Adventures in Minimalism: Purging the Taupes a.k.a. insert taupe pun here

Taupe on a rope? Taupal eclipse? The audacity of taupe? Please submit your taupe puns in the comments section – we will have a pun-off.

Ok so some of you may have seen my stash photo on twitter:

Stash full

(Incidentally Adobe Photoshop’s panorama stitching is wizardry – apart from a dodgy Shu eyeshadow, you’d never tell this was two photos stitched together)

Now by some people’s standards this is just a little pygmy stash, but the size doesn’t bother me too much, it’s more the huge waste – there are so many products here that I just don’t use!

So now I’m embarking on a minimalist adventure, purging anything that, in the words of William Morris, I ‘do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ (smart man, also do you know you can get William Morris tablecloths – what did this guy NOT do?).

To start with, let’s have a look at all my taupes.

And with labels:

A LOT of Asian eyeshadows here, and almost half are drugstore, which is nice. Most brands you will have heard of before, Dodo may be new to some folks – I don’t know a whole lot about the brand actually, I think it’s Korean and I know it’s quite reasonably priced; I bought this eyeshadow in a Japanese drugstore for about £4.

First we have: Visee Glam Nude Eyes N-5 (reviewed here), Suqqu Keshizumi, Addiction Flashback, Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow Collection 09, Dodo P20, Lancôme Erika F.

It seems in my absence I’ve forgotten how to take good photos of swatches, so bear with me.

Lancôme Erika F (far right) pushes the definition of taupe, and as you can see, my skin pulls out the grey and green in it. In reviews of it by other bloggers, it often looks like a much closer relative to the taupe family than it does on me.

My favourites from this group are the Sonia Rykiel (3rd from the right) and the Suqqu (2nd from the left). I love how purple and cool the Sonia Rykiel is, and the coolness of the Suqqu makes it so wearable. Both textures are amazing. My least favourite is the Dodo (2nd from right), the texture of the eyeshadow isn’t great – a little hard – and it’s a little too warm. Flashback and Visee are…ok. I like them a lot on their own, but when I compare them to my other taupes, I see others that I prefer.

Next we have: Kate Wide Edge Eyes PU-1, Maquillage Eyeshadow N in GY835, Bobbi Brown Stone, Too Faced Like a Virgin, Suqqu Ginbudou.

Don’t you LOVE that Maquillage (2nd from left) eyeshadow? I really haven’t used this eyeshadow enough; I bought it just as I arrived in Japan, and never really got acquainted with it because then I bought about…100 other things in a fit of shopping that experts are calling: WHEEE JAPAN! (I am the expert. It is me calling it that. You can call it that too if you like.)

Anyway, mmm yummy to that Maquillage. Its texture is lovely as well. The Kate (far left) is also rather nice, not too red. The palette itself is stellar, I’m surprised I haven’t reviewed it yet. The Suqqu (far right), like Erika F, pushes the boundaries of taupe so it’s a bit strange to compare it to the rest. I love it though, regardless of taupicity.

While the Too Faced (the matte, 2nd from right) doesn’t exactly excite me, I do see it as a very useful shade; it’s my only matte taupe, and it’s very versatile. The only loser in this bunch is the Bobbi Brown. It’s a little warm, and if I wasn’t so overwhelmed with taupes I’d probably keep it, but this eyeshadow is middle-of-the-road in terms of both texture and shade, so it’s not really necessary for me to keep it.


  • Sonia Rykiel 09
  • Suqqu Keshizumi
  • Maquillage GY835
  • Kate PU-1
  • Too Faced Like A Virgin


  • Visee N-5 (but probably keep because the palette is really solid and versatile)
  • Addiction Flashback


  • Dodo P20
  • Bobbi Brown Stone

Taupe Imposters (Intertaupers!)

  • Lancôme Erika F
  • Suqqu Ginbudou

Are any of you reading-people mid-purge? Or planning one? Are you shocked by the amount of stuff I have – or laughing at my piddly collection? Which taupe is your favourite? Do you like questions? What did you have for lunch? I had pasta and homemade pesto? Because I’m cool like that? My basil plant has grown really big, how do I stop it? Maybe I’ll buy a sheep to graze on it? Do sheep eat basil? Italian sheep maybe?



Sonia Rykiel Mousse Eyeshadow

Sonia Rykiel is a department store brand available nationwide in Japan. It also has a few counters in hong kong, singapore, and taiwan.
these eyeshadows retail for 2625 yen (£21.76/$34.09) in japan, but i’ve heard they are much cheaper elsewhere.

P1000907My earlier post didn’t really convey how much I love the Sonia Rykiel brand, so I’ll clarify: I think the products are high quality, original, and they perform excellently. The Sonia Rykiel Mousse Eyeshadows are no exception.

For swatches of the range, click here.


I own 08 (a silvered khaki, now discontinued), and 04 (bronze purple).

P1000909The only issue I have with these eyeshadows is how messy they are. I tried my best to clean them up for these photos but, as you can see, I gave up. The shadows are gooey – eventually they do take the shape of their jar, but they stay in their original position for a while beforehand.

Luckily, (here’s another reason I love Sonia Rykiel) they come with a handy inner lid to seal them in so that:

  • Air doesn’t get in and dry out the formula, and…
  • When you open them up you’re not met with a huge mess gathered in the lid, it’s all contained within the jar.

P1000919The lid is also really helpful for applying these shadows: because of their texture, if you dip your brush directly into the pot, the formula will rise up with the brush – a bit like pizza cheese – so you end up picking up way too much. The underside of the lid however, is covered with an even coating of the mousse, so you can just pat your brush on the lid to get the right amount.

So now that the messiness is out of the way, what is that makes me love these eyeshadows?

  • Effect – once the eyeshadow is applied, it dries to a powder finish but it stays looking as complex as a cream. It retains the kind of ‘molten’ look that is typical of foiled eyeshadow.


  • Lasting Power – this is the first non-powder eyeshadow I’ve tried that is so liquidy, and I expected it to move around quite a lot: it didn’t seem sticky enough to gain a hold of the eyelid. However, perhaps due to its powder finish, it actually wears like iron even without a primer. Because I haven’t been wearing a lot of make-up recently, I tend to absent-mindedly touch or rub my eyes. I did this three or four times while wearing the Mousse Eyeshadow and, while a little bit of sparkle showed up on my finger, the eyeshadow itself still looked vibrant and un-scathed.


  • Pigmentation – when I over-apply, it can get a little bit crepey, but not as much as other cream shadows (like MUFE Aqua Creams). Luckily, I don’t need to pile on a lot because the eyeshadow is opaque on first swipe. It can be sheered out (until it is eventually reduced to glitter), but I like it at full-strength.



I am completely enamoured with 04 (on the right): it has just the right amount of drama without overpowering my eyes, and the bronze in it makes it a very versatile and wearable purple.

It’s sad that the other darker shades have been discontinued: I think the intensity of these mousses is showcased best with dark colours; the lighter shades seem to be predominantly sparkle.

The Bottom Line

Sonia Rykiel Mousse Eyeshadows are an original formula that won’t disappoint. I have nothing like them in my collection. The limited colour range is disappointing though.


04 on eyes

Excuse the somewhat strange expression, would you believe this was the best photo out of about 30?!

Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow Collection #9 Swatches

This is another palette I love. I haven’t used it enough for me to write a full review, so I thought I’d whet your appetites with some swatches.



Natural Light (Click for big)Natural Light


If you’d like to see some more swatches and a review of Sonia Rykiel Palettes, click here and here.