Saturday, April 28, 2007

Guide To Best Drugstore Buys

Hey gang!

Real Simple magazine has a very handy-dandy guide to the best drugstore (read: affordable products) buys here.
It's arranged by category of product and looks to have excellent suggestions.

This is Real Simple's helpful guide to how to buy wardrobe essentials.

Actually, as a former subscriber to Real Simple magazine, I must say that I'm very impressed with their web site. I'll be reading more articles when I get a chance.

Thanks to SisterBang for the referral!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Lip Ink?

Hi dears,
Someone just wrote to me about Lip Ink.

I've never heard of it, and I'm fascinated. She's going to send me more info, but have any of you tried it? Comments?

I did some research and came up with this UK company:

It looks like it's organic, and it looks like the starter kit is quite expensive (but that after that, re-fills are quite economical). The blonde model in the video is a little bit overwhelmed by her big red lips, but the other models are wearing more subtle colors that look lovely.

Do you have to scrub it off with another special product at the end of the day?

I wonder if I could get the company to send me a free starter kit for reviewing purposes...!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The First Commandment Of Sandals

Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Edie Falco is a really terrific actress, but oy vey, this schmatta has got to go.

Doesn't this sort of look like something you or I might wear to a funeral? I think it might be okay at a funeral, but not at the opening of a film festival. Not that any of us are going to openings of film festivals, I'm just sayin'. That little kick of flamenco dancer frill at the hem just doesn't redeem it.

Let's discuss the other fashion problems here. First, if we're going to wear an entirely sombre black dress, let's not throw some itsy-bitsy little necklace on and call that accessorizing. ESPECIALLY if we're going to be speaking in public. With something this austere, you want a bolder statement, methinks.

The hem is a universally unflattering length, but she could have made it less so by not breaking up her leg with those thick sandal straps. And she needs pantyhose or something to help with the pasty leg situation. Do you see how your eye moves down from the smooth line of black and then it's like three big chunks of white? Worst of all, it distracts from her face. She's also not wearing enough make-up to compete with the black, and she looks extremely washed out. So much to learn here! We love you, Edie! But you need some rouge!

All of that aside, THE SHOES DON'T FIT.

Now usually, the sin with sandals is when we get into the Toe-Overhang or the Heel Overhang -- both mortal sins that I'm SURE earns one time in Fashion Hell. PeaceBang has extremely short toes and often has to contend with her pinky toe slipping through the strap on sandals she's trying on and LOVES, but has to put sadly away until the day that plastic surgeons develop toe-elongation cosmetic enhancement. Her stubby toes are a serious impediment to fitting sandals well, so she feels the pain of those who suffer the same malady.
However, we must be strong. No matter how much we LOVE the sandal, we should not BUY and WEAR the sandal if it doesn't FIT.

Too small is just awful. Too big isn't much better, as you can see here.

I saw a photo of Beyonce Knowles the other day dancing her pants off in a pair of 4" heels, and those heels were a full two sizes too big. I could only imagine that the lovely Ms. Knowles shot that photo and fell forthwith on her keister.

The point, as always, is about not unintentionally upstaging ourselves so that when we're being present in ministry or wherever, people aren't sneaking surreptitious glances at our feet and thinking, "God god awmighty, look at those toes hanging out all over the floor. I hope she doesn't break one."

"Thy sandals shall fit thy feets," saith the LORD.

PeaceBang On Busted Halo NOW!

If you're up and you have Sirius Radio, I'll be on Channel 159 talking with Father Dave Dwyer of "The Busted Halo Show" in about 15 minutes.

Love, PB

Interview Freak-Out

Interview Freak-Out
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
My goodness, what an anxious letter THIS is! Let's see what this Job Seeking Reader has to say:

"Dear PeaceBang,

I'm going for a job interview this weekend and I'm freaking out mildly and I dont know what it says about my life that I keep wailing to myself 'PEACEBANG is the ONLY one who can HELLLLP' but that's the truth of hte matter.

