Should you take a shine to this year's metallic trend?

Chicago TribuneJanuary 15, 2014 


Since metallic, shiny and sequined fabrics – as well as wild prints – draw attention, you’ll want to keep them away from the areas you’d like to downplay.


Dear Answer Angel Ellen: The stores are filled with metallic clothing. But don’t shiny fabrics add pounds? I’m thinking they’re a bad choice for those of us who wear clothes intent on camouflaging size, not advertising it. – Wondering Margaret

Dear Wondering: Shiny fabrics don’t necessarily add pounds, but they sure don’t subtract them. The trick of dressing well, no matter what your dimensions, is to draw attention to your best feature(s) and away from your worst. If you’re not happy with, let’s say, your posterior and thighs, you shouldn’t wear a skirt with a bull’s-eye pattern on your rump. OK, that’s an extreme example, but you get the drift. Since metallic, shiny and sequined fabrics – as well as wild prints – draw attention, you’ll want to keep them away from the areas you’d like to downplay. There’s a reason that heavier women should avoid horizontal stripes or women with bony shoulders should steer clear of anything strapless. If you’re in love with metallics, you might consider great shoes that sparkle. Or a purse. Or fabulous jewelry. But you don’t have to go without. Just choose wisely.

Beauty rules: Eye makeup

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: What are the rules for eyeliner? Are certain colors off-limits at the office or for formal occasions? I’ve heard if you’re over a certain age (like 40), you shouldn’t wear eyeliner on the lower lids because it bleeds into the wrinkles. True? – Doctor Deb

Dear Doctor: I’ve said this before here, but it is worth repeating: There are no rules. However, common sense is always in style. If your office is stodgy, silver eyeliner is not recommended. If it’s crazy creative, maybe you’d get a standing ovation for glitter eyelids at work. Eyeliner beneath the eye (especially at the waterline) doesn’t have to “bleed into the wrinkles” (love your bluntness). If that’s happening you need to switch to a different brand. I’ve had great luck with Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eyeliner Gel ( It kills me to spend $23 for a tiny pot (0.1 ounces) but the stuff is good – the best I’ve found.

Heidi writes: “Recently a reader named Margaret K. wrote to you asking how she could learn to apply eye makeup. Your answer to try makeup stores and counters was good, but another fantastic resource is YouTube! My creative 15-year-old has found many YouTube videos where people instruct how to put on eye makeup and they are extremely helpful. The best part is that the ‘instructors’ are usually very excited about what they do and want to share that knowledge. Please check it out and pass it on to your readers.”

Dear Heidi: Done!

Nail color knowledge

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Is black nail polish out? Do I have to be a teen to wear neon nail polish? – Ms. F.

Dear Ms. F.: No and no. Black and very dark shades of polish are the height of fashion. Chanel, the French fashion house, has introduced a new shade, Cosmic, which is sparkly black to “evoke the brilliance of the night sky.” The last I checked the website (, it was out of stock even though the price ($27) is sky high. A little neon goes a long way, but what’s wrong with a little fun? I’ve seen lots of grown-ups (women and men) who look just great with their neon nails.

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