Fudging hair colorFudge paint-box hair color is...


Fudging hair color

Fudge paint-box hair color is bluer than blue, redder than red.

And among the junior-high set, the semi-permanent, super-bright color, which comes in a rainbow of shades, is also cooler than cool.

Yet it comes with a few drawbacks, judging from the directions on the back of the tube, which are filled with all sorts of warnings.

Semi-permanent? That depends. "May last up to 40 washes," the tube says. Easy to use? Perhaps. "Warning: Color will stain clothing, bedding and skin." Safe? Well ... "Must not be used for eyebrows or eyelashes -- to do so may cause blindness."

Still interested? Fudge Paintbox hair color costs about $16 for a 2.5-ounce tube and is available at JustProducts at the Festival at Woodholme in Pikesville (410-653-6601) or online at www.fudge.com.

Clean lines, rich fabrics

Black is out and citron, orchid and viridian are in, according to Ellen Tracy's new spring line. And don't forget about casual luxe -- the pairing of clean lines and rich fabrics. Other elements to look for in the collection by Linda Allard for Ellen Tracy include:

* Sophisticated meets casual: Mixing a white taffeta wrap shirt ($155) with creased khakis ($225) looks modern (above).

* Color experimentation: A sky-blue trench coat ($425) and citron skirt ($165) paired with a white shell ($135) look fresh.

* Sleek suits: For evening, go lean and bare in an iridescent pink taffeta jacket ($395) and pants ($255).

Ellen Tracy clothing is sold in stores including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

To knit or not to knit

When Julia Roberts has some down time on the set, she purls.

When Winona Ryder has a minute here and there, she knits.

And before Monica Lewinsky started making purses, she knitted Barbara Walters a scarf.

All over Hollywood and beyond, celebs are making knitting cool by association. In New York, high-powered types are hanging out at their neighborhood yarn shops for weekly knit-and-kvetch sessions. Even Martha Stewart, the doyenne of domesticity, is singing the praises of knitting in her newest publication, "Martha Stewart Baby" ($4.50 at newsstands).

Before you head out to your local yarn shop or invest in a sheep of your very own, be warned. There are a few truths the Hollywood kniterati won't tell you about knitting.

* Knitting is far from glamorous. If you have visions of knitting at an outdoor cafe table as you sip a Pellegrino and engage in witty repartee, think again. You are more likely to find yourself indoors alone, hunched over a hunk of yarn for hours on end snapping at those who dare to interrupt and barking, "Just let me finish this row."

* Knitting can be expensive. Skeins of luxurious, colorful yarn can cost quite a bit. Add in your time, and you could be making a baby sweater that costs $70 in material, plus an additional gazillion dollars in labor.

* Knitting is addictive. A scarf leads to a blanket, blankets beget hats, and hats become sweaters. Before you know it you'll find yourself knitting toilet paper roll cozies for strangers.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. We just wanted you to know.

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