The Wallis Look

11905804_909157449131514_2246222118438184424_nFrom concert goers to concert performers, we’re diving back into the world of mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta and ask what are her must-have beauty essentials. She just finished performing at the Teatro dell’opera di Roma and will be making her German debut as Cherubino at Oper Leipzig this November.This gal is always looking gorgeous even though she is constantly on-the-go traveling and performing on both sides of the pond.

MC: What’s your number one beauty rule when it comes to taking care of your skin especially when you know you have pounds of make up to wear night after night.

WG: I use copious amounts of moisturizer, and I prefer really natural stuff like pure cacao butter, shea butter, argan oil, etc. I also use moisturizer as makeup remover!

MC: When traveling, what are your top 3 essentials that must always have a place in your carry on.

WG: Absolutely my BITE Agave Lip Mask (made in Toronto), this snazzy little pop-up brush/mirror combo from Sephora and finally,my “Swiss Card” by Victorinox. It’s a credit-card sized unit that has everything from tweezers to a nail file. It has saved me SO MANY TIMES!


MC: Top beauty trick you have learned while getting dazzled up for a performance.

WG: I just learned the most amazing hair curling secret. My hair is very long and straight, and quite stubborn when it comes to curling. But Michele, the genius hair and makeup maestro at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma just taught me this: you take a small section of your hair, wrap it around your finger as if you were going to make a pin curl, then package it up in tin foil (like a little burrito), then clamp it in a flat iron for about 15 seconds (like a little panini on the grill), you will have the most beautiful curl, with the added protection of the tin foil acting as a barrier between your hair and the iron. Plus, this is something I can do myself!
Burrito Head


MC: What do you prefer – stage make up (like for an opera) or concert/recital make up?

WG: That’s a no brainer: I prefer stage makeup because a professional does it for me! I have to do my own makeup for concerts and recitals, and let’s just say, my talents lie in other areas…

MC: One product you just can’t live without (if you had to choose only one).

WG: Blinc Mascara. Hands down. It’s the only way. Try it and you will never go back. No more smudging, flaking, dark circles under the eyes, or accidentally ripping out all your lashes when trying to remove waterproof mascara. This stuff makes little tubes around each lash that slide off like butter when you rinse them with water. But – if you get caught in the rain, you’ll be totally fine. They claim their product is Life Proof, and their motto is “Unmatched hold – effortless removal”. I can corroborate both of these statements as a 10+ years happy customer!

Click here and check it out for yourselves ladies and gentlemen!

Wallis Photo Credits: Opera News, Dario Acosta

The Concert Goer’s Beauty Guide

This week we say ‘goodbye’ to summer and welcome autumn with open arms. The temperature outside may be starting to cool down slowly but things are heating up as many prepare for countless opening nights to come. I know I am excited as the Toronto Symphony welcomes back the talented Itzhak Perlman come Thursday evening while La Traviata will mark the beginning of the Canadian Opera Company’s 2015/16 season next month. These are just some of the many ensembles across the city that will begin the first of many performances to come.

If you are an avid arts buff, there’s also nothing wrong with staying on top of your fashion and beauty game as it is to study the amazing repertoire that you have subscribed to over the course of the next ten months.

Today, it’s all about skin maintenance. With many concerts and operas taking over the social calendar, every night will include putting on a beautified face. Taking care of your skin both before and after a performance is just as important. Many of us will be coming from a long day at work and adding more touches before arriving to our next musical event.

Recently, I came across Kat Burki – a luxury skincare brand that has just launched recently in all Murale locations. I was introduced to these products that follow a “Cold-Pressed, Cold-Poured and Cold-Processed” method. First and foremost, the line focuses on repairing damaged skin (especially from wearing loads of make up and using cleansers on a daily basis).

These two Kat Burki products really caught my attention and have already worked wonders in prepping my skin for the concert season:

Contains cold-pressed rose hip seed oil a ‘uniquely stable form’ of Vitamin C


Very soothing for sensitive skin while still helping to support natural collagen production for a brighter and more youthful glow



For more information about Kat Burki please visit


Everyone in the fashion industry can tell you that it is no walk in the park when it comes to starting your own line whether that may be apparel, jewelry or even starting your own boutique. No one can run away from competition and when you are trying to break through as an emerging fashion personality, taking things a step further can be challenging when you have big box retailers coming over from the other side of the border.

