We’d be lying if we said the word glitter didn’t make even the most skilled among us feel a little nervous. Yes, rubbing pots of body glitter all over our faces worked when we were in elementary school, but surely it’s more difficult to pull off today? Well, yes — but with so much of it on the spring ’17 catwalks, glitter’s latest grown-up moment is too cool to ignore. Our advice? Forget the association with grade school arts and crafts, because glitter has blossomed into an actual expert-approved makeup trend.
Let’s just get one thing straight: glitter is never going to be low-maintenance, especially now that it’s in top makeup artists’ kits and all over the runway. Put any dreams you had of doing a super-speedy desk-to-disco makeup look to one side and embrace it for this upcoming party season, instead.
Level 1: The Rodarte Nail
A simple nude nail surrounded by a thin trail of sparkle was all it took for us to jump on the glitter bandwagon and claim “we’ve always loved glitter, where have you been?”
It’s the new twist on glitter nails — not too much, but still makes a statement. “This very delicate glitter look would look very classy with an LBD this party season,” says Lynn Gray, nail expert at nail brand Mavala.
“Wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Then, paint your nails and dry them completely,” she explains. “Next, take a very small paintbrush, or even an eye or lipliner brush, dip it into your selected glitter polish and draw it around each side of your nail. Don’t overload the brush, as it could get messy!”
Level 2: The Victoria Beckham Eye
It’s amazing what a simple smudge of cobalt blue can do for your look. Add in a bit of sparkle à la VB and you’ve got yourself a statement party eye that doesn’t require much else. “Apply a chunky cobalt eyeshadow pencil all over your eyelid in your desired shape — be as bold as you like,” explains backstage makeup artist Lois Moorcroft.
“Next, use a smudging brush to soften the edges of the shape you’ve created. Then, hold a tissue under your eye with your finger while you press your glitter on top,” says Moorcroft. “The trick is to apply a thin layer, otherwise excess glitter will get everywhere.”
For a pared-down version of the Victoria Beckham look, swap the blue shadow for a bright-blue sparkly liner drawn along your top lashline.
Level 3: The Fendi Lip
From Peter Philips’ sugary statement lips at Fendi to Pat McGrath’s burgundy flecks at DKNY, these pouts were the talk of fashion week. “You need to start by using a good lip balm to soften the lip,” explains Moorcroft. “Leave it on for a few minutes and tissue off the excess. Then, take a browny-red lip pencil and draw a solid block of color all over your lips.”
Keep the next bit as mess-free as possible: “Hold a tissue under your bottom lip and apply a thin layer of glitter over the lip color with your finger,” Moorcroft says. “Before you move the tissue, blow outwards to get rid of any loose glitter that hasn’t stuck to your lips.”
And because no application is perfect, “Keep sticky tape with you at all times — you’re going to need it throughout the night,” she warns. “It removes unwanted glitter strays without taking the rest of your makeup off.”
If you’re not feeling brave enough to go all the way with glitter lips, go for a subtle option. “Apply lipliner all over the lip as usual. Then, a creamy lipstick on top,” advises Yasmina ElChammaa, head of U.K. training at Kiko Milano. “Using your finger, press some metallic or glitter eyeshadow either all over the lip or just in the middle for a pop.”