A Look Inside the #PrettyGlamazonOscars Pre-Academy Awards Gifting Suite

By Punch Correspondent Melinda Contreras 

This past Sunday, shortly before the best talent in Hollywood began walking the red carpet on Oscar night, Makeda Saggau-Sackey of GlamazonDiaries.com and Lara Eurdolian of PrettyConnected.com partnered to host a #PrettyGlamazonOscars Pre-Academy Awards Gifting Suite at Eno Wine Bar in Georgetown. Makeda and Lara shared their picks for keeping an Oscar ready look all year long. We are now sharing those picks with you. Don’t miss the link at the bottom of this post, where you’ll find out how to win every single one of the products Makeda and Lara talked about on Sunday evening!

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As guests sipped on selections of Sterling Vineyards wines, the official wine of the Oscars, (Makeda pointed out a few different times that we were drinking the same wine as Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto) guests received beauty tips from Carl Ray, whose clients include First Lady Michelle Obama, Kerry Washington, Natalie Portman and Claire Danes. One of his best tips? To find the best fitting foundation color, apply a little color to your hand, and then walk OUTSIDE to see how it looks.

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Not much can get better than receiving beauty tips from Carl Ray on Oscar night, but a bag full of $550 worth of beauty products comes close. Calypso provided guests with a discount card and bags to carry products personally selected by Makeda and Lara.

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I like to sort things (it’s part of my job) and I quickly categorized Makeda’s and Lara’s picks in to two packs. First there are the practical products. These are the products you absolutely need one of, no matter the brand, but Glamazon Diaries and Pretty Connected have a few brand recommendations for you. I’ve always been about practicality, (and ask for phone chargers and headphones for Christmas and my birthday)! I really do like useful items and can’t wait to start making use of all these products!

We’ll start with coffee. I am not the biggest coffee drinker. I have always thought that if I need coffee, there is something wrong with my schedule. Sleep comes first on my list 99% of the time. I actually never pulled an all-nighter in college (always chose the sleep over the grades), but I admit that sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to allow me to do all the fun things I want while also getting enough sleep before work, so sometimes I “cave” and have a cup of coffee in the morning. Lavazza’s Gran Aroma Medium Roast is a great way to start the morning. It’s delicate, but still has great flavor.

Though we love the way coffee makes you feel in the morning (or at night) we’re not such fans of the color it might turn your teeth. That’s where Arm & Hammer saves the day. You can drink your coffee and still have white teeth when you use their spin brushes and whitening toothpaste. Of course their baking soda is a staple in my home, but I’ve also previously tried their toothpastes and deodorants. If you haven’t tried their line of personal care products yet, you should add a few of their items to your basket during your next trip to the drugstore!

To keep your skin moisturized, Olay offers Sensitive Body Wash that is gentle on the skin and is unscented and dye-free. How gentle are Olay’s moisturizers? So gentle, Gillette has Venus & Olay razors that eliminate the need to use shaving cream thanks to the inclusion of Olay Moisture Bars.

Now that you are perked up, with fresh breath and soft skin, you’ll want to keep yourself protected from unwanted Odor. Strength Clinical Deodorant gives you 4X the protection of an average deodorant.

My favorite products from the group I designated as practical are those that make my clumsiness less scarring. Now that my job requires me to use an X-Acto knife, I’m sure I’ll be in need of a band-aid sometime soon. Cythnia Rowley Band-Aids come in modern designs that will prevent me from having the urge to remove the band-aid as soon as the bleeding stops. I always wear flats, but never wear stockings, so the Band-Aid Friction Block Stick is the perfect application to keep my skin from rubbing against the inside of my shoes. I want to save the Cythina Rowley Band-Aids for my fingers or somewhere else more visible! In the case my clumsiness leads to more than a surface scratch, I’ll need quick access to Neosporin. If I actually bought this product after watching the commercials fifteen years ago, maybe I wouldn’t have a scar on each of my knees…Lastly, I didn’t actually know this, but Neosporin is for more than closing up cuts. Overnight Renewal Therapy will help hydrate, nourish, and strengthen your lips. I have big lips that I need to keep healthy, so I’m very excited to start using this product.

