Peruse any glossy magazine this month and witness page after gleaming page of luxe metallic accessories, honeyed leather coats, Midas-like dresses and gold-tinged beauty items (some with flecks of real gold). A case of art imitating life? At a time when the dollar is still floundering, gold prices have hit a record high, and the glamour world has responded in kind with a treasure trove of glittering wares in the most reliable metal of all time. It's as if all the riches of Aladdin's cave, Tutankhamen's tomb and Fort Knox have been raided and repurposed in a last-ditch effort to seduce shoppers after this dismal year in retail. 2009 could hardly be described as the golden age of anything--except perhaps gold objects.
The explosion of precious metals could be viewed as a rejection of fashionable frugality--sensible grey sweaters, pencil skirts and black pumps. But the new take on all things gold is not a hankering for eighties excess; more like a desire for a little razzle-dazzle. The current outbreak of gold fever could be traced back to May, when Kate Moss arrived at the MET Costume Institute gala clad in a Marc Jacobs gold lame mini dress, matching golden turban and shoes. Since then, we've seen a cascade of shiny treats. While this may not be the best year to splurge on an Hérve Léger bandage dress or a Lanvin clutch, consumers can happily indulge in beauty's take on gilty pleasures. As a makeup artist, it's this gold rush that's particularly fascinating to me. Not only is gold undeniably festive, it reflects light and flatters every complexion.
You don't need to be King Croesus to appreciate this season's lustrous lip glosses, champagne eye shadows, shimmering blushes or mercurial nail colors. Yet there is a certain degree of alchemy required to balance the various metals. Certainly one must resist immersing yourself in the stuff, or risk looking like the actress Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger, who came to an untimely death after being painted in gold by a James Bond villain. Use these luminous products sparingly but creatively, tempering shimmer on the eyes and lips with matte cheeks. And try not to mix your metals: if you're using a gold eyeshadow, go easy on the face bronzer. Here are tips on how to mine golden glamour for the holidays:
- For a celebratory look, layer glimmering shadows on the eye. Use a bronze shade on the outer corner of the eye and to line the bottom lash line. Brush a yellow gold all over the eyelid and highlight with a white gold under the brow bone and in the inner corner of the eye. Take a little of the white gold onto the cheeks and team with a matte lipstick. It's a winning look. Try my Napoleon Perdis Gold Digger Glimmer.