So, what do you suggest? I need an outfit that can:
1. ride in the car for three hours
2. go to lunch at a nice-ish restaurant
3. go for a walking tour of the neighborhood and then one of the church (this second part is scheduled to last an hour! How is that possible? I'm thinking that we must be hitting the attic and the boiler room which for sure means dust...)
4. interview for 1.5 hours
5. go to dinner at someone's house

Do I wear the same thing all day? Or do I change out of travel clothes for the interview part? And then change again for the dinner after the interview? I feel like I'm going to the Oscars.

FYI: [The weather where I am going] will either be 40 degrees and raining or 70 degrees and sunny, but most likely both of these, and all the degrees in between, too.

Also, at the meals, what do I eat? Do I pull a Scarlett and have a big meal before so they don't see what a chow hound I am, and also so that I can TALK without my mouth being full?

Any wisdom you can throw my way -confidentially if it's ok as I"m job hunting on the sly more or less - would be so much appreciated."

Here's PeaceBang again, ya'll (I can't do fancy things with fonts or italics, since I'm unable to post through Blogger and am writing this through Flickr):

Well, my dear, that is indeed a doozie, and PeaceBang and her readers are *here for you.* We have ALL been there. We feel you.

First of all, if you can possibly steal a few moments to freshen up and change after your journey of three hours, do. At least spritz your face with some rose water, take a few moments alone to stretch and breathe, brush your teeth, blow your nose and apply fresh lipstick.
You'll feel ready for anything. You'll BE ready for anything!

I think a good outfit choice would be a patterned skirt (maybe an Indian print, nothing too florally-cutesy) , a classic cotton tank with some spandex in it to give it shape and dressiness factor, and a cardigan. You can leave the cardigan off on the trip so it will be fresh when you arrive. Wear a nice necklace, and keep the colors up top deep and neutral, which projects more authority and leadership than light colors (and certainly pastels!).

A nice pair of trousers with a lovely, colorful blouse and lightweight blazer would also work, just make sure your fabrics have some poly or spandex in them for wrinkle-management. Belts can also make blouses look very sharp, and a belted shirt or blouse under an open blazer is a nice look.

You might wear comfortable but nice sandals if it's not raining too hard-- not Clarkes, but something more dressy that you can still walk around comfortably in. I noticed a slew of choices at Macy's this past weekend. A really nice, substantial flat should also be fine.

Don't plan to change clothes only because your interviewing team may not have scheduled time for you to do so, and you want to feel that whatever outfit you choose can take you confidently through the entire ordeal... um, I mean, EXPERIENCE! :-)

If you do get some time alone before dinner, by all means shower, change, do whatever helps you to re-energize, but you may just get ten minutes. And wouldn't it be kinder to yourself to spend that ten minutes breathing and praying and discerning rather than scrambling into a new set of duds and worrying if things match?

If you want to change shoes for dinner, that would be nice. Sometimes I'll wear comfortable walking-around shoes at a day event and then just change my earrings and shoes for a dinner appearance.

As for eating before you eat, it's only true that you will be doing more talking and energetically reacting than actually dining. If you're hungry, there's nothing wrong with having soup or snacks beforehand on your own. Your digestion will be better for it, and so will your presence at dinner. And if you're seen picking at your food, you can always say you're too nervous to eat. Which is true! You're too nervous to eat... in front of a group of people who are interviewing you for a ministerial position! Riiight?
But honey, don't snarf down a bucket o' chicken or a big bag of Taco Bell before dinner: you'll just look puffy and you might get a grease spot on your blouse.

Seriously, though, you can always write to me (my e-mail address is always on the margins of the page, kittycats) and send photos.
This is a big occasion and we want you to feel 100% the shining star you are.

Blessings, and let us know how it goes!!
Kiss of Peace,

(P.S. Readers, the photo is random. It is not a photo of our anonymous and reverend letter writer!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Do You Have "A LOOK?"

Do You Have "A LOOK?"
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
I adored Terrance McNally's play "Master Class," which features an imperious Maria Callas mentoring and tormenting three singers during a master class, and generally just oozing fabulous diva-dom.

