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Basic Makeup: Using glitter in makeup

Posted May 22 2009 12:00am
As you probably know if you've been following my FOTDs, I love using glitter! :)
BUT, many of you have probably also noticed how cosmetic glitter almost always have a little warning on them: "Not eyesafe" or "Do not use in eye area" or something along those lines.

Why isn't glitter eye safe?

Most glitter (even cosmetic) isn't eyesafe because it's dangerous to get it inside your eye. It will do no harm sitting on your eyelid but if you're not careful and it gets inside the eye, it can scratch your cornea which doesn't sound very pleasant ;)

Why and how do you use it on your eye if it isn't safe?
As I mentioned above, the glitter isn't dangerous as long as it doesn't get IN your eye.
Putting a "not eyesafe" sticker on glitter is usually something cosmetic companies do to make sure that they can't be blamed if someone uses the glitter irresponsibly and has an accident with it. That means that you're safe to use it at your own risk, and that it's safe as long as you think about what you are doing.

A couple of things to keep in mind when using glitter on the eyes:
  • Use something to make the glitter stick and stay in place all day.
  • Apply the glitter with the eye you're applying it to closed.
  • Make sure to dust off any excess glitter before you open your eye.
  • Be careful when removing the makeup. I never recommend rubbing hard on your eyes when trying to take makeup off and this is extra important when you have glitter on! Swipe gently to the side to take the glitter off and make sure it doesn't get in your eye :)
What can I use to make the glitter stay in place?
Please use something that holds the glitter in place all day and not just five minutes!
Something like MAC waterbased mixing medium is fine for pigments and so it seems like a fine idea to use it with glitters too. This is not the case, since the mixing medium won't keep the glitter glued to the eye once it dries.
Instead, try looking into:
  • MAC eyeliner mixing medium. This makes the glitter(or whatever your mix into it) waterproof and long lasting. It works well for making glitterliners (obviously) but can also be used if you want to use glitter all over the eye - just keep in mind that it does take a little longer than most things to dry on your eye.
  • DUO adhesive (or any good eyelash glue). This will keep the glitter in place as well and is also waterproof. I like to dab some on my lid with my finger and then dab glitter on top. If you mix the glitter into the glue the glitter won't sparkle as much because of the glue it has on top.
  • Longlasting liquid eyeliners (Like MAC Liquidlast or GOSH extreme art). Since these last really well by themselves they can also hold onto the glitter. Just make sure to put the glitter on top of the liner before it's dry.
I've also heard about a glue made specifically for glitter but I've never found it or tried it. Let me know if you have any experience with that :)
What are other ways to use glitter than on the eyes?
Just like any other product, the possibilities are endless ;) Since glitter reflects the light it works well for highlighting, and some glitters are therefore great to use on the cheekbones or on your body. Using a body lotion to make the glitter adhere can be a good idea.
Mixing glitter into nail polish is another great way to use it.
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