[Major note, before you begin: This column is from September, but somehow got lost in the shuffle when we re-did this site. Rather than posting it on some arbitrary date since then, I decided to hold it until now, so that it can double as a last minute gift guide for you. Remember, if you missed these for Christmas and Chanukah, there’s always New Year’s, or my January 14 birthday.]

You guys know how much I love a good gifting suite, and try to get to them all. But this year I made it to just four of them because, unfortunately, I had a stupid accident three weeks before the Emmys, so I was laid-up right until the suites began and was still having trouble walking. (Sorry, but I don’t have a funny explanation.)

The four I did attend were even more fabulous than expected, so let’s get right to the highlights. (If you’re new to reading about gifting suites, start with my “Gifting Suites 101” guide.)


This one was held at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, and I was thrilled because it was actually my first time there! They had a pastry and beverages table set-up on the way in, which added a touch of elegance.

They also did the event a little differently this year; it was actually a “giving” suite, not a “gifting” one. That means that rather than picking-up swag for themselves, the celebrities chose products for their gift bags to be auctioned-off to benefit individual charities of their choice. The auction will be live on from September 22 – October 13, and is totally worthwhile. These are some of the fun gifts that could wind-up in each unique goodie bag:

Antonia’s Nuts–so delicious! Especially the ones swathed in dark chocolate.

Charlie Lapson Handbags–so many products from this talented designer. It was hard to choose just one.

Elyse Ryan Jewelry– Elyse has a line of lovely feminine jewelry that she donates for the very worthy charity, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, in addition to all her other designs.

Hair Zing–these beautiful, sparkling, intriguing hair combs even held-up all the many pounds of my hair! And that’s saying something.

Hands 2 Go–I’ve never seen hand sanitizer at a gifting suite before. Yet, if you think about it, it’s the perfect gift after hours of hand-shaking.

Hip Heirlooms Jewelry–these are…jewelry for your hips! In jeans, that is. Glitzy and unique. I’m going on a diet right away, just so I won’t have a muffin top hanging over it. And what better way to show off your lipo results than with jewelry on the hips!

Jumpin Jammerz–I love these! The absolute coziest footed pajamas ever! For adults, children, and maybe even the family dog next.

Root Essentials–easy brush-on color for when your roots are beginning to show. My hair grows so fast, I’ll need a case of it!

Sculptz–leggings and tights to make you look beautiful AND thin!

Sorme Treatment Cosmetics–so many varieties to choose from! I love the dazzling lip gloss I chose.

S.T. DuPont–lots of lighters in fun colors. You never know when you’ll run into a grown boy scout who’ll want to build a fire with you!

The beautiful private estate that was the site of Debbie Durkin's Main Event Lounge.

The beautiful private estate that was the site of Debbie Durkin's Main Event Lounge.


Debbie Durkin’s lounges are always held in new, creative locations. This one was in a private gated community on the lush grounds of someone’s estate. Luxurious! In addition to some gifts, there was food and beauty services. What more could we ask for?

Love Peace Planet Hair Care–I’ve always loved everything from this company, especially their kind-of secret black eyeliner pencil. So, I’m thrilled to try this newest addition to their hair-care empire.

Marco Ochoa Brow Threading–I had always heard about brow threading, and was thrilled to have Marco do mine.

Biobaby–cute cotton clothing for babies.  so soft!

Wabisabi Green Pillows–these are eco-friendly, beautifully designed pillows, bags, and pillow covers. There was one right in front of me that matched my living room, and I popped one of my couch pillows right into the cover. Instant room pick-me-up!

OPI Manicure–we had our nails done with these popular nail polishes. Their new line is the Spanish colors. It’s hard for me to move on from their Russian line, but I have to follow the modern trends.


This new one to me was held at the Renaissance Hotel at Hollywood and Highland. If you didn’t like the gifts, you could always go shopping after! But I was happy with my goodies.

Lush Jewelry–the designer, Barbara Wheeler, was one of the sweetest sponsors I’ve ever met! And her jewelry was just as sweet. I’m often not a fan of what’s being offered, and have to search high and low to choose something I even remotely like. But in the case of Lush Jewelry, all of it called out to me! I loved the silver earrings, zodiac sign pendants and especially, the purple stone heart on a long silver chain that I just can’t wait to wear!

