"Gold looks great on dark skin." Yawn. There must be a central beauty school somewhere in the land where all make-up artists are repeatedly taught this line.
Now, I'm not denying some gold does indeed look great on some dark skins, but by no means all. As soon as I hear the dreaded gold mantra - usually seconds before some daft comment on how black skin doesn't need make-up (which really translates as "I haven't got any base dark enough, let's hope a touch of flattery does the job") - I know the kind of person I am dealing with. And it's not the kind I want mucking about with my face.
It's not that they are wrong per se, it's just that the gold thing is a default option for far too many who are supposed to be on hand to give out advice. I spent half my adolescence looking like a pawn shop thanks to the only make-up tip I was ever really given - how great gold looked on dark skin. As a result, I tend to avoid gold, but hey, it's nearly Christmas, and I'm feeling festive, so what the hell.
"The main and perhaps only rule when applying gold make-up is to stick to one feature and then you can really go for it," says Ruby, one half of the Ruby & Millie make-up duo. "If you are determined to make gold the theme of the whole face, make sure each feature displays a subtle hint and not a statement."
But gold is not just about trying to look as if you've got your party face on. "A wash of gold is fabulous for highlighting those areas that naturally catch the sun, such as the browbone, collarbone and shins. If you are going for a block of gold, it is best to pick one feature - the eyes, for instance, and go for a shimmer effect rather than full-on glitter," says Ruby.
But don't go mad, she warns: gold may be a great all-round colour for the face, "but it is best avoided on wrinkles or dry areas - especially lips - as it will only highlight the problem." So there you have it. No more pawn shop.