. and New York City to follow. The new Toronto Eaton Centre boutique features a well-curated selection of the brand’s men’s and women’s apparel, shoes and accessories, all designed for the city sophisticate.
Intrigued? You should be. While Zara’s offerings are always impressively on trend, Massimo Dutti’s designs are refreshingly classic and versatile. Price points are higher than at Zara, but so is the quality. The latest collections are filled with chic pieces that can be worn this upcoming fall and many thereafter without looking dated or falling apart.
In other words, this isn’t where you go to meet your colour-blocked, leather-trimmed, stud-embellished needs. Instead, Massimo Dutti is where you’ll find that perfect knitted poncho, sharp blazer or to-die-for leather jacket you won’t stop wearing this fall, the next, or even the one after that.
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