GOLDEN GLOBES SUITES 2011
I returned to LA from a month in New York just in time for the first gifting suites of the new year. Whew! (No matter that some of them were being held on my January 14th birthday–what better way to celebrate???)
With the same week including my aforementioned bday, the opening of the fabulous show Traces (see my review here: www.itsnotaboutme.tv/news/2011/01/19/theatre-traces,) and getting ready for a couple of guests from New York, it’s shocking that I was able to make it to five suites this time! Two of my all-time favorites, GBK and Secret Room, remained at the top of the list, with Roger Neal’s Style Suite joining them. It all worked out just perfectly.
In case you’re not familiar with the concept, (of suites–not my birthday; the latter we’re all familiar with!,) please check-out my Gifting Suites 101 column: www.itsnotaboutme.tv/news/2010/01/19/gifting-suites-gifting-suites-101.
I need to add that nowadays, many suites spotlight a charity, along with the gifting, which is a wonderful thing to do. It makes us feel less frivolous for having so much fun. (Well, at least that’s how it manifests in my psyche.) And now, read on and see what the stars were treated to. [Note: please read about all the suites, or else you’ll be missing out on some of the festivities.]
ROGER NEAL STYLE HOLLYWOOD SUITE
I began my Golden Globes week at The Roger Neal Style Hollywood Ultimate Beauty Suite, which took place at the always lovely L’Ermitage Hotel. As the name says, it was more of a beauty suite than a gifting one. And let me tell you, after a month in the weirdo weather of New York, including a major blizzard and the first lunar eclipse on the winter solstice since 1658, I needed to be pampered!!! [Note: That date may actually be 1634, but who’s going to remember?]
This was the perfect suite to start off with–it made me ready to face the super-busy week ahead. Roger and his wife Lynn are a wonderful couple. No matter how hectic things get at their events, they’re always cool and collected and lovely to their guests. They set the happy tone for us all.
I began with a facial so perfect that, in the week and half since, my face has stayed dewy and glowing! Tony Laca of GM Collin Skin Care performed it using their Montreal-based product line and he could not have been kinder or known his business more. He even told me I had a fabulous décolletage, which trust me, he’s the first one to say. I loved every minute of it! gmcollin.com
Without having to get dressed, I moved to the other side of the curtain for a wonderful massage by Lily of the new Bao Foot Spa in Beverly Hills. This is interesting–it’s basically a Chinese Reflexology place, (that I’m planning to visit soon, by the way) but they also incorporate the body when necessary, which, believe me, it was in my case! baofootspa.com
All I wanted to do after the facial and massage was go to a room and take a nap, but there were more services to be had. And having them, I was! Kaamilya of Unwind Mobile Spa did a manicure for me. I so trusted her that, since I had just broken a nail, I said to just cut them all off! And let me tell you guys, it’s soooo much easier to type like this! unwindmobilespa.com
By then, I was truly mellow, so when the very famous Daniel Dinh applied my Longmi eyelash extensions, I fell asleep for that hour! The combination of his perfect choice of music and the din of the crowd in the suite made for a perfect nap. I had been waiting for Daniel (or his twin brother Jimmy,) to do my lashes for about four years, and he did not disappoint. People raved about my eyes all week. (They’re due to stay on for about a month, and just shed naturally with my own lashes.) Everyone thought that I either was wearing new expensive mascara or had had my lashes dyed because they were so natural yet fabulous. Daniel makes his own products, and apparently is really a genius at what he does. longmibydaniel.com
The charity of choice here was OneMama, which helps pregnant women in Africa. To help get the word out at the suite, make-up artist Rachel Bird, with whom I bonded over the hours, applied temporary glitter tattoos with the name of the charity on our upper arms. It turned-out to be a great idea, especially with the warm weather in LA that week which caused us to go sleeveless, because everyone who saw me just had to read the tattoo and ask what it was about. Brilliant publicity move! onemama.org
And while all this was going on, we got fed, which is a rarity at suites! Here are the companies who did the honors: meatballs and watermelon soup from komodofood.com, barbeque chicken bites courtesy of wardellsbarbqsauce.com, cookies by http://www.arlanasgourmetcookies.com, and a whole tea ceremony performed by ladysnowtea.com.
