Glitter is perhaps the most joyful substance on the planet. It's celebratory and marked in unapologetic self-expression. But these seemingly innocuous flecks of sparkle also have a deep history in protest in gay culture: When politics and conservative beliefs tried to suppress non-hetero individuals, glitter was (and is) a way to draw attention to themselves and celebrate their identity. Glitter hasn't come without rules and restrictions, though. A quick Google search of "don't wear too much glitter" yields several links to stories outlining when it's appropriate to wear glitter, the quantity in which it should be worn, and the age you're allowed to wear it. Thankfully, though, recent history's surge of the unicorn, mermaid, holographic, and metallic makeup allows us to collectively toss glitter boundaries to the side and express ourselves in all its lustrous wonder. Fashion designers and makeup artists certainly took note of this at NYFW fall 2018 in heaps, and we're here for all of it.
Makeup artist James Kaliardos traded traditional gold eye makeup for Maybelline's Python Metallic Lip Kit in Snakebite in the inner corner of the eye and along the lids at Cushnie et Ochs fall 2018 for a vibrant, eye-opening pop of gold.
A sheer lilac was swept across models' lids at Oscar de la Renta's fall 2018 show using new product MAC Ice Lolly (limited edition). Placed along the lash line was Grand Illusion Glossy Liquid Lipcolor in Pink Trip ($22) and Glitter in Iridescent White ($22) placed on the center of the upper lash line and along the lower lash line.
Lead makeup artist Romy Soleimani channeled "millennial Dolly Parton" for the Kate Spade presentation, which had an overall vibe of vintage Nashville and glitter dust. Swarovski crystals were applied sporadically to the lids with lash glue to really cement the new-age "Prairieland" vibes.
The vibe at Alice and Olivia was classic rock 'n' roll with opulent "Marie Antoinette finishings." Key Erin Parsons crafted a deep, jet-black smoky eye by way of Maybelline Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Sleek Onyx ($9), which she placed on a concealer brush before blending onto the lid. The look was then defined with more pencil placed directly on top finished with several pieces of black glitter.
At Prabal Gurung, models' lids and sockets were swept with a new MAC eye pigment called Olive U and Sabled launching later this spring. Continuing with the trend of using lip products on the eyes, MAC Bling Thing Liquid Lip Color in Time to Werk! was diffused with a brush on top of the lid and in the tear duct area, and sister shade Like It Like This was then applied on the outer corner of the eyes for further dimension.
Talk about a multi-use product: Romy Soleimani used Tata Harper's Contouring Eye Mask as an adhesive for gold leafing above the lash line in place of lash glue at Ulla Johnson fall 2018. Hydrate while you serve major face.
To create the glitter look at home, Streeters makeup artist Yuki Hayashi says it's important to skip moisturizer around your eye area so the glitter has a slip-free base the adhere to. "Although I don't personally use primer on the eyelids (I like a more natural messy eye look), for the parties that go all night long, I recommend using an eye primer that reduces excess oil which helps glitter eyeshadow stay on your eye. I use cream eyeshadow as a base for the glitter eyeshadow because it's easy to blend and to create the shape. However, make sure the color of the cream eyeshadow matches the color of the glitter eyeshadow you plan to use. If the colors don't match, it will be hard to blend them together at the end."
Next, Hayashi suggests using your finger or your eyeshadow brush to apply the glitter eyeshadow over the cream base. ("Apply the glitter gently and slowly.") Then, go about your eyeliner and mascara per usual.
Hayashi says to start with the eyes first before foundation so no fallout lands on the rest of your makeup, but if it does, embrace it. "People always try to make glitter stay in one place and it doesn't work, so it's better to make it a study in falling glitter," Tom Pecheux tells Vogue. If anyone points out your glitter residue, just tell them, "Issa vibe."
While glitzy lids of varying types were definitely the predominant makeup trend at NYFW, gold shimmer eye makeup was specifically the most replicated. Will we be seeing lots of gilded lids this spring? It's so universally flattering and stunningly photogenic, we can only hope so.