Monday 31 January 2011

Enquiring minds want to know: Why the Orange Face?

The difficulty with writing a blog which often points out "differences" between two places is that (as most expats soon find out with surprising disappointment) one can only live in one place at a time. When I notice something that seems unusual or new, I often assume it is unique to Britain, when I really have no way of knowing since I no longer know the current goings-on in America. (Note to future expats: the day you realize this is probably the topic of a whole other, much more useful post, so let's not dwell too much on that at the moment).

Here's the thing... any readers outside the UK, can you please tell me - have your towns and cities also been invaded by Oompa Loompas?

Willy and his Oompas
I can only speak for Southern England, but the Oompa Loompas are everywhere!

There seems to be a fashion statement trending for girls of a certain age (seems like maybe teens to late-twenties) to wear orange make up. Its not just fake tan, its seriously orange foundation and bronzer that often doesnt match their neck, and is generally accompanied by lighter-than-nude lips and mascara that would make Tammy Faye Baker take a second look (if she can see through those globby eyelashes of hers).

I can't seem to post the photo due to copywrite issues, but you can see a fashion victim here.

What is this!? Do they know they look like this?  I demand to know where these girls' mothers/aunts/older sisters/etc are to teach them the fine art of matching the proper foundation shade to your skin tone and blending evenly past your jaw line. Is this a failure of British female role models or a global problem?

Either way, I'm certainly not the first to notice. Sometime last year, just when I started to think it was me - maybe I'm too old, maybe I'm not cool, maybe skin tone matching makeup is so last year - I was introduced to POD (the Personal Overhaul Device) and Snog Marry Avoid, a BBC show which takes overly made-up girls (and sometimes boys) and gives them a make-under to reveal their "natural beauty", all while taking jabs at their shabby make up application and dreadful overall apperance. Quality televion.  Highly recommended viewing.

Oh and if you are a young girl who even for a split second mistook that Oompa Loompa photo for a "girls night out" pic on your Facebook, Auntie Lady Liberty suggests a quick viewing of this Ehow video and Loreal True Match Liquid Foundation (not the roll on stuff, but the liquid in a bottle). It's good stuff. 


  1. I see them around London but I just don't get it. The last time I was in the US was November and I don't remember seeing too many back in California. But I did see a bunch of the oompa loompa's in Dublin when I was there in December. So I'm left to assume it's a UK and Ireland thing. It's sooooo pretty!

  2. I agree with My New Normal - it's such an attractive look - I can't think why I didn't look to Oompa Loompas for inspiration earlier.
    I've not seen that around where I live (Cumbria), but maybe we're a bit too far out in 'the sticks' to be that 'fashion forward'...

  3. I moved from the UK to Malta... and it appears the issue is more wide spread that first thought. Summer time, students from all over the world flock here to learn English and I have to wear my sunglasses at night to shield myself from the orange faces!!

  4. Its a popular look in American high schools for girls who have difficulty tanning. Luckily the trend hasn't made it to Korea yet.

  5. At least here in the States,I place the blame on Jersey Shore. Snookie's the original Oompa Loompa. For some reason, Jersey-chic is all the rage.

  6. Wow! I had no idea the Oompa look was happening. I remember the days when if your foundation left a line on your jaw that didn't match your neck you were a loser. Seriously, WTF?

  7. It's definitely in the US and been there for a while, I remember this girl at college (back in the early noughties) who we used to call 'Orange' as her nickname. The kicker is that she ended up dating this ginger haired guy for most of the time too, man did they clash!

    The entire Jersey Shore cast it perma glowing as well. No idea what they are thinking.

  8. I think this trend originates in Japan. The girls there get super tanned (to the point where they are actually chocolate brown!) add huuuuuuge white circles around their eyes and usually wear very pale lipstick. This street style is called Ganguro or Yamanba.

    I think Japan was first with this, but iunno....still, we don't see many women like that here in Finland, thank god!