As if all that goodness wasn’t enough, as we left, we received a giant goodie bag chock full of chocolates, vodka, skincare products, and even a shiny purse! No wonder I spent an entire day at this one suite!
As fun as they are, gifting suites can often be a stressful experience, with so many different personalities to deal with in a short span of time. Never so at the Secret Room! These organizers always make it a pleasure to work with them. So much so that, for last year’s Oscars, when I was in a wheelchair, this was the only suite that I chose to go to because I knew they would make it as easy for me as possible. I love cooperative human beings like this, and always thank them for being so.
So, even though the day their Globes suite was being held was my birthday, I decided that this would be a great way to spend it. And I’m so glad I did! It was fabulous, as usual, and back at the trendy SLS Hotel. I was there for several hours, and the hubbub never died down. It was a happening scene all day long, with lots of new and exciting sponsors to tell you about.
Their charity of choice this time was To Write Love on Her Arms which is a non-profit movement for the purpose of helping people who struggle with depression, addiction, and self-injury. twloha.com
Secret Room usually sends us on our way with an extra bag filled with goodies not featured at the suite, but I guess with so many interesting sponsors for us to meet for ourselves, they did away with that practice this time. No matter–there were so many fabulous gifts for us to receive in person that I better get started on giving you the highlights, of which there were many.
My favorite gift from here is one I may not even get to use (because my days of baking in the sun are behind me,) but I will absolutely love if ever I do have to lie on a beach. It’s a UV protection mat from CGear Sand Free that not only matches my eyes, but it does not allow sand to touch your body! (I think the latter part’s the point, not the matching my eyes.) A cute Aussie guy demonstrated it for me, and I swear it works, though I still can’t figure out how! cgear-sandfree.com
I was thrilled to receive two pairs of adorable flats, since I still don’t know when I can return to wearing heels. Melissa Shoes gave me silver slippers that reminded me of a Disney princess, and Holster Shoes gave me rubber-y sandals that I’ll wear everywhere. melissashoes.com holstershoes.com
With all the weirdo events that my being has been though in the past year, I was thrilled to receive Fusion Excel’s Quantum Pendant, which helps with a multitude of problems, including to “restore energy that has become weak in the body.” The company suggests that you wear it on a chain or carry it in your pocket, but I may just have it sewn under my skin somewhere! I need all the energy I can get! Especially for all these suites visits. fusionexcel.com
The best visual aid ever was found at the Xen-Tan booth, as soon as we entered the room. It was a cute young guy, naked from the waist up, to show-off his tan, of course! At least, I think so because I was too blinded by his abs to notice his tan. xen-tan.com
I ended the day with a gel manicure courtesy of Nubar. Keiko, who has the patience of Job, explained everything about gels as she did my nails. When I went over to the owner afterwards, to tell him how fun the gels are, he told me to go to his site and pick out some polishes that I like for him to send to me. Pick-out some??? I’ve never seen so many glorious colors! It’s like a dream come true! I love so many of them. But now that I’ve discovered their gel products, which never chip, how many more times in my life do I have to change my polish? What’s a glamour girl to do? At least, I can line them up in my make-up room, and drool every time I walk in there. bynubar.com
Some interesting beauty products that I plan to try really soon were provided by Number 4 Hair Care number4hair.com, GlyMedPlus skin care glymedplus.com, and especially the new skin cream Celle, that’s touted to “permanently reverse the sings of aging.” I’m going to slather it everywhere!!! biotivia.com
I was happy to see some lovely sponsors I’ve worked with in the past, such as Exclusive Sedan (read my review here: www.itsnotaboutme.tv/news/2011/01/10/miscellaneous-happy-2011exclusive-sedanwww.itsnotaboutme.tv/news/2011/01/10/miscellaneous-happy-2011exclusive-sedan) and Matthew Hunt from A Rose Of Thanks, and meet some fabulous new ones. aroseofthanks.org
Alas, since my visit was on the last day of suites week, and I think I had partied a little too hard on my birthday the night before, I just could not carry as many fabulous products as usual, so I have fewer to tell you about right now than were actually at the suite. But, since many are being sent, I’ll write a follow-up column in the coming months, so please be sure to look for that because GBK’s sponsors are always special. Here are highlights of the items that were small enough for me to tote that day.
