In Style

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 30, 2003 at 11:39 p.m.

NBA star is king of shaves

New Jersey Nets star Jason Kidd is the new spokesperson for King of Shaves, a line of shaving products that is popular in Britain and now available in the United States. The King of Shaves line features three gels and shaving oils for men, and BLU Shaving Gel and BLU Express shaving Spritz for women. The King of Shaves collection sells for $5.99 at Albertsons and Target stores.

Sharing, caring robot friend

If you long for someone with whom to share your deepest thoughts and emotions, say hello to Ifbot.

According to trade journal Women's Wear Daily, Ifbot is a robot said to have the conversational skills of a 5-year-old and, best of all, it responds to emotional feelings. It can react with fluttering eyes and blushes with flickering lights. It shows anger and may shed tears if you hit it on the head. And it can even recognize up to 10 of your friends. It is about 18 inches tall and programmed with almost 40,000 scenarios to help it converse.

Invented at the Nagoya Institute of Technology, the price is $4,170. No English-speaking units are available, but the makers say it is just a matter of reprogramming.

Polka-dots recall innocence of '50s

If you are seeing spots, don't call your optometrist.

Those graphic circles are polka dots, which are appearing on everything from fashionable bikinis and bags to capris and flip-flops.

Polka dots have been spotted in the spring/summer collections of such designers as Donna Karan, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Gianfranco Ferre, and in the ready-to-wear assortments of Banana Republic and other major retailers. The dots can range from pastels to brights to neutrals on vivid-color backgrounds as well as the classic standbys: black, white, cream, navy and brown.

While stripes are racy and florals are flirty, polka dots are so, well, ladylike and whimsical.

``Clean, fresh polka dots recall the innocence of the '50s and look great in swimsuits, dresses, blouses and sportswear,'' said Roseann Forde, fashion director of DuPont Textiles & Interiors.

And remember, the smaller the dots, the slimmer you look.

For most of us, dots work best with coordinating solid colors. For example, ``a navy and white polka dot blouse with a pristine white skirt or navy pants has spectator appeal,'' said Forde. It's also an outfit that can easily be worn to the office.

But save your polka dot capris for the beach or a weekend brunch. ``On certain clothing items, dots are playful and lend themselves to more casual looks,'' said Atlanta stylist Cassandra Wilson.

However, polka dots can go the after-five route, too. They look dashing sprinkled on BCBG's chiffon dress or dramatic when played against Donna Karan's blue silk satin halter dress.

For those who want a small dose of dots, choose accessories. Wear a pair of Givenchy's sheer black Lycra dotted pantyhose with a conservative suit.

``Add a pair of black shoes and your legs will instantly appear longer and leaner,'' said Forde.

Stylist Wilson views the whole polka dot trend as ``wearing one special piece or accessory.''

This summer's all about color

In case you haven't noticed, color is back in a big way this summer.

We're not talking dainty florals or big bold Hawaiian prints, and we don't even mean measured cabana stripes.

What we're talking about is hot pink, fiery orange and bright blue in big bold splashes that are impossible not to notice.

So pack up the black. It's time to toss on a little color. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Hot in the shade:

    The wraparound design not only looks cool, it also allows for a wide view and maximum coverage. And then there's the color. Skylon Pro glasses are available in six color combos, including varsity red and orange blaze. The glasses cost about $159. For stores, call (800) 544-1336.

  • Hot hands: Banish humdrum manicures with the acid greens and bright orange hues of Polish Smart. It's not just a nail polish - it's a career motivator. Each of the 12 polishes by P.S. I Love That is named for a different profession and comes with an insert describing that particular career's salary range, school subjects important for that career and related jobs. The aim is to help prevent teen pregnancy by informing girls about potential career opportunities that lie ahead.

    As for colors, we like Perfect Model Sparkle, a sheer pink glowing with glitter and the orange Amazing Architect. P.S. Why does New News Reporter - a copper - have to be so boring? Available at drug and department stores for about $4.

  • Hot scent: There's nothing wallflowerish about Oscar Latin Night, a new version of Oscar for summer. The packaging is hot pink and orange, and the scent is meant to evoke the warmth of tropical afternoons. This fragrance by Oscar De La Renta is rich with passion flower, orange blossom, amber and sandalwood. Oscar Latin Night costs $38 to $46 and is available where fine fragrances are sold.

  • Bag o' heat: Going hot doesn't have to mean giving up style. Bulgari's new Geometrica handbag is a sleek little something that doesn't whisper chic - it shouts it. The bag is crafted from patent leather and nubuck and available in red, blue and orange for $630 to $800. Call 800-285-4274.

    Don't overlook sensitive lips

    Beachgoers may slather on sunscreen from head to toe but many overlook an almost obvious sun target: the lips.

    Maybe it's because some women wear their everyday, non-SPF lipstick when they go to the beach or pool, and maybe men are used to not wearing any ``makeup.'' Either way, sun worshippers need to consider the lips, which are among the most sun-sensitive parts of the body.

    Kiehl's Since 1851 offers new lip balms with Sun Protection Factor 15 in two tints and a clear formula that use sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil and aloe vera to create an emollient balm to moisturize and squaline, an oil derived from olives, to provide softness.

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