Warm Up The Face

Ah, the agony! You purchase a lovely little product with SPF in it and it turns your face ghastly white! Such was the case with the products below, both drugstore brands. Titanium dioxide is the culprit, and I shoudl have known:

Pictured: Pacifica Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation SPF 17 (definitely tinted moisturizer consistency and coverage)
Burts Bees BB Cream SPF 15
IT cosmetics Ombre Radiance
Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess (very light, buildable, wash of golden tan)

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Bronzers to the rescue (because who wants to go to CVS and return a tinted moisturizer, or waste it?)!

Don’t think of bronzers as being just for faking a tan or sun-kissed glow. They are terrific for just adding a bit of warmth to your face any time you’re feeling washed out by a product or by life. They are best used over foundation or tinted moisturizer but can also be worn over bare skin for a quick glow-up, whatever your skin tone. Definitely read some reviews before purchasing online, or ask for help in the store because a lot of bronzers can come out quite orangey. It’s worth doing some research. Tons of good brands make a powder or cream bronzer, so there’s definitely one out there for you.

Use a fluffy brush and apply to your hair line and temples, sweep under your cheekbones, the jawline and chin. If you want to deepen the color, keep building little by little. I apply a pop of blush to my cheekbones so I don’t look too monochromatic and sweep it up into my hairline – you don’t want to create blush circles just on the apples of your cheeks.

I won’t repurchase these creams but will valiantly continue my quest to find a good SPF product with a bit of coverage that isn’t as heavy-duty as the serious unguents I use in the summer (which are a whole ‘nuther story!).

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I am wearing Burts Bees BB Cream in Light, Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess. Lip color by JOAH, eyebrows by Morphe, eye make up by Korres and Nabla, and blush by Colourpop. All cruelty free products. MWAH!

Experimenting With Highlighter

After my cranky post about BOOMSticks, I do want to say that if you have not discovered the absolute wonders of highlighters, which are a dear friend to PeaceBang, you can experiment for a $6 commitment with these by very affordable brand Colourpop:

My fast ministry face includes a tinted moisturizer to even everything out, concealer under my eyes (which have been prepped with an SPF eyecream by Origins; I use a Retinol eyecream by Murad overnight), a lip color, eyebrows filled in, and a swipe of highlighter over the highest part of my cheekbones and at the tip of my nose. If I wear my glasses, I look fine with no mascara or eye make-up (which I love wearing, but I’m talking an under-five minutes look here).

Highlighter is that touch that says “I’m awake and alive and even though I haven’t left the house in so long that I’m starting to hallucinate, I am READY TO DO THIS THING!”

If you want to put forth your best face, skin care is a MUST. You have to be devoted to it. Cleansing, exfoliating with gentle products, moisturizing. For the best tips about makeup and skincare products, visit https://emeraldspa.com/.

Make-up won’t do much for any of us if we don’t faithfully take care of our skin. Highlighter is a wonderful way to put back the touch of glow on your fresh and cared for skin that time hath taken away (but you’ve gotten so much wisdom, experience and fun along the way, who cares? We can fake that glow!).

MWAH! Go be glowing and beautiful.

Boom Sticks: Save Your Dollars

Hello on this Labor Day, dumplings!

One of you wrote to me (thank you, Kathleen!) to ask my opinion of the overpriced, underwhelming BoomSticks, whose chief virtue is to make you look like you’ve had a few drinks or spent too much time outside with no SPF on your face:


These products make me so mad. They try to convince women that sweeping a tube of basically red product over one’s face is an improvement. It is not. Here’s copy from their website:

“A universal color, designed for every skin tone.
Boomstick Color is sheer enough that it allows your natural skin tone to show through. That’s why Boomstick Color easily works with every woman’s skin tone from chocolate to porcelain (and every color in between).”

Nonsense. There is no universal color that works for every skin tone. If there was, it would have to be so sheer that it would basically amount to an application of Vaseline over one’s cheeks.

For your money and your time, you can all get much better products. Using one color for your cheeks, eyes and lips is ill-advised for anyone with uneven skin tone, and that’s pretty much all of us past the age of 25. A product that is emollient enough for a blush is not going to do anything but wear off instantly on your lips. And no, you should not swipe sheer red over your eyesocket. If you want to brighten that area of shadows, try something like Mac Paint Pot in Bare or Painterly, which are applied with your finger and are designed to stay on all day. They also make a very good primer for eyeshadow, but I wear Bare on its own all the time. $23 sounds like a lot for an eyeshadow but this will last you at least a year with constant use.

