Saturday, May 06, 2006

On Nails

Sister of PeaceBang is all upset because she went on a date with a man who had seriously objectionable nail beds.

The thing is, PeaceBang knows just what she meant.

A quote directly from Sister,

"Some people are born with good nail beds! And it's kind of Scandinavian, I think. But if you're not born with beautiful hands you should do something about it, like trim your nails so that they're not all pinched and grown together at the tips and all fragile and papery looking! And then push back your cuticles to let your nail beds breathe! It's just a shame! People from the Midwest, I think, have good nail beds."

Fellas, take a look. If you need a manicure, don't be too much a man to admit it.
My father used to say that when he interviewed someone he always looked at their nails first and that greatly influenced his decision. He said that chewed, raggedy nails were the sign of a secret neurotic.

[Sister of PeaceBang knows that she sounds like a total nut, but as she says, "It's okay because no one knows who I am, and at least I'm entertaining."]

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cream, Ivory, White, Tan And Khaki

PeaceBang has noticed that a lot of men and women are walking around in neutral colors that look like hell on them.

A tip: When choosing neutral colored shirts and blazers, do bother to try the thing on for color. Tan is almost universally ugly on all skin tones. I don't care if it's on sale and it will "go with everything." Put it back. It doesn't "go" with your skin tone.

Darlings, trust me when I say it's worth the wait to to find the right creamy ivory or gentle pink-tinged white that will brighten you up every time you wear your garment.

And don't even think of wearing bright white without a little bit of make-up and hair do. Gentlemen, if you wear bright white, make sure you're devastatingly well-groomed and shaved. White brings out every blotchiness and five o'clock shadow. Wearers of white must needs be crisp, crisp, crisp.

Jeans And T-Shirts

A woman minister who blogs as Pink Shoes wrote after Easter about how she doesn't want to shop for a pair of new jeans because she's not best friends with her body right now.

A few comments on jeans, my dears:

Stylish, please. There is no reason for frumpy "mom jeans." Jeans are very stylish now and have been for years. You shouldn't be making professional appearances in Levi 501s. You should invest in a flattering pair of dark denim jeans with some fashion edge to them. There's no excuse not to; even if you weigh in the upper poundage, as Lane Bryant stocks LOADS of cool styles.

A bootcut is very nice. And yes, you must check the rear view. They should FIT. Ministers do have derrieres, and there's no reason we should look like we could fit a HarperCollins Study Bible and Concordance in our pants. That's why we have stylish bags, darlings.

A word on t-shirts, another item of apparel that has made it into the workplace:
a touch of spandex makes a world of difference, girls. They give a "t" some shape and fit, both of which you should be looking for. Those Hanes 100% cotton jobbies you've been sneaking under your blazers and sweaters need to GO. Save them for yard work. They're shapeless and hideous, and after they've been through the wash and several messy dinners, make rags out of them. Don't think we can't see those stains and that we're not distressed by the shapeless neck.

Talbots makes a nice t-shirt with a touch of spandex. Macy's has a boatload of good options, too. A decent t-shirt will generally cost more than Hanes, but you don't need every bloody color in the rainbow. A black, a white and a cream will do to start.

Real Preachers Wear Stilettos

Render Unto Caesar What Is Caesar's

I am so in favor of our male colleagues having a nice hair-do, by which I mean, an actual hair style and not Random Acts of Barbery that live on your head.

But please, fellas, let's not be seeing this on any of you:

This look was very hot in Jesus' time, but not for our team, if you know what I mean. When Our Lord said to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, I'm fairly sure he meant this haircut, too.

Thanks to the D-List for the photo

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Shine On, Stars

I've been writing for a short while now and realizing with every new post that I really don't think this blog is silly or frivolous.

Here's my exchange with Anonymous, who is 40-something and edging toward frumpiness by her own admittance:

You know what it is, my dear and reverend friends?
It's that men and women of the cloth should be anything but invisible. But for women especially, there's the temptation to present as the non-threatening, comfy nurturing lady rather than the with-it, spirit-filled, camera-ready religious leader you need to be.

The world needs us. We should be immediately identifiable in a crowd as the people most fully inhabiting our bodies, spiritually realized, passionately present.
I know you can do that without a stitch of make-up and with orthopedic shoes on, but I know you can do it EVEN BETTER if you pencil in your eyebrows and are sporting some really kicking bit of apparel that makes you feel like a put together superstar.

Speak To Us Of Hair

Hello glamorous readers!
PeaceBang is a wee bit sauced this evening, having been up very very late last night on a pastoral emergency, and having imbibed a Ketel One gimlet and a bottle of Pinot Noir at dinner with a dear male friend (who was wearing bright red pants tonight but who nevertheless is still a dear friend, although we loathed the pants).

A new reader (welcome, new reader!) asks about Hair Over Forty. And Jinnis writes that she found salvation in a Vicki's Secret underwire bra, and for that we lift up our hearts in thanks and praise.

For the new reader who says, "Speak to us of hair, O PeaceBang."

Dear Reader,
The PeaceBang technique for obtaining somewhat snazzy hair is to see a gal with snazzy hair and to approach her and ask, "Darling! WHO did your HAIR!?"
Women love these compliments and will happily share the info on who styles their tresses.
PeaceBang encourages you to take the plunge and try a new stylist.

If you have short hair, buy the Short Hairstyle magazines (there are seven or eight on the market) and take them home to study. Ask around. What looks good? Some styles are totally out of fashion by now: overly streaked looks, spiky 'do's, and that horrid flat fringe look currently sported by Kathy Lee Gifford on "Entertainment Tonight." Permy curls are OUT. Overly ironed straight hair is OUT. Short and grey, you say? Well, that depends. Could be totally frumpy, could be gorgeous if the gray is flattering and the cut is sexy.
Why must women over 40 immediately give up the ghost on sexiness, I ask you? There's no reason we can't do a bit of a smoky eye, a nice shiny lip, beautiful skin and a gorgeous classy hair do. My own hair has a lot of curl in it and is awfully hard to cut because of various cowlicks and difficult texture -- plus the fact that it grows incredibly fast -- but I refuse to cut is "conveniently" short. "Convenient" is too often another word for "I don't feel attractive anymore so I give up."

