If you have been to a festival this year, you’ll probably have noticed several people wandering around wearing ornate gem-covered designs. Well, most of them have come from one place: The Gypsy Shrine. Fascinated by the company that started the trend, I decided to ask the women behind it for their how to wear glitter and body jewels at hen dos and festivals this summer.
The Gypsy Shrine was founded by 24-year-old Jenna Meek in 2016. Her beginnings selling bags of glitter online have led to a huge company that employs more than 100 body artists and has taken over every UK festival as well as last year’s Love Island villa. (Who could ever forget that glitter party?)
Looking at the brand’s Instagram or Twitter is enough to make anyone dream of hot days spent listening to music and drinking cocktails. But I just couldn’t picture the day where I would be brave enough to decorate myself in such a way.
I asked some of The Gypsy Shrine’s staff and artists to share their top secret tips that will work for any other glitter-shy individuals as well as those who want to push boundaries with their style this festival season.
(Yes, there's a good chance you might be parading around with glitter boobs before you know it, so brace yourself.)
1. When It Comes To Glitter, Go The Extra Mile
"Festival season really allows people the freedom to get creative and play with glitter trends that are maybe too bold to wear to a concert or party," says junior artist Georgia Rogers-Smith. While festival manager Patricia Monarca is still partial to glitter boobs ("especially now that we have our star jewels. You can create endless amounts of different looks with them"), junior artist Emily Senior advises newbies to try out a glitter leg piece accessorised with high-waisted shorts and chunky boots.
2. Focus On Your Favourite Features
If you've never adorned yourself in glitter and gems before, the concept alone can be terrifying. But as you know yourself better than anyone else, The Gypsy Shrine's experts recommend accentuating your favourite features. "Be bold and confident and use colours which complement your skin tone, hair colour, and outfit — just as you would with makeup," says Senior. Monarca adds that "it's all about highlighting the high points of your face and body. Start small and you can always add more. Just have fun and remember that glitter always looks good." Well, if you can't go wrong, you might as well try it?
3. Don't Forget To Blend
When I asked each woman what their ultimate tip was, several simply replied: "Blend!" According to them, The Gypsy Shrine's iridescent diamond glitter is the best for blending edges. And how do you do it? "Wiggle the brush to the bottom of the pot to catch the finer bits of glitter, fill in any gaps, and lightly drag the excess down," says makeup artist Lucy Hart.
(Note that Monarca's "ultimate hush hush tip" is to use duct tape to remove glitter. You can thank her later.)
4. Get Experimental With Colours
"Don't just use one colour," says Rogers-Smith. She advises picking a mix of three to four glitters to make the design brighter and give you different shapes and sizes to play with. After all, a creative is nothing without his or her tools.
5. Don't Scrimp On Quality
While there are plenty of cheap glitter products out there, Rogers-Smith believes that high-quality glitter is the only way forward. "The Gypsy Shrine jewels and glitter are the highest quality ones you can get and have the biggest range," she states. If you're sustainably-minded, you might want to try the biodegradable glitter in combination with the peel-off glitter glue for minimal mess.
6. Get Inspiration From These Adventurous Looks
Hart's St Patrick's Day look (shown in number 4) was her most aspirational yet: "It got out of hand very quickly. I ended up with green glitter everywhere."
However, you don't have to go overboard, says Rogers-Smith. Her favourite look (also pictured above) was a black swan designed for the Halloween 2017 #gypsyshrinemisfits campaign. "Everyone was creating skull looks or Poison Ivy looks, so I opted to do something that was underdone and that the girls hadn't really seen much of, and it worked!"
If you want all the hard work done for you, Monarca advises buying a fully designed gem like The Gypsy Shrine's diamond skull chest piece. No one will ever know that you weren't the mastermind behind it.
When it comes to glitter and gems, it seems you need to be as extra as possible. Let go of your fears, unleash your creativity, and you'll come up with a design that'll have everyone staring (in a good way, of course).
And don't forget the peel-off glitter glue to save yourself a nightmare at the end of the night.