Sunday, January 21, 2018

My Current Going-to-Work Makeup

I've gone to work sans makeup (with the notable exception of concealer on some days) for the past few years of my life. I once managed to smear fuchsia lipstick across my face with the sleeve of a new white blouse mid-lecture, and I never quite recovered from it. I'm also very anti-mornings; waking up at 6:30 is hard enough for me without adding on makeup application. Luckily, I work in academia and a medical office, where women aren't expected to wear makeup to look "professional." (There are absolutely jobs like this, though, and wearing or not wearing makeup definitely has an impact on how women are viewed in different fields--we have to remember that.)

Because I'm teaching a little later this semester, I have plenty of time to eat breakfast, check my email, and apply my makeup before catching the bus. And while I don't think I'll ever go back to wearing a full face of makeup to work, throwing on a couple of products I'm trying to use up anyway is a snap.

My staple hi-ho-hi-ho product has always been concealer. I'm aware that we emphasize a woman's appearance too much, and that our HD world has led to some really unrealistic expectations. I don't live in a vacuum, so to some extent, my need to cover very obvious spots is definite caving to pressure. But I also lived through several years of chronic hives and unsolicited "there's something on your face" comments from complete strangers. These days, I dab the tiniest amount of concealer on to my most obvious spots (there were two on my cheeks on this day), over any very obvious redness, and under my eyes. If I'm covering a spot larger than an eraser spot, I usually add a dash of moisturizer so it's thinner and more seamless.

Putting on brow pencil is a no brainer for me if I want to look decent, since I don't have much in the way of eyebrows naturally. Brow pens are usually my favorite for this because they're so quick, but I'm trying to use up the Milk Makeup brow pencil, so I've been swiping on a few strokes of that instead. Whatever decent mascara sample I have handy is next; right now, I'm using Lancome Monsieur Big. (Quick take: great volume, holds a curl, flakes a bit.) Since I have dry skin, I sometimes add a bit of glow to my cheeks with MAC Strobe Cream: it's technically an illuminating moisturizer, so it looks totally natural.

Currently, I finish off with two products I'm trying to use up, the Glossier Wowder in Light/Medium and the Tom Ford Indian Rose lipstick. They're both...fine. Just fine. I don't mind using them, and they definitely give me a soft, polished look, but I won't miss them when they're gone. I'm also working through my Glossier Jam lipstick.

The end result is an easy-to-tweak, no-worries-about-smearing-it-everywhere look that's just fine for me. Maybe I'll amp it up and try bright lipstick at work again some long as I'm not wearing sleeves. Me + sleeves + lipstick = serious problem.

PS: No, I don't wear my robe to work.


  1. Interestingly I find that as another person who works in academia, my love for makeup makes people think I'm frivolous and less intelligent. I like bright makeup and odd lipstick colours, and it's sad that makeup still has an impact in how people perceive others.

    1. Oh, definitely; there's a tendency in some fields to view no makeup as "just fine" and visible makeup as "how frivolous of you." Academia is definitely one of them.

  2. I like this look. It's very "this is the best I can look naturally" like you're in perfect health and happy. That's what I've been going for too lately. It's a cross between laziness, time constraints, and realizing that while I love makeup a full face is not needed for a casual or professional day!

    1. Agreed! I love full-on makeup, but when I'm working, I'd rather not worry about if my foundation is transferring to my shirt.