Welcome to Makeup Monday

In response to the really astonishingly positive response to my last post, Yes This Post Is About Long-Wear Lipcolor —  especially on Facebook where ensued a long and enthusiastic dialogue about the challenges of finding appropriate and affordable makeup for the academy — and bowing to the 101 (literally) “likes” to my suggestion that I blog on the topic, I’ve decided to start a series of posts sharing my hard-won insights about makeup.

I’m going to share these posts on Monday, so that they don’t interfere with the standard Friday posting on academic job market and career advice.

Also, a man.

I’m not going to engage in any discussion of why any academic should or should not wear makeup. I have no interest in that debate. If you feel strongly that makeup is a tool of the patriarchy, I hear you, and I understand where you’re coming from.  However, I don’t agree with that as a blanket statement. I believe that makeup can be for some people a means of self-care and creative expression that is both empowering and pleasurable.  I would request, for the purposes of this post series, that anyone who dislikes makeup, disapproves of makeup, or wants to argue that no academic woman should be judged on the basis of makeup (which nobody is claiming anyway), please, keep it to yourself. I will not engage with makeup-shaming here or on any Facebook or Twitter comment threads.  I support your right to not wear makeup, and suggest you come back for my other posts on other topics.

The post series will focus on the products I’ve found that work, and the reasons why they work, and the ones that didn’t, and the reason they didn’t make the cut.

Topics will follow something like this order:

  • Why and how makeup became an obsession in my 50s
  • My criteria for makeup: home and travel
  • Face makeup, the basics (primer, foundation, concealer, blush)
  • Face makeup, getting fancy (color correctors, contouring, finishing sprays)
  • Eye makeup (primer, shadow, liner, mascara, brows)
  • Lip makeup (lip liner, lipstick, plumpers, scrubs)
  • Miscellaneous (bags, brushes, and whatever else seems worth mentioning–suggestions welcome!)

I am sure there are many readers with far more experience with makeup than me, and I look forward to hearing from you!  It’s my hope that comments here on the blog and on Facebook will provide for a kind of crowdsourced, multiracial, multi-gender, and intersectional wisdom about products to try and to avoid, good companies, brands and stores (emphasis on indie and woman-owned) and deals when we find them – allowing for more makeup to be acquired on an academic budget!

Right now–let me know if you have suggestions or requests, and I’ll be sure and work them into the post schedule.

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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.


Welcome to Makeup Monday — 11 Comments

  1. Yessssss. So excited. People online are so judgey about the fact I wear lipstick every day. But people in real life compliment my lipstick every day.

  2. Love this! I used to work at Ulta and currently do wedding makeup as a side hobby. Some of my colleagues seem shocked to learn that I am so serious about it, others have a “oh, well that makes sense, seeing how much you wear” sort of response. Either way, judgement on the makeup front in academic environments is real is real. Thank you for doing this!

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