Now I am a big fan of Neiman Marcus and Saks 5th Avenue (sometimes spend more than I should) but there are so many great local designers, right here in our own backyard, that have caught my attention whose pieces have a home in my over stuffed closet.

A platform for promoting, networking and selling, INLAND is a vehicle for designers to develop their profile within the industry and be directly connected with buyers, influencers and consumers. Created by Sarah Power, the event promotes the importance of shopping local while connecting clientele directly with the designers behind the labels, closing the gap between design and commerce in Canada.

Sarah Power

MC: Where did you get the inspiration to start INLAND? 

SP: I’ve been following Canadian fashion for a long time. While studying Fashion at George Brown, I started researching the Canadian market to learn more about other experiences and success stories as a way to fuel my own confidence as a designer. I was working at The Clothing Show at the same time and started getting to know a few local designers, witnessing how hard they worked, and that’s where it all came together.  I wanted to figure out a way to provide more opportunities for designers to take their collections to market. I couldn’t believe how under-represented Canadian fashion and apparel design was, and still is, in both Canadian retail and media. We have world-class design schools here, extraordinary talent, a healthy economy and yet 95% of stuff we look at in magazines and on the racks is from places like Korea and L.A. In Europe and the U.S, they are such advocates of local talent. “Made in New York” is a huge movement now  – what’s up with Canada? INLAND has been an evolution of a lot of observing and planning and evaluating gaps in the market. Ultimately, the show is inspired by the designers themselves.

Over 40 Canadian designers will participate

Over 40 Canadian designers will participate

 MC: Why is it so important, in today’s retail world, to shop local?

SP: It’s extremely important for many reasons. Identity, first of all. Investing and promoting local talent leverages a region’s sense of confidence and drives designers to become more innovative and impactful. This is why the tech, incubator and start-up communities have exploded. Smart business investors see that by supporting and nurturing small, local ideas, real challenges are being solved, and new ideas are emerging and networks are forming that are changing the world. Why isn’t this happening in fashion? We all have closets full of clothes at home – it shocks me that retailers, media and consumers aren’t more informed about shopping local.

We have a responsibility to shop local as a way to ensure a sustainable future both culturally and economically. Did you know that the number of people working in the Canadian garment manufacturing industry has declined by over 70% in the last decade? That’s a lot of misplaced people and a very sad loss of talent, trade and identity. It’s also one of the leading reasons why emerging designers struggle, because production is so difficult to source and balance financially. It’s all connected and it all points to the fact that we, the entire industry, need a significant boost of local support.

INLAND_2 (from Spring 2015) INLAND_3 (from Spring 2015) INLAND_4 (from Spring 2015)

MC: What advice do you find most valuable to new designers when it comes to putting themselves out in the industry?

SP: “Design is all about identity – know your market and specifically, how do you fit into it.” I see a lot of applications come in from designers who don’t quite understand how shoppers consume information and make decisions about what they will choose to spend their money on. We live in a very social, very competitive time. Brands need to be out there, full force, getting noticed – by the right people and by sending the right messages. Understanding the customer (through a TON of research and testing) is the best way to ensure a healthy brand or label.

INLAND FW15 will take place on September 26 6 from 12:00PM to 9:00PM and September 27 from 12:00PM to 6:00PM at the Glass Factory (99 Sudbury Street). 

For more information visit

The Music of Strangers

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) turns 40 this year and I also couldn’t be more excited to learn that Morgan Neville’s The Music of Strangers was to also premiere at this year’s event. The Academy Award-winning filmmaker will profile celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. He brings together master musicians from around the world to teach, collaborate, and perform.

From Iran to China, we learn Yo-Yo Ma’s passion for passing down musical traditions to new generations with the help of international musicians whose divergent backgrounds create an eclectic collaboration. This is exactly what his SIlk Road Ensemble truly represents.

Toronto also has a special feature in this film with Ma performing Bach’s Suite No.1 piece in the Toronto Music Garden (a space that he co-created in the reflection of this composition).

The first screening will take place on Sunday September 13th at 2:45 PM.

For more information visit