How to wear glitter this party season - whatever your age

10th Dec 17 | Fashion

Want to sport some sparkle this Christmas? This is what the professional make-up artists recommend.

Portrait of beautiful woman with sparkles on her face

We’d all like to inject a little more sparkle into our make-up looks for party season, but let’s face it, glitter can be a scary thing to master.

As pretty and mesmerising as it looks, if you’re not careful, those little sparkly particles can end up looking more like an explosive mess than a gorgeous glow.

And then there’s the question: Is glitter make-up something that’s best avoided after a certain age? And will you end up looking like an extra from Starlight Express? (Which is totally fine, of course, if that’s the look you’re going for)

It’s little wonder so many of us – regardless of age – shy away from wearing glitter.

The good news is, it doesn’t need to be this way!

We asked celebrity make-up artist Jacqui McElroy and beauty expert Ksavi to share their hints and tips on how to wear glitter, whatever any age…

Let’s start with the basics

Jacqui begins by explaining that the correct products and tools are the key to creating the perfect glitter look, no matter what your age.

Before starting to create your glitter look, she recommends buying the following items: Surgical tape, to ensure you don’t end up getting product everywhere, as well as a cream eyeshadow, powder glitter, and eye shadow brushes.

Glitter looks in your 20s


Gorgeous @chelseasmakeup 🌟🌟

A post shared by Melisa (@melformakeup) on Dec 1, 2017 at 12:43am PST

According to Jacqui, “when youth is on your side, you can go as crazy as you wish” – so glitter can be applied across the entire eyelid.

Jacqui, who runs London-based The Makeup School, recommends doing this in three easy steps.

First, apply a cream eyeshadow the same colour as your choice of glitter, then place a regular powder eyeshadow of the same colour on top of the cream shadow. Thirdly, place the glitter gel on top, and then using a fluffy eyeshadow brush, pick up any loose glitter and place it on the gel.

Top tip: Finish off the look with layers of mascara and false lashes, if you wish to make a bolder statement.

In your 20s, you could even get away with a full glitter lip, which in all its OTT and entirely un-sensible glory is having a moment (think FENTY Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer, £16, Harvey Nichols).

Ksavi says you can recreate the glitter-lip look by applying a statement matte lip colour – and then dapple it with loose glitter. She recommends Pat McGrath glitter products.


Beautiful 💋💋💋 . . #Repost @akhanartistry ・・・ 💕Shimmer and Spice💕 ✨And All Things Nice✨ How gorgeous is this Lipstick and the Packaging 😍😍😍I’m a real sucker for Pretty Packaging so the @maccosmetics SnowBall was a must this Holiday Season! It’s officially December here in England so time to get Sparkly and Festive✨❄️ PRODUCT DETAILS- Soar Lip Liner Shimmer and Spice Lipstick Clear Lip Glass Glitter in Pink (from the Holiday Pigment set) All by @maccosmeticsuk P.S are the finger marks on the Lipstick driving you as crazy as they’re driving me 🙃😂 • • • • • • • #maccosmetics #maccosmeticsuk #myartistcommunity #myartistscommunity_uk #myartistcommunityuk #macholiday2017 #macsnowball #shimmerandspice #lipswatch #lips #lipstick #glitter #glitterlips #macartistchallenge #macgirl #maryhadalittleglam

A post shared by Formerly MarysMotives (@maryhadalittleglam) on Nov 30, 2017 at 8:28pm PST

Glitter looks in your 30s and 40s

Jacqui recommends adding splashes of glitter in highlighted areas of the eyes for this age group, as this may be a better – more subtle – option than covering the whole eye area, if you are worried about over doing it.

For instance, highlighting the inner corners of the eye, or adding a dot around the mid-point each eye, adds instant glamour.

To maximise this effect, you could cover the eyelid with a shimmer cream base, such as Bobbi Brown‘s Long-wear Cream Shadow, £21.50.

Jacqui, whose celeb clients have included the Pussycat Dolls and Kylie Minogue, recommends choosing a colour that is similar to your skin tone, for a subtle but beautifully highlighted look.

Ksavi, who has worked with Vanity Fair, agrees with this approach, and says adding a little glitter to your lids or the middle-socket will give you the perfect ‘pop’ for a subtle statement look.

Top tip: Make sure to add a black eyeliner on your upper eyelid, working it into the roots of the lashes to support the glitter liner, otherwise your eyes could look unfinished. See how to do this on Jacqui’s YouTube tutorial.

Another way to add some glamour and glitter to your makeup look is by using highlighters in all the right places. This can be achieved by applying highlighter to the tops of your cheek and brow bone. The best way to do this is by using a fan brush, such as Morphe Brushes Large Soft Fan Brush, £7, Cult Beauty.

Try the Huda Beauty 3D Highlight Palette, £40, Cult Beauty, for a highly pigmented but easily blendable glow.

Glitter looks in your 50s and 60s

For those who want to add a hint of sparkle – without too much fuss, or needing to use a loads of tools and products – the easiest option is a glitter gel liner, swept across the eyelid.

Jacqui recommends the Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliners, £15 each.

Top tip: Use an eye primer to ensure your make-up stays in place all day.

You can also pair your sparkly eyes with a glittery nail look – perfect for party season. Your normal manicure, paired with a beautiful contrasting glitter on the tips, is a classy yet fun way to sport some sparkle.

Nails Inc’s Nail Polish in Exhibition Road, £14, Net-A-Porter, is perfect for creating a long-lasting look.

There you go: the experts’ approach to wearing glitter make-up at any age.

Mind you, having said all this – when it comes to dazzling this party season, there are no real ‘rules’. If you want to wear a full lid of glitter in your 60s or beyond, then you should totally do that. The best make-up looks are the ones that make you feel most happy and fabulous, after all…

© Press Association 2017