4 Crazy-Gorgeous Ways to Wear Gold Makeup in Real Life

Holiday beauty inspo to the max, because Pat McGrath's instant-cult-favorite GOLD 001 pigment has us like 🙏.

Model with flawless skin wearing gold lipstick and black eyeliner
(Image credit: Ben Ritter)

Model wearing gold eyeshadow and black eyeliner

(Image credit: Ben Ritter)

Last month, beauty editors (like myself) lost their sh*t when famed makeup artist Pat McGrath unleashed her greatness for all the world to purchase: GOLD 001, an all-purpose pigment that can be mixed up and applied pretty much anywhere.

Mixing up gold eyeshadow in palette

(Image credit: John Picklap)

I mean "anywhere" literally, by the way. While GOLD 001 is high-impact by nature—McGrath has conceptualized runway looks (shimmery lips for Prada, shiny lids for Dior) using similarly gilded pigments—it's crazy versatile, and can be worn on lips, on eyes, on cheeks, in hair...

Here, four decidedly wearable looks for the holiday party circuit and beyond.

Steps in the lip color application

(Image credit: Ben Ritter)

1. Exfoliate your lips using a wipe or scrub.

2. Mix the GOLD 001 pigment with the mixing liquid (if you, like many, were not lucky enough to nab the limited-edition product before it sold out, you can create a similar look with Make Up For Ever Flash Color Pot in #4 Gold or Illamasqua "Liquid Metal" in Solstice Metallic Gold). Then, use a small square brush or lip brush to line the outside of the lips precisely following the natural lip line. Last, fill in with the pigment. For a real pop, let one layer dry, and then add a second layer. If you're looking for a more pared-down look, simply add the pigment to your lip balm.

Model wearing gold lipstick

(Image credit: Ben Ritter)

The Gilded Cat Eye

Steps in the eyeshadow application

(Image credit: Ben Ritter)

1. Once you've applied your foundation, curl your lashes and fill in your brows to ensure your eyes are polished and framed so that the gold will pop.

2. After mixing the GOLD 001 with the liquid medium, use an eyeshadow brush to apply the liquid-like pigment following the natural crease of the eye, making sure to get it as close to the lashes as possible.

Editors' Note: Work quickly, because once it's set, it's over. You can take a Q-tip with eye makeup remover to clean up the shape, if necessary.

3. Use a felt tip pen, like Make Up Forever's Graphic Liner Precision Pen, along the lower lash line to create an upside down cat eye. For a softer look, use a brown shadow on the lower lash line.

4. Top things off by applying mascara to the lashes.

Model wearing gold eyeshadow

(Image credit: Ben Ritter)

The Golden Blush

Steps in the blush application

(Image credit: Ben Ritter)

1. After prepping the skin to cover any redness or discoloration, mix the GOLD 001 with M.A.C. Strobe Cream, then tap it along the cheekbone. Start off using a small amount of the gold—you can always make the highlight stronger.

2. Blend the edges using a beautyblender, making sure to smooth out any clumps for a dusted-on finish.

Model wearing gold blush

(Image credit: Ben Ritter)

The Lustrous Slick Back

Steps in the slick back application

(Image credit: Ben Ritter)

1. Mix the Gold 001 with the Oribe Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream.

2. Brush you hair back, then smooth the golden mixture through your hair with your fingers, distributing it evenly.

Model wearing gold glitter in her hair

(Image credit: Ben Ritter)

Photography by Ben Ritter; makeup by Laramie, makeup artist and founder of Book Your Look; hair by Kat Zemtsova.

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Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.