Several weeks ago, I was honoured to be invited to attend the launch of Le Vernis à L’Huile – the newest nail polish range from L’Oréal Paris. As if seeing these new lacquers wasn’t exciting enough, this event was made even more special by several other details: meeting L’Oréal’s Global Nail Designer & celebrity manicurist,Tom Bachik in person (crossed off my bucket list), staying at the über-luxurious Shangri-La Hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto, getting a pampering massage at the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie (conveniently located in the hotel), and having dinner at Momofuko’s Daishō restaurant located adjacent to the hotel and above their famous Momofuku Noodle Bar.
A review of Le Vernis à L’Huile lacquers will be coming soon.
A huge thank you to the entire L’Oréal Paris team for making this magical trip happen.
Mandatory travel shot
The Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto
Upon arrival at the hotel and thanks to my flight being a little late, I had just enough time to drop my bag off in my room, then I headed directly for my massage and some de-stressing time. With architecture and decor details drawing inspiration from the Middle East, Paris, & Marrakech, the Miraj Hammam by Caudalie Spa is an oasis of calm – as well as equipped with the award-winning Caudalie product range. The experience began in a soothing room that made me feel like I was entering a harem, and after being met by my masseur, Justin, I was led to another room where I received the most incredibly relaxing hour-long massage. Before heading back to the locker room to change, I was once again invited to once again relax in the ‘harem’ room, where I was also treated to piping hot mint tea, fruit & mini baklava (for the record, all were inhaled).
I initially thought this fountain at the entrance was filled with Skittles…
The ‘harem’ room
I mean, can’t you just picture this filled with a bevy of giggling women?
One of the massage rooms
I’m definitely glowing
Getting back to my room, I was greeted by some wonderful goodies: a few treats to snack on from Momofuku Milk Bar (the restaurant is actually connected to the hotel) and a lovely welcoming note from my host, Kristina. As to the room itself (which was beautifully appointed & drop-dead gorgeous), I totally forgot to take pictures of it all — with the exception of the bathroom, which was not only vast but covered in marble and even came equipped with a tv built into the mirror, along with the cutest patio/balcony that even boasted its own lovely garden as well.
The hallway leading to my room: totally museum-worthy
The least amount of makeup I’ve EVER travelled with
I had some time to rest up and get ready for the event, which was held at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, a combination salon/spa & cocktail bar located on King St. West in the city’s trendy Fashion District. Upon arriving at the venue, we were welcomed with glasses of bubbly and treats inspired by the nail polish shades (which were actually quite delicious, despite the unusual colours). A long marble bar in the room was transformed for the day with individual nail stations that were personalized for each invited guest, in preparation for the workshop we were about to receive and led by Tom Bachik. I was blown away to find my spot located at the top of the table, right beside Tom himself!
Top: Denim & Supply ♦ Jeans: Frame Denim ♦ Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Lust-inducing: a wall of the new Le Vernis à L’Huile nail polish range
After a brief introduction and learning Tom’s story of how he became involved in this industry, we were invited to choose our preferred shade and got to work painting our nails, all supervised by the master himself. I chose Blanc de Lune, a creamy off-white and my go-to colour of choice when testing out a new range (plus I have a thing for white nail polish). Putting some of Tom’s tips into effect, I was able to pull off a pretty decent manicure – considering that I wasn’t in my usual work space. Once the photo ops were done, the event was finished but my day was far from over, as I was invited to have dinner with the L’Oréal crew AND TOM BACHIK at the city’s newest hot spot, Daishō.
Oh hai Tom & Kristina! (she’s going to kill me for this shot but I think she looks adorable)
Blanc de Lune, a seriously gorgeous white
Grabbed from Kristina’s Snapchat
With Tom Bachik, who is truly such a genuine and nice person
Seated across from Tom at the dinner table was a pinch-me moment, but his humble and down-to-earth personality made it feel more like sitting with a longtime friend. Over a dinner of the most amazing food I’ve tried to date (there was this meat dish served with steamed rice buns that I’m still salivating over) we discussed nails (duh), sports cars (yes, I’m a fan), and family (we both have children of similar ages and have been married to our respective spouses for about the same length of time too!). Leaving the restaurant, we stopped downstairs for Momofuku’s famous Cereal Milk™ Soft Serve (it really does taste exactly like milk at the bottom of a bowl of Corn Flakes) that we enjoyed in the hotel’s lobby area, to the sound of live jazz playing around us. A bottle of Veuve Clicquot capped off the night, then it was finally off to bed, where a gift box filled with 12 of the new shades was waiting for me ∗insert happy squealing sounds∗
Beef Brisket served with Steamed Buns, Crab Mayo & Green Papaya Slaw
Milk Bar’s famous Cereal Milk™ Soft Serve X 6
Ready to head for home