To us, the holiday season means good friends, lots of gorgeous gifts, and glitter eye shadow. That’s right: sparkly makeup is as time-honored a tradition as a festive red lips, not to mention way more fun. But as anyone who used to bathe in the stuff in middle school will remember, it’s really easy for good glitter beauty looks to go bad. So we talked to makeup superstar Diane Kendal for Lancôme, and she shared a few of her expert tips for how to wear glitter eyeshadow in real life (and not look a discoball while doing it).
1. Keep glitter confined to one area on the eye.
Kendal used a smudgy brown as a sort of boundary for the glitter. “Keep it close to the center so that the sparkle doesn’t take over the eye—you just get a hint of it when the eyes open.” Skip sparkles on the browbone and corners of the eyes, where they can look too intense.
2. Try this trick to minimize mess.
“I always dip my brush in water and then dip it in the glitter, and that helps anything from falling onto the rest of the face,” Kendal explained. She’s also always sure to hold a tissue below the eye when applying the makeup to prevent any unfortunate fallout.
3. Leave the rest of the face low-key.
Glitter eyes are a major look, so make sure the rest of your makeup isn’t competing. Kendal says that her favorite look is a pale pink blush (Lancôme Blush Subtil in Cedar Rose, $30, lancome-usa.com) on the cheeks, lip balm on the lips, and not much else on the face. This isn’t the night for majorly matte statement lips and big-time eyeliner; let your eyeshadow steal the show while you sparkle and shine.
Read more: How to Pull Off Dark Lipstick Perfectly