Taupe: A Rant


It’s a beauty blogger’s (and vlogger’s) best friend.

Rarely do I go through a YouTube video in which the colour isn’t mentioned. Taupe is everywhere. Or is it?

I’d argue that it isn’t. In the beauty community, “taupe” has become a catch-all term for indescribable brownish shades, resulting in both a loss of the meaning of the term and a decline in descriptive creativity. In fact, that’s my thesis for this post. (How often does a beauty blog post have a thesis? Serious business.)

Oxford dictionary defines taupe as “grey with a tinge of brown”. The word itself originates from the French word for mole. (I guess because a mole’s fur is greyish brown?)

For a better picture of what taupe actually is, I turned to Pantone. They are, after all, the colour authority.

A search for taupe in Pantone’s ColorFinder produced this motley crew:

Pantone Taupe

As you can see, taupe varies. Some are greyish brown. Some are brownish grey. Some lean beige. Others even lean pink. I think its taupe’s ambiguity that leads to its misuse. When nobody knows exactly what taupe is because it varies so much, anybody can use it to describe virtually anything.

I love a ‘taupe’ eyeshadow as much as the next gal, but I’m sick of hearing the word. I feel like we can be more original in describing colours, or we can not describe them at all and let pictures speak for us. A thousand words, right?




  1. This is how I feel about “mauve”.

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