The temperature is on the high side of 90 as my husband, Peter Boyle, and I step onto the red carpet of the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles for the 2003 Emmy Awards. A publicist guides us to Joan Rivers's podium, where a portable air conditioner attempts to keep Joan cool even though her neck is swathed in what looks like bronzed turkey feathers. I feel a gentle tap on my hot shoulder and turn around to find makeup wizard Daniel McFadden. He pulls blotting paper from his tuxedo pocket and touches up my already shiny nose.
As the wife of an actor (Peter was nominated for best supporting actor in Everybody Loves Raymond), I'm often a civilian in the land of fame and although I do walk the red carpet as cameras flash, they're not aimed at me. They're for Jennifer Garner, whose body is so slim it would fit through the eye of a needle, and Patricia Heaton, smiling in the forties-style glamour of a cream charmeuse Ralph Lauren gown. From awards ceremonies like the Oscars (this year on the last Sunday in February) and January's Golden Globes to premieres and charity events, the red carpet always presents picture-perfect celebrities. I realize I'll never look quite like Jennifer or Patricia, but with the help of their experts, I can look my very best. Here, my secret addresses for Hollywood's top salons, stylists, spas, shops, hotels, and restaurants.
OLE HENRIKSEN FACE/BODY 8622A W. Sunset Blvd.; 310/854-7700. STAR SIGHTINGS Charlize Theron, Renée Zellweger. SERVICES Massages (hot stone, deep-tissue, Thai), manicures and pedicures, exfoliating treatments, waxing. DON'T MISS The heavenly cucumber, honey, and milk moisturizing bath ($105). EXPERT OPINION Two days before an event, Henriksen recommends, have a facial, which stimulates and oxygenates the muscles of the face, as well as a massage: "Muscles in the upper body lock up very easily. If circulation is impaired, the face does not have the same glow."
ONA SPA 7373 Beverly Blvd.; 323/931-4442. STAR SIGHTINGS Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, Rosanna Arquette, Meg Ryan. SERVICES From massages and facials all the way up to Botox injections (well-known plastic surgeon Stanley Frileck is a co-owner). DON'T MISS The soothing orange body wrap; it includes exfoliation with citrus-scented sugar, then a gentle Vichy shower followed by a massage.
PRIVÉ 7373 Beverly Blvd.; 323/931-5559. STAR SIGHTINGS Uma Thurman, Audrey Tautou. SERVICES In the same building as Ona Spa, the Privé salon offers cuts, color, makeup, and more. A haircut by owner Laurent Dufourg starts at $225; cuts with other stylists begin at $90. DON'T MISS Makeup lessons (from $125) by Daniel McFadden, who counts Rachel Griffiths and Christina Ricci among his clients. "You use lots of makeup for a special event, but you don't want to look scary when the lights go on." EXPERT OPINION McFadden has his own line of cosmetics but swears by Gerda Spillmann's cream foundation for an evening face. "Elizabeth Taylor told me it covers a multitude of sins."
THE BUNGALOW 8473 Melrose Place; 323/655-4040 for hair, 323/653-2291 for nails. STAR SIGHTINGS Laura Linney, Gwen Stefani. SERVICES Manicures by Carla Kay, haircuts by up-and-coming stylist Myles Haddad in a 12-chair salon. There's also a separate VIP room for those who want a cut in private, but no matter where you sit, Haddad promises, "You're getting the quality you'll get elsewhere—with no attitude."
L.A. VIE L'ORANGE 638 1/2 N. Robertson Blvd., W. Hollywood; 310/289-2501. STAR SIGHTINGS Sharon Stone, Tyra Banks, Oprah Winfrey. SERVICES Manicures, pedicures, specialized foot and hand treatments, makeup. DON'T MISS The Walk on the Beach foot soak begins in basins of warm water filled with floating blossoms and orange slices and finishes up with a seaweed-oatmeal scrub. EXPERT OPINION "My job is to create illusion," says eyebrow specialist Tonya Crooks, "to make everyone look like a princess."
BARNEYS NEW YORK 9570 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; 310/276-4400. EXPERT OPINION If you can't afford your own stylist, seek out P. J. Jacobs, the store's personal shopper. This chic woman has years of experience in selling designer clothes and will guide you through racks of Emanuel Ungaro, Vera Wang, and Zac Posen.
GIORGIO ARMANI 436 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills; 310/271-5555. WHAT TO LOOK FOR Attentive service from personal shopper Gabriella Romo (call ahead—she's booked well in advance). STAR SIGHTINGS Maria Shriver, California's new first lady, recently browsed the racks without once being disturbed.
STUART WEITZMAN 437 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills; 310/860-9600. WHAT TO LOOK FOR Shoes and accessories that match the high style of Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo at nearly half the price. EXPERT OPINION For celebrity photo shoots, stylist Ricci DeMartino (Cloutier Agency, 310/394-8813) keeps a closet with more than 200 pairs of fabulous footwear—many of them Stuart Weitzman designs.
LANA MARKS 465 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills; 310/274-5240. WHAT TO LOOK FOR Stunning evening bags in satin, alligator, and lizard, dyed in a rainbow of colors. STAR SIGHTINGS Sarah Jessica Parker recently carried the shop's silver alligator Cleopatra clutch ($3,000).
ANYA HINDMARCH 118 S. Robertson Blvd.; 310/271-9707. WHAT TO LOOK FOR One-of-a-kind bags (bead-embroidered and silk moiré purses, totes with personalized photos silk-screened on them) from the British designer. STAR SIGHTINGS Renée Zellweger and Debra Messing have shopped here.