P.S. Sorry, but there is no way to wear a french braid that isn't straight out of 1985, dear readers. Even if you tuck it in. There are oodles of ways to easily put up long hair that are fashionable and pretty and that don't take us back to the days when REO Speedwagon was in the top ten. Buy Glamour or Allure (both good and not full of the inane sluttiness of Cosmopolitan) and take a gander. If you see a French braid in any fashion spread from the last five years that wasn't called "Romantic Prom Hair," I'll happily eat my words, but I don't think I'll have to.

No banana clips! No claw clips! No French braids! Look to Keira Knightley in "Pride and Prejudice" for lovely soft chignons and rolls. Low ponytails are elegant, sleek and all the rage right now. They are anything but cute. They are FAB.

All ya'll: Find a good stylist. Be willing to pay for a good cut. Tell them you're a minister and you want something distinctly unfrumpy. Tell them how much styling time you're willing to put into your hair. Be willing to try something different.

My own theory is that if you wear well-behaved clothes, have tailored nails and jewelry and low-key make-up, you can let your hair be a bit wild. My colorist once said to me, "Well, if I do what you want it won't look natural." I said, "Darling, if I wanted natural I wouldn't be here now, would I?"
And remember that not everyone goes grey beautifully. The color should flatter your complexion or frankly, my dears, you won't look like a Wise Woman... you'll just look old and tired.

PeaceBang recommends:

Allure and Glamour magazine for hair (and make-up) ideas.
Those cheezy hair magazines you find in the supermarket (peruse them with a fashion-conscious girl or boyfriend who can warn you away from egregiously bad styles).
Accosting strangers with great hair and asking for the name and number of their stylist.
Going into the nearst sophisticated city and checking out fabuloso stylish women: what about their confidently gorgeous look could you steal or adapt?
Tipping your colorist and stylist well, and bringing them Christmas gifts.
Not necessarily going to the same person for color and hair cut.
Staying far, far away from frumpy salons that smell of perm solution and are populated by the helmet-head set.

Inviting over a friend to help you color your own hair.

Remember: if you should screw up, it's JUST HAIR. It can be fixed, cut or grown back.

PeaceBang wound up with Ronald McDonald orange-red hair during a henna accident in 1984 and wound up staying an auburn-tressed goddess for the rest of her natural life. Experiment!

If you have a gorgeous face, consider cutting your hair fabulously short (but it MUST HAVE A BEAUTIFUL STYLE AND BE CAREFULLY CUT) and wearing dramatic lips or eyeliner with it. Think Judi Dench.

Monday, May 01, 2006

False Eyelashes: No, Really!

PeaceBang has attended many ordinations on Sunday afternoons when really, she would rather be in bed with the NY Times (and Kevin Spacey, but that's another discussion altogether: a long and boozey one about PB's predilection for crushing on gay men). So when she had to attend the ordination of a lovely new minister yesterday afternoon in Boston, she was more than a bit cheered to realize that the church in question was just a hop, skip and a jump from famed swanky shopping avenue, Newbury Street. And it was such a nice day! Too nice to get back in the car and go right home, of course.

So PeaceBang skipped down Newbury Street and tried on outrageous pumps at a chic boutique with too many vowels in its name to remember (Couio? Cuoiou? Ciouo?) and she browsed wickedly overpriced soaps at Fresh (sorry, but I'm too FRESH outta cash to buy a $50 candle, darling!). Their Sake perfume is nice for summer, btw.

Then PeaceBang took herself to the holy of holies, the new Shu Uemura boutique where she met the lovely and talented manager, Sue, and played with make-up for a delightful half hour. Sue taught PeaceBang how to make the fashionable "smoky eye" with a shimmery brown shadow that PB needs to get, and actually sold her a pair of FALSE EYELASHES. Why? Because they're all the rage right now, my doves, and because PeaceBang is willing to endure both expense and discomfort to investigate products that might bring a bit of beauty and glamour to her readers' lives.

The verdict: doe-eyed fabulousness, but buy your adhesive at the drug store (Duo makes a good one) because Shu's is too heavy on some itch-inducing ingredient.

Where would I wear false eyelashes? They're very comfortable and quite lovely and subtle. Well, I might wear them in the pulpit to give my eyes wonderful definition from a distance, but I'd probably just wear them on those dates I hardly ever go on. Certainly to those cocktail parties I never go to, and art openings, things like that.

My problem is that I'm the Vicar of Dibley but I think I'm Mame Dennis. I'm still glad I have my new falsies, though.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hair Accessories?

I pause in my Sabbath preparations to ask the PeaceBangers of Beauty:

What hair accessories are appropriate and inappropriate for women of the cloth?

Plastic banana clips - tacky and 1980's.
Headbands -- can be lovely, can be too Alice In Wonderlandy.
Cute barrettes in short hair -- nice if you're under 30, and then only off-duty
Nice barrettes in long hair -- just fine
Bobby pins -- not if they're visible! For the love of God! (Reminding PB of the time she watched a senior female colleague preaching with lank, grey hair held back by at least 20 bobby pins that glinted every time she turned her head)
Vaguely ethnic cotton headwrap - fine if you do it neatly, but it should be a comfortable, confident part of your "look"

Comments? Opinions? Thoughts on hair management in the pulpit?

PeaceBang recommends:
Aveda Firmata hairspray