Which gold eyeshadow palettes are best?

Whether you’re looking for a sun-kissed daytime look or smoldering evening shimmer, a gold eyeshadow palette is a versatile choice. Unlike other colors that look better on skin of certain tones, the glittery light of gold looks great on everyone. Eminently blendable and easy to match to most of your favorite colors, gold eyeshadow is enjoying a well-deserved renaissance. If you’re looking for a gold eyeshadow palette to bring more of this on-trend color into your look, Tom Ford Eye Color Quad Eyeshadow Palette in Suspicion is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a gold eyeshadow palette

Intensity of color varies

Some gold eyeshadow palettes offer sheer, buildable gold shades that add barely a shimmer and require several layers to reach any kind of serious coloration. Others are deeply color-saturated and intense. 

Cool tones vs. or warm tones

Although gold is an inherently warm color, gold eyeshadow palettes generally offer several variations. Some lean to the cooler side, mixing hints of silver, while others offer options that are almost orange in their heat level. If your skin tone leans heavily to the warm side or the cool side, you may want to stick with the color best suited to your skin tone. But gold is one of those rare colors that look good even against tone, perhaps because it emulates a sun-kissed look.

Liquid vs. powder

Normally, the choice between liquid eyeshadow and powder is a matter of preference. And while that’s the case here, with many great gold eyeshadow palettes offered in powder, if you want a glitter gold eyeshadow, it bears finding a liquid version. Liquid glitter eyeshadow goes on smoother, is easier to control and stays in place better than powder.

What to look for in a quality gold eyeshadow palette

Color matching

With gold’s versatility, just a few shades will let you run through most of the color wheel, easily matching your browns, blues and greens. If you’re going for a super-modern look, however, blending in a pink or an orange, you’ll want to be sure you get the gold tone just right, so choose a palette with options close to your favorite warm colors.

Night or day adaptability  

Gold isn’t just for a big night out. Blended subtly on your brow bone and the inside corner of your eye, it can give your nude day look a bit of pizzazz. Washed over your lid under a muted crease color, it will give your eyeshadow polish and life while remaining understated enough for the office. If you want to go big with a shimmery eye at night, a few variations on gold will make your smoky eye glamorous.

Shimmer or glitter

Not all gold eyeshadows are created equal. If you’re looking to add the color mainly to your day looks, be sure to look for metallic, shimmery hues. If you want a full pop of drama on your brow bone, go all out with a great glitter gold eyeshadow palette.

How much you can expect to spend on a gold eyeshadow palette 

You’ll be able to keep it under the $20 mark with a good drugstore brand. If you want a premium designer brand, expect to pay upward of $50 or even $80.

Gold eyeshadow palette FAQ

How can I make my gold eyeshadow palette last longer?

A. Experts recommend you toss powdered makeup after two years. Some suggest that eyeshadow should go in the trash in six months, since it’s used in the delicate area around your eyes. That’s because while the powder itself may be fine, using a brush that touches both your eye and the product transfers bacteria from one to the other and back again. Then, when you put your makeup away, the bacteria can multiply. Cut down on this problem by keeping your brushes clean, washing them weekly. And then, even if it hurts, get rid of the eyeshadow when it’s time.

Is there any use for expired eyeshadow?

A. Here’s a fun experiment: Once the eyeshadow is past its prime and no longer suitable for use around your eyes, crush it into a bit of clear nail polish. That way, your favorite shade can live on!

What are the best gold eyeshadow palettes to buy?

Top gold eyeshadow palette

Tom Ford Eye Color Quad Eyeshadow Palette in Suspicion

Tom Ford Eye Color Quad Eyeshadow Palette in Suspicion 

What you need to know: Everything about this palette spells elegance, from the suede pouch it comes in to the silky feel of the powder as you run your brush on it. It’s a splurge that’s worth it.

What you’ll love: The colors are sublime, somehow subtle and dramatic all at once. They can create a stand-alone look all on their own, but they will also blend seamlessly with your other eyeshadows.

What you should consider: Some users complain of fallout, so be sure to wear an undereye guard (or its predecessor, good old-fashioned clear tape) when applying on lids.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Top gold eyeshadow palette for the money

ColourPop Good as Gold Eyeshadow Palette

ColourPop Good as Gold Eyeshadow Palette

What you need to know: All the gold you could ever hope for, and then some. 

What you’ll love: This versatile palette offers you a cool gold, a warm gold, glittery options and great crease colors to round out a dramatic eye. The 12 colors in this palette punch way above their weight class in color saturation and smoothness of application.

What you should consider: The amount of each shadow is small. If you’re a power user, you’ll go through these colors relatively quickly.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

Worth checking out

Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Honey Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Honey Eyeshadow Palette

What you need to know: Once the rebel of the makeup world, Urban Decay has created an almost stately selection of golds for this stand-out eyeshadow palette.

What you’ll love: The colors in this palette are gorgeous. It gives you versatility for a variety of looks, including a dramatic dark brown for a smoky eye, but its real stand-outs are its golds. 

What you should consider: This palette lacks cooler colors, so if you absolutely must have a cool gold in your collection, pass it by.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty


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Maria E. Andreu writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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