Get ready: Fashion Week (Month) has begun! And so has the Toronto International Film Festival. Here’s what I do to not feel like a troll

backstage beauty

Here’s a little insidery fact: If you’re a beauty editor, the first week of September, directly after Labour Day, is hands-down the busiest, craziest week of the year. It’s kind of cruel, because you’re just coming off a long weekend and still wanting to savour what’s left of the warm weather as we cruise into fall. Instead, you’re jolted into madness, since a) an entire month of Spring Fashion Weeks kicks off, starting with New York, b) the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) takes over our fair city and c) BECAUSE OF a) and b), a very large number of companies want to get in on the excitement by hosting beauty events during this time.

And so, I’ve had to violently pull myself out of summer mode—which, let’s face it, might be just a tad slack-ass on the grooming—and channel a more polished, presentable, red carpet-ready version of myself. (Even if I’m not walking any actual red carpets.)

You may wish to do the same. In fact, I recommend it! Just like I urged you to examine the fall beauty trends and think about what looks you want to go for this season, I also think it’s important—probably MORE important—to deal with the foundation. Not the cream-to-powder kind, silly, but all of the underlying things like your haircut, and hair colour, and skin and nails and brows and more. I do all of these things in early September (because mentally I can’t let go of that “back to school” thing) and it feels like a million bucks. I swear. So here’s a little random rundown of what I’ve been up to, and recommend. Fun!

I got my hair cut and coloured.

By different people, obviously, since (no offense) I would never let my colourist near me with scissors. Yeah, I’ve got trust issues. (The man who cuts my hair, Bill Angst, has done my colour in the past but he’s expensive. He always tells me if he approves of other people’s work—and right now, he does.)

Our favourite hyper hair colour-aware commenter, Thomas, will be disappointed that I didn’t try anything crazy with my colour… I just got my roots attended to and had a toner put through to give it that slightly dark, reddish-blonde je ne sais quoi that I’m digging lately. And this, I think, is enough to rejuvenate your summer locks if you’re one of those risk-averse people. Toners are so underrated, especially for blondes. Here’s an approximation of what my colour is like, seeing as I can’t take a well-lit picture of it to save my life.

Scarlett Johansson Mango Get ready: Fashion Week (Month) has begun! And so has the Toronto International Film Festival. Heres what I do to not feel like a troll

Not as red as an Amy Adams or an Isla Fisher (my twin redhead obsessions), but just enough to make it different from those billion icy, ashy blondes everywhere. The takeaway message: try a toner! Dewit!

As for the cut, well, I always revert to this pic since I have a cowlick that tends to separate my bangs in this fashion:

0226 nicole richie long hair li Get ready: Fashion Week (Month) has begun! And so has the Toronto International Film Festival. Heres what I do to not feel like a troll

But Bill told me it would really be a better idea if I just grew them out and started again. (I’ve cheated with too many hairdressers and so the line is not quite right. Again, this is why I always kick myself for succumbing to the lure of a free haircut.) He also said he’s really feeling my deep side part, so this is what I walked out with:

Emma Stone deep side part Get ready: Fashion Week (Month) has begun! And so has the Toronto International Film Festival. Heres what I do to not feel like a troll

Except, you know, I WISH I looked like Emma Stone.

I got an oxygen facial.

Ever had one? I’m not one for facials in general, but I like this treatment because you really do get results. Seriously, for up to five days post-treatment (although I think it’s mostly in the first 24-48 hours), you really can see that your skin is more plumped-up and hydrated-looking. Celebs get these done all the time before big events. In a nutshell, how it works is via a little hand-held device, which blows pure oxygen into your pores and helps push your serum of choice deep into the dermis. I’ve had the Intraceuticals a few times in the past, but the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto (a LOVELY place, really) was kind enough to treat me to the Luzern version, which is more like a traditional facial with the oxygen part at the very end. SO GOOD. The best part is that they can customize it to treat whatever skin concern you have, so it’s not just for anti-aging purposes but also hydration, acne or sensitivity.

Another great thing about Luzern is that you can buy the very same products for at-home use. There’s none of this “professional-grade” stuff that the estheticians get to enjoy but you can’t get your hands on. You can buy it at the Windsor Arms too (as well as a whole bunch of other fab lines including SkinCeuticals, Deborah Lippmann and more).

Luzern products Get ready: Fashion Week (Month) has begun! And so has the Toronto International Film Festival. Heres what I do to not feel like a troll

I had my eyebrows trimmed, tweezed and threaded.

Eyebrow Threading Get ready: Fashion Week (Month) has begun! And so has the Toronto International Film Festival. Heres what I do to not feel like a troll

That’s right—the great Irena (at Robin Barker in Toronto) worked her magic and I’m a convert (after this lengthy discussion on my fear of new eyebrow people). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: eyebrow shaping is just one of those areas where 99 percent of us require professional help. It’s a great idea to seek said help as part of your September rejuvenation program. Personally, I always have to book eyebrows and hair appointments in the same week because I feel like the new hair is never complete without the eyebrow hair looking groomed as well.

I got an (organic) faux tan.

