Quick to the finishIt sounds too good...


Quick to the finish

It sounds too good to be true: nail polish that dries in 90 seconds or less. We put three brands to the test, and here are the results:


Advertised time to dry: 90 seconds for one coat

Number of shades: 52

Most popular: Dusk (mauve), Toffee and Skin (light pink)

Cutting edge: Lavender

Comments: This brand gave the best one-coat coverage but was still slightly tacky at test time. It also was the most expensive. The Lapis shade was a hit with our young testers. Adults liked Flesh and Sherry. Polish began chipping within a day.

Suggested retail: $4.75


Advertised time to dry: One minute for one coat

Number of shades: 42 in the permanent collection.

Most Popular: Brassy, Silver Lilac, Two Timer (opalescent blue)

Cutting edge: Summer line of colored tints called "water paints."

Comments: Generally, this went on easily and dried quickly. Several shades were streaky, and one bottle came with a brush so misshapen that the bristles had to be cut. The "water paints" drew a mixed response. One adult tester praised them, while a younger tester found them runny and annoying.

Suggested retail: $3.60


Advertised time to dry: 90 seconds for one coat

Number of shades: 32

Most popular: Shocker (hot pink)

Cutting edge: Freeze (opalescent gunmetal blue-gray)

Comments: One shade still smudged at test time; one didn't. These offered good shine and coverage, but one tester found the line gloppy and complained about the rough finish. After 30 minutes, she said, the polish still wasn't completely dry.

Suggested retail: $3.50

Strong lips, sunless tan

From the June fashion magazines:

In Style asks celebrities to 'fess up about what they wore to their high school proms. Mary Tyler Moore picked an orange tulle dress, and Sally Jessy Raphael turned up in a "pretty ugly" white strapless gown with a push-up bra.

Glamour tested the newest self tanners and gives high marks to Lancome Flash Bronzer Deep Color Self-Tanning Gel for the Face ("the face-product favorite"), Hawaiian Tropic Herbal Self Tanning Foam ("Great results, great price -- a winner") and Bain de Soleil Sunless Tanning Spray Deep Dark ("excellent for fair skin").

In its summer survival guide, Marie Claire recommends wearing lipstick a few shades darker in the summer to accent the mouth. Recommended hues: soft reds, plums and pinks.

Drive-by makeup

Rebecca Pflueger was stuck in Los Angeles traffic when she noticed several women drivers disappearing from view and then popping up to apply lipstick. An idea was born: a makeup case for the car.

Called the Cosmetic Car Caddie, it looks like a tall, insulated cup with a top that doubles as a mirror. There's ample room inside for lipstick, mascara and other products.

The thermos fits into a cup holder and keeps lipstick from melting at up to 120 degrees. It also saves women from having to rummage through their pocketbooks or glove compartments looking for makeup.

Pflueger, who says the caddy also has been popular at the beach and pool, emphasizes that her company, English Ideas, does not encourage women to apply makeup while driving. But as a working mother, she knows she sometimes has to do a quick touch-up in the car.

The caddy costs $25 empty or $45 filled with three makeup products. Call 800-LIP-LAST.

Tattoos you can use

Finally, a practical use for tattoos.

To patch up cuts and scrapes, there are now Tattoo Designs, waterproof bandages with temporary designs.

Lava lamps, in-line skating and frogs are among the choices in the 3M Health Care line. They come in three sizes for a variety of injuries and are targeted to the 6- to 12-year-old set.

They were a hit with an 8-year-old we recruited, who particularly liked the smiley face. But a 10-year-old wasn't wowed, calling them babyish.

One drawback: They are pricey -- $3-$4 for a box of 25. Available at food, drug and mass-market retailers.

Pub Date: 5/31/98

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