The Makeup Maniac

The Makeup Maniac: Glitter for Grown Ups

November 4th 2016 / Anna Hunter


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Set off a few fireworks in your makeup bag for winter, because shimmery Twilight vampire chic has never been so cool…

When Edward Cullen stepped into the light in a forest glade in the first outing of the Twilight Saga, don’t tell me you weren’t mesmerized, and secretly wishing for spangle skin yourself. We’re all magpies at heart, drawn to the sparkly things in life, and after what has seemed like centuries of ‘no makeup makeup’ dominating the catwalk, glitter is finally getting a look in via some of the most masterly makeup artists, designers and brands out there.

Pat McGrath seemed like a one woman pioneer for all things shimmering when she debuted red glitter lips at Atelier Versace AW16 and subsequently launched her sell-out microfine glitter effect lip kits (Lust 004 if you’re lucky enough to track one down). The sequinned packaging of the already cult McGrath Labs product offering is telling of spangle’s now edgy, high fashion credentials, but when ‘nude’ experts such as Bobbi Brown and Burberry’s Wendy Rowe started decking out AW16 eyes in glitter, we knew something was up. We’re not suggesting that you do a Val Garland at Giambattista Valli and trace glitter under your eyebrows (looked great on Gigi but…), yet sparkle shouldn’t be the eternal reserve of children’s parties, 80s scrunchies and underfed vampires. It’s finally playtime for us mere mortals, even if that just entails blinging up a compact or two. Here’s a guide to new season glitter, no matter what level your commitment to glitz. I’ve not put the eyebrows on here but they fall into the PhD grading of glitter I feel.


So the following constitutes cheating a bit as your face won’t actually have much to show for in the sequin stakes, but on the other hand, your handbag will. These provide a cheerful upgrade from the usual black plastic palettes and uniform beige lipsticks lurking sulkily in your clutch bag. Break these out and doing your makeup in public is entertainment, not something to be chastised for (looking at you Japan).

Lancôme Limited Edition Cushion Highlighter, £28.50


Just LOOK at that lid. Exclusive to Selfridges, this subtle, golden toned highlighter is as sheer as strobing liquids come. A little like daubing yourself in very flattering candlelight, the sponge applicator makes illuminating the collarbone area in particular a doddle. The case itself is also refillable, so you can replace your highlighter with a Lancôme foundation when the time comes.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Collector Sparkle Clash Edition, £26


A star spangled case encloses a star embossed, matte but ‘moist’ lipstick. It’s got more than a touch of the Marilyn Monroe glamour about it, and it’s available in six shades, ranging from nude to fuscia, depending on how bright you like it. The glittery packaging is a treat to behold whichever you go for. Definitely one to flaunt on application.


Up the ante, without going overboard. Eyecatching is the aim.

Urban Decay Liquid Moondust Cream Eyeshadow, £15


On offer in a kaleidoscope of colours, Urban Decay’s much loved Moondust has been made liquid, and it is a magical thing. Mermaid-like in its iridescence, each shade has a quite literally dazzling multifaceted effect, and can be blended out to a fairy-like finish or layered to achieve something close to a metallic. The slim applicator brush allows you to use these as either liners or shadows (try tracing the waterline with gold for daytime), and the formula dries quickly to a smooth texture with no flaking, because glitter is super fun until it’s IN YOUR EYE.

& Other Stories Metallic Duo Eyeshadow, £10, and Moonstone Shine Bronze, £15


Sartorially pleasing tone combinations, glowy glitter and price points that won’t take the sheen off upgrading your makeup, the & Other Stories take on sparkle is sophisticated and a little bit edgy. Shadows look supermodel appropriate applied alone, or combined, with a good few coats of mascara, while sweeping the peachy metallic bronzer high over cheekbones adds a kind of elfin charm. Possibly don’t rock both at once, but for a refined twinkle these are both go-tos.

Burberry Ruby Glitter Nail Polish, £15


A glitter nail polish may seem a tad school disco, but hear me out, as ‘runway’ varnish was worn at the Burberry AW16 show, and it’s the best interpretation of nail bling for adults I’ve encountered. Firstly, the base colour is a sheer black, almost like opaque tights for your nails, adding interest and creating a flattering finish, and most importantly the glitter particles apply evenly and relatively densely, which isn’t always a given with a glitzy polish. This is festive, but not too kitsch, and could be worn all year round without giving you tinsel fingers. It’s a splurge, but one that’s just on the right side of silly.


Onlookers may need sunglasses.

Ciaté Glitz Fix, £14


Barely there this ain’t. If you want to throw the kitchen sink at a glitter look, this lip kit will do just that, but I’d advise eating before any glitz lipped outing, and air kissing only. The kit combines a sealant, loose red glitter and fanned applicator brush, although you might want to take things into your own hands or use a smaller lip brush for ultimate precision. Once on, all of your Wizard of Oz/ Disney princess fantasies will be made real, but it will also probably flake off a bit by midnight, Cinderella style. High maintenance, yes, high impact, definitely. I dare you.

NYX Face + Body Glitter, £5.50


A very handy, non spendy pot of sparkle in a rainbow of hues, this fine glitter delivers immediate gleam without going patchy. Buy a few shades and get artistic, and make it stick with the brand’s nifty Glitter Primer, £8, which could come in use for a bit of DIY if you’re short.

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