#MakeupMonday: Concussion and Contour Edition

I’m still recovering from the big accident I wrote about in the last #MakeupMonday post. My physical injuries are healing quickly, but my post-concussion symptoms have been slower. Weirdly enough, editing work has been uniformly fine from the first moment I came back to it, before I could even use my arm to type! Whatever part of my brain was impacted, that wasn’t it. I’ve really noticed it in my non-work life. Short term memory stuff. Inability to multi-task. Constant small mental slippage. And a general irritability even more than my usual – and that’s saying something! (Today I called it incandescent rage, so….)

If any of you have experienced concussion symptoms like this, let me know if you found any treatments that worked.

In the meantime, I’ve been incorporating some of the skills and products I had to acquire post-accident into my regular routine–mostly a new affection for concealers. They are still really hard to use, especially when the goal is NOT to be an IG beauty blogger but to walk among other flesh and blood humans in real physical time and space looking human.

But I’ve found three I love. First, the IT Bye-Bye UnderEye Anti-Aging Full Coverage Concealer that I blogged about last time – it really is one of those products that is so head and shoulders above the rest that it’s just a standard-setter. It’s heavy and you have to need that level of concealer, and also need to learn how to use it (hint: warm a microscopic amount between your fingers) but wow–it goes on so smoothly and blends to such an amazing natural but lasting sheen. Second, Pur Disappearing Ink 4-1 Face Concealer, which I bought on a whim having seen it highly recommended, and is now my favorite post-accident, medium coverage concealer. It is brightening, blends beautifully, and doesn’t crease. Last, I found Becca Ultimate Coverage Concealing Cream for $15 at Nordstrom Rack last week (go run and check it out–there are tons of high end current Becca, IT, MAC, and Urban Decay products there right now!) that is, like all Becca products, really awesome at looking light and dewy, although I’m not sure yet about its durability. I didn’t really need another concealer honestly, but I don’t pass up good Becca products when I find them cheap (and they had my exact shade in stock). BTW, I also scored the Becca Color Correcting Cream in Pistachio to deal with redness, and it’s far far above any other green color corrector I’ve used, including one by Smashbox and one by Dermablend.

So this morning I thought I’d share a quick contour session. I’ve wanted to do one for a really long time but I’m always rushing and late, and don’t take the time to snap those pics for a post! Today, I just did it, even though I didn’t really have time for lots of careful lighting, posing, and micro-steps. Today’s is far from my most careful and fastidious makeup application, but as one of my heroes says in advice she gives to young writers: “Do it badly, fast.”* So here goes.

First I did Glamglow Gravity Lifting Mask while drying my hair. It was dry and ready to peel off right when I finished drying and flatironing and styling my hair — love that!

I do my skincare, primer, color correctors, and foundation. As you’ll see in the pics below, I still have a very visible scar on my forehead, and stubborn purple shadows around my eyes that resist concealer coverage.

Then, I do the contour. I use one of my beloved 100% ride-or-die products, which I actually forgot to mention on my recent “Must-Have Products 2019” post: Kevin Aucoin Contour Book Volume 2 – an AMAZING deal (considering the number of items included) on cool-toned contour colors and highlighters for a ton of different effects.

I put it under my cheekbone, under my jawline, between my eyes and down the sides of my nose, and around the outer edge of my forehead and cheeks. I learned this method from watching Youtube MUAs (makeup artists), especially Wayne Goss.

Don’t be afraid! It’s ok to really draw it on, as long as you remember to BLEND. And folks: PLEASE, I beg you: you probably need cooler toned contour products, especially if you are a white person! I get that not everyone is as cool in undertone as I am, but please remember: shadows tend to be fundamentally blue-ish, not bronze! Too many companies and clerks push bronzers (which are always brown/gold/tan and often shimmery) in place of contour products which are typically matte and cooler. While all interested readers should use your A+ research skills to investigate advice and products for your own skin tone and undertone, please heed me when I tell you that if you’re trying to create the sense of a shadow, you probably need a cooler-toned palette than what you have around. And, they are hard to find. The Kevin Aucoin line does it very, very well – as befits the ultimate contour-king of makeup.

So, now I blend.

Now I add blush.

Oops, big unblended blotch! That happens a lot when I put on blush.

I quickly fix that.

I add some concealer and highlighter. I have a highlighter post coming soon because my daughter introduced me to a new product line that we are both now obsessed with!

Then I finish up everything else. I feel like too much contour came off in the course of blending everything, so I add back a bit between my eyes and on my nose. Here it is unblended.

And then blended, and everything done, including my new beloved lipcolor, which I’ve blogged about before: Lipstick Queen RearView Mirror in Drive My Mauve. Don’t be put off by the goofy packaging of this product: it performs! It goes on glossy but then settles into what I can only call a lipstain that stays and stays

I am ok with leaving some shadows under my eyes right now, because I don’t want to slather on even more concealer (beyond what I am already using above) to erase them. But I have to say, I am ready to be done with these post-accident challenges.

*Prof. Jessica Hammer, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, in “The Portable Hammer.”

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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.


#MakeupMonday: Concussion and Contour Edition — 2 Comments

  1. I would suggest getting to a best concussion clinic in your area usually affiliated with a large teaching hospital. Such a place has neurologists, concussion psychologists, and other therapists all in one place. The problem with concussions is state of the art MRI will not show anything (if it does you have a huge problem like bleeding in the brain). Therefore you need the right folks who study concussions and can guide your recovery.

  2. Hi Karen – I’m sorry to hear about your concussion, and I’m glad it’s mild. I had what turned out to be a big concussion from being hit by a small airborne toy (!) 3.5 years ago, and a small one last January when I stood up into the bottom of a kitchen cabinet. If you can afford it – I couldn’t – vision therapy supposedly works wonders, but most insurance companies don’t pay for it. It’s mainly a question of time and plenty of rest. I’m finally largely symptom-free, and the symptoms I do have are nothing compared to what they used to be. Best wishes for a steady recovery!

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