How to apply rhinestones and shapes

Glitter makeup for beginners: How to get started with glitter eye and face makeup looks

20th June 2024 | Author: Katherine O'Shea

If you’re a Mum dealing with kids, the word, ‘glitter’ will likely send shivers down the spine. But, when it comes to ‘glitter makeup’, it’s a very different story!

Not only does glitter makeup instantly add a bit of glamour, but it’s also been shown to boost your mental health too. Turns out making your face shine, makes your soul shine too.

However, adding glitter makeup to your routine can feel a bit daunting, so let us help! Below we’ve explained how to get started with glitter makeup including the different types you can buy, and how to use it without it looking like a unicorn threw up all over you, or your dressing table.

Glitter makeup: Types and tools

When it comes to adding glitter to your makeup, you have the choice to go all-out disco ball, or reign it in and have the tiniest of touches. Achieving this spectrum of looks depends on the types of glitter makeup you use and the categories are as follows. Click on each type to jump straight to that section.

You’ll also need:

  • A silicone brush
  • Primer
  • Eyelash glue

In terms of application, the best route to take is via a silicone brush. A silicone makeup brush works well because it helps you to put the glitter on your skin in a precise way. It grips the powder and glitter really well, which also reduces spillage.

You should almost always start with an eyeshadow primer when using any form of eye product, including glitter makeup. The only time this isn’t true is when using glitter gels and pastes. A primer will make it easier to apply your eyeshadow and help to keep it in place for longer.

Finally, for some glitter makeup looks you’ll need skin-friendly glue. You can buy specific glitter glues, or you can use eyelash glue. Our favourite is the Duo Striplash Adhesive Glue (£5.99).

Top tips for using glitter makeup

  • To get rid of stray glitter on your face, use tape to dab it off
  • To keep your glitter eye shadow to stay in place for longer use a setting spray. We recommend the e.l.f Makeup Fixing Mist & Setting Spray (£5). You can also mix your setting spray in with your makeup at the application stage to hold it in place even longer
  • As well as a glitter primer, you could use petroleum jelly or lip balm as a form of glue for applying loose glitter

mamabella recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Dual Silicone Glitter Eyeshadow Applicator (£10); NYX Professional Glitter Makeup Eye Kit (£24)

Glitter makeup: Using glitter gels and pastes

Glitter makeup products for eyes and faceGetty Images/iStockphoto

Maybe you’ve landed on this page because you’ve been inspired by the fantastically bold and whimsical makeup looks from the TV series, Euphoria. Or you’re after festival glitter makeup looks. Either way, we recommend the Lemonhead.LA for your eye makeup glitter.

Lemonhead.LA sells thick pastes containing strong coloured glitter that really pack a punch when put on your eyes. They give you that opaque coverage in a foiled/metallic finish that Euphoria does so well.

The Lemonhead brand glitter pastes are vegan, cruelty-free, and have been used by Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Jessie J – to mention a few. If it’s good enough for Bey…

To apply a glitter paste:

  • Take a small amount of paste (you can add more if you need to later)
  • Apply it using a brush or your finger in one, even stroke
  • While it’s still wet, use your brush to gently nudge the glitter where you want it
  • Wait for it to drive, and then add more if you haven’t got the desired effect

If you opt for using a glitter gel you’re not going to want to use an eye shadow underneath. A glitter gel works much better on its own, or with an eye shadow cream, but not a powder.

Emmy award-winning makeup artist, Doniella Davy, who created the glitter heavy looks on Euphoria said about her time on the show: “I was less concerned with making eyes bigger and eyebrows fuller, and more concerned with using makeup to tell stories and be cheeky and expressive.”

