Glitter: five sophisticated ways to wear the make-up texture on your face, hair and body

These glitter make-up products exude an aura of sophistication, including Guido Palau’s Zara Beauty collection, Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle lotion, and Giorgio Armani’s eye tint

Two models wear glitter clothes
These images were first printed in the October 2021 issue of Wallpaper*
(Image credit: Photography by Romain Duquesne; fashion by Jason Hughes)

During the festive season, there is a collective tendency to overindulge in glitter-based items. From gaudy sweaters to interior (or exterior) decor, while a bit of sparkle can be fun, there is a limit that is so often exceeded.

When it comes to make-up and hair, avoid this issue entirely by playing with a subtle nod to glittery textures, here and there. Focusing on individual parts of the face or body, can be all you need to provide any social situation with a suitably celebratory yet sophisticated aura.

Here are five beauty products that give glitter a grown-up spin, from hairstylist Guido Palau’s new Zara Beauty collection, Chanel’s iridescent Coco Mademoiselle gel lotion, and Giorgio Armani’s shimmery liquid eye tint.

Five sophisticated ways to wear glitter make-up textures this winter

The lips

A Tom Ford glitter lip balm

(Image credit: Courtesy of Tom Ford)

Tom Ford once quipped that ‘glamour is something more than what you put on your body. It has to do with the way you carry yourself and the impact you have on others’. Whilst being correct in this assertion, this glitter lip balm by his namesake brand (now owned by Estée Lauder) provides a little help along the way. Formulated without parabens, mineral oils, and silicones, and described as a product that ‘mimics the look of a lustrous sunset over the sea’, a slick of this lip balm over the top of a matte lipstick, or simply worn alone, is a decidedly elevated approach to pulling off glitter make-up.

Tom Ford, Soleil de Feu Lip Spark Balm, £44 at Harrods.

The eyes

A Giorgio Armani eye tint

(Image credit: Courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty)

The versatility of this liquid eyeshadow by Giorgio Armani knows no bounds: it can be used as a shadow, liner, or even highlighter. With a polymer formulation that is both smudge and sweat-resistant, yet creamy and blendable, the liquid tint (which comes in several runway-inspired shades) is enriched with pearlescent pigment and finely milled glitter particles. It can be applied as a solo, sheer wash of colour over the lids, or densely smudged around the entirety of the eye and smoked out with powder for a sultry finish that is rather reminiscent of make-up looks worn by the likes of Amber Valetta and Nadja Auermann in Giorgio Armani’s 1990s campaigns by Peter Lindbergh and Paolo Roversi.

Giorgio Armani Eye Tint, £30 at Selfridges.

The cheeks

A Nars cheek palette

(Image credit: Courtesy of Nars)

In September 2023, Apple TV+ released a documentary on the life and work of legendary make-up artist and photographer, François Nars. Called Unknown Beauty, it takes a look at his inner world, following the trajectory of his career from the 1970s to 1990s New York. Narrated by Charlotte Rampling, the documentary opens with a shot of Romy Schneider the 1964 film L'Enfer by Georges Clouzot, her face entirely covered in glitter. This became one of Nars’ most ensuring inspirations, so it’s no surprise that products in his namesake make-up line often focus on this texture. This limited edition cheek palette from the brand’s latest holiday collection contains buildable hues of its signature Light Reflecting Blush in cinematic shades titled ‘Silver Screen’, ‘Vertigo’, ‘Sabrina’, and more.

NARS, All That Glitters Light Reflecting Cheek Palette, £59 at Harvey Nichols.

The hair

Hair collection by Guido Palau for Zara

(Image credit: Courtesy of Zara)

Earlier this month (December 2023) Zara Beauty released a holiday hair collection in collaboration with Guido Palau, the hairstylist behind runway and campaign looks ranging from Marc Jacobs, Prada, Versace and Fendi. Called ‘Glitter in Gold’, the range of products includes a ‘Give Me Glitter’ hair make-up spray and ‘Give Me Gold gel’, to provide your locks with a luminous lustre. With extra fine textures, they can be applied sparingly or layered liberally, depending on how editorial you want your desired look to be. The set also includes a gold-tone styling comb and set 12 bobby pins, for a playful and practical finishing touch. ‘We’ve developed a bobby pin that doesn't fall out of your hair,’ says Palau. ‘It's the most simple hair accessory, but I wanted to make it more aesthetically pleasing.’

Zara Beauty by Guido Palau hair holiday set, £35.99 at Zara.

The nails

A bottle of silver Dior nail polish

(Image credit: Courtesy of Dior)

As with everything Dior Beauty produces, thanks to the masterful eye of creative and image director Peter Philips, this limited edition Dior Vernis nail polish (as part of a collection called Atelier of Dreams) brings the world of Parisian haute couture right to your fingertips. Infused with extracts of peony and pistachio, the formula is gentle and protective, whilst providing a mirrored gel-like finish. Whether worn alone or as a top coat, this polish provides any manicure with just the right amount of festive pizzaz. Once your nails are dry, finish with the brand’s silky multipurpose balm product, Le Baume, which is the ideal protectant against winter temperatures as you make your way from holiday party A to holiday party B.

Dior, Dior Vernis The Atelier of Dreams Limited Edition nail polish, £27 at Harvey Nichols.

The chest

A bottle of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle body lotion

(Image credit: Courtesy of Chanel)

Wallpaper* reported on Chanel’s latest Coco Mademoiselle campaign in February 2023, which stars Canadian actress Whitney Peak. The now classic fragrance, which first launched in 2001, has been described as an ‘ode to youth’; the younger relative of Chanel No.5, if you will. This body gel, imbued with the scent, is a playful take on this dynamic, and is distinctly Parisian take on body glitter. The shimmering formula with its suspended pearly particles inspired by ‘Mademoiselle's penchant for pearls’. It illuminates the skin whilst being fresh, subtle and lightweight. For off-the-shoulder cuts, this product is the ideal finishing touch when worn on the décolletage. (When pairing it with backless garments, you may require a little assistance in application).

Chanel, Coco Mademoiselle Pearly Body Gel, £85 at Selfridges.

Beauty & Grooming Editor at Wallpaper*

Hannah Tindle is Beauty & Grooming Editor at Wallpaper*. With ten years of experience working for media titles and brands across the luxury and culture sectors, she brings a breadth of knowledge to the magazine’s beauty vertical, which closely intersects with fashion, art, design, and technology.