Fair-haired fascinationDo blondes have more fun?Of course...

STYLE FILE

November 21, 1999|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,Sun Staff

Fair-haired fascination

Do blondes have more fun?

Of course, says a new book by Barnaby Conrad III called "The Blonde" (Chronicle Books, $29.95). The book celebrates the myth and magic of blondes in entertainment, literature, politics and pop culture in the decades between World War I and Vietnam, from the rise of Jean Harlow to the demise of Marilyn Monroe.

"There were blondes before, and blondes after," the author writes, "But in this half century, the message seemed to be that, while black, brown, auburn and red hair were each beautiful ... blonde was the most noticed and the most desired hair color."

Featuring charming old advertisements and movie stills of such glamorous actresses as Grace Kelly and Veronica Lake, "The Blonde" is certainly appealing, at first anyway. Delve a little deeper, however, and the gushing for all things blonde grows tiresome.

By the time modeling guru Eileen Ford states "How many truly unforgettable brunettes can you remember?" in the book's final pages, this dark-haired reader was more than happy to think of several dozen.

Keeping track of time

With the dawn of the millennium not far away, it's time to talk time, as in keeping time. Two new watches worthy of ringing in 2000 and 2001:

* The ultra-futuristic UFO-shaped Aluminum Beat watch from Swatch ($90-$100), which displays local time along with a second time zone. The watch (above) comes in three styles, featuring floating dot, crashing waves or rising sun designs. For a store near you, call 800-8-SWATCH.

* The Lego Watch ($29.99-$44.99) is more than a watch, it's an activity. Wearers use interchangeable links and bezels to create a customized analog or digital watch in multiple colors and designs. Switch the parts around to make a different watch every day. There are six styles of Lego watches available at F.A.O. Schwarz, Zany Brainy, Learning Express and other stores.

Target audience

Target might sell Ring Dings and garbage cans, but the French- accented Tarjay sells cashmere twin sets and feather-bedecked evening bags.

Target's swanky factor just increased. The store recently introduced its own line of cosmetics for women, Sonia Kashuk Professional Makeup.

Billed by the company as "boutique quality cosmetics at mass prices," the line of face, eye and lip products, cosmetics tools and brushes ranges in price from $1.99 for an eyebrow brush to $9.99 for foundation. It was created by professional makeup artist Sonia Kashuk (right), who believes makeup is an enhancer designed to reveal a woman's beauty, not redefine her look.

Good philosophy, but what about the makeup? We liked the pump dispenser on the foundation, but the pink Beautifying Blush ($7.99) went overboard into cotton candy pinkness evocative of junior high school. The blusher brush ($8.99), which was just the right weight and fullness, was a keeper, as was the rich, creamy Beet red lipstick.

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