Plump Plump, Fizz Fizz
For the squeamish who don’t want to be poked, prodded, or injected in order to put their best face forward, the Japanese have come up with a novel alternative: Toki, a powder that, when mixed with water, creates a pleasant-tasting (but slightly viscous) lemony drink that contains collagen peptide along with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, dermatanic acid, and amino acids. Down it three times a day, and within a month and a half, the company promises, age spots will lighten and your skin texture will be more refined. It’s all the rage in Japan, but not everyone here is convinced, particularly those who inject collagen for a living. “I am aware of no literature that says that consuming collagen will increase the collagen in the skin,” says celebrity dermatologist Patricia Wexler. Fellow doctor Steven Victor concurs. “It’s the hottest thing in Japan, but nobody here can figure out what the scientific evidence is,” he says, sounding mystified. Putting Toki to the test will cost you a bit more than old-fashioned lemonade; it’s $195 for a 60-day supply (call 1-888-AGELESS).
A New Ford Compact
Designer Tom Ford’s sharp, sexy Yves Saint Laurent ready-to-wear may be on every party girl’s holiday-wish list, but the company’s old shiny gold compacts are better suited to lunch at Le Bilboquet than whiling away the night at Bungalow 8. Now Yves Saint Laurent Beauté has introduced a sleeker alternative: chic black-and-brown compacts and tubes conceived by Ford and filled with new Ligne Intense powders and lipsticks (the first in what will be a growing line of new products). But don’t be fooled by the collection’s discreet packaging – the products may be a tad lighter than the old ones, but they’re essentially the same skin-smoothing matte powders ($46) and shimmery jewel-toned lipsticks ($28) that good old YSL glamour is made of. After all, you can’t really work those thigh-high lace-up boots when you’re wearing Chapstick. Available at Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Maybe it’s recession chic, but a slew of uptown ladies, like Elizabeth Vargas, Adrienne Vittadini, and Fran Weissler, have been avoiding the Fifth-and-Madison beauty corridor and heading to a new salon just north of the Flatiron district. Butterfly Studio is owned by Catherine Scherwenka and Kattia Solano, who learned the secrets of luxe service as veterans of both Frédéric Fekkai and John Barrett salons (the name “Butterfly” seems to express their sense of freedom from the more established coiffuriers). The loftlike space is packed with homey touches – like a kitchenette stocked with fresh fruit, cheese, and wine – and plenty of pampering, including cold cucumber compresses after an eyebrow shaping, and house-made honey-lemon-and-sugar scrubs. Right now, we appreciate any bonuses we can get (15 East 30th Street, suite 202; 212-685-8822).
Anna Sui Skincare
With neon-bright colors that match her sixties-inspired fashions, designer Anna Sui has added a new roster of skin-care products to her beauty line. The cleansers, toners, serums, creams, soaps, and masks are tailored to seven different skin types and range in price from $16 to $25 per item (available at the end of the month in the Anna Sui SoHo boutique, 113 Greene Street, and at Sephora stores early in 2002).