Carroll Dale Short

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Are There Really 645 Ways to Look Cute?

By Dale Short

Sometimes a guy is just caught speechless.

I'm standing in line to check out at Winn-Dixie when I spy, on a rack, the cover of Seventeen Magazine. The top story: “645 Ways to Look Cute All Summer!”

Now, one would assume that, considering my appearance, I would be all over that info like, as my grandparents used to say, “a chicken on a June bug.” But I resisted. Some concepts are just impossible to get your mind around, right away. Sort of like trying to look at the sun.

So, as the old song says, I walked on by with my pork tenderloin.

But late that night, long after the supermarket had closed, I awoke in a sweat with a frightening thought: These days, pretty much anything that's in print is also on the Internet.

I couldn't get back to sleep until, wracked with a voyeur's shame, I sneaked out to my garage office and booted up.

First hit brought up the cover of the magazine. I hadn't imagined the whole thing, after all. But I looked in vain, in the index, for the story about the 645 ways to look cute. Even an ad for an “enchanted bikini” didn't dissuade me from my quest. Finally it dawned on me that the 645 number included everything in the magazine.

Which I thought was cute.

A quick sample:

– “Instead of a tricky updo, try this loose ponytail style. It's a pretty way to play up your natural hair texture!”

– “Create soft waves with a large-barrel curling iron, then make a center part and split hair into two sections. Start to weave each into a braid behind the ear, then secure with an elastic band two inches down and wrap a piece of hair around it. These aren't your little sister's pigtails!” (This field is way out of my expertise, but I figure it takes some pretty long hair to use a barrel as a curling iron.)

– “When doing foundation: You want coverage, but not a heavy feel. Remember not to match your neck. The neck is the palest part of your body. Match to your breastbone. Tip: Use a damp sponge or mist brush with a touch of water to smooth on with an extra translucent finish.”

– “The first step to this look is applying a bright purple eye shadow to the inner third of the eyelid. Use a black eye pencil to darken the other third. Then, use a small brush to blend the black eye pencil toward the center. Add a green eye shadow towards the center, and all the way to the outer third of the lid on top of the black eye pencil. Use a fluffy brush to blend the border between the purple and the green. Use a very light hand so you don't lose any of the colors. After lining the inner ends of your eyes with a black eye pencil, blend in a silver eye shadow. Next, use mascara on the top and bottom lashes. Follow by applying a bright pink cheek theme to the apples of your cheeks and smooth it with your fingertips. Finally, a sheer pink lip gloss finishes up the look.”

Works for me. The idea, I mean. Not the, uh...

By this time I was getting sleepy again, but before I turned off the computer another cover story caught my eye for the first time:

“The Ultimate Secret to a Great Butt.”

I decided I could stay up a little bit longer.

A guy can dream, can't he?

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