By Mary N. DiZazzo

Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.
--Norma Desmond, "Sunset Blvd," 1950

Ciao bella,

There I was at the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, standing in Marilyn Monroe's footprints. Her name was dotted with a diamond! And I gazed at all the other beauties who had made an impression in the cement walk --even Betty Grable's leg in cement!

What an exhilarating feeling to be surrounded by all lavish beauty and talent that once stood here and who left their hand and shoe prints, forever young and beautiful.

The influence of Hollywood changed the course of beauty culture tremendously. From silent film to talkies, from manicured pointed red nails --moons and tips not painted-- to the siren bleached blonde of Jean Harlow, we are followers; Hollywood set the beauty standards.

Hollywood glamour also requires its own setting and that's where the artistry of production designers and set designers comes in. My cousin Kristen and her hubby Phil (sweethearts from high school) fled the Methuen coop and found stunning professions in the movies. During my Hollywood holiday I visited their latest claim to fame, the set of "Ocean's Thirteen," premiering in 2007. Phil was production designer; Kristen set designer. We visited the "casino" filmed for the movie. It was incredible: a Las Vegas casino recreated on a Warner Brothers sound stage. From the weave of the carpet to the furniture and lighting it looked just like the real thing. And when they turned on the electricity I had my choice of slot machines spinning --lucky beauty!

When they said, "Go West, Young Man" they did. Sometimes I wish I had.

Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!

Have you missed any of Mary's columns in the Post-Gazette? Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns on her website She is a third-generation cosmetologist and owner of Mary for Nails, etc. natural nailcare salon in Andover, and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183. She also sees select clients by appointment in Boston at (617) 742-6881.