Grace Timothy | Contributing Writer | 1,027 day ago

How To Do Glitter Tonight Without Looking Like A Five Year Old

The Debrief: Here's how to shine tonight, in the right way

Artwork by Trey Wright

Glitter is for kids. And maybe ABBA. It has no place in a grown-up’s makeup bag that’s for sure. And yet for a textbook magpie like me, it’s tough to deny it altogether. Shiny things just get to me, I have to have them. Glitter is magic and Hollywood and sequins and special dresses; it makes me think exciting things could happen. It’s like a whopping great big diamond ring for your face. But how can us magpies get our sparkle on without looking like a twat? Firstly, make it your only statement within your makeup. Keep the base simple – velvety smooth and dewy work equally well with glitter – don’t go overboard with the blush and maybe forgo the bronzer altogether. But a bit of glitter shouldn’t put you off wearing lipstick, just try a matte texture and avoid sugary, candy-coloured lipgloss. Now, let’s get sparkling.

One word: Chanel. Trust in Chanel and you can’t go wrong. Ok, so as you probably suspected, Chanel doesn’t do out-and-out glitter, more seriously chic shimmer. Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadows, £25 have just the right sparkle-to-colour ratio. And the best news is you can apply them with your fingertips. Cover the lid, then blend out the edges with a soft brush to the socket. Dab a little at the inner corner of your eye, and finish with lashings of mascara. 

Consider Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Sparkle. £20 an easy introduction to glitter – there’s none of the fall-out cascading down your cheeks and you can start with just the faintest hint, building in layers until you have the desired depth. But I love using these as eyeliner with a kick. Load an angled liner brush and work right into the lashline, drawing out into a feline flick at the outer corner. You could also try floating eyeliner – a line above but running parallel to the socket’s natural curve.

For a grungier take, NARS Glitter Pencil, £18.50 delivers all the smudgy depth of a kohl pencil but with subtle flecks of sparkly stuff through it. Line the inner rims, the lashline and smudge it all out with a soft brush, or take a little over the lid too for a dense smoky eye that glints. 

For a really BIG night, it’s good to step out of your comfort zone and FULLY embrace the glitter. And it comes with cool points if you consider the likes of Kate Moss, who had a huge gold, glittery star painted over one eye for her now infamous 30th birthday party. Start with a base of MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot, £15.50 in a frosted or pearlised shade, then top with the sparkly Shu Uemura Pressed Eye Shadows, £11 or for bigger glitter particles and all-out drama, MAC Heirloom Mix Glitter, £18.50. If all that sounds a bit fiddly, try a glittery lip transfer. Keep the rest of your makeup understated and try Violent Lips The Gold Glitterati, £10. It’s part Jessie J, part Tinkerbell and definitely one for your beauty bucket list.

But if all this is too much for you and you’re still a bit glitter-phobic, Nails Inc Whitechapel Snowflake Polish, £16 will ease you in gently. Paint 3 coats over a clear basecoat or if even that seems a sparkle too far, try a ring finger mani – paint it onto the ring finger and keep the other nails either nude or try a glossy black shade.

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Artwork by Trey Wright

Tags: Beautification