Face Lifts Without Fear

For any stragglers left in Southern California still queasy about the invasive rigors of cosmetic surgery, Maurice Stein wants you to know that there's a painless way to defy gravity--for a few hours, at least. Stein is the owner of Cinema Secrets theatrical makeup supply and Halloween outfitting store in Burbank, whose $25 nonsurgical face-lift kit purports to take 5 to 10 years off your face for four to six hours.

The lift, a simplified version of an application long used by movie makeup experts, involves durable clear tape placed on either side of the face. The tape connects to elastic hooked into an adjustable band on the head and concealed with hair. Stein says the store sells "hundreds" of the kits per month, largely by mail order. Outside of show biz, most buyers seem to be women going to weddings or high school reunions, female executives preparing for publicity photos and women contemplating plastic surgery who want to see how they'd look. "We all want to look better. Life is a race, and we want to come out as one of the winners," says Stein, whose 25-year-career as a Hollywood makeup artist spanned projects from the original "Planet of the Apes" film to TV's "The Golden Girls."

Stein and his staff are happy to show customers how to use the kit--but he stresses that it's crucial to follow the instructions. Without naming names, Stein relates cautionary anecdotes about an actress at a celebrity auction and an attorney at a high-profile trial who suffered the consequences of carelessly anchored lifts. "A woman can be standing there talking to somebody and all of a sudden one side of her face becomes 10 years older!"


Cinema Secrets, 4400 Riverside Drive, Burbank; (818) 846-0579, www.cinemasecrets.com

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