Friday, December 22, 2006


Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
I attended a very elegant campus-oriented soiree last night given by a fellow blogger and reader of this blog, and I would just like to say that it was a true pleasure meeting some of you and finding out that you are, as I suspected, lovely beings.

I wish you all could have seen the wire-haired dachsund scooting around with his little Santa hat on. Extremely soigne little dewd.


Wedding Make-Up: Pastors Can Help!

What a dreary day this has been! Allow PeaceBang to rant just a wee bit, won't you? I know you will, because you're kind and forebearing and beautiful people, and you also have the benefit of a scroll arrow to skip the dull bits.

It has been a month of Things Breaking. First, the water heater broke and flooded the basement right after Thanksgiving.
Then, the boiler started cacking out on a regular basis, leaving PeaceBang chilly and sore-throated with a fine dusting of frost on her hair in the mornings. The plummer has become her new best friend.
Then her computer had a tragic breakage and had to be resurrected by a technician who came to the house not once but TWICE. All in the past week.

Not only does Christmas Eve loom large and homily-less as of yet (not unusual or alarming), PeaceBang still has exams and papers hanging over her head due to aforementioned loss of computer hard drive. She feels scratchy-eyed just thinking about it, and keeps making fitful, non-productive starts on everything. Her working rhythm is just OFF. She wants to curl up with a spiked eggnog and read short stories by Dorothy Parker.

The heater went out again today and PeaceBang was just one minute from throwing some clean clothes in the car and driving to Florida with stops only for gas, Glaceau Energy Water and Smart Food (whose genius idea was it to name white cheddar popcorn "Smart Food," anyway? They have totally suckered PeaceBang into thinking of it as a highly nutritious snack just one notch beneath carrot sticks).

So PeaceBang is not having a very good day, really, and she is very crusty and cranky and wrapped in a big shawl and wishing the Sushi Fairy would come bring her dinner tonight because all she has in the fridge is cheese and more cheese for Christmas Day fondue.

She has some calls to return and some creative work to do but she couldn't help but be grateful for a writer from Pomona, California who wrote her off-line to inquire about MAKE-UP FOR BRIDES.

So this is for you, Hilary, with love from PeaceBang.


1. Make sure you look like yourself on your wedding day, only more polished and camera-ready.

2. Do not get a French manicure on your toenails. This is just the most gauche thing PeaceBang has ever seen. On your fingernails, fine. On your toesies, any of the lovely O.P.I. neutrals will do nicely.

3. Do NOT put yourself into the hands of a professional make-up artist on this important day until and unless you have seen EXACTLY what they intend to do to your face.

PeaceBang has been so horrified by the bad work done by professional make-up artists that she has taken to carrying a special make-up kit to church so she can fix the egregious errors committed by make-up artists in the name of "The Natural Look." Those errors are, in no particular order,

A. Using such a dark base or so much bronzer that the bride and her attendants look orange.
B. Failing to use any blush, so that the bride's face looks so bland and flat in photos her groom/life partner is forced to ask, "whither my beloved's bone structure?"
C. Using a nectar-colored gooey lip gloss that makes the bride look like The Lipless Wonder from afar.
D. Teasing the hair so high it causes a river of hair spray to run into the bride's eyes at the reception later as she gets sweaty dancing.

PeaceBang's fix:
(1) I carry a clean white washcloth with me to buff off most of the orange bronzer, and (2) apply a sheer pink blush to the apples of the cheeks. Voila! Bone structure! (3) I line the bride's lips with a neutral, rosy color and fill the lips in with the same liner, asking her to smudge her lips together to distribute the color, (4) top with a shiny gloss, and blot.

(5) I line the eyes with a very subtle brown liner simply to create definition for photos, and blend, blend, blend. (6) I carefully wipe off almost all the bizarre glamour-shadow caked on the bride's eyelids and lightly brush an illuminating powder all over the lid and up to the brow, adding just a bit of the same powder to the top of the cheekbone.

It all takes five minutes, bonds me with the bride, and guarantees much, much more beautiful photos. I do the same fix for any bridesmaids who request it, and do zit-coverage for any of the men in the party (some of whom also benefit from a bit of creamy cover-up under the eyes and a shot of Visine, and the slightest brushing of bronzer).

Most ministers would not want to do this. PeaceBang has actually found it to be a very fun thing to do on occasion -- but ONLY IF ASKED, which usually happens when you walk in, take a look at the bride and say, "Wow! You got all done up! How do you like it!?" When she wails, "I don't know! I think I look like an oompa-loompa!" you've got your opening. You say, "Sweetie, you're gorgeous, but I'm afraid we won't be able to see your features very well in photos. Want me to do some of my special wedding make-up fixes on you?" When she says, "Oh, thank God!" you whip out your make-up case, throw a towel around her front to protect the dress, and do your magic.

So Hilary, my porcelain-complected bride, let those freckles be there, wear that hair in some style that doesn't require gallons of shellac, line your lips with a neutral color and top with a nice gloss, and find a very sheer, very pinky-peach blush (a creme would do well for you, I think) for the apples of your cheeks. Revlon Skin Brightening powder dusted lightly over your decollete and cheekbones should be lovely, and an eyelash curler and waterproof brown mascara will keep your lashes visible and unsmeared by tears of joy.

We wish you every happiness.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Vanity, Vanity, All Is Vanity Saith the Preacher

So I'm standing in the office today at church and chatting with my very cute secretary about the ministry of PeaceBang and we're talking about CUTE PURSES and how we can so easily get into fashion ruts, and the copier is merrily spewing out bajillions of Christmas Eve programs and our very cute office manager (who totally rocks heavy-framed black eyeglasses without even realizing how much like the quintessential Hot Librarian this makes her look, as she's blonde and beautiful) is doing her thing at the next desk and after all this chit-chat about the importance of beauty and fashion and how I'm so INTO it and all, I get into my car and check my face in the rear view mirror and see that I have lipstick ALL OVER MY TEETH.

