Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Eyebrows, Suits

Darlings, PeaceBang is suffering from a Hideous Facial Disfigurement that has her face quite swollen and her right eye very puffy. She saw the doctor yesterday and got loaded up with anti-virals, anti-biotics (which she won't take) and an immunity-enhancing supplement. This is her second HFD in two months, and that's just not a good statement about her general health and self-care. However, when she was waiting for her prescriptions at Brooks Pharmacy, she had the pleasure of meeting three very lovely women who absolutely loaded her up with samples from these new-to-American skincare lines:

Eau Thermale Avene
La Roche-Posay Laboratoire Pharmaceutique
Lierac Paris

Doesn't this all just make you want to stand up and sing "Le Marseille?" How kind of the French to flood the American market with products that may help us be more moist, dewy, exfoliated and generally fresh-faced!! As soon as PeaceBang's Hideous Facial Disfigurement calms down, she can't wait to start testing away, especially since she has heard from two cosmetic professionals in the past week that she has LARGE PORES. Mon Dieu!! Large PORES! This in addition to having bad roots, a desperate need for a manicure, and not having made it to the gym in two weeks. PeaceBang might have to take to her bed today with a box of Girl Scout cookies, her computer, and her spring preaching schedule. It's all too much, and the Easter service is already becoming overly-complicated and PeaceBang is all stressed out about it.

But now, for your questions!

Sez one lovely lass,

"I just discovered your blog, and I have a question about eyebrows.
I know I should pluck my eyebrows, but they're a) light; b)sparse; c) the hairs are long.
So if I eliminated the hairs that shouldn't be there, there'd only be a few left and they wouldn't necessarily look tidy. And what do you do with eyebrow pencils?
I've never figured out how they work. The color certainly doesn't rub off on the hairs, and I don't think you're supposed to just draw your own on your skin even though lots of elderly ladies do. Thanks.
Your colleague in the Midwest"

My dear Midwestern lamb,
There is no rule that says Thou Shalt Pluck. Are the brows messy and scraggly? Do they distract from your eyes and travel over onto the bridge of your nose?
If so, they should be shaped.
Are your brows well-nigh invisible, failing to provide a beautiful, expressive frame for your face? If so, you should find a nice eyebrow pencil that is as close to your natural brow color as you can get it (Lancome Le Crayon Poudre is by far my favorite), keep it nice and sharp, and fill in your brow with light, feathery strokes. You're not drawing on the brows, you're filling them in.
The thing you want to avoid is using a harsh, hard pencil that requires you to use a heavy hand that will result in that permanently-startled Eccentric Retired Drama Teacher look.
Remember, as with all make-up, you want to look like yourself --only better.
Visit a cosmetics counter for a free lesson; it's a perfectlyl legit investment of your time and energy. You will be seen far more effectively from the back pew with good, defined brows.
Good luck! PB


"Preppy Pastor" has been flooding PeaceBang's in-box with anxious inquiries about appropriate attire for funerals and visitations following the service. Should he buy a black suit? Can he wear a black sports jacket with checked pants? Seriously, should he buy a suit, and does it have to be black?

Preppy Pastor has won PeaceBang's heart because he has bothered to seek out her church website and read her sermons, which he appreciates well enough to quote in his own sermons -- and that's always a thrill, especially since we're from very different religious traditions-- so PeaceBang will happily indulge his many inquiries and try to set him on the right path here:

Preppy Pastor, darling, if you don't think you'd use a black suit very often, it's perfectly fine to wear a dark suit to a funeral and to visitations afterwards (heavens, what else would you wear to a visitation afterwards but what you wore to officiate in?). A beautiful, elegant navy should work fine. Elegant charcoal gray. What really matters is the cut and the fit, of course. A black suit doesn't look profesionally appropriate if it sags or bunches, is covered with dandruff or lint, and worn with dull, beat-up shoes (and whoever it was that pointed out that rubber-soled shoes have no place in the sanctuary, BLESS YOU. PeaceBang couldn't agree with you more, but she is trying to take baby steps with her defiantly casual male colleagues who are still showing up in black Nikes, but she digresses).

PeaceBang doesn't know what kind of CHECKED PANTS you have in mind, Preppy, but she is certain they shouldn't be worn to a funeral. Pinstripes may be fine, but checks are not. And yes, buy a suit if you can. It will serve you well in a variety of settings and is really far more appropriate for a funeral than a sports coat and slacks.

Powder Pigeons,
If this blog is helping you, if you read it with as much pleasure and appreciation as you do a magazine or journal you would pay for, feel free to drop a tip in the tip-jar to the right, otherwise known as the Make a Donation button. This is a labor of love, but buying new television-appropriate clothes for her next media outing has made PeaceBang aware that it's expensive being America's Best-Known Clergy Image Consultant.

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Blogger Elizabeth said...

One of Kevyn Aucoin's books (possibly Making Faces) has a great section on eyebrows. The most important thing I have learned (I am cursed with long eyebrow hairs that leave big gaps in my brows if I pluck them), is to brush my brows straight up and then trim slightly - it makes a huge difference in the neatness of my eyebrows and gives them a more defined shape.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as eyebrows go, an expert with some tweezers and wax can do in 5 minutes what might take me an hour to do less well.

