It seems that this year’s Oscars have reduced the losers to double the tears – first, for not getting the coveted statuette; second for a “cheap” swag bag. The cheapest, in fact, in Oscar history – with goodies totalling “only” $45,000. Um, I think it would be satisfactory enough for me. Except for the fact that most of them are completely and outrageously bizarre – even by Hollywood’s standards. Let’s have a breakdown of the goodies and sees which ones are particularly covetable and which are totally missable.
1. Australian Luxury Vacation, $12,000
Ok, this one I can totally live with – an escape Down Under to one of two luxury resort vacations. First choice is Lizard Island, located atop the blissful Great Barrier Reef and named one of the top 10 beach resorts in the world by Forbes. Second option is El Questro Homestead, a private wilderness resort situated in the remote Australian outback. I will take the Homestead, thank you very much.
2. Hawaii Vacation, $2,000
Because one vacation isn’t enough to get over loser’s trauma, this year’s Oscar swag bag also features a five-night stay in a luxury villa – The Koloa Landing – on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Every villa has its own gourmet kitchen, a master suite with a king-sized bed and floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors. Plus, the 25-acre resort is surrounded by mountains, ancient sea caves, lagoons and some of the best beaches this side of the Aloha State. Done!
3. St. Regis Punta Mita ($3,000)
Three nights in a deluxe oceanview suite at the AAA-Five-Diamond St. Regis Punta Mita, including daily breakfast, massages at Remède Spa, fine dining at Carolina restaurant. Yes, please.
4. Heathrow Airport VIP Pass, $1,800
Now you wouldn’t want Steven Spielberg to be snubbed at the Oscars and have to stand in line for that trip to Australia along with the mere mortals, right? Enter London’s Heathrow Airport, which is magnanimously bestowing its private By Invitation VIP service – usually reserved for dignitaries and global diplomats – on the Academy Awards nominees. The perks? It allows travelers to bypass check-in processes, terminals, security checkpoints and be personally driven to the airplane in a luxury limousine. I accept.
5. Weight Loss Retreat, $1,400
If you can’t be successful, you can at least be skinny – courtesy all-inclusive one week weight loss camp by Live In Fitness Enterprise at one of its two health resorts in Laguna Beach, California and Hilton Head, S.C. More resort, less camp, the package includes five-star meals, a spa retreat and cooking classes that have attracted actresses like Jessica Biel and Angela Bassett in the past. Oh! And there is also personal coaching and a seven-hour-a-day workout regimen. Interested?
6. Dukan Diet, $410
Anyone else thinks this is beginning to sound a bit like, “Get skinny and you might have a better chance next time”? This one includes The Essential Guide to the Dukan Diet, Dr. Pierre Dukan’s signature Goji berries, oat bran chocolate chip cookies, oat bran coconut almond bars and complimentary Dukan Diet coaching. Kate Middleton and Carol Middleton are supposed to be fans. Well! Wouldn’t hurt I guess. As long as I can also keep munching on my trusty After-Eights’ alongside.
7. Portion-control dinnerware by Slimware, $59
Ok, now this is really starting to err on the side of the ridiculous. A plate that allows you to portion control your meals is theoretically a good idea but I can’t really see this at Bradley Cooper’s dinner setting. Although it wouldn’t hurt me to actually try and have a balanced meal for a change.
8-15. Blah, blah blah & more blah!
More “healthy” items include a package of 10 personal training sessions with Huntley Drive Fitness ($850), 5 private training sessions with Lalo Fuentes ($625), body slimmer from Cheetz ($69.95), gluten-free macarons from Macaron Magnifique ($60), Hydroxycut weight loss supplements ($50) and a year’s supply of youthH20, a caffeine-free beverage ($420). Oh! And there is also Diet Pepsi worth $250. Enough said.
16. Chocolatines by Sweet Endeavours, $95
The chocolate brand’s Yellow Gold Diamond Collection has a “koji” sake-infused center encased in a 72% dark chocolate shell and adorned with a sugar diamond. And there is a do-good element with the deliciousness – in an effort to support the recovery of 2011’s tsunami tragedy that struck Japan, Chocolatines use a premium sake made in a region that was impacted by the disaster.
17. The Vampire Facelift, $5,000
No, no and no! Nobody is sticking needles into my body, drawing blood and then injecting it into my face. No! Not even if this “nonsurgical facelift” promises to transform me into the next Bella Swan. NO!
