Picture neutrals as a reassuring pathway from the vampy tones of winter, to the sugary pastels of spring

A note on neutrals: never underestimate their power for making one feel chic. Or, at the very least, more put together than one would have any right to expect, after the triple onslaught of winter, sickness and the festive season. 

Flattering and timeless, they’re the LBD of makeup, and just the job for these in-betweeny days, with the darkest days of winter now behind us but spring not quite yet sprung. Picture them as a reassuring pathway from the vampy tones of winter, to the sugary pastels of spring.

Naturally great skin is a good look at any time of year – so I’ve been faking it with Chanel’s Vitalumiere (7). It which makes my skin look rested and hydrated and plump, when only one of these is ever, EVER, the case. It gives a bit of life and luminosity without being dewy and, though the coverage is on the sheer side, it magically masks a multitude.

I still need help with dark circles, redness and OH OK, the odd spot, too, so NARS Creamy concealer (1) never leaves my side. The only bronzer I’ve ever loved, Chanel Les Beiges (3), warms things up just a tad without looking obvious, orange or muddy and a swirl of the Body Shop’s shimmer palette (6), in pretty peaches and pinks, multitasks as both blush and highlight in one. The shades perfectly complement my go to palette du jour – the Naked 3 (2).

transeasonal neutrals

Yes, when it first launched I, like everyone else on the planet, wondered was there really a need for another neutral palette. One look however confirmed that, silly me, of course there was, and this one is probably my favourite Urban Decay offering of the three. Inspired, so we’re told, by the flattering light of a sunset, the rosy hues blend beautifully and bring warmth to the greyest January face. 

A sweep of Shiseido’s brow powder (8) and the eyes are done – lash extensions handily cancelling out the need for mascara – apart from a touch of Rimmel’s Scandaleyes in nude (4), to help me look that little more awake. 

Nude lips can be tricky, but with L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Collection Privée line, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll find your perfect shade. Mine, surprisingly, is Frieda’s ‘Barely Parma’ (5): alarmingly frosted and mauve in the bullet, it’s more subtle on the lips.

Emma Henderson

The finished result

Elegant and classic, it perfectly matches my muted makeup mood. But that’s the beauty of neutrals – they suit every occasion and work across seasons with ease. Are you a fan?