With the Golden Globes on Sunday, Los Angeles is again a hotbed of activity - fittings, hair appointments, makeup dates, who knows what else as actors and actresses and everybody else runs around town to get ready for the big night. "L.A. is the kind of town that requires a standing appointment with a dermatologist," says Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey, the founder of the beauty site Violet Grey. She may be a New Yorker, but as the wife of Brad Grey, the chairman and chief executive of Paramount Pictures, she is uniquely positioned to know the ins and outs of Hollywood culture. It's no wonder Italian Vogue once described her as "the princess of Bel-Air." Follow her on Instagram and you'll regularly see appearances by some of the town's biggest names. Who better than an über insider to give you a guide to the city?
If you're a New Yorker visiting L.A. and friends invite you over for dinner, where should you buy your host a gift?
Turpan in the Brentwood Country Mart for something chic like salt and pepper shakers from Belgium. Send flowers from Eric Buterbaugh or the endless layer creme cake from Lady M. Or send the coconut cake Tom Cruise sends from Doan’s, this little place in the Valley, with a note that says: "Until tonight..."
And where should one go to get spruced up? A month before you get to L.A., make and appointment with Karyn Grossman to get the kind of work "done" that doesn't look "done." If you are rich and adventurous, go to Dr. Simon Ourian in Beverly Hills who, judging by his Instagram account, is a magician with syringe. For jet lag, go for a session in the hyperbaric chamber where the Lakers [I hear] go to on South Beverly Drive, the Beverly Hills Center for Hyperbaric Medicine. Lay in the glass cylinder for an hour and it feels like you had nine hours of sleep. For a blow out? Frederic Fekkai. Facial? Christina Radu European Skin. Brows? Kristie at Striiike. And for nails? Just call Mary Cruz and have her pop by your hotel room. Need a tailor? Call Classical & Modern Tailoring.
But what about shopping, especially the kind you can't do in New York?
For beauty, you can't do better than Violet Grey, of course. My other favorites are: Blackman Cruz (home decor), Lily et Cie (vintage), The Row and Chanel's "cool" store on Robertson Boulevard.
It's L.A. You must know the places to pool:
Your friend’s house in the Hollywood Hills. The Chateau pool - wear big movie star sunglasses. And the Sunset Marquis, where you can pick up and actor slash model best friend.
Where to eat?
If you are over 70, or if you are like me and you prefer an over 70 vibe, go to Il Piccollino. If you enjoy chatting with TMZ while you are waiting for your Uber, go to Madeo. Go to Nate'n Al's if you want a pastrami sandwich that will make you kiss the waitress (Gloria, whom I follow on Instagram). And go to Jitlada if you love Thai food and are cool with spending an hour on Sunset Boulevard to get to Hollywood where it's located.
Give us your Golden Globes hit list:
Facial to face the red carpet: Christina Radu
Makeup: Violet Grey celebrity artist Kira Nasrat
Hair: Lea Journo
Nails: Stephanie Stone from Nailing Hollywood.
Dress: custom, by The Row, jewels by Jar, clutch by Tom Ford.
Perfume: Chanel No.5
Date: Studio Head