18. Acupuncture, $600
If Vampire Facelifts are not enticing enough, Oscar losers receive a $600 appointment for acupuncture or nutrition consulting from Santa Monica-based acupuncturist, herbalist, nutritionist and Reiki master Heather Lousbury. Her celebrity client roster includes Coldplay, Tori Spelling, Carmen Electra, Dave Navarro and Rainn Wilson. But the verdict’s still out on whether acupuncture can help treat the pain of an Oscar defeat.
19. Set of Renouve Anti-Ageing Every Day Defence, $406
In 2010, Oscar nominees cats got a Tiffany crystal-studded collar and a FlipCam. This year, celebs received $29 Anti-Ageing Hand Sanitizers for their precious digits. Yup! The recession changes everything, baby.
20. M3K Beauty Products, $100
Have never heard of this brand before. Checked out their site and came back unimpressed. If I was Amy Adams, this one would be going straight to the bin charity.
21. Sedu, $530
This one I don’t mind. Sedu tools were developed by top-scientists around the world to offer products that can withstand any styling challenge. Oscar Nominee gifts include Sedu Revolution 6000i Hair Dryer ($160), Sedu Icon Styling Iron ($250) and Sedu Revolution Clipless Curling Iron ($120). Me! Me! Me!
22-23. Blah Part 2
I don’t know about Naomi Watts but a set of travel-size items from Lierac Paris (Sensorielle Multi-use oil, travel size Gommage body scrub, travel size Sensorielle multi-use oil mini and Crème Mesolift anti-aging radiance cream for $98) and Phyto (Phytovolume Actif Volumizer Spray, Phytolaque Soie Light Hold Hair Spray, Phyto Professional Intense Volume Mousse and Phytodefrisant Botanical Straightening Balm for $113) leave me cold. You?
24. Naked Condoms, $20 for 4
We’re not exactly sure what the nominees will be up to at the after parties, but at least they’ll be safe. Though at $5 a piece, you’ll need a million-dollar contract to afford these on the regular.
25. D’Milikah Swimwear, $250
After all that dieting and exercising, what could be better than showing off that hot bod in the D’Milikah 2013 Swimwear Collection – a Brazilian-inspired swimwear collection with a touch of Italian handcraft adorning each “unique” piece. Um, stars wear D’Milikah? Or would Badgley Mischka have been a tad more appropriate?
26. DeviceWear, $138
Last year, celebs cats got a FlipCam with their face on it. Dog owners got a voucher for a professional dog photo studio. This year, celebs got a selection of Devicewear cases, including Ridge for iPad with Six Position Stand ($42.95), Ridge for iPad Mini with Six Position Stand ($39.95), Station drop protection case for iPad ($34.95), and Sketchy design-your-own iPhone 5 case ($19.95). I prefer my Kate Spade, thank you.
27. TouchFire, $49.95
I can just visualise this: Hugh Jackman distraught over not winning for Les Misérables but consoling himself with the endowment of an iPad keyboard that lets you feel where the keys are and rest your fingers on the home row without accidentally triggering the touch screen. Something is better than nothing, right?
28. Carlitos Brand, $850
This new line of tennis shoes, hand-illustrated by Jeanette Longoria, would look quite smashingly cool with a ball gown. If only Kristen Stewart was nominated for something. Each nominee receives one pair of limited edition shoes ($350) plus a gift certificate for a one-of-a-kind customized pair ($500).
Gleener‘s The Ultimate Fuzz Remover ($19.99) fabric shaver
Jays musical headset ($70) with a tangle free cable, a premium sound and a remote control that works with iPhone and other Apple products
Duette bracelets ($80) that double as hair ties
Windex Touch-Up Cleaner ($3.99)
This Is the Day: The March on Washington ($29.95) photo-essay by photographer Leonard Freed documenting the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of August 28, 1963, the historic day on which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the base of the Lincoln Memorial
Swyt Culture flats ($48), embellished with a feminine flower and crystals on the toe
Bine & Bas men’s spread collar woven button-down shirt ($185)
52. Seyie Designs, $7,400
A Hollywood redesign that costs under $10k? If Denzel Washington’s Oscar loss inspires him to redecorate, Seyie Designs, a Los Angeles-based boutique firm helmed by Indian-born designer Seyie Putsure, who had her beginnings as a fashion executive with Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel, is offering her services. More recently Putsure was tapped to design the gifting suite at this year’s 2013 Grammy Awards, so we’re certain she has experience dealing with divas and runner-ups.
What about you? What part of this swag bag would you like delivered to your home? And what could you live without?