I'm in a bit of depression. I tend to feel this way immediately following an event I've been looking forward to: concerts, vacations, and, in this case, the 66th Emmy Awards .
Since I was a little girl  (who wanted to be Julia Roberts ), I've always imagined going to an award show. I've been to the Grammys and a few select other music telecasts, which have been a blast, since I'm a huge music fiend. But there's something about the big three — the Golden Globes, the Oscars, and the Emmys — that makes the ceremonies particularly magical.
So, what really happens at these major events? This year, I got to experience it all firsthand — beyond reporting from the sidelines. I got primped and prepped like a celebrity , scored an A-list ticket to watch the show from inside(!), and then rubbed elbows at the afterpar-tay!
I scored not one but three golden tickets: to the VMAs, Emmys, and Governors Ball Emmys afterparty.
The Posh Hotel
I spent my luxe weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles. They were clearly aware that I wear the pants!
The Mani-Cam-Ready Manicure
Before the award festivities began, Essie  kicked off the weekend with a nail-art bar. I went with this french manicure  with a chevron twist.
I wasn't able to attend the VMAs — I worked POPSUGAR'S Live Viewing Party for the telecast — but did get in some spa action before the show at the Ritz-Carlton's lush spa. Those chairs are even comfier than they look!
The Swag Bags
Guests were greeted with goody bags. Caress, Degree, Tresemmé, and Dove provided a warm welcome for the weekend.
The Bauble Bar
No outfit is complete without some essential pieces of bling, so Nina Dobrev  and Shailene Woodley's stylist Ilaria Urbinati helped me pick out a pretty accessory to show off.
The Edgy Earring
This is a close-up of the Bare Collection ear cuff Ilaria Urbinati helped me pick for my VMAs outfit.
Primping Session Number One
Prior to the VMAs, I sat down in the hair and makeup chair for some full-on glam time, courtesy of Tresemmé.
The VMAs Makeup
Obligatory selfie after my glam session! Of course I went with dramatic lashes .
The Bedtime Snack
Mmm — milk and cookies! Sweet dreams before the Emmys . . .
Here's a look at Downtown LA, my home for the weekend.
The Breakfast of Celebrities
Morning! Dove kicked off the Emmys with a little mimosa action.
The Delicious Food
A way to a girl's heart? Coffee, gourmet breakfast sandwiches, and these adorable dove-shaped omelets.
The Shower Power
Dove is launching a new body wash that provides more lather without stripping your skin. I got to test-drive these babies before the Emmys, and even with an airbrush tan, my skin felt softer and smoother after using these products.
The Bling Ring
After breakfast, Micaela Erlanger — who styled Hayden Panetierre and Michelle Dockery for the show — accessorized my Emmys gown with this gorgeous piece from Erickson Beamon .
Primping Session Number Two
Violet Grey's headquarters on Melrose Place provided a calm, quiet sanctuary to relax and get my makeup done.
Photo op! (I rocked a jewel-tone Monique Lhuillier  dress from Rent the Runway.) The red carpet was pure chaos, and there were lines just about everywhere to get photos with Emmys paraphernalia, but this shrubbery was a nice substitute.
Here's another shot of that dazzling ring, my gold clutch, and the sheer details of my gown.
Inside the Emmys
Finally! I got inside the Nokia  Theatre! Before the show, producers came out to give the audience a few tips about the telecast. This year, due to feedback from past winners, they did away with the countdown clock and instead informed the nominees they'd have 40 seconds to speak. They were very adamant about not using music to dismiss winners from the stage — but said they'd have to if speeches ran long. The telecast was expected to run two hours and five minutes without commercials.
While you're watching the show, there are hoards of Emmys patrons in the lobby of Nokia  Theatre getting cocktails and congregating with colleagues. During commercial breaks, actors float from aisle to aisle to greet fellow nominees and close friends.
In the women's restroom, glass vases full of makeup products sat on the counter for guests to take at their disposal. Why can't every public restroom provide this luxury?
The Commercial Breaks
During commercial breaks, the house band played covers, from The Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive" to The Rolling Stones's "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." It's superpeppy and loud! Like a last call, the house lights flashed twice to warn patrons to get back to their seats for the telecast.
The Touching Show Moments
You could have heard a pin drop in the theater during the Robin Williams  tribute. Many audience members were emotional during Billy Crystal's tribute. Unlike the other commercial breaks, which were quite rowdy, in the moment the house lights came up after Robin's memorial, everyone remained silent as a small gesture for the late entertainer.
Following Robin's tribute, my phone died. After watching Breaking Bad and Modern Family win for best drama and comedy series, respectively, we exited the theater and headed to the Creative Arts Ball and Governors Ball at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
As you walk up, you're greeted with waiters holding trays of Champagne for you to sip before entering the facility. Walking in, we passed Louis C.K. and January Jones .
The Governors Ball
Here's my table at the celebrity-studded Governors Ball afterparty.
The Bell of the Ball
To keep the soiree lively, a band performed top pop hits while attendees enjoyed at a three-course meal.
The A-List Attendees
Each table included a directory of who was seated where. (I clearly had to figure out where Mr. McConaughey was stationed.) I didn't see Matthew, but I did see Claire Danes , Michelle Dockery, and Julianne Hough!
The Hollywood Meal
Dinner included a beef filet and mashed potatoes served inside a baked potato. Dessert was on another level — a s'more that consisted of Chocolate Pop Rocks, torched marshmallow fluff, and Alunga  whipped ganache.
The Sweet Treats
In addition to the s'mores we were served, there were chocolate and candy stations set up. Guests could grab a small takeout box to fill with raspberry truffles, white chocolate marshmallows, chocolate-covered pretzels and more.
That's a bottle of wine patrons received upon their departure from the party, courtesy of The Academy. I also scored a takeout box full of candy and a pouch of makeup items including a purse-size bottle of L'Oréal Elnett hair spray, mints, mascara, and lip gloss. All in all, it was an amazing, action-packed weekend!