Thursday, October 23, 2008

All That Glitters- Part 2

We're back to discussing shiny stuff : shimmer, glitter and metallic makeup options for those of us who have come of age...

Last week I reviewed Chanel Facette D'Or highlighting powder, which is a (very) subtly glittery finishing face product. The other day I realized that I'm getting a similar shimmery effect from an old favorite, Guerlain Terracotta bronzer. While its purpose is different and I still use a touch of powder over it, when it comes to a glowy touch, Terracotta is actually my favorite of the two. Which leads me to including bronzers or even blushes with a touch of shimmer in the list of age-appropriate options, as long as they're lightly applied. Personally, I'd avoid the popular Nars blushes (and Orgasm has never worked for me in all its weird orange glory), as they're just too much, but if you have a favorite item, don't bury it at the bottom drawer (any recommendations?).

If there's one area in the face we really want to shine, it's the eyes. There are endless textures and options for highlighting eye shadow (often referred to as "wash" in SA and makeup artist speak). Basically, it's the light shimmery color you apply under the brow and "opens up the eye". While Nars is famous for super pigmented, super shiny eye shadows, I find most of them over-the-top and not morning friendly. Many of the Chanel quads are also too much (though the singles are highly recommended), and I found the Smoky Eye set verging on unwearable for me (I do have a great alternative for this look. Stay tuned).

My choice in this category is Bobbi Brown. Her shimmers are elegant (though some are too light for my skin) and the metallics are velvety and perfect. All of them are office-friendly and quite fool-proof. No complicated application technique needed.

The other option for sparkly eyes comes in the form of shimmery eye liners. Here you can be a little bolder, because you apply a small amount and only cover very little skin, but the result is always pretty. Lancome Artliner comes in several pearly colors (I still miss Socialite, a limited edition metallic taupe from a couple of years ago) and there's a new one in their Holiday collection. Other favorites are Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Shimmer Ink (there are several other shimmery options) and the liquid liner from Urban Decay. They have several interesting colors and the look of an ultra thin glittery line just at the lash base can work for just about everyone, even if you only dare to go there at night.

Lips are easy. I actually find that matte lips can be aging (not to mention require more work than I'm willing to do on a daily basis). As long as we avoid the goopy Paris Hilton look, I think we're safe with just about any good lipstick or gloss. Once again, it's hard to go wrong with Bobbi Brown (including the new Glitter Lip Balm. I'm serious), but just about every brand from Chanel and Dior to your favorite drugstore pick-me-up. For evening, I'm especially fond of YSL Golden Gloss: Golden Pralin for a nude look and Golden Plum for some serious sex appeal.

The safest choice for shimmer, though, is nail color. Here one can experiment a lot more. After all, it's not on our faces, right?
I'd still avoid the heavy glitters, but that's a personal choice. I don't wear blue or black polish, either. My mother's signature nail color is a pearly peach. She changes the brand frequently but never the look. I don't think I ever saw her with a satiny nail color (or in red, for that matter). I used to love the Anna Sui nail lacquers that are now nearly impossible to find (some online discounters still have some). The new OPI for Sephora line includes several interesting ones (and also some really atrocious colors) and Zoya has a huge selection of metallic colors. Another personal favorite is Lippmann Collection. While I'd skip the new limited edition Superstar (copper glitter. A bit too much for me), Brown Eyed Girl is a perfect chocolate shimmer, and Pump Up The Jam is a purplish glimmer.

I think the point is that you can wear something shiny at every age. The key is a light hand, a good quality product and, of course, focusing on just one area and wearing matte colors everywhere else.

How do you feel about all that glitters? What wouldn't you wear? Do you think there's an age limit for shiny things?


  1. Thanks! I'm now on a bit of a polish bender, thanks to a combo of that photo you posted of Katie Holmes in blue polish, your assertion that nails can take some bling, and some encouragement elsewhere ... I'm wearing weirder colors, but in my defense I'm a little boho-looking and don't have a conservative job.

    The glitter I think is also driven by overall restraint -- eyeshadow, or nails, or lips, but not all three. I have to be careful with eyeshadow because (like a lot of women my age) the wrong shadow magnifies tiny lines. Shimmer blushes look ... wrong. (who are those people who love orgasm?) And I have to be careful with the wrong shade of lip shimmer -- I'm pale, and too much frost and/or mauve is actually really aging.

    One funny place I love shimmer -- one of those "makeup artist" tricks -- dabbing concealer on the inside corner of the eye next to the nose, where it's dark, and then dabbing on top of it a very pale shimmer (I use MAC Shroom.) It sounds stupid but it looks great -- if you look at "star" photos in mags they do it all the time. It really opens my eyes up and brightens them w/o looking too makeup-y.

  2. March, I do the inner-eye shimmer for nights out, and it's a great trick (when not abused like you can see on Katherine Heigl in my Friday post).
    As for Orgasm, I just don't get it. I can spot it on people from miles away, so it can't be a good thing. It looks horrible on me (not surprising) but even my little sister who is pale with a peaches and cream complexion can't wear it.


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