From The Straits Times    |

An autumnal mood can be spotted in some fashion magazines around this time of year. Think models with wine-coloured lips and tawny eyeshadow, who swan around looking pensive in big jumpers.

We tropical folks may not identify with switching to berry and brown tones when the days grow shorter and chillier. But browns are go-to shades for nude make-up at any time of the year.

This mousy shade is curiously versatile. The rainbow of flattering brown tones out there, which range from khaki to cocoa, makes it easy to avoid those that look muddy on your skin.

The four eyeshadow shades in I’m Multi Cube (005 All About Brown) by I’m Meme (below, $32.90, sold at selected Guardian stores) can take you from work to a fancy dinner.

Use the latte shade to subtly define your eyelids in the day. The faintly shimmery bronze makes for an unusual smoky eye at night.

The palette even throws in a sandy-pink blush, underneath the capsule for the eyeshadow shades. It opens up like a dinky chest of drawers, which somehow adds to the feel-good factor.

While tea-coloured eyelids paired with merlot lips can feel too heavy, choosing one feature to bedeck in brown tones can add polish to your look.

There’s no need to channel the 1990s by rocking a statement brown lip if it’s too intimidating. Though sporting the occasional burgundy lippy for a big night out, accompanied only with glowy foundation and natural-looking brows, is a queen bee move.



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For a work-ready look, however, lipsticks with brown tones are great MLBB (My Lips But Better) candidates.

Once you hit adulthood, only a chosen few have full-on rosy lips. Brown undertones are common in au naturel lips.

Try the phlegmatically named Brown in Bobbi Brown’s Lip Colour range (above, $42, available at Bobbi Brown outlets), which brightens warmer skin tones ever so subtly.

Brown is a friendly alternative to shouty make-up.

Black eyeliner, for example, can look too goth.

For a softer, equally defined look, line your eyes with Pony Effect Profection Brush Liner (Deep Brown) (above, $29.90, available at selected Watsons stores) for a precise cat’s eye that doesn’t budge or smear.

Used strategically, brown lends balance to your face. I like to think of it as the perfect wingman – the supporting actor who makes the main talent shine brighter.

MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul (above, $49, available at MAC outlets) is a blusher with a brown undertone that suits many. It looks meek and mild in its case, but it’s far more impressive when dusted on the cheekbones.

Its colour is quiet, but it imparts a lit-from-within glow. This serves as the ideal canvas to enhance strong looks like red lips or cobalt eyeshadow, which can appear too stark with zero colour on the cheeks.

Brown nail polish is an underrated way to look more pulled-together. Yves Rocher’s Botanical Nail Colour 02 Bois De Bahia (above, $5) is a walnut hue that looks refined against fair and olive skin. The 12 Ecorce shade (below, $5) adds an unexpectedly classy pop of chocolate against darker skin.

They are available at Yves Rocher outlets, which can be found in malls such as Takashimaya Shopping Centre and Westgate. They are a quick way to inject a touch of elegance on slouchy days when you cannot be bothered with make-up.


This article first appeared in The Straits Times.