The Boom Stick blush seems fine for someone who wants a sheer product, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying a set or falling for that whole “BoomStick Lifestyle” pitch. I clutched my pearls and gasped, “MADAME, NO” when I watched a review video by a friendly Southern gal who described rubbing the facial moisturizing stick on her hands and fingers. Ma’am, there are lotions and creams and unguents galore for that! Keep your face stick out from under your nails. *shudder*

Now I’m cranky. You all deserve so much better than that, but you have to do a bit of trial and error finding products and shades that work for YOU. Women are not generic. There is no “universal shade,” just a company that wants to make a bucket of money trying to convince you otherwise (BOOM’s founder, Cindy Joseph, died of cancer of 2018).

Talk to you soon! And remember, I’m here for individual make-up and image consults on a sliding scale fee. All my consulting fees go to support a talented, brilliant young woman’s education in Nicaragua. Things are really really bad down there right now. It helps me keep perspective…

Glow-Up MakeUp And Advent Check-In

Here’s a little breather for you, dear and cherished and possibly tired and blotchy colleagues! Let’s turn off CSPAN and the spectacle of our nation in the shitter and talk about MAKE-UP! Really. It will do you good. I also have loving things to say about your ministry, I promise.

Here are my product recommendations:

Jorah Radiant Beauty Balm (CVS, Target, etc.). I’m wearing Light.

E.L.F. 16HR Camo Concealer (drugstore). I’m wearing Medium Peach.

Pixie Endless Silky Eye Pen (drugstore) in Bronze Beam

Nudestix Eye Pencil in Nudity (Target)

Smashbox L.A. Lights Lip & Cheek Color in a discontinued color (Ulta, Sephora)

Remember to take care of you, sweet people.

For God’s Sake, Scrub!

A few months ago, Black Twitter was in a hilarious uproar over the nasty secret that white people do not know how to wash themselves properly.

I’m not getting into politics over this, nor do I want a comments section full of #NotAllWhitePeople.

What happened is that a white girl proudly tweeted that she didn’t wash her legs every shower and all hell broke loose. Because… what!? If you have very dry skin, you STILL NEED TO WASH YOUR LEGS. Skin is an organ that is constantly shedding. All of the dead skin cells that your wonderfully made, self-generating bod are making can’t just fall off naturally, you have to wash them away. I can’t believe I have to say this to grown adults, but the occasional pits-groin-feet wash is just that; occasional.

I am on Team Wash Your Legs, Your Ears, And All Your Parts pretty much every day.
You are special, you are a precious child of God, and you are funky.
You get musty.
You sit and work in close proximity to other people who should not be subjected to your funk.

Yesterday I got on a ferry from stunning Star Island to the coast of New Hampshire. A very healthy, attractive young man was on the ferry ride, and it was obvious within a few minutes that he was an au naturel guy, not a big soap and deodorant user. He smelled like a human being when he got on the ferry, and that was okay, but at the end of the ride when I had occasion to pass again through the cabin where he had been sitting, I almost gagged from the musk.

Don’t be this guy. Just as I have said about wearing jeans and being “down with the real folk,” deciding that you can go about your workday without having taking a washcloth to your incarnate self is an expression of privilege. It’s clueless. It’s rude. My theatre director and stage manager friends have a tradition of making the “smell well” speech before the cast moves into the dressing room. In no uncertain terms, they say “Don’t come to rehearsal unbathed! And please don’t try to cover up your body odor with Axe body spray or perfume – it doesn’t work, it’s unfair to your fellow actors and backstage tech people.”

They are correct; perfumed products, powders and topical unguents are not a replacement for bathing.

And now I would like to put a word in for Trader Joe’s skin care products, which are cruelty-free, affordable and work really well.

These body washes are gentle on the skin, moisturizing and a bargain! The Tea Tree is great for sweaty summers and post-workout washes and it’s not at all drying.

There’s no reason you can’t moisturize with straight coconut oil from the jar but this is lemony and super moisturizing. I get a little leathery in the sun and this gives me the most lovely glow on my arms and legs. Please moisturize, white people! I have been to so many clergy gatherings and sat there feeling utterly horrified by the scaly legs and cracked elbows on display. Raggedy cuticles, dirty feet — it’s appalling. Jesus be a pumice.

This is my favorite all-time body lotion. It is THICK and emollient! It absorbs fast. It works wonders. I have a container of this on my vanity and in the bathroom all winter. Very mild scent.

Get yourself some washcloths! Body scrubs are okay but let’s be honest — how often are you washing them? I have a pile of these and I replace them every two to three days. Use a different one for your face, obvs.