How to Pull Off Glitter Makeup à la Dries Van Noten

Tips and tricks for making glitter work as an adult. (Photo: Raymond Meier/Trunk Archive)

When you’re a little girl, glitter is a total staple in your daily playtime beauty regimen. But when you’re a grown-up, and you have to apply that sparkle a little more strategically, it can be tricky enough to make you go, “Eh, forget it,” and stick with your classic shimmery blush or shadow.

However, the runway is hinting that it’s time to take a second look at glitter. On Wednesday, Dries Van Noten and makeup artist Peter Philips had us lusting for some glitter-drenched beauty at the spring 2016 show in Paris, a trend you can totally rock during holiday party season.

Anybody can pull this look off; just don’t overdo it. “Glitter reflects, so it’s important to remember that it will bring attention to wherever you put it,” says celebrity makeup artist Kristofer Buckle. “Glitter should be applied very specifically. You want to make sure it doesn’t end up where it isn’t wanted, and keep the look clean.”

If you’re unsure about glitter at all, Buckle says to pick just one place on your face to sparkle. “For instance if you have a glittery eye, then keep your mouth matte,” he explains. Sounds easy enough, right? It is. But since glitter application is a “very specific” process, we broke down the best tips and trick below. Here’s how to get glam with glitter, without going too crazy.

The Tools
For a huge selection of glitter in all shapes, sizes and colors, makeup artist Marni Burton suggests Make Up For Ever’s arsenal, followed by the brand’s Mist and Fix spray ($30) to set all makeup and hold your glitter firmly in place. On the other hand, Buckle is a little more crafty with his glitter go-to. “I love using the Martha Stewart glitters ($5) that you can get at craft stores,” he says. “She has so many interesting and subtle colors that keep a glittery look more interesting.” Just make sure that if you use any multi-colored glitter formulation, you test it out on your hand before taking it to your face. You want to make sure it doesn’t appear muddy or dirty.

Celebrity makeup artist Julie Morgan favors a warm glow along cheeks, before splashing a bit of shimmer elsewhere. “I like soft peach, pink or gold tone touched on cheekbones, inner corners of eyes and maybe a touch just above the tail of the brow,” she says. “Warm hands with a little face oil or balm, with a touch of glitter, and then press onto the upper cheekbone.” Try Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil ($50). Or you can also choose Buckle’s method for subtle glitter. “Barely apply any to a powder brush, and then lightly tap it onto cheekbones,” he suggests. Keep it simple.

If you want to try a slightly more unexpected take on glitter, then you can always opt just a touch on the lips, says Buckle. “Simply tap a fine glitter on top of your lipstick in the middle of your lower lip for an easy way to add some sparkle,” he explains. “Try using a champagne or rose-gold glitter on a nude, fleshy-colored lip.” For a good lip base, try MAC Creemsheen Lipstick in Nippon ($18).

“Glitter on the eyelids is the most wearable place to put it,” Buckle says. “With every blink, it flashes and sparkles.” Pour glitter into a tissue. Apply a cream shadow like NARS Velvet Shadow Stick ($28) or a creamy concealer like Estee Lauder Perfectionist Concealer + Serum ($34) where you want glitter to adhere, before pressing finger into glitter, and then pressing the glitter onto the lid. “Press again to make sure the glitter is flat against the skin for maximum sparkle,” says Buckle. “It’ll also be less likely to fall onto cheeks.” If the glitter does fall, use a small piece of Scotch tape to pick up unwanted particles.

The glitter lash line at the Dries Van Noten show by makeup artist Peter Philips. (Photo: Instagram)

Lash line
Burton’s favorite glitter eye trend is a hat tip to the Dries Van Noten show. “Right now, I’m loving applying a line where you would put top eyeliner, but at least twice as thick,” she says. “It makes the eyes sparkle. For something more subtle, a glitter eyeliner in the lower lash line elevates your beauty look.” She suggests trying eye-popping blue and green hues. Want an even easier method? “Urban Decay Heavy Metal ($20) glitter eyeliners are easy to use and long-wearing,” says Buckle. “I like to layer them over a bold black liner for dramatic definition.”

For a go-to nighttime look that’ll flash and pop with continuous movement, Morgan says to opt for sparkle-dusted eyelashes. “Before your mascara dries, touch the lash with a few specks of glitter on your fingertip, or dip the tip of a tiny, damp eyeshadow brush into the lid of your glitter to pick up sparkle,” she explains. “It will create a little disco bat of the lash.”

If you want something totally different from everybody else at the party, frame your eye with a bit of glitz. “Clear mascara can be a great tool and light adhesive for glitter application,” says Morgan. “Dash a little in brow. I like to use a deep navy or burgundy glitter.” A light touch of sparkle secured with Maybelline Great Lash ($5.99) is not too much — but pretty much ensures you’ll be the coolest girl in the room.


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