(PeaceBang would like to say, as an editorial aside, that the word "diva" is ENTIRELY over-used today. Maria Callas was a DIVA. Kelly Clarkson is not a diva. Queen Latifah is a queen. And a diva. So is Michael Kors, for that matter, which is why we worship them. Celine Dion, for all her histrionics, is not a diva. Canada, I know that hurts. But it had to be said.)

Anyway, in the play, Maria Callas repeatedly accuses the students of not having a Look.
"You don't have a LOOK," she says, but in her Greek accent it sounds more like, "You don' hev alooook."

As I sat in the center of the orchestra watching Dixie Carter chew the hell out of this fantastic role the many years ago I saw it, I thought to myself, "UH-oh... I don' hevaloook." Heving a looook is hard to do when you're pretty much limited to Lane Bryant couture, but by God, Maria, from that day forward, I tried. I think my Look -- on the days that I have one -- could be described as "Vaguely Bohemian Plus-Sized Professional." Some days it's just "Please Give Me Some Credit For Accessorizing." And in the summer it's "21st Century Babushka."

I was fondly reminded of Maria Callas this afternoon when I stepped off the hospital elevator at the 4th floor and sucked in my breath when I saw none other than Holly Hobby walk by with a clipboard. She was middle-aged ("Holly! Girl, it's been so LONG!") and smiling, wearing a long jumper with a gingham-checked pinafore top, ankle socks and little tan lace-up booties. Not the sexed-up, high-heeled kind of little booties, but the kind Laura Ingalls might have actually worn to go milk the cows.

As I was taking all of this in out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that the door Dr. Hobby was closing behind her was similarly adorned with a gingham heart plaque. And then I got it: this was her Look!
Whether Dr. Hobby just personally liked gingham hearts or was channeling that Jane Seymour pioneer doctor-lady character from that show whose name I've forgotten, or thought that her prairie fashion might be comforting to patients, I will never know. But this I do know: girl was rocking that gingham jumper with confidence and pride, and while I probably would have begged to be seen by another physician if I was under her care, she certainly had a Look.

I honestly think if she roughed it up with a few of those Jane Seymour buckskins, she might be able to pull it off. Even some denim. Something to break up the treacly little girl effect. But hey, give her credit for making a statement, however puzzling that statement may be.

Go get your Look on!

PeaceBang On "The Busted Halo Show" This Thursday

Dearly beloved,

Yours Truly will be interviewed by Father Dave Dwyer on The Busted Halo Show on the Catholic Channel (Sirius Radio Chanel 159) on Thursday night, April 26, at 8:20 p.m.

I hope you can tune in.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Make-Up That Protects

Continuing our thoughts about how to protect la visage from the ravages of le soleil, PeaceBang has been investigating the virtues and vices of make-up that forms a natural and protective barrier on the skin by way of minerals.

She recommends L'Oreal Bare Naturale,
and she recommends Bare Minerals.
Both of these make-ups -- one drugstore available and affordable, and other available at finer cosmetics emporia -- are applied with the tap-swirl-buff method, or perhaps the swirl-tap-buff method. Tap! Buff! Swirl! Buff! Tap! In any order, it's all kinds of fun!

Believe me, though, the application is easy once you get the hang of it. You turn over the container and whap it on the bottom to get some of the powder going, open the top, swirl your brush into the product, tap the excess off (into the garbage can for me, else it gets all over the vanity table), and buff it over the face with circular motions. It provides terrific, natural coverage that hasn't yet irritated my very sensitive skin, and it has a natural SPF of 15!! PeaceBang calls that pretty swell.

(I've heard bad things about Neutrogena Mineral Sheers, btw, and don't recommend it.)

A word of caution: these mineral based powder make-ups won't work nearly as well if you don't regularly exfoliate and moisturize your skin. And a word of encouragement: hey fellas, PeaceBang thinks that you could totally get away with wearing this on your face without looking like you're wearing make-up. Let me know if you've tried it!

The lovely people at Illuminare provided PeaceBang with samples of their entire line of liquid mineral make-up for those of you who aren't so much into swirling, tapping and buffing.

