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.
While it’s now acceptable to rock a glittery eye during any season (and even during the day) without looking over the top, this striking look lends itself perfectly to holiday festivities and, of course, New Year’s Eve parties where sparkling champagne, tinsel-laden decor and plenty of metallic, sequin-adorned dresses are sure to be present.
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—even if the night’s agenda includes hours of dancing, a celebratory New Year’s kiss or two, and one too many cocktails.
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Glitter Shadow Primer
The best way to prevent fallout is to prime your eyes with a tacky shadow primer to lock down glitter and loose pigment. Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance Primer is designed to help lock down glitter, and the flesh-toned formula also helps amplify the shimmer effect.
$20 at Sephora
The application process is critical when it comes to creating a fallout-free glittery eye look. If you’re not a fan of waiting to apply your foundation after your eye look is complete, these eyeshadow shields will be a godsend. They won’t erase your base (including your undereye concealer), and they’ll catch any loose glitter particles to prevent them from ending up all over the rest of your face.
$16.95 at Amazon
Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow
There’s a reason this glitter eyeshadow is a best seller. 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.
$24 at Amazon
Marc Jacobs Highliner Glitter Gel Eye Crayon
When it comes to lasting power, sticking to a gel-based eye pencil is one of your best options. It won’t give you quite as much of a reflective intensity, but you can use the pencil as a long-wearing eyeshadow all over the lids, or rim the water line for just a touch sparkle.
$25 at Sephora
Make Up For Ever Glitters
This pot of loose glitter may look daunting, but it’s perfect for customizing the amount of bling in your eye look. With the right eye glue, these tiny glitter particles stick to the lid without falling off and getting in your eyes.
$15 at Sephora
Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner
For a more precise glitter eye, a sparkle-infused liquid liner gives you not only the utmost control and precision with your line, but it also dries down almost instantly for a bulletproof finish that won’t budge.
$20 at Sephora
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.
$29 at Sephora
Too Faced Pretty Rich Eyeshadow Palette
For a complete eye look in one compact palette, Too Faced’s newly launched Pretty Rich is a great option complete with four high-impact pressed gel glitter options to layer over your mattes, wear alone, or apply with water for a smoky eyeliner. The dense gel formula gives lots of glimmer and reduces fallout on the cheeks.
$49 at Nordstrom
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
A setting spray that locks in your makeup look is essential for preventing fallout. However, not only should you apply it to the entire face after your face is finished, but for added defense, give your eyeshadow brush a few spritzes and apply it directly to the lid prior to adding your glitter.
$15+ at Nordstrom
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