If there’s one definite color inspiration for the holiday season, it’s gold in all its forms and textures. The 14-carat hue has always ruled when it comes to party season, but most women still struggle to select the right gold makeup—the line between club girl and gold goddess is a thin one.
When done right, the color can work with just about any look and for any occasion, from an Ugly Sweater party to a seriously swanky holiday gala. Dolce & Gabbana national makeup artist Christian McCulloch agrees. “The great thing about gold it is it blends so easily with copper, bronze, and brown shades on the eyes, so you can build up from subtle to strong smoky eyes and pile on mascara and fine black liquid liner on the lash line for a killer evening look. Also, gold pops beautifully on the inner corner of the eye.”
To me, the eyes seemed like a daunting place to start. Too much shadow and I knew I would overwhelm the entire look. Too little and well, I wouldn’t see anything at all. Chris suggested I start with Dolce & Gabbana’s Perfect Mono Eyeshadow in Pure Gold ($36), a shade he used on Anne Hathaway’s lids at Interstellar’s Shanghai premiere. The idea is to get an eye that’s fresh and festive. “Fresh to me means lighter application for day—perhaps a sweep of gold just with mascara—and then amped up for night by lining the eyes with a chocolate, dark brown or black eyeliner to boost the drama and definition. Perhaps even create a feline flick or a wing.”
The mousse-like cream applied easily enough with an incredibly smooth finish whether I patted it on with my finger or used my trusted nylon brush. I liked how the gold went on without leaving behind any chunky bits. It wears well for over eight hours and didn’t fade, which means you can skip a primer for the night. A bonus: It’s fragrance-free for sensitive eyes.
Still gun shy about going gold over your entire lid? Use a great liner to make a going-out statement. Skillfully line the upper lash line with Make Up Forever’s Artist Liner in ME-70 ($19), then go easy on the mascara. The yellow-y bronze color is glitzy, smooth like butter, and lasts almost as long as the cream shadow.
Lips and nails are also an easy way to bring some glamour. Smashbox’s Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Illume ($20) helps give you the illusion of fuller lips when you add the pale champagne gloss to the Cupid’s bow part of your lips. It’s non-sticky, which my long hair loved since it didn’t get caught in when [cliché warning] I danced like no one was watching. For sexing up tame tips, Topshop Metallic Nail Polish in Heart of Gold ($10) give your nails a pretty gleam. It doesn’t look trendy or hipster-y—just polished. The shade requires two to three quick drying coats plus a top coat to add shine.
A native Angeleno, Nav is a Leo, hates cilantro, and has been testing beauty products for print and digital magazines for nearly a decade. She spends her days working in media and strategy and her nights sniffing out slightly quirky yet impeccably pretty things along with her German Shepherd, Le Tigre.