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?


Magazine definitely-not Monday! In which we look at polls…

Classic Make-up

I do love a red lip…

Best of Cheek, Base, BB Cream

The best Blush, Base and BB cream. I’m so impressed that Visee (definitely a puchipura brand) is number 4 of the top BB creams! Even L’oreal (a little bit more expensive) made number 3.

PollsThe bits I like most about these pages are the polls to the left. I love reading and watching how other people do their make-up. Does this make me seem like a creeper? Yes. Is it worth it? Definitely.

The top ‘Cheek’ poll says:

Q.1 “In one make-up application, how many colours do you use?”

And then the numbers underneath are obviously the numbers of colours. The bottom being “I don’t use [any]”.

Q.2 “What colour is your standard blush?”

Pink 46%, Orange 16.4%, Coral Pink 15.9%, Rose 8.5%, Beige-brown 6.2%, Other 7.0%

Now for the ‘Base’ (primer) poll.

Q.1 “Do you wear Base everyday?”

Q.2 “Are your Base and Foundation the same brand?”

Then the BB cream poll

BB Creams

Q.1 “How often do you use BB cream?”

Every day 20.1%, Just on days off 8.5%, Only when I don’t have time 20.7%, Other 6%, I don’t use BB cream 44.7%

Q.2 “How do you use BB cream?”

With face powder on top 52.5%, With foundation on top 22.0%, On its own [I think] 13.6%, Other 11.9%.

I find it interesting that 22% of BB users put foundation over it, since BB cream’s marketing is usually aimed at the ‘all-in-one’ aspect.


Visee Glam Glow Eyes Gr-4: My Ultimate Green Palette

Visee is a cheap, widely-available Japanese drugstore brand.
these palettes retail for 1680 yen (£13.87/$21.61).


I’ve already established my love for Visee in a previous post, and this lovely green palette only strengthens Visee’s position as one of my favourite brands.


P1000895Like the Glam Nude Eyes, this palette’s quality is fantastic. In fact, the textures in the Glam Glow Eyes Palettes are even more buttery than those of the Glam Nude Eyes.

The palette is pretty light, but it doesn’t feel flimsy. It’s been travelling with me a lot recently and is still completely intact.


For a non-neutral palette, it’s very wearable.

The two lighter green shades are, in my opinion, more versatile alternatives to the spring greens on trend in 2012 (like in Dior’s Garden Party Collection).


A while ago, because I’m a palette junkie, I decided I couldn’t buy palettes with shades I wouldn’t use. The palest green shade (second from the left) isn’t one I would wear on its own.


Here it is layered over the medium green shade (below, far left), and then the darker green (below, centre):


This creates a gorgeous antique gold and a bronzey green – colours that I would use frequently. (And in fact, I use those layered shades the most).



The Bottom Line

Another great quality palette from Visee. Layering the colours creates a multitude of looks, and I’ve hardly been reaching for my single green eyeshadows since I bought it.


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Visee Glam Nude Eyes N-5 Smokey Beige


Let’s look at an inexpensive quint today.

Visee is one of my favourite drugstore brands. They make great quality eyeshadows and their palettes are always cute-looking and, more importantly, filled with usable colours.

Here’s their catalogue of eye make-up

(and how cute is their new collection?! Check out Yumeko’s review here)

When I use drugstore items I often tend to make allowances for them because they were cheap, but Visee eyeshadows surpass all my expectations and perform like a much more expensive product*.

But let’s take a look at the colours first




It was difficult to capture the shade of the mid-tone brown (bottom centre of the palette, second from left on my arm) because in real life it actually has a teensy bit more purple in it that cools the shade down a bit.

It’s not the most exciting palette, but it is such a useful one. Most neutral palettes are way too warm for me, resulting in orange eyelids. This one leans a tiny bit cool. On its own it makes for an excellent everyday palette, and it’s very useful for travel. It also combines well with other colours, a pop of purple or green for example.


Like I said, this palette performs very well.

  • Excellent Staying Power – Anyone who’s been to Gion Matsuri, will know how hot and humid it is (pro tip: very). Then there’s all the smoke from the yakitori stalls that makes your eyes water. It was on this night that I decided to test my Visee Palette. When I got back home I expected to be a creasy mess, if there was any pigment left on my eyelids at all, that is. Actually, it looked just as it had when I put it on, and, as I looked in the mirror, I realised that Visee eyeshadows were amaaazzziiinnggg. So amazing, in fact, that the story of their staying power stays in my brain for 4 months.
  • Easy to Work with – This is pretty self-explanatory, they blend like a dream, and you can pack them on in areas where you want super pigmentation without worrying about fallout or mess.
  • Soft, Buttery textures – Visee textures vary by finish. The textures of most of them are pretty good, and the texture of finishes like that of the mid-brown I mentioned above is really buttery and smooth. Compared to the Shu ME formula or Sonia Rykiel eyeshadows, there is, of course, a difference in feel, but I’m still hugely impressed by the non-drugstore characteristics of these eyeshadows. The glitter, while there’s quite a bit of it, is not chunky or blingy.





I can’t think of anything I dislike about this palette, its design is cute, the packaging isn’t flimsy, and the quality is good.

I will say, however, that I was not that impressed by these Glam Hunt eyeshadows. The colours are nice but I found when swatching them that the colour pay-off was pretty crappy with most finishes, and they didn’t have the buttery texture of other Visee palettes.


*Although not all expensive eyeshadows are necessarily good, in fact more often than not they’re a disappointment.