Picks and Pans Review: The Eyes Have It!

updated 10/27/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/27/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

When I was growing up, my mother used a single killing phrase—"dime store eyes"—to cover a multitude of makeup sins: overdone, lumpy mascara; heavy, hard-edge eyeliner; screaming shadow. Dread of these same ageless horrors animates Donna Mills's new makeup video, The Eyes Have It, a 55-minute lesson in restraint that shows in laborious, step-by-step detail how to "soften" and "blend" those overdramatic effects. Mills, 41, who regularly bats her eyelashes (always touched up with a metal comb) on Knots Landing, says, "A hard line makes you look hard, and you certainly don't want that." Sound advice, but let's face it: Billed as a how-to for professional women, this tape is really aimed at teenagers. It's part of the endless socialization campaign by which we try to bring each new generation within the bounds of good taste, at least good taste as defined by the aesthetics of television. Indeed the look Mills seems to be striving for approximates her own, that of a generic TV everywoman. For that reason, Mills's "special evening" finale—which leaves her glopped up in full vamp stage paint and decked out in an evening gown that would make Joan Collins blush—might negate the entire less-is-more exercise. Even for the prom, girls, this would be a bit much, unless the prom is scheduled to take place at Caesars Palace. In any event, while it's hard to imagine anyone but an imbecile watching this tape more than once, it might divert a slumber party and save some deserving child from ruining her life with excess blusher. (MCA, $19.95)

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