Goldmine: Beauty gets bling

IT makes sense, when you think about it. Gold prices, thanks to the recession, have soared in the past few years making gold jewellery, bullion, and gold accoutrements the ultimate status symbol.

Now the trend is hitting the beauty world as products containing 24 carat gold become hot property.

Gold Leaf nail varnish by nail brand Rococo Nail Apparel has been selling out since the price explosion. (the glizty glittering bottles contain bona fide flecks of gold leaf.)

“We have a waiting list of at least 250 people for each batch and we couldn’t supply them with the last order,” says Cult Beauty co-founder Alexia Inge. “When we first started selling it we had no trouble keeping it in stock but as the price and scarcity of gold has risen so has the popularity.”

“We can’t keep it in stock,” agrees Joyce Avalon, chief merchant at Space NK, adding that By Terry’s Ore de Rose, a face primer containing real gold particles has also been a hit. “It’s been a great success. The product is as much about the look as the benefits.”

Gold prices have risen 30 per cent last year alone hitting $1,508 an ounce and many believe the trend will continue. With that, beauty companies have been steadily adding the material to products as a means to up the decadence factor.

La Prairie’s Cellular Concentrate Radiance Pure Gold just joined the Selfridges line-up, a serum with gold particles suspended in colloidal gel, that, according to its makers, actually “wards off daily environmental assaults,” while leaving a “subtle glow on the skin’s surface.” (The product has a lengthily waiting list.)

This spring also sees European sun care brand Peau d’Or launch 24 Carat, a new sun care cream that incorporates gold for extra sheen on the skin. These join cosmetics company Chantecaille that has introduced Nano Gold, a capsule skincare range using pure gold including eye cream and firming moisturiser.

The prices match the bling credentials, though. Peau d’Or’s 24 Carat will set fans back £113 for a tube. Chantecaille’s eye cream alone costs £240. La Prairie’s Cellular Radiance, meanwhile, runs to £387.

Are they worth it? Inge says yes. “Gold in skincare is a known anti-inflammatory, a key factor in any anti-ageing skincare action,” she says, adding of real gold in make-up. “Gold leaf has a different quality to gold glitter on products, it has a subtle burnished, antique luminosity that you can never copy which cheap shiny surfaces. In the same way pearls enliven the skin, there is also something about the gold effect on the skin that looks very sexy, almost 1970s.”

Here, she cites jewellery company Belmacz’s cult capsule collection of gold-flecked beauty products as a key example. “The company’s gold leaf lip balm and eye shadow have become cult items at the company for the unique sheen then give. Our customers cover their décolleté and shoulders in the stuff.” She adds: “Luckily a little goes a long way.”


1 Dive in to golden decadence with La Prairie Cellular Radiance Pure Gold, £387,

2 Get a summer golden glow with Peau D’Or, 24 Carat, £113,

3 Gold Leaf, Rococo, £22.50

4 Chantecaille Nano Gold Firming Treatment, £280.