Given that Los Angeles is the official home of the Academy Awards, this city has recently transformed into an actor's playground in anticipation of the 2014 Oscars, offering dozens of pop-up party venues and hotels-turned-pampering-retreats. Beauty junkies like myself are particularly fond of the latter, especially since they're essentially tricked-out versions of LA's already-awesome spa offerings. Oh, and all services are free. Yep.
To give you a full scope of the Oscar beauty lounge experience, I took a tour of two celebrity-frequented locations: the Beverly Hilton Hotel's TMG Beauty and Style Destination and the SLS Hotel's Oscar Beauty Suite. Let's go!:
First stop: TMG, located in one of the swankiest penthouse suites I've ever seen. The photo above is a glimpse at the action in one of the suite's many grooming rooms, and captures a flurry of eyebrow shaping, eyelash extensions, and beverage sipping. For participating brands, the goal of these suites is to have celebrities photographed using their products, so the more stars that visit and take advantage of the gratis services, the better.
Here we have S.H.A.P.E.S. Brow Bar's founder personally touching up a client. While beautifiers poke and prod you, you shouldn’t be surprised to see tons of photographers snapping away. If you're feeling particularly shy, just have another complimentary mimosa and you'll be just fine!
A highlight of my tour was the Surface organic hair care salon, where tresses are treated with with harm-free hair products. The day’s most-requested style? "Loose, tousled waves.”
After exploring TMG's wonderful maze, I hopped over to the ritzy SLS Hotel's Ciel Spa to test drive Parisian brand Leonor Greyl's much buzzed-about hair products and blowouts. LG stylists inside the spa's Robert Vetica salon hooked me up with these loose curls.
After hair, I was immediately whisked away to a NARS makeup station, where their top artists gave me the smoky eye and sultry lip combo I've always wanted.
Transformation complete! Here I am with the man himself, Robert Vetica. Moral of the story: celebrities have it good. With the convenience of a one-stop-shop and an enthusiastic glam squad on-hand, anyone could look red-carpet-ready at record speed. Keep that in mind while you're watching the Oscars on March 2!
Photos: Natalie Alcala