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A Gilded Holiday Season: The Midas Touch

Gilded beauty options abound this season.

While many consumers continue to keep shopping habits in check, splurging on true precious metals may not be a feasible option. Fortunately for them, gilded beauty options can satisfy tastes on both ends of the spending spectrum. From Pixi’s champagne-hued Endless Silky Eye Pen in Oyster Glow to Deborah Lippmann’s molten copper nail lacquer, From Rags to Riches (part of The Millionaire’s Holiday trio exclusive to Barneys), “[it’s] turning up the glam a notch,” said Pixi creator Petra Strand. “[It] is the perfect accent color for any look.” Added Lippmann, “[gold] represents tradition, richness, and luxury.”

More than a color, the rich hue can also touch on consumers’ emotions. According to Christian Dior Parfums president Terry Darland, the shade can even help transport consumers to another time period. Take, for example, Dior’s decadent Vibrant Gold jewel-studded lashes, part of the brand’s Grand Bal Collection, inspired by Fifties-era Paris. “The Grand Bal Collection takes us back to a time when elegance and appreciation for all things beautiful were part of Paris society,” said Darland. “Mr. Dior loved to attend and hold masquerade balls in the Fifties.” Add to that Guerlain’s Perfumed Shimmer Powder, housed in a vintage inspired bottle, to impart light-catching flecks on the neck and décolleté.

Inspired by the “alchemy of precious metals,” Chanel’s creative director Peter Philips imagined Chanel’s Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Apparence, designed to add a dusting of gold bronze highlight to eyelids.

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Meanwhile, ArtDeco’s Golden Vintage Collection, which includes Muse Red lipstick and Raven Lash Designer mascara, was inspired by the chic beauty choices of Dita Von Teese. The line, which also nods to Fifties glamour, is packaged in lavish gilded vessels. For those on the holiday party circuit, Sonia Kashuk’s Gilded Cage 6 Piece Brush Set, which includes powder, shadow and liner brushes with a black and gold fishnet print, doubles as a golden clutch. “Metallic always represents holidays, but gold is playing an increasingly big role this season,” said brand creator Kashuk. “It’s the opulence of shimmer and shine paired with the fun of all that glitters.”

Part of her holiday collection, Bobbi Brown’s limited-edition 24 Karat Shimmer Brick is meant to “create a warm, soft holiday glow on the cheeks,” according to brand creator Brown, who added, “you can [also] use [shades] individually to add a gorgeous sparkle to the eyes.” Another multifunctional offering comes from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics’ limited-edition holiday line. Described as a “true gold,” Metallurgy Lip Tar in Triptych, is inspired by “the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, whose name is synonymous with the gilded, three canvas panel style of painting called triptychs,” according to David Klasfeld, the brand’s chief executive officer and creative director. Taking the feeling of regality to fingertips is Layla’s Gold Shimmer Ceramic Effect nail polish, which captures light with iridescent pearl pigments, while Nutra Nail’s Gel Perfect in Gold Strike is a fast-drying, long-lasting formula that offers a high-shine take on the metal.


Gold can also impart a feeling of warmth. Take, for example, Soap & Paper Factory’s solid perfume in Pipe, which contains notes of golden-hued spirits like bourbon and cognac, or Coach’s holiday Poppy fragrance, which features lustrous aurulent packaging and deep notes of crème brûlée and scarlet candied rose. Another fragrance taking inspiration from the gilded gem is Krigler’s Topaze Imperiale 213, which contains amber, sandalwood and cardamom to “act like a second layer of skin that feels warm, cozy and comforting — yet sexy and elegant at the same time,” said brand creator and director Ben Krigler. Meanwhile, for home, Thyme’s Frasier Fir Pinecone Poured Candle, housed in a seasonal brass-hued pinecone vessel, “is a lovely symbol of the season that adds a special decorative touch to every celebration,” according to Thymes marketing director Jill Gerard.