Picks and Pans Main: Video

updated 02/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST


Phyllis Diller, a walking sample kit of cosmetic nips and tucks, hosts this relentlessly upbeat guide to plastic surgery. We meet a flock of ordinary-looking people-most in their 30s and 40s—who took surgical steps to fix nature's bloopers. Zealots all, they fairly glow with their new noses and cheekbones, full chests and flat bellies and flaunt pictures of their misshapen presurgery selves. Seven board-certified cosmetic surgeons who practice in various parts of the country and whose specialties include eye and brow lifts, nose jobs, cheek and chin implants, liposuction and cosmetic peeling appear, too, giving consultations. Dr. Michael Ellis of New Orleans urges patients to check a doctor's certification, ask how often he performs the operation they want and check photos of the doctor's work. Analyze the doctor while he is analyzing your problem, Ellis says; if you don't feel confident after the first consultation, keep looking. And, counsels Phyllis, "Never go to a doctor whose instruments say 'Mattel.' " (Pola Productions, $39.95; 714-752-5700)


Here is a tape that delivers what it promises: advice on how to paint your face with flattering colors. Brinkley narrates as three young models with different skin tones neatly dab moisturizers, makeup bases and concealers on what appears to be flawless skin. A dusting of powder is followed with smudges of eye shadow and liners, feathery touches of mascara and clouds of blush-on that contour the cheeks. Brows are not ignored—"never overtweeze!"—and neither is nail care. Lips get a full treatment of gooey color too. Brinkley reels off her own makeup tricks between shots of her spinning, grinning and pouting on the job. She also shares a few anecdotes, such as one about modeling bathing suits in Alaska and it was sooooo cold she didn't even notice her skin was caught in a zipper!!!! This well-paced 60-minute tape may not make you end up looking like Brinkley, but you can always pretend. (Warner, $19.95; 800-345-1441)


Seeing the name Sassoon, you'd expect beauty tips to fly off the video every few minutes. And Beverly Sassoon tries to please. Buddies Cathy Lee Crosby, Marla Gibbs and Eva Gabor lend their intimate secrets too. Eva offers this timely tip: "When I started acting, the teacher said, 'Please, Eva, not so much talent. The less makeup the better.' " This video teaches you to choose colors that enhance your natural beauty as well as how to analyze your own face shape. There's help from Ken Gonzales, a makeup artist so ecumenical he works with both "celebrities and women at home." Gonzales tells how to "correct" faces by using makeup. Those who did well in eighth-grade math will excel here because the process involves lots of geometry. After watching face analysis, learning appropriate hairstyles and studying face cleansing techniques, won't you be the fashion whiz around the office. Also included are pore-clearing mask recipes that "your husband and boyfriend can use too." This video's "fun food facts" consist of Gibbs, star of 227, admitting to having an "occasional glass of wine" and cooking brown rice. Sassoon herself, working out to disco-ized Broadway tunes, shows that anyone with a famous name can make a Fonda-esque exercise video. Those willing to hang in there for all 120 minutes of Beautiful! will have lived up to Bev's motto: "Life is a compromise, if you want to be a pretty lady." (Increase, $29.95; 800-233-2880)


Large curd or small, cottage cheese thighs are never appetizing. For the millions of women who are serious about ridding themselves of unsightly lumps of fat, toxins and water trapped in thighs, buttocks and tummies, Judy Leoffler, proprietor of a slenderizing salon in Saratoga, Calif., recommends a five-part program that won't be easy for everyone. First you need to shelve some bad habits. Say goodbye to cigarettes, caffeine and sleeping pills. Salt is another no-no: Cut back on all canned, boxed, frozen and fast foods with high amounts of sodium. Sorry, but even diet sodas are loaded with salt. Natural, unprocessed foods such as raw vegetables, fruits, grains, fish and poultry are the key to control. Exercise is essential for stimulating circulation, says Leoffler, a licensed masseuse who recommends that women consult physicians before starting the program. She suggests regular doses of vitamin B6, lecithin and iodine-rich kelp to help dissolve cellulite, along with eight to 10 glasses of water daily to flush out toxins. All this leads to a vigorous massage, with a voice-over that prescribes squeezing, kneading and knuckling the bumpy areas, as if your body is being prepared for rising and baking. The 30-minute tape is most effective in demonstrating Leoffler's self-massage techniques and most awkward when commentator Shannon Haley lamely interviews women who rave about the program. Though the production verges on the amateurish, its message makes sense. (Vid-Com, $24.95; 800-345-1441)


Guess what! Red is the color of the initiator. Wear red and you are like a billboard announcing, I AM AN EXTROVERT! Turquoise cries out, I AM A RISK TAKER! Put them together and POW!; the producers of this 60-minute primer on primping up your self-image can't be responsible for the combustible results. "We are all painters of our own portraits," says L.A. Law's Jill Eikenberry, looking a bit wan in her pastel suit. "Once we know who we are and what we are all about, we have to design a look that helps us carry off that image." If you are a working woman who wears white shoes with dark hose or dabs on eye shadow as if it were war paint, for instance, it may be time to recast your image. Seven consultants dispense tips for the very inexperienced on such things as how to dress, how to cut and coif, spruce up speech patterns and behave yourself at a businesss lunch. Their advice is interrupted with panty-hose commercials, which imply that proper leg support will make your dreams come true. A pamphlet with quizzes and detailed advice comes with the tape. (Burlington Sheer Indulgence, $14.95; 800-767-8724)

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