Let’s face it. In the past, not many African-American households have set their DVR for the Golden Globe Awards. The presentation has typically been shrugged off by black audiences for lack of [techno] color, as I’d like to call it. When a black actor is nominated, ratings of black households soar when you get the excited phone call from the relative that one of our favorite black stars has hit the stage to accept their award. This year, Don Cheadle’s big win as Best Comedy Actor for one of my favorite shows, “House of Lies,” was well deserved and somehow I believe that we took a small victory with Tarantino’s unexpected triumph for “Django Unchained.” We got a ‘taste’ of Jamie and Kerry, both as presenters this year.
Wait, was that Diddy in the audience?
Along with any big awards show, there are the pre-show festivities, like sponsored gifting suites, pre-parties, parties during the show and the afterparty. This year, I was fortunate to snag an invite to the celebrity gift suite through Secret Room Events at the prestigious SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Secret Room was voted “best gift suite” by Huffington Post magazine. The haute event was to benefit “To Write Love on Her Arms,” (TWLOHA) a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.
As I walked into the stunning SLS Hotel, I was greeted with compliments by a few of Hollywood’s elite looking for the grab bag of goodies waiting in the next room.
If you’ve ever seen a glimpse of a gifting suite, once your name has been checked off the list you’re free to move about and visit each table to see what items, most that hasn’t hit the market, are available to you for a preview. This wasn’t my first gifting suite experience, but what I found this time, many of the vendors – much like the Tom Joyner Morning Show, were there with a purpose. I met a young woman named Aimee Holguin who has developed a company called Mamalicious by Bliss. Aimee has designed a new supplement formula for women who wish to be pregnant, who are pregnant, and those who have given birth. Simply put, the supplement is for the “bounceback.” Does it work? Well, just ask mama. After all, that’s who made it. Could this possibly be the secret to Beyonce’s GQ cover comeback? (Full team of experts not included).
Other participants were the women of Born 4 Couture, a children’s clothing store in Plano, Texas that made its way to the California big leagues. Amber Lancaster is a Texas mother who delivered a child at only 25 weeks and spent months in the neo-natal intensive care unit watching her child fight for his life. She decided after her experience to do what she loved: design children’s clothing with unlimited amounts of bling. There were diamonds and ruffles galore and I was lucky enough to snag a couple of pieces for my goddaughter (this will surely confirm her self-appointment as a princess).
Author and activist Stephanie McAndrew presented her book “If Only I Could Sleep.” McAndrew is an activist of empowerment for women and children, speaking out on the behalf of victims of rape, abuse, neglect, poverty and injustice. As I spoke to her, she emphasized that she was blessed to be where she is today and to continue helping women through her words both spoken and written.
Now, on to the stuff of which dreams are made.
There were products “to the stars” like the Osis Haircare system, ProDermagenix anti-aging vitamins and anti-wrinkle serum, Indigena Skin Care, the EternnaBella beauty products and a newcomer to cosmetics, the Shany brand, which is also a part of the Mac Cosmetics and Bobby Brown Cosmetics family. I picked up an adorable pair of the season’s hottest skinny jeans with houndstooth print by David Kahn and a $100 coupon for mink lashes by Kellylashes.
A gifting suite just isn’t a gifting suite without a liquor sponsor. This time Lovoka Vodka was handed to guests to sip while they filled their good bags with Betty Boop branded paraphernalia.
After a few hours of having a high-end trick-or-treat session at the Secret Room Events pre-Golden Globe Gifting Suite, I was exhausted! But not too exhausted to try my new jeans, great skincare products and my Osis finish serum on these tresses!
Special thanks to Rita Branch of Secret Room Events for a taste of the Golden Globe spectacular experience.