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When it comes to glittery makeup, the sparkly gel products and chunky metallic glosses that so many of us loved as tweens are the first visual to come to mind. Sure, these unicorn-hued, light-catching gels and pigments from back in the day were fun to play with, but they were anything but sophisticated. Not to mention the inevitable mess on your face and the eye irritation from chunks of glitter falling from the eyelids within just minutes of application that may or may not have compromised our vision in the process (oops).
But this throwback beauty trend has made a bold comeback just in time for the holidays, ranging from subtle shimmers topping off a glossy lid to statement-making metallic pigments lining the entire eye.
Bona fide makeup artists such as the legendary Pat McGrath and Instagram darling Katie Jane Hughes are among glitter’s biggest supporters, proving that a sparkling eye makeup has officially evolved from sticky formulas of the ’00s to an elevated statement look that’s no longer just for princess-themed grade school parties and is arguably taking the place of the gold-standard metallic smokey eye.
Unfortunately, if you’ve ever dabbled in glitter eye makeup or metallic loose pigments, you know that ample fallout is one downside that’s (almost) inevitable. Fortunately, with the resurgence of glitter becoming a mainstream trend, the technology in products has improved tremendously, making it easy to rock the look without the mess.
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1. Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow
There’s a reason this glitter eyeshadow is a cult favorite. The easy-to-blend formula glides over the eyelids seamlessly and dries within minutes to lock the shimmery pigments in place for hours of wear without compromising the shine or color payoff.
2. Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow
This prismatic eyeshadow actually contains prismatic pearls, that allow you to build your sparkle from sheer to blinding, or use it as a topper over a matte shadow for extra oomph. The best way to apply pressed glitter pigments is with your finger—the warmth of your hand will allow the product to be applied seamlessly and ensure the glitter gives the most pop.
3. Milani Hypnotic Lights Eye Topper
This drugstore eye topper gives your eye look a dash of iridescence with a subtle glitter finish. The cream formula blends easily and doesn’t lift the eye products you’re wearing underneath when applied.