By Gladys Lai (GQ Australia)
Party bags are just one of the reasons children have it better. Remember the joy you’d feel as an innocent five-year-old, leaving a birthday with a bundle of sweets in hand? Well, it turns out that the joy isn’t exclusive to tots, because each year, the nominees for the Oscars are privy to that feeling.
The Oscar swag bag, however, is a little more elevated than a bag of candy. There’s plenty to satisfy the sweet tooth for sure, but the lucky recipients should begin to make some room, both in their calendars and the space of their own homes. You see, the Oscars gift bag is no ordinary collection of goodies. Given out annually by marketing agency Distinctive Assets, 2021 marks the 19th anniversary of the luxurious bundle. Just last year, Forbes estimated that the presents offered to 2020’s nominees alone amounted to a staggering value of $294,536, including the cost of a cruise to Antarctica, a stay in Italy and a Kauai vacation (enjoyed fervently by Viola Davis).
This year, the sponsors have continued to go above and beyond in pampering Hollywood’s most celebrated faces, including Olivia Colman, Amanda Seyfried and Carey Mulligan. With gifts including a 3-night stay in a Swedish lighthouse, a cosmetic surgery appointment, and free investment and consulting advice from Los Angeles’ brightest financial minds, we’re left feeling more than a little envious—and wondering how on earth we can step up our own gifting game.
Below, we give you an exclusive look inside the 2021 Oscars gift bag. For the full list, read on.
The Postmates Don’t Cookbook First up is a cookbook, but it’s no ordinary recipe tome. This limited Postmates Don’t Cookbook is chock full of guides to the best comfort foods in the US, but instead of measurements and tips for pre-heating, all you’re given is a QR code that will send you to the most coveted items from your local restaurants, available on the food delivery app. Craving some maple-drenched chicken and waffles? Just find the page, hover over the code with your phone camera, and voila, guilty goodness on your front doorstep. For entertainment, owners of the book can complete the word searches, colouring pages and mazes scattered errantly throughout. I don’t know about you, but the thought of Daniel Kaluuya waiting on his nacho order by playing with Faber Castells gives me immense happiness.
3-night stay at Pater Noster Lighthouse on the coast of Sweden What can we say? These stars are being pampered. A 3-night stay at Pater Noster Lighthouse on the Swedish island of Hamneskär will be gifted to all of this year’s nominees.
A 4-night stay at the world’s no. 1 destination spa Voted the number 1 destination spa in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, Golden Spa will treat nominees to a 4-night stay, which will include personalised and customisable fitness, spa and nutrition treatments. Better yet, the celebrities can bring a guest to take part in the meditative refreshments.
Bahlsen cookies Because stars have the same ordinary human taste buds, they’re being treated to a 10-pack selection of chocolate-covered biscuits and wafers. Drooling.
Bonfire x Defy:Disaster t-shirt and tote bag In case you haven’t heard, merch has returned in full force. There’s nothing we like better than clothing with a conscience, and for this t-shirt and tote bag combo is currently on sale, 100 per cent of the proceeds of which go towards Defy:Disaster’s efforts to help survivors during disaster relief efforts. Like Calvin Klein’s iconic marketing campaign, the tee reads, “I defy…” with an empty space for the wearer to fill in their own phrase.
Kicksnation x Soles4Souls Personal sneaker shopper Kicksnation has collaborated with disaster relief organisation Soles4Souls to offer nominees the chance to mail in their pre-loved sneakers. Soles4Souls will then repurpose the kicks to ensure they stay out of landfill, and are given to a new home. Who knows—you could very well be the owner of Steven Yeun’s old shoes.
A Peta emergency hammer Unorthodox, perhaps, to gift someone a hammer, but this one from Peta isn’t intended for carpentry. This emergency tool is meant to break out dogs left in hot cars. While we wouldn’t recommend going around town looking for car windows to smash, it’s a noble thought, and might come in handy.
Personal training sessions with celebrity trainer Alexis Seletzky This year’s nominees will be able to get strong with Alexis Seletzky, a celebrity trainer based in Los Angeles. 10 personal training sessions, ranging from counseling, to nutrition and physical therapy, will be tailored to each star who indulges in the gift.
Fitness and lifestyle guidance from Andrea Marcellus As well as 1-year VIP access to fitness and lifestyle app And/Life, nominees with receive a copy of Andrea Marcellus’ The Way In: 5 Winning Strategies To Lose Weight, Get Strong & Lift Your Life. Pair that with the celebrity training, and they’ll all be Chris Hemsworth-sized in no time.