I’m always thrilled to see my favorite eye product, Revitalash, back at the suite. Their personnel are always lovely, and the product line just keeps on growing, as do my lashes! I recently started using their black mascara, and now I can’t live without it! Next up, I’ll try their eyebrow conditioner, I’m sure with equal results to all their other great products. revitalash.com
Being another fave of mine from an earlier awards season, I was delighted to see Menbur purses. Once again, they let me choose my dream clutch. Mine is so the perfect size and shape for red carpets that I might just have to start walking them again! Well, if the paparazzi promise to take pictures of my purse only, and not the rest of me. grupomenbur.com
Fun new Nano Dots were front and center here. It’s a great product that you can mold into almost anything you want! As a matter of fact, they set the world record for Largest Magnetic Structure while at the suite. They constructed a giant replica of the Golden Globe made entirely out of the dots. The Dexter’s Laboratory-decked-out guys who manned this section showed me how to make jewelry with them, too. I’m planning to design a diamond ring. Or maybe even a Superbowl one! (As long as the Jets win, that is.) thenanodots.com
I think everyone who ever watched even one episode of my show, Karen’s Restaurant Revue, knows that I don’t drink coffee, but the guy from Honolulu’s Kaldi’s Coffee was so friendly that I was happy to accept a bag. The fact that he added in a chocolate bar may have something to do with it, too. kaldiscoffee.com
Diane Lai developed skin care products for her son’s sensitive skin, and being that I’m the most sensitive person I know, (even though it’s in the empath department,) and not my skin,) I figure I’ll give it a try. dianelai.com
An interesting area was one that highlighted fun items from several different artists. We got to choose our own category of gift. Very original. theindiexhibit.com
GBK’s two charities are the St. Bernard Project, which is an organization that rebuilds the Katrina-ravished homes and lives of New Orleans residents, (and gifted us with Kate Mesta-designed rhinestone dog tags that remind us to “Rebuild”,) stbernardproject.org and The Lopez Foundation, which helps underprivileged children and adults, and also helps get the word out about kidney disease and organ donation. thelopezfoundation.org
GBK always knows how to make their celebrity guests feel special, and perhaps that’s why I usually see the most recognizable faces here. This go-round, I spied several here including Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family, Kimberly Locke of American Idol fame, and the uber-talented Robert Morse, (who looks exactly like he did when I was a little girl!,) with his upbeat family in tow, making everyone laugh and be comfortable.
But, the best one to me was a ruggedly handsome older man with whose visage I was not familiar, but was kind and gentle to all he met. (We were in several of the areas at the same time, so I got to observe his self-deprecating ways.) I finally got to find-out just who he was, and to my absolute delight, he’s David Seidler, the writer of The King’s Speech! At a private screening just the week before, Colin Firth had told us about Mr. Seidler’s three-decade-long journey with his script, so meeting him meant much more to me than it normally would have. When I told him of Colin and Guy Pearce’s nice words about him the previous week, he replied, “Oh, they were just being kind.” What a lovely celebrity to have met at GBK’s suite.
This classy suite at the L’Ermitage is a little different from the norm in that DPA showcases mainly top-of-the-line jewelry, handbags, and dresses to help celebs get camera-ready for the awards and parties. Most were beautiful, but without having them here personally to examine, I can’t come up with wonderful details to tell you about each individual company.
No matter–there were still several highlights that I’m excited to let you in on. And the sponsors were a lovely international group of people whose acquaintances I so happy to make.