And I cackle madly because I am supremely busted.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Matchy Matchy Eyeshadow, No No

matchy matchy eyeshadow
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Berrysmom asked in a recent comment, "How do I use eyeshadow? Do I match it to my clothes, or what?"

Berr, look at Beyonce over there. She's a gorgeous kid, but it's *so* 80's for her to have a whole load of turquoise blue eyeshadow slathered all over her lids to match her turquoise blue gown.
I mean, she's still gorgeous, but that look would be disastrous on you or me.

Eyeshadow should be, first and foremost, flattering to your coloring, not your garments. At our age (I'm over 40 and you're over 50, B's Mom), eye shadow isn't about matching our gowns but about making our eyes deeper, more striking and more noticeable.

Use your own foundation as a base to erase shadows, then use a finger-shaped brush to apply a brightening base shade from lashes to eyebrow. Pencil in the eyebrows with a light feathery touch. Curl eyelashes, apply mascara, and you can be done for everyday. Of course PeaceBang almost always also uses liner.

PeaceBang owns a wide variety of eyeliners: black liquid, black liquid dramatic with a thicker brush, blue liquid, brown liquid, and smudgy pencils in gold-flecked brown, kohl black, midnight blue/purple/gray and shimmery white (for adding a spot of brightness to the inside corner of the eye, an old stage trick that helps eyes look farther apart). She loves her some eyeliner, but she's been messing with it for decades and knows better now than to leave her eyes looking like they were outlined by some kid with a crayon. Blend, blend, blend!! If you're wearing liquid liner... well, that's an art form all its own. Maybe PeaceBang will produce a video on how to apply liquid eyeliner.

Your eyeshadows, Berrysmom, should be browns, taupes, and grays. You can experiment with how intensely to apply them based on how well-rested you are, what kind of look you're going for, and what other colors will be close to your face, or on it.

Tip: Applying one solid eyeshadow color all over one's lid and up into the crease is a surefire way to make your eyes look much smaller. The only way to counteract that effect is to wear enormous false eyelashes like Miss Knowles is in the photo. And methinks that big fluttery falsies in the ministry would be just a wee bit over-dramatic, non?

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Peace On Earth and Necklace Length

Aloha, Pigeons! Happy third Sunday in Advent! Are you on the Hope, Joy, Peace or Love candle? PeaceBang has noticed that there's a lot of liturgical freedom in how we assign meaning to our little candles. Ours are pink and purple, which just CLASH with the red-beribboned greenery in the sanctuary and trouble PeaceBang's soul until she remember that God is so not into things being too matchy-matchy.

PeaceBang is slogging through this Advent, loving her life but dragging her feet a wee bit until she gets totally done with her end-of-semester academic work. The Great Hard Drive Crisis of 2006 is by no means over, and she still has no internet access from home, which is a lousy inconvenience. Some files have been resurrected from the dead, but not the most beloved worship files, which are probably in Vegas right now squandering their inheritances, getting drunk and consorting with unsavories. When they come home -- as I pray that they will -- I shall see them from a distance and like the father in the parable, I shall cry,

"My prodigal files that were lost are found! Kill the fatted calf and let us rejoice!"

And then the older files will huff and puff with the unfairness of it all and stand against the wall with their arms folded indignantly, refusing to partake of the festivities.

But MEANWHILE, it really does warm the cockles of my heart (even though I'm not sure that girls have cockles) to have ordered some necessaries from and to know that you, my dear readers, have financed these gifties.

Because of your generosity, I will soon be able to do a product review of Bare Escentuals face powder (Sheer Veil) and Philosophy Coconut Milk body and hair wash (like, can you really shampoo with this stuff?). PeaceBang is all about the yummy coconut-smelling products this winter. I know it's just a trick of the fragrance, but they just seem so extra-richly moisturizing. So thank you again for supporting the ongoing work of this ministry. My Favorite Male Product Tester is also getting some goodies in his stocking whose results we will be able to learn in God's due time. Isn't that the meaning of Christmas, after all? Peace on Earth, Good Skin Care Products To Men?
Or did I get that just a bit wrong, somehow?

FINALLY, and this is quite the hot little tip: PeaceBang has noticed that big pendant necklaces are all the rage and has been trying to rock the look but hasn't succeeded. She gamely piles on necklaces trying for just the right combo but mostly succeeds only in looking like a deranged art teacher or a very eccentric dowager. She keeps trying, however. And based on advice from Real Simple magazine which advised that you should wear this type of necklace quite long -- like right around your rib cage -- she can tell you with great assurance as of yesterday that longer IS better. If you have an ample bazoom, the length elongates you. If you don't have an ample bazoom, it's still a much chic-er length than the usual mid-chest look.

Hint to Boston-area shoppers: Jasmine Sola is having a FANTASTIC sale on long, terribly fashionable necklaces this VERY MOMENT. If you get there soon you can buy two necklaces for well under the price of one, and isn't that happy news for girls in the do-gooder professions?

The Baby Jesus is being born just a week from now! Do you think if I bring him frankincense and myrrh, he would do something about my flat, flat hair so that it's nice and bouncy for Christmas Eve services?

(Actually, if I'm going to pray for a Christmas miracle, it will be that the "new" hard drive furnished by Dell lasts through next fiscal year when I can buy myself a MAC and not have to deal with viruses again. I will not have to talk to someone in India when I need tech support, but can drive right over to the Apple store in the mall and get actual real, live face-to-face human help for my techno-woes. Lord, hear my prayer!)