Illuminare stakes claim as the first producers of liquid mineral make-up and their products are really terrific. They have three different formulas of foundation, all of which PeaceBang found to her liking and easily applied with a nifty little leopard-print sponge they provided.

Because the product is very concentrated, you do need to take a few moments to blend, blend, blend around the nose, mouth and eyes, especially. You need only to use a pea-sized drop and it will easily cover your whole face. The make-up is extremely pure, it provides excellent sun protection (but do use a sunscreen underneath, always), and fantastic coverage. In fact, I would even wear this stuff on stage.

It goes on a little dramatic at first, but it settles into the skin and looks beautiful. It provides a bit more coverage than I usually like ( I tend to use a blendable base only on the red areas of my face) but given that it's pure and provides SPF, I may become a convert.

Say amen, somebody!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Technical Difficulties Continue

My friends,
PeaceBang is sorry to share with you her difficulties with, and how they interface with

In God's kingdom, there will be no .coms at all. PeaceBang thinks that perhaps heaven is a place where you need no passwords and security codes, and never need to sign in.

Go be beautiful, and we'll figure it all out.

It all started back when I was forced to switch to the "new" Blogger, and then to get a google account, and then to start adding more passwords and so on to my already-complicated world of passwords.

Sorry not to be able to post or respond to comments regularly.

Blessings to all, PB

WomenSpirit Robe Sale!


WomenSpirit robes is having a sale, 15% off from now 'til May 20th!!

Thanks to Sarah for the hot tip!

Here Comes The Sun, Little Darlings

Here on the Eastern seaboard, Bostonian-type people are wandering around in a happy daze, squinting like little moles and bumping into each other because the sun is finally out and we can't *see* anything!

PeaceBang is sure she doesn't have to remind you that the sun is getting more and more dangerous to human Earthlings all the time. So darlings, for real, please make serious sun protection a non-optional part of your daily toilette.

Find a good sunscreen with UVA/UBA protection and apply it DAILY, paying special attention to your face. Make sure your nose is covered. Get back into your hairline, where so many cancerous moles can develop. Keep your head covered if you're going to be outdoors for a long period of time. Protect your ears.

If you have sensitive skin and react badly to chemical sunscreens, PeaceBang encourages you to look into titanium dioxide-based sunblock, or any other of the physical sunblocks that are widely available on the market. These will not irritate your skin like the more typical old-school sunscreens.

PeaceBang Recommends

Highly Recommended
Derma Doctor Body Guard SPF 30. This is a fantastic product by Dr. Audrey Kunin that treats your skin as it protects it. It does not go on white and greasy even on dark black skins, absorbs beautifully, and kept the very fair-skinned PeaceBang from burning this weekend, which is amazing. $25 for 4oz.

Murad Oilfree Sunblock SPF 30
Wonderful smell, easily available, goes on well and lasts. $30

Peter Thomas Roth Ultralite Oilfree Sunblock
Slightly medicinal smell, but goes on very well and doesn't have much of a greasy sheen to it. $26

Not So Recommended
Bliss Oilfree Sunban Face SPF 30+
This goes on very liquidy, and has a slightly chickeny smell. Yuck. $27

Jason's Sunbrella Sunblock
A great buy at $11 but goes on like clown white. While I was able to rub it into my fair skin and look slightly less conspicuously white than Marcel Marceau, I cannot recommend it for anyone but the lightest of skins, and even then it leaves a weird other-worldly glow that may lead your friends to suspect that you've been taking pinches of arsenic.

Please, readers, submit your own favorites in the comments section! I use Neutrogena and Aveeno products myself, and highly recommend the Neutrogena (Aveeno seems to sweat right off). However, in the interest of not having to buy too many skin care products, I like to take advantage of the generous sample policy offered by Sephora, where their salesclerks are always incredibly helpful and willing to discuss the finer points of titanium dioxide with me and to let me smell, feel and take notes on every kind of product they offer. Kisses to them!

An Extremely Effective Beauty Treatment

Spring NYC 2007 088
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
Absolutely free, available to anyone, anywhere, and good for your blood pressure, too!!