How To Wear Glitter Like A Grown-Up: Eyes

You've got the shimmering nails and lips down pat. Now I'll show you 3 surprisingly sophisticated eye looks. Ready? (Of course you are!)
Publish date:
May 9, 2013
tutorials, eyeliners, eyeshadows, mac, glitter, Urban Decay, makeup, Stila, lorac

If it's true that the eyes are the window to the soul, you should probably make sure that the curtains are fabulous. And there's nothing more fabulous or dramatic than glittery eye makeup.

If you're thinking, "But Alle! I don't want to look like an escapee from a '90s boy band music video," be not alarmed. Sparkly eyes are totally chic and glamourous if deployed correctly. Yes, they're a little eccentric--but eccentric is awesome. Embrace your inner Auntie Mame!

Last time, we talked about pulling off sparkly nails and lips. Those were the 100 level classes; this is the PhD program.


I have three Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liners, which are THE BEST THINGS EVER. Loose glitter is annoying; it gets all over the place, seldom stays where you want it, and you find it all over your life for weeks. Not a problem with these sparkly liners.

However I wear them, I never end up with glitter anywhere but where I put it; and because they come with their own brushes, mine don’t get filled with sparkle.

They’re also pretty easy to take off--another glitter miracle!--although I recommend an oil-based remover if your skin is really sensitive.

I’m going to show you three ways to do glittery eyes, all including these liners.


Take a shimmery brown shadow and apply it all over your eyelid to the brow bone.

Then take either a shimmer powder or an eyeshadow the same tone as your skin and use that from the brown to your eyebrow. Blend well where the two colours meet.

Use a black liquid liner right along the upper lash line Don’t wing it out at the ends; we’re just making a subtle line that will make your eyelashes look thick and fancy.

Curl your lashes and apply mascara to the top and bottom. Then use a pencil eyeliner under your lower lashes to define your eyes. Don’t put the line all the way to the inner corner of your eye--only go about three-quarters of the way. You’ll see why in a second.

Now we get to the glitter. I’m using Midnight Cowboy, which is gold, because it’s the most subtle. Along the lower lashline, from the inner corner to where you finished your eyeliner, draw a delicate, sparkly line. You can also draw it upwards and join the glitter to the liner on the top lid.

Let it dry. If you’re feeling brave, you can put a little of the gold glitter liner on your finger and dab it on the tops of your cheekbones for some added sparkle.

This looks especially awesome when the sunlight catches it. I plan to do this overtop my bronzer in summer a lot.


Put a sheer, shimmery powder eyeshadow all over your eye, from lash line to eyebrow. I’m using MAC Iridescent Powder in Silver Dusk because that’s my go-to for everything.

Curl your eyelashes, but don’t apply mascara yet. Keep it simple, because we’re gonna get nuts in a second.

Now take a bright eyeliner (I’m using bright turquoise) and draw a big, dramatic cat eye along your top lash line.

If you have a hard time getting the “wings” of your liner equal, there's a fix for that. Hold a brush at an angle from your nose to the outer corner of your eye, and let that imaginary line be your guide.

Now take your glitter, Stagedive, and re-trace the cat eye.

And you’re done! I feel like a mermaid, which is what I want all the time.


If you’re sitting there going, “Alle, those are great, but I want something SUPER DRAMATIC AND SPARKLY,” you are in luck. Because here’s where we’re going to get full-on glitter crazy.

Lightly brush a shimmery neutral shadow (close to your skin tone) all over your eye from lash line to eyebrow.

Then apply silver shadow all over your eyelid up to the browbone. My silver shadow fell behind the sink, so I had to use white instead.

Curl your lashes, but don’t use mascara yet.

Take your black liquid liner and draw a straight cat eye. The thicker, the better.

Use liquid liner to trace along your lower lash line (not all the way to the inner corner). Join it up with the wing on the upper lid for a true cat eye.

Now take your silver glitter, Glam Rock, and begin painting it over your eyeshadow. Go from the liner to a little above the brow bone; you want to be able to see it when your eyes are wide open.

Let the glitter dry with your eye closed. Apply your mascara. Then take your silver shadow--white, in my case--and highlight the inner quarter of your eye.

If your lower liner is looking a bit too harsh (or if your line is a little wonky), fix it by smudging a little black shadow into it with a small brush. This is always a good trick to have on hand.

And that’s the look! Wear at night for full magnificence.

What do you guys think? Are you into glitter, or not so much? What other looks from your teenage years would you like to bring back? Personally, I’m dreaming of pastel blue and silver lipstick again. I worked both of those OUT back in the day.