GIFTING LOUNGE: ECOLUXE 2017 PRE-EMMYS LUXURY LOUNGE

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ECOLUXE 2017 PRE-EMMYS LUXURY LOUNGE

Karen Salkin, modeling the EcoLounge gifts. Photo by Flo Selfman.

Karen Salkin, modeling the EcoLounge gifts. Photo by Flo Selfman.

Knowing how fabulous Debbie Durkin’s events always are, I decided to share this one with Flo, one of my deserving contributing writers. (Her comments are the ones in quotes throughout this column.) She had a fabulous time there, and mentioned just how nice everyone was, which made me sooo happy!

It was held at the Beverly Hilton once again, but this time, Debbie introduced her guests to the newly-renovated Wilshire Garden area on the ground floor of the hotel. Flo said it’s “lovely,” and especially noted the wall of “vertical gardens,” which I agree was very different. She said the new space “suited Debbie’s event to a T!”

I’m happy to say that this was more a really fun party with great gifts, as opposed to a plain gifting suite, where they rarely feed us. Flo was actually surprised to see any gifts because I had so raved about Debbie’s famous brunches in the past that she hadn’t heard past those accolades!

Just a miniscule section of the gorgeous brunch buffet, which was at least five times this big!!! Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of the page.

Just a miniscule section of the gorgeous brunch buffet, which was at least five times this big!!! Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of the page.

The brunch buffet is always the most magnificent aspect of Debbie’s event, and her thoughtfulness to feed us so royally is very appreciated by all the guests. This one was just gorgeous! Flo had a lot to say about it, so I’ll let her take it from here: “We were treated to lavish food and beverage stations. Frankly, when I heard it would be brunch, I figured coffee, juice, and muffins. Well, there was that–plus a seemingly endless display of yummy brunch dishes–sweet, savory, and everything in-between. There were salads, lots of fruit trays, breads, scrambled e-words [I changed that word, of course], bacon, sausage, and my absolute fave: brie baked inside round breads.”

Photo by Flo Selfman.

Photo by Flo Selfman.

Flo waxed rhapsodic over more than the food, though. She also exclaimed, “Champagne flowed, along with wine and non-alcoholic libations. The staff was courteous and helpful. There was a beautiful mix of people at the umbrella-ed tables enjoying the sweet stuff and the suite stuff.” That last part is so clever, don’t you think? I love her line and this entire event! Because it came in the middle of a crazy day for me, I honestly planned to spend just about an hour there. But at three hours and counting, we had to tear ourselves away!

Massage therapist Alexandria Barrett, (leaning down,) working her magic on a guest. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Massage therapist Alexandria Barrett, (leaning down,) working her magic on a guest. Photo by Karen Salkin.

After we ate, I was very happy to see an on-site massage therapist giving chair massages. I partook, of course, and let me tell you—this was no fly-by-night, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kind of massage. Alexandria Barrett really worked on each guest for quite awhile, and didn’t let the next-in-lines rush her, even one little bit! I really, really appreciate that extra bit of kindness!

So let’s get to the highlights of the gifts now. Debbie is good enough to always give me an escort around her events, which really makes it much easier for me. I wish that every suite would copy her lead! This time, I got the bubbly, purple-haired Anne Marie Avey, who even seemed happy to carry my bags. It always helps to have pleasant people around you!

 Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Bass Buds—Since Mr. X is a krump dancer, I’ve come into contact with more than my share of earbuds and headphones, as you can imagine. So, when I tell you that these 24ct. gold-plated earphones from England are the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen, you know that I know of what I speak! On top of the gold, both ear pieces feature a Swarovski crystal! I may just have to join my bae in his krump sessions now—I won’t be the best dancer there, but I’ll certainly be the best accessorized! www.bassbuds.net

Photo by Flo Selfman.

Photo by Flo Selfman.

Up Yours Chin-Up Mask—Since I basically have no chin, my jawline and neck are my most problem areas, looks-wise. So, I was thrilled to learn all about this non-surgical alternative to going under the knife for the area under your chin. The starter kit (which arrives in an attractive blue and red case with handles, which makes it look like an upscale purse) even comes with a cute little tape measure, in case you don’t want to just believe your own eyes when you see the results. It’s like a dream come true for chin-less peeps like me! (And the clever name really adds to the entire experience!) www.upyoursgravity.com

 Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

ZO Skin Health—I’ve used their hand cream, and Flo told me that she had been curious about this line for quite awhile, so we were both happy to speak with the lovely reps at the event. They were gifting the basic Daily Skincare Program, which comes with an anti-aging exfoliating polish, a moisturizer, and a combo sunscreen-primer. Flo said that she feels people who use it will be “in good hands with Dr. Obagi’s results-oriented skincare.” www.zoskinhealth.com

 Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Liv and B Artisan Jewelry—This jewelry designer was on-site, showing a whole range of her wares, which we were both impressed with. Flo, whom I’ve dubbed a jewelry-aholic, said it was all “simply lovely, delicate, and in good taste.” She was gifting each guest a sweet pair of pearl drop earrings on silver wires. I actually meant to get one of them for myself, but was so busy mingling (and, let’s be honest, eating,) that I never got the chance. But the ones who did should consider themselves lucky. www.livandb.com

 Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Autism Changes—After meeting Dennis Vanasse, a special educator who has seen the impact of children with autism, Flo told me, “I love people who set out to do good in the world!” This non-profit foundation aims to create awareness of autism and individuals with special needs, and give them a voice. To that end, they were gifting Dennis’ book Autism Changes; Jose’s Journey to Acceptance, in which Jose narrates his story in hip-hop rhyme, giving the reader of any age an insight into how a person with autism functions, and what a big difference having a friend makes in his life. www.autismchanges.com

Cards Recovery–They were on-site, asking us VIPs to do brief PSAs for them, discussing the drug epidemic in this country, and, of course, I was happy to lend my voice to it. Fortunately for me, I haven’t known any drug users since I stopped hosting hip-hop clubs around town, but even then, when I discovered one of my homies doing drugs, I helped get them into recovery programs. I always hope that anyone who finds his or herself in this position gets the help they need. It’s good to know that there are programs like this one all around the country. www.carusrecovery.com

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