photo: Getty

photo: Getty

Glitter gets a bad reputation. It can be messy, and over-the-top, and some would like to see it banished to the far reaches of circus performances and drag shows. But nothing in this world gives you instant party glam like a good coat of sparkle. Glitter is your secret party weapon, because it doesn’t even matter what else you’re wearing when your eyelids are shining like a disco ball. Forget jewelry. Your face is your jewelry!

Here’s how to make it stick to your lids all night long, whether you’re at a club, a rave, or a sporting event. This sweat-proof method was honed through years of dance recitals and roller derby bouts. It ain’t subtle, but it lasts.

A PSA: I used red because that’s what I had on hand (derby team colors), and because it felt festive for December. You could get a less ferocious New Year’s eve look with champagne or shell pink shadow and white glitter, or just amp up your normal smoky eye with a glittery finish.

1.  Start by applying foundation. Frame your canvas by brushing and filling in your brows.

sad and glitter free

sad and glitter free

2. Apply a sticky, cream color base. MAC paint pots, Maybelline Color Tattoos, or NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils come in a wide variety of colors. I used a NYX pencil in Milk (pure white) because it intensifies the color of any powder shadow. Blend over the lid.

NYX Jumbo Eye pencil in Milk

NYX Jumbo Eye pencil in Milk

3. Apply powder shadow (I used NYX Single Eye Shadow in Cherry). Map out the shape you want your glitter to be in–the next step will be painting by numbers. I find a rounded cat-eye to be the most flattering. A little white shadow on the brow bone keeps your eyes looking open and bright when you’re wearing a bold color on the lid.

powder eye shadow

4. Apply fixative. MAC Fix+ is the adult way to go, but you can get equally long lasting results with a dab of all natural, petroleum free lip balm (like the Body Shop Lip Butter). Tap on the lid with your finger.

_fixative both

5. Using a small, dry shadow brush, apply glitter over your shape. You may need to pack on a little more fixative as it dries.

6. Mist your face with a little Fix+ to finish. Hairspray is a cheap and cheerful alternative, but I only recommend this one if you’re going the all-night dance party route and already plan on wrecking your skin for the night with smoke and sweat.

finished glitter how-to

Finish off with a liquid liner cat-eye, curled lashes, and mascara.

With loose glitter, a little fallout during application is inevitable, but it will not budge from your lids if you use this method. Wear it to a party, be extra fabulous supporting a sports team, or join a cabaret.