”Ladies you were cordially NOT invited.”
Well, the guys really got their day, finally. You know The ESPY awards is a huge athletic/sports awards event and each year there are gifting suites for celebrities held pre-award day and the selections are generally the same, make-up beauty products, jewelry and the women win hands down over the men. But where are the boys’ toys? I see a lot of men who absolutely feel ridiculous going to a fou fou girlie gifting suite, walking away with white bags and pink tissue paper for a sports themed event? C’mon now. I think the guys just stopped going.
Well Karlyn Michel PR came up with the brilliant theme to have a Gentlemen’s Lounge just for him. Her outstanding event held at The J Lounge (formerly Lil J’s) in the heart of LA catered royally to the hombre sincero. The parking lot area of the trendy eaterie was transformed into an outdoor luxury haven with brownish-tan colored umbrellas, matching chaise, and cabanas and two monstrous bars that were serving up an array of exotic elixirs to relax tension and ease stress sip by sip.
From pedicures to massages to facials, to haircuts and olde fashion shaves, this event had it going on. There were even Cuban cigars. A big huge, major media mogul…guess who (??)…, yes… Mr. Lee Bailey as in RadioScope and founder of EURweb was seen puffing on a Cuban cigar like he was a rich hefe situated on a beach front hacienda in Havana This was the gentlemen’s zone and ladies you were cordially NOT invited. Puff, puff. Well, except a few of us reporters.
I ran into producer Jarvee Hutcherson and his entourage, Pop/R&B Hip-hop singer Trueful, actor Gary Sturgis, ex-NBA player and now NBA commentator Jalen Rose and Lee Bailey.
I wanted to know more about the treatments and the perks being offered so I took some time to talk to many of the vendors. Owner of Heavenly Hands (massage), Cheyenne was busy working out tight muscles on many celebrities at the event. At an early age Cheyenne displayed a nurturing nature and her father, famed author Bill Overton always told her she had a healing heavenly touch, henceforth when she decided to go into business the name Heavenly Hands came to mind and now she has a thriving mobile business. I saw Cheyenne in action and I can tell you she not only has heavenly hands but an angelic aura as well.
Brighton Shave company, a gentleman’s salon located in Beverly Hills, was also on hand if anyone needed a shave. They cater to many celebrities. Their clientele is so high end; they could not disclose the names of some of the stars that visit their salon due to a privacy clause. However, they were at liberty to reveal that Robert Kardashian is a regular.
Treats for The Face Salon, Spa and Boutique offered wonderful manicures that were very popular. Their technician also offered a reflexology hand massage. Nice!
I was impressed by DermHa, a Philadelphia salon that offers men’s facials. You should have seen the facialist and owner Mildred Bell. She had a flawless complexion. All the men were signing in to book this all natural facial taking place right there and then. Mildred knows how to cater to men. She gave me some products to take home and said they were great for women too. I can’t wait to try the hyaluronic moisturizer. It’s so silky to the touch. Their products are recommended for anti-aging, pigmentation, acne, eczema, free radical damage, rosacea and for all ethnic skin types. Lord, hope I don’t get hooked otherwise I will be booking flights to Philly. LRC Lawrence Ray Concepts technicians were busy taking care of the men’s hair grooming needs, rubbing in specially blended humectants onto the hair. This company is going to break out big time. Trust me on this one. I also stopped by to speak to the pretty vendor at Dunamis Jewelry Collection. Forget Piaget and Rolex. You must look into Dunamis collection for your next hot jewelry item (for men) to wear to a hot red carpet event. They know how to design big and bold and masculine without being too flashy.
I was curious about those Cuban cigars though and wanted to know if the leaves were from Cuba. Were they truly autentico? So I stopped at the Leon Cigar booth The owner Maria, daughter of the founder Gilberto Leon explained to me that Cuban cigars are actually not available except through the black market (the leaves), therefore, they have to import the leaves from The Domincan Republic their next door neighbor, to make sure it is all legal. But the cigars are rolled in Cuban tradition. Maria continued to tell the story about how her technique for rolling them was perfected by her great uncle who learned how to roll by watching fine Cuban cigar makers Romeo and Guilietta.
Well, there were other vendors but we have only so much time and space. The event was presented in a tasteful fashion. The men seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. For me it was a learning experience.
By the way, the gift bags were full of goodies that included, Ed Hardy caps, Expendables press on tattoos, Ultimate Fighting key chains, DKNY for Men sample cologne, The Ultimate Fighting Championship Franklin vs. Louiseau video, Jeanette Jenkins The Hollywood Trainer Core and Stretch It Out video, E Boost (Daily Health Booster), Conjure Cognac. France bar towels (by the way the Mojitos were made with Cognac not rum), Decleor Paris Men Skin Care, a UFC computer mouse pad; Supersmile Professional Teeth Whitening System and Ultimate Fighting Championship T Shirts (two to a bag!!!). Wow!
Celebrities (partial list) that attended included:
Jalen Rose – Former NBA (Pacers, Bulls, Suns, Raptors); T. J. Murdock – USBC 3-time/300 game bowling champion); Lester Speight – actor/comedian, “Norbit,” “My Wife and Kids”; Wardell Joe – actor, “Cold Case,” “Lie to Me”; Amin Joseph – actor, “Zane’s Sex Chronicles”; Kevin Ross, host of Entertainment Studios’ “America’s Court” Trueful – music, pop//hip-hop/R&B singer; El Prez – music, urban; Bill Overton, author, actor; Gary Sturgis (Daddy’s Little Girls/Diary of a Mad Black woman); Kwesi Boakye – actor, “Men of a Certain Age,” “Hawthorne,” “Boston Legal,” “Community”; Kwame Boateng – actor, “The Office,” “ER,” “Entourage,” “All of Us”; Kofi Siriboe – “Punk’d” “Entourage,” Datari Turner, actor, model; Jose Acevedo – actor, “Weeds,” “The Mentalist”; Music Producer Dwayne Adway; Chase Manhattan (aka Chase Dotten), Mishon, actor “Lincoln Heights,” Interscope recording artist; Jonathan Bornstein (2520); – USA soccer player; Jarron Gilbert, Chicago Bears Christopher Owens, Atlanta Falcons; Ryan Lauderdale, free agent; James Jones, Green Bay Packers; Donald Richardson, Free agent; Royce Clayton; DJ Lo (Lorenza Calamadre); Corndeezy; Nathaniel Lamar – super model/actor; Joe Torry, comedian; Cook Classics (aka Will Lobban-Bean) – Music Producer; Marcus Phelps, comedian.
When I left Lee Bailey, still puffing on his cigar, was busy talking to Karlyn convincing her to do another one in a couple of weeks, NOT. He did however manage to convince her to do another before year’s end. So men, you will have your day once again. –
Eugenia Wright is a former actress turned columnist/publicist. You may write to her at [email protected]