How to Look Gorgeous in Metallic Makeup

woman applying mascara

Silver bells, five golden rings and snow that sparkles like diamonds give us reason to celebrate this season. Extend the festive color flair to your makeup with heavy metals. Sometimes, metallic makeup can be a bit too icy snow globe instead of shiny party queen, so we got top makeup artists to give their insider tips to looking more shining star than disco ball.

Gilded Eyes

Take an unexpected twist on the smoky eye by choosing a gorgeous copper metallic shadow. Keep it tame (and age appropriate) by choosing finely milled, shimmered shadows instead of chunky glitter formulations.

  • Prep Step: A strong base will protect your end results. Prime the eye area with a wash of concealer over the lid, says celebrity makeup artist Napoleon Perdis, who has worked with Debra Messing and Leighton Meester. This gives shadow a stay-put anchor and ensures an even color finish.
  • Add Dimension: “Trace a brown liner along the rim of your eyes,” says Perdis. Dab the color slightly in the outer corner of the upper lid, then press a loose metallic copper powder shadow over the entire lid and into the outer lower lash line for drama.
  • Last Step: Pair it with a soft pink gloss for a glam-rock look that is powerful yet pretty. Or go neutral; it keeps the focus on your eyes.

Shimmering and Smoky
A metallic gunmetal gray is a soft alternative to a heavy-handed smoky eye. The shimmering color also imparts a similar sparkle as silver shadow. And this heavy-metal shade packs the same punch, without the risk of looking like a dolled-up tween.

  • Prep Step: Flawless skin is the best complement to highlighted eyes. Blend a tinted moisturizer sans luminescence over skin to even redness and cover any spots or blemishes.
  • Layer on Color: Using a black pencil, line along the top and bottom lashes and smudge. Sweep a gunmetal-gray shadow across the entire lid, says Perdis. Then, lightly work the same shade under the lower lash line for a soft, smoky effect. For easy blending, try a cream-to-powder formulation and apply with your fingers. Accent the inner corners with a dab of a white-silver metallic shadow.
  • Last Step: Nude lips in a creamy formulation are the perfect pairing to this cool, gray metallic eye. For a more dramatic effect, line lips with a pop of bright red lipstick.

Gold Fingers
Metal mania has hit the nail salon too. And with sparkle-infused lacquers, you can embrace the trend day or night. Gold, bronze and silver shades are the hot new neutral, go-with-anything polish. But it doesn't end there: All colors -- from aubergine to chrome -- can work in a glittering finish.

  • Prep Step: Keep nails short and squoval (a rounded-edge square). Longer lengths can look garish.
  • Slick On: For the most even finish and best burst of color, apply a base coat before painting nails. Don't feel like you need to invest in metallic lacquers, says celebrity manicurist Roseann Singleton, who has worked with Jennifer Lopez and Brooke Shields. Instead, grab a clear topcoat and transform any color you have into a chic glittering shade.
  • Make It Last: A few days after your mani, apply an extra layer of topcoat to extend the life of your manicure and keep it shimmering as long as possible.