It’s generally at this time of year that I send eyeshadow on sabbatical. Cheerful lip colour seems more seasonal, and my time is much better spent enjoying the light evenings with half a shandy than blending together several shades of powder shadow that will mostly be obscured by sunglasses. Complex looks seem fussy against a spring backdrop, so out go the quad palettes and in comes a single brown shadow, worn almost daily.
A single, natural-looking, earthy shade on my eyelids (up to a fraction beyond the socket line) gives some definition and depth without looking effortful. My favourite tool for the job is Mac’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork (£16.50), a neutral (neither warm nor cool) taupe that glides on with either brush or finger, blends outwards and stays fast all day, however warm it gets. It suits all white and light brown skins, and doubles as the perfect eye primer for darker brown complexions (for shadow, use Quite Natural, a gorgeous, bitter cocoa brown).
If the unfamiliar application of cream shadows deters you, experiment with a cheaper product – Maybelline’s EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24hr in Creamy Beige (£5.99) is almost identical to Groundwork – or try a crayon. I’m never without Burberry Beauty’s Eye Colour Contour crayons (£23) in my makeup bag, and live in mild but persistent fear that they’ll be discontinued. These solid sticks of blendable eyeshadow in endlessly useful shades are perfectly shaped (thick enough to be soft-looking, thin enough to be precise) and beyond easy to apply: just draw in a solid half-circle over the lids, tap outwards with a finger to blend, then stroke in a line under the eye and smudge with a finger or dry brush. Almond, a medium taupe, is perfect on pale skin and Midnight Brown, a shimmery chocolate, looks sensational as a shadow on darker tones or as a liner on anyone.
Glossier’s new Lidstars (£15) are a slightly different proposition, but ideal if flat brown is too natural-looking for your aesthetic. These are shimmery wands of colour that catch light and look altogether more “made up” – great if your personal style is more colourful. Fawn is a pretty, glistening brown shot with mauve. Stroke on as you would a lipgloss, then pat to blend. Repeat for greater punch.