Yesterday, we did the hard stuff — shimmer products for the face. These are difficult because since the face is such a large amount of skin real estate, it’s super-easy to go from foxalicious to frightening in a single swipe. In comparison, getting a nice shimmer for lips, eyes, or body is easy-peasy.
By the way, I’m not suggesting that you glitz up your face AND your lips AND your eyes AND your body. Usually one is sufficient. Coco Chanel’s famous advice on how to tastefully accessorize an outfit is to put on what you think looks right, then take one thing off again before leaving the house. Great for bracelets and necklaces; not so much for makeup. So go conservative from the beginning — you can always add a touch more, but it’s hard to remove shimmer if you’ve put on too much without washing your face and starting from scratch.
This is perhaps the easiest way to add shimmer to your look, and it can be done on the cheap at any drugstore. There are so many shimmer lip glosses on the market now you can hardly turn around without tripping over one, so I won’t even bother making a recommendation. A shimmer gloss that’s close to your natural lip color will be gorgeous without being overstated on nude lips, and a clear gloss with shimmer can go on top of any color, so it’s exceptionally versatile for holiday wear. Smaller glitter particles always look more sophisticated than larger, and shimmer particles that are all the same color look more sophisticated than multicolored glitter. If the idea of a sparkly lip makes you nervous, you can go with a shiny colorless gloss over the lip color of your choice instead. Glosses don’t have a terribly long wear-life, especially if you plan to sip champagne and nibble on those yummy little quiche thingies at a holiday party, so tuck it in your bag for re-application.
Here you have to be careful. I mean, really careful. I would vote for the minimum amount of sparkle possible. Actually, I would vote for no sparkle on the eyes, and only a bit of shimmer. Glittery eye shadow has Hello Kitty written all over it, and really shimmery eye shadows are of a consistency that is not friendly to eyelids that are past their 30th birthday. Keep the majority of the eye color neutral and satin-finish, and use a light shimmer shade as a highlighter under the brow. (Or, you could go all-out and do a smoky eye, but that’s a different post.) Again, there are so many shimmer eyeshadows on the market that you can just choose your favorite line and chances are there will be several options. Test on the back of your hand before applying to the eye; it can be hard to predict how much shimmer is in an eyeshadow just by looking at it in the pan and a test stripe on your hand will save you a lot of time and anxiety if it turns out to be way more shimmery than you were expecting.
There are also some fun shimmer eyeliners and mascaras out, both high-end and in drugstores, and these are easy to experiment with and hard to screw up, especially if you stick with eyeliner shades that are shimmery but basically dark (i.e., not electric blue or chartreuse). LA Splash makes some nice ones that are inexpensive and fun, and in a range of colors including some sophisticated dark shades; a few months ago I purchased some of their products and was impressed with the line (I’ll be doing a review of their liquid eyeliners soon).
If you really want to step it up, you could pick up a set of those false eyelashes with rhinestone tips that are popular this year. I certainly won’t stop you!
I’ve included nails in this section because there is a particularly fantastic lot of sparkle holiday nail polish out this year. You can get anything from the subtlest hint of shimmer to multicolored glitter. I’m especially fond of OPI’s Meet & Jingle (red) and Glove You So Much (purple) from their 2009 Holiday Collection (they can be seen here on this page from the terrifically fun nail polish blog Vampy Varnish). But there are also other options. Good glitter nail polish is harder to get at the drugstore, though, since less expensive brands’ glitter tends to be less finely milled.
Two ways to get shimmer for the rest of the body are via shimmer body powder (like the Urban Decay flavored body powder I mentioned in one of the gift guide posts) or shimmer lotion. Shimmer lotions tend to last longer than powders, and you can either buy one that’s already shimmery (although it will probably also be fragranced, which may or may not be up your alley) or DIY with plain body lotion and a shimmer powder like one of the ones I mentioned yesterday. If you don’t have any of that stuff, you can buy an inexpensive shimmer/glitter loose mineral eyeshadow from the drugstore in a shade you like and mix away.
The Whole Package:
Finally, if you’re looking for the whole kit and caboodle, you can’t do better than the Sephora Glitz & Glam Shimmer and Shine Deluxe Sampler ($38), which (amazingly) is still in stock at Sephora.com. The Guerlain shimmer meteorites in the kit are a particularly hot item this year, but there are a variety of other test-worthy products in the kit, including products for body, cheek, and lip. The value on these Sephora sampler kits is extraordinary, especially because they usually come with a coupon for savings off a full-size version of one of the products in the kit. Plus, it will let you try shimmer products in a variety of formats — powder, stick, gloss, spray — so you can see what works for you.
Top photo (which I adore): http://www.flickr.com/photos/green-beauty/ / CC BY-ND 2.0
Provenance of items mentioned: prior purchases.