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The Fab Four Eyeshadows: The All Time Basic Colors

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog.**If you read this post elsewhere, it has been stolen..*

I may be rehashing my previous posts when it comes to these eyeshadows but there is a reason.  These are the four eyeshadow colors I consider to be the starting point of an eyeshadow set.  Whether you are just getting into makeup or downsizing and organizing (like me), these are the four most important colors.  They are like the underwear and bra of an outfit, they are the basis or foundation of many eye looks.  Without these colors, you may be buying unnecessary palettes hoping they will create this magical and complete eye look when in reality you may be actually chasing a makeup dream costing you $$$!

Check out: Choosing the Fab Four Eyeshadows from Ben Nye

For some these matte colors of ivory, peach, taupe and dark brown will be boring.  After all, they aren't the bright or neon colors.  They do look unhip and so unimpressive. ZZZZZZZ real snoozers!  However, in reality these colors not only create the basic illusions of depth, highlight and contour of the eyes; they are the colors which can guide you into a better and faster makeup application.


Peach can be used as an eyeshadow base.  Nowadays, I use peach more than the ivory because it gives a softer contrast between the brow bone and orbital ridge.  There is nothing wrong with using ivory for a more highlighted look of the brow bone but as one gets older, I learned subtlety can make a big statement on the eyes.  Peach is also the color that neutralizes blue/purple.  If you have dark circles around your lids, this will act as a powder neutralizer.  The use of a cream neutralizer may not be necessary, thus avoiding the unnecessary layering of products which on a mature eye can begin to look very unnatural.  The peach also doubles as a blush.

Check out: The Basic Color Selection From Stilazzi: The Fab Four


Taupe is a color that has been hacked in the eyeshadow world in my opinion.  It is a color that has been over sold and over used because every color in the mid brown category seems to be described as taupe.  I am guilty of doing this and guilty of buying taupes.  My mother told me if she ever wanted to sell makeup to me, all she had to do was name every eyeshadow beige, nude and taupe!  (She knows me well!)

Check out: The Essential Ben Nye Blush Colors

The color taupe in this case is a very important color because it acts as a shadow/contour color.  It isn't suppose to be a pretty color.  For taupe, I look for a midtone ash brown.  No glimmer, no shimmer, no shine and no pretty stuff.  I would say the uglier it looks to you in the pan, that is the right color taupe.

Check out: Choosing Your Essential Eyeshadows with Inglot Cosmetics

Taupe should be ashy because a contour or defining the skin needs the ashiness for depth.  The taupe can also be mixed with the dark brown to change the tone a bit.  Taupe when taken in photos will end up looking like nothing on the skin which means it is a good taupe.  Taupe is the no-makeup brown.

Dark Brown

Dark Brown is exactly that dark brown, nothing fancy just boring but it is a color that can be controlled when mixed with other colors in the palette.  Mix it with taupe and you get an ashier dark brown.  Mix it with ivory and it will turn into a light taupe.  Mix it with the peach and it will be a soft flesh tone brown.

Dark Brown in this case can be used to "enclose the lid" and as an eyeliner.  Mix it with taupe and it can be used as an eyebrow color.


Ivory works as a highlighter not just around the eyes but all over the face.  It can also lighten or darken the taupe and the brown.  Ivory is used instead of white because it contains just enough of a flesh undertone, avoiding the start white contrast when pictures are taken.  On the eyes, it can be applied around the inner corner or what I like to do just on the center of the lid.

The complete eye look will look simple and polished.

If you haven't noticed, in my Into the Palette tutorials especially the most recent ones, using some of these colors on the eyes before any other eyeshadows especially colors will define the eyes.  They will also give a true definition to mature eyes and on all others act as a guide.  Alone, these colors will just provide that no makeup look which is very hard to achieve as you know.

Since I layer colors on top of these basic four, I prefer pro brands over cosmetic counter brands.  Why?  For one they are pigmented and will not disappear when I layer other colors like the cosmetic counter brands on top of them.  Two, I don't have to use some eyeshadow base to get great pigment out of them; too many layers of product on the eyes can really show up as unnecessary crinkles!

Brands I like are Viseart which makes one of the best matte palettes.   Ben Nye eyeshadows are huge, pigmented and a bargain; Kryolan also has great eyeshadows though their color swatches makes it hard to choose.

I always use these colors all the time whether I want a natural look or dramatic.  I have also learned having a set of colors like these really cuts down on my buying binge of eyeshadows because these are the basics and the rest of the eyeshadows I see in all these different shades of colors and textures are all accents.  They accessorize the basic eyeshadows. 

Check out: Choose Your Essential Eyeshadow Colors from Kryolan

So, whether you are just starting into makeup or trying to cut down and end buyer's remorse, these are the four colors that are like a good pair of white socks which everyone uses and needs!

*Nothing to disclose. Links provided for your convenience.*

Read by the Intelligent! Uncredited, copied, and plagiarized by the idiots!
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