Want to lose those deep laugh lines for good? Your only recourse may be to fill them. The search for optimal filler has led science to cow collagen, human fat -- even processed cadaver material. But the effects of collagen fade after a month or two, and some patients are allergic to it; your own fat has to be harvested; and frankly, injecting reconstituted dead people is a concept that's a bit hard to take -- even in the name of beauty. So a growing number of doctors are using sugar gel, technically known as hyaluronic acid. It lasts longer than collagen, and won't produce an allergic reaction. "Fifty percent of sugar gel remains for a year after it has been injected," says plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Bosniak, who with his partner, Dr. Marian Cantisano-Zilkha, dispenses the gel at the Equinox spa and at his Upper East Side practice. "Although," he sighs, "people always seem to find new areas they want to fill."
With ladylike looks storming the fashion scene this fall, interior designer Maureen Kelly and her partner, Troy Surratt, a protégé of celebrity makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, decided to mine the sassy side of beauty. And so was born Tarte, a saucy new cosmetics line debuting at Henri Bendel and Beauty.com this fall. The shade range is mind-boggling (40 wet/dry eye shadows! 27 lipsticks! 18 shades of lip gloss!); the lavender faux-leather compacts could be mistaken for tiny clutch bags; and the products have been executed with a keen if tongue-in-cheek eye for detail: Gold Digger Shimmer Powder smells like champagne, and Sunkissed Cheek Stain (a giant Chapstick-like bronzer) has a Coppertone-inspired scent. "Makeup should be easy and fun to use," says Kelly. "It isn't brain surgery." Amen.
American women have been cribbing Asian women's style for decades, from wearing socks with sandals to securing updos with chopsticks. Now they can copy their beauty rituals too, thanks to a bumper crop of skin- and hair-care lines making their U.S. debut. Komenuka Bijin's facial-cleaning powder from Japan is made of rice bran, which has a natural bleaching property that works to even out a yellow cast in the skin ($40; available at Sephora). Two Girls talcum powder has a rose scent as delicate as its packaging ($25; available by calling Scarlett, 800-862-2311). Wu, a Chinese herbal skin-care line sold at Henri Bendel, uses ancient remedies such as gromwell (a purifying herb) and ginkgo (a natural astringent). Don't want to stop at your skin? Salon Ishi (70 East 55th Street; 212-888-4744) has introduced IOI Beauty Care, a -- what else? -- green tea-scented hair-care line.
Saved by the Gel
When midtown-based dentist Dr. Theodore Aaronson got those emergency "I lost my filling" calls from patients on weekends, he always tried to suggest stopgap measures to tide them over until regular business hours. "They didn't want to come into the office from wherever they were -- and neither did we," he explains. So he developed the DentAid dental-emergency kit, which includes a paste to replace loose caps and lost fillings, dental wax to cover sharp corners of chipped teeth or braces, an oral-wound-cleansing concentrate, a mouth mirror, gauze, a pain-relieving gel, and, of course, floss and a travel toothbrush. The kit will be available in November at Duane Reade, Rite Aid, and Kmart for $14.95, but for now it can be ordered in a swankier case for $29.95 by calling Practicon Catalogue (800-959-9505).