For millions, it’s time to go back to school. For obvious reasons, this back-to-school season (which is normally one of my favorite times of year) is unlike any other. The university where I teach has made the decision to operate on a face-to-face or hybrid basis for several classes. It would be an understatement to say this makes me a little nervous. Not only is teaching face-to-face during a pandemic uncharted territory professionally speaking, but the situation also asks the thousands of members of the university community—students, staff, faculty—to make numerous daily decisions that put the community’s health first while we also out our myriad responsibilities, cope with personal issues, and maybe try to experience a bit of joy. In an ideal world, we all would always operate in this fashion, but I don’t think community-centered behavior comes naturally to everyone. It’s going to be an interesting fall.
As I prepare to transition to a face-to-face teaching situation, I’ve been experimenting with layered masks and virtually attending meetings about sanitation stations and plexiglass barriers. But long-time dumplings will not be surprised that, in classic Mary fashion, I’ve also been planning my makeup routine. Since I can remember, beauty has been one of my greatest outlets for creativity, whimsy, and self-affirmation. Like masks, sanitizers, and social distancing are physical protection against the virus, for beauty-lovers, our routines are an emotional/spiritual source of inner fortitude, virus or not but especially during challenging times.
But enough philosophizing! Let’s talk products for work!
Makeup for Going to Work. In a Mask. During the Dog Days of August.
I’ll be wearing a mask, of course, which poses a creative challenge for doing makeup. Plus it’s going to be witheringly hot for several more weeks in coastal Texas. These are the main factors I’m working around as my five-pound teacher planner goes fuzzy and I begin daydreaming about wearing makeup. 😉
When I went to work in the days of yore, I aimed for somewhat natural-looking, satiny medium coverage to neutralize any redness, blur texture, and give me a sense of polish. Something that masks and summer weather have in common, however, is that they don’t play nice with more traditional foundation formulas. With that in mind, I’m going to try wearing a skin tint to balance my skin tone and give me a little baby bit of coverage. I may end up wearing no coverage at all…we’ll see how it goes!
Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation
For dry skin, this innovative tinted oil feels *so* lightweight yet skin-quenching.
Glossier Lightweight Coverage Perfecting Skin Tint
For all skin types, a few drops of this sheer formula gives skin just the right touch of enhancement.
For my under-eye area and for any blemishes, I plan to use Glossier Stretch Concealer. It’s buildable and “moves” with your skin (less creasing).
I’ll also be prioritizing sun protection, of course. Lately, I’ve been loving this ultra-moisturizing sunscreen by Purito. It doesn’t leave me looking pasty, and it has zero odor.
Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sunscreen
This thoughtfully formulated sunscreen offers SPF50 while keeping skin supple and moisturized. My dry skin loves it!
Earthwise Farizad’s Veil Sun Reflector
This mineral-based sun protector is ideal for oily skin as it’s not in an ultra-creamy base. Plus, it’s non-pore clogging and feels très luxe.
Eyes remain the part of the face we can really emphasize during summer and the pandemic. These are the products I plan to use to create pretty eye looks that will put the focus on my eyes—and not my mask.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette
This versatile palette can be used to create creamy neutral looks or something dazzling and colorful. Each shade is highly pigmented.
Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eyeshadow Primer
My eyelids tend to be on the oily side, so I always rely on an eyeshadow primer.
Regardless of the season, I’m always prone to raccoon eyes, so I rely solely on tubing mascaras.
Blinc Tubing Mascara Amplified
To remain as hygienic as possible, I’ll be keeping my nails short (bye-bye, beautiful almond shape!) and free of polish—it will just get trashed with all of the handwashing. But that’s okay! I’ve been feeling inspired by classic red on my toes. I need some oomph somewhere!
This neutral red cream is unapologetically glamorous.
Do you wear makeup with your mask?
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Photo: Respective brands