TIFF ’10: A visit from….Karen Kwan

TIFF is madness! While we love the running around that goes hand in hand with this amazing festival, we still need some help calming down and feeling healthy for these 10 days. Never is this more true than mid-festival (read: right now), so we invited Karen Kwan, health and beauty expert, up to the fourth floor to give us tips. Here are her top four methods for looking and feeling great, all festival long. 

Get physical.
The films may inspire you, but all that sitting on your derriere for hours on end is bad for your health. Take a break from movie-watching to burn off all of those cocktails and canapés you’ve been inhaling at all the TIFF parties (bonus: you’ll relieve some stress while you’re at it). Trust me: You never regret working out, right? Right.

Simply look gorgeous.
Don’t stress about being ready for photo ops. If you can fit in visits to the complimentary beauty suites, fantastic! (I know I’m making a pit stop at the Murale/Sally Hershberger suite at the Intercontinental Hotel, fo’ sho!). If not, you can still always be ready for the paparazzi by picking the right cosmetics. The beauty essentials I know I can count on include Stila Long Wear Liquid Lip Color in Patina, L’Oréal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base (keeps my oily T-zone nice and matte), and I know I won’t have to worry about my manicure chipping because I’ve already got my nails done in OPI Axxium Soak-Off Gel Lacquer.

Satisfy your sweet tooth.
Not something my dietitian would approve of, but sometimes something sweet is the only thing that’ll soothe my frayed nerves. My fave cupcakes are from Sweet Bliss in Leslieville.  They are totally worth the jaunt over to the east end. If you’re under high stress and prefer something with an actual proven health benefit, keep a bar of dark chocolate in your handbag. Eating an ounce and half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks has been shown to reduce levels of stress hormones.

Get some fresh air.
And the rooftop of the Thompson Hotel, mojito in hand, doesn’t count. Put down the cocktail and seek out some greenery, TIFFsters. Take five in a park or garden and it’ll help lift your mood, according to a University of Essex study.

Kwan quit her job in marketing in 2001 to pursue a career in magazines. From her first gig at Redwood Custom Communications, where she worked on publications for clients including Sears, Home Depot and Scotts, she went on to work on the launch of FQ magazine. In 2005, she landed at FLARE magazine in the copy department. During her four years at FLARE, Kwan, in her role as health and lifestyle editor, discovered her interest in healthy living, including a passion for running – something she considers a blessing, considering her even bigger passion for eating. Currently, Kwan works as a freelance writer, and in December 2009 the Montreal native launched her blog Health & Swellness, where she covers “health, beauty and anything else that catches my fancy – that’s where the ‘swellness’ comes into play.”

Twitter: @healthswellness