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Glitter eyeliner—it's one of those products that, when pulled off well, can make people go "WOW!"
When done up incorrectly, glitter eyeliner looks like the work of a cringe-inducing teenager who couldn't quite get their prom look to do well by them. It can be one of the most awful makeup choices that you can make.
To a point, glitter will always be a bit risky. It's the kind of makeup that walks a fine line between excess and style. Thankfully, it's not too hard to learn how to wear glitter eyeliner like a pro.
Speaking as a glitter fan myself, these tips will go far.
Before we begin, let's get something clear about glitter eyeliner.
Typically, people tend to assume that glitter eyeliner is a "youths only" type of deal. Admittedly, it's harder to pull off glitter liner when you're 30 or 40. So, age can be a limiter if you are concerned. That shouldn't be any reason to shy away from glitter eyeshadow, though, if you're trying to flesh out a unique, new look.
The liner makes the look.
You know how you can typically wear cheap black eyeliner and no one will notice? Yeah, glitter eyeliner won't work like that. The eyeliner you choose makes all the difference, and can make or break your look.
Good glitter liner can make your look easy to accomplish. Bad liner? Well, if you've ever applied glitter liner only to get two or three specks from it, you know why it sucks.
This trio of Heavy Metal Glitter Liner from Urban Decay won't fail you. It's bold, colorful, and sexy.
Before you try to wear glitter eyeliner, learn how to wear regular eyeliner first.
I'm a firm believer in walking before running, especially when it comes to makeup. Take time to learn how to do a cateye look using liquid liner before you try to do anything with glitter.
If you tend to botch regular liner, this would be a very good time to invest in an eyeliner guide. This one, for example, is very affordable, and bends to conform to your eye. At the very least, look into natural eye makeup tutorials, just to make sure.
You will also need to plan out your look a little more than usual.
We all love glitter, but overkill is definitely a legitimate concern. This is where most people tend to go wrong when they try to wear glitter of any type.
A good way to ensure that your look doesn't end up being overkill from glitter is to stick to mattes for the rest of your face—or at most, just add a little nude lip gloss to your look.
Next, do the majority of your basic makeup—and make sure to add primer and foundation to your eyelids.
Before you can add glitter eyeliner, you're going to need to do the rest of your makeup. Now is the time to do your foundation, your lips, your eyebrows, and cheeks. Keep everything around your eyes as natural as possible, and forgo the shadow for the time being.
Preparation is key, here! This is especially true when it comes to things near or on your eye. To make sure that your eyeliner and eyes are on point, I strongly suggest using primer and foundation to get your look started. The best primers for every skin type will have something for everyone who wants to perfect whatever glittery look they're trying to go for.
Next, do your eyeshadow.
There are two different ways to wear glitter eyeliner like a pro: going light on the eyeshadow, or going for a fully smokey eyeshadow look. Personally, I find that going light on eyeshadow tends to be the safest bet for most people.
If you're going for a high drama, nighttime look, a smokey eye is always a better choice. That being said, sticking to black might not be a good move if you want to use glitter liner. Try to opt for a smokey green or smokey purple look instead, if you choose this route.
If you are just going for a subtle tinge of glitter, wear regular liner underneath.
You don't need to go 100 percent bold with glitter if you don't want to! You can wear glitter eyeliner as a slight accent over regular liner pretty well. This is actually a pretty easy way to take a day look over to night.
I suggest wearing glitter liner over black liquid liner, such as this one from Physician's Formula.
Now, start dabbing on your liner, just like you would regular liner.
You wield glitter liner just the way you would a regular eyeliner—for the most part. You still have to slick it on with a little paintbrush, but there's a couple more steps to your typical liquid liner routine.
To get the full glitter effect, you're going to need to do multiple passes with the same wand, regardless of whether or not you're using glitter eyeshadows that actually stay put once you apply them. Do each pass after the glitter dries on the layers below. It takes a bit, but it will work.
Once it's dry, finish off your look with a little extra mascara.
Maybe it's just me, but for some reason, I often get my eyelashes with glitter liner by accident. It doesn't look too hot, which is why I finish off my look with a nice swab of mascara.
You don't need fancy mascara to pull the look together. All you need to do is get dark mascara that lets you wear glitter eyeliner with a stark contrast—like this one from L'Oreal.