Vests, Men’s Shoes, Dressy Shorts

I went to Target today to buy some mundane household items and spent about half an hour trying on chunky necklaces (very au courant). Good therapy for the Easter-addled soul. Then I decided to swing by the clothing section — you know, just to look, on the way to the bleach and garbage bags. I had already purchased a swoon-worthy pair of Steve Madden corky platform strappy sandals at Famous Footwear and was feeling so ecstatic about them, and a pair of flattering jeans, that I figured it would be too much to ask the shopping gods for more good luck.

But when I saw the vests, I stopped short and almost wept with joy. The gods had blessed me again.
Not just vests. Fitted, gorgeous vests with LAPELS, people. Vests that flatter the curvaceous figure and also look professional with a touch of sex appeal. Vests that you can wear with a crisp white shirt and big chunky beads and a pair of black trousers and ankle-strap platforms and look just totally fabulous. I bought a black one and a grey pin-striped one. I love vests. I am so happy that I will willingly stay up all night tonight to finish my doctoral proposal that’s due in the morning.

Now let me clarify. When I say vests I am not talking about some crocheted, shapeless thing that just hangs on the body (which admittedly looks great if you’re willowy and small-bosomed and are wearing an otherwise body-conscious outfit). Not a leather vest left over from your biker days that cuts you in half and makes every body part below the vest bulge unattractively. Not one of those vaguely ethnic vests that could be cute if it wasn’t worn with a corduroy A-line skirt the size of Kentucky, or with a pair of Mom jeans and frumpy shoes. (If you’ve got one of those ethnic vests, it would be cute with a pair of fashionable cropped pants, with a nice sandal. If you have a good figure, you could wear it with a very fitted crew-neck t-shirt and a pair of dressy shorts or gauchos, with a pair of woven sandals. Very chic.)

Speaking of dressy shorts, ladies,
I went into some stores and looked at the new dressy shorts for you, and I can report that they’re not bad. PeaceBang almost bought a pair of below-the-knee lined white ones, which looked smashing when she was standing up but then didn’t look elegant enough when sitting down. If I lose another ten lbs. soon maybe I’ll go back and get them. Do check the view while seated, since this is how people see you at meetings and in counseling. And don’t go with anything above the knee if you’re considering shorts. Yes, they’re very stylish. No, they shouldn’t be above the knee. Period. Non-negotiable.

Men, I don’t think you can wear shorts for church meetings or events. I know everyone else does. I just don’t think you should. Maybe during the most sweltering days of summer you can wear a pair of Bermudas of modest length, but PeaceBang is of the opinion that it is hard to take a man seriously when he’s in shorts. Besides, khakis are handsome and linen trousers absolutely smart with a clean and pressed polo in a bright color. Don’t you want to look smart? Why, you might even find some lovely soft leather shoes that aren’t sneakers to go with your summer wear! And won’t you be smashing?

Look at these! They also come in orange and turquoise! How whimsical!
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/12658046/c/19973.html
Or these, very smart:
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/7026995/c/20.html

Note to You-Know-Who: yes, I’m coming over and going through your closet and throwing out all those disgusting, pitted-out golf shirts you insist on wearing. And not only will you not fight me about it, you’ll thank me and take me out to dinner afterwards.

Is Your Mascara Toxic?

Sister Sarah in California alerts all the beautiful readers of this blog to research their cosmetics on this site:

http://www.ewg.org/reports/skindeep/?key=nosign

You may find that your blush is full of harmful chemicals. You may learn that your hair conditioner is less about making your head all shiny and more about making the water supply unsafe. Of course I exaggerate, but considering how many products PeaceBang personally uses, and how many she is encouraging you to use, do consider this other perspective.

PeaceBang just learned that Physician’s Formula blush is listed as high risk for icky ingredients. Just goes to show, ya can’t tell anything from a name.

Let’s be careful out there!

Fresh and Young

I just found the most darling blush and lipstick and wanted to tell you about it:

The brand is Lola (slogan: Lust Often, Love Always) and the blush is just the softest pink I’ve found, and I’ve been looking for years. This is the kind of pink a pale-skinned girl wears when she wants to feel like a character in a Jane Austen novel who has just gone walking on the heath in a beautiful empire-waist dress. It doesn’t matter that in real life, she’s walking over to church to polish the Communion silver and to make Xerox copies of the order of service, she feels romantic anyway.

