We here at BBTA aren’t usually inclined to wear makeup looks ripped straight off the runway. We don’t like to shock our bosses, boos and supermarket baggers too much. But, when glitter became a major beauty trend during the recent fashion weeks in New York and Paris, our sparkle-loving hearts went pitter-patter. Bling is an eyelid accent we can embrace as long as it’s not too extreme or too girly. Unless we end up face down in glitter, chances are we’ll avoid dousing our eyebrows with it à la the arch glitz at Giambattista Valli. With apologies to Emanuel Ungaro, we generally reserve glistening hot pink for our lips or cheeks. However, the chic gild makeup artist extraordinaire Pat McGrath placed above the lashes at Tommy Hilfiger is a refined take on shimmer we’d be delighted to test drive. Part of an undone/done vibe the makeup was cultivating, McGrath said, “The play with gold palettes [a.k.a. glitter] over the eyelids (starting in the corner of the eye) persists with the idea of the woman who wants to embellish herself and dress up.” Although the inspiration was a free-spirited downtown girl, we think the illuminating flecks were quite adult. To help us conquer sparkle in a similarly elegant manner, we turned to Galit Strugano-Wigdor, founder of Girlactik, a beauty brand that started offering subtle shine in 2000 when going big with glitter was de rigueur, to fill us in on a five commandments to follow to keep our glimmer grown-up.
Sparkle Commandment #1: Slim Down Your Shimmer
Strugano-Wigdor advises women select super fine shimmer particles. Chunky particles tend to transform your eyelids into an arts and crafts project gone horribly wrong. “My concept was creating a base and introducing very fine sparkles. A very fine sparkle is classy, and a lot more wearable. Women are drawn to it because it’s soft and pretty, and not too harsh,” said Strugano-Wigdor. Large particles can also be difficult to handle, especially if they’re mixed into shadows and lead to fallout on the face. Skip the glitter-infused shadow and use Girlactik’s pearl base under your favorite shadow before dabbing on the brand’s sparkles. “The base acts as an adhesive and you put the sparkles right on top of it. It doesn’t feel wet. You won’t even feel it,” explained Strugano-Wigdor, adding, “I have seen some brands do finer sparkles where they will use glitter glue and a blow dryer to dry it. With Girlactik, here is no need for the blow dryer.”
Sparkle Commandment #2: Light Up Your Lash Line
Your face doesn’t need to be glitter bombed. A more tasteful approach is strategically placing shimmer on the upper or lower border of the lashes. To jooj up your liner, simply apply Girlactik’s black base along the lash line with an angled liner brush, then dip the brush into the sparkles and set the sparkles onto the base with the brush. A glitter eyeliner pencil won’t achieve the same shimmery effect because wax within the pencil coats and diminishes the shimmer. “When you apply base and dab sparkles on top, there is nothing covering it, and that is what allows it to sparkle. If someone wants only a little sparkle, they can apply only a little,” said Strugano-Wigdor. “I don’t care what age someone is, everyone loves sparkle, but it has to be done in the right way. Whenever you see contestants on ‘The Voice’ wearing sparkle, it’s always mine. It photographs well. It’s clean, and it doesn’t look like there is too much.”
Sparkle Commandment #3: Careful About Your Color Choices
A sparkly smoky eye is a sexy makeup standard. Girlactik’s sparkles in the shades midnight black or gunmetal work great for the smoldering evening look. During the day, Strugano-Wigdor gravitates to antique gold to accentuate golden highlights in the hair and olive skin. White gold pairs well with lighter skin, and champagne is a fit for women with pink undertones. “If you are using the right color and size sparkle, it can make all the difference,” said Strugano-Wigdor. “When I started, I did do all the funky colors, but now I pretty much only do the staple colors: gunmetal, midnight black, brown, champagne and white gold. They are all very wearable and sophisticated colors.”
Sparkle Commandment #4: Keep Your Middle Finger Down
Glitter is fabulous and fun. You don’t need to aggressively shove it on your eyes. A ring finger rather than a middle finger provides precisely the right amount of pressure. “Your ring finger has the lightest touch,” said Strugano-Wigdor. “It’s what you use when you are doing something delicate.”
Sparkle Commandment #5: Don’t Pry Off Your Sparkle
Video tutorials often feature YouTube makeup artists removing glitter with scotch tape. Strugano-Wigdor insisted the scotch tape be scratched. “You need a dry cotton ball, and it wipes away,” she said. “It is that easy.” Save the tape for your Amazon returns.