What’s your go-to eyeshadow colour? A cool grey for the ultimate soft smoky eye? A neutral brown for understated definition? How about a shimmering veil of gold?
The latter might not be at the top of your most-worn list but, if the latest line-up of celebrity red carpet looks and Insta snaps are anything to go by, it’s high time we all got on board.
There’s not an eye shape, colour or complexion that doesn’t look jaw-droppingly beautiful sporting a gold eyeshadow look, whether it’s a sheer cloud of colour, a statement wing in liquid shadow form or a sprinkling of glitter flecks.
Don’t believe me? Just ask Bobbi Brown Senior Pro Artist Zara Findlay, who comments: “gold shadow can be worn by anyone, it just depends on the tone of gold. There are four main tones – a fair skin tone suits rose and brown gold; a medium skin tone suits a brown, yellow and rose gold; and a deep skin tone suits a yellow, red and rose gold.”
She adds: “My biggest tip is to actually hold the shadow next to your eye. If it’s the right one for you, it will instantly make your eyes and skin pop.”
Here, with the help of some expert makeup artists, I help you find your perfect match…
Gold eyeshadow looks for medium to deep skin tones
No rundown of gold eyeshadow inspiration is complete without a glimpse of Priyanka Chopra’s iconic bejewelled Met Gala 2018 look.
Makeup artist Pati Dubroff used a cream-based gold shadow all over the lid, topped with a custom-mixed Lemonhead LA glitter; Lemonhead LA Spacepaste in Gildebeest, £22, Revolve is a great look-alike.
On the Oscars 2022 red carpet, makeup artist Nick Barose played with texture, too, embellishing the centre of Lupita Nyong’o’s lids with gold leaf (the edible kind used for baking!).
Using an eye cream as an adhesive, he gently tapped the leaf on top. “Don’t blend it in or smooth it out too much. The crackly imperfect texture of the gold leaf is the beauty of it, that will make it more like an accessory for your eyes,” Nick explained in an Instagram breakdown of the look.
Prefer something more subtle? Award-winning makeup artist Aarti P, who specialises in bridal makeup for South Asian women, rates Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Bronze, £25, Bobbi Brown for deep skin tones.
Gold eyeshadow looks for hooded eyes and eyelids without a crease
Gold eyeshadow really can work for all eye shapes – hooded eyes and eyelids that don’t have a visible crease included. In fact, a glimmering lid can look especially gorgeous on the latter, adding dimension.
Make pianist du jour Chloe Flower your inspiration. For a concert at New York’s Madison Square Gardens in October 2021, makeup artist Kale Teter gave the musician a divine rose gold eye.
He took it right up to her brows, adding plenty of dark shadow and fluffy lashes at the outer corners of the eye for extra depth. Adding a second lighter shadow, stretching from the inner corners upwards gave the illusion of a more defined socket line.
Kale also appeared to tight-line Chloe’s upper lash line – a handy trick if you’re missing the smokiness and definition of your usual darker eye look. Simply trace a black eye pencil in the area below your upper lashes. Bonus: it’ll make your lashes appear thicker and longer, too.
The best product for recreating Chloe’s gilded aesthetic? Opt for a foil-effect liquid eye shadow – Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow, £24, Stila is a cult product that offers incredible lasting power. The shade ‘Bronzed Bell’ is perfect for echoing Chloe’s warmer tone.
Gold eyeshadow looks for blue eyes
Any eye colour can work with gold eyeshadow, but if there’s one hue that’ll look especially striking, it’s blue. With a matching Dior gown, a pregnant Jennifer Lawrence opted for the lustrous shade to set off her ocean eyes at the premiere of Don’t Look Up in December 2021.
Also a great example of making the look work for hooded eyes, the actress opted for an ethereal veil of gold extended across her lids and along her lower lash line, teamed with softly blended taupe liner.
For a similar effect, choose a shadow with a gentle sheen rather than visible glitter flecks; Milano Water Eyeshadow in Light Gold, £8.99, Kiko fits the bill.
Makeup artist Mat Wulff created an equally impactful gold eyeshadow look on model Mia MacConnell’s blue eyes.
He did this by layering up shadows from Makeup by Mario Master Metals Eyeshadow Palette, £41, Cult Beauty and Master Metallics Eyeshadow Palette, £53, Makeup by Mario.
Gold eyeshadow for deep set eyes
According to NARS Senior Artist Becky Moore, if you have deep set eyes, applying your gold eyeshadow in the inner corner and first part of the lid will help brighten and open up the eye.
Make Isabela Merced your poster girl. Makeup artist Allan Avendaño gave her a molten wash of colour, paired with plenty of smoky black shadow at the outer corners. Try it with the Voyageur Eyeshadow Palette in Nectar, £28, NARS.