It's the colour scheme of over-styled home catalogues and retirement homes.
Yet when it comes to eye colour beige, brown and taupe are the Warren Beatty and Annette Bening of the make-up counter. Classic and enduring, they suit everyone and are favoured by most women, who buy these earthy eye colours in their millions.
But why are we all drawn to the snooze spectrum when it comes to our make-up? Why can't we be a bit more like Zandra Rhodes or Katy Perry and develop a penchant for bright colour? The answer is simple: it's because unless you have an internationally-renowned make-up artist to hand, primary colours don't look great. Brown, beige and taupe always look better.
Like everyone else who is attracted to the jewel-like colours on beauty counters, I have tried to get along with bright colour. I've tried to experiment with a hint of azure round my lids, or sunray yellow around my socket (you've no idea the range of strangely named eyeshadows that land on my desk), but with no great success. When it comes to getting dressed up for an occasion, looking my best, I always default to the neutral setting in my make-up bag. Recently, with great glee, I've discovered that my default cosmetic choices have come back into fashion. The taupe eye, along with more natural-looking make-up, is back.
These are the brown-toned eyeshadows floating my boat: Tom Ford Platinum Cream Eyeshadow (£28); Estee Lauder Bronze Sands eyeshadow compact (£35); and Clinique Colour Surge Eyeshadow Duo in Deco-Dence (£20).