I firmly believe that glitter is linked to dopamine release in my brain. Glitter greeting cards, glitter wrapping paper, glitter garlands and tinsel. If there’s a glitter version, I’m going for it like a moth to a flame.
2000 was a good year for me in this regard – glitter was IN. Remember J. Lo in all her iridescent glory in the “Waiting For Tonight” video? Glitter hit the market in every variety: body glitter gel, face glitter makeup, hair glitter aerosol spray. On the eve of Y2K, while others feared doom and chaos, I coated my eyes and cheeks in a Victoria’s Secret clear glittered gel and felt GREAT.
Times have changed (even if J. Lo’s face miraculously has not) and so must we. The glitter membrane is not my look of choice this New Year’s. That said, I still enjoy toasting the occasion with a festive take on my makeup and have discovered subtle, even sophisticated ways of incorporating glitter into my look. Here are my strategies to SAFELY play with shimmer this holiday season. Because if you can’t at New Year’s, then when can you? Go get that dopamine girl!
Ps. The below ideas are not meant to be combined. I intend them as 3 separate options to consider.
This route is about creating shine without using glitter. Tweak your usual makeup routine slightly by layering in a light-reflecting face illuminator. This will bring a glowing, candlit warmth to your face and harmonize beautifully with that sparkly dress and heels waiting in your closet. There are so many fantastic illuminators of the market. If you like a liquid form (easy to apply by just mixing with your tinted moisturizer or foundation) try Josie Maran’s Argan Illuminizer ($32). I recently discovered it and love it as a holiday party option. It leaves a rose-gold pearlescent finish, all the while moisturizing your skin with argan oil and other botanical elements. You can use it on your collarbone and body too. The shade is not too bronze – it works whether you’re heading south or north for the holidays. Nars makes beautiful illuminators in a range of shades to be used the same way. If you prefer a powder illuminator, there’s one by Chanel (I wrote about here) that is pretty spectacular, although spectacularly expensive at $72. This Cheek Mélange by Laura Mercier ($42), also a limited edition release, leaves a non-dusty satin luster on skin. Very subtle, and adult appropriate (ie NOT sparkly).
This is a favorite strategy of mine because it’s unexpected. Shimmer or micro-glitter lipstick can look really beautiful. If you downplay the rest of your makeup, and swipe on a soft or neutral shade of lipstick that has tiny flecks of shine, it will bring a pretty radiance to your whole face. My love affair with Bobbi Brown lipsticks started last month with their Hollywood Red color and has now moved on to the limited edition Scotch On The Rocks Holiday Collection Lipstick in Beige Gold Shimmer ($26) which really packs in the stardust. This is the perfect shade of peachy-beigey-nude for me (disclaimer: nude’s are different on everyone) so I wear it as a stand alone. But it’s also sheer enough that it can be layered as a top coat shimmer treatment on other lip color.
Every beauty brand offers sophisticated shimmer eyeshadows which many of us use year-round as “going-out” makeup (If you’re looking for one, I’m gaga over this “Golden Goddess” palette from Charlotte Tilbury). For something new, put aside the shimmer shadows and try a glitter eyeliner paired with a matte shadow. If it’s possible to be both statement making and minimalist at once – the glitter eyeliner is that. It’s so subtle that it doesn’t read “glitter” but has a cool, eye-brightening effect that’s fun to play with. Sephora’s own brand, Sephora Collection, makes an overwhelming amount of eyeliners in every color and effect – and at great prices. Ask a salesperson to guide you to the Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner Collection where you will find glittered options. These toys are glittered sparingly (as you can see in the picture) so it’s not an in-your-face, all-over effect. I also like the jumbo liners which leave a translucent pearly glaze. The two can be used together in fact. I’ve been using The Lilac Shimmer Jumbo Liner ($14) on my lid and the Purple Glitter Retractable ($13) at the lash line for my holiday parties this year. Want more of a glitter punch? Check out these Heavy Metal Liners from Urban Decay.