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.
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.
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.)
For dark skin, stick with "true" golds, which contrast nicely on the skin.
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.