May 13, 2021

Beauty: why taupe is my most used makeup shade

It brings restraint and is the perfect partner for something strong and scene-stealing

Yes, I know taupe is neither sexy nor cool, but please keep reading: as well as pronunciation issues, taupe has an image problem, and it bothers me. The flat, cold, greyish mouse-brown of murky washing-up water or the dregs of too-milky tea may not instinctively appeal, but taupe is by far my most used makeup shade, and I’d sooner forsake almost any other.

I wear it on eyes almost daily – usually from Nars’ Madrague Duo (£25), a nigh-on perfect palette of matte caramel and taupe. After sweeping on the former, I use a blender brush (mostly Charlotte Tilbury’s, but no matter) in a windscreen-wiper motion to plant the taupe into my socket line, then a smaller pencil brush (Mac’s 219) to smudge it under lower lashes. It gives the sophisticated, sculpted look of a Hitchcock heroine, especially when teamed with groomed brows. And there taupe comes into its own: unless yours are near-black, dark taupe is almost always ideal for natural-looking, filled-in eyebrows.

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