"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 4 December 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.


[what it is with these poeple who send mail subject: F*CK YOU
 asking to unsubscribe from the Suck InBoxDirect mail service?]

Winter has long been the fashion

industry's secret

ace-in-the-hole. Consider how

many more layers the savvy

cosmopolitan needs to wear just

to survive! Only recently,

though, have the best houses in

New York, Milan, and Paris

acknowledged just how far their

lines can be expanded to help

fight the frostbite of

vulgarity. But with this winter

shaping up to be one of the

warmest on record, fashion

mavens are working overtime to

make the subtle charms of

frigidity accessible to even the

weakest of weather wimps across

the Sun Belt. Even with the

mercury climbing around the

globe, the high-fashion industry

is hip to the haute couture of

hypothermia. One of this year's

most striking developments in

hyperborean fashion is the

ascendence of winter cosmetics.

These exciting new products play

on the conventions - if not the

balmy reality - of the season,

and find a bloom of beauty on

the tundra of the mundane. In

this, the winter of our content,

what better way to celebrate the

short-term gains of the

Greenhouse Effect than with

Suck's Seasonal Makeover?


This week in Winnipeg, Revlon

proudly introduced its new line

of facial gloss. A variation on

the traditional lip glosses of

the 1970s, "Septum" is a clear

liquid that's brushed lightly

around the nostrils and over the

upper lip. The resulting "wet

look" is bold and brash,

intellectually flamboyant. It

reflects the muted light of

winter to great advantage,

invariably bringing to mind the

diaphanous translucence of

tissue or a fine lace hankie.


[hello? can you NOT read the line at the bottom that says : 'To cancel your subscription to email delivery of Suck, visit the unsubscription page. ' with a link to that page?]

Not wanting to be left out in

the cold in this exciting new

trend, Mary Kay trotted out her

own line in Chicago yesterday.

Among her new seasonal

offerings, the most notable is

"Windburn," the next generation,

in an old standby: rouge. Here,

though, Kay has deepened and

refined the expected palette,

cultivating a ruddy look and

giving the cheeks a striking

nordic incandescence. "Windburn"

is finished with a light coat of

paraffin, which consummates the

effect of its namesake,

exaggerating the chapped look

for which designers have been

clamoring this year.


Never one to hibernate while

others innovate, Liz Claiborne

has revealed her own

interpretation of the popular

chapped look, focusing on the

true hub of the exposure

aesthetic: the lips. Borrowing

from the textures and tones of

the Italian fresco, the

"Fissure" line of lip treatments

is applied in generous layers,

which then dry and crack in a

remarkably flat, almost painful

finish. Claiborne has thought of

everything: "Fissure" is

resistant to most other

lipsticks, glosses, and

ointments, and - like winter

itself - will soften only with

the passage of time. Chapped

lips never looked so good, and

you can bet the people at

Vaseline will be trembling with



[ do they think that there is someone just dying to get offensive mail that asks for a favor they are too stupid to do themselves?]

Long known for their

warm-weather arsenal of lotions

and sunscreens, Coppertone

designers seem to be covering

all bets these days. If you

don't find yourself jetting to

some remote tropical beach this

winter to work on that

off-season tan, you might check

into their traditional group of

"sunless" tan-emulating body

makeup. Or you might make an

edgy statement with an

outrageous new product on the

other end of the skin-toning

spectrum: La Peau du Poulet. As

previewed last summer in

Anchorage, this revolutionary

new beauty product is worn

primarily on the arms and legs.

Its pale white base sets up with

a slightly stippled finish. The

result? A remarkable goose bumps

effect, sure to bring a blizzard

of interest from high-fashion

houses in every climate.


A specialized and controversial

addition to the body makeup

category is coming from a new

entrant into the field of

cosmetics: Johnson Wax. Formerly

known for its high-quality

fishing reels and automobile

products, Johnson is producing a

provocative line of thick,

latex-based makeup for hands and

feet, which plays on the theme

of advanced frostbite. The aptly

named "Extremities" is clearly a

novelty, more likely to be seen

on the stage than in the street.

Still, there's no telling what

the marketplace might absorb

with the public's current

appetite for Mount

Everest-inspired accessorizing.


[or do they think the mailer-deamon is coded to unsubscibe users who use FUCK in all caps?]

A subtle but winning stroke on

behalf of realism is Vidal

Sassoon's new cold-weather

mascara. The "Wind Chill" line

is another clear gloss that

mimics the body's own fluids; it

reproduces the arctic effect of

lashes delicately frozen

together by the eye's natural

tearing action. Bucking the

recent trend in heavier

applications, Sassoon's is a

calibrated take on a truly polar

phenomenon. Eyes frozen shut are

a rare talisman in urban

settings, but Sassoon is hoping

for some cross-pollination from

the growing interest in Inuit

and Eskimo art and the superhot

mountaineering jackets that are

currently de rigeur.


Perhaps the most commercially

viable of all the new seasonal

beauty products is an innovative

hair gel from Aveda. Working

closely with hat and cap

manufacturers, the Minneapolis

company has developed a styling

mousse which quickly and

accurately produces "hat hair,"

a popular unisex look that was

previously cultivated only

through a time-consuming process

of carelessness and neglect.

After a quick application and

the single pass of a blow-dryer,

the desired effect can be

achieved with or without

stocking caps, nets, or hats.

Showing off the rhythm of the

streets, the look is relaxed and

welcoming, working casual, and

naughtily, haughtily, and

literally wrong-headed in a way

that couldn't be more right.

courtesy of E. L. Skinner