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The Taupe Organization

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

Sounds like some secret society with a special initiation, doesn't it?  Most likely, it is my bad English.  Actually what I am trying to say is organizing your taupes or how to choose your taupes.  This post will cover the quandary over choosing the right taupes for the ever popular, essential, and basic taupe for the Fab Four palette.

I recently received an email from someone who was in a palette quagmire:

I recently read your wonderful post titled The Basic Eyeshadow Palettes which rekindled my desire to get it right--one portable, colour-correct, travel-worthy palette from which I can whip together a few quick and flattering looks.  Ha.  Easier said than done!  
I cherish emails that ask me for my advice! It is such a touching moment for me. My ego is boosted. 

Okay, back to the seriousness.  From my own experience and the fact I don't have many pro brands or even regular chi-chi cosmetic brands readily available, through buying many brands online (and making $$$ mistakes) I have learned which taupes are important for a basic palette.  Does this take time and skill? Well, it takes a good eye and natural lighting or good store lighting.  Don't ever judge a color from department store lights, the cosmetics are made to look appealing for those lights.  And, this takes me to another suggestion.

Buy your basic color essentials from a pro line like Ben Nye, Kryolan, Cinema Secrets, etc.  Why? For one, the colors will be consistent. There is quality control over the colors; one pan will be the same taupe as the 100th pan.  Two, they don't discontinue.  The essential colors are always there and you don't have that fear to hoard!  Three, they are pigmented.  This is very necessary since colors will be layered on top.  You don't want your base to suddenly look muddy as you layer.  Four, the prices are cheaper than that $36 pretty cosmetic line eyeshadow! 

How I Choose My Taupes

As a regular consumer and a q-tip (makeup applicator as opposed to a makeup artist-->MUA), I have learned you should have four taupes.  I know that sounds like a lot.  Wait, no it isn't is it?  I know many of you are taupe crazy!  Okay, let me rephrase.  You need four basic taupes to get you through the year.  You need a light warm taupe, a dark warm taupe, a light ash (cool-toned) taupe and a dark ash (cool-toned) taupe.

Why These Basic Four Taupes?

Due to the change of season from the warm months to the cold months.  Due to nature's lighting situation; from the warm to cold months the lights change from a warm glow to an icy blue tinged glow.  This also depends on where you live.  If you live up in the cold north, you will probably have a preference to cool tones.  And, finally your eye look preference.  Are you going for a natural almost no-makeup look or are you wanting a more smoky look?

The Warm Taupes

I use warm taupes more in the winter because the warmth in my skin tone disappears.  Using warm colored eyeshadows only just throws me off.  My preference and skin tone still prefers a cool toned palette.  This is where the warm taupes come in to merge my skin and my eyeshadow preference together. 

I have a warm taupe, this one is Ben Nye Taupe (there is also a color called Cork which is a bit warmer and darker but still on the light side of taupe).  This will give me a no-makeup or natural definition to my eyes.  It will define my eyes just enough to make it look like my own natural contour color.

My dark warm taupe is also by Ben Nye called Mink Stole.  This one will give my eyes more definition when I want to wear a dark lid color on them or what will be a smoky eye look.

Here are the swatches. 

The Ash Taupes (Cool Taupes)

The ash taupes or the cool toned ones have more grey to them.  I use these in the spring and summer when my skin tone is warm (when the melanocytes work overtime). 

The light ash taupe is Michael Marcus Amazing.  I know this isn't a pro line but it is one of the ashiest taupes I have seen.  It may look grey but it has that touch of brown to keep it taupe.  This one, like the Ben Nye Taupe ,will just give me minimal definition.

The dark ash taupe is by Ben Nye called Smokey Taupe.  This one isn't really that dark but dark enough to be a cool-toned taupe for a dark lid color or a smoky eye look.

Here are the swatches.

Why Taupe?

A good matte taupe is a color that contours and defines the eye like a skin tone  color.  Since it is made up of all the primary colors with black and white,  the taupes can mimic whatever the lighting situation is.  You may notice you can see your taupe in a one lighting situation like natural sunlight, only to have it disappear and look like your skin tone in a photo.  Taupe is a chameleon and it is also a color that acts as a guide during eyeshadow application without interfering with other colors.

Now, what I suggested are from my point-of-view as a consumer makeup organizing junkie.  A pro makeup artist may say differently since they are working in a medium with manipulated natural lighting.  Me as a makeup applicator, I am suggesting taupes for the average makeup consumer wearer.  And remember, they have to be matte!  I hope this helped some of you!



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