Plastic surgery at Art Lipo Nominees who have work done—rejoice! There’s no need to book in their next sculpting session. The Oscars gift bag comes with a session at Art Lip, a cosmetic surgery clinic run by Dr. Thomas Su. Specialising in innovative liposuction techniques—he offers a Celebrity Arm Sculpting treatment—Dr. Su is also an expert on lipedema.
Digital artwork from AdVenture Media and Taillard Capital, auctioned for charity Another philanthropic gift that asks nominees to give to others, AdVenture Media and Taillard Capital is presenting a non fungible token (NFT) to each nominee this year. Each NFT can then be used to authenticate a digital artwork, which will then be auctioned to benefit a charity chosen by the celebrity. One of the NFTs will authenticate a Chadwick Boseman tribute piece, the proceeds of which will be donated to colon cancer foundations.
Hair oil by British M British M’s Annatto hair oil is a cruelty-free luxury staple that will work its way into the hands of Oscar nominees in late April. Made with pumpkin and argan oils, the product is completely recyclable and sourced ethically.
C60 Purple Power antioxidants C60 Purple Power is a selective antioxidant that claims to reduce inflammation and aid with hormonal imbalances. Increasing the production of pregnenolone in the body, the product will help celebrities heal their bodies from the inside out.
Ciot wireless charger and stoneware Stone slab importer Ciot specialises in mosaics and flooring. This year, they’re gifting nominees with a wireless charger, and for the lucky group who have residences in New York, a host of stone materials—just in case any of the stars are thinking of renovating their kitchen, or giving their bathroom a marble facelift.
New Zealand’s Comvita manuka honey Sourced from New Zealand forests, Comvita’s manuka honey is halal, kosher, organic and gluten-free. If they’re switched on, nominees will be slathering this all over their toast for breakfast. Peanut butter and honey, anyone?
Cozy Earth loungewear This year’s Oscar nominees will return home and snuggle up in sleepwear with their long-sleeve pajama sets and jogger pants, courtesy of Cozy Earth. The loungewear and bedding specialist makes products derived only from sustainably sourced silk and bamboo.
The Happiness Planner journal You might argue that with fame comes the increasing importance of introspection, and a newfound appreciation of quiet. A guided journal from The Happiness Planner is designed to help celebrities reflect on their past, present and future, and its partner app also allows users to transition their journaling online.
Happiest Tee sweatshirts Sweatshirts featuring the world’s happiest places are sure to put a smile on the nominee’s faces.
HFactor hydrogen water Water that’s functional, past hydration? That’s apparently what nominees will be drinking after this year’s ceremony with molecular hydrogen water from HFactor.
Bath bomb from Hotsy Totsy Haus A vegan milk bath bomb from Hotsy Totsy Haus will be nestled amongst the celebrity goodies. Comprised of Epsom salts, soothing French clay, and miracle skin-soothers vegan coconut milk and grape seed oil, the bath bomb is handmade, and hand-pressed with natural botanicals.
Consulting sessions with Isaac Rudansky Founder and CEO of digital consulting agency Isaac Rudansky counts giants Forbes, Hearst and American Eagle amongst his clients, and now, this year’s Oscar nominees. Each recipient will receive 15 hours of personalised consulting with Rudansky, gaining invaluable insight into the best ways to launch their own brand, or manage their personal finances. Chances that we’ll be introduced to even more celebrity alcohol brands remain high.
Exploding Kittens Before you freak out, Exploding Kittens is a highly addictive (and competitive, we can attest from experience) board game featuring, you guessed it, cats in combustion.
Fifth Element hemp salve A hemp salve from Fifth Element, an athlete favourite for post work-out recovery, aims to promote strength, balance and boasts 5000mg of full-spectrum hemp.
Loci sneakers Every sneaker from Portuguese label Loci is handmade with repurposed plastic. 100 per cent vegan, 10 per cent of each pair sold goes towards the conservation of sea life and cleaning up our oceans.
Socks from London Sock Company Everyone needs a fun pair of patterned socks.
Complimentary project management with Maison Construction Oh, to be a nominee in the middle of a seasonal home rework! Lose Angeles-based construction firm Maison Construction is offering each nominee complimentary project management on their next domestic undertaking.
Investment advice with Moxehub Venture capitalist Courtney Lawless will guide each nominee through a complimentary private session to teach them the art of investing.
A brain-sensing headband from Muse S This brain-sensing headband from Muse S tracks your sleep and can even help you meditate, giving celebrities an in-depth look at their sleep patterns.
