Something is exceptionally mesmerizing about gold eyeshadow. Maybe it’s the regality of gold itself, but there's something commanding, bold, and majestic about it. Each look seems smooth, fluid, and as if the eyes were dusted effortlessly with golden powder; and though a gilded eye may seem like it belongs solely on runways or editorial photo shoots, reserved for models and celebrities — figuring out how to wear gold eyeshadow the modern way isn't as hard as you'd think. (Spoiler: The color looks good on everyone.) And if you've been too timid to try this beauty trend, the holidays are the perfect time.
“Gold eyeshadow compliments all skin tones," says Azra Red, a makeup artist and founder of Terra & Co. "It’s a versatile shade that warms up all skin tones and it’s timeless — from a wash of gold cream on your lids in the summer to all gold glitter for the holidays.”
You can start by finding a subtle, light gold eyeshadow that provides a sheer hint of color to start. Then, if you like how it looks, go all out.
“There are so many gold eyeshadows on the market, and I love the warmth that they bring to the face," says Autumn Moultrie, a celebrity makeup artist who works with Kerry Washington and Viola Davis. "I like to use the subdued versions on the brow one and on the inner corner of the eye to really pop the eye open," she says.
To get started, always prep the skin with a primer, Lucy Halperin, a celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles tells TZR, who says it'll make your shadow last. “If you want a strong gold eye look, I'd use a flat brush and pat the product on your eyes to give it real depth and a long-lasting."
If you'd rather opt for a subtle look, Moultrie's favorite pro tip is to "apply translucent powder over the gold shadow to create a beautifully subtle effect," she says. "This way, a gold shadow can be even used during the day, too."
Ahead, the modern way to pull of gold eyeshadow, plus the exact shades to shop for your skin-tone.
“I love all shades of gold eyeshadows, but tend to use rose gold on lighter skin,” Red says. Select a gold shimmer that has more of a rose gold tint to add golden color to your eyes.
Deluxe Mini Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow
Gold eyeshadow that is easy to apply is, well, golden. The liquid-based formula glides over eyelids, and dries without feeling heavy, wet, or creased.
Fruit Pigmented Rose Gold Palette
These five shades offer different undertones to fit various skin tones, but the middle metallic shade looks especially great on lighter skin.
The New Nude Eyeshadow Palette
The nudes in this palette contain mattes and shimmer finishes that are sure to have your eyes glistening to match the season’s tinsel.
Medium tones already radiate warmth, so any gold will compliment your tone. Add a bronze shade to your collection to bank off its rosy undertones, but still lend a gilded effect.
Pigment in Twinkling Lights
Mac x Patrick Starrr
A loose bronze-gold powder can also be moonlight as an eyeshadow: Just take some of your favorite transparent lip balm and mix it with the loose powder to create a creamy blend that acts as an eyeshadow. The balm provides just the right amount of adhesive to hold the powder in place. (If you'd rather a less glossy effect, substitute a matte primer for the balm.)
According to the brand's website, makeup artists like Sir John and Katie Jane Hughes love using the glitter to create a subtle shimmering look.
Eye Color Quad in Golden Mink
Soft, subtle, brilliant, and glimmering, this eyeshadow quad provides golden tones for any eye color.
For dark skin, stick with "true" golds, which contrast nicely on the skin.
Loose Glitter in Electric
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Make a mixture for your eyes with this metallic, gold loose glitter. To ensure that the glitter stays put, grab the glitter adhesive from Anastasia, too.
Star Lit Powder in Antic Gold
Make Up Forever
This gold hue lives up to its name: The powder is highly pigmented and provides a smooth, shimmering finish.
Gilded Goddess Kit
"There are such vast ranges of gold out there, and some last longer than others — Charlotte Tilbury oyster gold is a favorite," Halperin says.
The richest and deepest of skin tones work the best with bold colors. When looking for a gold eyeshade, try bright yellow golds that'll emit vibrant color.
Eyeshadow Palette in Blue Dahlia
The Blue Dahlia palette comes with eight shades — and four of them are rich, sparkling gold shades that glide on your lids effortlessly.
Current Crush Glitter Gel
Kat Von D
When you dip your fingers or brush into this gel, you'll notice the flakes of glitter and the bouncy texture. This combination feels surprisingly light on your eyelids and provides a vivid gold color.
Gingerbread Spice Eyeshadow Palette
Sure, these shades smell like fresh-baked cookies, but the shades in the palette are warm and bright, too.