Stories Photo essay

By Tautahi Subtrizky

When it comes to the way we present ourselves to the world, whether it’s in the way that we dress, the choices we make when it comes to our makeup or the way we do our hair, there are, more often than not, certain self-imposed rules that we place on ourselves in an effort to remain “appropriate”.

With the direction that fashion and beauty are heading, we don’t blame you for feeling compelled to pair things back a little, presenting yourself a little bit more quietly in an effort to fit in with the crowd. Sure, you could follow a “no-makeup makeup” tutorial before throwing on your go-to Country Road sweater, blue Zara jeans and white Veja sneaker combo or you could actually have a bit of fun.

We’re here to invite you to the party, and the theme is ‘Gloriously Glittered’. We’ve compiled some of our favourite glitter-centric looks to inspire you to have a bit of fun and push the boundaries of “appropriateness’. If you ever needed an excuse to add a bit of sparkle and glitter into your life, this is it.

Hunter Schafer and Zendaya, ‘Euphoria’ TV Series, 2019. Makeup led by Donielle Davy.

Glittered beauty can be many things, beautiful, ugly, glamorous and punk. There’s no wonder why the fashion and beauty industry is so enthralled by the reflective material.

The most recent example of sparkle-laden beauty’s resurgence in popularity can be attested to HBO’s hit television series, Euphoria, where glitter was streaked, smeared and dripped from the stars' faces.

Alexander McQueen, Spring-Summer 1997. Beauty by Topolino. Hair by Guido Palau.

For one of Alexander McQueen’s most groundbreaking shows ‘La Poupée’, a collection inspired by the surreally strange doll works of artist Hans Bellmer, makeup artist Topolino collaborated with the designer himself and created a beauty look which consisted of metallic glittered swaths which crossed the eye and distorted the models faces. The look would be referenced in beauty for years to come.

John Galliano, Autumn-Winter 2003. Beauty by Dame Pat McGrath

When it comes to glittered beauty, there’s no escaping the work of Dame Pat McGrath. “Camp” is an understatement when it comes to this “cut and paste” Joan Crawford-inspired makeup look. We’re in awe and you should be too.

Christian Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano, Spring 2004. Beauty by Dame Pat Mcgrath.

More is more at Christian Dior.

Givenchy, Spring 2014. Beauty by Dame Pat McGrath.

McGrath took a futuristic approach when designing the beauty for Givenchy’s Spring 2014 collection. What resulted was a look that resembled jewelled masks. Taking a mere 9 hours per model, layers of paint, glitter, crystals secured with eyelash glue and a panel of gauze across the eyes completed the look.

Maison Margiela, Spring-Summer 2016. Beauty by Dame Pat McGrath.

Sci-fi geometry meets classic romanticism at Maison Margiela with a bold silver stamped on eye look which was presented in varying geometric shapes.

Beauty for Marc Jacobs, Spring 2020 by Dame Pat McGrath.

A glittered teal eye look ornamented with individually placed crystals on the lash line for Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2020 collection.

Valentino Couture, Autumn-Winter 2022-2023. Beauty by Dame Pat McGrath.

Head-to-toe silver glitter saturating the skin creates an alienesque beauty feel for Valentino Couture. We’re definitely adding this to the “to try” list.

Giambattista Valli, Autumn-Winter 2018. Beauty by Val Garland.

The KiraKira+ sparkle effect app translated into real life for Giambattista Valli AW 2018.
Models' faces were covered in a generous amount of lip conditioner before glitter was blown onto the skin.

Mark Fast, Spring-Summer 2023. Makeup by Pablo Rodriguez.

Rave ready “glitter party” beauty at Mark Fast.

Britney Spears performs in 1999.

If you were a pop star of the 90s or just getting glam for the club, you had to have body glitter.

Ashish, Autumn 2019. Beauty by Isamaya Ffrench. Hair by Sam McKnight.

Glamour with a capital G at Ashish. Chunky, cosmic glitter in contrasting shades of the rainbow was applied to the lids, brows, and lips with voluminously waved hair accented by little sparkly hair clips. The concept you ask? A disco dolly dragged through a hedge backwards of course. duh.

Kay Kwok, Autumn-WInter 2014.

Glitter spilled beauty at Kay Kwok.

Marni, Autumn 2020. Hair and Beauty led by Julien d’Ys.

Julien d’Y’s took an artful approach to glitter for Marni, Autumn 2020. Painterly streaks on the eyes, face, neck, and through the hair were accented with metallic glitters that presented beauty with a haphazard feel.

Shrimps, Spring-Summer 2018. Beauty by Lucy Burt.

For the makeup minimalist. Confetti lips are the perfect contrast to a clean beauty look.

Jeremy Scott, Spring 2019. Beauty by Kabuki.

Who remembers transfer lip foils from the early 2000’s? Jeremy Scott certainly does. Using lip foil tutorial videos from YouTube, makeup artist Kabuki created a look centred around the Y2K metallic lip trend, affixing foil to the lips using lash glue, and then adding a layer of pink glitter over the top for added shimmer and shine.

Dries Van Noten, Autumn 2019. Beauty by Peter Philips. Hair by Sam McKnight.

Glitter doesn’t always have to go “disco”. At Dries Van Noten, natural skin and a dewy lip were complemented by a subtly grunge glitter eye. A more low-key glitter look that we adore.

Peter Do, Spring 2023. Beauty by Aaron De Mey. Hair by Jawara.

Not so keen to commit to a bleached brow? Why not try a glittered brow instead? Shown here at Peter Do, a glittered brow can be super chic. End of story.

Rodarte, Fall 2019. Beauty by James Kaliardos for Nars Cosmetics.

1930s Hollywood glamour in the form of matchy-matchy glittered eyes and lips.

Batsheva, Spring 2023. Beauty by Francelle Dally. Hair by Justine Marjan.

A bold blue winged eye look is amped up with glitter at Batsheva.

Glitter hair? Barbie’s been there.

Giambattista Valli, Spring-Summer 2019. Hair by Paul Hanlon.

At Giambattista Valli, hairstylist Paul Hanlon sprayed select models’ hair with shimmery colour sprays before sprinkling the ends with loose flecks of glitter. A total fairy-core fantasy.

Christopher Shannon, Spring-Summer 2014. Hair by John Vial at Fudge.

In his youth growing up in Liverpool Christopher Shannon wanted to create a “groovy look” to hit the disco with that was also cost-effective. Glitter was the answer. Taking this idea and running with it, the creative director of Fudge, John Vial created a hair look where wax was brushed through the hair before glitter was applied and fixed with hairspray. What resulted was glittered hair with a punky edge.

Walter Van Beirendonck, Spring-Summer 2014. Hair by Ed Moelands.

Surrealism meets avant-garde at Walter Van Beirendonck in the form of golden high-shine hair.

Ashish retrospective show, V&A Museum, 2015. Hair led by Ali Pirzadeh.

A gold glitter-dipped crown gives a fresh perspective to disco hair at Ashish.

Thom Browne, Spring-Summer 2018. Hair by Eugene Souleiman.

Eugene Souleiman took an image of a bald woman, given to him as a starting point for hair by Thom Browne and in response, he reduced the scale of the head by moulding and sculpting the hair flat. Glitter was then applied giving the overall look a semi-galactic feel.

KNWLS, Spring-Summer 2023. Hair by Eugene Souleiman.

Slicked glitter matching each models’ own hair at KNWLS.

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