Jan 042013

MAC Taupe Shape Chanel Notorious1a

I’ve had a long time fascination with neutral blushes. I suppose it is only a matter of time before I just move into contour powders. But for now I thought it would be interesting to compare some recent acquisitions with some old favorites.

In the Strength Collection, Mac released Taupe Shape ($20) and Poised ($20). These sold out almost immediately online. According to a response to my email, Mac’s customer services stated that neither will be restocked online. The Strength Collection was also released in Mac stand-alone stores (but not department store counters). Several Mac stand-alone stores seemed to have gotten a good supply of both Taupe Shape and Poised, so if you are interested those stand alone stores are the only places to find them.

MAC Taupe Shape Chanel Notorious2

Intrigued by the name “Taupe Shape,” I wondered whether this blush might be a more user-friendly version of Chanel Notorious (now apparently sold out). As it turns out, it is (sort of). Mac’s Taupe Shape is softer, ever so slightly warmer, and far less pigmented. These combine to make early morning application more user-friendly and foolproof. Of course, Mac’s Taupe Shape lacks Chanel Notorious’ drama, but I don’t know of any blushes (ever) as dramatic as Notorious.

MAC Taupe Shape Chanel Notorious1a4

Some will find Mac Taupe Shape far too cool and too edgy. For those, I recommend Mac Poised, or a more brown or amber blush. Here I compare this to my well-worn Shu Amber 85 (long discontinued, a matte) and Mac Sur, a mauve-brown that sold out in a heartbeat last year. However, there are other brown blushes on the market (check Illamasqua Create, Nars Madly, Burberry Earthy and others) or even soft bronzers that can do the trick. Other worthy contenders are the softly mauve Giorgio Armani Blush #5 (reviewed here by The Black Panties) and the amber Rouge Bunny Rouge Delicata (reviewed here by The Pink Sith).

MAC Taupe Shape Chanel Notorious1a3

I can barely apply Chanel Notorious with a standard brush. I use a duo fiber and also wipe it down before application. Mac Taupe Shape can be used with an angled or small-headed blush brush (for precise placement). Some may find Mac Taupe Shape and Poised too shimmery for contour purposes (compare these to The Beauty Look Book’s review of the Mac Sculpting powders). I didn’t find Taupe Shape very shimmery on my cheeks, personally. Heavy application with flash:

MAC Taupe Shape Chanel Notorious7a

Other posts that you might find interesting is Messy Wands review of Chanel Notorious and Temptalia’s Review of Mac Taupe Shape. Another is Cafe Makeup’s review of Burberry’s Light Glow Earthy Blush.

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  10 Responses to “Sketchbook: Taupe Blushes”

  1. Hi Amy, I really enjoyed this followup to your New Year’s post. I’m surprised at how different Taupe Shape is from Notorious; it does look more wearable!

  2. I think 2013 will finally be the year I experiment with contouring!! I have never felt the need to but in the last year (and mostly thanks to the release of Notorious), I’ve gotten very curious and think I am ready to start playing with contouring powders! I really like the look of the Shu Amber–too bad it’s discontinued :/

  3. I agree. I would go with Taupe Shape if I wanted a cool tone contouring powder. Though the color is not as interesting as Chanel Notorious, Taupe Shape will give a more natural contouring effect. However, I’m not into contouring so I’ll pass on this.

  4. Thank you thank you thank you! I skipped Notorious (I’ve been in Tom Ford craze for the last 3 months) mostly because it looks too cool for me. Now that I got better with contouring, I’m so curious about how it works compared to other neutral blushes. On my warm skin, taupe shades photograph more naturally while brown/tan based shades look more believable in real life. This post helps me to narrow down alternative for Notorious, not dupes but alternatives. Thanks a lot xx

  5. Really enjoyed this post & love the comparisons and swatches. I absolutely love taupe-y brown blushes and was intrigued by the taupe-minus-brown color of Chanel Notorious. I wasn’t too convinced it would work for me though. I figured I could just use one of my many eyeshadows that color if I wanted to contour with that shade. I can definitely see why people are so excited about Taupe Shape, but I’ll pass on that too. My favorite contouring powder is Ben Nye Contour.

  6. I always forget how cool-toned Notorious is until I see it next to other cool taupe blushes that look warm in comparison! Really lovely post, it’s interesting to see the variation in shades. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of NYX Taupe for its affordability, but perhaps when I run out of that (I’ve already managed to make a pretty sizable dent), I will come back to this post to search for a suitable alternative 🙂

  7. Wow, never thought Chanel would really sell that dark shade! I wanted to mention another really nice taupe cloured blush – Giorgio Armani 5. It has the faintest hint of pink and looks pretty weird in the pan, but it became the first blush I used regularly.

    Thank you for your fabulous swatches by the way, you helepd me a lot already – I bought Burberry Foundation unseen because of your swatches and… it delivered! Great job! And several Chanel lipsticks and…

  8. This is a very helpful post – thank you! It really emphasizes how different Notorious is from the others.

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