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These fakes offer foolproof fun

Make yourself an April Fool's standout with these fabulous, fashionable fakes.

Ellen Warren

April 1, 2010

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When it comes to beauty and fashion, it's all about artifice and deception. In a good way.

We lengthen our lashes, paint our nails and lips, maximize our assets, and always and forever are on the lookout for clothes that hide our flaws — and make our legs look great.

In lots of cases, the key to looking and feeling terrific is simple: fabulous fakes.

For many of us, it's always April Fools' Day, when sleight of hand can mean perfect (phony) fingernails set off with a diamond ring that is not all that it appears to be.

Or, consider cutlets. They aren't just for the frying pan anymore. Silicone "bra cutlets" from Bubbles Bodywear are inserts for "realistic enhancement" that my tester found simply va va voom. (Bubbles Bodywear, Boobles silicone push-up pads, $27 per set or two sets $30, lovemybubbles.com, shown above with Emporio Armani balconette bra, $50, Macy's, macys.com.)

For another part of the anatomy that could use a boost, Bubbles also has underwear to amplify the derriere with removable pads (from $25). And for uplift without padding, there's a gizmo that "holds and shapes the derriere" (from $20) at biniki-fashions.com. (Men's rear uplift gear also available, $39.95.)

But enough for undercover deception not meant for prying eyes. What about more visible fakery?

Perfect for April Foolery, there are tons of tops now in stores in trompe l'oeil (French for "trick the eye") styles imprinted with images to look like necklaces, dangling sunglasses, a vest or a bow tie. Forever 21 has loads of them as low as $8.80 (forever21.com), like the one shown above.

Glue-on nails can look like the real thing, only better. If you've got more time than money, fakes can save you the higher cost of a nail parlor.

One tester for the false nails shown here (holding a fake apple, natch) was complimented by her friend on her "fabulous manicure." A closer inspection revealed they were a little too pretty to be real, but for a special occasion (a candlelight dinner, perhaps) these could work. (Broadway Nails, Natural Deceptions, $11.80 for two packs, amazon.com.)

Not everyone can afford a glorious diamond ring, but a fabulous fake is within reach. Jewelry designer Ellie Thompson (ellieco.com) created a $175 killer fake (shown above) using cubic zirconia and sterling silver. Unless you're a gemologist, it'll pass the eyeball test.

Finally, if you just can't let April 1 pass without an old-fashioned prank, a nail polish spill is highly effective, especially on a pristine white carpet! (Ours shown above is $1.98, from prankplace.com.)

shopellen@tribune.com

Your tattered, precious clothes
Can't bear to throw out your beat-up, beloved favorites? Those worn-out jeans? A baseball cap? A shredded sweater? Tell me your stories. Even send a photo! I want to know about the things you can't part with — although the expiration date has long passed. E-mail me at shopellen@tribune.com.