take the gilt off the gingerbread

take the gilt off the gingerbread

To make something less attractive or appealing. Gingerbread was traditionally decorated before being sold. Have you seen her without any make-up on? Talk about taking the gilt off the gingerbread! I thought being a nurse would be all excitement, but three patients vomited on me on my first day, and that's really taken take the gilt off the gingerbread.
See also: off, take