Glitter for grown ups
It’s a minefield; too little & you’ll be going around pointing at your face saying ‘Look! My sparkly eyeshadow!’ while colleagues nod politely & you regret the expense. Too much and you risk a Barbara Windsor playing ‘Fairy Muff’ or something saucy in Panto look which is fabulous for Barbara Windsor in Panto but you are not her even if you do have a Fairy Muff.
However ’tis the season, we all love a laugh and nothing says ‘The Out of Office email is on’ quite like a bit of glitter. I hate to boast but consider myself *quite* the expert, having been at the helm of the world’s campest musical for the last two years. I genuinely couldn’t pull down my knickers without finding gold stuff. God I am so SMUTTY tonight!
It may seem obvious but make sure you’ve put your whole face on first including powder. Glitter and shinyface do not mix. They’ll be calling you glittershinyface for years to come.
Adhesives for loose glitter tend to be sold seperately (NYX has a very good one that works especially well for full glitter lips) but vaseline does a nice hydrating job (tendency to slide about though, if you’re out dancing). I also have it on very good authority from people in the glitter industry (truth) that any water based wet look gel you can get from the pound shop works extremely well and doesn’t irritate the skin. I’d use a really good moisturiser that night though.
These range from subtle to statement, from sheer to chunky. I’ve handily ranked them in order of intensity, starting low to high:
ESSIE ‘SET IN STONES’ GLITTER NAIL POLISH, £8
Glittery nails are a great way to dip your toe in. I would make a joke about doing your toes as well but if you’re wearing open toed shoes in this weather you are literally mad and beyond my help.
YVES SAINT LAURENT VINYL COUTURE MASCARA IN ‘I’M THE FIRE’, £26
Don’t be put off by this shimmery mustard - it’s a top coat. Layer it over whichever mascara you choose, though as it’s Christmas would suggest something really extraordinary.
BOBBI BROWN SPARKLE EYE SHADOW IN ‘CEMENT’, £25
I have this and it’s beaut, subtle enough to wear all year round. Bobs does a great line in twinkly chic, all you need to do is press your index finger first on the shadow and then on to your lid. Fool proof and, much like Lionel Ritchie, lasts all night long. All night.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY LIP LUSTRE IN ‘IBIZA NIGHTS’, £22
There’s a school of thought that believes lip gloss screams ‘I AM FOURTEEN’ as it is, even without the glitter. But personally I find this festive and juicy. Charlotte Tilbury lip stuff lasts for hours too. Wear over a nude lipstick or just as is.
CLARINS HIGHLIGHTER PALETTE, £46
A limited edition here. In America this is called ‘illuminating sculpting powder face and décolleté’ and I love the idea that the UK market just wasn’t ready for ‘Sculpt your face and above your tits!’. Clarins never fails, and this is a classic highlighter slightly amped up for the season.
CHANEL OMBRE PREMIÉRE LONGWEAR CREAM EYE SHADOW IN ‘VERDEREAME’, £18
I cheated, this isn’t technically a glitter. There are worse things I could do. But it is festive as heck, cream eyeshadows are great and it’s certainly statement like. The shade is very ‘tasteful Christmas tree from an independent farm shop’.
TAN LUXE THE GLOSS, £33
A big bronze prittstick for your body. Pop it on the inside of your collar bones and blend in, I would. Unless you’re wearing a high neck. In which case slather on legs (not too much you don’t want to look like you’re mahogany from the waist down).
IGK PRE PARTY STROBING GLITTER SPRAY, £16
IGK could not be more ‘infuriating millennial who introduces themselves as part time blogger’. Eurgh. Lucky for them, that’s me all over. They’re marketing this as ‘Highlighter for your hair!’ which is actually more confusing than just saying what it is, which is a really good glitter spray. A word of advice: when it comes to glitter it’s hair OR face. Not both. You are not an actual disco ball.
DIOR MIDNIGHT WISH LIMITED EDITION EYE PALETTE IN ‘MOONLIGHT’, £48.50
Another limited edition, this time in 50 Shades of Grey by Dior. The great thing about a palette is you’ve got matte, you’ve got shimmery, you’ve got metallic, you’ve got all the components to play with. If you’re layering it’s a good idea to have a really nice soft eye brush, MAC do a great one just go and ask them (and don’t tell them you just bought a Dior palette).
THE BODY SHOP ‘THE PINK SPARKLER’, £14
I get excited by atomisers, I go all ‘This is what I thought all perfumes were like as a child!’. Not convinced of the packaging here (Ann Summers meets spirograph) which is a let down for something I’d ordinarily be so keen to have on display. Please for gods sake spray at arms length to it scatters, it is pink after all and you don’t wanna run the risk of rash-like blotches. No matter how beautifully it catches the light.
URBAN DECAY HEAVY METAL GLITTER EYELINER IN ‘SPANDEX’, £16
This particular shade is a petrol-y blue which I appreciate isn’t for everyone but it comes in many others. Steer clear from the reds though, it’s an open goal for comments on how it matches your bloodshot eyes come 3am.
NYX FACE & BODY GLITTER IN ‘BRONZE’, £6
NYX do not muck about when it comes to glitter and I salute them. Loads of colours, really affordable. These pots are not for the faint of heart though - you need a good base & an adhesive or it’s not going on and it’ll be all over your bathroom sink. Have a thorough cleanser on hand too (probably Liz Earle) & whatever cloth you use with it will not be used again til it’s been through the wash. Don’t use wipes to remove it please - you will be rubbing you face so hard and spreading it all around and your mug doesn’t need that kind of rough treatment.
GYPSY SHRINE GLITTER IN GOLD ECLIPSE, £6.75
I just love it, keeping it simple with gold stars (for being a good girl). It proved a smash hit for me at Pride which I realise makes it sound like I got lucky but I’m straight people- just there to shine, support & occasionally hold coats.
GLITTERTITS ZIGGY STARDUST GLITTER, £5
Just look at those colours. Pure 60s. I would paint a little crescent of vaseline just around one of the eye areas and stick the glitter on top, painting and adding as much as you like toward the hairline. Sometimes I’ll also wipe it backwards through my hair, starting at the temples. Very sparingly, just a nice touch. But for fucking legends, go full Bowie lightning bolt.
NYX GLITTER PRIMER, £8 WITH GYPSY SHRINE RED DIAMOND GLITTER, £6.50
Now we’re talking, proper sparkly lips clutch bag realness. Pop the glitter primer on like a balm, press your finger into the red glitter and pat it over. Layer up as you go. Eating is off the cards all night, you will have to keep reapplying and if you get off with someone in a broom cupboard I’m here to tell you that won’t be no secret so make sure it’s someone fit.