IT'S ONLY FITTING THAT WASHINGTON-LEE HIGH School's class of '82 voted her "Most Likely to Brighten Your Day." With a bounce, a flounce and a quirky grin, the Arlington, Virginia-raised Bullock, 31, keeps us heading back to the multiplex for her whole-wheat charm. But there's more to it than that. "Sandra has one of the greatest manes of hair," says Kiefer Sutherland, her costar in The Vanishing
and A Time to Kill
(due this summer). "And she has truthful eyes." Peter Bogdanovich, who directed her in The Thing Called Love
, compares her with Carole Lombard. "She's not comfortable being a glamour-puss," he says, "so she goes for the comedy." She has had experience. At age 12, "I hadn't developed, I wore green bell-bottoms, and I had a big old bowl-shaped haircut," she says. "The word 'dog' was used a lot." Still, she maintains, "I'm so glad it happened to me. It made me very sensitive to cruelty." Bullock's beauty plan remains left of center. Her hairstylist, she says, "is also a mechanic. He came over one time and did my hair. Before he left, this lady's car broke down, and he fixed it." And forget a day at Elizabeth Arden. The While You Were Sleeping
star prefers a funky loofah parlor in L.A.'s Chinatown, where layers of old skin are sanded off. "You're all shiny and pink," she told Playboy
, "and you can go off into the next millennium." But humor, she insists, is the best exfoliant: "What's on the inside is going to come out on your face. So I just laugh those pimples away."