The Chic Guide to Glitter


I have a complicated relationship with glitter. Deep down I love it. My inner magpie gets all chirpy at the idea and I love how it just looks festive and makes me feel like whenever I rock it that it’s some kind of celebration or special occasion. But then there’s the flip side. It can look OTT and you know how I love my barely-there makeup and let’s not even talk about how difficult glitter can be to remove, or how it ingrains itself in your carpet for the next two years. Pretty – yes. Practical – no. In my eyes there are two areas where I feel comfortable rocking glitter makeup-wise and if you’re a regular reader round these parts, this admission will come with no surprise; eyes and nails. So today I’ve compiled what I like to dub ‘The Chic Guide to Glitter: how to wear shimmer without channeling your inner ’90’s teen’…

For eyes you have a few options. First, there’s a glitter liner. If you go for something like the above – Collection’s Glam Crystals Dazzling Gel Liner in Funk – then keep it bare on the lid, pop this on the lash line and layer up the mascara. However if it’s something darker, more of a steel-like grey then use it as you would a normal liner with whatever else you fancy on the eye. I’d say this is the easiest way to do glitter on the eye (and shhhhh – it doesn’t even matter if the line is wobbly). Then there’s the pigment option. There’s always the pressed version like Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Silk Eyeshadow in 9. Still as sparkly, but just without the impending glitter dust crowd. Or if you’re brave enough for the loose stuff my favourites are the Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Ore or MAC’s Pigment in Tan – both shades that can either be applied foiled (by using a wet brush with them) or patted on alone. May I suggest a specific primer to come into play here? The Urban Decay Bondage Primer is a great base and almost works as a skin-safe glue to hold glitter in place and with this formula, the bigger the better.

Glitter on the nails may be the biggest ballache in the world to take off, but it’s the easiest and most subtle way to incorporate some shimmering festiveness into your look. You can do a little ombré effect number over the tips, or do that whole ‘ring finger accent’ thing, or splash it over all 10 digits and ignore the fact that you’ll be weeping as it takes you 30 minutes to remove at a later date. My favourite formulas are from OPI and Essie. Pictured we have OPI’s Rainbow Connection and Bring on the Bling – unfortunately now both discontinued, but OPI’s Christmas collection always throws up a kickass glitter shade – and Essie’s Rock at the Top and Set in Stone. I usually start by attempting an ombré nail and then painting it alllll over. Hey – if you can’t have gold sparkly nails at Christmas time, then when can you?