Thursday: Facial fests for celebrity skin

Preparation needed to get the epidermis looking its best

With Oscar Sunday’s white-hot red-carpet glare only three days away, it’s time to get serious about style and beauty.

Some stars have started early — first-time host Ellen DeGeneres and supporting actor nominee Mark Wahlberg have been visiting Ole Henriksen for personal skin care for weeks already. “To get the skin looking its best, it is important that we begin preparing ahead of time,” Henriksen explains.

Others will wait until these last days to have a beauty “experience” at a top salon, getting buffed, polished and plucked — all gratis, of course. Then they (or their stylists) will hit the numerous style suites that pepper the posh hotels around town, to pick out gowns, tuxes, jewels, sunglasses, shoes and other assorted swag from top designers for Sunday’s extravaganza, again at no charge.

Once the bodies are buffed and cutting-edge styles are chosen, it will be time for the night’s overflowing calendar of parties. Tonight is about conscience (Entertainment Weekly’s “green party” honoring Al Gore, Vanity Fair’s Amped concert for charity), politics (Hillary Clinton’s fund-raising efforts), and straight-up fun (the U.S.-Ireland Alliance’s sure-to-be-raucous bash), with a few back-slapping nominees’ celebrations to round out the night.

BIG WEEK BLOWOUTS

STYLE STUDIOS

Stuart Weitzman Suite
Where: Sofitel LA hotel on Beverly Blvd.
When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (through Sunday)
Who: Weitzman has shod Kate Winslet, Queen Latifah and Barbra Streisand on Oscar’s red runway.
Backstory: Features Weitzman’s sought-after pumps (often studded with diamonds).

Frederic Fekkai
Where: Frederic Fekkai Salon on Rodeo Drive
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (also Friday)
Who: Nominees, presenters and attendees get free makeovers from Fekkai and others.
Backstory: Keira Knightley, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Paris Hilton have all gotten spiffed up pre-Oscar at Fekkai in previous years.

Kwiat Diamond Suite Featuring L’Oreal Paris and Arnold Brant
Where: Four Seasons Hotel
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., by appointment only
Who: Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker have been wearing Kwiat and Arnold Brant.
Backstory: Auction of an 18K gold and diamond compact to benefit two charities.

EVENING ENGAGEMENTS

Hillary Clinton fund-raiser
Where: Home of Sim Farar
When: Cocktail hour
Who: Longtime Hollywood friends help Clinton begin the road to the White House.
Backstory: Preceded by an earlier brunch fund-raiser at the home of Haim Saban.

Art Directors Guild/Architectural Digest party
Where: Century Design Gallery, Century City
When: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Who: Nominees for art direction (production designers, set decorators and art directors)
Backstory: With these design mavens in one space, pressure is on for this to be the most eye-popping party of the night.

Larry Gagosian Party
Where: Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, then on to Mr. Chow
When: 6 p.m.-8 p.m. gallery showing, followed by dinner
Who: Art dealer Gagosian combines business with pleasure, opening the new exhibition “Damien Hirst: Superstition” at his BH gallery.
Backstory: 2006 drew talent from Juliette Binoche to Steve Martin and Dennis Hopper.

Oscar Wilde: Honoring Irish Writing in Film Celebration
Where: Wilshire Ebell Theater
When: 6 p.m.-11 p.m.
Who: The honored include “The Departed” adapted screenplay nominee William Monahan and singer-songwriter Van Morrison. Al Pacino will present Morrison’s award.
Backstory: With Morrison to sing, this U.S.-Ireland Alliance event could be a big ticket.

Miramax party
Where: The Terrace at Sunset Tower Hotel
When: 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Who: Nominees feted fragrantly with Jo Malone.
Backstory: Plan is to keep it small

Los Angeles Confidential party
Where: Skybar at the Mondrian Hotel
When: 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
Who: Cover guy and actor nominee Forest Whitaker, Bow Wow, Eva LaRue
Backstory: Last year’s cover honoree was Philip Seymour Hoffman, who went on to win the Oscar. History could repeat with Whitaker.

Ebony magazine celebration
Where: Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood
When: 7:30 p.m.
Who: Forest Whitaker, Halle Berry and Janet Jackson
Backstory: So many parties, so little time. Just ask Whitaker, the guest of honor all over town tonight.

Vanity Fair Amped
Where: Boulevard 3, Hollywood
When: 8 p.m.
Who: Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas hosts; Macy Gray performs.
Backstory: Sixth-annual fete aids the M. Gray Music Academy, helping give kids affordable after-school music programs.

Entertainment Weekly Oscar Party
Where: Home of Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas
When: 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
Who: Al Gore and EW honor “An Inconvenient Truth” filmmakers Davis Guggenheim and Lawrence Bender. Expect Greenies like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Backstory: Decorators will use vegetable-dyed linens and other eco-friendly items.

Jennifer Hudson celebration
Where: Beverly Wilshire Hotel penthouse
When: 9 p.m.
Who: Host Jamie Foxx will and other “Dreamgirls” co-stars will join in honoring the “Dreamgirls” nominee
Backstory: Having won nearly every award in sight, Hudson gets one event just for her.

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