Wax candle from Soul Shropshire An organic soy wax candle made with essential oils is also in the mix.
Sound acupuncture device from Taiyi Institute A sound device designed to be placed on the acupuncture points of your body, Tyqa uses auditory healing methods via Bluetooth to give nominees some much-needed tranquility.
Tequila Antigua Cruz Añejo Cristalino Aged in American white oak bourbon barrels for 24 months, Tequila’s Antigua Cruz Añejo Cristalino is sweet and citrusy in flavour, with undertones of chocolate, almond and vanilla.
Tractive’s GPS tracker for pets Tractive does exactly what it advertises—giving pet owners some peace of mind. Based in Austria, they use GPS trackers to lock onto the locations of our furriest friends, so when your cat pops out for an evening stroll, you can rest easy.
Limited-edition artist collector’s Trust Me Vodka Artist Evgeniya Golik has lent a helping hand to this limited-edition collector’s two-piece box of vodka, which comes with 23 karat edible gold flakes. One of the vodkas is potato-derived, while the other is made with organic wheat.
Miage skincare set After partying all night, these celebrities will need their beauty sleep, and the ten-step treatment that precedes it. A skincare set from Asian-owned brand Miage will be included in the gift bag, including a purifying wash, lip treatment and isotonic eye elixir.
Crystal jewellery sets from OMGigi and Madame’s Apothecary A bespoke crystal jewellery piece from OMGigi, as well as a handcrafted Tourmaline tray from Madame Apothecary draw inspiration from healing stones in their design.
Anti-racist children’s book Change-Maker Village Change-Maker Village is an anti-racist children’s book created by a diverse, all-female team. All profits go towards the NAACP.
Facial treatments at Oxygenetix and a year’s supply of makeup A micro needling treatment, LED treatment, a hydrogel face mask and a year’s supply of Oxygenetix makeup will be bundled up in the gift bags this year. A face mask that’s also a wristband Ryst Mask, as the name implies, is a face mask that you can wear as a wristband. Hygienic and functional? These celebrities can’t complain.
Intimate hemp oil from SalTerrae Female-founded SalTerrae is gifting nominees with the first broad-spectrum hemp oil, aimed at increasing intimacy between couples of all ages. Every oil is cruelty-free and organic, infused also with extra plant terpenes.
Isa Lazo body scrub and body oil An Isa Lazo body scrub and oil, infused with tea tree oil and cranberry seeds, will make sure all the nominees’ skin is red-carpet ready.
At-home vitamin IV infusions Vitamin IV infusions at home? Oscar nominees can call on their own nurses for their daily dose of nourishment.
Kanai’s turmeric and apricot face scrub Turmeric and apricot face scrubs from Kanai are hand-crafted by female farmers in the Himalayas. Every worker is given fair trade wages, and each ingredient is hand-picked, sun-dried and hand-pounded.
Roasted cashews from Karma Nuts Recipients will receive both a savoury and sweet collection of roasted cashews from Karma Nuts, including flavours like sea salt, Peri Peri, toasted coconut and cinnamon.
Lilac 11 beauty products Beauty products offered by wellness brand Lilac 11 include facial rollers, hydrating toners and an array of lip balms.
An organic tea starter kit from Cup of Té It seems that relaxation is the name of the game at this year’s Oscars, with this lux gold organic tea starter kit from Cup of Té in the mix. The gift set includes 100g Organic Teas, an infuser, a coffee scoop, and two golden tins.
Membership with wellness community D.O.S.E by Daybreaker An unlimited annual membership with D.O.S.E. by Daybreaker, a platform that claims to practice joy, allows the recipients to indulge in happiness-inducing activities like synth baths, massage, and lots of meditative yoga.
Elixinol Good Night CBD capsules Elixinol is focused on improving the quality of people’s lives through the power of cannabinoids. Elixinol’s Good Night CBD capsules combine a custom blend of full-spectrum CBD and a low-dose of melatonin, helping you to find that sweet spot of restfulness so you can get the deep sleep your body needs to rest, recover and reboot.
Sunglasses from Vintage Eyewear Custom shades, upcycled from vintage sunglasses, are headed towards this year’s Oscar nominees.
Violet breast pain pill A daily pill taken to alleviate breast pain, Violet helps with those who experience PMS, and other forms of monthly bodily discomfort.
Weed Cellars aged bourbon whiskey In the end, all the nominees will be looking for is a good drink. A present of award-winning Weed straight bourbon whiskey, aged for two years, is best neat.