Sex-kitten look will be trendy again this spring

February 12, 1992|By Gwen Salley-Schoen | Gwen Salley-Schoen,McClatchy News Service

As the fashion pendulum swings back and forth from androgynous to voluptuous, hair and cosmetic trends are drawn into the momentum. Cosmeticians and hairdressers scramble to adjust their art to the newest trends.

For spring '92, fashion has gone back to the boudoir with a definite feminine twist. Lace slip dresses are the hottest thing going for spring. Add pretty bras and camisoles that are meant to show, along with hosiery in seductive patterns and eye-catching colors, and it's no wonder that hair styles and makeup are beginning to take on a boudoir look as well.

The distinctive look that sex kittens Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield made famous has returned: big hair with loose strands kissing cheeks and bare shoulders; heavy eyeliner painted in wings at the outer corners; false eyelashes; and even a fake mole painted on for special occasions.

"Unlike the '60s -- when wings were painted in thick, black points to the eyebrows -- the new trend is to do them with a subtle hand," says Jeanne Marie (she does not use her last name professionally), a licensed aesthetician and makeup artist. "Lately, a lot of women have been discovering cake eyeliner and they love it because it lasts all day. But unlike the thick, black liner of the '60s, the new shades are smoky, soft colors like pale plum, smoke blue or taupe. The liner is also used to smudge a soft line under the eye.

"Personally, I think women should always wear eyeliner, because it helps to shape and define the eyes. But it should never be overdone," Jeanne Marie says. She adds that the new eye shadow colors are soft and smoky, as well.

"There are some new products on the market this year that are fine-grained and matte finish," she says. "Because of the consistency, the shadow goes on in a smooth, even finish. There is no shine or glitter at all. The only time you can do a shimmer is in the evening with copper, bronze or smoky-blue worn very close to the upper eyelashes. Shadows are applied with a sponge-tip applicator or angled brushes, and are well blended so that there are no lines of color. You should never be able to see where the shadow ends and begins because it is carefully blended. The result is a smudged, softened and very feminine look."

As in the '60s, false eyelashes are back in vogue. But unlike the fuzzy, camouflage lashes of that pop era, this go-round false eyelashes are more natural and often come in single hairs to be used to fill in where nature took a holiday. This, too, seems appropriate, because there is a whole generation of women who have never experienced the thrill of ripping off false eyelashes or having them come unstuck during an intimate conversation or a business meeting.

"Most women enjoy wearing false lashes for evening when they want a more glamorous look," says Jeanne Marie. "They are fun as an occasional item."

Fashion models are using brow pencils or brushes in addition to the false eyelashes. The new look is a defined arch that frames the eyes. Stray hairs are tweezed or waxed to create a defined look.

We've just come from an era when faces were pale, but lips and eyes were dark -- sort of an Addams Family look. "Today the goal is for balance. Creating a triangular balance between eyes and lips -- that is what you are striving for," Jeanne Marie says.

What that means is that blush is back.

"You will see colors that will brighten the face, like a soft fuchsia, coral sand and azalea rose," she says. "The trick to applying them is to do it delicately. I prefer a fan-shaped brush because you can really control where you want it to go.

"Apply blush below the cheek bone and up toward the ear and hairline. Never put it right on your cheeks or it may give you a clown look. And sparkle blushes are out of style. Everything should be matte finish.

"For evening, you can use a brown, contour blush just below the color blush and it will help define the shape of the face."

In the past few years, women have discovered lip liners. They are great to keep lipstick from bleeding into tiny lines around the mouth, and they are a magical tool for visually correcting the shape of the lips. Lip liners are still a part of the cosmetic scene, but those, too, have undergone a change.

"Now there are automatic lip liners that you don't sharpen like the old pencils," Jeanne Marie says. "These new ones have a rounded tip so the line around the lips is softer. And the colors are more closely matched to lipstick shades, rather than a darker color like they were a few seasons ago."

One of Jeanne Marie's tips is to put on lipstick first, then line around the lips for a softer finish. "Or you can go over it with a lip brush to blend the liner with the lipstick," she says.

"The real purpose of makeup is to enhance our assets," she says. "Changing it with the fashion trends makes it fun. And granted, there are a lot of women who do not wear makeup at all, and I think that is fine too, but we are not all flawless with rosy cheeks, tiny pores and big eyes. Most of us will look better with a little help."

And to those women who say their husbands or boyfriends like them better without makeup: "When watching television or looking through a magazine, which women do they point out as being beautiful? Probably not Plain Jane. It may be a woman who looks natural, but she is wearing some makeup to enhance her natural beauty.

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