Monday, August 14, 2006

the new shape of fear

The two best-value gift packs for men this Christmas come from Clinique and the Body Shop. Clinique's Big Sweep Shave Kit contains All-Weather Aloe Rub, Clean-Scalp shampoo, Creme Shave, soap, Hair Gel and pop-out hairbrush all in a grey zippered kit, $39, from leading department stores. The Mostly Men gift basket from The Body Shop contains Mostly Men shaving cream, shaving brush, razor and razor blades, after-shave lotion, Rhassoul Mud shampoo and conditioner and a travel toothbrush and toothpaste.

What do fashion models put on their picture-perfect faces? Fashion writer Elizabeth Snead asked some top beauties for a list of their best products for hair, skin, lips, etc. Turns out some models buy high-priced cosmetics, but others don't fritter away fortunes on makeup. Many find inexpensive products work as well as the wallet-busting brands. Elvia Frame, 23, Cuban-born Ford model. Shampoo: Anything all natural. Hair gel: Wella Styling Gel. Karen Williams, 24, Ford model, seen on last season's Cosby Show. Shampoos: Anything from health food stores with vitamin E, cocoa butter, aloe vera, jojoba oil. Beauty secrets: Uses toothpaste on pimples and a No. 2 lead pencil or brows, a makeup artist's trick. Rachel Hunter, 20, Ford Model, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Shampoo: Vidal Sassoon or Pantene. Naomi Campbell, 20, Elite model. Shampoo: Aveda Camomile. Anna Rahmberg, 22, Ford model (Liz Claiborne fragrance ads). Shampoo: Renee Further.

CTG's latest experiments include a soon-to-be-released hair gel made with a seaweed base usually found in toothpaste and a surfactant "wrapping paper". Made of liquid soap and dried on glass sheets, surfactant paper is destined to be the ultimate in disposable packaging. "A few years ago we got into a lot of trouble with eggs. We had a very good egg and lemon shampoo but the formula required dried eggs which were only available from a battery farm. We got a lot of complaints, so now we use fresh, free range eggs, which solved that problem."

Skillful packing is an art, but one that is easily learned. It only takes a couple of trips to figure out what works for you, your travel style and your luggage. Here are some tips from veteran travellers. Collect sample sizes of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, hair gel, etc.

In 1963, when he was 15 years old and worked at McDonough Rexall, Tony Moye wore Butch hair gel, which any respected drugstore carried. Butch was this pinkish, compacted grease that sculpted a young man's flattop into rakish, calcified configurations. When the Beatles and their moppish haircuts hit America, Butch became obsolete and, some years later, so did most of Moye's hair. These days Moye sells no hair color, few cosmetics and very little toothpaste or shampoo.

It was about then, in 1978, that Zaitun Industries was established. It began on a modest scale, retailing only talcum powder, shampoo, toothpaste and bath soap. Under the household category, there are detergents, toothpaste and soaps. The toiletries line carries talcum powders, a variety of body sprays, hair gels and creams, deodorants, shampoos, and facial foams.

Products such as dandruff shampoos, sunscreens and antiperspirants don't have to have an expiration date if they have a shelf life of at least three years. Still, marketers sometimes stamp dates anyway. So now that you've swept the medicine cabinet clean, what goes back into it? A lot of the things that you may have been storing in the linen closet: Toothbrushes, toothpaste, bandages, scissors, tweezers, cotton balls, petroleum jelly, thermometers, bath gel, hair gel, body lotions that you use regularly, soaps, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, aftershave lotion, combs and brushes.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream - air hostesses swear by this multi -functional balm, which is a nourishing lip gloss, hair gel, shiny blusher and deep moisturiser for dry skin. Toothpaste - every hotel room in the world supplies shampoo and soap, but rarely stocks up on toothpaste. And there's no substitute when you are desperate to clean your teeth.

If lipstick doesn't do it for you, maybe it's shampoo. Or deodorant. Maybe it's having an extra tampon in your purse, or knowing that your nylons are blessedly free of runs. They're seeking donations of shampoo, soap, feminine hygiene products, deodorant and toothbrushes. Those are crucial. But they also seek other, more cosmetic, items such as hair gel, hairspray, brushes, combs, picks, lipstick, foundation, eyeshadow, blush and mascara. Raid your warehouse-bargain stash of soap and toothpaste.

All the bags include necessities such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste. Bags for toddlers include new blankets and stuffed animals; older children receive action figures and Barbie dolls; teenagers discover books and hair gel. The bags include Play-Doh for little kids, checkers for older kids. Each bag is labeled by age and gender and topped off with cheerful ribbons.

Phisalia Produtos de Beleza, a Sao Paulo-based company that manufactures shampoos, hair gels and conditioners for children, will enter the fight for the children's toothpaste market, currently dominated by multinationals.

Last month, a solemn group gathered in San Francisco's Mission District - most of them women - focusing on a topic very close to home: deodorant, toothpaste, nail polish, perfume, shampoo, hair gel and other beauty goo.

By the time the average woman grabs her morning coffee, she has spritzed, sprayed and lathered with 126 different chemicals in nine different products, everything from shampoo and hair gel to skin toner, foundation and perfume. One of every 100 products on the market, including shampoos, lotions, foundations and lip balms, contains ingredients identified by government authorities in numerous countries as known or probable human carcinogens.

No traveller wants his toothpaste or shampoo to explode on a suit or sport shirt, so it is imperative to find the right pack to hold those grooming essentials. Victorinox, the company that made the original Swiss army knife, sells a multi-compartmental toiletry kit that comes in four different shapes, says Reg Parker, its director of sales. The kit, outfitted with partitions for shaving cream, hair gel and deodorant, has a hook to hang it in hotel bathrooms and retails for $80.

Calvin Klein perfume and L'Oreal mousse, toothpaste and mouthwash, shampoo, hair conditioner, nail polish and deodorant (stick and spray) -- they all got chucked yesterday as travelers emptied their shaving kits and cosmetic bags in the latest ritual of an airport security crackdown.

Whoever thought it would come to this, when the evils of humanity could be squeezed into a tube of toothpaste?

Note: This last sentence opens a Washington Post article by DeNeen L. Brown, given the headline "The New Shape Of Fear: At the Airport, Toiletries Take On Diabolical Meaning" (August 11, 2006, Style Section, Page C01). What precedes it are selected and edited Lexis-Nexis database search results for the words "toothpaste, "shampoo" and "hair gel" in 50 major newspapers worldwide for all available dates.

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