Using glitter as makeup has become an increasingly popular trend over the last year. It’s not only must-have look for festival season, but also fantastic for adding a glamorous touch to your makeup before a night out. Glitter is being used in inventive ways like never before on the face, as a highlighter and as a sparkling addition to any hairstyle. Considering it’s so widely used, it may be surprising to hear that not all glitter is safe to use on your skin, in some cases it can even cause significant damage. So, what’s the difference between cosmetic and craft glitter, and how can you look after your skin during the application process? Read on for our top tips:
Cosmetic vs Craft
First and foremost, you need to be wary of the types of glitter you use. For example, you should never apply craft glitter to your face. It’s often disputed that craft glitter is a cosmetic glitter dupe; cheaper but with the same overall results. This is not the case. There are distinctive differences between how both are formulated that means one is completely safe to use on your skin, and the other simply is not.
Craft glitter is used exactly for its namesake, arts and crafts. This means that it was never intended for makeup use. Because of this, it’s often made up of tiny fractions of metal. Putting this on your face, more alarmingly on your eyes, could undoubtedly be dangerous – with the potential to scratch the cornea (outer later of your eyeball). Luckily, companies are steering away from using metal in the production of craft glitter, which should be great news for those who want to use it on their face, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Instead of metal they use poly-bonded coloured materials that have poly-coated dyes. As expected, anything containing a dye should not be used near the eyes.
On the other hand, there’s cosmetic glitter that is specially designed for use on the face. It’s made from a non-toxic plastic, much safer than any metal based product. In many cases it’s also biodegradable glitter makeup, meaning it’s also great for the environment, unlike craft glitter. Makeup is a highly regulated industry, so by using cosmetic glitter, you can rest assured that the appropriate tests have been taken to ensure its safe to use on your skin.
What Glitter Products Are Best?
Now you’ve established what glitters to avoid, there’s still the matter of choosing the right products. Even though cosmetic glitter is completely safe for using on your face, you should still ensure you use the best products for wherever you plan on using it on your body. For example, fine dusted glitter is ideal for adding some shimmer to your shoulders and cheekbones, making them shine as they catch the light. However, liquid based glitter products are ideal for using around your eyes as they are quick drying and less likely to budge. Using a primer also helps with keeping the glitter in place.
Taking It Off
Safely removing your glitter makeup is just as important as applying it. It can sometimes be tricky to get off, and no doubt you’ll be left finding it on your face for days to come! However, for the best fighting chance of removing most of it, stick to an oil based liquid solution like micellar water on cotton wool. Then continue with your regular skincare routine, being sure to use a good moisturiser to replenish your skin.
Alice Porter works closely with Wish Upon A Sparkle, a Halloween Glitter specialist in Manchester.