Carts: Glitter Makeup? Yeah, let’s do it again!

We were in high school in the late 90’s. So we DID glitter makeup. A lot of sheens, remember sheens? Frosted lips, frosted eyes. Shimmery glosses.

Somewhere along the line though, ’96? ’97? For sure by 1998, things had gotten way out of hand. I went to dances arms absolutely crusted with body glitter. First generation body glitters, the ones that were gel based/smelled terribly of rubbing alcohol/made your skin super tight as soon as it dried. We layered them carefully for size and color. AND THEN. Glitter eyeliner over the frosty eye shadow, glitter mascara, frosty lips. As if the frosty elements were a subtle counterpart to the more ostentatious glitter layers. I mean.

It was bound to happen. Somewhere in the early 2000 on the way out the door I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and for the next decade and a half it was all flat matte everything. Even the 2005 debut of Calvin Kleins makeup line was totally out – those dewy faces were toeing the line of shine and I was just too gun shy. Now, we all know that I’ve gotten over that in some real ways. I’ve fallen re-in-love with a glitter accent – hello Glitter Smudge! Something about that feels so far past a frosted shadow that it works. So it took a while to face facts. I’m into it. It’s been 15 years. I’m 35. And I want to wear body glitter.

Milk Makeup can get adults into just about anything. The Glitter Stick feels like just enough. I hate myself but yes, I’m going to wear this on my clavicle. Just like high school. But no rubbing alcohol smell and no, I won’t layer it with six other body glitters.

hoito milk holographic stick adult glitter hoito howoldistooold
Images via Milk. 

Glossier has a barely there shimmer lip gloss. See photo below. BARELY THERE. Perfect. Birthday Balm Dotcom.

birthday balm dotcom hoito howoldistooold glitter lips for adults
Images via Glossier. 

Not so into the colored glitters, at all. BUT. Make Makeup’s Glitter Eyeshadow in Quartz and the Urban Decay Shadow in Moondust are perfect see through-y, clear-ish, fairy dust-ish non colors that are hard to get on so a little dusting falls on the top of your cheeks.

glitter hoito adult glitters start with eyeshadows howoldistooold urban decay make makeup
Images via Make Makeup and Urban Decay.

So, here we go again! If I end up with crunchy curls from glitter hair gel, someone stop me. (Or don’t? Could be good again?)

THE LAB: Pat McGrath Glitter Lip Tutorial

THERE IS A GOOD THING ABOUT BEING OLD THAT WE FOUND! Now that we are old we have jobs and can afford things! So when the entire internet is sold out of Pat McGrath Lip Kits, we head straight to Ebay. After a little high intensity bidding, the Pat McGrath Lust 004 Kit in Vermillion Venom was OURS. (Can we talk about how great McGrath is at not only creating lip kits but also NAMING THEM?) 

It was everything to not tear the thing open but I didn’t want to lose a single piece of glitter. The kit comes with one lacquer, two lipsticks, and three glitters (one gold pigment, one amazing red microfine glitter, and then the giant pink glitter that’s free-floating on it’s own. A bit messy, but WHO CARES? That color is major!).

It also came with a little instructional booklet, but as I’ve been messing with lipsticks for about three decades, I figured I could read that later. Besides, as Pat McGrath says “Use Without Caution.” No problem, Pat McGrath! While everything is dying to be used RIGHT now all at the SAME TIME, I did use some caution (sorry, Pat!). I couldn’t help but be completely totally head over heels for the giant pink glitter. And my favorite color combination is pink and red, so decision MADE.

Best decision ever. 

Pat McGrath Glitter Lip Tutorial

Lust 004 Vermillion Venom
Lust 004 Vermillion Venom


  • Pat McGrath Lust 004 Kit in Vermillion Venom
  • Spirit Gum
  • Tweezers


Carefully open your lip kit. Find a container for the large glitter  and collect as best you can. (I used a crystal champagne coupe. It was a good choice.) Take inventory of the kit and revel in the fact that you have one. 

Select the Venom 1 Lipstick. It’s a perfect bloody red. I expected it to go on dry and matte, but it slid right on, so be aware that the texture is creamy. Alone, it’s a great color and feel, and I’d wear it as is. 

The tricky part. Dump a fair amount of the pink glitter so you can see which ones are puffy side up. This is important for adhesion. Using your fingers (and then as you get messy, the tweezers), hold puffy side up and apply a thin layer of spirit gum to the back of the glitter. Carefully place on lip and hold for a few seconds. Repeat. After a couple, you will start to stick to yourself. Tweezers are your friend here. Holding the glitter by the tweezers, apply Spirit Gum, press to lip, repeat. 

While I am a huge, huge super fan of this product, I will say that the application is a little tricky. The puffy glitter is hard to layer. I only got like one and a half layers this time but think I can trouble shoot that a little better on my second time. Make sure to continually wipe down your tweezers and fingers so the glue doesn’t stick to the glitter you’ve already applied. Also, be sure to take your time, allowing each piece to set. 

I was SO HAPPY with the results! And as an added bonus, it also works as a Lip Injection Alternative as it adds SO MUCH volume! Here it is in two different lighting situations, both giving an air of vampire AND youth!

I did NOT attempt to eat with this look. But I did try out all my other favorite Saturday night activities: drinking classic daiquiris, doing shots of Jameson, vodka sodas on the dance floor, riding in cabs. Results below:

Clearly, a wild success. This does not even capture the many people who asked how to do it and if it was real (?!). Women were mesmerized, men were confused. I was enthralled. 

I’ve seen articles and listicles saying 30 is the cut off for glitter on clothes and eyes, I suppose assuming we wouldn’t dare to try on lips. I strongly and firmly disagree. Pat McGrath, you genius, this is a WIN.