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Breaking Down Beauty: Applying Glitter

By Sheila

After breaking down how to get rid of extra glitter last week, I thought I should do a little something about how to get glitter ON your eyes, cheeks, or anywhere on your face.

It looks pretty, but it’s impossible to make glitter in it’s purest form stick on your face. That’s because there are no binding agents in it, unlike regular eyeshadows or pigments. So, how do you get this flashy goodness to stick?

The solution is easier than you’d think. In order to make sure glitter adheres to your skin, you need to use a medium that will have a bit of “slip” to it, something the glitter can grip on to and that won’t fall away from you.

Here are some products I have used to make sure my favorite glitter colors last all day (or night!):

Glitter: MAC’s Rockin’ Orange (a LE color from years ago)

MAC’s Mixing Medium (available through MAC Pro) – this stuff is excellent! Not easy to access, but worth hunting down.

MAC’s Fix+ spray – Fix + is a multipurpose Godsend. Contains glycerine, which is what lends the slip. To use for glitter application, spritz a teensy bit on the back of your hand, and then apply to your lid with your finger or a brush.

Petroleum jelly – Cheap AND it works!

Duo eyelash glue – For HARD CORE glitter application only! Not the easiest thing to remove, so beware.

Here’s all you really need to know about glitter application, no matter which product you end up using: Use the SMALLEST amount possible. Just a dab. Half of a dab, even. A little bit goes a long, long way, and if you apply too  much it’s going to end up  making a huge mess.

For this breakdown, I used petroleum jelly.

Step 1: Do your eye makeup as usual. Use your finger, or a brush, to apply a teensy amount of your adhesive product to your lid. Make sure to keep it away from your crease, things could get messy there, too!

Step 2: Dip your brush into the glitter. Just a teensy bit, you can always go back and grab more glitter later.

Step 3: Lightly pat the glitter on to your lid. Apply more as needed.

Voila! Super easy, and YES, this will last on your lids.


  • Megan


    Or, stick it in a spray bottle with a some baby oil and water and just spray away

  • http://www.sweetlibertine.com Sarah

    I use Makeup Forever’s Eye Seal: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P169812

    It seems similar to MAC’s mixing medium. Works great, too – the glitter doesn’t move at all.

  • Brittany

    How does petroleum jelly affect things if you have oily, oily lids?

  • admin

    The trick is to use a very small amount, and also to keep it localized closer to the lash line. Stay far, far away from the crease!

    It’s worth a try at home one day, but if you’re really concerned, the MAC options and MUFE product Sarah mentioned are *guaranteed* to last.

  • Angelic Mariposa })i({

    Have you ever used Duraline by Inglot? Love the glitter who makes it?

  • Wendy

    that’s MAC glitter.

    I use LA Splash EyeShadow primer/sealer. It’s great for shadows and glitter!

  • Sheila – Painted Ladies

    I haven’t ever tried Inglot, but they’re on my list of makeup lines to start trying. The glitter in this tut is Rockin’ Orange by MAC. It was a seasonal item from a few years ago.

  • Jean

    I hafta say, I really like Megan’s idea! Glitter everywhere!

    …and how do I own absolutely no glitter??? Must fix this.

  • Lee

    Ive been using glitter for years, sometimes just a nice “white” glitter that picks up all colors, especially if it’s really hot out and I’m trying to go for the out of the norm look. I’m 27 now and was taught this trick in middle school; all you need is a Tiny amount of unscented lotion and put it on your finger and rub gently in your eyelid, but you want to make sure it’s still tacky. Apply glitter and you’re all set. For more heavy duty and longer lasting, I use a primer. Hope this helps!

  • Sheila – Painted Ladies

    That’s a great tip!!!