Underwear as outerwear
Madonna may have started it all several years ago when she began performing in bra tops and bustiers, but the idea of lingerie worn as outerwear has now taken on a life of its own. Bare little dresses cut like slips have become standard fare at the trendiest clubs and cocktail parties. Come spring, expect to XTC see even more lingerie-inspired party clothes -- dresses featuring built-in bras and delicate nylon lingerie lace edging necklines and shoulder straps.
One of the most popular new fabric combinations also happens to be black lace layered over nude or blush-colored satin, a look hitherto more common in the boudoir than the ballroom.
Saks Fifth Avenue in Owings Mills is carrying in its lingerie section gold slip dresses by Carol Molony for $58. Designed originally perhaps as a nightie, they look almost identical to cocktail dresses by designers such as Calvin Klein, which cost closer to $580.
Not everyone can afford to escape to a spa for a midwinter pick-me-up, so Southern Living magazine offers a few do-it-yourself tips this month.
Among the magazine's suggestions is an at-home paraffin hand treatment to soften hands and soothe arthritic joints. The instructions are as follows: "Melt paraffin from a beauty supply store in a crockpot for several hours to no hotter than 126 to 130 degrees (test with a candy thermometer). Carefully dip moisturized hands three times. Once it's thickened (3 to 5 minutes), peel off the paraffin. For arthritic joints: spread warm paraffin over cheesecloth, apply, and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat."
A nutty idea
With its lively mix of practical beauty tips and irreverent reporting on the beauty industry, Allure magazine has gained a loyal following of readers. One of its most popular features is the "Trick of the Trade" box. This month, the trick is courtesy of New York manicurist Cristina Condur at Roberto Bezjon. To keep nails from chipping and cuticles from cracking, she advises clients to massage almond oil into and under their nails at least once a day.
Less glamorous, perhaps, but maybe even cheaper and just as effective, is to use Vaseline.