I may wear a great deal of black but I do like a bit of colour in my make-up. Which is why it’s come as a bit of a surprise to me that I’ve been converted to the current trend for “nudes”. Nude make-up, for the uninitiated out there (or any men who have stumbled across this blog having searched for something entirely make-up – and clothes – free) is not “no make-up”; it’s make-up in flesh tones, the most subtle of enhancements to the old maquillage.
So what’s tempted me over to the nude side? Well, first and foremost it’s the new trio of eye make-up kits from Benefit – Benefit World Famous Neutrals (£23.50 each, www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk, from March). To be honest, I am not a big fan of the Benefit’s gimmicky packaging or the smart-ass names with which it christens its products, but if you’re in the market for a foolproof eye shadow set which offers a myriad of make-up possibilities, which provides lasting colour, and which will prompt compliments from your female friends then invest in one of these magic boxes – Most Glamorous Nudes, Easiest Nudes or Sexiest Nudes.
My favourite is the Most Glamorous Nudes box, which – as they all do – comes with a little booklet of “Tips and Tricks” illustrating how to create an easy daytime look and an easy “playtime” look using the two creaseless cream shadows and four longwear powder shadows contained therein.
The other big nude news is in the nails department. The new Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer French Nudes Collection (£14.50 each; www.esteelauder.co.uk) is a range of five nail varnishes in shades designed to complement the wearer’s skin tone. The idea is that keeping nail varnish close to the colour of the skin makes the fingers look elongated and elegant – just as nude coloured shoes tend to make legs look longer.
Tom Pecheux, Lauder’s creative director, explains: “The collection is like foundation for nails. It’s all about enhancing nails, rather than making a big statement with colour.” And, you know what, it works! I’ve found the Nudite shade (second from the left in the photo below), a milky beige that’s a perfect match for my fair skin (and my foundation for that matter), looks tres chic for day and night. And if I fancy something similar but with a very subtle sparkle, No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Tip Toes (£5.50; www.boots.com), a limited edition shade from No7’s new Ballerina Beauty spring collection, is pretty perfect too.