If there’s one thing we love here at espressOh (other than coffee and skincare, of course), it’s football. That’s why this year we released our Oh.Jersey, inspired by the iconic football kits of the 90s to celebrate the beautiful game.
These days, there are more and more women playing, enjoying and leading in football, and we simply love to see it. One of these women is Morgan Brennan, Head of Indivisa, a community-focused brand that celebrates the joy and the growth of the women’s game. Starting off as a social hobby, her love of football took off when she moved from Sydney to London and started a local team, Victora Park Vixens. Over time, the team has grown into a vibrant collective, collaborating with ELLE Magazine, Sports Direct, Jamison and more.
We caught up with Morgan as she got ready for a match to chat about the power of a sports community, being a leader and looking after your skin pre and post-game.
What does football mean to you as a sport and as a means for empowerment and support? Have you faced challenges while creating a community in a traditionally male-dominated industry?
There are a lot of frustrations that get quite exhausting, like negative attention from men and comments on social media. But it’s just so worth it. It’s so rewarding and empowering. Every time I see a record broken or achievement in women’s football, I feel like we’re part of that history and that change. We have such a tight-knit, supportive community that allows us to really come together and block out all the negativity.
Historically, there have been stereotypes about those who are interested in sports as opposed to those who are interested in beauty and fashion. How do you see these changing?
Thankfully, we’re moving away from strictly gendered expressions of who we are. There’s definitely a traditional viewpoint of sport that it’s a more “masculine” interest, that makeup and fashion are more “feminine” interests and that people who are into one can’t be into the other. But that is slowly changing.
The women’s game is rewriting itself and creating its own norms without rigid boundaries and expectations of people. For example, one of the key images in the Nike campaign was Ella Toone having her false lashes applied. All players are different, and you can love football and be totally uninterested in beauty, and that’s absolutely fine, but you can also enjoy both. It’s completely normal to want to look your best, to feel confident and be perceived in a way you’re comfortable with.
There are a lot of players in The WSL who put amazing work into their hairstyles for every match; that’s part of their expression on the pitch. A lot of it is based on superstitions as well, like, certain ways of doing their hair or makeup affect their play. That element of superstition is something that has been happening in men’s football forever.
Do you have any tips for women pursuing leadership positions, whether that’s in sports, beauty or any other industry?
Any sort of leadership position does come with a lot of responsibility and you do feel that extra pressure because people are relying on you. But at the end of the day, it’s so rewarding because you’re responsible for delivering something positive, whether it’s in a work sense or a community, grassroots sense.
Leading Vixens is, at times, very consuming and stressful for me, but at the end of the day, It’s such an amazing responsibility to have. If you’re in a leadership role, you have a lot more responsibility to be able to make changes, and we need more women in those roles and in those rooms where decision-making is happening. When there isn’t a woman in the room sharing opinions and contributing to changes, that’s when things go wrong.
What advice do you have for people who want to get into football or another sport but are maybe a bit intimidated by it?
The industry is changing; it’s becoming more diverse, and we need more women to keep that change turning. There is so much opportunity right now; there’s so much going on, and it’s a very exciting time to play or work in women’s sports. You do have to be aware of the challenges, but if it’s something you’ve been considering, I’d say just go for it!
What does your skincare routine look like before a match or afterwards, when you’re going from the pitch to a party?
I don’t wear any makeup while I play, but I have to wear lots of moisturiser. I hate it if my face is dry at all while I’m playing. So a key part of my routine before I play is a hydrating serum and then multiple layers of moisturiser. And then I brush up my eyebrows with eyebrow gel. Also, I always have a moisturising lip colour on.
After the match, I always have to wash my face thoroughly, and then I do my routine again: serum, tinted moisturiser, eyebrow gel, tinted lip balm.
What are your tips for day-to-day skin care for those who play sports?
Sometimes if I’m working out a lot and rushing to work and social events, I start to see my skin breaking out a bit because I’m not cleaning all the sweat off properly. It’s not just on your face either, but on your body as well. People forget that you sweat all over while working out!
Cleansing is the most important thing; I’m kind of obsessed with making sure that my face feels clean. During sports, you’re touching dirty equipment and then touching your face, so you really need to get all that dirt off.