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Sandra Bullock

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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.”