GIFTING SUITE: GBK OSCARS SUITE 2017

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GBK OSCARS SUITE 2017

GBK surprised us once again with their venue for their Oscars Gifting Suite. This time it was on the grounds of a beautiful home high up in the actual hills of Beverly Hills. I even loved the drive up there because it went right past Sammy Davis, Jr.’s home, where I had spent many a happy evening back in the day.

Oscar winner Justin Hurwitz, on the left, speaking with the rep from Jiusko Watches. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Oscar winner Justin Hurwitz, on the left, speaking with the rep from Jiusko Watches. Photo by Karen Salkin.

The day I went to GBK, the event was held outside, but I was told by friends who attended the day before that on that day, it was actually in the house. I have a feeling that both locations on the property were equally special.

Actually, as I arrived, I spied two people who won Oscars the next day, actress Viola Davis and composer Justin Hurwitz, so that made the second day pretty special, don’t you think?

When I could finally turn my attention to the gifts, I was happy with those, too. Here are the highlights of what my contributing writer, Alice, and I found there:

Karen Salkin modeling a pair of Jiusko watches, which  match her nails! Photo by Alice Farinas.

Karen Salkin modeling a pair of Jiusko watches, which match her nails! Photo by Alice Farinas.

Jiusko USA Watches—Speaking of Viola Davis, I was happy to see her walking around rocking one of these super-stylish watches, too. (I have been doing it for several months now!) She and I both graduated from the same college, (Rhode Island College,) in the same Theatre Department, with the same advisor and mentor, Dr. P. William Hutchinson, so it was fun to see that our simpatico-ness continues with our timepiece choices. I’m sure that their very pleasant rep, Michael Clouse, helped her make the perfect choice among all the super-attractive styles. www.jiuskousa.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Il Palato Italiano—This Italian food company brought us Michelin Star Chef Fillipo Sinisgalli, who whipped-up several taste treats for the assemblage, including mini meatballs and pasta with lobster. Even better was that they were gifting sumptuous pasta-making kits, so the guests can try to emulate the chef at home. Yeah–good luck with that endeavor! (But I’m sure it will be fun to try.) www.ilpalatoitaliano.it

Aly Daly—This interior designer was on-site, gifting beautiful marble cheeseboards, as well as discussing home décor with each guest. www.alydaly.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Luseta Beauty—As girls with a lot of locks, we were both already familiar with this line of hair care products that are infused with natural ingredients. They were gifting a big box of items from their Argan Oil Ultimate Gold line, which Alice says is good, “especially if you’re using heat tools often.” www.lusetabeauty.com

Sports 1 Marketing—I think that many of you know that I’m more obsessed with sports than with anything else, (yes—even food!,) so when I discovered this company that was co-founded by NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon, and has former Yankee catcher Jim Leyritz as one of its principals, you know I paid attention! To make people at the suite aware of the good work they do, each guest was sent an email with promo codes for several gifts. Fun! (But they already had me at “sports.” And at these words on their site: “A prerequisite for projects we work on is that there is a benefit to a philanthropic organization or cause.” I say a big “amen” to that philosophy!) www.sports1marketing.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Snarky Tea—I feel that this new-ish tea brand must be following me on Twitter because they gave snarky names to each of their half dozen tea blends! I’m always apologizing for my snark, but these guys are proud of theirs! Actually, their titles aren’t really snark, per se; they’re more just how so many of us talk in real life. It might be interesting to start your day with “Wake the F**k Up,” and end it with “Get Your A** In Bed.” Couldn’t hurt! www.snarkytea.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Maria Shireen—This jewelry designer came up with something interesting. It’s a beautiful silver bracelet that features a groove on top, which is designed to encase a hair tie! That way you’ll always have one at the ready, without just putting it on your wrist, with no style to speak of. www.mariashireen.com

Pure Seduction—I was happy to discover this underwear line for men. I really never knew before that men’s underwear comes in so many different styles and patterns! But that makes sense, actually—why should us femmes have all the variety in that category?! But for me, just looking at the pix on their site, to choose a pair for Mr. X, was more than half the fun! www.puresdn.com

Photo by Alice Farinas.

Photo by Alice Farinas.

Hallmark Signature Greeting Cards—Who hasn’t been a fan of Hallmark cards forever?! So, it was icing on the cake to get to choose a couple of items from their special line, entitled Signature, which are embellished with colorful touches. I was already familiar with them, though, and whenever I buy these cards to send to someone, I always also buy the same card for myself because they’re so gorgeous, I just have to keep them around for myself! www.hallmark.com/signature

 Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Jeanne Verger Jewelry–This designer creates beautiful natural gemstone bracelets, which have stones meant to manifest something good in your life. For example, she told us the deep purple one is symbolic of peace and stability. www.jeannevergerjewelry.com

Meza Dental–Dr. Alberto Meza, a handsome and pleasant dentist from Costa Rica, was gifting at-home teeth whitening kits, which are touted to give you whiter, brighter teeth in only three days.  You know all the Hollywood types in attendance appreciated that gift! www.mezadentalcare.com

 Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Bopulent Jewelry—This jeweler always brings a smile to my face. He’s never seeking publicity; rather, he just gifts people he likes, and asks for nothing in return! I already wear one of his pretty bracelets every day, a fact he was happy to see. www.bopulent.com

Karma Beverly Hills—This is a different kind of salon. They have what Alice deems “really cool services,” including permanent make-up and the “Lash Lift,” which makes it so daily lash-curling won’t be necessary. Wouldn’t that be a pleasure?! www.karmabeverlyhills.com

Get Naked Fast—This raw food cookbook, (even though that’s an oxymoron,) written by Diana Stobo, introduces you to what Alice calls “a new way of nutrition and living.” I just thought the title referred to what I always do the second I walk in the door! www.theretreatcostarica.com

Viola Davis and her daughter, enjoying the day.  Photo by Alice Farinas.

Viola Davis and her daughter, enjoying the day. Photo by Alice Farinas.

Burke Williams Spa—We finished the day with chair massages from personnel of this popular LA Spa. I had Ibrahim Dhalla while Susie Navarro worked on Alice. Not only were they wonderful, but to have our kinks worked-out in such a beautiful setting brought home to us how lucky we are to be included in this special week-end for show biz folks. I may never wind-up nominated for an Oscar, but at least events such as these make me feel like I am! www.burkewilliamsspa.com

This year, GBK’s charities were:

Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation—They work on Childhood Diabetes. www.sugarrayleonardfdn.org

Reach Up Reach Out–This non-profit helps Ugandan orphans and widows. www.reachupreachout.org

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