How to be Beautiful: The eyes have it


Some days you just don't feel up to precision make-up – by which we mean anything involving a brush and a steady hand. These are the occasions on which cream eye shadow comes into its own.

We could extol the singular, childish satisfactions of this finger-paint approach, but its primary advantage over powder forms is, obviously, that it can be applied while travelling on public transport with a certain amount of discretion and minimal risk of poking one's eye out.

But even if you're not in the market for a Monday-morning short cut, cream shadow has unique aesthetic appeal, since it's as close as you can get to looking like you're not trying hard.

Naturally, what goes on effortlessly tends to slide off with equal ease, so this is one item worth spending a little more on for extra staying power. But a little creasing and smudging is nothing to be scared of here – in fact, it rather adds to the general sprezzatura of the look.