How To Apply Glitter Makeup & Ensure It Lasts All Day Long

Sean Sime/Bustle

Is there ever a bad time to be covered in glitter? Yeah, not really. But there’s no better test of a sparkle’s stamina than a day-long festival — like Bustle's Rule Breakers event — with sporadic bursts of sun, occasional cool gusts, dancing, drinking, and of course tons of selfie taking. The main goal for your glitter is for it not to not run all over your face — unless you want it to, which would also be cool, but that's a different tutorial. Keisha Leilani Milling of Island Girl Face Art shared exactly how to apply a sparkly accent and have it stay put, no matter what the day throws at you.

While there are really no rules on how, when, or where your glitter can go, there are few things that make applying, wearing, and removing it a shining experience from beginning to end. And with these tips, you won’t be finding glitter in random places for days.

First, choose the type of glitter you want to use — chunky or fine. The chunkier the pieces, the less you’ll need to coat a particular area, but if you want more fill, you can cover sparse spots with a few poufs from a squeeze bottle of a finer glitter.

Sean Sime/Bustle

A good base is what will get the glitter to stay put. Milling mixes hers with aloe vera gel and glycerin until it’s a paste consistency, not too thick or runny. It should stick to the brush and slide on skin easily. The base also makes for a smooth and creamy swipe once you start dabbing it on, and helps it stick to skin once it’s dry. Plus, if you have sensitive skin, it’s non-irritating.

You’ll want to apply it using a Filbert paint brush or a tiny spatula. Milling advises to stay away from the oilier areas of the face. The glitter will stay where you put it, even if you sweat, but if you’re blotting or rubbing your T-zone to get rid of excess shine, there’s a chance that the sparkle will come right off with it. Stick to the temples, under eyes, and along the hairline. You may lose a few of the chunkier pieces, which sometimes stack on top other pieces as you apply and flake off during the day. Aside from that, it’ll stay in place.

Sean Sime/Bustle

Once the aloe base dries, it’ll set, so there's no need to put anything on top. Just go forth and glow. My glitter was around my temple and hairline, and by the end of the night, which was solid seven hours after my application, I was surprised to see that the rest of my face wasn't showing signs of any sparkle transfer. The covered area looked just as fresh as when it was first swiped on.

Removing glitter seems like it could be a nightmare, but because of the gel base, taking it off was pretty easy. Just grab a makeup wipe or even better a damp washcloth with a face cleanser, and it'll swipe right off. Getting it out of the hairline was a bit trickier and did require a light rinse to remove it from the roots — but no brushing or major scrubbing was needed. It came right out, which makes it all the more appealing for future sparkly event needs.