Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oscar Suite Swag

I got to tag along with my friend Stevie today to check out some of the suites set up to promote Oscar week. I bet you're thinking--"Wow, how glamorous! How cool!" I bet you're turning green with envy at the fabulous haul of swag that I'm going to gloat about.

I bet y'all had a much more productive four hours of your time...

Let's do the math: Take market value of swag minus usability of swag and divide by time spent plus parking costs and--well, four hours plus $12 for parking all for THREE items of swag is not time well invested. Oh well...

The first suite was at the Beverly Hills Hilton which charges like $90 an hour for parking. Kidding. It's $6 for the first hour and $4 for each additional. I was barely there for more than an hour, but ended up shelling out $10. Sheesh. Although I didn't get much booty, I have to say that the rep for Opalescence, a teeth-whitening system was by far the nicest and most generous. She loaded Stevie and me up with a full-sized kit (Melon for me, Mint for Stevie), a sample of their toothpaste and samples of the alternate flavors (the kits come in Melon, Peach and Mint).

And speaking of flavors, plenty was provided by Dallmann Confections--maker of elegant and delicate gourmet chocolates. Owner Isabella Valencia created a special nine piece box in honor of the Oscars to be given to red carpet celebs. In it there's a dark chocolate truffle laced with buttery caramel and a touch of sea salt inspired by Sweeney Todd, a heart-shaped white chocolate truffle with a layer of vanilla ganache followed by a layer of boysenberry to embody the offbeat romance of Juno while the regal Elizabeth was captured by a 65% Venezuelan chocolate with a hint of bourbon vanilla garnished with real gold dust.

Stevie did a video interview of Valerie Waters, personal trainer to the stars. Waters, who has helped celebrities like Jennifer Garner and Kate Beckinsdale get camera ready, has written a book titled Red Carpet Ready which details a six-week program to reshape your body. In addition to her diet and exercise program, Valerie is teaming with CUUR, a green tea based supplement that helps boost metabolism. In addition to the teeth whitening kit and a box of chocolates, I got a box of CUUR--so I'll let y'all know in a month if my stubborn flabby midsection disappears, or at least dissipates. Of course, the chocolates won't help with that!

The other two suites offered nothing in the way of swag. Bummer. For what it's worth, Fuji appears to be the official water of the Oscar suites. For more of the inside scoop on behind the scenes of Oscar week, check out L.A. Story for a bunch of podcasts and video interviews and pics and stories.

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