My dears, recently I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few celebrity gifting suites and wanted to share the experience with you. Gifting lounges are put on during the days leading up to an awards show (in this case, it was the MTV Movie Awards) and it’s an opportunity for brands to present their goodies to VIPS (re: celebrities and press). They’re kind of like mini-trade shows, but the trade happens to be famous people. The brands gift celebs and attendees, the celebrity gets their photo snapped with the product, the product gets press, and this, my buttercups, is how the world goes round. In our celebrity-fueled world, you must admit, it’s rather genius.
My first stop was at Kari Feinstein’s MTV Movie Awards Awards Style Lounge at the W Hotel in Hollywood, a stylish venue for a great event (I’d die for a staircase like that in my casa some day!). Architecture aside, there were a lot of great vendors. A few highlights:
Ryder Smith Jewelry. I loved the mix of materials, textures and colors. And apparently Whitney Port, my BFF Giuliana Rancic, and Malin Akerman are fans too.
Wish, an Australian label that has lots of great boho-chic dresses, tops, skirts and jackets was another favorite. I wore a pretty white dress of theirs for a photo shoot that I’ll be sharing with you soon!
Essie was dishing up their colorful nail polishes, along with more beauty brands like Dr. LeWinn by Kinerase (I’ve been using their SPF 30 sunscreen under my makeup for a few weeks now and so far no breakouts, which is pretty major!), and Visine (I’ve also been using their Total Eye Soothing Eye Wipes to remove my eye makeup, so I no longer look like a raccoon after washing my face).
In addition to fashion and beauty brands, there were also tasty food vendors like Chocolatines (yummy and pretty gourmet chocolates from Chicago), Sensible Portions (veggie straws that taste like french fries, really), and Popcorn, Indiana, whose kettle corn has become my new favorite
crack snack (big bonus that the whole bag is only 130 calories, has zero trans fat, and no preservatives).
After spotting the even-more-gorgeous-in-person Maria Menounos and picking up a signed copy of her new book The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life (which is chock-full of great lifestyle tips and also makes me feel like a total slacker), it was time for me to say goodbye to Hollywood and hello to Beverly Hills.
On the rooftop of the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive is where Melanie Segal’s “Prepare LA” Red Cross Trend Lounge was held in honor of the MTV Movie Awards. In addition to gifting celebrities, this fabulous event had the charitable cause of spreading the word about disaster preparedness (tres important in the land of earthquakes). Check out these original Red Cross uniforms (so retro, I love!):
There was a red carpet and we were each personally escorted around to the various vendors, which was a nice touch that made me feel very fancy nancy, I must admit. The best part was that I was paired up and escorted around with Matt Warburton, who, in addition to being super nice and funny, is a writer for The Simpsons (talk about a fun job!). We both laughed at how half the time the vendors thought I was his publicist or vice versa.
I picked up a pretty pair of pink earrings from Sorrelli, sipped some sweet Arta tequila with my partner in crime, followed that up with some mouth-watering Paciugo strawberry gelato, fawned over the clothing at Unique Vintage and BB Dakota, and enjoyed watching celebrities like Beverley Mitchell (again!) and Franie Muniz mill about.
We sampled cupcakes from Friandise, trail mix and nuts from MyMixedNuts.com (where you can make your own custom trail mix – yes, mine would be all M&Ms!), and picked up copies of The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You’ve Always Wanted that I now rightfully need after all of this indulgence. We also were excited to spot the dapper Nick Verreos of Project Runway fame.
Isn’t he so cute? (I just might smell a Mr. Buss post…) You can check out his take on Melanie Segal’s Platinum Publicity Gifting Suite on his blog. I love that he talks about how it can sometimes be awkward to attend these events, as you often feel like people are going to be like “And you are??” — which makes him all the more likeable, right? For the record, all of your high school insecurities always bubble up at events like this, but what’s a girl to do but keep on keepin’ on anyway, non? The key to success and life is to keep showing up. That’s my unsolicited advice for the day, you’re welcome. (Now that Oprah’s no longer with us, I felt there was a void.) Moving on… It was a really fun day full of some great discoveries and I look forward to sharing the best ones with you over the coming weeks.
Thank you for coming along and a big thanks to Kari Feinstein of Feinstein/McGuiness PR and Melanie Segal of Platinum Publicity for hosting such fabulous events and inviting me along so that I can share them here with you!
[Nick Verreos photo via here; Maria Menounos via here; All other photos by kellygolightly]
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