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The Annual Emmy Suites

by Karen Salkin

Go to Karen's Restaurant reviews (click here)



This whole week, every time I told someone I was busy at an Emmy suite, I then had to define it.  So here’s the scoop:  The week before big awards shows, different companies headquarter in suites at a hotel  (hence the term “suites”) or similar luxurious location, and celebrities are invited to come there and receive gift items and spa services.  Please don’t hate me, but I’ve been to several over the years.

The two that I attended this week could win awards themselves.  (And just might, if I ever get around to handing out the “Karens.”)

Dakar exterior


The first suite is very exciting to me because it’s the first time in the three months that I’ve written for that I’m writing about an actual Beverly Hills Person!!!  It’s Sonya Dakar, the facial guru whose skin clinic is now situated in the former Arista Records building.  Adding to the luster, the body of her clientele is celebrities and movers and shakers.  She’s even been mentioned on “Will and Grace.”

Sidebar: The Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic is truly a family enterprise.  Her husband, Israel, is the product developer (and one of the few fathers I’m not afraid of. I don’t even know why I have that phobia, but maybe next time I’ll be invited to a Shrink Suite and we’ll get to the bottom of it.)  Her two sons and two daughters run the company, each in a special capacity.  As an admirer of close families, I’m truly impressed with this one.

Anyway, I got invited to their Emmy Suite this past week, and it was fabulous.  I don’t want to name the celebs who attended because they may not want us all to know that they’re not actually beautiful without help.  But I never mind sharing my beauty (such as it is) secrets, so here are the services I received.

First, Heather greeted me with  a bottle of Fiji water, hydration being half the beauty battle.  (That’s my philosophy, anyhow.)  Then Whitney came out and escorted me to Valerie, who did my spray-on tan, courtesy of Australian Gold and Tan FX. (I think we’re engaged now, or at least should be for how up-close and personal we got!  Mr. X is actually thinking of getting an at-home sprayer, just to compete!)

Dakar Emmy Suite

The girls couldn’t have been kinder and even said I’m not fat.  Maybe they just need to visit the Vision Suite.  Then I was escorted over to Rachel from Franche Cosmetics, out of Houston.  This girl was so adorable she looks like she would have been Miss Texas.  I usually don’t like others doing my make-up because a sexpot actress once taught me that no one knows our faces like we do.  But Rachel did a great job.  And I live for their lip glosses.

Then, Mimi Dakar, the powerhouse head of public relations and marketing, took time out of her busy day to introduce me to the international girls from Rene Furterer hair products.  They did scalp and hair analysis and told me I have tons of hair, which was good news, though not exactly a revelation.  (Mr. X once asked me to wear a hair-net in the house!  Can you see why I love him?)  But the ladies were great, and we had a lot of fun together.   And they sent me home with a plethora of hair supplies.

When I returned to the reception area, Heather said she had to talk to me and took me to the lounge.   I thought maybe I had committed an Emmy Suite faux pas along the way.  Turns out, she handed me a large, pink, terrycloth beach bag, chock full of goodies from Sonya’s Skin Care line, Vimvia vitamins, make-up, tanning supplies, and more, and just wanted to explain each item, to make sure I use them correctly.  What a concept!  Goodie Bags 101!  Maybe I could teach it at the Learning Annex!

Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic   
9975 Little Santa Monica  Beverly Hills 



Not wanting to waste my spray-on tan and healthy hair from the Sonya Dakar Beauty Boot Camp the day before, I segued over to the Emmy Suite at the Liberace Penthouse in West Hollywood, which was hosted by Primary Action and the Adwil Agency.  I understand that these are product placement companies, and let me tell you what a great job they did placing these products in my hands!

Having been to this building many a time for casting sessions (in my day job as an actress), I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I stepped off the elevator at the penthouse.  It was a spacious luxury suite,  that had been the residence of the legendary and eccentric pianist, Liberace.  Who knew?  I was expecting a diamond-encrusted baby grand  to come floating by in the petite rooftop pool.  We didn’t miss it, though, because the sponsors had enough bling to go around.

