Trying to decide on the perfect brown lipstick is surprisingly far harder than the perfect red or pink shade. Unlike those bolder colours, where I’m lucky if I can find one that suits me, with browns I can wear just about anything in that colour family without looking like I’m recovering from a bad bout of flu. (Or, in the case of one spectacularly terrible pink, recovering from death itself. And not recovering very well, at that.) Consequently, I’m going to cheat and toss up two colours for this, because really: there are so many browns that you should be allowed at least two, right?

Oddly enough, they’re both Clinique offerings: Blushing Nude and Sassy Spice.


Blushing nude is the kind of lipstick you can throw on daily without over-thinking things, and I have been wearing it for years. Long before the Naked palettes were a twinkle in a marketing man’s eye, back in the days when I thought I was the bee’s knees with my lashings of green eyeshadow, there was this, and still it endures today. A soft sort of taupey colour, it’s dark enough to be obvious that it is a lipstick, but gentle enough that it’s not a statement colour. I love this, and I wear it a lot of the time.

My other favourite brown goes in the complete direction. Although I’ve also been wearing this since the dawn of time and it also falls into the brown category, that’s where the similarities stop. I love this one just as much, although I wear it less: Sassy Spice is a much darker brown, pearlescent rather than matte, with hints of burgandy, and it’s definitely a statement colour. Although harder to wear, a little bit of pencil stops it from bleeding away, and I love the look I get with it– with really nude eye makeup, it’s monotone while still being wow.


Blushing Nude on the top and Sassy Spice underneath– alas: the photos make the Nude a lot darker and browner than it appears in real life.

I keep trying to buy other brown lipsticks, but given that these two do everything I need, I can’t really find an excuse for it!

Have you used either of these products? Do you cling to tried and tested reliables? Do you constantly search out new and better products? Drop me a line and let me know!

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