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Drag Princess Tips : Glitter Made Easy!

 

I'll admit it: I’m a full out glitter junkie. People know I’ve been around because I leave a trail of glitter wherever I go. No other makeup product has quite the visual impact of glitter—It’s blingy, fun, downright gorgeous and absolutely worth every single inconvenience it may bring.

To be fair, there are a lot of downsides to glitter—it’s messy, it’s not approved to be FDA safe for use around the eyes (you can read my FAQ on the topic here, but the short version is that NO glitter in the world is approved for use in the eye or lip areas. If you ever find a company that says otherwise, they’re either completely misinformed, or simply outright lying), can be difficult to remove, and it also never, ever goes away. If you can remember back to your high school chemistry days, you may recall learning that uranium has the longest half-life of any element. Uhm, obviously those scientists were never around glitter! 

That being said, how DO you wear glitter on your eyes, and what do you apply it with? If you’ve ever tried patting glitter on, it’s extremely hard to get it to adhere properly, and most products leave you with sparse splotches as opposed to a solid shine! I remember one of the big mysteries to me growing up was how John Cameron Mitchell was able to pack his lids so densely with solid glitter for his role as Hedwig.

I’ve tried tons of products and techniques for glitter, from glitter palettes (greasy/messy), liners (splotchy,/clumpy), theatrical liquid glitters (take forever to dry, stings like a #$@!% if you unfortunately get any into your eye), to old drag queen tricks of using chapstick (great for a while, but creases and rubs off easily) or liquid latex (works pretty well and has the advantage of coming off in one piece when you’re done with it, but has the distinct drawback of being difficult to time correctly). I mean, absolutely none of this stopped me from wearing glitter, but about a year ago I finally found a much easier and more effective way!

These are my tools for flawless glitter application:

Too Faced Glitter Glue, Sephora Silicone Tipped Glitter Applicator, and glitters of choice (pictured from top to bottom: Swagger Cosmetics glitters in Baby Turquoise, Swagger, & American)

Too Faced Glitter Glue is a primer formulated specifically for glitter. It’s amazing. It creates a sticky and smooth base for the glitter to adhere to. here are some swatches on bare skin, with a regular eyeshadow primer, and with the glitter glue:

As you can see, there is an enormous difference between how well the glitter adheres to your skin. 

The Silicone Tipped Glitter Applicator is another must have product. Now instead of having glitter gunk up your brushes (or fingers!), the silicone tip provides a smooth surface that grips the glitter, but also deposits it when you press it onto your skin. Paired with the glitter glue, these two products perfectly compliment each other and work together like a dream.

This isn’t completely necessary, but I usually apply regular eyeshadow on first in the general colours/shape of the final look. This helps with any gaps between the glitter particles and helps with providing a uniform colour. Don’t worry about making it perfect!

Now put the glitter glue on top of the eyeshadow you just applied. This is about the amount you need for each eye—a little goes a long way!

Don’t drag or rub, just simply press/pat the silicone applicator onto your lid.

Other helpful tips:

  • Do your eyes first! No matter how careful you are, the glitter will have some fallout. Remember that its half-life is the longest of any substance in the known universe, and that it especially loves to stick to anywhere you don’t want! By doing your eyes first, you can simply remove the fallout with makeup remover, and then continue on to the rest of your face.
  • Also, most importantly: Properly remove your makeup and glitter at the end of the evening! I don’t care if you’re completely smashed and wondering why you’re in a stranger’s apartment three cities away, take off your glitter. Remember, even though the FDA may greatly exaggerate the risks of applying glitter near your eyes, you still owe it to yourself to take precautions to minimize any potential irritation or damage. Soak a cotton ball in makeup remover or oil (olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, whatever your new friend has) and press it onto your eyelid for about ten seconds to loosen up the glitter, and then wipe off!

Now get out there and sparkle!

 Blake Karamazov is a San Francisco based makeup artist, Swagger Cosmetics creator and only eats vegan glitter and rhinestones.

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