I know, it’s September. Why a spray tan? Well, it’s not quite tights weather yet—but my pale, bare legs cry out for cover in the form of colour, at least. Especially with the fancy schmanzy TIFF event circuit.

Legs with heels Get ready: Fashion Week (Month) has begun! And so has the Toronto International Film Festival. Heres what I do to not feel like a troll

That said, I’ve always shied away from the whole spray-tanning business, and not just because I choose not to look like I live at Jersey Shore. I’m also a bit reluctant to have every inch of my body sprayed with whatever is in those tanning formulas… even though they’re technically “safe,” I’m not in any rush to load up on parabens and the like. And so I was over the moon that Pure + Simple in Toronto will soon be offering an organic spray tan sans harmful or toxic chemicals, dyes, alcohol, additives, perfumes and artificial colours. (I was lucky to get an advance test drive.) The ingredients in their solution are purified water; dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is derived from plant sources such as beet sugar; cane sugar; aloe vera; and benzoic acid. Fantastic, right? The whole process takes about 15 minutes, the colour is really natural and the results last between seven to 10 days. (You can help it last by exfoliating beforehand and then when showering, not using anything abrasive and patting yourself dry instead of rubbing.)

If organic spray tans aren’t offered in your city, check out some of these self-tanners for at-home use.

I got my nails did.

This one is VERY important because walking around in flip flops all summer encourages yucky dry feet and callouses and such. I tell you, if there’s one aesthetic service that is 100 percent worth it, it’s a pedicure. Those girls deserve every penny for scraping the gunk off people’s gross feet. Anyway! The big decision, obviously, is colour… because hopefully we’ve still got a few more weeks to get away with wearing sandals. I hear that nude polish pedis are a big thing in NYC these days, but I can’t quite get on board with that one, so I’m currently rocking this colour:

OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender Get ready: Fashion Week (Month) has begun! And so has the Toronto International Film Festival. Heres what I do to not feel like a troll

It’s called Lucky, Lucky Lavender and it’s certainly paler than the bright corals, reds and pinks that I tend to wear on my toes. But you know what? I love it. I feel like I’m part of the trend but there’s still just enough colour to not look like mannequin toes.

And that’s pretty much the extent of my shameless primping! The result: I no longer feel like a troll who has no business advising others on beauty. And on that note, stay tuned for my usual runway reports next week on all the exciting spring beauty trends coming off the catwalks!

In the meantime, tell me:

Do you agree that it’s important to give onself a September beauty revamp?
What have you been doing to get beauty-ready for fall?
Have you ever tried an oxygen facial or an organic spray tan?

23 Comments

Thomas
Friday, September 9/2011 at 1:47 pm

You have failed me.
LOL jokes, your hair colour suits you so much so I don’t see any MAJAH reason to change it, but I think the new fringe will be interesting! We will have to see that soon! I like the sound of the oxygen facials, they sound like they would be pretty gentle on sensitive skin, but still effective. I probably wouldn’t be getting one anytime soon since I’m pretty happy with my skin at the mo.

Huge fan, hyper-hair-colour-aware Thomas xx

P.S. I am re-starting my job as a swim instructor soon, but I really really don’t want my hair to fade as I have dyed it a lovely dark espresso brown but its a semi… Has anyone got any tips for stopping hair from fading from chlorine (besides the obvious but impossible of not getting it wet)?

http://changingcoloursofahairdyeaddict.tumblr.com/

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 13/2011 at 6:05 pm

I know! I feel like I disappointed you! I used to be a lot more adventurous, but when have to you play guinea pig with your hair and face too much, you start to become risk averse and develop trust issues…

For your hair I guess you can’t wear a swim cap could you? :-) I would wet it completely with normal water (non-chlorinated) before you go into the pool since that will prevent the chlorine from absorbing. Then do you have a leave-in conditioner you can comb through it? It will help to protect. Make sure you rinse and shampoo straight after… apparently the ingredient you want to look for to remove the chlorine is sodium thiosulfate. I think it may be in dandruff shampoos but you would need to check the label. I’d also do lots of masks if you can to help rejuvenate the colour. Vinegar rinses might be helpful too.

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Ana P
Friday, September 9/2011 at 1:47 pm

Pictures please! A least of the hair….of the tan is a little much. :) I agree with a facial and haircut/colour for fall as a must. The weather (beginning) to change makes an impact on skin and hair I’ve found. Oh, how I wish Pure and Simple was here in Vancouver….Those ladies are goddesses and that place is one of the few places I miss about Toronto! So vain…People, if you haven’t gone – GO.
Liking the nail colour too, might need to do that one on my next pedi Thanks for the post!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 13/2011 at 6:08 pm

I’ll try and do a video soon so you can see! Honestly it’s not too exciting but I was in desperate need of a trim and shaping.
I share your love for P+S – I love everything about that place!

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Ana P
Friday, September 9/2011 at 2:06 pm

Also…those Luzern products look amazing. Have you tried any of the at home products? Those serums look awesome and at a lesser price in comparison to Skinceuticals. I love serums and am always on the hunt.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 13/2011 at 6:10 pm

I haven’t but I would in a heartbeat. I could definitely feel the tingle with the exfoliation product she applied, so it’s awesome they sell the same thing for home use. I find a lot of those peel kits to be way too gentle. I like to feel the burn!