You can definitely create some striking looks with a glitter paste, as they’re thick and full of colour.

mamabella recommends: Lemonhead.LA ‘Malibu’ – a deep blue colour that screams Euphoria (£20); Lemonhead.LA ‘Gildebeest’ – a pale gold colour (£20)  

How to apply pressed glitter

How to apply pressed glitter eyeshadowGetty Images/iStockphoto

Pressed glitter eyeshadow is slightly wetter in texture than your standard eye shadow powders. As a result, this texture acts as a glue meaning you can apply glitter eyeshadow directly to your skin, without the need for another product to make it stick.

When applying glitter eye shadow on its own, it can look really sparse and patchy. Therefore we would recommend using a shimmery shadow first, as a base for the glitter eye shadow. You’re going to want to pick a shade of shimmery shadow that matches or goes well with the colour of the glitter you’re hoping to use.

Also combining a pressed glitter eyeshadow with a matte eye shadow can make your eyes pop. This is because it gives you the best of both worlds, a colour you feel comfortable wearing and a little bit of shimmer to make you shine. Depending on the colours you choose this could be a great look for the daytime or evening.

mamabella recommends: Morphe 35M Colour Boss Mood Eyeshadow Palette (£24); NYX Professional Glitter Goals Palette (£23.79) 

How to apply loose glitter 

How to apply loose glitter without making a messGetty Images/iStockphoto

Like with the kid’s glitter, adding glitter powder to your face has the potential to get very, very messy. If you want to limit the mess and make sure the application is as easy and smooth as possible, you’re going to need a high-strength eyeshadow primer. This will help make sure the glitter stays in place all day or night and essentially work as a glue.

To apply the primer, add a bit of product to the back of your hand and then use a brush to spread across your eyelids. Depending on where you want to add your glitter, you can sweep all over the lid or add very precise lines.

Like with the pressed glitter you have the option to wear an eyeshadow underneath. This can look particularly effective if, for example, you just wanted to add some loose glitter to the corners of your eyes for a more subtle glitter look.

mamabella recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Glitter Primer (£8) 

How to make rhinestones and sequins stick

How to apply rhinestones and shapesGetty Images/iStockphoto

As well as your standard glitter makeup, you have the option to add rhinestones or different sequins to elevate your looks. These are heavily used in Euphoria. They are perfect for taking your glitter eyeshadow to the next level and are great to use for occasions where you can really get creative and make an impression.

Even if your rhinestones or sequins already come with a sticky backing already, you’re going to want to use skin-friendly glue if you want to make sure they stay in place. We recommend eyelash glue, as it’s very likely you’ve got some of that at home already. Plus it’s easy to carry around with you if you need to do a touch up later in the day.

You’re also going to need a clean dry surface to stick your sequin or stone onto. If you’ve already put your makeup on then add a mattifying setting spray, or clean the spot you’re sticking it to with a cotton bud dipped in micellar water. We recommend the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (£5.33)

  • Put your glue on the back of the rhinestone or sequins and wait a few seconds for it to get a bit tacky – as you would when putting glue on your fake eyelashes
  • Take a pair of tweezers and place the sequin or shape where you want it. If it doesn’t automatically stick, the glue isn’t tacky enough
  • Once on, push down on the gem a little with a clean finger, or the tweezers, until you think it’s stuck and is secure

When you want to take off your rhinestones and other shapes, they should peel off pretty easily. Using the micellar water again will help clean off any residue.

Glitter makeup cheats

If you’re heading to a festival this year you’re going to want to look the part and that means face glitter! However, camping doesn’t exactly lend itself well to a full-face makeup routine. Plus carrying loads of products just isn’t practical.

That’s why we think the face glitter rhinestones we found on Amazon are a fantastic cheat, making it super easy and quick to apply. Plus you can be really bad at applying makeup with this one and still look great. 

Essentially all you need to do is peel the backing off the sticker and apply it to your face. You can get options that cover your whole forehead, or just have rhinestones to wear around your eyes or eyebrows. It’s definitely your easiest way to create the Euphoria look. Your biggest problem will be choosing the design you like best because there are so many out there.

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