This was a products suite, as opposed to spa services.  It was catered by Rodney Baca, chef/owner of the recently opened Malia Restaurant in BH, soon to be reviewed by yours truly.  Benjamin Torres, who oversaw the food table at this event, became my favorite person there.  A cute guy who’s feeding me.  Can it get any better?  The answer is yes, actually.  Read on.

I’ll tell you some of the generous sponsors in a sec, but I’ve been wanting to write a piece sticking up for Britney Spears for some time now, and I finally have the chance.  She was a guest here the day before I was, not just to get “gifted,” as they say in the biz, but to sign some items for auction, benefiting a children’s AIDS charity.  All the sponsors I spoke with said that she was darling, gracious, humble and fun. 

I seriously wish that everybody would get off her case.  None of us lives in her marriage, so we don’t know what it’s really like.  She appears to me to be a young girl who’s out to just live her life and not harm anyone.  (Okay--she possibly harmed the ex-girlfriend of her current husband, by taking him away.  But, if K-Fed is as creepy as everyone writes, maybe Britney actually did her a favor.  We, the public, just don’t know.) 

Is everyone’s life so perfect that they have the time and inclination to come down so hard on strangers?  I just don’t get it.  We all should have enough people to make fun of in our own circle of friends.  I know I do.  So, give Britney a break.

Now that you’re all done cheering my little celebrity tirade, you can sit down and read about the great products I found at the Liberace Suite.  My best finds were also in the goodie bags, except for Vava Water, which comes in varieties such as Breathe (for allergy help) and Chill (what we all need after my last topic.)

I got a sweet gold and pearl Buddha necklace from Flying Lizard, whose designer, Vallora Sabourin, was the kindest person there, crisp blue and white tins of delicious flavored Hampton Popcorn, generous cosmetics from Benefit, (I’ll let you know if my lips really plump, without pain), and beautiful skin foundation from Rachel Hunter’s Dermacia.  (I never wear face make-up, but if it’ll make me look like her…)

The two days of Emmy Suites action, despite being a whirlwind, just seemed to breeze by.  Now, if we viewers could just be as lucky with the show itself, we will all be winners.

Missed one of Karen Salkin's previous restaurant reviews?

Find them below
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Deli Boys
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Chakra
Out To Lunch Oct. 16-
Karen reviews Cinespace
Out To Lunch Oct. 6-
Karen reviews Aphrodisiac
Out To Lunch Sept. 26-
Karen reviews Ugo and Patina Catering
Out To Lunch Sept. 14-
Karen's Food Court Guide
Out To Lunch Aug 29-
Locanda Del Lago review
Out To Lunch Aug 17-
Karen reviews CUBE on La Brea
Out To Lunch Aug 9-
Karen unveils her quick breakfast, lunch and Chinese menu favorites and visits Nathan's
Out To Lunch July 31-
Karen does a NY restaurant run-through extending from Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Out To Lunch July 20-
Karen talks about The Greatest Show On Earth
Out To Lunch July 13-
Karen's Dark Secret
(okay, one of them) and reviews
Osteria Latinia
Out To Lunch July 6-
Library Tea Asia de Cub
Out To Lunch June 29-
Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s
Jurlique Day Spa
"Back On Broadway"
Out To Lunch June 20-
Organic To Go, Cafe 50's
Out To Lunch June 13-
Karen reviews Mr. Chow's
Out To Lunch June 6-
Karen reviews Amici

Missed one of Karen Salkin's entertainment and play reviews?
Find them below
Karen reviews Champions On Ice
Karen comments on Andre Agassi
Karen reviews the annual Emmy Suites
Karen reviews "Curtains" and Burton Morris
Karen reviews "Water and Power" and "Hayfever".
Karen reviews "Much Adoobie About Nothing".
Karen reviews "So You Think You Can Dance?" and "Beehive".
Karen reviews "Doubt?" and "Fat Of The Land ".
Karen reviews "Sweet Charity" and the "Marvelous Wonderettes".
Karen reviews "Nightingale" and "Souvenir"
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