I've been at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, for the past couple of days, looking at things like this:
Just a perfectly preserved first edition of John Donne's Anniversaries from 1612, nbd. Seventeenth-century readers often took it upon themselves to correct errors in the text--here we have "weaving" written in faded red ink (and exquisite italic hand) beside the typo "weaning":
What's that? I must have been too engrossed in my studies to take any selfies?
In my experience, most female academics don't wear visible makeup; those who do stick to neutral, understated colors. In my four years in grad school, I've met just one other woman who wears red lipstick regularly. I think it's great that my field doesn't pressure women to make themselves up to look more "professional," but I find that the pressure often goes the other way: I'm constantly worried that I'll seem less professional, less serious, less devoted to the life of the mind, if I take obvious pleasure in painting my face. In my monthly dissertation seminar at the Folger, I try to strike a balance: shimmery taupe eyeshadow (NARS Lhasa), mauvey-pink blush (NARS Mata Hari), and the lip color that has rarely been out of my purse since I bought it two months ago: Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry, a beautiful dark rose with brown and plum tones. The texture is soft, opaque, and only a little drying; don't mistake it for a real lip balm, but as matte lipsticks go, it's pretty comfortable to wear.
I leave you with a song that sums up how I feel about academia right now: Santigold's "L.E.S. Artistes." I can say I hope it will be worth what I give up. Fuchsia lipstick included.