Naturally Me Soy Candles–handmade, 100% natural and vegan friendly.

Earth Key– a concept for the planet that’s too long for me to explain, so check-put their site to learn about it. But you’ll miss the cute brothers who explained to me!

Live Life Organics–cute cotton tees for the whole fam!

Day Spa Jolie–I finished my visit to this suite with a massage by Cynthia and hand treatment from Beverly, and left relaxed.


This one was very interesting. It was held in an interior design shop! Definitely different. There was a crazy club vibe to it, with rocking music, a bar, and some good food. I really enjoyed it.

Tom Brophy Salon–after growing my hair for over a year without so much as a trim, I trusted the cute guy from this salon to have a go at it. He was patient, calm, and complimentary. Glad I got brave enough to experience it.

LA Café–they provided the delicious refreshments. I’ll try to go downtown and do a real review of them sometime.

Tyla Couture Brazilian Bikini–I’m so thrilled that I got this gorgeous hot pink Brazilian bikini, designed by the handsome Tyla, just in time for the 2016 in Rio! I was thinking of wearing it for the official announcement, but I didn’t want to jinx them. But you can be sure I’ll be wearing it for every beach volleyball game I go to for the next seven years!

Napoleon Perdis–long story on this one. I’m pals with Frenchman Philippe Candeloro, Olympic skating medalist, and all-around fun guy. When he was on the fabulous Champions On Ice tour several years ago, and I was backstage, his fellow countryman, (and equally hot guy,) Gwendal Peizerat, asked me where Philippe was. Trying to make him feel at home, I answered “Cherchez la femme,” meaning loosely, “he’s looking for his wife.” After asking me to repeat it several times, Gwendal finally asked me, in his cute French accent, “What language are you speaking???” I mortifiedly had to confess that it was supposed to be French.

Isn’t it nuts that I love that story? So, when I noticed that the make-up giant, Napoleon Perdis, had a new Luminous Lip Veil in “Cherchez la Femme,” I just had to have it, to remind me to practice my French–you never know when you’ll meet another cute athlete from France to use it on!


Sadly, I didn’t make it to the first suite of the week, the Secret Room at the SLS Hotel, because I was still recuperating from my stupid accident, and wasn’t up to walking around until two days after it was held. But I heard great reports of it, so I checked into their main gift bag to tell you about it.

Secret Room is one of the few suites that gives you goodies even before you walk around and meet the various sponsors for yourself. I’m sure the attendees appreciate that time-saving method. And what a goodie bag it was!!!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it–wonderful new products were absolutely falling out of it! These are some of the many highlights:

Original Sin Jewelry– these earring and necklaces are made out of thin wire, so they go with both gold and silver. Though their so unique that no other jewelry is necessary!

Earth Minerals Make-up–as a gal who has always owned more make-up than Sephora, I was very interested to see this new company in the mix. I love that each color was named for someone or something in Hollywood. For example, who knew that Debbie Allen wanted the color of the building not to be known as “pink,” but rather as “Sandy Beach!” And I happen to be wearing it on this very hot day!

Yoga Sandals–exercise your feet while looking fabulous!

Hair Free–as everyone who knows me knows, I’m all about my long, straight hair. I don’t know how I lived before flat-irons. But this new brush purports to make hair straight without flat-ironing! I can’t wait to try it.

Julie Hewitt Make-up– beautiful eyeshadows in a mirrored palette and the creamiest nude lipstick I think I’ve ever seen!

Geri G. Mixer Kit–this seems to be a make-up enhancer, which makes re-application unnecessary. Perfect for us girls who never get home all day. (And night, for some of you!)

Pooch Smooch Treats Doggie Donuts–this one cracked me up because my very first job when I got to L.A. as teen-ager was in a donut shop! I can’t even smell one now, but to give little doggie ones to my precious Clarence brings me back to that fun time. It’s the perfect treat for the perfect boy!

That’s it for the 2009 Gifting Suites. Good thing the Golden Globes suites begin in just a few weeks!!!



  1. I was reading your article and wondered if you had considered creating an ebook on this subject. Your writing would sell it fast. You have great writing talent.

Leave A Reply