"Watch it, Toots, or you're going to look like one of those old ladies with magenta circles on your cheeks before your time."
The She Devil, settled on my left shoulder like a lump o' lead, was in a particularly foul mood, directing her invective at my choice of cheek makeup. Despite a wish to look as if I'd just arisen from a satisfying (and not solitary) nap, there wasn't a compact in my ever-expanding collection of powdered blushes that could successfully muster a natural look.
Wanting to be helpful as usual, the Grooming Angel suggested that no blush pot is an island. "It isn't just the choice of cheek color that's important, it's where you put it and whether you're wearing the right foundation color," she said. "Get thee to a makeup artist."
Bret Boreman, a wizard of artful application for Stila Cosmetics, said that on most women a dab of blush is most effective when placed right on the apple of the cheek.
"That means not on, or under, the cheekbones, unless your name is Pocahontas," theShe Devil added.
Sure enough, following Boreman's advice and using a good blush brush, almost any shade from my archive worked. A few favorites, all on the soft and healthy-looking side: Stila's Cream or Hint, Laura Mercier's Wild Bouquet, Estee Lauder's Deep Bronzer Duo, Trish McEvoy's Sheer Blush #2.
A sitcom writer in a past life, the Grooming Angel can't resist tying up each episode by reviewing the lesson learned. "Once in a while it helps to get an expert's input," she said sweetly, a sun-kissed glow visible on the apple of her cheeks.
Khaki Redux: Paul Buchman responded to my recent meditation on khakis with the following note, "Khakis are the same things as chinos." When I called the number on his "Mad About You" stationery to discuss the matter further, his wife Jamie answered. "Myth, myth, myth," she muttered. "One is a color, one is a style." I would be loath to argue with Ms. Buchman, however Helmut Lang just announced that his new casual unisex collection, which includes khakis, will debut in stores next summer. The hot German designer made no mention of chinos. But the newest J. Crew catalog supports Jamie's view, with "corduroy chinos" in nine colors, not including khaki.
Nature Lovers: Funny how a child whose room overflows with Fisher-Price wonders will suddenly decide a shoe box is his favorite toy. Similarly, despite the athletic apparel industry's best efforts to come up with comfortable, attractive workout wear, the season's winner is a plain, strapless black bra, not intended for exercise at all.
In the Santa Monica Mountains and around Lake Hollywood, women are taking to the trails in boxer shorts and bras like Vanity Fair's $20 Body Sleeks model at Macy's. Power walkers know a hike can mean as much UV exposure as a day at the beach. So we slather on sunscreen and hide our hair under baseball caps. Factor in sweat and dust, and the intrepid trekker is not a glamorous sight. The point is to look good later--tanned, toned and strap-mark-free.
* Sense of Style appears on Thursdays in Life & Style.