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It's Those Bare Necessities That We'd Be Truly Bare Without

August 20, 1993|ANN CONWAY and PATRICK MOTT

S o many grooming products, so little time. But what would we do without them? We watch the television commercials and the magazine and newspaper ads for the latest and greatest in face and body enhancements, try them and, mostly, go back to our tried and true.

We took a look in our bathroom drawers and overnight kits and here's what we found:

SHE: Before we get into drawers, I want to share what I have in my makeup bag--something I carry with me all the time. Oh, I know, the now makeup is au naturel , but, every time I go that route someone calls the paramedics.

Here goes: Gale Hayman of Beverly Hills color control blush (Beverly Hills Rose 05); a small blush brush; a pot of espresso eye shadow by MAC; a pot of Clinique lip gloss (meadow-flower honey); one Maybelline Velvet Black eyebrow pencil; a Dermablend camouflage stick; Christian Dior black onyx mascara; Clinique rose poppy lip-liner pencil; an eyeliner brush by MAC; two stubby Yves Saint Laurent lip-liner pencils--one red, one brownish-red; and two tubes of Chanel lipstick--one Midnight Red, the other Soft Red.

Go ahead, sing "You're So Vain." I'll probably think the song is about me.

HE: Nah. Too easy. Better that I list the stuff I carry with me all the time: keys, handkerchief, rigged liar's poker bills and an Amtrak timetable in case I get found out and have to make a quick getaway. I do keep a comb in the car glove compartment, but it's probably melted.

SHE: My bathroom drawers contain an assortment of beauty aids and arts memorabilia. Strange combination, eh? In one drawer, it's all lipsticks--the pink, reds and brown-reds all separated by compartments--and blushes, eye shadows and camouflage sticks (there's an item they keep improving, thank goodness).

In another drawer you'll find my lip-liner pencils, Q-Tips (great for blending camouflage into the dark hollows of the eyes), dental floss, disposable razors, you name it.

In another, you'll find every ticket stub from every arts event I've attended during the past 10 years. That was the easiest place to toss them after I'd come home late from an event. The drawer is right next to the sink where I remove my makeup.

HE: Beyond the standard shaving and dental gear and contingency medicine (aspirin and cough syrup), about the only cache of interesting junk in my bathroom is in the cabinet under the sink. That's where I've consigned every bottle of bizarre cologne and after-shave I've ever received as a well-meaning but horribly miscalculated gift.

The bottles look either stupid (the one shaped like a Model T) or comically phallic, and every one of them smells like rotting mangoes. The fact that I keep a rather large bottle of Colonia's 4711 cologne conspicuously on the sink counter doesn't seem to have any effect on the gift-givers.

That bottle, by the by, is the most conspicuous item in the entire room, which gives you an idea of the spare nature of my bathroom countertops. Yours sound a bit more jungle-like.

SHE: My countertops are covered with cologne and perfume containers. I am a perfume-aholic. On my mirrored fragrance tray: bottles of every shape and size and color containing scents such as Shalimar by Guerlain (a favorite of my late mother's); Joy by Patou (I buy the perfume spray at Christmas when Robinsons-May has a great special); Cabotine by Gres; Escada; Tiffany; Chanel No. 5; Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant. And more.

My mother wore only a few fragrances in her lifetime--Shalimar, Blue Grass by Elizabeth Arden and Charlie by Revlon among them. She wouldn't have thought of splurging on more than one bottle at a time.

The fragrance I can't live without: They haven't made it yet.

HE: It's no accident that the men's toiletries counter at the department store is acres smaller than the women's. My brand-name list is predictably short: Crest, Gillette Trac II blades, Ivory soap. The only vaguely exotic item is George F. Trumper shaving soap. I walked into Trumper's on vacation in London and smelled this soap and had to have a bunch of it.

No hair stuff, you ask? Nope. The only good thing about thinning hair is that you can towel dry it and comb it without applying any hair goop.

My permanently stocked overnight kit (actually a carry-on bag) contains all the aforementioned plus indispensable airline junk: several packets of moist towelettes, a roll of quarters, three pens, disposable plastic razors, mini-mouthwash and shampoo bottles, a Swiss army knife (with toothpick) and industrial strength sun block. Also a current thick novel.

SHE: When I'm aiming for a trip, I dump the contents of my makeup bag into my overnight kit and add the essentials: shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, 50 sun block, and of course, a corkscrew in case there is fine sip to sip (or rinse my hair with).

Over the years, I've been asked what product I would choose to have if I could only have one . In high school, we played it this way: "What makeup item would you take if you knew you were going be on a deserted island?" Heavy question, I know.

My friends said "eyeliner--it's the expressive eye that counts!" I always said lipstick.

My answer now: lip-liner pencil. You can outline and fill in your mouth with it, smudge it on your cheeks for color and even use it as eyeliner if it's a brownish shade.

Give me lip liner or give me death!

HE: I'll take the corkscrew.

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