Brownie Points

Sarah Morgan has never ever worn brown make-up – until now. This is sure to go well.

It may come as a surprise to some, but I’ve never tried brown. Even during my most open-minded, experimental years, an autumnal palette has always been a major turn-off. Fawn, chestnut, taupe, mushroom, biscuit… such bleak words. Victoria Wood words for shades of surgical stockings. Though I’ve done many things for love, I’ve never ‘changed from the Hammersmith and City line to the Bakerloo’, make-up wise.

It’s an irrational snobbery. Brown lipstick makes me think of a ’97 Geri Halliwell on the cover of The Face, looking liked she’d just fellated a Wispa Gold. Brown mascara sets off an inexplicable bullying instinct in my stomach – WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU? Bronzer just sounds normcore, healthy – it makes me think of phrases like ‘the natural look’, words like ‘sunkissed’ and ‘subtle’. Blurgh.

My fallback look is, and always has been, red lipstick, pink blusher, black flicky eyeliner. Aka – ‘Beatnik in a 1960s women-in-prison movie’. MAKE-UPPY make-up. That’s my safe place. But I will admit, I see brown make up on women all the time – and think it looks lovely. Warm, grown-up, polished, approachable. Not, i.e., like a spunky jailbird with a shiv hidden in her beehive.

keira

So. I have been dared by La Hughes to dip my toe in and give brown a try. Just once. See if I like it. No pressure. Why shouldn’t I be a bronze, burnished, Jennifer Aniston-y summer girl? I could be Keira Knightly!

I have a morbid terror I will in fact look like Ally Sheedy at the end of The Breakfast Club, following the most upsetting makeover scene in cinema history and yes that includes Divine getting acid thrown in her face in Female Trouble.

 

 

brownswag

But here we go. Sali’s sent me a bunch of fun palettes, in a spectrum of delightful fall colours.

Right. The best way to do this is ease in gently. Start with a couple of fingers. By which I mean, nail varnish.

 

 

 

brownnails

 

Oh God sorry, but this is horrible. Is this actually a colour? Oligarch Dog Kennel Brown. Get it off me. Jesus.

Onto the make-up. Should I get drunk first? No. Dive in. Oh, this might be the time to mention, I’ve got pink hair and really really pale skin…

 

 

 

 

sarahbrownYup. I look like a fucking Neopolitan ice cream.

Ok. Well. That went badly. I mean, I don’t mind the eyeshadow (she offered, charitably). Brown mascara is just the worst. Bronzer – maybe I can take some sort of an evening class? It’s not meant to make you look burnt, is it?

I will say this though – the whole experience did inspire me to pick up a bit of make up I’d always written off as being in the brown spectrum – Bobbi Brown Nude lipstick. In the tube it’s the warm brown hue of a tinned hotdog, but like magic, it comes out sort of the same colour as my lips. I’ve never really seen the point in lipstick that’s the same colour as your mouth, but this one sort of tidies my face together.

This aside, my day trip to Browntown has been, all in all, pretty harrowing. I deserve a medal. Just not bronze.

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