Lavender + Taupe smokey eyes

So, in an excellent showing of “it takes Rae forever to post absolutely everything,” here’s an eye look that I absolutely couldn’t wait to photograph & post. The photos, snapped within 48 hours of my becoming re-infatuated with lavender (totally Xiao’s fault), are… wait for it… three months old.


Despite the fact that I am now considerably less excited about lavender (it’s so much more exciting during a season in which it isn’t already being overdone), I’m still quite fond of this look. Enjoy!

I used Rimmel Glam’Eyes in Royal Violet (review) for the violet in this look, but I think I’m going to need a new matte lavender soon – it’s good, for a $5 shadow, but you really have to pack it on. If anyone has recommendations, they’d definitely be appreciated!

To juxtapose something warm and wearable against the ethereal purple tones of Royal Violet, I added a mix of MAC Satin Taupe (swatches) and Ulta Molten (swatches) around the edges and along most of the lower lashline – a sheer layer of Satin Taupe toward the inner corner, and Molten concentrated on the outer corner, to add depth without closing in the eye area.

The look was finished with a smudgy flick of Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Expresso and one coat of Annabelle Le Big Show Mascara (review). I’d thought about lining with the gorgeous MAC Teddy (review), but the Marcelle won out in the end – though Teddy is absolutely delicious (and a dream to smudge out), the wear time on the Marcelle is so much better.

Since doing this look (and this is a bit of an unrelated ramble), Expresso has actually moved into my “daily” tin – brushes, liners, and mascaras that I find myself reaching for quite often. It’s not breathtaking, but it’s still a lovely chocolate brown with subtle gold flecks; the perfect balance between no-nonsense and attention-grabbing.

Swatched L-R: MAC Satin Taupe, Marcelle Expresso, Rimmel Royal Violet, Ulta Molten

One last thing…

Just threw together a quick assortment of other lavender eyeshadows, in case anyone else is being bitten by the lavender bug as well! I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these, if you’ve tried them, or perhaps if anyone has an etailer recommendation for a nice matte lavender shadow?

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  • mostlysunnybunny

    Lavender looks LOVELY on you, and it's even better paired with taupe! Very lovely! I like the concept of lavender, but haven't gathered enough courage to actually try because I'm quite warm-toned (my past experience tells me it makes me look… dirty). Is there any lavender and taupe you would recommend to a warm-toned NC30? Thanks in advance Rae! xx
    My recent post Come Shopping with Me! Edition Brussels. Focus Store: Smets

    • <3 thank you, m'dear!

      I'd try a combination like this, if you're worried about how well the tones will sit – the lavender is more or less just a pop of colour when you blink, so it's really easy to pair with any skintone. Pick up one from the drugstore & pair with your favourite taupe ;)

  • I absolutely love the look of taupe and lilac together, it's something I've never tried and now I am excited to!

  • BooBooNinja

    This is lovely on you. I had put Patina on my wish list over Satin Taupe, but this is making me reconsider. I love the elegant simplicity of your looks. So glad you share them with us. :)

    • ♥♥ thank you, honey! Patina's on my "to swatch" list, but (of course) I *still* haven't gotten around to it.

      Tbh, I'm not crazy about Satin Taupe – it's warmer than I'd prefer, and (with all the hype) was a bit of a disappointment once I finally got my hands on it :( But, well, my favourite taupes are all either Canadian, LE, or both, so I should probably zip it! :P

      • BooBooNinja

        Please share! I don't own a single taupe … er… yet!
        I've considered going with Rouge Bunny Rouge (Solstice Halcyon) for my first taupe, but I can't bring myself to break the bank on something I've yet too see in person.

        I agree with Satin Taupe being a touche too warm. I think my complexion is on the warm side, but I don't like too much warmth in my eye shadows. I hope that I'm not going down the wrong path. I hope that the things I'm choosing are *actually* compatible with my colouring!

        Please swatch Patina soon. I get flustered when I go to MAC and feel like I have a giant neon "NEWBIE" sign flashing over my head, and I always have the sense that the MUAs wil say anything to me to make the sale. I'd like your opinion on Patina for a slightly warm NC20/25 girl. I like the complexity of Patina. I think that it could be versatile too — as a lighter shade, Patina could use work as an all-over lid colour; or be deepened with one of my darker mattes and used in the crease/outer-v. What are you thoughts on this?

        p.s.I generally go for matte colours for my crease. I used to be on the hunt for only matte shadows, as I was annoyed with all the drugstore frosts and shimmers that were available to me. However, now I'm open to satin, glowy finishes. No glitter at all.

