With each annual music festival, Halloween or holiday party—or sometimes just a random Wednesday—comes a whole lot of glitter. The glitter roots trend has been spotted on hairlines in the fields of Indio, and glitter-flecked models have been marching down the runway season after season for years. But seeing so much tinsel begs the question: Where does all that glitter go? All that glitters is gold (as Smash Mouth so eloquently put it)—but is it sustainable for our environment? Scientists and marine biologists agree on the simple answer: No.
When these little pieces off cut-up plastic and polyester sheets are washed off of your eyelids, body, cheeks, or hair, they can escape into waterways and become marine plastic litter. I love glitter, so I’m just as gutted about the facts as you probably are. But, alas, there is hope. Unlike gluten-free bread (it’s just not the same!), sustainable glitter brands are just as sparkly, sticky, and awe-worthy as their mainstream counterparts. (Editor note: Chunky glitters are not approved for eyelid use, so keep these glitters for your body and hair).
To make your next glistening moment guilt-free (and keep your plumbing bills at bay), try one of these biodegradable glitter products.
When I think of glitter, I think of the chunky stuff. These chunky mixed-tone glitters are handmade in the mecca of stateside wellness: Los Angeles. Mix with a glitter primer for all-over body sparkle or just line your collar bone for an hyper-highlighted look.
Use a sticky lint-roller on dry skin before a shower to remove body glitter from large surfaces. It’ll make your clean-up a whole lot easier.
This German plant-based glitter brand knows how to package glitter. Their handy test-tubes are easy to travel with and avoid any accidental spillage with their potted packaging.
This brand boasts a eucalyptus-derived brand of glitter that dissolves completely in water. Your sinks and drains will thank you for this, but avoid going to an event where you may be hosed down with bubbles, water, or champagne if you want to keep your look intact (feel free to forward us the invite).
This red, pink, and silver glitter kit contains the perfect ingredient cocktail for an Instagram-worth eye look. We’ve all been caught watching mesmeric glitter eyeshadow application (or is that just me?). Now, you can have it all to yourself.
These amazing glitter gels come ready for application, mess-free. The biodegradable sparkles are mixed with aloe vera gel and jojoba oil for a flawless look. Use it as eye shadow, under the eyes for a glitter tears effect, or go all-out with a sparkle eye mask à la Bianca Jagger at Studio 54.
What more could someone ask for in a product than something called “Mermaid Shimmer Spray”? This brand knows all my safe words. Spray it all over your hair, skin, and body when you’re ready to glow. This sustainable shimmer spray smells like coconut and looks like edible luster dust.
Mica-based glitter blends are sure to make you feel wild and free. Since mica is a naturally occurring mineral, it will sparkle extra hard in the sunlight. Meet your new, all-natural photo filter.
If you've ever dreamed of your lips looking like you just made out with a sparkly frosted cupcake, then this sustainable lip sparkle is for you. Waterproof and smudge proof, the brand touts eight hours of wear– even after kissing. Pick your color, and get ready for a wild night of kiss-and-tell.
The picture-perfect solution to an outdoor concert or island beach festival: A sunscreen and sustainable glitter, all-in-one. This SPF 30+ is water resistant for up to 80 minutes, making sure you glisten, even when you dip in the water or ocean. It's ideal for bringing out the mermaid (or merman) in you.
Next, see 5 unique and non-traditional ways to wear glitter, because the limit does not exist.