If you’d like to punch up your look for a special occasion or would simply like to try a dramatic effect, loose glitter can help you achieve that sought-after “wow factor.” Applying glitter can be a bit intimidating if you don’t know where to start. Choosing the right adhesive is key — and ensure you use only cosmetic-grade glitter, not something from the craft aisle. Learn the easy method to get your glitter in place, and to remove it when you’re done.

Things You'll Need

Step 1: Choose the Right Primer

Select a good glitter adhesive or primer. Most glitter primers are clearly labeled with their intended purpose, so look for labels that mention glitter. Many cosmetic lines carry these primers, so they won’t be hard to find. Some primers come in a neutral shade so they can be used alongside pigmented eyeshadows. Find a primer that has a sticky consistency and is not runny. Some adhesives go on like liquid but become tacky after a few seconds of drying. Avoid a product that can run into your eyes. Apply the product to the back of your hand to see how it behaves.


Apply eyeshadow and glitter before applying foundation, as glitter has a tendency to go all over the place.

Step 2: Prepare Your Eyes

Apply eyeshadow if you want to use a color. Use your fingers or a brush to apply the adhesive/primer to your lid liberally; follow label directions.

Step 3: Apply Glitter

Dip a damp fluffy eyeshadow brush into the loose glitter. Lightly tap the brush to remove any extra glitter. Tilt your head back to allow a more favorable angle to apply glitter; this also reduces the chances of glitter falling onto your face or into your eyes.

If desired, place an index card under your lower lashes to catch any fallout.

Use the brush to pat the glitter onto your closed lid; continue to pat until you feel the glitter has settled into place.

Brush off any glitter that has fallen to your face with a large fan brush. Close your eyes and use a flicking motion to sweep any glitter away from the face.


Hold mascara until the end; glitter can cling to eyelashes if you apply mascara first.

The most effective method to remove eye glitter is to apply a few drops of olive oil or coconut oil to a cotton round. Gently press the cotton round on your eyes and let it set for about a minute, to allow the oil to dissolve your adhesive. Firmly press your fingers on the round and slide away. The glitter and makeup will be trapped on the cotton round. You can also safely remove loose glitter with a gentle makeup remover wipe, but you may have to do a bit of wiping to remove all the glitter from you face.