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Mirror, Mirror on the Web

October 19, 2000|MICHELLE MALTAIS | michelle.maltais@latimes.com

Vanity, thy name is online.

Whether you're the gal who alters her appearance with every sunrise or the guy whose style hasn't changed since the sun set on the 1980s, you can get online beauty and grooming tips to transform you into one of the truly beautiful people.

Let's start with the crowning glory. Hair today might be gone tomorrow, so you should make the most of it now.

Whether you're relaxed or kinky, address your tresses at http://www.afrohair.com. The site offers care tips and links to salons by region. It includes styles for men and women.

Rapunzel, wake up. This one's for you. If length is your hair's strength, http://www.longhairlovers.com is the spot, with general maintenance tips and up-do ideas. It also links to a page where people of African, Indian and Asian descent, for example, can have long discussions on the trials and triumphs of having hair down to their ankles.

If your hair has a bit more bounce to the ounce, check out http://www.naturallycurly.com. Here you can find the style that best suits your face, be it round, oval, square, triangular or heart-shaped. And for those looking for less spring and more fall, the site gives hints on straightening.

After you have a lock on the look for your locks, you can check on whether you can let it hang loose. Humidity can be your hair's worst enemy--straight hair goes limp, and curly hair goes everywhere. Frizz factor for the day is reported at http://www.intellicast.com/Health/World/United

States/BadHairDay. Or if you're feeling frisky or sitting under the dryer, directions at http://www.exploratorium.edu/exploring/hair/hair_activity.html help you create your very own hair hygrometer to see whether it's going to be a hat day.

While your style is setting, you can waste some time with the elegant waisted--on the runway.

At http://www.fashion.net, you can get your dose of daily fashion news and designer profiles. The site also offers a fashion-specific search engine and directory.

Wish you were there? Check out photos and video of New York catwalks (London, Paris and Milan are still in the works) at http://www.style.com.

If your interest lies more in the real world with real looks, there are several sites to check out.

At the next few sites, you can really put yourself into the moment. At http://www.makeoverstudio.com, which uses Netscape 4.08 or higher, you can literally picture yourself in new looks. After uploading your photo, you can adjust the hairstyle and makeup. The hair changes occasionally look cartoonish, but it at least lets you make that mistake online instead of on your head. MakeoverStudio.com offers step-by-step instructions on bringing the virtual make-over into reality.

You can also use your own mug at http://www.emakeover.com, which has make-over looks for men and women. Here, you can check out shades--sunglasses and eye colors. (Maybe folks could see just how spooky those Martian green contact lenses really look before they buy them.)

A few others, although they don't let you take your close-up, offer some helpful information:

* http://www.emakemeup.com/main.html reviews products and offers skin-care tips.

* http://fb.women.com/fashionandbeauty/mos/50welc11.htm lets you pick the face closest to your complexion and shape (although for men, there aren't many choices) and try out hair and makeup.

* http://www.ivillage.com/beauty/tools/makeover/articles/0,,60285,00.html lets you make over the closest model-match you can find on the site. It also has a fragrance finder and beauty personality quiz. Strangely, the questions for the fragrance finder, though a bit restrictive in the answer choices, actually came up with what I usually wear ("Sweet and yummy scents, composed of chocolate, caramel, honey or vanilla"). The site offers reviews, hair color tips and help finding docs for cosmetic procedures.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. At least no one else has to behold some of the beauts you come up with on some of these sites.

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Got a subject you'd like us to explore or avoid?

E-mail click.here@latimes.com.

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