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The Korean Trend That’s Perfect For Summer: Golden Eyes

The Midas touch is heavy in Seoul. The standard workaday look involves cushy, dewy skin, invisible pores, filled-in straight brows, a gradient lip, and golden eyes. Not glittery—just gold. It would recall Cleopatra except the eyeliner’s a bit more toned down. It’s the Korean answer to the Western everyday eye, which might mean a little taupe shadow and possibly a little liner smudged at the outer corners. Gold is their neutral (which makes sense—dewy is their matte and soaking is their “dewy”). But the exact cast of metal can vary. On the street, there are light sunny golds, warm nearly-rose golds, and deep island-y bronzes. If this sounds like actual summer to you, well, yes. You’re picking up what they’re putting down.

It’s an easy look to get. You can graduate and gradiate different shades of gold and bronze if you’re into that, but you can also just slap down a primer (or even a little concealer) and smudge some shadow on your lid with (gasp) your finger. It’s that simple, and the results look expensive yet easy, like gold always does.

Gold shadow options abound generally, but Korea’s are, ahem, a treasure trove. Gold pigments generally run denser there—they’re also longer-lasting, and generally look more real than thin Stateside metallics. A few top qualifiers: the gold side of Banila Co’s eyeshadow duo Two Eyes in Versailles, and if you want something deliciously creamy as a base or a let-alone liner layer, Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick in Copper. Or, if you want a whole lot of options in one place, do what millions of women have done before—pick up a gold-hued Urban Decay Naked3 palette, where pigments ranging from shimmery rose gold to burnished bronze lay happily side by side, like an improbably organized jewelry box. It’s the best of summer and the best of Korea in one look.

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