Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finally - My Perfect Taupe!

It seems so silly, but yet so important -finding the perfect taupe eye color. It also sounds like it shouldn't be that hard - you go to the store, find one that says "taupe", pay, and go home happy.

But, at least for me, it hasn't worked that way at all. My search for the perfect taupe has been a series of hopeful anticipation and massive letdowns that has literally lasted years. I would look at taupes in the packaging at stores, thinking they were going to work, but upon application, the color was all wrong. I would read color descriptions online, confident that this would be the one, only to find out that Houston, we have a problem again.

Why was this so damn hard? It is because, I think, "taupe" doesn't really mean the same thing to everyone. Wikipedia agrees with me:

"Taupe refers to a dark grayish-brown color. The word "taupe" derives from the French name for the European Mole, Talpa europaea. Originally, this referred only to the average color of the French mole 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."

And then check out how many hex codes there are for taupe (these are codes used to make colors show up in HTML/web page design):

And so this is exactly what I found as well. I had this perfectly balanced, specific color in mind - but there were so many versions of "taupe eye shadow" that it was next to impossible to find that one specific beauty I wanted. Some taupes were too brown, some too gray, and some leaned yuckily into muddy tan colors. Surprisingly, many taupes also appeared purple or plummy - these are lovely, as I loooooovvvvve purples, but when you are looking for taupe, a purple result is disappointing.

I realized that my perfect taupe was a nice balance of a fairly neutral brown, gray, and yes, purple. It would have a nice shimmer to it, because often matte taupes look like dirt on my eyelids, so perhaps a little silver should be thrown in. Whatever the color mix, though, I realized I probably wasn't going to find that one color, and I essentially gave up. Yes, I'd eye taupe colors when passing by, but my quest was suspended - no more incessant testing of the taupes!

And then one day, it happened.... completely by accident, I found my gorgeous, balanced, perfect taupe.

I had ordered samples of Meow Cosmetics' fall eye colors to try out (and swatch and review for you guys, which I will still do in another post very soon). In that collection is a color called "Claws-trophobic" and it is described as a "platinum taupe," excellent for a smoky eye. When I ordered the samples, the swatch online looked pretty, so I got it, but I didn't really think that it looked like that taupe.

The colors arrived, and I intended to do a fancy eye look with them the next morning. However, it so happened that I had an 8:30 am meeting that day and overslept, leaving me precious little time to get ready. Scratch the fancy look - grab a color that looks like it'll be easy and neutral, perfect for a rush job. I grabbed Claws-trophobic - in my bathroom lighting it had that brown/gray look with shimmer, and maybe a little purple to bring out my green eyes - slapped it on quickly with a little highlighter, liner, and mascara, and bailed for work.

Upon arrival at work, I dashed into the bathroom before my meeting. On my way out, I glanced in the mirror to check to make sure my makeup hadn't done anything funky.... and I stopped dead.

Leaning over the counter and examining my lids, I saw it. It was The Taupe. Perfectly balanced, the gray came out first, but as I turned the gray seamlessly turned to brown. Interestingly, the brown wasn't exactly the cool brown I thought My Taupe would have, but brown just ever so slightly over to the warm side of neutral. In different light over at the full length mirror, the shadow glowed with hints of purple and flashed with just the right amount of platinum shimmer overlay. It wasn't metallic, but it had that... I don't know... "ooomph"?

It lasted all day, just as lovely as when I put it on... I was so pleased I couldn't help but look in mirrors every chance I got. I found my perfect taupe!!

If anyone else is on a Taupe Quest and wants to try Claws-trophobic, it is available on Meow Cosmetics' Fall Splendor Palette page. It's just $1.oo for a very generous sample (and it's $10.25 for a full size jar - before you freak about that price, remember that Meow's eye colors come in packed-full 10 gram jars, rather than the 5 gram jars most mineral shadows come in).

Has anyone else ever had to quest for the perfect eye color? Did you find it?


Phyrra said...

I have to tell you I loved the Meow Fall colors as well. Clawstrophobic was one of my favorites. Heavy Petting is my perfect dark purple.

Jennifer said...

YEAH... I love Heavy Petting too! So far, I have just used that as an eye liner, but I am hoping that for the number of evening soirees I've got coming up for the holidays, I will be able to use it more extensively in a purple smokey look. Thanks for visiting my blog... I loove comments. And you reminded me I still haven't put up swatches of these colors.... gotta do that. They're great!