12:21 PM  
Blogger ElhananWinchester in Pinstripes said...

I am formely known as "mel" and the preppy pastor. Many thanks for the good word on suits. The anxiety was crushing. I know feel a peace that passeth all understanding, plus, I know that I need a grey suit and navy suit. Sports coats ain't gonna cut it.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Mamacita said...

Do tell - what is the professional advice on how to handle large pores? Inquiring minds (and my bespeckled nose) want to know. I tried the Neutrogena pore care system but it smelled like trash bags and I just couldn't make a habit of it. If only the same were true of good n' plentys.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Rev. D said...

Regarding eyebrows, I know it is a pain-no pun intended-but I go monthly to have my eyebrows waxed and I use the same spa consultant each time. I find that she knows my brows and consistently gives me a good line. The cost at Nordstrom is $20+tip but it is worth every penny in my book. It is just one of those things that makes me feel more polished when I am standing in front of the congregation.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Caroline Divine said...

"Allons, enfants de la patrie..." Caroline Divine is singing the Marseillaise for you, darling, and she LOVES Vichy products though she has not had access to them since her last, too-long-ago visit to la belle France. You lucky duckling.

And speaking of shoes, it's all your fault, I have gotten a pair of high heeled boots! They are actually comfortable and I cannot believe it. They were on sale at the undisclosed location where I am hiding out for the week. Okay, so I took a break from self-imposed solitude. I prayed as I shopped. These are not pulpit wear but they will do oh so nicely for an evening out in black pants or for that too-long-for-PeaceBang-but-it-works swingy skirt with the short fitted jacket. They look kind of like this except that a) they have slightly more rounded tips, b) they zip up the inside of the ankle, c) their line isn't interrupted by that triangular stitching thing, and d) they are not Nine West but some cheap brand that isn't on Zappos and I found at a discount store on the sales rack for under $20, glory be to God (Caroline Divine cannot say the A-word because it's Lent) AND they are genuine leather and really very nice. I cannot believe they are comfortable and I cannot believe I bought them and it's your fault, yes it is. Thank you. (And Elizabeth, I am still considering those lovely purple boots from Dansko but I am still broke so this was an alternative. I do love those purple ones and have lots of clothes that would work with them.)

They also kind of look like this.

This doesn't mean my daily footwear won't continue to be something more or less like this.

And you know I still like these. (((...running and ducking...))) But I promise you solemnly, I do not wear them when I teach, I do not wear them when I preach (I sound like a Dr. Seuss book), I do not wear them near the altar, nor will they cause PeaceBang to falter (that's for the rhyme), no, I will not wear them to church even if I am in the pews. But the supermarket and my campus-based office are fair game. (And the auto mechanic told me he loved them the other day. Maybe because they are hot pink.)

Still faint from buying those high-heeled boots. I'm going to go fan myself, have a cup of tea, and work on my Southern accent.

4:49 PM  
Blogger A. Lin said...

My eyebrows are thick, but I get them waxed to define their shape. However, I had a different woman at the salon last time, and she thinned the eyebrows out. They didn't look good. I go for shape (and no unibrow). Waxing is great. At least afterward you definitely know when the strays are growing in.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And peacebang, sorry to be the mother hen (a nod to our great BCP lection for the Gospel Sunday last), but please take your medicine and drink some OK and go to bed!

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant to type OJ instead of OK --oops!

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eyebrows -- speaking as one with pale and sparse brows, I've taken to getting mine dyed at the salon. Then fill in with an eyebrow brush. I found one I like, a rectangle of powder and a brush in a little case, by Clinique. I have found it hard to locate a color that worked. I also get my brows waxed, which seemed like a waste since there isn't much there, but it does make a difference. And this fall I started getting my lashes dyed also. It is costly, and I tend to stretch out the visits, but this is definitely something one cannot do for oneself, and doing lashes requires a very reputable person.

Definition is important when speaking. A parishioner running the annual fundraiser caught my eye before a special event and gave me a sisterly reminder to go put on lipstick. I was very grateful for the alert.

And today, just to show the influence of this blog, I sought out Sephora and got some powder and blush, having lost or run out entirely. Who knew, it isn't only in NYC, it's right here in my suburban town out West. -- A Woman of the Cloth

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ladies, here's Li'l Flava's tip for eyebrow shaping (and facial hair removal in general): if you are fortunate to live in a place w/ a sizable South Asian population, git yerself to a friendly Indo-Pak salon to have them THREADED. It lasts longer than waxing or tweezing and DOES NOT HURT. It often costs less too. I don't know how those wonderful women do it, but they make a clean, perfect arch every time. (I've had too many bad experiences w/ waxing removing too much, and I can't pencil anything back in w/o thinking of Joan Crawford or Bette Davis.)

I have also heard raves about the brow bar at the Benefit cosmetics counter but haven't tried it myself. Speaking of which, Benefit makes "Brow Zings," an excellent compact of powder + setting wax + mini-tweezers, all to color, shape, and tame those brows. I swear by it!

2:53 AM  

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