[Note: I went to ten, count them, ten, Oscars Weeks events! Only one was a waste of time, but the other nonet were great, and each was unique. As physically-challenging to me as it all was, it was worth it to have so many wonderful stories to share with you. So, each Oscars Suite and party gets its own column, in the order of my visits to them, (with many of the celebrities being discussed in the next Celeb Sightings one,) because I want you to be able to concentrate on each and every aspect I’m telling you about. I don’t want you to miss even one second of the fun, so please make sure to check all nine days worth of stories to learn about the entirety of the fabulous-ness! This is the ninth of nine! Yay!]

[Note #2: Lucia McCarthy is the Contributing Writer on this one.]

We finished out the uber-busy Oscars Week at GBK; this was their loveliest event ever! It was held in West Hollywood’s Sofitel, in a beautiful layout over several spacious suites. That pattern, I think, made everyone mellow and courteous, and a fantastic time was had by all.

Kevin Minor, manning the Sky's Tacos booth. All photos by Karen Salkin.

Lending to that festive atmosphere was the delicious Mexican buffet set up by one of my favorite Los Angeles eateries, Sky’s Gourmet Tacos. We first met many years ago at another GBK event, and I’ve reviewed them several times since, first on my TV show, Karen’s Restaurant Revue, and then for the various newspapers and websites I’ve written for over the years. At this suite, I was thrilled to munch on their superior guacamole, and their almost-secret creamy cheesecake, which is a staple of my own parties. Lucia even went off her year-long sugar-free diet for it! Sky’s was a super-welcome sight for all in attendance. Leave it to Gavin Keilly to feed his guests royally, to keep up our strength for all the gift gathering!

As always, there were several charities who benefited from this suite. There were six worthwhile recipients this time: City of Hope (,) Global Green (,) Sugar Ray Leonard (,) The Creative Coalition (,) Guard a Heart (,) and Yes! Beat Liver Tumors ( You really should check into them.

I was thrilled to see Presenting Sponsor Nicorette and NicoDerm. As many of you know, I think that anybody who still smokes cigarettes, when we have all the info on just what a threat they are to not only the smoker’s health but that of everyone around them, is a moron. So, any company that can help people quit is fine by me.

Now let’s get to the highlights of the gifts:

Nvey Eco Make-up–How’s this for good luck? For the past few years, every day before I’m seen in public, I fill-in a little scar on my nose with Nvey Erase, the greatest concealer ever made. But, on the way over, I realized that I forgot to, and was fretting more than a bit. But who was the very first sponsor we saw? Nvey! Make-up artist Robby LaRiviere filled it right in for me, and gave me some fabulous new product, and I was confident for the rest of the day! So, others were Nvey-ous of me!

The Artisan Group—This group of artists is practically a gifting suite unto themselves! No lie. They give each VIP a bag of goodies so diverse that both Lucia and I have to weigh-in on it. And no two bags are alike. Mine contained a couple of creative soaps and eight pieces of interesting jewelry. I had three favorites among those: 1) a gorgeous black spinel necklace with a freshwater pearl pendant designed by Elizabeth Pings of Natures Splendour. 2) a stunning crystal bracelet Penny K Design that’s fit for a princess, and 3) Crooked Crystal dangle earrings that say it all in the title! Lucia said, “Wow, this group is amazing.  You find such treasures.  All the jewelry, art, and skin emollients are made with love; this is one group you do not want to miss for the sheer joy of the surprise fun!”

EcoGenics Active Botanical Skin Care—this one multi-tasking product cleanses, tones, and removes face make-up and eye make-up! They had me at “cleanse.”

Jose Eber Hair–I’m so happy for the guests who received this company’s ionic hair dryer, that was featured as one of my recent Valentine’s Gift Ideas. (If you missed it, you can read it here: Now I can’t wait to try their “World’s Fastest” flat-iron, that’s also touted to take half the usual time. I know my secret hairdresser will be thrilled about that!

Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads—when we walked into one of the rooms, I thought I was going batty (going???) because I smelled bread baking! Turns out, my schnozzola was correct because they were heating up these Indian Naan. Lucia loved that “it’s so fresh,” and told me to remind you that if you don’t use it in the first two days after you get it, to freeze the package.  She already went to their site to get recipes and made a dessert with the “multipurpose” naan.

RevitaLash–we’re all happy whenever we come upon this growing line of beauty products, especially because their reps are the loveliest. I always feel like Stephanie Banner is an oasis in a tumultuous sea, and love stopping by their table, which features the cool, crisp-looking line that now includes brow conditioner, line preventers, and mascaras. I use all of their cosmetics, and could not live without their highlighter pencil.

Capsiate Natura—Even though I probably lost a ton of weight while running to to all the Oscars events, with no time for food, I can’t wait to finally try these supplements that help with weight loss.

Matrix Hair Care—I enjoyed talking tresses with Artistic Director Ammon Carving, while “shopping the shelves” on-site for hip hair care products. That was a novel concept for a suite!

Toy State–I wish choosing a new car for myself in real life, that I really need, was as easy as choosing one of these toy ones! This time they were gifting Road Rippers Hatchbacks, which have speaker beds that play real music.

The Scoop on Breasts–This is a book written by Dr. Ted Eisenberg, a breast doctor (duh) from Philly. I’ve known the scoop on my own precious mammories for quite some time, (but not always, shockingly,) so I’ll be interested to read what’s happening with others!

Viva Diva Wines—This pretty pop-up bar was serving several of their creative wines and Lucia may have just tried them all! She said, “The strawberry Moscato is to die for! It was an absolutely delicious pick-me-up.” I did notice a little extra pep in her stop after visiting them!

Rosetta Stone—This is the place to go to learn a language. I wish that some of the guests would opt for a refresher course in English, if there is one!

As always with GBK, there were a lot of high-end items, like gorgeous one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and luggage-size handbags, but we didn’t get to examine them in-depth due to the time-constraint. Suffice it to say that I’m sure the celebs who received those gifts were extremely happy!

Guess what, ladies and gentlemen? We’ve finally come to the end of my Oscars 2013 coverage!!! I can’t believe it myself! Iv’e been writing about all the events for longer than it took me to live them! Next week, we have tons of other categories to move on to, after a big week-end of…nothing but rest!!! (And trying to recover from the pneumonia I caught during all the Oscars Week activities!)


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