Grown-up ways to use glitter

Jenessa Williams

Our magpie-like ways mean we’re all attracted to glitter, but it can be difficult to know where to draw the line without appearing like an out-and-out disco ball. With a little know how, glitter (especially ethical, biodegradable types) can be introduced into your beauty regime with ease…

Ombré glitter nails

Perhaps the simplest way to add glitter into your outfit, the ombré nail has become a huge trend across salons and in shelf-ready polishes. For a sophisticated look, the key is in choosing a finely milled glitter—look closely at a nail polish formula before buying, or if in doubt, make your own with a clear varnish and package of cosmetic glitter.

To achieve an ombré effect, start with a sympathetically coloured plain varnish, then apply your glitter in gently-increasing layers. Cosmetic sponges can be helpful for this if you’re not sure on the application.

Remember to apply a topcoat when you’re done to avoid shedding, and always file your nail first for a professional, even manicure.

 

Sparkly smoky eye

Used liberally on the fashion week catwalks, a sparkly eye is a clever subversion of the traditional smoky eye, tapping into the cosmic galaxy trend that echoes the disco-ready make-up of the 70s and 80s.

To achieve this look, go about your normal smoky eye application but switch out your greys and browns for glitter-golds, dusky blues and purples, remembering to blend right around the corners. Cream eyeshadows are great for easy blending and won’t cake in any eye creases.

Finish with a liquid liner for contrast, and keep the rest of your make-up minimal to allow the eye to take centre stage.

 

Feline shine

For something more daytime-appropriate, glitter eyeliner is a useful summer addition to every make-up bag. Use as you would a regular eyeliner, or experiment with different shapes—the “negative space” hooded liner in gold makes a real impact, as does a watery blue, applied just below the lash line.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours—emerald green looks great on a pale complexion, whereas highly-pigmented yellows and blues suit warmer skin. You can also blend colours too, just make sure you have a steady hand!

 

Glitter lips

A serious showstopper, glitter lips aren’t known for their practicality, but they certainly make an impact.

Make-up artists tend to use a regular lipstick before packing on finely-milled glitter and sealing with a topcoat, but for those not keen on the mess, there are plenty of lipsticks on the market with a glitter shine built in.

NYX and Urban Decay both feature an abundance of glitter-inspired products, featuring reflective particles that attract the light, giving the effect of high-shine.

Be sure to buff any dry skin and apply lip balm before getting stuck into the glitter to avoid irritation and slippage.

 

Useful Products to Try:

1 – Wunder2 Glitter Gelly, £14.95

2 – Rimmel Nail Varnish, £2.99

3 – NYX Glitter Gel, £6

4 – Eco Stardust Biodegrable Glitter, £6

5 – Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner, £11.50

6 – NYX Shimmer Down Pigment, £6

7 – Too Faced glitter Pop Peel-Off Eyeliner, £16

8 – Essie Glitter Polish, £7.99

9 – Stila Eyeshadow, £23

10 – Mac Dazzleshadow, £16

11 – Barry M Glitterdust, £4.59

12 – NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil, £5.50

13 - Mavala Nail Polish, £5.20

14 – Barry M Glitter Fix Gel, £5

15 – Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette, £56

16 – NYS Shimmer Down Gloss, £6