        • Ahhh, the pressure!! :P I have to pop into a MAC store soon to pick up something for the next Lipstick Bandits post, so I'll check out Patina while I'm there & report back ;)

          To get you started with some taupes, though, hit up this post – my favourites are Marcelle's Dimensional Mauve (one of the four shades; it's a quad) & Ulta Molten. Marcelle Suede would be on that list, too, but it's a bit more sheer than I prefer!

          I've yet to find the *perfect* taupe, though :( One of these days!

  • Thanks for posting this! I think lavender and brown is one of the prettiest and most wearable color combinations for the eyes. I adore that Nars duo. Have a lovely week Rae!
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  • Bun Bun Makeup Tips

    Purples and browns always look awesome together! I didn't really fall for Satin Taupe when I initially got it, even regretting a little. But somehow it grew on me and I use it on the contour area quite frequently now.
    My recent post Bun Bun’s First Birthday + Giveaway!

    • Hmmm! I didn't fall for it initially either, but I'm not so sure about the growing-on-me part of that statement :P I still think it's a little warm for my colouring, which makes it hard to wear on its own!

      Maybe it's still growing. :p

  • I love lavender and any purple really! I have been wanting MAC's satallite dreams for a long time
    My recent post Thin Lips Reshaped and My Short Stint as a Face Model for Ephraim Hunt

    • Haha, me too – but I've yet to find *the perfect* lavender :P

  • dani@callitbeauty

    Taupe and purples, my favourite combo. <3
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  • phyrra

    This is quite lovely on you!
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  • So, SO pretty. I love that little wink of lavender.

    Regarding your recommendation question – have you tried MAC Beautiful Iris? It's a Veluxe Pearl, so not matte, unfortunately, but a very nice lavender all the same.
    My recent post MAC Extra Dimension

    • Thanks, Maggie ;o)

      Haven't tried it yet, but I'll put it on my list to try in person! Perhaps the VP finish will be close enough :)

  • Alison M

    This is just beautiful! I love how a variety of brown tones make colorful shadows so easy to wear.

  • This is super pretty, Rae :) I've heard good things about those Maybelline quads, so maybe try one of those?
    My recent post Dermatologic Treatment: My Experience and Tips

    • Thanks, Monika :) I'll have to swatch the lavender one in-store sometime – I've heard really mixed things about them, myself, but I'm pretty sure it varies depending to shade. (Ugh, I hate it when products do that!)

  • Super pretty look :) I need Marcelle Expresso liner! Gorgeous (and my UD Bourbon is almost all gone, good replacement for it I think!)
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    • You totally do! ;) I think it would be a brilliant replacement for Bourbon.

  • The only lavender I own (I think) is a satin finish pastel from Shiro Cosmetics. It's called…Lolita? I think. It's actually quite lovely and not glittery, but I just don't go wild for purple eye shadow. It's more pastel than your violet, though.
    My recent post A England Princess Sabra (Tristam Eyes)

    • Hmm. I'll put it on my "maybes" list; a Shiro order has been very tempting over the last little while ;o) You ladies all make it sound so lemm-able!

  • toyarosie

    REALLY liking this look, Rae! Soft yet a bit edgy and unexpected at the same time. I'm always in awe of your technique, I can learn a lot from you! I don't have any lavender shadows, let alone matte ones…thinkin' I should get on that!
    My recent post Cross One Off My Beautiful-Makeup-I-MUST-Own List: Le Metier de Beaute’s Corinthian

    • Thanks, hon! :) Definitely get on that – good lavenders are hard to find, but they're so lovely to work with.

  • Very pretty. It obviously uses a well worn spring color but the more neutral shades you used balance it out well.
    My recent post Urban Decay Naked Palette (original) Review and Swatches

  • vivalamakeuptv

    This looks so pretty for spring. Can't wait to give this one a try. :)

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  • Anne

    Love the colors, it looks so fresh and pretty. Your eyes are beautiful btw, I love their shape :)