Growing up in a small town in Washington State in the United States, the holiday season was, and still is, celebrated with gusto.

My aunties, cousins, and crazy neighbors pull out all the festive glitter and whimsical glamour they can muster, because at no other time in the year can a person wear the gaudy jewelry, ugly sweaters, and glittery eye shadow of the holidays.

Do you reach for the shiniest blue eye shadow and brightest red lipstick imaginable? Or are you more conservative and tentative with party makeup because you’re unsure how to apply it without looking like a lunatic?

Whichever camp you fall into, here are my basic guidelines to sparkle like you mean it!

Where to Sparkle?

When in doubt on where to put the sparkly stuff, just mix baby oil and glitter and smear it all over your body. Just kidding!

In truth, I lean toward a more subtle and practical approach when it comes to applying a little glamour to my makeup. Watch a detailed video tutorial on applying sparkly products below:

Eyelids First

Find a pretty pale rose or champagne colored shiny eye shadow or highlighter and a soft bristled shadow brush, and swoop an attractive amount of product on select spots.

Start with the center of your eye-lid. Sometimes it can be helpful to apply it using your ring finger so that you keep the shadow focused on the center. As much as I like sparkle, it does much better when contained to smaller areas on older skin.

Apply to the Rest of Your Face as an Accent

Next, take the same shade and dash a bit on the uppermost part of your cheekbone, brow bone, down the center of your nose, and don’t forget to add a smattering to your collarbone.

Depending on the consistency of the product, you might want to add more or less. The point is to look happy, sparkly, and fun without looking like you hit the rum too early in the day.

What’s the Best Type of Sparkle?

Glitter and glow come in many different types of products. To help keep you from getting lost, here are my best suggestions to glam it up at the holiday party.

As an important side note, any iridescent cosmetic product will look best on great skin! Check out my interview with Ben Fuchs, cosmetic chemist and compounding pharmacist, on how to have amazing skin!

Powder Highlighter

Be sure to apply a powder highlighter with a soft bristled brush or your ring finger to avoid adding too much or having it set in the fine lines. If you put on too much, just wipe it off. Try Jane Iredale 24-Karat Gold Dust for a beautiful glow using clean beauty.

Cream Highlighter

Cream glittery products are fabulous and can really punch up a look. The downside to them is that they can break down the foundation and slide down your face.

My advice with creams is to use them sparingly and apply with your fingers using a tapping motion on top of foundation and powder. If you put powder over any highlighter you will diminish the shine. Jane Iredale’s Golden Shimmer Face and Body Lotion offer great results if you like to use cream products.

Mega Sparkle

When my teenage daughters have an event to attend like homecoming, their closest gal pals come over and we have a makeup party. In these happy moments, I pull out the big guns. MAC Cosmetics Pigment is a range of concentrated loose powder colors and they are glamour on acid!

For older women, I recommend adding a small amount to select spots, but beware! These colors are very reflective and stand out. For the eccentric ladies among us, add them to lip-gloss and body lotion and smear everywhere.

Can You Over-Sparkle?

How will you know if you’ve over done the sparkly stuff? My sure-fire method to discern this is to look in the mirror and ask yourself if the shiny stuff stands out more than you do.

For example, if you walk into a room, do people comment on what you’re wearing (clothing, hairstyle, makeup, etc.) before saying that you look pretty? Does the glamour wear you, or do you wear the glamour?

If you are overdoing sparkle for effect, then go for it! In general, however, I advise you to pick one part of your face that you want to stand out.

If you pick red lipstick, then everything else should be secondary to that one thing. If you pick a dot of shiny shadow to your lid, then be sure the rest of your look is in service to it.

In truth, you could throw all my well-intentioned advice to the curb and roll in sparkle. If you do, go for it with merriment and glee! Not to mention a bit of eggnog. Enjoy the holidays and always remember to sparkle.

How do you wear your sparkle? Do you prefer cream or powder? If you pull out the sparkle during the holidays, which products are your favorite? Please share with our community!  

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