Glitter eye shadow is as glam as it gets, but it doesn’t always have the strongest staying power. And sometimes things can get a little messy (read: glitter all up in your eyes). Whether you’re using pressed or loose glitter, the secret weapon to keeping it on is a good base.

Tips for Applying Pressed Glitter Eye Shadow

Pressed glitter eye shadow doesn’t apply or wear the same as non-shimmery varieties, so it’s important to prep your eyelid using an eye shadow base or primer. White bases make eye shadow shades brighter, vibrant, and truer to the color in the pan, while black bases help create a deeper, more saturated color.


The “less is more” rule applies to both primer and eye shadow; using too much product can cause creasing, which ain’t pretty.

Whether applying a powder- or cream-based pressed glitter eye shadow, here’s the technique:

Use a flat eye shadow brush or your clean ring finger and place a thin layer of base or primer all over the lid up to the brow bone. Blend and smooth out with a small, fluffy, rounded brush. Again, using a flat eye shadow brush or your ring finger, dab the eye shadow onto your eyelid in patting motions to place product densely and neatly. Layer it as needed.

Tips for Applying Loose Glitter

More so than pressed glitter eye shadow, loose glitters tend to fall off the eyelid quite easily. In this case, loose glitters need a stronger base like cosmetic adhesive or glitter glue. You can skip the conventional eye shadow primer and head straight for the glue. However, if you’re dusting loose glitter over top of regular eye shadow, prep the eyelid with primer or base before applying the initial layer of eye shadow so that the color stays put once you add the glue.

Apply a thin layer of glue using the product applicator or your clean ring finger. Pour a small amount of loose glitter onto a clean surface; the cap works just fine. Using a flat eye shadow brush or your ring finger, pick up a minimal amount of loose glitter, tap the excess off, and dab it onto the eyelid. Layer it up for more dramatic looks.

Tips for Finishing and Removing

Try using a setting spray at the end of your application to lock in the glitter.

To remove, grab a couple of cotton rounds and an oil-based eye makeup remover. Dampen a cotton round with water and also splash your eye area with some water. Add the eye makeup remover to the water-saturated cotton round. Gently press and hold the cotton round over the eye for a few seconds to soak the area. Begin to lightly rub away the glitter, going over the area several times until clean. Rinse with fresh water, and firmly but gently pat the eye area dry with a soft cloth or tissue.