The item that appeared to be the most popular was the glamorous Star Candy lingerie. I stood at the door of this more private area just drooling over their display, which is like my dream come true–pinks, blues, and purples, sparkles, and even boas. All the panties have clever savings, like “Stop Staring” written in sparkly yet comfortable studs on the butt. Mr. X went wild for them! (At home, on me, of course.) I’ll feature some in my Valentine’s Gift Ideas column, too, so I’ll have more deets for you then. starcandyboutique.com
I rounded a corner and saw a girl who looked like the daughter of Lily Allen and ME! (Mr. X and I always describe people as “the child of…”) I had just had my hair colored and cut the day before (I’ll be telling you that story in an upcoming column, as well,) and I was so happy to see a really cute girl (the Lily Allen part, not the “me” part,) rocking it so well. She made me stand up just a little taller because of it. Anyway, she was gifting the most important item anyone can possibly use at this busy season of soirees–Ili hand sanitizer! Very clever and appreciated. With pretty packaging, too! iliusa.com
Just when my energy was beginning to wane, I happened upon the snack-y gifts. And not a moment too soon! First up was a delicious, healthful snack from Austrian company Chokolini. It’s organic dried apple pieces coated in also-organic chocolate. There are actually four different chocolate coatings, but dark is my fave. And the combo of the dark with organic apples makes for a healthful guilt-free snack! Leave it to the always-lovely Austrians to come up with something like this! (I think you all know by now that two of my favorite friends in the world, Alex and Simone, come from there, so I love all things Austrian.) chokolinis.com
Then I moved on to a company from Paris, where another of my favorite pals, skater Philippe Candeloro, also hails from. So, I love French products, as well! These beautifully packaged Kusmi Teas made my mouth water just looking at their gift bags. We got to sample some on site, but I’m most looking forward to sharing some of their fun wellness teas with my amies. us.kusmitea.com
The tea went great with Millie’s Cheesecake, which has the crust on the outside, rather than on the bottom. She offered the basic ones there, but on-line, you can not only choose your flavor cheesecake, but one for the crust, as well! Add to that the ease with which you can carry these bite-sized treats in your hands, and you have a winner. milliescheesecake.com
The best part of this whole suite is that I saw my old pal, Adam Lambert! He was just as adorable as ever. I hadn’t run into him since his American Idol success and, let me tell you, he has not changed one iota! He’s still exactly the kind, charming, intelligent, not-at-all-full-of-himself, hugely-talented guy he’s been since I first met him at least five years ago.
As soon as he saw me, he threw open his arms and gave me the biggest hug. I love that boy! My only regret is that I didn’t think to take a picture of us together because that day we were both rocking dark hair, (mine was made dark just the day before,) smoky eyes, black-ish nails, and leather boots, and I would have loved to commemorate our twin looks. Oh well. But, no matter how wonderful all the gifts at all the suites were, running into Adam was truly the highlight of my week. Nay–month. Nay-year.
TARA INK. STYLE SUITE
This was not a gifting suite but rather one for stylists to choose gowns, shoes, and jewelry for their clients to wear to the various parties surrounding the Globes. It was at a private location and was very neat and precise and enlightening.
For all the awards shows I’ve attended over the years, Mr. X always got me a limo to go shopping in with my friends, and handed us his credit card. Having someone go to this suite and pull things would have been preferable–to both of us! (I’m lazy, and it would have saved him many thousands of dollars.)
I was lucky that my appointment over-lapped with that of a former New Best Friend of mine, who’s a stylist, because that added to the fun of my visit.
I did receive one item that I was admiring. It’s a cute little watch, courtesy of Rumba Time, which is the very opposite of the big exotic one that I wore into the suite. With the little light on it, it’s perfect to wear to all the screenings I still have ahead of me before we actors have to vote on the SAG awards. Some of these flicks have me wondering when the end will finally come, (like True Grit did last night ) and this watch is just the ticket for that task! rumbatime.com
Speaking of the SAG Awards, those suites will arrive before I know it, then the ones for the Grammys and the NBA All-Star week-end, both in February, so, if I have any energy left by then, I’ll let you know about all of those. (Don’t worry–I’ll try to rest up a bit before then.)