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BY DESIGN : For the Cosmetically Correct

TIMES STAFF WRITER

If the cosmetic industry ever runs out of tricks, we’ll all be in trouble. We might grumble about the plethora of products and the incessant, intimidating ads. But without a few choice weapons (think mascara wand, lipstick tube, eyebrow pencil), how could we ever face the madding crowd?

True, just when we had grown fond of our aggressively red lips, we were told to change them to soft pink. And just when we thought raccoon eyes and blue eye shadow had disappeared forever, there they were, staring at us from every fashion page.

So, what is the cosmetically correct woman to do next? To find out, we asked a baker’s dozen of companies to give us one great item for our summer shopping list. How did we ever live without clear lip liner, nail polish reminiscent of the Twiggy era and a foolproof eyebrow stencil?

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Elizabeth Arden foundation: Flawless Finish collection, expanded from 10 to 72 shades to cover 85% to 90% of the population. Comes in six formulations. We love the mousse because it’s light as air. Or, maybe, we just love dessert. $25. Department stores.

Aveda lipstick: Uruku Lip Colours, made with natural ingredients from the Brazilian rain forest. Earthy, exotic, environmentally correct, with names that would drive any ad agency crazy: Bixa, Orellana and Annatto. $11.50. Aveda, Beverly Center, South Coast Plaza and Glendale Galleria.

BeneFit Lip Plump: Lip Plump promises a sexy, pouty mouth without those nasty collagen injections. We didn’t get a pout, but you might. $15. Fred Segal Essentials, Santa Monica.

Bobbi Brown bronzer: So you didn’t go to Marrakech. You can always pretend with “Dark” Bronzing Powder or Stick, the shade we like best. We also like the powder better than the stick, and it’s cheaper. But you’ll have to buy a puff if you don’t plan to use your fingers the way we did. $25 for powder, $28 for stick. Fred Segal Essentials, Santa Monica.

Chanel nail polish: The color is “Pink Alert,” a frosted mauve-tinged shade (with matching lipstick) that Twiggy might have worn. Which means it could be too mauve and too frosted for anyone old enough to remember Twiggy. $15. Department stores.

LORAC Shimmer Stick: A multipurpose frosted white (yes, it’s a very frosted summer) that promises to add an opalescent shine to nude lips, lighten a dark lipstick, brighten eyes at night, and highlight cheekbones and brow bones. We did only our lips, but so far, this is a very good shtick . $17.50. Apothia, Brentwood; Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills, in July.

Look Clear Lip Pencil: A brilliant tool from Barneys New York’s new line of cosmetics. We were able to get fuller lips, although we still couldn’t call them pouty. It’s also designed to keep lipstick from bleeding and feathering. $15. Barneys New York, Beverly Hills and Costa Mesa.

M.A.C. Blot Powder: Supposedly more absorbent than traditional loose or pressed powders, Blot Powder can retain up to 50% of its weight in excess oil. Now there’s a statistic for you. $12. Nordstrom; M.A.C. in the Beverly Center and West Hollywood.

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Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Make Up: Forget your face--go directly to your body. Covers imperfections without leaving a heavy pancake residue. Of course, we didn’t try it . . . a friend did. In nine shades. $57.50 and worth it. Nordstrom; Barneys New York, Beverly Hills; select Saks Fifth Avenue stores.

Linda Mason Elements makeup kit: Think of it as an adult paint box; the varied geometric shapes in the CD-size box are about that deep. Comes with a total of nine colors for lips, cheeks and eyes plus “foolproof instructions” by Mason, a former model and New York-based makeup artist. The “Earth” kit has delicate, iridescent shades, and “Heaven” has warmer, deeper tones. Tons of fun. $34. (800) 238-2922 and at Saks Fifth Avenue in September.

Prescriptives lip lacquers: “Plastics"--probably the most gimmicky of all the summer gimmicks. These five “mod” lip lacquers mimic summer’s vinyl-coated fashions. The glass tubes are very small and supplies are limited, which is probably a good idea. $15. Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus.

Senna Form-A-Brow: This kit, based on the customized service at Senna studios, includes stencils, coloring powders and brushes. “Makes wimpy, shapeless brows a thing of the past,” we were told. We don’t have wimpy, shapeless brows, but our friend does. She says this is a bargain. $30. Senna studios, or call (800) 537-3662.

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Trucco by Sebastian clear eye shadow: i-tonic is billed as the first-ever clear eye shadow and priming treatment. Looks like a chic little patch of Vaseline, but isn’t nearly as heavy and does a nice job of smoothing and conditioning the lids. $12.50. Visions Salon, L.A.; John Paul Hair Design, Irvine.


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