For some people, wearing glitter lipstick isn’t a big deal. Naomi Campbell has done it. So did the models who walked in Versace’s fall 2016 show. Rihanna was once photographed with a whole tongue full of glitter, and when legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath released her Lust004 glitter lip kit, plenty of beauty die-hards bought it. But what about the rest of us? Can a normal office worker — someone who’s not normally that glitzy — get away with wearing a mouth full of sparkle?
For I Love the Holidays!!!!!, our week of stories about gleeful holiday excess, we had Cut staff members create their own glam glitter lipstick inspired by McGrath. They wore the look around the office and out in the wild, through holiday snacks and drinking, and then tried to remove it all at the end of the day without glitter clinging to them for the rest of their lives. Here is what nine people thought of the experience and whether they would do it again.
Kelly Conaboy, Writer-at-Large
I absolutely loved the glitter lips, even though they looked insane on me. The application process was much easier than I expected — the glitter stuck on easily to the lipstick when tapped on with a brush. Originally, I imagined the task would be Sisyphean, with glitter falling off as fast as I could put it on. But it really stayed there. It didn’t feel particularly bad on my lips, just a little gritty.
And the look stayed mostly intact, although some glitter fell into my drink (to be honest, I think my diet could have used more glitter anyway). My main error was washing my whole face, rather than removing the lipstick first. This led to my entire face being covered in glitter, and it didn’t fully come off for another full day. Please, just remove it first by itself and then wash your whole face.
Erica Smith, Beauty Writer
Creating this glitter lip felt like doing a festive art project that I was just okay at, especially when it came to patting glitter on around the cupid’s bow. The best part was watching the glitter transform the lipstick: I put copper glitter over a deep, reddish brown lipstick (M.A.C Dare You) and wound up with a glittery, metallic shade of Living Coral, which is both timely and fun.
Once I had it on, things got weird. I kept rubbing my lips together because the flecks of glitter felt like a lip scrub. I felt more self-conscious — like everyone was staring at me even though zero people were. I left a faint trail of glitter on everything I drank out of (this was more lovely than weird). When wearing regular lipstick, I have a healthy fear that it has traveled to my teeth, but the paranoia skyrocketed with the addition of glitter. Glitter is so sneaky and unpredictable. Is it on my teeth? Up by my nose? On my chin? In my hair? (Glitter hair wouldn’t be so bad, actually).
Anyway, this look takes a lot of commitment and committing to a regular statement lip is enough for me these days. The good news is, this was surprisingly easy to remove with a makeup wipe — but that may or may not be because I used a creamy lipstick instead of a clingier matte one.
Sarah Spellings, Fashion Writer
Shockingly, I would 100 percent do this again. I chose to go full on Wizard of Oz and use a Ruby glitter from M.A.C on top of a red Dior lipstick. It was surprisingly easy to apply. I used a brush and gently pressed glitter onto the lipstick. I didn’t go near my lip line and concentrated the glitter on the center. It was also weirdly comfortable and felt velvet-y, not hard and plastic-y.
However, flecks of glitter got on my glass when I tried to drink some water. I also embedded some red glitter in my boyfriend’s beard. It was an accident! It mostly came off easily. I used Clinique’s Take Off the Day on a reusable cotton pad and ended up having to take off the rest of my makeup, too. A few sparkles remained, but it didn’t take too long. If I was going to a New Year’s party or celebrating my birthday, I would totally wear it again. At least for the ‘gram.
Diana Tsui, Senior Market Editor
The thought of making a mess on my desk terrified me so I was very hesitant about trying out this glitter lip look. But it turned out to be surprisingly easy to apply. I used a base of Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme in 116 — an extremely flattering red that’s become a new favorite. On top I layered M.A.C’s Glitter Brillants in Ruby, a shimmery pinkish-red that added dimension. To keep things tidy, I tapped out a small amount into the cap of the container and dipped my finger into it. I slowly pressed it into my lips, adding more product as needed.
