#MakeupMonday: Trauma Edition

So, I suffered a fashion injury.

Walking out of Erev Rosh Hashanah services in a torrential downpour in the dark, my rain-soaked (adorable! fuscia!) suede high heeled shoe caught in the rain-soaked fabric of my (super-cute, wide-legged) jumpsuit (not THE jumpsuit but another one), and got stuck, and I pitched forward, bouncing twice on my forehead and slamming my right arm and left knee into the pavement. It was absolutely ghastly, and terrifying to be lying in the parking lot dazed, stunned, and dripping blood onto the ground in the dark storm.

I ended up in the ER with a broken right elbow, two gashes in my forehead, a banged up knee, and some level of mild concussion. My blood pressure dropped to 75/25, which certainly got their attention…. And they were worried about a possible broken neck and got me into a brace asap.

Everyone at the ER (nurses and doctor both) were super impressed with my lipstick, though, which stayed on like a champ through the whole ordeal! Shoutout to Lipstick Queen Rear View Mirror Lip Lacquer in Drive My Mauve. I had Kel take the photo below just for today’s anticipated blog post, much to everyone’s bemusement. (My hairdresser’s FB comment to the below picture: “your hair looks great!”)

The ER doctor and I chatted about her nails, which had an amazing multicolor geometric design. “Aren’t they great?” she said, pausing to gaze at them lovingly. “Where do you get them done??” I ask. “Oh, my friend Laura does them for me,” she replied, and we all laughed.

That was one week ago, and I’ve bounced back amazingly fast. I don’t even need a regular cast for my arm, after the ER splint got removed three days after the incident. I’m a little dizzy and various parts still hurt, but overall doing very well.

I count myself very lucky indeed. Very, very lucky. We know more than one person who had a similar fall and ended up permanently impaired. I’ve been able to come back to work, first working with voice recognition software, and now getting back to typing. I am taking it slow, but each day is better than the one before. I drove the car for the first time yesterday!

Anyway, the nature of forehead injuries is that, because of gravity, the bruising travels downward to your eyes and then under them to your cheeks. I ended up with two huge swollen, purple shiners and bruising that sunk an inch below that and is obstinately still there (yuck).

About 4 days in, bored with lying about, and sick of my purple face, I decided to experiment with makeup to see what I could do. This was purely for entertainment’s sake, since I didn’t have anywhere to go. I just wanted to see what my products would do if put to a very difficult test. And I was thinking ahead to the next #MakeupMonday of course!

Here are the results.

I begin, right arm in cast and sling, just trying to get set up at my makeup desk, fumbling my phone every which way. Everything had to be done left-handed!

Finally I get a system.

Here is where I started. Believe it or not, this was far from the worst day for bruising and swelling. It actually got so so so much worse. Kel said I looked like one of those blue people from Avatar–100% correct.

I apply my skin care and primer and beloved Becca Undereye Corrector.

I apply my concealers. I immediately discover that the dewy, lightweight concealers I exclusively use are 100% NOT up to the task.

(By the way, I couldn’t put any real makeup products on the liquid stitches on my forehead, just to make sure they didn’t dissolve. So those stayed mostly untouched for this exercise.)

I move on to foundation: I used a sample I had lying about of Jouer Essential High Coverage (full coverage) foundation, which was horrendous and pilled up all over my face.

Do not buy this product.

I try and fix it with my Lancome Teint Idole, which is the heaviest foundation I have (still only medium coverage tho) compared to my BareMinerals Complexion Rescue, and my Nars SheerGlow. The Teint Idole corrected the texture (because it is magic), but I ended up a weird pale color which was disturbing but couldn’t be corrected, as I had severely limited energy to devote to this experiment.

I do my eyes – coincidentally my regular plum shadow palette exactly matches my bruises! I incorporate the bruising into the shadow technique for a dramatic smoky eye, lol.

And contouring: lots and lots of contouring to deal with the swelling.

I blend the contouring and add some highlighter.

I add blush and mascara and do my brows.

I add lipcolor- Nars PowerMatte Lip Pigment in American Woman. I try and build up some concealer. My concealers remain sadly wimpy.

I am entertained by the results.

I keep fussing with concealers and powders to see if any additional coverage is possible. It is, but only with a super-cakey outcome that would not be wearable (by me at least) outside.

It was a fun experiment with pretty dramatic results!

Then I washed it all off and took a nap!

I was hoping the bruising would be gone by today, but it’s not. So today I asked Kel to drive me out to Ulta to see if I could find a better concealer. Internet research (and daughter) maintain that It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Full Coverage Concealer is the go-to product, so I picked it up. And, wow, yes. It’s a whole other class of concealer.

Of course under normal circumstances I would never want anything so heavy –it’s seriously heavy. But I cannot deny: it covered my bruises. And, it blended pretty evenly, I must say, for being so thick and gloppy. I would totally wear it out in public.

Application requires a learning curve though. I am finding my weird little silicone applicator that looks like a butt plug (found years back at TJ Maxx) seems to do better than either brush or beauty blender. Update: no, fingers work best, because it has to be warmed and patted in.

Anyway, the results are pretty astounding:

This is end of the day after it’s partly worn off, just to show you the heavy lifting it’s doing!

I think I may need to adjust the shade a tad darker and cooler (from 25 Medium Natural [N] to 24 Medium Beige [C]). [Update: I did replace it but I’m not convinced the yellowish tint wasn’t better for the undereye covering purple circles purposes, despite not being an overall perfect skin color match. Yellow is the tone used to correct dark/purple discoloration in general. This is Makeup, Advanced and I’m uncertain….

Anyway, I don’t anticipate using it again after the bruises heal, god willing! But I’m glad to have it just in case.

Anyway, there you have it – an excellent test of makeup in the face of (get it? get it?) a critical fashion injury!

About Karen Kelsky

I am a former tenured professor at two institutions--University of Oregon and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I have trained numerous Ph.D. students, now gainfully employed in academia, and handled a number of successful tenure cases as Department Head. I've created this business, The Professor Is In, to guide graduate students and junior faculty through grad school, the job search, and tenure. I am the advisor they should already have, but probably don't.

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