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Raising Your Roof

[whitespace] Fira Cosmetics Fira Cosmetics brings stylishness closer to godliness

By Dara Colwell

If you want to get your hair up in the air and weave it like you just don't care, the Hair Raiser by San Francisco's Fira Cosmetics is a sure thing. A clever contraption that hikes, loops and twists locks into strange Dr. Seuss-inspired shapes, the Hair Raiser may look like a bendy hanger covered in cloth, but it's an accessory Barbarella would die for.

The folks at Fira have designed several hair-raisable styles that use the accessory's flexibility. Bilingual instructions are included (because, face it, if you saw the 28-inch-long Hair Raiser sitting solo on a countertop, you'd probably donate it to Goodwill. Or try to kill it). The creations are theatrical half-up, half-down "dos" meant to capture attention. There's the swirly Dragonfly (pictured), the Baby-Spice Updo and the bouffantish Geisha for starters. "The higher the hair, the closer to God," is founder Fred Adler's philosophy.

Fira's other products, Freak Physique Bodypaint Pens (washable magic-marker stencils), Freak Physique Body Jewels and Triple Play (a "lipstick" for eyes, cheeks and lips), add to what Adler calls his "avatar" fashion. Now, I always understood the word "avatar" to mean god in an earthly form, but I'm not up with my cyberslang. Adler, who also created FiraFari, a three-dimensional online boutique featuring Fira cosmetics, sees it as "changing your identity." Almost like rummaging through your mom's makeup bag and then trying on her shoes. Only this is slightly more exotic (depending on your mom).

The Triple Play one-stick-does-it-all concept wasn't easy for me to swallow. The idea of mixing, say, eye shadow with lipstick didn't seem all that hygienic. I thought the silvery Millennium worked better on my eyes and SheDevil burgundy on my mouth, but to each her own. The colors are bright, and the names are like cocktails: Camel's Hump, Pillow Talk and Fudge Fantasy.

Products and their prices can be found and ordered at Fira's website.

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From the March 29, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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