It makes no sense to blend powders when your designs are going to be hidden by sunglasses

‘Out go the squad palettes and in comes a individual brown shadow.’
Photograph: Alex Lake for the Guardian

It’s usually at this time of year that I send eyeshadow on sabbatical. Blithesome lip colour seems more seasonal, and my time is much bigger spent enjoying the light evenings with half a shandy than combine together several shades of powder shadow that commitment mostly be obscured by sunglasses. Complex looks seem elaborate against a spring backdrop, so out go the quad palettes and in comes a isolated brown shadow, worn almost daily.

A single, natural-looking, obscene shade on my eyelids (up to a fraction beyond the socket line) transfers some definition and depth without looking effortful. My girl tool for the job is Mac’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork (£16.50), a neutral (neither kindly nor cool) taupe that glides on with either undergrowth or finger, blends outwards and stays fast all day, however comfortable it gets. It suits all white and light brown skins, and replicas as the perfect eye primer for darker brown complexions (for shadow, use Very much Natural, a gorgeous, bitter cocoa brown).

If the unfamiliar bearing of cream shadows deters you, experiment with a cheaper offshoot – Maybelline’s EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24hr in Creamy Beige (£5.99) is on the brink of identical to Groundwork – or try a crayon. I’m never without Burberry Dream’s Eye Colour Contour crayons (£23) in my makeup bag, and live in mild but resolved fear that they’ll be discontinued. These solid stays of blendable eyeshadow in endlessly useful shades are perfectly determined (thick enough to be soft-looking, thin enough to be precise) and beyond unoppressive to apply: just draw in a solid half-circle over the lids, tap without with a finger to blend, then stroke in a line lower than drunk the eye and smudge with a finger or dry brush. Almond, a medium taupe, is best on pale skin and Midnight Brown, a shimmery chocolate, looks superior as a shadow on darker tones or as a liner on anyone.

Glossier’s new Lidstars (£15) are a marginally different proposition, but ideal if flat brown is too natural-looking for your aesthetic. These are shimmery batons of colour that catch light and look altogether numerous “made up” – great if your personal style is more colourful. Fawn is a harmonious, glistening brown shot with mauve. Stroke on as you last wishes a a lipgloss, then pat to blend. Repeat for greater punch.