May 15, 2000 12:00 PM

Shades Lite

If Hollywood is looking friendlier these days, amber sunglasses deserve some of the credit. The tint—seen adorning Minnie Driver, Britney Spears and Paul Newman—”makes everything look brighter and happier,” says singer Mary J. Blige, whose amber shades of fame are made by Gucci. Naomi Campbell loves that “people can still see my eyes” through her Paul Smith glasses.

That’s pretty much the point. “They’re not as austere as dark lenses,” says L.A. stylist Arianne Phillips, who has shaded Jennifer Lopez in the Stella McCartney-designed Chloé version credited with sparking the trend. “Black lenses say ‘get out of my way, sucker,’ while amber shades tell people you’re warm.”

Another plus: You can wear the lighter lenses at night and still see what’s going on—and “not look like a dork or a poser,” says Tracey Ross, owner of the West Hollywood boutique that bears her name. But don’t count on them for privacy. As Later host Cynthia Garrett, another Chloé devotee, points out, “These aren’t the sunglasses you would put on if you’re on your way to a rehab clinic.”

behind the seams

Cameron Diaz, stand up straight! That’s the massage from Jean Couch, who contends in her upcoming book Good Posture Is Bad for Your Back that some Hollywood glamor girls are committing egregious crimes of posture. The author slams Diaz for leaning backward when she walks. Others on her list include Meg Ryan, who rounds her back, and Hilary Swank, whose “habit of jutting her shoulders forward could make her look like a rag doll by age 40,” Couch scolds….

Who says Hollywood’s young set dresses too casually? Jennifer Love Hewitt turned out for Easter brunch with her family at a no-frills West Hollywood eatery in a slinky top and bubblegum-hued floor-length ballgown skirt. “All that was missing was a bonnet parked on her head,” zings an observer….

When Kate Moss trekked to the New York City showroom of hip label Tocca, she was thinking small. Very small. Bucking fashion’s current dictates, the micro-mini-mad model made the designer chop off most of two knee-length dresses because she wanted them to fall no more than 14 inches from her waist….

A sales clerk punched in Cher’s AmEx Gold number when the diva was trying to pay for $5,000 worth of clothes at a boutique recently—but the card company refused to honor her purchase without photo ID. When the clerk told the AmEx rep whom the plastic belonged to, all the dishy credit checker wanted to know was how Cher looked (which was quite fab, thank you).

DOUBLE VISION

Designer Tom Ford gleaned inspiration for his latest Gucci line from 1968’s The Thomas Crown Affair, so it was no surprise when one of the film’s stars, Faye Dunaway, took a shine to his ruffled white frock of silk gazar. She wore it to the Oscars, where “I did drop one bit of Coke on my dress,” Dunaway said. No problem: Ford made the actress a black version too, which she sported at a later event.

star talk

What are you doing to get ready for beach season?

Alicia Silverstone

“Getting all the salad combinations there are in the magazines and trying them all.”

Sean “Puffy” Combs

“I’m gonna hire a trainer and work on my chest. I intend to have pecs—and I mean pecs!”

Tom Jones

“I’m leaving my swimming trunks in a prominent position [as a workout reminder]. I am a Speedo man, and those trunks are not forgiving.”

Actress Bonnie Bedelia

“I don’t go near the beach. I live in Seattle—we do mountains with parkas.”

Daisy Fuentes

“I’m waxing everywhere, and I mean everywhere!”

winner’s circle

Frequency star Dennis Quaid was on the right wavelength when he donned a dapper brown-buttoned suit for the film’s premiere. It was certainly easier than the firefighter’s uniform he wore in the movie. “I’ll always remember how long it took to get into it!” he said.

Another Fine Mesh

Going bare-legged is cool. But for real sex appeal, such stars as Hilary Swank and Sarah Jessica Parker are encasing their gams in an old favorite: fishnet stockings. “They make you feel like a tigress,” says actress-singer Gloria Reuben. Ex-Baywatcher Traci Bingham declares, “The ultimate in sexiness are the ones with the seam down the back.” To avoid that sausage-leg look, advises L.A. stylist Jeanne Yang, make sure the pair you wear has a touch of Lycra.

Spray Misty for Me

You’ve heard of spray-on hair. But a spray-on face? That’s right: Catherine Zeta-Jones, the cast of Friends, even Vice President Al Gore have gone nutty for air-brushed makeup. Makeup artists use a pressurized wand ($350 to $475) to spray on a light mist of foundation, instantly covering imperfections. After makeup artist Kay Gelbord airbrushed Gore in January, she says, “he told me, ‘I have never looked letter!’ ” What’s more, says Zeta-Jones, “I never had that cake powder feel.” Explains Dina Ousley, founder of Dinair Airbrush Makeup Systems, who has sprayed Clint Eastwood: “It’s really live-action photo retouching.” Now that’s a star’s dream come true.

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