The result wasn’t as extreme as the Pat McGrath version but did add something extra to my outfit. Mysteriously, I started getting more compliments on my Comme des Garcons skirt, even though I’ve worn it at least once a month for the past five years.
That said, eating and drinking was a challenge. I used a very environmentally unfriendly straw to drink water while my bites of chocolate candy were covered in glitter. Eventually, in a fit of panic over the state of my digestive system, I decided to take it off. Removal was easier than I anticipated — I rubbed a wipe and everything came off cleanly without the need for tape. Would I wear it to a party? Probably not. I prefer sparkles on my ears and not my lips.
Hayley Schueneman, Beauty Writer
To apply, I first prepped my lips with lip balm and then applied M.A.C Ruby Woo lipstick directly from the tube. Next, I poured some M.A.C loose glitter in Rose onto the lid, and used my index finger to tap the glitter onto my lip. The glitter payoff is very intense! I got some glitter on my tongue while doing this, and I’m not sure if it was super Rihanna or very bad. We shall see!
The overall effect was really pretty, and though my lips felt dry, they didn’t feel like they’ve been covered in sand. The glitter clung nicely to my lipstick and nowhere else, and I found I could drink and eat just fine with some mild fading.
Kathleen Hou, Beauty Director
This was my third time doing glitter lips but my first time doing it without Pat McGrath. And that turned out to be okay! I used my favorite red matte lipstick of the moment (Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme in Epitome) and pushed the glitter (Make Up For Ever Star Lit Glitter in Red) onto my lip using my index finger. It clung onto it like Velcro, transforming it into a sparkly disco ball red that was so, so twinkly.
I really loved the glitter — the Star Lit Glitter particles were tiny (like smaller than a pin prick) and had a fluffy texture that made my lips look bigger and more electric, almost like they were vibrating off my face. It was really fun. I ate a glitter gummy bear and drank some glittery water while I had it on, but otherwise it stayed on pretty well. For the removal, I used a Koh Gen Do face wipe and a large piece of tape to get off the rest.
Andrew Nguyen, Editorial Assistant
As a drag queen (my drag name is Dynasty), I love a dramatic makeup look, and glitter lips are an easy way to turn up the glamour. I started out by over-lining my lips with a dark fuchsia pencil. Then I used the sparkly metallic Pat McGrath BlitzTrance Lipstick in Cyber Orchid as my base, and topped it with Make Up For Ever’s Star Lit Glitter. This resulted in a plump and seamless glitter lip.
The finer sparkles of the lipstick combined with the larger glitter pieces gave my lips even more brilliance and dimension. And surprisingly enough, I didn’t even feel the glitter unless I rubbed my lips together. That being said, I could not eat or drink water without getting glitter on everything, so save this look for special occasions.
Daise Bedolla, Social-Media Editor
As soon as I put on my glitter lipstick, I found myself muttering, “I do not like this.” Mostly because I looked like Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games, but also because it made me profoundly aware of myself and worried that people were staring at my mouth (they weren’t). If I were to do this again, I wouldn’t use my finger to apply the glitter. I would also use a brush and concealer to fix up the edges, which had glitter fall-out. With that in mind, this probably goes without saying: Eating and drinking were absolute no’s.
Ella Ceron, Writer
While I have spent a lot of time scrolling through Pat McGrath’s Instagram trying to harness the power of her Lip Lust kits, I just don’t have the kind of life that would allow me to turn my face into a pair of ruby slippers. But give me a tube of glitter, a brush, and a promise to help me clean up the mess, and I will turn my face into an arts and crafts project.
First stop: Ruby Woo, M.A.C’s universally flattering red. I then dabbed the brand’s glitter in Ruby on top. The glitter clung to the brush fibers in odd little icicles, but transferred to my face well. After a few layers, I was left with lips that felt vaguely sandpapery. The glitter seemed to hold through eating gummy bears and drinking a seltzer, but did not catch as much light as I expected it to when taking selfies. Though I didn’t have the Instagram proof of the moment, wearing glitter lipstick felt right in my heart, like I was getting fancy just for me.
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