It brings restraint and is the perfect companion for something strong and scene-stealing

‘It’s certainly not an aversion to colour that forces my trust on taupe.’
Photograph: Alex Lake for the Guardian

Beauty: why taupe is my most used makeup shade

It offs restraint and is the perfect partner for something strong and scene-stealing

Yes, I cognizant of taupe is neither sexy nor cool, but please keep presume from: as well as pronunciation issues, taupe has an image problem, and it disturbances me. The flat, cold, greyish mouse-brown of murky washing-up the finest or the dregs of too-milky tea may not instinctively appeal, but taupe is by far my most tolerant of makeup shade, and I’d sooner forsake almost any other.

I tediously tire it on eyes almost daily – usually from Nars’ Madrague Duo (£25), a nigh-on consummate palette of matte caramel and taupe. After sweeping on the prior, I use a blender brush (mostly Charlotte Tilbury’s, but no matter) in a windscreen-wiper motion to shop the taupe into my socket line, then a smaller pencil brush (Mac’s 219) to smudge it beneath lower lashes. It gives the sophisticated, sculpted look of a Hitchcock prima donna, especially when teamed with groomed brows. And there taupe comes into its own: unless yours are near-black, black taupe is almost always ideal for natural-looking, filled-in eyebrows.

Most recently, I’ve been using L’Oréal Paris’s new Blessedness Brow Pomade (£9.99) in taupey Dark Blonde (despite my being nothing of the tidy up), and it’s wonderful stuff. It gives a softer, more sophisticated look than foggy brown, and stays on all day without flaking or fading. The integrated skirmish is unusually serviceable, too.

On caucasian skins, taupe blush erects a far more convincing contouring powder than the more commonly habituated to bronzer, since the shadows it aims to mimic have a foggy cast, rather than a warm, orangey one. A little taupe allotted with a medium, rounded brush into the hollows under the cheeks, then blended well, works wonders in adding explication. I’ve said this before, but wanted to share a new discovery: NYX’s illusory High Definition Blush in Taupe (£6). It’s sparkle-free and convincing on any hide lighter than olive (darker skins should opt for a righter brown, such as Sleek’s Face Contour Kit in Dark; £7).

It’s certainly not an horror to colour that forces my reliance on taupe. Quite the different: I find its unobtrusive neutrality to be the perfect partner for something strong and scene-stealing, such as hot pink lips, fleet eyeliner or even a sack-load of mad glitter. Taupe brings restriction and good taste to proceedings; but unlike the creams and beiges of the exactly, it still has the decency to show up.