February 28, 2006

Botox and caviar help stars prepare for Oscars

By Alexandria Sage

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As celebrities vie to be prettier,
thinner and more fabulous in preparation for the Academy
Awards, they are pulling out all the stops, having their bodies
massaged with diamonds and their faces rubbed with a cream made
of fish eggs.

Remedies for restoring youth and beauty, or maximizing it,
have become all the rage in the countdown to Sunday's Oscars,
Hollywood's biggest event.

If ever there was a time for a little bit of plastic
surgery or a Botox injection, it's now. And if ever there was a
time to visit luxury hotel suites filled with fashion advisors,
beauticians and jewelers, this week is it.

Several Beverly Hills hotels have been taken over by those
prepared to dress, adorn and rectify the slightest flaws of the
rich and famous.

For the truly adventurous, there is caviar to be rubbed on
skin rather than be eaten on toast. Spa product maker Kerstin
Florian gives nominees gift baskets featuring her Caviar Eye
Creme, purported to regenerate skin cells as it imparts a
youthful glow.

The white cream, thankfully, is odorless. As a publicist
explains, "They don't want it to smell like you're putting fish
eggs on your face."

If caviar isn't expensive enough, how about a diamond
healing massage? "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher
partook of the treatment this week while visiting an
invitation-only diamond event in Hollywood Hills.

In probably the most expensive massage ever, $1.5 million
in 18-carat diamonds are placed on energy points on the body
and ultraviolet light "reads" the resulting vibrations.

Diamonds can also help illuminate the celebrity soul.

A self-styled "intuitive advisor" to the stars, Suzannah
Galland, whose clients include Demi Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow,
was on hand with a collection of colored diamonds.

Guests were asked to pick a color -- orange represents
energy while pink is passivity -- before Galland revealed her
"projections" on an Academy Award or new romance.


And if an Oscar is in the stars, remember that runny
mascara never looks good on camera. To maintain the doe-eyed
look as tears flow during acceptance speeches, actresses can
rely on eyelash extensions, courtesy of London-based Pout

It plans to make them available at a "Beauty and the
Boudoir" event sponsored by Victoria's Secret and celebrity
hairdresser Frederic Fekkai, which opens for business on

A doctor will be on hand for last-minute Botox treatments,
while French designer Chantal Thomass will advise on lingerie

New York dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler said most
pre-Oscar treatments involve Botox, chemical peels or fillers
to plump up lips and cheeks. Wexler once performed liposuction
on an unidentified Oscar attendee 10 days before the event to
remove a touch of back fat marring the look of an expensive

"The designer called and said, 'I can't go any further with
the dress, can you do it?"' Wexler recounted.

Joan Rivers, herself no stranger to the plastic surgeon's
chair, says all those pre-Oscar medical procedures, if done
well, are often hard to detect on the red carpet.

"You don't notice they put in a bit more chin, or shaved a
bit off the nose -- it's 'tweaks'," said Rivers. The bad
plastic surgery, she added, is where people say, "Did you see
so-and-so's new face?"

Rivers' close-up vantage point on the red carpet sometimes
yields other disturbing revelations that can go undetected by
television viewers.

"I had no idea that 'blank' had bad skin," said Rivers,
mimicking her secret thoughts while schmoozing with stars. "Oh!
I had no idea that so-and-so was having a herpes outbreak."