Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Style Extra

Maternity wear right on target

Former Vogue editor and women's fashion designer Liz Lange is the latest New Yorker to partner with Target stores, in this case to give moms-to-be some chic alternatives to balloon tops and stretch pants.

"Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you're any less fashionable," says the creator of a dozen mix-and-match pieces for spring that will be available this month. A soft-colored paisley peasant top is one of the stars of the collection. Items are less than $25 each.

Author-wear: Any parent worth his or her bedtime story talent is familiar with The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Carter's, of cutesy baby clothes fame, has joined with the author in its Limited Editions program for a line of clothing and accessories that will begin showing up in stores this spring. The designs will be based on the familiar caterpillar, as well characters from Mr. Carle's The Grouchy Ladybug and The Tiny Seed. Kohl's is one of many stores that carry the Carter line.

Gel Secret: The good news for Secret deodorant fans with concerns about sticky residue on clothes is that the deodorant-antiperspirant now comes in a clear gel designed in a package that measures the correct amount for coverage, dispenses it and doesn't leave a residue. Secret Platinum Protection Clear Gel is $2.79 for 1.7 ounces.

Books for brides: Jewish Weddings (Simon & Schuster; $30) is the latest resource for Jewish engaged couples from Rita Milos Brownstein, author of Jewish Holiday Style. She begins with a tour of nuptials in the ancient Jewish world, then guides couples through the engagement party, Jewish bridal shower, ketubah or marriage contract, wedding rings and invitations while explaining traditions and ways couples can personalize events.

How to Plan the Perfect Wedding Without Going Broke from Bridal Guide magazine (Warner Books; $16.95) attempts to answer the question with advice from Diane Forden, editor in chief of the magazine. The approach is no-nonsense with charts, checklists, worksheets and information gleaned from years of wedding coverage: money-saving tips on flowers, catering, receptions, buying a gown, honeymoon bargains and negotiating with wedding suppliers.

Clearasil kudos: Clearasil's Acne Fighting Facial Moisturizer got a gold star in the November/December issue of Cosmetics Counter Update by Paula Begoun, author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. She says the product is the "best thing Clearasil has done in a long time, and finally a BHA option at the drugstore worth getting excited about."

The BHA lotion (beta hydroxy acid) has 2 percent salicylic acid and has a pH of 3.5, meaning "it will work to exfoliate inside the pore." There are some reservations about the fragrance, described as "potent," but she says it's great for dealing with stubborn blemishes and blackheads on normal to dry skin. $3.99 for 3.4 ounces.

Eyebrow shapers: Sudden Change Instant Eyebrow Shapers, pre-cut cold wax strips contoured to use above and below eyebrows, are alternatives to plucking, shaving and waxing the traditional way. Each pack contains 18 sets of precut strips for above and below the eye, plus 16 strips for the area between the eyes. The strip is lifted from its backing, applied and peeled off, removing even ultra-fine hairs, according to Sudden Change. $4 at drug and mass merchandise stores.

Silly stat: Almost half the women (877) polled in a recent L'eggs Care Survey said they'd give up chocolate in order to have smoother-looking legs. An additional 25 percent said they'd give up talking on the phone, and 18 percent said they'd stop shopping . . . as if any of these would have the desired effect. That accompanied information about L'eggs Care Anti-Cellulite Legwear, which the company says releases "anti-cellulite" and moistening ingredients onto the skin through built-in micro-capsules. Available in sheer and opaque finishes for $5.97.

Nursing sleepwear: Despite the name, these clothes by Bravado Designs don't get up in the middle of the night and feed the wailing baby for you, but the Divine Duo Breastfeeding Sleepwear does help. And it's comfortably designed in 100 percent cotton knit separates that make it stylish enough to pass for daywear. Tops have snap-down panels that can be opened with one hand and elastic and drawstring waists to accommodate new-mommy tummies. Priced $21-$44. At www.bravadodesigns.com or (800) 590-7802.

Contact Joy Kraft by phone: 768-8467; fax: 768-8330; e-mail: jkraft@enquirer.com.

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