Lord, author of Golden Hill (1982) and One of My Very Best Friends (1985), returns with a new concoction for popular-fiction fans, this one bubbling so madly over the top that it leaves a real mess on the stove. The tale this time is about corruption in the beauty biz, which first comes to light when an aging model, Teri Shephard, checks into the Foundation Rejuvenation Clinic in southern California for a chemosurgical facelift; alas, the skin-peel goes wrong, so the clinic operators fake her death on a washed-out Mexican road. Some time later, Jo, Teri's oldest daughter, starts sniffing into the events surrounding her mom's demise, and learns that two shadowy women--Svetlana and Magda--were in charge of the clinic, which has since closed. Meanwhile, Alexa, Jo's younger sister, follows in her mother's footsteps and becomes a cover girl. Both young women eventually wind up in New York, working for Devi Cosmetics--Alexa as ""The Face, Now and Forever."" There, they discover a Svetlana on the payroll, and ferret out the truth--that the company head, Baxter Forga, masterminded both the disastrous skin-peel procedure and their mom's disappearance. Forga, who's also a drug kingpin, at last gels his due; the girls find a pair of nice fellas; and even Teri turns up at the end, alive, physiognomy nicely mending. Lord, a Vogue beauty editor, brings authenticity to the cover-shoot sequences; but her plot's an improbable jumble, and her characters vacant beneath their makeup.