Grown-Up Glitter: How And When To Use Glitter

glitter makeup
Chrisanthi Kaliviotis

Beauty Expert

Apr 27, 2016

Hey there, glitterbug. Most of us will remember the glitter-loaded 90s, an era defined by glittery hair gel, body gel, face gel and, for the really chic, a few sprinkles stuck right near the outer eye – ooh la la!

Whilst the walking disco ball trend has since lapsed (thank God), a new take on glitter has arisen from the piles of left-over sprinkles. The recent Fashion Weeks, and in particularly Paris, sent a throng of models with sparkling eyes down the runway, signposting a revival of the twinkling trend. Makeup maverick, Rae Morris, created a glittery look for her model army at VAMFF too, “we designed these looks three months ago and all the shows in Paris right now are doing glitter, it’s been massive.” It’s time to dust off (literally) your pots of sparkle, and glisten your way through day and night.

glitter rae morris
Rae’s glittery work on the VAMFF Runway

Why Glitter?

“Think of glitter as a highlighter, so wherever you put highlighter,” says Rae. “So the eyebrow bone is quite unflattering to make that part of your eye big, if your eyes are sunken or deeply-socketed, you could put it in the socket. To bring something forward. Be careful of darker glitters, they can look sexy, but the second light isn’t on it – it looks like dark sand or dirt on your face!”

Glitter Matching 101

Pale silver glitter isn’t for everyone, nor is dark inky glitter, and as with any makeup, glitter must be matched accordingly to skin tone, not eye colour. There’s essentially three colour codes, “a silver goes on the pale skin, medium skin is gold and then black on the dark girls, which looks natural,” says Rae. “The darker the skin, the closer the glitter colour so it looks tonal.”

Where To Sparkle

Don’t go nuts with the glitter wand, keep your sparkle simple. “Centre of the eyelids, inner corner of the eye – but use a gel form as you don’t want it falling into your eyes. A really fine bit on the cheekbones is also really beautiful. If you’re quite young, a little bit into the brow is quite nice but I wouldn’t put it anywhere else – that’s it for me.”

The Magic Wand

But what is the best way to apply glitter? “The old school, traditional way is putting a bit of Egyptian Cream or lip gloss, but what I don’t like about that is that it takes the shine away from the glitter,” notes Rae. “So my trick, Eyelash Glue, it’s the best thing. If you want to put glitter along your eyelids, use the finest, finest amount of latex, don’t look up, and it does not move. Then stand in front of a fan or hairdryer to get rid of fall out, and then when you have a shower, with water it comes off in one sheet – best trick in the world.”

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

Steer clear of Mardi Gras vibes (unless it’s Mardi Gras of course) and go either grungy or feminine. “There’s either a kind of grungy glitter, really raw, but also you can make it soft but not too girly and Mardi Gras. This is the softest element, just putting it on the centre of the eyeballs, so when you blink you get these diamonds. On the runway it looks like you’ve got little diamonds right in the middle of the eye.”

The Magic Trick

“Normally glitter is my pet hate, the dislike with glitter is it’s in your fridge, it’s in your bed, it’s on you for the next week!” But like the magician she is, Rae has many a trick inside that hat, and has some gleaming words of wisdom to lose the excess sparkle. “The other thing I hate about glitter, is all the fall, this might sound a bit complicated but glitter takes work! You don’t want glitter falling all over you face, it’s so distracting. Do the eyes first, but get loose powder and powder the living daylights out of your face, so when you glitter and blow-dry it it won’t stick to you skin. With any annoying bits, double-sided sticky tape or masking tape.”


By Chrisanthi Kaliviotis

Beauty Expert

With her lyrical turn of phrase and penchant for uber-glamour, Chrisanthi Kaliviotis is in her element writing about beauty for The Carousel, while weaving in fun fashion and pop culture references. She also loves a road test, so we send many of the new hair tools that arrive her way (she actually knows how to use them). Have you seen that hair?


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