There’s a large portion of the makeup-loving population (myself included) that loses all reason at the mention of the word “taupe.” I’ve concluded that it is quite possibly the most powerful word in makeup.

So I wanted to take a moment to talk about what taupe is.

Brown (whether it’s a red brown or a yellow brown) is a warm color. Grey is a cool color. If you start with brown and cool it down — or if you start with grey and warm it up, you get taupe. Taupe is not a specific color, but rather a spectrum of brown-grey mixes.

Sometimes people call something taupe — sometimes makeup companies name things “taupe” — and I think “no, that’s just brown,” (or grey, as the case may be). Taupe is confusing to the eye. When I look at an eyeshadow / shirt / handbag and can’t instantly decide if it’s brown or grey, I know I’ve found taupe.

But not just any complex shade can be called taupe. Grey-with-purple-in-it? Not taupe. Merriam-Webster backs me up on this.

For those of you looking for a taupe eyeliner, you’ll find it in GOSH’s Grey Mink Let’s Twist Waterproof eyeliner… but for me, taupe is too light a color to make a really great eyeliner. (I want my eyeliner to define my eye and make my lashes look more full.)

So that said, here are a few more taupes.

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16 Responses to “Eu-Taupe-ia”

  • Huai-Ann says:

    >I’m so glad you posted about this. Up till now, whenever anyone said something was “taupe” I pretended I knew what they were talking about and secretly turned around and looked up the item in question. hahahah :)

  • verybecca says:

    >LOL! Now I have Goldfrapp’s Utopia stuck in my brain.

  • Sarah says:

    >Could you list some of the greyer taupes you know of? Thanks!

  • maya says:

    >Thanks for this.
    Could you maybe post some MAC Taupes. I don’t really consider Satin Taupe to be a true Taupe. :(

  • GlossMenagerieDotCom says:

    >*rabid taupe fan*

    omgawd. :D Now there needs to be a TAUPE GALLERY. :O

  • P-ham says:

    >I LOVE taupe e/s. Yeah satin taupe isn’t a true taupe but it’s one of my faves! I am in search of a true taupe for my black brows b/c they look horrible with dark brow color=/ If u can one day u can swatch the anastasia duo brow powders i would be very grateful^_^

  • Catherine says:


  • makeupmag says:

    >Don’t forget your MAC Satin Taupe swatch.

    I’m waiting for your mauve/mowve/mawve/mahff/mohff (potayto potahto) post! :D

  • jojoba says:

    >the more i looked at ski glow, the more i want it. but i need to think straight, i might want the new dior designer’s in navy more!!!

    luckily taupe isn’t my top choice or else!

  • Diletta says:

    >I’m a taupe-addicted too, loved this post and love your blog!
    Greetings from Italy :) d.

  • Elvira says:

    >Taupe Obsessed here! Love the post Karal! and OMG My word verification is preti! LMAO!

  • Claudia says:

    <3 taupe! OPI's You Don't Know me Jacques! is by far the prettiest taupe nail polish I've ever seen

  • Sandy says:

    I have a shimmer eyeshadow from Clinique called Taupestry that is lovely…but I think it was a LE shadow. I love taupes! Marcelle has a few nice ones too and their shadows are lovely.

  • KellyK. says:

    i am also a taupe e/s fan! i am currantly loving chanels safari e/s in my crease with chanels lotus all over my lid, also bobbi brown’s brownstone e/s is also imo a lovely cool taupe…

  • Linda says:

    I found this about taupe
    Taupe (pronounced /ˈtoÊŠp/) is a dark grayish-brown color. The word “taupe” derives from the Latin name for the European Mole, Talpa europaea.

    Originally, this referred only to the average color of the French mole,[1] but like the colors pink and lavender, the name expanded (in the case of taupe beginning in the 1940s) to encompass a wide range of varying shades. It seems that this occurred because the color of the fur of the mole can itself exhibit a wide range of shades, from gray through yellowish, brownish, and even purplish.

    Taupe is a vague, unscientific color term which may be used to refer to almost any grayish-brown, brownish-gray, or warm gray color. It often overlaps with tan and even people who use color professionally (such as designers and artists) frequently disagree as to what “taupe” means. There is no single, generally recognized authority for such terms.

    there even pictures of the colors

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