Boot Camp Finale: Szish Gets Ready for the Big Night


Why is it that air travel completely saps my willpower?

I was cruising at 35,000 feet en route to Los Angeles, and my brain had convinced my body that calories didn't count at such an altitude.

So, sadly, the Master Cleanse was temporarily remastered into a snickerdoodle and chardonnay diet. Apparently, I should have included "banish fear of flying" into my boot camp regimen. There's always next year.

Upon arriving at LAX, my willpower was instantly renewed when I spied "Lost's" Josh Holloway making his way through the terminal and then just happened to stand next to Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas (who, I must say, are a surprisingly striking couple in person) at the baggage claim.

Bottom line: If they can look fabulous, even after a long flight, so can I.

In the meantime, read on for more on my recent boot camp tasks that (thankfully) didn't require willpower.

Day 8: Custom Makeup

Angelina Jolie is only one of many stars who get custom makeup created by the three masterminds behind Manhattan's 3 Custom Color Specialists. Located in a tiny studio just off Fifth Avenue, 3C has become one of the top destinations for celebrity makeup artists.

3C works with makeup artists and stylists to create the perfect eye shadows, lipsticks, concealers and more to ensure flawless celebrity faces for events and everyday life. (The good news is that 3C also works with real people! Check out its Web site to get the star treatment -- and pay special attention to the clarifier pencil, which they told me is one of the most important tools in a makeup artist's kit).

I was welcomed into the 3C studio by Trae Bodge, the co-founder and creative director, who immediately wanted to know about my Oscars dress. She got an excited gleam in her eye and started rattling off a list of colors, techniques and "looks" that she had in mind, based on both my description of the dress and my skin tone.

She grabbed large tubs and slim beakers filled with richly colored powders and pastes, slathered a few drops and smudges onto her paper palette, swirled around her spatula, and suddenly produced an eye shadow color made just for me. This was couture makeup!

I had never had anything couture before, and I very much enjoyed the fabulous feeling of decadence. Then, Bodge mixed and blended another batch and informed me that this would be my red carpet lip color. She brought in a touch of silver to match my dress, but added a soft plum color to keep the look natural and youthful. Whatever she did, it was like watching an artist at work.

The next day I received a package from 3C. Overnight -- literally -- the smudges of custom lip color and eye shadow were expertly packaged into sleek tubes and compacts. Bodge even included extensive, detailed directions on how to apply and use the makeup to achieve the ultimate red carpet look.

And, in just a couple more days -- I'm having a very difficult time not diving into my new stash for a practice session -- again, time for willpower -- I will get to experience and show off my custom colors on the carpet. Stay tuned!

Day 9: Ajune Medispa Body Facial

Another day of boot camp, another body treatment, you ask? Not even close.

Not only does the Ajune spa on Manhattan's Upper East Side lure clients such as Hilary Swank, Selma Blair and Ben Affleck, but it specializes in a unique red carpet prep treatment called a body facial.

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