How to Apply Body Glitter like a Pro
Here’s how to get glitter to stick to skin + some face/body glitter ideas
One of the most fun trends happening right now in the beauty world is ultra-glittery makeup. Around your eyes, accenting your bone structure, in festive patterns…the possibilities are endless! And with the summer's festivals and events, there are lots of places to show off an Insta-worthy glitter look.
But how do you apply body glitter? Nothing takes away your sparkle like having your glitter refuse to stick to your skin. Or slide off during your event.
Want to know the secrets of how to apply loose glitter to body parts that don't want it to stick? We’ve put together some tips and tricks that will turn you into an expert in no time at all. So check out our guide on how to apply body glitter like a pro.
1. Choose where to put body glitter
Where do you want that extra sparkle? This can affect what kind of glitter to use. And that affects how you’ll stick the glitter to the respective body part.
Here are some ideas on where to put body glitter:
- Eyelids. Who doesn't love a shimmering eyeshadow?
- Temples. Curve the glow into your cheekbone for incredible highlights.
- Hairline. Add extra flair to your part.
- Cheeks. Apply it to the apple of your cheeks or all across, like freckles.
- Chest. Highlight those collarbones or the whole chest!
- Shoulders. Mimic a sunkissed glow with actual sparkles on your shoulder tops.
Glitter can be applied onto most areas of skin. However, there are different kinds of glitter that work best for different places on your body. Glitters that are loose or especially chunky may not be ideal for lips or lids. Who wants glitter in their mouth (yuck!) or eyes (ouch!)?
2. Find the right products
You've got options when it comes to glitter varieties. Glitter can come as fine dust, chunky sparkles, or shimmering sprays. It can also come loose or in another cosmetic, like an eyeshadow. If you're worried about how to stick glitter to body parts that are sensitive, like eyelids, opt for a ready-made glitter product.
Cosmetics infused with glitter are perfect for a delicate sparkle. You can find it as shimmering body mists, eyeshadows, lipsticks, highlighters, and more.
Fine glitter works wonderfully as a bold highlight. It’s also ideal if you want an all-over glimmer. It works especially well on the arms, shoulders, chest, and in hair.
Chunky glitters are excellent as accents and easy-to-see flair. It has a big impact when paired with other finer glitters. That’s why you see it so often around the eye, in hair lines and parts, and on cheekbones and collarbones.
Sequins and rhinestones, the biggest cosmetic sparklers, are the finishing touch of drama. They shine best in intentional patterns around the eye or on the chest.
You may be wondering…can you use regular glitter on skin? Before you hit the craft store, remember–craft glitter isn't cosmetic grade. The plastics and dyes can irritate your skin and cause breakouts. They can also be harder to remove. For the health of your skin, it's safest to use glitter that was made for putting on your body.
3. Prepare your skin
Some cosmetic glitters don't need a skin prep. Most glitter dusts, gels, lipsticks, eyeshadows, highlighters, and sprays are ready to go!
But if you'd like your glitter in a specific area, or you’re applying loose glitter, you'll need to prep your skin. Here's how to get glitter to stick to skin.
This classic cosmetic base may do the trick for fine glitters that don’t need to stick with a detailed pattern. Once the primer and glitter are applied, seal it in with setting spray.
Applying large glitter flakes? Want them in specific shapes or in distinct areas? Paint on a thin layer of hair gel, then apply your loose glitter and let it dry.
Like hair gel, it’s cheap and works well for thick glitter. And you probably have some in your bathroom right now. Smear it onto the area you want to add sparkle, then apply your glitter.
Want to apply glitter to a small area, and apply it easily? Lip balm makes an excellent “glue” for areas like under your eyes and on your collar bones.
This glitter primer is your non-sticky alternative. Apply the gel, then dust on the glitter and let it dry.
Applying large glitter pieces like rhinestones or sequins? Step away from any non-cosmetic glue. Eyelash glue holds strong yet doesn’t harm your skin.
4. Apply from the base upwards
Once you’ve selected your body glitter, it’s time to put it on! To apply loose glitter to the skin, you can use a small paintbrush, a makeup brush, or your fingertips.
Be patient—glitter takes time. Unless you want copious amounts of glitter, pouring loose glitter is more likely to make a mess (and waste product) than give you even coverage. If you need to clean up (because it got everywhere), use baby oil or olive oil to wipe away excess glitter.
For best results, apply glitter in small amounts and let each layer dry before adding another. Dust off any excess powder as you go. Apply from the base upwards so gravity doesn't pull your glitter into areas you don’t want.
Removing body glitter
Now that you know how to apply body glitter...how do you get it off?
If your body glitter is in a cosmetic product, like a glitter eyeshadow, regular makeup remover should work just fine.
When you’re removing loose body glitter from skin, it’s best to use oil on a cotton pad. Baby oil, olive oil, or coconut oil work well. The oil will help break down whatever adhesive is holding on your glitter. It lets you wipe it away without scratching your skin or having your body glitter start migrating in other places.
For large sparkles, like chunky glitter, sequins, and metallic confetti, try using scotch tape. Gently lifting the pieces off with tape strips helps you avoid over-exfoliating your skin when rubbing them off. It also helps you avoid getting glitter everywhere.
Looking for a plastic-free body glitter?
We know a thing or two about cosmetic glitter—our Glitter Dust is one of our most popular cosmetics.
It’s all the shine with none of the junk. Enjoy a light shimmer without talc, parabens, fragrance, oils, or sulfates.
No primer is needed. Puff a dusting of shine straight onto your skin or hair. And with our vintage-inspired bulb spray bottle, it’ll look as cute on your vanity as it does on you!