Lola powder blush in One Night Stand (not that PeaceBang condones such behavior, of course, she just likes the blush), which comes in the most adorable red compact with the most cunning little powder puff applicator! I’m sure a blush brush would work, too. You need a very light hand with this stuff, and it’s got to be blended like mad or you wind up looking eccentric rather than romantic, with two crazy clown apple cheeks.

If you’re into pale pink lipsticks — and I am, when a bit tan* and well-rested, as it looks great with a dramatic black eyeliner — Lola makes several and one of them is bound to work on you. I bought Tea Rose, and squealed when I found the mirror on the side of the lipstick case!

*by that I mean, “tan by the magic of Trish McEvoy bronzer” not “baked to a nice pre-cancerous condition by the actual sun”

PeaceBang Recommends:

Lola powder blush in One Night Stand
Lola lipstick in Tea Rose
Available at Sephora.com

Your Easter Eyes

Darlings, I’ve been noticing that many of us d’un certain age (French for “don’t ask me how old I am”) are suffering the unnecessary effects of heavily shadowed eyes, and I don’t mean shadowed by Max Factor, but by stress, sleeplessness, and the burdens of serving the Lord. Some of us look like we’ve spent more time in the tomb than Lazarus, but not to worry, dear and reverend friends, PeaceBang is here to help!

Just put a wee pump of L’Oreal’s Infallible Make-Up, which is just genius at creating a nice, even complexion and staying on all day, onto your hand. Make sure your face is clean and moisturized, and that the moisurizer has had a minute or two to soak in (and you know that moisturizer should have an SPF, right? Don’t count on your make-up’s SPF — it’s dinky and doesn’t provide the necessary UVA/UVB protection, no matter what it says).

Dot the make-up on your face and blend, blend, blend but here’s the important tip: DON’T forget to put the merest amount ON your eyelids and under them, and all the way into the corner of the eye. That’s where all the shadows are! Erase them! Don’t feel you have to slap the foundation on every inch of your face. The idea is to get a shade that matches perfectly (Classic Ivory is PeaceBang’s perfect match) and to even out the skin tone, not make you look like a china doll.

Now, if you’re over 25 and you want to protect your eyes from developing crow’s feet (which are a charming sign of character, of course, but charming in moderation), you want to have also applied Kiehl’s Ultra Protection Moisturizing Eye Gel SPF 15 under your eye. Dab, dab, dab, don’t rub. Men, you too. The lovely side effect of using this particular product is that it gives your skin the merest hint of a glow that stays and stays all day. This eye cream is inexpensive enough that I keep one in my bag for touch-ups and between that and my big sunglasses, I swear my crow’s feet are much diminished from a few years ago. Of course I also use a heavier eye cream at night. Find one and use it. Religiously.

If you’re not devoted to eye shadow (and I’m not as of late — too creasy), a dusting of illuminating powder will brighten the area nicely and set off your eyeliner, if you wear it. I do. MAC black liquid, which I don’t recommend if you’re not dramatic and steady of hand.

Clinique makes a nifty shadow duo that comes in a cunning silver case with a sponge applicator AND a little brush (and a mirror that is large enough to actually use! O joy of joys!) that seems to me would work with most complexions. It’s very sheer and it’s called Rose Wine. The Rose is a lovely soft powder color to wear all over your lid, and the Wine is a lovely very light brown/purple shade that works as a contrast color or to smudge on as eyeliner. This is the kind of make-up that women who don’t want to wear make-up can handle. Heavens, I’ve got it on now and you can hardly tell anything’s there.

I’m sorry, but I don’t think mascara is optional. I’m very orthodox that way. I’m devoted to CoverGirl Remarkable in black, because it washes off with gentle soap and you don’t have to slather on a bunch of pore-clogging mineral oil to get it off.

Don’t forget to find that eyebrow pencil we were talking about. Frame the face! Frame the face! Don’t overpluck! Get professional help if you need it! Every decent salon nowadays has an eyebrow specialist and it’s a $10 investment, once or twice a year.

PeaceBang Recommends:

Kiehl’s Ultra Protection Moisturizing Eye Gel SPF 15
L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Make-Up
Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in Rose Wine
CoverGirl Remarkable Washable Mascara

I Will Send You A Comforter

I know when Jesus promised to send a Comforter to us, he didn’t mean this,
but for a minister with easily inflamed skin, it feels like a miracle:

Origins Comforting Solution
Sensitive Skin Soother

I’ve been using it for a week morning and night, and no more red blotchy spots when I get flushed or have a glass of red wine.

Alleluia!