The sophisticated way to wear shimmer

These expert tips will help you master grown-up glitter

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / May 25 2017

You may associate glitter with nineties glitter hairspray, arts and crafts sessions as a kid or your favourite toys growing up (remember Barbie Styling Heads?!), but fortunately, the sparkly stuff has come a long way since then. In fact, there’s much more to wearing shimmer than applying it haphazardly. Here, makeup artist Sarah Laidlaw shares her best advice for getting glowy (and not at all gaudy).

Best for: Eyes

A swipe of shimmery eyeshadow on your lids and on the inner corners of your eyes can instantly brighten the area. However, this makeup tip is best for those with smooth eyelids, as the texture of a glittery product can just enhance fine lines and papery skin - something you definitely want to avoid in this case.

Expert tip: “A dry eyeshadow powder blended into the entire eyelid looks great,” says makeup artist Sarah Laidlaw. “Or if you dare, try mixing a dry eyeshadow with some water to create an eyeliner, which is a nice way to bring your eyes to life.”

We recommend: Go for tones that are close to your skin tone. So for tanned skin, try golds and bronzes, whereas alabaster skin should try silver tones.

Try: Maybelline New York Eye Studio Big Eyes Light Catching Palette in Luminous Brown, Chanel Ombre Essentielle Eyeshadow in Safari.

Alicia Vikander

Maybelline New York Eye Studio Big Eyes Light Catching Palette in Luminous Brown

Chanel Ombre Essentielle Eyeshadow

Best for: Cheeks

In the same vein as strobing, the most effective way to bring a complexion to life is with highlighter strategically applied to areas that get hit the most with light. Our best advice is to go easy with your highlighter, as too much product can steer you towards looking like a disco ball; something that should definitely be avoided, unless you’re applying these techniques for Halloween.

Expert tip: “Always go for the high points of your face to accentuate them, and work a narrow line across your cheekbones. Then, blend, blend, blend away,” says Laidlaw.

We recommend: Similar to the above, go for beige-based and slightly silver undertones to mimic a naturally healthy-looking glow, and avoid colours with pink, green and blue bases at all costs.

Try: Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Summer Glow Illuminator, Anastasia Beverly Hills Limited Edition Glow Kit in Sun Dipped.

Jessica Alba

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Summer Glow Illuminator

Anastasia Beverly Hills Limited Edition Glow Kit

Best for: Lips

News alert - there’s a much better way to work shimmer into your makeup than with lip gloss. Instead of reaching for a glittery formula that’ll just leave your lips feeling and looking flaky after a few hours of wear, pick up products that just add a subtle sheen to the area.

Expert tip: “Use a tiny bit of shimmer just on the top edge of your lip line at the cupid’s bow and just a touch of the same product in the centre of your bottom lip to create the illusion of full-looking lips,” finishes Laidlaw.

We recommend: A mousse or cream formula in beige works best here as it can seamlessly be blended with your lipstick or gloss without looking powdery or dry.

Try: Gilded Cage Revelation Eyeshadow in Rose Gold, RMS Master Mixer.

Hailey Baldwin

Gilded Cage Revelation Eyeshadow

RMS Master Mixer

Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinky-nude nail polish and wispy false lashes, she has a healthy obsession with face masks and skin care ingredients. Her previous work can be found in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Women's Health, and SHOP Til You Drop.