An uplifting experience

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 December, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 December, 1995, 12:00am

IT IS being billed as the next biggest trend after the Gucci bamboo-handle bag, black patent leather boots and colonic cleansing. Everybody from Princess Diana to Mel Gibson, Cliff Richard to Valerie Campbell (mother of supermodel Naomi) has tried the CACI 'facelift', said to be the best thing this side of surgery. And now it's here.

CACI (Computer Aided Cosmetology Instrument) is a non-surgical 'microcurrent system' which pulses tiny amounts of electricity through the skin using electrodes. The system was invented 20 years ago by a Chinese-American scientist and was originally used by physiotherapists. In the past couple of years, it has been endorsed by beauty editors, beauticians and celebs: British glossy Harpers & Queen described CACI as one of the top 10 beauty treatments of 1995.

A one-hour session costs $600 at several Hong Kong salons, including Head to Toe in Lane Crawford House. According to Harpers, the results are 'most impressive', resulting in 'astoundingly clear eyes and a firmer face'.

Di, the bag lady WHATEVER is the point of dishing out millions of dollars for advertising campaigns when all you have to do is have someone famous pose with your product to set the cash registers ringing? That's the lament of the people at Christian Dior, who have been inundated with requests for a new handbag ever since Princess Diana was seen carting it around Argentina last month. The bag, Cannage, has been featured in glossy ad campaigns with Italian supermodel Carla Bruni and is a nice little accessory if you have $9,500 to blow. But it wasn't until it was spotted on the arm of Di that interest was piqued. The Dior boutique in Central has ordered a new shipment of the leather bag, but for the moment only the synthetic 'microfibre' version is available.

Gucci coup THERE was a rare 100 per cent turnout for the official opening bash for label du jour Gucci at Pacific Place last week. Over champagne and caviar cones, guests tried on shoes and posed with bags, although most moaned that there was nothing left to buy.

'Gucci is so hyped up now that we don't even have to wait until things get into the store to sell them,' said the label's Hong Kong PR manager, Ona Chan. Fans who have access to an unofficial international Gucci network make a note of what they like, have a quiet word with the sales manager and make sure it's put aside even before the stock arrives.

Making the most of it were regular Gucci spenders such as TV personality Lydia Shum, who bought a handbag for herself and a miniature shopping bag for her daughter, socialite and shopping supremo Fanny Ma and fashion designer Eddie Lau.

Class struggle IF YOU thought Hong Kong tai tais were demure, charming little creatures, forget it. At the 11 am daily class at Beth's Workout aerobics studio in Central, the leotards come on and the daggers come out as these women battle it out over the most favoured spot in the place. 'These women know where their spaces are in front of the mirror and heaven help anyone who tries to push in,' said a studio employee.

Some of the tai tais, including the socialite wife of a prominent banker, used to send their maids down to Beth's before the start of the class to reserve their spot until owner Beth Narain put a stop to that practice. But you have to give these ladies credit for their zeal; one, who makes frequent trips to New York, takes the Concorde to London and then flies back to Hong Kong just in time for the 11 am class, having called from the plane to book her spot. Others are usually fetched by their drivers immediately afterwards and taken home to shower before being chauffeured to lunch. Women on the go, all of them.

Lip synch AS IF the movie and the nail polish weren't enough, the Pulp Fiction craze has spawned a lipstick as well. That very classic French house of Chanel is still on the receiving end of orders for its Rouge Noir nail colour, popularised by Uma Thurman in the cultish film. Sales in the Chanel boutique in Hong Kong for the polish - the colour of coagulated blood - exceeded expectations so much that a waiting list actually began to form.

And now comes the much-anticipated sequel, in the form of a lipstick, to be launched in Europe next February and in Hong Kong next summer. A Chanel spokesman said: 'Everyone who had problems finding the right colour lipstick to match the Rouge Noir polish will no longer have that problem.' They may as well take their hype where they can get it ... Rouge Noir may well be one Chanel product that does not withstand the tests of time, or the taste of tai tais.