Gifting lounges take green and charitable route

Posh perks and other extravagant freebies suddenly turn green, and it’s not with envy.

Alive! Expo Green Pavilion
When: Today and Saturday
Where: London Hotel
Posh perks: In its fifth year, this suite is all about ecology — and unabashedly also all about the business of green. “We’re the largest green footprint in Hollywood and we appeal to socially conscious celebrities,” says Kim Shimmel, who along with Patrycja Towns, owns the two companies (MixMedia Award Suites and Alive! Expo) that produce the pavilion. “We consider ourselves an educational event as opposed to a gifting suite where you are just coming in, grabbing that bag and leaving.”
The suite offers “an active spa, with massage, detox, etc.,” a gifting lounge featuring various companies, and it supports Project Green, a nonprofit charity. And despite the expectation of stars attending like Nia Long, Vivica Fox, Cheryl Burke and 500 others, Shimmel says, “We’re not doing this for the media and the celebrities. We’re doing this for our companies, to get the word out about their eco-friendly products.”

How Gorgeous Gets That Way
When: Through Saturday
Where: Kinara Spa in West Hollywood
Posh perks: “The idea is that we are going to prep people from head to toe. They can have the most exclusive bespoke treatments provided by Kinara Spa and their top people, and St. Tropez’s top skin-perfecting experts,” says Karen Heras-Kelly, the global PR communications manager of St. Tropez. The pampering offered to Oscar nominees and presenters only begins with Kinara’s Red Carpet Facial, a “treatment that can be peeled and exfoliated without any side effect,” according to Kinara owner Olga Lorencin, and continues with the Red Carpet Body Peel and Mani-Pedi. This day of luxury finishes with one of four different St. Tropez fake tan applications, which Heras-Kelly says, “lets celebrities get their skin HD ready.” Something in this spa must be working, as Helen Mirren and Hilary Swank both got gorgeous at Kinara and went on to win the gold.

Stuart Weitzman Suite
When: Through Saturday
Where: London Hotel
Posh perks: While shoe guru Stuart Weitzman has eschewed doing his Oscar red carpet signature “million-dollar shoes” in the past couple of years because of the state of the economy, he continues to host his luxury suite.
“The suite is really set up to provide a comfortable and convenient place for celebrity stylists and press to preview our red carpet collection. The collection (comprises) styles that haven’t yet been seen by the public,” says Jacqueline Giusti, the company’s director of special events. Gordon Ramsey’s kitchen will provide the nibbles, while hair styling and makeup touch-ups will keep visitors fresh.

GBK and Healthytrim.com Luxury Gift Lounge
When: Today and Saturday
Where: W Hollywood Hotel
Posh perks: Gavin Keilly of GBK Prods. isn’t fooling around with his annual luxury suite. “We’re giving different vacations to the celebrities: one to Thailand and Six Senses Spa Resort, a trip to Portugal, one to the new Miami resort called the Betsy and a six-month membership to Quintessentially, the members-only concierge service.” With about 30 vendors showing off their wares (including a kids’/baby lounge, so rugrats are welcome too), Keilly can afford to be philanthropic. “We always give 20% of our profits to a variety of charities, and this time in addition to that … on Saturday evening from 7 to 9, we are having a celebrity poker game as well. A $10,000 donation will be made by VictoryPoker.net in the name of the winner to Haiti relief.”

Stylelab Jewelry Suite
When: Through today
Where: Top-secret Beverly Hills location for security reasons
Posh perks: Platinum, gold and precious jewels on display, for stylists and celebrities to borrow for Sunday’s red carpet extravaganza. “These are not pieces that people would see every day; these are pieces that are one of a kind; most are handmade of extremely high-quality materials and top-quality gems being used,” says suite host Michael O’Connor. “People will see designers that are not usually seen in the United States: JW Currens — he is an amazing designer — and designers from Brazil and other places. We also have a collection of classic gem platinum, concentrating on beautiful old Hollywood glamour, done in platinum and diamonds and reminiscent of that Grace Kelly era.” But don’t go there looking to carry home keepers. “There is no gifting — these pieces are to lend for the evening. This is not a swag suite,” he warns.

TMG 7th Annual Pre-Oscar Red Carpet Ready Luxury Suite
When: Through Saturday
Where: Beverly Hilton Hotel
Posh perks: “Beauty, beauty, beauty” is the mantra of TMG’s seventh annual Oscar suite, says head honcho Christine King. “We are not like the other suites, where it is ‘here’s a T-shirt, here’s a pair of jeans, here’s this, here’s that.’ We have accessories and beauty, everything you need to get red-carpet ready for the actual show. Jewelry is a big part of our suite, so we always feature jewelry, handbags and even gowns. Then we offer services, including facials, massages, eyelash extensions. We have 18-karat-gold manicures, hair, makeup.” King proudly says the TMG Lounge remains in the real tradition of Oscar suites, unlike some others. “I don’t understand how it got to the gifting suite. When you really think about it, what does that really have to do with the Oscars and why does that make any sense, celebrities going through with a big bag and filling (it) up with stuff? We’ve never gone there. We are about dressing, it’s a dressing suite. We’ve stayed with the original aesthetic of the suite, very exclusive, invitation only, 50 people in a day. Others have turned into ‘let’s have a party and give away some free stuff.’”

Official Presenter Gift Lounge Backstage at the 25th Spirit Awards
When: Today
Where: Backstage at the Spirit Awards at L.A. Live
Posh perks: Charity leads the way at On 3 Prods.’ Spirit Awards backstage lounge, as Fage Total Yogurt and LG Electronics promise significant donations to Project: Involve. “For every celebrity who takes on a charitable chore of sweeping up with the vacuum on the blue carpet, LG will make a donation,” says Samantha Haft of On 3. In return for doing some cleaning up, nominees and presenters will go home with a groaning bag of swag, filled with everything from a Flip Video MinoHD camcorder, Crunch fitness club memberships, and “the most coveted prize, the AMC free movie pass, for a year of movie admissions for two; I can’t tell you the countless number of celebrities who come running back every year and can’t wait to get their AMC card,” Haft says.

Eco-Oscars Green Carpet Hospitality Lounge
When: Wednesday and Thursday
Where: Private home in Beverly Hills
Posh perks: Going green is all the rage at luxury lounges this season and so is giving back; this lounge combines both, offering up eco-friendly products and beauty and wellness treatments, as well as holding a Hollywood Icons for Haiti photo shoot that will benefit that ravaged country via the Red Cross-Haiti Relief Fund. Plus, Hyundai will transport celebrities in green style to and from the festivities in its latest low-emission hybrid vehicles, which are not yet on the road.

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