By Kim Reyes-Palanca
It used to be about subtlety—a hint of shine on skin, some shimmer, and glimmer here and there. The rule of thumb was to add just enough sheen to make skin twinkle. Glamorous glitter was reserved for the runway or red carpet for dreamy editorials or costume makeup. Now glitter reigns supreme and has taken over beauty—not to mention fashion and Instagram filters too.
I remember many years ago, one of my favorite makeup artists, the one and only Pat McGrath, displayed her command of color and shine through 3D makeup. Whether it’s the eyes, skin, or her signature glitter-pressed or bejeweled statement lips, her style was about makeup that came alive when light hit it. She was one of the earliest proponents of bringing editorial and fashion looks to real-life wear. There was no need to translate a look from runway-to-real-way, for her, these were one and the same.
Today, 3D effects or full-on glitter is celebrated with extreme intensity. There’s no such thing as too much sparkle, no overkill of skin reflects. And with glitter going into every beauty product imaginable (eyeshadow, lipstick, foundation, blush, and nails), we’re set for an all-out, makeup spectacle. Just browse through Instagram for any popular makeup look for the younger set, and you’re sure to spot a cult following for high-shine products (makeup lines from Pat McGrath, Kylie Jenner, Charlotte Tilbury, Lady Gaga, to name a few).
I’m a ’90s kid, and I see nothing wrong with full-on glitter. I grew up with glitter—spray-on glitter for hair, shimmery cream eyeshadow, shimmery lotion, shimmer lipgloss. You get the picture. I’m all for drama so I probed a little more on the topic. Especially after a review of the MAC fall/winter 2019 trends, where this on-going love affair for scintillating shine, re-emerges through “Art Deco” makeup.
Reimagined by MAC makeup artists in several fashion shows, we get into the details of this makeup mania. No minimalists here, only the kind of sparkle that “sparks joy.” As we deviate from the natural, no-makeup looks, we see how illuminating skin inspires creativity. Senior makeup artist and senior manager of makeup artistry for MAC Cosmetics Asia Pacific, Regan Rabanal shares his insights.
I’ve been fascinated by the bold use of glitter in recent years. Why is glitter applied in a maximalist, unapologetic, and deliberate manner this season?
I love the glitter moment we are having as well! What is so great about this medium is that it’s quite genderless. I see the maximalist use of this effect this season because designers, stylists, artists are all creating, or highlighting a character. Glitter doesn’t always mean glam. It can be used to evoke a feeling, message, or inspiration, depending on how it is used with its many reflective qualities and colors.
In the past, women would dial it down. Nowadays, makeup brands and even beauty trends all over Instagram prove that women are not shying away from sparkle. Is this the new norm?
Glitter and shimmer are the new norm since most people online love a reflective moment. There is something so satisfying about watching pearly, glittery textures smoothed over the skin, and wearing it feels great too! Right now women (and some men) want to shine. Social media beauty has taught the average person that, with some practice, patience, and some good brushes and product, anyone can feel or look like a star, which I think is inspirational. It’s all about confidence and defining what type of glitter or shimmer looks and feels right for you.
Any personal favorites?
I loved the glitter eye at Koché Paris show for autumn/winter ’19. Director of makeup artistry Terry Barber created the look backstage and it was this super edgy, silver glitter moment that only a few selected models wore. When I translate the autumn/winter ’19 MAC Art Deco trend for presentations, I love to use MAC Dazzleshadow Liquid Eye Shadow. It’s super sparkly and easy to apply. My recommendation is to complete your look using a MAC Art Library Palette and then add some extra dimension by applying the liquid shadow on the inner corner of the eye as well as over the center of the eyelid. It creates a luxurious look from natural to dramatic makeup and wears all day long.
What are some of the creative ways to wear glitter that you think women should try for everyday wear?
I think using glitter as a cheekbone highlighter is just super fresh, especially with a natural makeup look. My favorite is using opalescent, transparent glitter particles like MAC Dazzleshadow Liquid Eye Shadow in Diamond Crumbles. As the skin moves in and out of the light, the glitter will sparkle in hues of pink, cyan, lavender, and gold but as it’s transparent, non-traceable on the skin when in dull lighting. Think of it as mermaid glitter.
Glitter doesn’t always mean glam. It can be used to evoke a feeling, message, or inspiration, depending on how it is used with its many reflective qualities and colors.
What key products should one use for a seamless and long-wearing application?
If you are planning a full-on maximalist look with glitter, I recommend using MAC Prep + Prime 24 Hour Eye Base as a foundation for the eye makeup look. It’s clear, works on all skin tones, and holds on to eyeshadow like a boss. Grab a number MAC 242S Brush as it’s a synthetic, firm eyelid brush to pack on the glitter or detail with it as well. MAC Art Library EyePalette, we have three: “Nude Model” is all about the ’90s neutrals, “Flameboyant” is crimson, and “It’s Designer” is the essential bright palette. MAC Dazzleshadow Liquid Eyeshadows will be the icing on the cake and we have dreamy colors to suit anyone’s addiction to sparkle.
Painterly color with glitter is also a nice and artistic style. How could one approach this?
I love the technique of using a black liquid liner like MAC Liquidlast in Point Black and then topping it with glitter for a patent leather look that lasts. I also know that creating a classic ruby slipper lip is always hot for the holidays, and we have a set right now in our MAC Starring You Holiday Collection that easily allows anyone to create a ruby red, glitter lip.
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