The great glitter dilemma

Nov 10 2016 by
Categories : Makeup & nails

In a season gone glitzy, Hannah Johnson attempts to stand out.

My name is Hannah, and I’m a holiday-beauty addict. Every year as the invitations begin to pour in, up goes the pressure to curate a standout party look. I’ve always seen this as a time to outdo myself and take festive beauty risks – everything from voluminous, wild hair to dark, vampy NARS-painted lips and, of course, a healthy smattering of glitter.

Ah, glitter – the great jewel in the holiday-beauty crown. Sparkle and sheen are syn­onymous  with “holiday beauty.” Those of us who stick to a neutral vibe all year inevit­ably splurge on luxe limited-edition palettes that always feature shimmering night-owl shades (with a shelf life that ends on January 1). These offerings allowed me to sparkle as much as the ornaments around me, and even if the occasional fleck dropped from my lids onto my contact lenses, temporarily blurring my vision, I still felt as fabulous as the ’70s glam-rock gods I so adore. But as the decorations were put away and a new year began, I’d say a begrudging goodbye to the glitter and go back to my faithful “no-makeup makeup” look until the next big yuletide fete rolled around.

Enter 2016, a year in which getting playful with your look has become the new norm. The runway and the real world overlap more than ever, with the average makeup lover’s workweek look including pro-level contouring learned from YouTube, rainbow hues on eyes and lips and strobing that could light up a room. Now that we all look fabulous when there’s no occasion at all, how the heck do we top ourselves when party season commences?



Dust a shimmer powder, like Guerlain Light Revealing Pearls of Powder ($79), over the shoulders and collarbone for an alluring décolleté.


When it comes to influencing the masses, the high-fashion runways are leading the charge: The glitter look I used to associate with “party time” has trickled into the everyday. At Burberry’s Bowie-inspired fall/winter 2016 show, lead makeup artist Wendy Rowe decor­ated the models with “tears of joy”: pinches of multicoloured glitter dust at the edges of their eyes on an otherwise-bare-looking face. Even the boys sported the sparkles, proving that this is an equal-opportunity trend. If Burberry, a brand founded in 1856 and known for its classic trench, is telling us to buy and wear glitter, does this mean the sparkly stuff has jumped the shark, or is it simply chicer than ever?



Apply a glitter-soaked clear topcoat to your manicure. Try Dior Vernis in Nova ($34).


Then there’s Pat McGrath, the high priestess of modern makeup artistry. Her eponym­ous Labs line brings her highly-sought-after run­way looks directly to the cosmetics-obsessed Millennial crowd. For Atelier Versace’s fall/winter collection, McGrath coated the lips of models like Bella Hadid in the finest vermilion glitter, bringing to mind Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers. Her Instagram fans went wild for the look—and even more so when McGrath announced that her third Labs launch would be a lip kit made for the show. When the kit launched, it immediately sold out at Sephora and temporarily crashed McGrath’s website. While it may seem like glitter is everywhere, those who were able to snatch up the limited-edition kit are now members of an exclusive bedazzled club.



Use a liquid liner, like Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Amp ($23), to add sparkle just under the eyebrow.


But has glitter reached fever pitch? While everyday sparkle may take away from the small thrill of special-occasion glitz, the magpie in me is happy to see shimmer front and centre. In a world that can sometimes feel dreary and gloomy, I’ll happily adorn myself with Burberry-esque tears of joy. And whether you reserve your twinkling moment for a New Year’s Eve shindig or simply for a Monday morning that could use a bit of brightening, all I can say is this: Shine on.


Not a glitter girl? We’ve got a party look for you.


Art-inspired at Fendi.



Lined and luxe at Etro.



Colour pop at DSquared2.

Categories: Makeup & nails