How to Wear Glitter Makeup Without Looking Like Tinsel

Updated 01/30/18

Welcome to the (not-so) official season of glitter—Christmas. Yes, we are now in the full throws of shimmering tree decorations and sequined dresses, but naturally, our favourite way to embrace glitter is through our makeup choices. 

But if we're going to daub our eyes and lips in pesky flecks of glitter that will continue to haunt us by showing up in every nook and cranny of the house for the rest of the year, you'll want to make it worth it. And that means finding a modern, flattering glitter makeup look that highlights your favourite assets, without making you look like you've had a run-in with a length of tinsel.

Below, you'll find our favourite glitter makeup looks, along with our product recommendations to re-create them.

Best litter makeup: Katie Jane Hughes wearing glitter eyeshadow
@katiejanehughes

GOLD-LEAF EYES

More like shattered gold than glitter, this look is about creating a wash of shimmer across the eyelids. Stila's Liquid Eyeshadow (£23) is the king at creating this effect in a single swipe and looks great paired with a burnt red lip and super-glowy skin. 

Best glitter makeup: woman with glitter blue eyeshadow
Imaxtree

COLOUR CLASH

Silencing any preconceptions that you should focus on either the eyes or the lips, and never both, this shimmery cobalt blue eye and mega-watt dark red glitter lip proves that there is space in our makeup repertoires for a full-throttle look. 

Best glitter makeup: woman with glitter tears
Imaxtree

GLITTER TEARS

If you’re looking for a super-subtle way to incorporate glitter into your makeup look, try dusting it down the cheeks, as per this look from the Burberry catwalk. Be sure to prime skin with a glitter adhesive first, such as Too Faced Glitter Glue (£17) to ensure your glitter tears don’t run away with every double cheek kiss on the night.

Best glitter makeup: woman with glitter tear ducts
Imaxtree

KIRAKIRA SPARKLE

Like sequins on a dress, the little dots of glitter gently patted into the tear ducts will glimmer whether you’re using KiraKira or not. The trick here is to find an iridescent glitter that has a similar warmth to your skin tone: Darker skins should look at the bronze and coppery end of the spectrum, while fairer skin suits milky pinks.

Best glitter makeup: woman with colourful eyeshadow
Imaxtree

CLUB TROPICANA

Colour and glitter go hand-in-hand, as artfully proven by this tropical makeup look. When working with clashing colours, avoid blending the seams to ensure the colour remains poppy (and not one murky mess of brown), and pick eye shadows with built-in shimmer to reduce the work.

Best glitter makeup: Katie Jane Hughes glitter eyeliner
@katiejanehughes

GLITTER-DROP EYELINER

If you can’t bear to part with your beloved cat eye flick, then use it as a home for a little glitter. Here, Katie Jane Hughes has dropped a little bit of copper-toned glitter eyeliner onto the centre of the lash line for a glimmer that catches in the light. We love Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Punk Rock (£15).

Best glitter makeup: Illamasqua Broken Gel in Gold
Illamasqua Broken Gel in Gold $19
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Best gliiter makeup: Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow
Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow $23
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Best glitter makeup: Touch in Sol Metallist Shadow Liquid Foil & Glitter Duo
Touch in Sol Metallist Shadow Liquid Foil & Glitter Duo in Talia $20
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Best glitter makeup: Sara Hill Glitter in Galaxy
Sara Hill Glitter in Galaxy $16
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Best glitter makeup: 3ina Colour Kajal in Blue
3ina Colour Kajal in Blue $9
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Best glitter makeup: Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star 006 Eye Kit
Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star 006 Eye Kit $120
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Best glitter makeup: Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl in Bedroom Black
Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl in Bedroom Black $19
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Best glitter makeup: Too Faced Glitter Glue
Too Faced Glitter Glue $17
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Best glitter makeup: NYX Face & Body Glitter in Gold
NYX Face & Body Glitter in Gold $5
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Best glitter makeup: Rituel de Fille Ash and Ember Eye Soot in Sigil
Rituel de Fille Ash and Ember Eye Soot in Sigil $20
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Best glitter makeup: NYX Glitter Primer
NYX Glitter Primer $8
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Best glitter makeup: Make Up For Ever Diamond Powder in Champagne
Make Up For Ever Diamond Powder in Champagne $20
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Best glitter makeup: Black Opium Pure Illusion Tribal Palette
YSL Beauty Black Opium Pure Illusion Tribal Palette $43
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Best glitter makeup: MAC Eyeshadow in Humid
MAC Eyeshadow in Humid $14
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Best glitter makeup: NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Fireball
NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Fireball $6
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Best glitter makeup: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner $16
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Best glitter makeup: Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Punk Rock
Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Punk Rock $15
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Best glitter makeup: Clinique High Impact Lash Elevating Mascara
Clinique High Impact Lash Elevating Mascara $18
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