How To | Grown Up Glitter

Sunday 30 December 2018

For the longest time, I had written glitter off.

Perhaps it's something connected to all the memories I have of being doused in Secret Weapon roll-on body glitter at school discos during the 90s. I’d firmly planted it in my mind as something tacky, outdated and only for festival-going teenagers.

That doesn't have to be the case. There is definitely an adult way to do sparkle, and the festive season is the perfect time to experiment with it.

In fact, the right glitter can have a transformative effect - a little polished, a little rock and roll, and the perfect dinner-to-disco look for an adults only evening!

Start with a smoked out, metallic eye then layer in glittering accents for an irresistible party look - here's how, step by step.


One thing I've learned in my time is that if you're going for an eye look with lots of dark shadow, it's better to start on the eyes first.

That way you can wipe up any mistakes and fall out before you apply your base and other makeup.

1.For an eye look that lasts, Primer isn't something you should skip. Urban Decay Primer Potion is a classic that grips makeup in place and will keep your eye look on lock down.

2. Once my lids are primed, I like to fill in my brows first as it helps me to structure the shape of my shadow when I work on the eyes. Comb through and define your arches with a soft product like Beauty Pie Superbrow Colour Pomade. It's a mousse formula which gives beautiful gentle definition. Then lock it in place with a little Browcote - a waterproof topcoat.

3. Using a soft fluff brush, swirl on some of the pale matte cream shade from the NYX Lid Lingerie palette, all over the lid, inner corners and up to your brow bone. This helps to wash out any redness or sallow tones and subtly provides a matte highlight on the brow bone that won't compete with the glitter.

2. A common mistake a lot of people make with smoky eye looks is to go straight in with a black shade, but this is very harsh and hard to wear for most people, and makes under eye shadows look so much worse. A much better plan is to start with a warmer toned dark brown. This will give a depth and richness to your smoke. Gently diffuse the warm dark brown into your crease with a dense pencil brush, then follow with a slightly darker shade, making sure to blend out any sharp edges - we need seamless, melting layers of colour.

3. Connect this up to the outer edges by tracing a line up from your bottom lash line to the outer corner of your brow, you can use surgical tape as a guide if you struggle with placement.

4. To add depth, pack on a darker cream formula. I like Chanel Illusion D’Ombres in Illusoire, which is a gorgeous shimmery dark plummy bronze shade.

5.. With a flat synthetic brush, pack on some glitter! The Glitter Eyes Natural Duo is my first choice - they are high impact and easy to use. This mocha shade is really sophisticated, and gives real dimension to a layered eye look.

6.With a heavy glitter look, you want to contrast it with a very matte, velvety base without a tonne of highlight, otherwise there is just too much going on. I like to prep the skin with Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, before using a Beauty Blender to work in some Urban Decay All Nighter foundation - a very matte and long lasting base.

7. Add in a good quality concealer to chase away and shadows - Mac Pro Longwear is my pick - and set with a sheer setting powder.

8. Keep your bronzer and any blush matte also to avoid a shimmer overload. I’ve gone for the shades ‘Laguna’ and ‘Final Cut’ from the Nars Total Domination Cheek Palette. Then, mist on a makeup setting spray like Urban Decay All Nighter to give your look staying power.

9. A strong eye look cries out for a bit of extra flutter power - amp yours up with a soft feathery strip lash. My favourite is the Eylure Luxe Mink Effect Lash in Solitaire. They are quite subtle but add just enough impact.

10.If you want to go do the double, then there is also a way to do subtle glitter on your lips. After outlining and filling in with the Rodial XXL Plumping Lip Liner in Nude, I added a very cool product indeed- Ciate Glitter Flip.

This is a liquid matte lipstick that transforms to a low key sparkle when you press your lips together. It comes in a whole host of colours but the shade ‘Undressed’ is a gorgeous subtle nude that definitely offers a polished take on glitter.

And there you have it, sophisticated sparkle ready to party the night away.

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