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Sophisticated Cut Is Russo's 'Crown' Glory

July 30, 1999|BOOTH MOORE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The big question about Rene Russo in "The Thomas Crown Affair" is not about her on-screen nudity, but who did her hair?

The film hasn't even opened yet, but already Russo's do by L.A. stylist Enzo Angileri is attracting lots of buzz. The layered look seems poised to join Dorothy Hamill's bowl, Farrah Fawcett's wings and Jennifer Aniston's wisps in hair history.

Russo shed her signature long blond locks for a sophisticated, sexy look more befitting her film character, Catherine Banning, an alluring but tough insurance investigator hired to investigate an art theft.

The first step in the metamorphosis was color. For that, the 45-year-old actress went to Beth Minardi in New York. The colorist started by darkening Russo's hair with a red base. Then she added subtle blond highlights.

When it came to styling, Angileri, originally from Milan and now working at L.A.'s Cloutier agency, began by trimming Russo's hair to just below chin length. Although the style may look simple, it is not in its cut. The shortest layers end just below Russo's cheekbones. Angileri added volume underneath by cutting hidden layers. To create a more sultry look, the stylist shagged the hair around Russo's face.

"The style allows the hair to move freely. You blow it dry with your head upside-down, shake it back, and use a round brush on the top if you want. That's it," he explained. "It's like a tailored suit. It takes very little effort."

The cut also requires very little product. On the set, Angileri used root lifter and hair spray by Graham Webb for volume and hold. Russo's hair naturally has a lot of body, which made the style work even better.

Angileri is thrilled about the attention the hairstyle is getting. "This is an ageless cut. It looks great on a more mature woman, but if you are 16 years old, you could leave it more shaggy, and give it a little different flair. Rene's in love with it."

As a stylist, Angileri does mostly print and fashion work. But his celebrity following--which includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Jodie Foster, Holly Hunter, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise--has drawn him into film. His style credits include Annette Bening in "The American President," and Demi Moore in "Striptease" and "A Few Good Men."

Mid-Priced Shiseido: Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido is opening the first West Coast store for its new mid-priced 5S line of makeup and skin care in San Francisco this weekend. Its first Southern California location is scheduled to open this fall on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade.

Ten basic face and body products come in each of 5S' five sensory categories--geared toward a mind-body approach--such as Energizing and Calming. Products like wrinkle and acne creams are for skin that needs extra help, and makeup items are multipurpose sticks and powders for eyes and lips.

The line targets cosmopolitan women of all ethnicities. Unlike Shiseido's signature line, which is aimed at older women, 5S skews toward hip 20- to 30-year-olds, with most products priced between $8 and $25.

The 5S collection was introduced in May at a flagship boutique in New York's SoHo. It will compete with mid-priced cosmetics lines like Origins, Sephora and Aveda. Check out 5S online at http://www.five-s.com.

The Art of Movie Makeup: Makeup in motion pictures is a dying art, said Make-up Artist magazine publisher Michael Key at the third annual International Make-up Artist Trade Show in Pasadena last weekend. The show organizer took time off between lectures by makeup greats like Michael Westmore ("Star Trek: Deep Space 9") and Ve Neill ("Mrs. Doubtfire") to lament the lowered standard for makeup in film today, compared with makeup during the golden age of Hollywood.

In the old days, makeup artists worked for one studio, doing makeup for an entire film. Back then, the art meant using makeup to enhance the entire story, not just the star. "Motion picture makeup artists are filmmakers in the same way directors and costume designers are."

But many makeup artists today do not do makeup for an entire film and instead follow one celebrity from project to project. Each leading actor in a film is likely to have his or her own makeup artist. (Some even marry them.)

Today, any creative work is deemed a special effect and shopped out to a special effects company, according to Key.

"In 1931, Jack Pierce created Frankenstein on Boris Karloff and it was called great makeup, but if that were created today, it would be called an effect," Key explained. "I've even heard some people call laying a beard a special effect."

Key hopes his bimonthly magazine, started in 1996 and a motion picture makeup artists' awards ceremony to be held for the first time next spring will raise awareness about the industry and help restore the art to what it was.

Booth Moore can be reached by e-mail at booth.moore@latimes.com.

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