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This next group of products is less about practicality and necessity in that you don’t need nail polish the way you need toothpaste or deodorant (but who are we really kidding). These are not splurge items and many people would find them essential, and I know I will be incorporating at least a few of these items in to my daily routine.

First things first you’re going to need something to carry all these items in. LeSportSac makes makeup bags (and handbags, travel bags, backpacks, etc) in fun patterns and prints.

For those days I didn’t get enough sleep, but still refuse to drink coffee, Skyn Iceland’s Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels will keep people from knowing how much sleep I really got. In just ten minutes, the gel patch will infuse the eye area with highly potent actives and Icelandic glacial water to firm, tone, brighten and reduce the appearance of puffiness and wrinkles. I have good use for these anywhere from 2-5 days of any given week! Skyn Iceland also has a line of Cleansing Cloths that require no added water, so they are perfect for a mid or end of work day fresh-up.

For glowing skin, exfoliate 1-3 times weekly with Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Foam Cleanser, and further nourish, revitalize, and moisturize your face and/or body with Borghese’s Fango Mud Mask, which features Avocado and Sweet Almond Oils.

I actually try to avoid lipgloss so my lips won’t look bigger, but for anyone that does want fuller lips, Hard Candy’s Plumping Serum will plump up your lips while providing hydration and shine, no collagen needed! I also have curly hair and don’t need spray to make my hair wavy, but if I had straighter hair, Catwalk by TIGI’s Session Series Salt Spray would be calling my name. For starters. I simply love the name of the product. Sorry, but I judge products on their packaging/branding, and yes, I would want my hair to look like it was just rinsed in salty ocean water, so yes, I would purchase Salt Spray! Though my curly hair doesn’t really need help texturizing, it does need help detangling! It could also be a bit softer. I am thus very excited to start using The Juice Green Tea Detangling Rinse and Hair Crack Conditioning Mask. The Detangling Rinse is made of green tea, aloe vera juice, organic apple cider vinegar, spring water, fresh organic rosemary or lavender. Um, can I drink this?

The product that would require the biggest leap of faith from me would be House of European’s Hair Clip on Bangs. The last time I had bangs, my sister took an hour to trim half the length of my bangs, so I gave up and didn’t let her finish the rest. I was like 8 at the time, but I haven’t had bangs since. For fear of having this happen again, you’ll either never see me with bangs, or you’ll see me wearing clip ons.

Whenever life gets stressful (that would be every morning when I can’t seem to find my Smartrip card, or those rarer occasions when I can’t find my laptop charger), Aveda Stress-Fix Concentrate releases aromas of french lavender, lavandin and clary sage to help you recover from those tense moments. (I definitely need one of these in my back pocket at all times). Don’t let the thought of wrinkles forming around your eyes be one of your stresses. Ski Pro’s DNA Serum will help keep away the appearance of lines.

Egyptian Magic is the most intriguing product in this bunch. This all-purpose cream has been used as a face cream, eye gel, hair masque, burn reliever, and more. I guess this is something I also need a pocket-sized stash of. You never know when something may need a touch of Egyptian Magic.

I confess. I don’t wear heels. In the same way that I chose sleep over grades (and thus coffee), I choose comfort over looks and wear flats as often as possible. However, now that I know about Still Standing’s High Heel Spray, I may shelve the flats my next few nights out. I want my feet to feel cool and comfortable, as they don’t even always feel this way when I wear flats.

I’m also not the girliest of girls and don’t really like shiny things. Thankfully for me, Knock Out has a line of matte nail polish. I can’t wait to apply my flatte black nail polish to my finely filed nails!

One thing I do like? Eyeshadow! I especially love Candy’s sets of four coordinated baked eye shadows (the Mod Quad Eye Shadow Palette) that make it easy to achieve a subtle shadow.

Where should you begin your journey to navigate all these great products? Win them of course! Pretty Connected and Glamazon Diaries have paired up to give one lucky reader a gift bag that includes every single one of the items listed above! The Rafflecopter entry form can be found at http://prettyconnected.com/2014/03/win-prettyglamazonoscar-gift-bag/. A few clicks (and a little luck) are the only thing keeping you from $550 worth of great product. I have a record of winning lots of stuff, and if I was allowed to enter this contest, I would be very confident in my chances to win, but since I can’t enter to win, your chances are really good!!! ENTER NOW!

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