Keanna Funderburk is a fifth grade math, science, and social teacher in Atlanta, Georgia. This year, of course, her classroom will look a little different. Half of her students learn personally and the rest from home: “My roommates and my zoomies, as I call them.” Here she shares her products for curly hair, the joy of magnetic eyelashes and the accessory that attracts attention attracts her students …
What is your morning routine when school is in class?
These days I just get up, get dressed, do my hair, and leave. I have naturally curly hair so I protect it at night by putting it up in big twists. Then all I have to do in the morning is undo those twists and parting my hair to revive the curls. It keeps my hair styling routine pretty simple. I bring a small make-up bag to school and do my make-up there before the children come in.
What’s your typical makeup look for work?
It depends on how I feel that day – you know, “look good, feel good”. But since I’m in a mask all day, I usually just focus on my eyes. I start with a pencil liner on my lower lash line, then my shadow, and then I use a liquid liner to make a cat’s eye on my eyelids. Lately I’ve been loving Tart’s tart bar Double Take Eyeliner, which has both pencil and liquid liner and neither smudges. For shadows, I used Tartes Chrome Paint Shadow Pot in Park Ave Princess, which is like a gold pressed glitter. Glitter sounds intense, but it isn’t. It’s the pop I need to look awake!
I imagine this school year will be more difficult than most of the others. Do you teach temporarily in the classroom and sometimes remotely?
I do both at the same time. It’s called hybrid class. I have my “roommates” who are my personal students and my “zoomies” who are my students at home. I teach two blocks a day and there are 30 children in each block – about half of them in person and the rest of them remote. I teach them all at the same time. So I wear two hats at the same time.
Wow! How do you keep the kids busy – what do you and your classmates do?
I’ve found that the most helpful thing is to have all students on Zoom, whether they are personal or not. This allows the remote children and the personal children to work together when we split up into groups to carry out projects and activities. Even though half the class is home, it still feels like we’re all together. I can still connect with all of the students and they are still building this class community. So let’s get it working for now.
How do you deal with the infamous zoom fatigue?
I just go through it. On Mondays I feel charged, but on Friday I get a headache. But I only think of my students. You spend two hours in the morning with me and then another two hours with another teacher. And whether they are at home or not, they all use computers – not just for zoom, but because it is safer than exchanging lots of papers and sharing supplies in terms of infection prevention. As teachers, we have to walk a fine line because they are safest with a device, but at the same time it is not the healthiest thing for them. I’m just trying to mix things up as much as possible, mix up the groups, and introduce new activities. But at the end of the day, we still look at screens for hours. Every day is really challenging.
I notice that you also seem to go out of your way to achieve a bright, fun look in the classroom.
Yes, my accessories – especially my colorful glasses and earrings – are a staple for me as a teacher. My students always comment on my earrings and are always curious about which glasses I will wear on a particular day. This is kind of a teacher personality that I have adopted and I enjoy it. It’s just something the kids can look forward to. I get most of my glasses from EyeBuyDirect, and for earrings I have a few Etsy stores.
Can you share some of your favorites?
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with pom-pom earrings. Some of my favorites come from Heartland Designs, Filthy Hippie, Rozie June, and Sydni Makes. I try to choose earrings that feel positive right now, and I like those that look a little unconventional – something that will grab kids’ attention. Sometimes I also look at Instagram ads and think, “Hmm, would someone else buy this? Probably not.’ If I can’t imagine anyone wearing them, I’ll buy them.
If you are not in your teacher personality, is your appearance any different?
I don’t wear glasses on weekends. And outside of school, I may wear more face makeup. There’s a new NYX blush that I loved called Sweet Cheeks. And for liquid foundation, I love Pat McGrath. It works so well, but it’s expensive, so I don’t want to use it every day. I have to save the good stuff for the weekends!
I also notice that you tend to have multi-colored manicures. Do you do it yourself
I taught myself during quarantine! I got a dip powder manicure every three weeks. When the shutdown began, I tried pushing nails – but those just didn’t work. So I bought a starter kit and e-file from Amazon – both were super cheap and easy to use. There are tons of color options too (I have around 30 now). The starter kit contains step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. I also watched some YouTube videos. Now I can do my own dip powder manicures at home!
That is so cool! Have you learned any other new beauty skills this year?
Yes! I also started experimenting with magnetic eyelashes. They are fun to play with. I use Ardell Magnetic Lashes which come with a magnetic applicator. They’re easy to use and stick around very well.
You have such great skin, I have to ask: How did you manage to conquer ‘maskne’ ?!
Ha! My skin care routine is actually pretty simple. I have super oily skin and I’ve found that using a foaming face wash helps counteract this. These days, I’m using the foaming acne cleanser from Tula, a probiotic skin care line. Then I use 111Skin’s Cryo Activating Hydra Gel, a gel moisturizing cream. It works well with my skin so I stuck with it for a long time. Occasionally I apply a little rose water before my moisturizer. I keep it pretty simple.
Let’s talk about hair care.
My daily washing routine always starts with As I Am’s Coconut CoWash, a cleansing conditioner for curly hair. After that I use a deep conditioner. Right now I’m using Miche Beauty’s one. I’m not loyal to any particular brand, but one thing I’ve been using for years is SheaMoistures Curl Enhancing Smoothie, a leave-in product that helps define my curls. Then I use Mo Know’s Curl Smoothing Pudding for styling and top it off with an Eco Styler Gel to keep it in place. I usually do my hair on Sundays and then don’t have to use any other products during the week. Occasionally, I can freshen it up with a leave-in conditioner (I use Miche Beauty) if my hair feels a little crispy. But otherwise I don’t have to do anything until it’s time to wash it again.
I note that you have shared books on subjects like Indigenous Peoples Day and Racial Injustice in the United States – which is both a historical and a very timely subject. How do you deal with such subjects with students? For example, did you discuss the protests this summer?
My students are becoming more and more aware of what is going on in the world and sometimes they bring it up themselves. And when that happens, I just try to let her talk. So I say things like, “Oh, wow, I really liked what you just said. We must also listen to this other classmate’s opinion. ‘ You know? We don’t have to agree. I want my students not to be like the adults they see so often on TV or on Facebook – who can’t even have a conversation because they’re too busy arguing. So I try to let them talk to each other and then I praise them when I see they are doing well.
Besides being beautiful, do you have any other daily routines or self-care habits that you found helpful this year?
Social media has always been a fun place for me. I’ve always viewed it as a hobby, but during the quarantine it became something more. I had more time to meet with people – exchange ideas with other teachers and check in and see how people are doing. I’m naturally prone to worry, and what I love about social media is that there is always someone around to lift me up if I ever share doubts. And when people bring that positivity to me, I can offer more positivity to others. I try to share that – the good. We are all human and it is not realistic to expect that we will always be happy and that life will always be great. But in these difficult moments, it’s nice to know that there are people who support me.
Thank you, Keanna!
PS More women are sharing their beauty uniforms, including a comedy writer and a ballet dancer.
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