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Arianne
Friday, September 9/2011 at 2:07 pm

Tell me more about hair toners! Is there something we can buy at the beauty supply store or drugstores for a DIY at home? I have highlights from summer that I want to warm up and darken a little.

So happy to hear that you got good results from the spray tan at P+S. Definitely need to go before I go on vacation (if this ever happens).

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Lisa
Friday, September 9/2011 at 3:30 pm

i’ve actually had good luck with this aveda conditioner called “clove”, to do just what you are saying (warm up and darken highlights). i know that you are looking for a toner, but just in case it’s hard to come by, i highly recommend you try the aveda clove conditioner!

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Arianne
Saturday, September 10/2011 at 10:43 pm

Great tip, thanks Lisa! I will check out Clove.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 13/2011 at 6:19 pm

Cosmetic World also sells these great colour-depositing shampoos from a brand called Artec. I think the line is being discontinued soon soon I’m stocking up – I use the Strawberry one for copper blonde tones, it’s AMAZING.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 13/2011 at 6:18 pm

I haven’t tried to DIY yet but I want to see if I can – going to make a trip to Cosmetic World because they usually have great advice on stuff like this. (Not sure if you have been but they sell all the professional colour products.) I think something like Clairol Natural Instincts could be used as a toner as well since it’s deposit-only and gradually washes out.

I loved the P+S spray tan but a little confused because they then said they don’t want to promote it….

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Gina
Saturday, September 10/2011 at 2:09 am

Michelle, any good TIFF parties to hit up??

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 13/2011 at 6:21 pm

Oh gosh I am the wrong person to ask! I’m done with TIFF now as I’ve just got too many deadlines this week but Janine may have some scoop http://imabeautygeek.com

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Barb
Saturday, September 10/2011 at 8:29 am

Hi Michelle-which oxygen is more effective-Luzern or Intraceuticals?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 13/2011 at 6:22 pm

Good question! I think both services are comparable… it’s hard to say because it’s been a few years since I did Intraceuticals, but I felt like I noticed a more dramatic plumping with that one. Could have been I was hungover/dehydrated at the time though! :-)

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Sandra
Saturday, September 10/2011 at 1:27 pm

I LOVE getting pedicures, it’s the potential for nail fungal infections that prevents me from getting them. The last place I went gave me a nail fungal infection which has finally cleared up. How are you supposed to be sure they are cleaning their utensils (this place SEEMED so clean) when you are trying to chill and relax and not give them an interrogation about their cleaning methods?
Nice colour though.
How about doing an article about how to avoid pedicure fungal infections?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 13/2011 at 6:30 pm

Eww! Was that in Toronto? I want to know so I can avoid them… Great post idea by the way – I’ll make a note of it. I remember there was an expert from Sally Hanson who came to town a few years ago and scared the living daylights out of all the beauty eds with tales of what you can contract from getting a pedicure. I think I’ve blocked that out but you’re right, it’s really scary and I should probably be more careful. I’ll look into it – stay tuned!!

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Sidney
Saturday, September 10/2011 at 6:56 pm

I have to get a facial every month because every face moisturizer with SPF I try seems to give me milia around my eyes. I should probably try eye cream with SPF instead of a face moisturizer. Anyone has any recommendation?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 13/2011 at 6:33 pm

Yes this is a huge problem, my Luzern facialist actually told me the only way to stop those things is to not wear sunscreen! Ugh – not the answer I was looking for. Are you using mineral or chemical SPFs? I think the mineral ones sadly might be more pore clogging, but I need to do more research on that. Also you might want to switch to a gel moisturizer instead of one that’s white/creamy. H20 Plus makes a great one that I have been using lately, I love it! I’ll look into this more though and see what I can find out…

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Sidney
Wednesday, September 14/2011 at 4:33 pm

I’m using the neutrogena moisture SPF 30. I don’t think I could ever give up using SPF since I saw your posting of the wrinkled lady in the beach. I always think that sunscreen is better than the anti-wrinkle cream that’s available

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Jane
Sunday, September 11/2011 at 7:17 pm

I am so on board! I just got my September trim & toner as well and I feel so…put together. My highlights were bleached within an inch of their life from driving around in a convertible all sumer and needed “toning” big time. My daughter and my BFF adore OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender, BFF for pedis & daughter for manis! It’s so pretty!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, September 13/2011 at 6:34 pm

God we SO need to meet someday, we are like beauty twins! Are you not digging the lavender – what are you wearing for polish these days?

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Jane
Wednesday, September 14/2011 at 7:56 am

Well todays Fall Transitional Mani/Pedi was inspired by this post! I actually did the nude toe, Lippmann Fashion (Nude would also work) and I LOVE it! My fingers are one my faves, Chanel Paradoxal, a smoky grey that is brightened by the nude toes. But I think I *need* Lippmanns Stormy Weather (dark grey cream) and Billionaire (dark green cream)….nice thing about nude toe- you can go crazy on fingers without having to change pedi. Yes, I think about it *that* much ;)

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