How To Do Grown-Up Glitter This Season

How To Do Grown-Up Glitter This Season

Glitter doesn’t have to be overly theatrical – there are plenty of modern, low-key ways to incorporate it into your beauty look. Need some tips to pull it off? Here’s what the experts recommend…

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

On Your Eyes

SL TIP: When shopping for physical glitter particles, remember many of them are made of plastic, so look for environmentally friendly versions from brands like Bleach London, In Your Dreams and Beauty Blvd.

“You can use either a liquid or a cream eyeshadow with glitter particles in it, then all you need to do is sweep it on and buff the colour gently onto your lids. If you’re someone who prefers a full-on smokey eye, but wants to add some sparkle, try firmly pressing loose glitter directly on top with your ring finger in a gentle patting motion. Focus on placing it at the centre of the lid so it catches the light. Likewise, if you prefer a ‘less is more’ approach, opt for a glitter liner and draw a single, thin line across your lids – this is just as impactful. Before you do anything with glitter though, take down any redness and unevenness by using a concealer or foundation to prep the lid. This will also help any product and glitter adhere. Another tip if you want to intensify your eye look is to apply a base colour that’s the same shade as your eyeshadow – this will help lift everything for a more 3D effect.” – make-up artist Frankie Neal

“Glitter with larger granules can be uncomfortable to wear on the skin – arts and craft types can be dangerous if they get into the eye and scratch the cornea. If you’re using a cream shadow, apply it using your fingers. The warmth of the skin and the direct pressure will prevent any pigment fallout.” – make-up artist Morgane Martini 

“It’s also about highlighting the inner corners of your eyes. Use the inner tear-duct shape, or the centre of your eyelid wisely, so that every time you blink, the light picks up the glitter. For a more subdued festive look, try just dusting a shimmery powder over your brow bone. Whichever you choose, always apply a good lashing of mascara, and try adding a liquid liner, like my Precision Liner, to give more depth and shape to your eye.” – make-up master Ruby Hammer MBE 

On Your Face

“When it comes to adding subtle shimmer to your face, make sure you do it as the last, final step in your make-up routine. You only need a light touch when you apply anything here. It’s easier to add more, but very hard to take glitter away once it’s on your face. Try using satin, creamy textures that will blend more seamlessly. Also, focus on the highest points of your face – cheekbones, brow bone and anywhere that naturally hits the light.”– Ruby

“Glitter can almost look like jewellery when it’s on the lips. For a fun party look, apply a clear lip gloss and tap on loose glitter with a dry brush directly on top. It’s such a fun idea for the holiday season. If you’re using any glitter on your face, make sure you take it off gently at the end of the night. Load up a cotton pad or wipe with a greasy make-up remover or balm to sweep it all off in one go. The Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm is great, but pure organic coconut oil will do the trick too. Then, you can gently wash your face and use sticky tape to remove any leftover glitter.” – Morgane

On Your Nails

“The easiest way to have just a flash of sparkle is to create a glitter French tip. This is easier than it sounds – all you need is a sparkly polish and a very thin brush you can dip into it, before using it to draw a fine line across the edge of your nail. The trick is to wear this against a neutral, sheer base – no colour complements glitter better. That said, a burgundy glitter polish is very on trend right now and looks beautiful worn as a small strip at the free edge of the nail. The key thing to remember is to apply thin layers of polish – glitter can look bulky if you apply it too thickly. Look for varnishes that have smaller, tiny pieces of glitter as these are easier to achieve a neat and clean finish with. An old lip brush will also come in handy to clean up any mistakes.” – manicurist Harriet Westmoreland

“Sparkly nail art is a huge trend now, but that doesn’t just mean chunks of glitter. Physical crystals and gems can look good placed against a nude nail – whether that’s a clear base coat, or the softest stroke of pink or beige polish. You can then place gems close to your cuticles (if you do it near the tip of the nail they will fall off). Set them into place when your nail varnish is still slightly tacky, using a tiny dot of nail glue and an orange stick for guidance. Don’t worry about precise placement – randomness is far more elegant. Another easy option is a glitter fade. This can be achieved by painting on two coats of a non-glitter polish, then once dry, dragging a glitter polish from your tips to halfway down the nail. Finish it off with a glossy topcoat.” – manicurist Loui-Marie Ebanks

On Your Body

SL TIP: If your limbs, décolletage or shoulders are bare, create a luminous glow with a body oil. To take things a step further, try layering your oil over your skin as a base, which will give good grip for brushing on any shimmering powders or glitters on top. Take a big buffing brush and sweep over the high points of your shoulders and collarbones. 

“I love using Topicrem’s Crème Scintillante, it’s really hydrating, and the sparkly finish is so pretty. I also love the Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil which smells amazing. Both can be applied with your hands.” – Morgane

“Another great body illuminating hack is the ‘reverse C’ technique. This is often used on the red carpet when the back is bare. Take a large brush and sweep on some fine shimmer in two reverse Cs around your shoulder blades – it’s simple yet effective, especially if you’re wearing a backless top or dress.” – make-up master Caroline Barnes

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily