Seeing DotsBindi dots have been worn between the eyebrows...

Style File

September 20, 1998|By Judith Forman | Judith Forman,SUN STAFF

Seeing Dots

Bindi dots have been worn between the eyebrows of Indian women for more than 1,500 years. Bindi body art has been spotted in stores across America since August.

The small, jeweled, self-adhesive decals are part of the body art craze that includes piercings, tattoos and henna stains.

"They're the nonpainful way to have body adornments," says Liz Coughlin, spokeswoman for Naturelle, a Connecticut company that sells packages of 16 dots in four designs for $7.99. (They're available at Sally Beauty Supply Stores and other retailers.)

Celebrities such as Madonna, singer Gwen Stefani and figure skater Michelle Kwan have all recently been seen with Bindi dots, helping the trend catch fire.

Acharya Palaniswami, editor-in-chief of Hawaii-based Hinduism Today magazine, said the Bindi dot is considered a mystical third eye, representative of an inner vision through which Indian women strive to see God in everyone. Married women sport a painted-on red dot made of lime juice and spice paste; unmarried wear a small black dot.

Are Indians offended when they see American teeny-boppers with Bindi dots on their foreheads, fingernails or in their bellybuttons?

"They'd love to see it," Palaniswami says of most Indians. "They would be far from put off by blue-eyed Americans using Bindi dots."

Good news for Ellen Tracy devotees: You now can get rewarded for your good taste.

The company is introducing Club Ellen Tracy, a benefits program for shoppers who purchase from the collections of the following lines - Linda Allard for Ellen Tracy, Ellen Tracy dresses and CoMPANY by Ellen Tracy.

The privileges of membership include gift certificates ($100 after you spend $1,000), drawings and a newsletter with events and offers.

Members receive a club card for use around the country. Applications are available by calling toll-free 877-ELLENTRACY.

Rachel Elbaum When makeup artists started raving about them, we decided to give Pond's Cucumber Eye Treatments a try. At first we wondered what could be better than two slices of the real thing, but these new pads - fortified with extracts of cucumber, chamomile, green tea and cornflower - are a treat.

Best when chilled in the refrigerator and then placed over eyes, they look like cucumbers but lack that slithery, seedy feeling. We're not sure they actually reduce puffiness as the box claims, but they are soothing.

The toughest task: Not falling asleep with them on, which we're told can irritate eyes. About $8.99 at area drugstores.

Mary Corey You may not know his name, but you probably know his faces.

Makeup artist Reggie Wells, who won an Emmy for his work on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," has taken his brush and powder to many African-American beauties, including Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Iman.

The Baltimore native has written about it all in a new book, "Face Painting," which he'll promote at the Baltimore Book Festival in Mount Vernon Place on Saturday at 4 p.m.

The book combines biography and makeup how-to with the slightest hint of celebrity tell-all.

"Oprah can't stand to have her brows tweezed," he writes. "So I shaved the eyebrows with a standard razor along the bottom rim."

Mary Corey

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