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Christmas make up: How to wear glitter this festive season

Yahoo Lifestyle
14 December 2012

A hint of glitter or a smattering of sparkly make up is the perfect way to give your look a festive makeover.

But be warned, a heavy handed approach to this top Christmas trend will leave you looking more like a piece of tinsel than the belle of the ball...

Glittery or shimmering make up can be hard to get right, but that doesn't mean it should only be worn after the sun's gone down.

[Related: Top 10 glittery make-up palettes]

"For the day, keep the glitter simple," suggests Chase Aston, international make up artist at the Body Shop.

[Related: Get your Christmas party look sorted with our pick of the best dresses around]

"Apply it as an accent colour along the top lash-line. Doing this will make the eyes pop, but won't appear too Burlesque!"

Nights out are the best time to try out new glitter-inspired looks - Chase suggests using glittery make up to create your very own twist on the trend for colour blocking.

"For the evening, glitter can be applied to the lids as a block of colour for an edgy effect," he explains.

"Go for vibrant blues, greens and purples, deep plums and silver glitter-infused blacks on the top lids. Sweep gold or silver onto the inner corners of the eyes and along the brow bone.

"Keep the brows groomed and defined and avoid glitter mascara as this can be an overload. Instead, apply lashings of black mascara onto both the top and bottom lashes."

A precious pop of colour
Don't be afraid to experiment - Chase suggests opting for jewel tones, which are going to be huge in 2013.

"For an intense party look, vibrant blues, dazzling emerald greens, deep purples, golds, bronzes and silvers always work best - just remember to use contrasting shades to your natural eye-colour."

[Related: Beauty trend - Top 10 plum lipsticks]

Metallic tones can also be incredibly complementary - look for cream-based glitters in soft gold, steel grey and silver.

When it comes to application, opt for a flat brush and steer clear of larger, fluffier ones, which will give you less control.

"A firm flat eye-shadow brush is the best way to apply loose glitter powder as you can control the glitter easier for precision application," explains Chase.

"Never use a soft or fluffy shadow blender brush as this can spread the loose glitter shadow all over the eye and cheek area."

Primed and ready
Glittery make up isn't just tricky to apply - it's also incredibly tricky to keep in place, which is why a good primer is such an essential piece of kit.

"Apply an eye shadow primer to the lids first before applying glitter eye shadow," says Chase. "I always use Urban Decay's Eye-Shadow primer Potion in Nude. For loose glitter powders and shimmer, smooth a tone-free and fragrance-free lip balm onto the lids, then press the glitter on.

So how else can we incorporate glitter into our make up routine? If the thought of wearing glittery eye shadows sounds too daunting, there are plenty of other options.

"The easiest way to introduce and wear glitter during the day and into the night is on the nails," points out Chase.

"Glitter nail varnish always looks edgy and sexy. Top Shop's nail varnish in Panther and NARS Night Series Varnish are both fabulously dark, edgy, sexy glitter hues. Rimmel's Precious Stones are full-on glitter colours with a fabulous selection of shades, and for the fun and frivolous, I love OPI's The Living Daylights.

Finally, remember that shimmer and glitter are two very different things. While a heavy-handed approach to shimmering make up won't necessarily end in disaster, dousing yourself in glitter is never a good idea.

"Unlike shimmer, which is sheerer in texture won't reflect as much light, glitter particles are much bigger, so they attract and reflect more light," explains Chase.

"When applying and layering glitter shadows, keep the colour combinations simple using two key shades maximum. Never overload glitter hues as the end result can appear too theatrical."

And looking like an extra from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is never, ever going to be a good look....

Top glitter products for Christmas:
OPI The Living Daylights nail polish, £11, www.lookfantastic.com
NARS Night Breed Eye Shadow, £17, www.narscosmetics.co.uk
MAC All That Glitters Eye Shadow £12, www.maccosmetics.co.uk
The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara, £10, www.thebodyshop.co.uk
The Body Shop Smudger Brush, £9, www.thebodyshop.co.uk
Max Factor Glossfinity Nail Polish in Midnight Bronze, £5.99, Boots
Maybelline Color Sensational Popstick in Pink Sugar, £7.19, Superdrug
Essie Leading Lady nail polish, £7.99, Superdrug

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