#MakeupMonday: Travel, More Travel, and Falsies

I have to apologize for the long pause in blogging. Things have been intense around here. My 17 year old son has been in a residential treatment program for mental and emotional struggles over the past year. I’m happy to say that he’s made incredible progress and is getting out earlier than expected. That is wonderful news, but it has meant that a bunch of traveling related to him (to his graduation, his college tour, and a promised graduation trip to Japan) has all been drastically condensed into a two month period that ALREADY had no fewer than five trips planned  – to Ohio State for a day of talks (with Kellee!), then on to Mizzou for another day of talks, then to Berkeley to see my daughter for Homecoming, to Hawai’ii for a Sexual Harassment in the Academy talk, and to San Jose and Denver for the AAA and AAR meetings, where I’m doing panels on ac and postac careers.

I really like my “Don’t even start with me” look

That does not include the emergency trip to Youngstown, Ohio to assist my 90 year old mother, who was in a serious car accident and ended up in the hospital there, or the detour to Pittsburgh to get her home and settled with in-home care (requiring the 11th hour cancellation of the Mizzou event – UGH. My mom is fine btw).

And that doesn’t include travel to Portland for a Thanksgiving family gathering there around a family member receiving medical treatment at OHSU.

All this to say, I’m basically living out of a suitcase in a state of constant fatigue. I’m writing this post, in fact, sitting in bed at midnight in a hotel in Amherst where my son and I spent the day touring U Mass Amherst, before leaving super-early tomorrow to drive to U Conn.

One positive: I’ve truly TRULY solidified my travel makeup kit, and now it runs like clockwork! I’ve got the best lighted travel mirror AND extra batteries. I’ve got ALL the brushes I need in miniature size. I’ve got my regular eyeshadow palette and eyelash primer and mascara and blush and primer and foundation and concealer and finishing powder and finishing spray all set in dedicated travel versions so I’m never caught without. The only thing missing are my contour products… And, I have made sure to find some moments of rest and rejuvenation amidst all this. It’s a necessity. And the ocean is my love.

But when I’m home, as you may imagine, I’m exhausted.

My blogging energy is depleted.  I know I promised (and started!) a series on the tenure process – but I can’t muster the focus to continue right now, and won’t do that vital and fraught topic *without* total focus! So, thank you for your patience.

Last Friday night all I could find the energy to do was a face mask, and then playing around with a new lipcolor sample I got from Sephora (which was AMAZING! Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in color 504 – wow I love this product  – it goes on so smooth and weightless and super pigmented!) and….


Yes, I finally succumbed. I just wanted to TRY. And since Miyako and I had enjoyed our usual multi-hour sojourn at the Emeryville Ulta during my visit to Berkeley, I came home with some basic, cheap, natural-looking ones (by false eyelashes standards) to try out. They are Eylure Naturals 15.

They looked sort of like this (couldn’t find a pic of the 15s):

Here are the pics.  Excuse the red, bloodshot eyes. That’s just how I look right now. And yes this is the Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro mentioned above. Not shown: Kellee standing nearby looking deeply nonplussed by the appearance of false eyelashes on my face.

Here’s a close-up.  Black and white helps the lashes stand out a bit more.

I actually really liked them. I got a really “natural” style and they honestly looked pretty legit, not weirdly conspicuous, and quite age and professional-realm appropriate.

But, they are just so f-ing hard!  I am really just not good at getting them on. And then I’m not good at getting them off. Even when I used the special tool!  And then I did NOT realize that you have to thoroughly clean and disinfect them to be able to reuse them! Which, I proved completely unable to do, even after about an hour of soaking, and gently rubbing, and picking at with tweezers, etc. etc. The gunk would not come off!

So…. the falsie life is probably not for me. Basically it made me INSTANTLY dissatisfied with my own lashes, while proving that I am incapable of really committing to doing false lashes. Yay.

But what is the makeup life if not constant experimentation?  And what I reject one week, I may enthusiastically endorse the next. So, we shall see. I am going to try one more time since this is obviously another technique requiring much practice.

If you have any thoughts or advice on false eyelashes, please do share!

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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: Travel, More Travel, and Falsies — 2 Comments

  1. Wow! I stumbled upon your call for WOC contributors to #MakeupMonday and am just stunned by how aligned it is with conversations many of us have been having on facebook for about the last year or so. Not surprisingly, Ijeoma Oluo has been consistently mentioned as the person we should all be following on IG, so seeing her in your post was another commonality. We’ve been talking about how these small makeup pleasures are helping us cope with the political climate. Kinitra Brooks keeps saying we shouldn’t underestimate how much “makeup is out here saving lives.” Anyway, I don’t know if/when I’ll try to write something, but I have already begun spreading the word because these conversations have definitely been among WOC.

    Let me also say that I gave a workshop on applying for the Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships at Ohio State, and my last slide was the cover of your book. I read it quite a while back but never fail to mention it because it strikes me as full of what we ALL need to know. Sure enough, people in the audience said you would be on campus the VERY NEXT WEEK, so we ended our time together talking about how no one in that room should miss it and figuring out whether there were still slots left. Anyway, thank you for your work! The final chapters about entrepreneurship are also such a gift! I didn’t expect the book to go that direction, but what a wonderful way to help us become aware of all the disempowering ideas that we’ve taken as givens. Rock on!

    • Koritha, thank you SO much for your comments! I’m so glad to hear about all these overlaps and commonalities. Thank you for sharing my book! I’d love to know more about your workshop!

      One thing I’d love someone to write on is why makeup is so valuable for WOC in particular, right now. Because my sense is, although correct me if I’m wrong, that there are ways that makeup is meaningful in this political moment for many women regardless of race, and then there are ways that makeup is meaningful in this political moment for WOC, and black women in particular, and there are groups and websites, and conversations and shopping excursions, etc etc that are happening wihin those communities for very specific reasons. Anyway, let your circles know I’d welcome more guest posts!

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