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Recession-Proof Your Face

By covering it in food instead of make-up.
October 4, 2012, 4:45pm

Contrary to popular belief, the first people whose careers go up against the wall in a recession aren't the maids, the travel agents or the music journalists – it's the clowns. Seriously, who has enough money to hire a clown in a recession? When the money's tight, it's Dad's job to dress up for the birthday party and get repeatedly punched in the balls by children. After that, he's free to go back to his real work on Monday and get screamed at for 14 hours, all for the crime of trying his best at a job that will likely kill him 20 years before his natural mortality date. In a recession, this is the closest we're gonna get to universal happiness.

Anyway, it's just as difficult in these trying times for life's amateur clowns, AKA people who wear make-up. Nobody wants to spend £30 on a tube of what is essentially black glue or red wax. But as the weather gets increasingly shit, your four-year-old bronzer just won’t cut it any more, and you’ll start to wish you could have a smoky eye or a plum velvet lip (just one) like all the other supermodels.


Don’t despair, for I'm here to show you how to make yourself beautiful with things that will probably be in your fridge already. Let's recession-proof your face (unless you're a vegan or a diabetic)!

First, we added marmalade for foundation. You might think that marmalade is a wholly unsuitable thing for a girl to wear on her face in 2012 – only old people eat it now, it attracts bears and it has a history of institutionalised race-hate. But you forget that there's a tonne of other stuff we're gonna have to pile on yet and nothing holds things fast quite like nature's own citrus glue.

We used a rind-free version, but if you suffer from acne, the large pieces of orange peel could actually be a great distraction from your zits – double-win!

Everybody knows that girls wear lipstick because it makes men think of vaginas. So what could be better for a substitute lip smear than cherries, which everybody knows makes men think of Richard Branson, who is a twat?

Step one: Put on this Garbage song. Step two: smash your cherries until they congeal into a weird mess of skin and juice that resembles a Hornby version of the Ladbroke Grove rail crash. Comfortingly, the smell it makes is almost identical to that of real-life lipstick.

Once this is applied, load your cheeks with beetroot blusher and avoid any areas where wasps or bees might reside, because they will be very attracted to your glamorous face. As will everybody else.

Take your Skittle colour of choice, lick it, and rub it over your lids for shadow. We went for green, because that is the colour of envy, which is the emotion people will be feeling when they look at you.

Next, carefully draw a precise cat eye over your lash line with the squid ink eye liner.


Finally, snip your liquorice wheels into delicate eyelash shapes and, using a dab more marmalade, apply them to the top of your upper lashes. Avoid a lower lash, it’s totally trashy and unnatural.

We added a totally on-trend pastel blue bindi, and a touch of cream cheese highlighter to emphasise the cheekbones and eyes. Unfortunately, our ham-anicure refused to hold fast on the nails, but the face area was looking good enough to get that Florida bath salts cannibal's charges thrown out for provocation.

It was time to see if our model (intern) passed muster with the only real judge we know. It was time to take it to the streets.

We spotted some trendy graffiti artists painting some street art and headed over for a chat. They didn’t notice anything odd about our model’s face, which was definitely a result of how natural and convincing it looked and not because the paint fumes were getting them higher than a juggalo in a hot air balloon. I was starting to feel sick (street art, ew) and they were too busy filming themselves running away from this friend of theirs who was dressed as a cop for whatever reason, so we moved on.

Once you step through the bathroom mirror into the magical world of natural homemade make-up, you’ll start to realise that the possibilities are endless. Open your mind, square; next time you’re in the supermarket, have a browse-spiration. Frankfurter head-band? Yes! AlphaBite earrings? Yes! Smoothie shampoo?! Yes, yes, yes!

Next we headed to every girl's dream pick-up destination: the local pub that smells like one of those big cheeses if it had just been used as a murder weapon. Nobody really batted an eyelid at the bar – including our model, who was unable to, due to her eyes being weighed down by octopus secretion and mangled sweets. #sufferforfashion

And that was the end of our experiment. I think we can all agree that it was an unqualified success.

Okay, so your face might have melted and attracted animals, but surely that’s miles better than having to venture out into the world bare-faced and natural and disgusting. There are lots of bonuses to using food as make-up: as long as you don't staple steak to your forehead, malnourished vegetarian and vegan guys will see it as a sexy political statement, it costs on average £1 per item, and if you happen to get hungry at any point during the day there are like, 12 delicious snacks just hanging out on your face waiting to be eaten.

In short: Thanks to me, you'll never be poor, lonely or hungry again. Fuck you, recession!

Follow Bertie on Twitter: @bertiebrandes

Previously: Beauty School Dropout - Domestic Bliss Is Overrated