The slippery slope of taupe | eyeshadow photos, descriptions, swatches

Okay, so I realize that I haven’t been posting much recently, and I’m not sure how things are going to go when Fall term starts.

But it’s okay! Because today, I’m going to make it up to you with taupe swatches! And who doesn’t love a good taupe?

I wasn’t really sure how I’d define “taupe” for this post, but I ended up trying not to go browner than MAC’s Satin Taupe or more grey than Marcelle’s Suede, but still trying to encapsulate many of the brown and gray variations within the colour family. It’s a tricky colour to swatch, if you ask me, because everyone’s interpretation is so different – one makeup junkie’s taupe may be another’s brown, or gold, or bronze, or grey.

I’ve settled on swatching my taupiest taupes, which isn’t to say that there aren’t more! Perhaps I’ll do some of my favourite browns someday, and someone will call one of them (or many of them) taupe, but, well: that’s a problem for another day. In the meantime, we’ll just let sleeping dogs lie, shall we?

The swatches

From right to left, we have 1. GOSH Chocolate (from their discontinued Golden/Chocolate duo), 2. MAC Satin Taupe, 3. a self-blended russet-taupe, 4. Lancome Platinum, 5. the top shade from Marcelle’s Dimensional Mauve quad (LE last winter), 6. Marcelle Suede, 7. MAC Mauvement, 8. Ulta Mystique, and 9. Senna Taupe Glow (pictured here).

1. GOSH Chocolate is the darkest eyeshadow I have that I’d still call a taupe, not quite brown (at least, to me) because of its coolness. 2. MAC Satin Taupe is a medium-dark taupe – I love working with the formula, but I often find it looks too muddy when blended out. The self-pressed, self-blended 3. russet-taupe is just on the outer edge of taupe; some days, I’ll think it is, but others, I feel like it’s perhaps too copper.

(Okay, so I’ll admit that I often just forget that I went back, re-crushed, and re-blended that shade to be a little warmer. It used to be taupier, honest!)

4. Lancome Platinum is a lighter taupe with a really fine frost finish, and it’s on the warm side. The shade from 5. Marcelle Dimensional Mauve is just the opposite; really quite grey and very much my kind of taupe. 6. Marcelle Suede is a really sheer taupe (too sheer for my liking), but it’s a really pretty heather grey sort of shade.

7. MAC Mauvement (pigment) is super-sheer, mainly just shimmer, and layers really nicely as, well, a mauve-y sort of shade. 8. Ulta Mystique is a gorgeous cool (grey) taupe, darker than you’d expect from the pan. 9. Senna Taupe Glow is similar to Mystique; I’d think of it as Satin Taupe‘s cool-toned counterpart.

Aside from Mauvement, all of these shadows are (more or less) frost finishes.

Of these, I probably get the most wear out of the GOSH and Ulta shadows. It’s a bit surprising, because the GOSH duo really didn’t stun me at first, and the Ulta my most recent taupe acquisition – but colour-wise, they’re both just lovely; not too red or too warm.

If I’m in a hurry, I’ll wear Clinique Bit O’ Honey all over the lid with a bit of taupe buffed into the outer third with a 217. It’s ridiculously easy, looks a lot more polished than just a bare lid, and gives a really natural effect. Plus, you just can’t beat an eye look that takes less than two minutes!

What’s your favourite taupe shadow?

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  • right now, my favourite taupe is NYX's Root Beer. so pretty, i bought it 3 times.

    *mostly because i ruined the first two while attempting to de-pot, but that's neither here nor there*
    My recent post Style Crush – Emma Stone

    • I remember this occurring! I've had it on my to-try list since then, but still haven't gotten around to it :P

  • Best. Post. Ever. I love you. I'm bookmarking this for future reference.

  • Dovey

    Gorgeous taupe post! I really like the tone of of Marcelle dimensional mauve
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  • Thanks for the comparison! I love taupe shadows too and my fav would be MAC Satin Taupe =)
    My recent post FOTD: 'Dramatic' Silver Smokey

  • Pretty House of Y

    Would you believe that my favorite taupe is a color from a random 120 palette from e-bay? I kid you not. I love that thing.
    My recent post Mayday, Mayday: Cricket Sounds!!!!!!

    • Haha, I'd believe it! That's how things always seem to work out, isn't it? :P

  • I really gotta give Marcelle more of an attentive look next time I'm at Shoppers. Great swatch pictures!
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    • Thanks! And you totally should – they're well worth a look :)

  • Marcelle Mauve shall be mine! All mine!
    My recent post The Legendary MAC 226-Does It Live Up To The Hype?

    • Lol! I'm not sure if you'd still be able to find it around – hope you can, though!

  • Taupe is one of those colors that I just DON'T know how to describe. When I have a taupe I could easily describe it as something else – but at the same time, it's also easy to call it taupe and be done with it.
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  • You know, I don't actually have a lot of taupes. Maybe one? Hahaha. I'm not sure why – I suppose I don't quite get the obsession. They are pretty, but then, so are a lot of other things. Hm. *ponders the case*
    My recent post Scent By the Sea China Rain and Fiori di Roma, Redux, Plus a Brief Pricing Breakdown

    • Gah! FIX THIS SITUATION, STAT! Taupes are wooooonderful. Lovely. Amazing.

      But, then, this is coming from a neutrals girl :P

  • omg taupe overload :) i never used to like taupe much but have grown to appreciate it for more work-friendly makeup. my favourite at the moment is probably UD Darkhorse, since I only recently acquired the Naked palette.

    • Mmm, Darkhorse looks ridiculously pretty. I don't have the Naked palette, but everyone's swatch and FOTD posts for it have been incredibly tempting!

      Good to have you back, hon :)

  • Jennie

    Oh I love No 3 and 4, both shades I don't own. Why is it always like that? :-D

    Thanks for sharing!
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    • Haha, I know how you feel! Obviously, the only solution is to acquire them :D

  • I really don’t have many taupes, lol! You have an amazing collection!

  • Taupe is one of my favourite colors. Always a "go-to" for me. It seems to work for both the office and slightly heavier application for after-work. Thanks for these swatches! MAC's Satin Taupe is one of my favourites but looks like I'll have to go pick up Marcelle's Dimensional Mauve, too. That colors look like another keeper!
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    • Yes, exactly! They're just so versatile – how could you *not* love them, right? ^^

  • I think I need to get Ulta Mystique, such a great name for an eyeshadow :) Our taupe posts only had one eyeshadow in common! How many more taupes are there in the big world of make-up? ;)
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    • You do – it's gorgeous!

      There are lots :D Lots and lots and lots, but not nearly enough!

  • Danielle

    I love taupe! and I LOVE all the shades you chose! I have that Ulta one too, and was impressed with the pigmentation on it :) Satin Taupe is a good standby, but I have recently discovered Burberry's Rosewood and some Inglot taupes that are moving into the land of favorites :) I need to do a taupe post too, they are so much fun to look at, no stare at xD

    • Yes! I have two Ulta shadows, and they honestly just blow me away – and for the price, oh my god! *dies*

      Would love to see a taupe post from you :D

  • Great post, after reading this I feel the need to wear taupe for the rest of the year :)
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  • It looks really lovey and natural on you. But I'd hesitate to buy this because it is SO very natural – I doubt it would show up on me.
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