How to Be Golden

A makeup tutorial for holiday angels/devils.

It’s fun to feel like a real-life holiday angel, isn’t it? Gold, silver, and ruby red are always the go-to looks for the season, maybe because they complement the tinsel, ornaments, candles, and other various seasonal decorations. When I saw this picture in Glass magazine, I instantly became obsessed:

It’s a fresh take on festive makeup—a little bit darker, and more fitting for a holiday demon. So I thought I’d try and copy it, and here’s how you can, too.

You’ll need:

Step One:
Base makeup, as per usual. Choose a shade that matches your skin tone. The model’s face is flawless and poreless (probably because of Photoshop, but whatever), so I used full-coverage foundation with a matte finish. I applied it using a traditional foundation brush (Real Techniques are my favorites), but you can also do this with your fingers—it’ll warm up the foundation and make it easier to blend.

Step Two:
Prime your eyes. Technically this is optional, but I consider this an important step, because it’ll help eye shadows and pigments stick to your lids. Primer also brings out the vibrancy of the makeup. I’m using Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, but if you’re going to be applying heavier glitters or loose pigments, I suggest Too Faced’s Glitter Glue, which is a lot tackier. Apply the primer all over, from the lash line right up to the eyebrows, and around the eye as well.

Step Three:
Eyeliner balances out the look so that it doesn’t appear too messy. You want to shape the liner in a way that flatters your face. I’m not fond of eyeliner that tapers upward, because it makes my eyes look rounder, so I followed the natural shape of my eye, elongating it slightly. If you’re new to eyeliner, I did this tutorial for Rookie a little while ago.

Step Four:
Get your gold eye shadows out! I used multiple ones for this look: OCC’s Triptych and Sugarpill’s Goldilux (which I really love and mentioned above), and also an Inglot yellow matte and Urban Decay’s Half Baked. Play around with different golden shades, mixing dark and light, depending on your preference.

Now you want to apply the makeup from the inner corner of your eye, near your tear ducts, to the far side of your pupil (if you’re looking straight ahead), so that it covers about three-quarters of your eye area. Use a thin-but-dense brush for this, so the shadow doesn’t spill everywhere and you can focus on applying the pigment to only your liner.

Step Five:
This is also optional, but I wanted to make this look more dramatic and true to the inspiration photo, so I created my own fake eyelashes. Check out Hannah’s mod-eye tutorial for more thorough instructions. I used a liquid liner rather than gel, and basically just made little outward brushstrokes.

Step Six:
Go over-the-top. I used a blending brush to apply a mix of all the gold shadows I used, but again, really play around. It doesn’t have to be symmetrical; I just kinda smeared the pigment wherever I felt like it belonged, basically in an exaggerated cat-eye.

I left my eyebrows untouched, because I didn’t want them to overpower the look, or seem too perfect and coordinated. I’m already gonna blow all the babes away with my general existence, I don’t want my utter perfection to give them a heart attack, ya know?

Step Seven:
Contour time. I applied the bronzing powder directly above and below my cheekbones. If you’re not sure exactly where those are, suck in your cheeks to help find some definition.

Step Eight:
The lips!!! Ironically, I had NONE of my black lipsticks with me for this tutorial, so I improvised and used one of my black eyeliners. (This means dry lips, but oh well.) Now, you can use lipsticks in shades of gold or copper if you have them, but I didn’t have any, so I used the same makeup that I did for my eyes. To do this, apply the pigments with a flat brush, rub your lips together, and apply more. Keep doing this until you get the look you want.

And voilà! I hope this helps you look as cool as me. I’m kidding, of course, and ho ho ho. ♦


  • DreamBoat December 4th, 2012 11:06 PM

    Totally gonna do this <3

  • Abby December 4th, 2012 11:10 PM


  • Eryn December 4th, 2012 11:11 PM

    !!!!!!!!!!!!! This is so cool!

  • solverde December 4th, 2012 11:12 PM

    I don’t think I could pull that off. But still, so pretty!

    • unefillecommetoi December 7th, 2012 2:10 PM

      yeah you could! i’ve realized that pulling off stuff is always mentalizing -_-

      • unefillecommetoi December 7th, 2012 2:10 PM

        i don’t know if that made sense but you know, like if you just believe that you’ll pull it off you will

  • phoenix December 4th, 2012 11:26 PM

    None of my family members dress up as much as I do at Christmas but now I can really literally outshine them.

  • insteadofanelephant December 4th, 2012 11:31 PM

    i was JUST looking online for a gold makeup tutorial. leave it to rookie…always there for me.

    XXblog: instead of an elephant
    Creative Director: Thread Magazine

  • GhostMonkeyGrrrl December 4th, 2012 11:31 PM

    Pixiwoo fan, eh?

  • firky December 5th, 2012 12:03 AM

    Whoaa this looks awesome with your hair!

  • Britney December 5th, 2012 12:22 AM

    I love this! I’m definitely going to try it out around Christmas.

  • ivoire December 5th, 2012 12:37 AM

    “I’m already gonna blow all the babes away with my general existence, I don’t want my utter perfection to give them a heart attack, ya know?”

  • streaked lights December 5th, 2012 1:09 AM

    Omigosh! GORGEOUS! (And your hair is such a pretty color!)
    I’m definitely doing this; but maybe changing the black lipstick to a red one with the gold dusting for a more festive look.

  • HeartPlant December 5th, 2012 5:52 AM

    Arabelle can you stop haunting my dreams now plz? I’m getting obsessed! kthxbai

  • Mary the freak December 5th, 2012 12:01 PM


    You are so freaking beautiful <3

  • soviet_kitsch December 5th, 2012 12:04 PM

    oh man you are GORGEOUS and this tutorial is fantastic.

  • Dayzee December 5th, 2012 12:13 PM

    you mock me with the list and cost of the makeup
    oh how you mock me

  • theballoonfish December 5th, 2012 3:20 PM

    You remind me of Neil Gaimans “Death” from his comic “the sandman chronicles”
    So awesome:)

  • pinkcandyflossl December 5th, 2012 3:32 PM

    I’m giving this a go!! It’s AMAZING!! xx

  • Isil December 5th, 2012 5:38 PM

    Yaaaay! I’ve been looking for a creative golden eyeshadow make-up thing because I’ve just bought a golden eyeshadow but I don’t know how to use it properly, and this looks beautiful! Thanks Arabelle!

  • FlowerPower December 5th, 2012 6:24 PM

    Aw, you look wonderfully luminescent, but with a slight dark side c: I never really knew how to incorporate yellow eyeshadow, and never really played around with it…so thanks for the tutorial!

  • numoon_vintage December 5th, 2012 9:06 PM

    omgosh so pretty and i love love love the purple hair

  • Yellie December 6th, 2012 2:38 AM

    I don’t think Arabelle was kidding *shifty eyes*

  • evangelinemay December 6th, 2012 1:58 PM

    wow i love this eye makeup! and i love love gold i need to get this eye shadow

  • Space Witch December 6th, 2012 11:04 PM


  • Melissa @ WildFlowerChild December 7th, 2012 11:11 AM

    Wow, this looks so incredible! I’m in love with this.

    <3 Melissa

  • magpie librarian December 7th, 2012 8:05 PM

    Am I the only one who looks like a total asshat no matter how many times I try and do a cat eye?

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica April 28th, 2013 2:33 PM

    This is awesome!!!!!!!!!! :D