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ON A PERSONAL BIAS by Bernice Peck

Beautiful: Maybe you don't care, but a wig company in Ohio reports that their best seller is that wiggiest of all wigs, the Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. . . .

My friend Joe, such a snob, so hard to please, states that the Caron Yatagan Cologne I gave him for Christmas is definitely superior. His very words: it's punchy, modern, unconventional, has real style. . . .

Gem of a cleanser, Evelyn Marshall's Creme Wash - it frisks out grime soothingly from normal, oily, even sensitively dry skin. (Apply, dab on water for a creamy lather, remove with a damp washcloth and a final splash. Result, an immaculate satin finish.) $3 at Bendel. . . .

During January the big 5-oz. $27 size of Geminesse Enriched Night Concentrate can be grabbed off for $8.50. That's cornering a skin-pamper bargain. . . .

Sun-shunning freaks who need total protection for skiing or swimming can get the new Solar Cream by Doak Pharmacal, the good folks who put out that remarkable Forumla 405 Cream. Solar, $3.50, is skin-colored, waterproof, protects absolutely for 4 to 6 hours and until just now could only be had from your dermatologist.

Detest gadgets, rarely can make them work. Nice exception, an item called "Wrinkles Away", a tiny hand-steamer that, honestly, justifies itself in freshening up crunched clothes. No, it'll never put the steam-iron out of business, but is a respectable little alternative. Like for travel or when it's just too much fuss hauling out the ironing board etc. Takes about 3 minutes, I find, for each hanger-hung outfit, gives 15 minutes of hearty steam, weighs under a pound and works with plain tap water (Brand X demands salting the water, a bore). $14.95 at Hammacher Schlemmer.

Fine threads: For women who can afford to be special, and who enjoy Ralph Lauren's designs, Bendel has a real class act - custom-made suits for $100 more than their r-t-w price (about $400). You get one fitting and the suit itself in about four weeks. Handsome choice of tweeds, flannels, plaids, and these days it's kind of delicious to have something made to your own order . . . As for ready-to-wear (off the peg they call it), did you know that some dudes pay up to $650 for a suit? This would be by Oxxford Clothes, with $17 a yard fabrics and proud workmanship, sold in tony stores like Neiman Marcus.

My rich thrifty friend Margo strikes again. All her luggage is Vuitton, some of it special order. But she never goes off without two of Ohrbach's tough plastic shopping bags (25c each), carried away flat, brought back bulging. She says they're the best buy in N.Y. . . . Also, while Margo is basically minky (three divine ones and an idiot husband), every time she spots a marked-down reversible coat or cape she grabs it. "One side's bound to be great - how can you lose?"

What's more: Barbara Walters admits she's scared to drive a car, so I do to. . . Aldo Cipullo, the chic furniture designer, gets up in the middle of the night to change chairs and sofas around - now that's neurotic . . . that popular columnist Liz Smith says Truman Capote is a self-created legend, but Gloria Vanderbilt suggests he's mentally ill . . . I'll never get over expecting to get the model's face along with the beauty product it advertises . . . Has anybody ever seen Sylvia Miles without first seeing her cleavage? . . . Most parables and fancy begonias turn me off . . . Bernadette Peters is living proof a girl can look like a creampuff and have a granite jaw too . . . Those Osmond kids are cloyingly pretty, him especially . . . Hero worship out of control, Don Rickles devoutly kissing Frank Sinatra's paw on the Carson show . . . Our new President has a lifetime collection of antique bottles and Indian arrowheads but probably won't have time to play with them any more . . . Peanut pate has become a big staple for parties, likewise Dixie accents. Y'all come, hear?

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[[image: color photo of man in butler's uniform, standing behind a table of assorted cakes, and offering a slice of one of the cakes on a small plate; cakes are labeled Chocolate 'n Cream, Black Forest, Strawberry Short Cake, Mandarin Orange, Double Chocolate, Walnut, Fresh Banana Nut, Strawberries 'n Cream]]

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[[image: color photo of package of Sara Lee Strawberry Short Cake]]
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