Taupe is defined as:
a moderate to dark brownish gray, sometimes slightly tinged withpurple, yellow, or green.
1910–15; < French < Latin talpa mole
a brownish-grey colour
So the etymology of the word stemmed from that humble, lowly animal, presumably to describe the shade of its coat. Which would be a nondescript brownish-gray?
Nevertheless, in today’s makeup world, taupe is the new black. The neutral, THE neutral shade you reach out for on the most regular of basis. The shade that goes with all eye colours and skin tones. The only colour you really need as an eyeshadow for the rest of your life. The shade that fits ALL occasions. The ubiquitous one-colour wash.
Taupe. Much ado about it.
Here’re swatches of taupes as it means to different people and makers.
(Photos can be clicked on to view them in their full sizes)
Bottom half of eyeshadows are over the Meow i-Prime primer. All are swatched heavily for better colour payoff.
From left to right: NYX Taupe single ES, Rimmel Mono ES 160 Punchy Taupe, Essence single ES 46 Taupe of the Pop, Essence Single ES 35 Party All Night, Too Faced Blonde Ambition ES, Loreal Infallible Sahara Treasure and Sephora Jumbo Liner in 04 Taupe.
Taupes are really very personal and subjective. This shows how subjective they are as they range from my ideal taupe to browns and golden glimmers.
For my personal taupe definition, I like them with cool undertones and on the very light side. With as minimal brown as possible.
This would exclude most of the shades above. I reckon it has to do with the colours most complimentary to the shade of my eyes and skintone.
So to me, NYX has it right with the Nyx Taupe, Essence Taupe of the Pops and even Too Faced Blonde Ambition.
Parts 2, 3 and 4 over the next couple of weeks will feature indie mineral makeup eyeshadows.
So what makes a taupe a taupe for you?