And so it transpires that I have a few beauty shoots coming up that involve the use of glitter. I hope lots of it, as I’ve always loved it – it’s the ultimate in trashy, disco, crazy makeup. To get ready, I’ve been diving into my glitter bag which has been quite neglected for a few seasons. I have glitters I have collected over the years from all around the world – from little makeup shops in Paris and Ricky’s in New York, through to some lovely Fardels and Kryolans and StarGazer glitter from Screenface and Charles Fox in London. MAC also do a very delicious glitter selection, including some incredible neons that I’m just itching to use in the near future.
I like to have glitter of different gauges so you can play around with the different sizes, and mixing colours in one look is beautiful as well. Also I have to say that whilst I do love the glitter from makeup brands, it’s bloody expensive for what it is. Don’t forget your local craft shop or even newsagent (I’ve found awesome glitters in the kids’ craft sections of the dodgiest local joints you can imagine. You never know where you’re going to find a great glitter!)
Gold and silver are of course essentials in your glitter kit, but don’t forget bright colours that can be a beautiful addition to a smoky eye, or punctuate a lashline to make every blink a party.
I recommend doing the glitter first before diving into the rest of the makeup as clean up with glitter is, if you’ll pardon the expression, a bitch. I keep makeup or baby wipes, cotton buds, a clean makeup brush to brush off any excess and a clean eyebrow spooly brush at the ready. The spooly brush is amazing for lifting up tiny, stubborn individual glitter specks from the skin. Once you’ve done your eyes, you can clean up with ease and then do your foundation. Also keep in mind, you need to use a cream texture on the eyelid to give the glitter a surface to adhere to. This could be a cream shadow, MAC Mixing Medium or good old Vaseline. You can even use water in a pinch.
And storage of glitter in your kit is easy – it needs to be treated (in the wise words of Kay Montano) as “toxic waste”. Don’t EVER keep your glitter pots rattling around with the rest of your makeup, as the lid will work itself loose and you will find yourself pulling glitter chunks out of your kit for the next ten years.
True story – I was doing some glitter experiments a few years ago and fiddling with some blue glitter, and the doorbell rang. Oh, the postman. And I’m signing for a letter only to see A BLUE PIECE OF THE GLITTER I WAS USING ON HIS FACE. God knows how it got there – it’s like asbestos, radium and nuclear waste all rolled into one and should be treated accordingly.
I decant my glitters but I then double bag them in small plastic sandwich bags (these are one of the greatest secrets of the Universe for makeup transportation), and then seal them all in a separate plastic makeup bag. I don’t take them on every job either, just when I think they might come out to play. One, it saves you weight and space in your kit, and two it saves the lids working themselves off en-route and ending up on everything, only for you to be picking glitter off every model you work on for the next decade. No thanks.
Glitter is like a little piece of heaven and pixie dust and magic, and like magic it wants to be free. So use it with abandon, use it with joy, but then seal that sucker up and for the love of God don’t let it escape.