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The Golden Globes gifting suites — the freebie fests evolve

January 16, 2011 |  8:59 am

IMG_2061 A three-stop tour of this year's Golden Globes gifting suites proved that companies -- OPI as well as Fancy Feast -- are still dying to get their products in the hands of celebrities.

And by "celebrities" we mean a slew of B-listers and a couple of bona fide stars.

But this year, there was more variation in the types of suites being hosted.

On our tour of three suites this weekend -- Access Hollywood's annual Stuff You Must suite, Smashbox and Amika's professional suite and InStyle's Beauty Lounge -- nary a celebrity was in sight, unless you count "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Adrienne Maloof, whom we spotted stuffing bags of free loot into the trunk of her Bentley outside the Access Hollywood lounge. (Does one of the richest women in L.A. really need a free carton of Nerds and beauty products from the CVS/pharmacy Beauty Club kiosk.* )

Granted, the no-nonsense Smashbox and Amika suite, held at the Mondrian Hotel, was erected to gift hairstylists and makeup artists -- a fresh and fun idea -- and lured Black Eyed Peas groomer-hairdresser Jason Medina; groomer Helen Robertson, who works with Clive Owen; and Alison Gladieux, George Lopez's groomer.

IMG_2063 At the Access Hollywood suite, we missed Jennifer Love Hewitt by a hair but saw the proof in photo form. The actress obligingly posed for a picture with a Slim Fast bar. "It was so funny, she posed with it on her butt," said Micah Jesse, the chatty spokesman manning the booth.

Despite the relative emptiness of the gifting room inside the Sofitel Hotel Friday while I was there,* a public-relations representative for the Access Hollywood suite told us the following day that companies were only giving  free  products  to invited "talent."

"You only get gifted if you are walking through with an official escort," she added. "But anyone who comes in as talent and is invited as talent gets the same gifts." 

Jeremy Renner, Jane Lynch, Gabourey Sidibe, Ian McShane and Julie Benz were among the celebs who turned up over the two-day event.

Things felt decidedly more upscale at the Instyle Beauty Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, where OPI, L'Oreal and Damone Roberts Beverly Hills sponsored a pretty, tented outdoor area where glam techs offered manicures, hairdressing and eyebrow shaping.

Melissa Joan Hart, Aimee Teegarden from "Friday Night Lights" and Carrie Preston from "True Blood" were among the starlets to get primped at the event. Inside, a true sofa-and-chair lounge awaited, featuring tiny pink-and-white cupcakes and Champagne — which we crowned the best gift going.

-- Emili Vesilind

[*Updated at 1/20/2011. An earlier version of this post misnamed the CVS/pharmacy Beauty Club as the CVS lounge and incorrectly said samples were given out when full-size products were distributed. The post also implied that the Access Hollywood suite was relatively empty all day Friday, rather than just during the reporter's visit.]

Photos, from top: The InStyle Beauty Lounge; a table of hair products from Amika at the Samshbox/Amika lounge for artists.

 

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