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Golden Globes Gift Lounge - January 17, 2011 - By Karen Hardy

Now don’t get me wrong, working in product marketing for hi-tech companies for many years has awarded me with the opportunity to stay in the odd luxury hotel or two around the world and perhaps shaking hands with a celebrity doing a keynote speech from time to time. The surreal part for me was watching in admiration as Diane discussed her line of skincare products at the GBK Gift Lounge and the engaging and positive responses she received back from stars of recent and classic movies, reality TV shows, as well as other favorite shows such as Mad Men, Glee, Modern Family, True Blood, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, The Big Bang Theory, The Closer and more. I met Diane back in 2005 when she headed up a product marketing department and I did some consulting work for her. Now the difference between talking about specialist skincare products versus enterprise software as I came to realize is that with skincare you receive an immediate emotional and personal response. It quickly became apparent to me that everyone themselves either has dry or sensitive skin, or they know someone who has such a condition. My realization, as naïve as it may seem, is celebrities are no different either. Diane brings a wealth of information and advice to skincare and the causes of skin problems and conditions. After all, she has researched and developed her own line of all natural, organic products when her son developed severe eczema and she couldn’t find a product on the market that he wasn’t allergic to the chemicals and preservatives that were contained in the so called “all natural” creams and lotions. Her products work wonders but her advice also requires the user to discover the cause of their skin condition. It could be food related, chemical related such as detergents left on sheets or towels, or even living conditions such as heating, mould or dry, cold conditions. Becoming aware and integrating these changes together with daily moisturizing can lead to amazing and permanent results. The GBK gift lounge allowed celebrities to walk between rooms with approximately 45 sponsor tables who enticed them to discuss or sample products and services as well as obtain a giveaway gift from each. Celebrities stopped by at each table and our room also contained sponsors of designer purses and shoes, branded coffee making machines, all natural pet food as well as luxurious limo and town car services. It wasn’t long before the room was a buzz of activity with many celebrities coming through at the same time, along with press, television and video shooting. As each came to the Diane Lai tabletop they were invited to a pump or three of the Soothe cream on their hands. As each rubbed their hands together and the luxurious cream began to soak in they became engaged in the story Diane told that led her to launch her own line of products. Celebrities immediately either knew of someone with Eczema, their children had eczema, or they themselves had a skin condition. Their body language often shifted for many, and in a lot of instances Diane’s 30-second elevator pitch became a 5 minute discussion helping them to uncover the root cause of their son or daughters, niece, nephews or friends condition. Their senses were filled with the aroma of lavender oil and the favorable “oohs” and “ahhs” were quickly declared by all. As they moved on to the next table I observed many continuing to rub and smell their hands along the way. My personal highlights of the weekend include Diane talking at length to Naveen Andrews from Lost about identifying causes for his sons skin condition; Mekhi Phifer from Lie To Me who expressed how proud he was that Diane had founded her company and followed her dream. A very funny moment was when Terry Quinn confirmed he moisturizes at least twice a day and then proceeded to rub cream all over his face and head. And last, a very touching moment when La Toya Jackson hugged both Diane and I as we handed gift bags to her and one for her mother, Katherine Jackson to try. Well, today is Monday and I’m back to hi-tech product marketing.

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