Welcome to the first post for my new series Polished Professionals! Each Thursday I will feature a scientist who is crushing it in their field and interview them on their perspective & experiences with beauty. Helen graciously agreed to be the first feature, read our interview below!
Hi I’m Helen, known as @helenthechemist on social media. I’m a postdoc at Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh) and in my day job I look at dynamics at the gas-liquid interface. In my free time I love investigating all things scientific about make-up!
For you, does beauty play a role in being a scientist? If yes, how?
Yes definitely! I love to wear makeup to work as I feel it says something about my interests to colleagues. I also post on my Instagram eye makeup looks and have a series called #ThursdayTheory where I make infographics about chemical aspects of make up and beauty. For example: how carmine is made, types of pigment and how hair removal cream works.
Do you have any experience with being treated differently in your professional life for beauty habits or routines that you participate in?
I’m not aware of them but it is well known that women who spend time of their appearance can often be taken less seriously in a scientific setting. I for example would not wear the eye makeup I wear to work to a job interview. I have the opinion that unless I don’t have the courage to express myself at work how will the next generation of people who want to express themselves through make up be able to so I do my best to ignore what others think.
If you could formulate one product what would it be?
Tough one! I could very predictably say an eye shadow palette I would absolutely love the chance to make one of those. I would do something along the lines of Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture grungy vibes but with a more blend-able formula. I would also love to formulate a tinted moisturiser. I took Accutane about a year ago and my skin looks great now but I find it hard to find a tinted moisturiser for my pale skin.
Desert island – beauty product edition! What 3 products do you need to survive?
Mascara 100%, tweezers and Maybelline Fit Me concealer.
Any favorite beauty backs for the lab, desk, gym, traveling, or anywhere else?
I do my makeup on the bus so I can get an extra 30 mins sleep. People that get the 25 bus in Edinburgh must think I’m mad!
Follow Helen for gorgeous eye makeup looks and educational snaps of lab gear!