Jill Zarin wants your face to be unlined, your eyelashes long and your hoo hah happy. Welcome to Jill Zarin’s Luxury Luncheon, a literal grab bag of creams, candles and this year: Plus One vibrators to pair with your va jay jay rejuvenation at Vspot Medi Spa. Now THAT’S a feel good moment.
And a bittersweet one. Jill lost husband Bobby Zarin to Thyroid Cancer in January. The party now is in his honor and themed “One more. That’s IT!” “That’s what Bobby always said,” she remembers. “‘I’ll do it one more time and that’s it.’ Now, that’s my motto.” The event, sponsored by Architechnology, raised money for the International Thyroid Oncology Group.
Did you know that Jill Zarin was the first New York Housewife and brought in Bethenny Frankel, only to have their subsequent feud help oust her from the franchise? Bobby’s funeral healed all, and they’re “friends” again, she told George Wayne at a freewheeling press conference with Real Housewives LeeAnne Locken (The Real Housewives of Dallas), Vicki Gunvalson (The Real Housewives of Orange County), Juliet Angus (Ladies of London), Kathy Wakile (The Real Housewives pf New Jersey), Cindy Barshop (The Real Housewives of New York City alumni) and BFF Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger, whom she called “my sister wives.” And despite rumors of Zarin’s imminent return to RHONY, “It’s not true,” she said. “They haven’t called.” (But, she could make cameo appearances.)
Jill was the general that never quit fighting for Bobby. Even after he’s gone, she’s still raising money for Thyroid Cancer in his name. These days, she’s stemming the loss with tennis and travel. Patti Stanger’s bringing her on free trips to Barbados and Israel.
Yes, when you’re a celebrity, people give you things. Jill found that out and decided to share the gifting suite experience. She brought in Sean Koski and Brian Kelly of Ticket2Events and created a phenomenon that this year brought in everyone from Audrey Gruss, promoting her line fragrances and candles to benefit her Hope for Depression Research Foundation to Dottie Herman and Former Florida First Lady Carole Crist to comedian Heather McDonald and Dina Lohan. Judy Giuliani, having lunch with a friend outside on Topping Rose’s terrace, told us she, too, had stopped by, although we saw no Goody Bag at her well heeled feet.
“It started as just a little party for 50 friends,” Sean Koski remembered. With his good looks, always “on” personality and bold face friends in Palm Beach and the Hamptons: We say, give this guy his own show!
“Jill wanted to share the perks of the newfound celebrity that she had: getting invited to gifting suites,” Sean continued. “So, she invented her own and every year we took it to the next level. Last year we had about 700 people, but since we’re here at Topping Rose, we had to cut down the list to 300.”
Jill’s all about sharing and supporting on the other side as well. “Most of the products here are by women-owned companies,” she said. “When I ask, ‘where I can buy your product,’ 90 percent said online. They’re all small companies just getting started.” A woman entrepreneur herself, a new venture is Jill Zarin Rugs.
Many of these women were on site or had top ranked reps. The owner who founded Alka Glam, for example, showed us how to add water to her Moisturizing Mineral Spray bottle. Laura D’Ocon from Miami Beach poured a glass of her Lolea Sangria — and made me a convert! Other women owners picked out Luxelashlove and WinkByPinUps lashes, talked about the Ariana Spa Collection and Organic Hair Care. We met the owner of XO8 Cosmeceuticals who claimed she had found the best mix of organic ingredients and technical know how and gave us her terrific Placenta Stem Cell Serum. Ōura Ring measured me for their high-tech heart-rate/sleep-rate monitoring ring. Kendra Scott reps were giving away earrings. Near the entrance, guests with needles taped to splayed inner arms were getting a Be Well iV drip. We wanted it so much — in theory — but took their powders instead. Other products were from: Blush & Whimsy, Jean Pierre Cosmetics, Alkamind – Get Off Your Acid, One Two Cosmetics, La Sirene Beauty, Skyn Iceland SoapBox Soaps, Bronzerie, and Rebag – who was raffling a Rebag x Kendra Thomas RO$E Edge bag, a bright-white Céline Edge bag recreated into an object d’art exclusive to Rebag.
And it was pouring Whispering Angel and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
One product that we were surprised wasn’t created by a woman: Plus One vibrators, which will be available at Walmart starting October 1. Visions of Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin selling vibrators to aging women with arthritic hands on Grace and Frankie faded as front woman Ashley Walsh told us, the idea for a “real premium product” for “sexual wellness, doing self and couple care” (so that’s what they’re calling it!) at a low price point was the brainchild of a 40 something man who was having success with brightly colored, affordable silicone electric razors. They realized they already were working with “the same kind of components,” Walsh told Hamptons.com. “It’s a motor. It’s silicone. The most expensive one is $30. The cheapest is $10. So we’re bring quality products at a lower price to the masses.”
Now THAT’S a gift that keeps on giving.
For more information about the International Thyroid Oncology Group, visit www.itog.org.