How To Safely Wear Glitter On Your Face

How To Safely Wear Glitter On Your Face

Because the only thing better than sparkle is safety.

There is one thing we love here at Glitter Girl, it’s GLITTER. We sell Hypo allergenic, cosmetic grade, eco, cruelty free Glitter Makeup, Glitter filled Accessories and Super Sparkly gift ideas for you and your friends harvested from our stable of thoroughbred Unicorns, with the utmost care. Whether it’s on our eyes, our lips, our cheeks, or our body, nobody will EVER doubt our commitment to being the Sparkly Unicorn you were born to be. But something we love better than sparkle is safety. And the he truth is that wearing glitter on your face is always a bit of risk.

Nobody wants a scratched cornea, so I’ve put together this Glitter 101 guide to clue you in on some safety facts about this magical substance.

Glitter: What Even Is It?

Everyone has feelings about glitter. Unicorns bathe in the stuff. Six year olds dream about it. It’s essential to Pride parades, a weapon of social disruption and foremost in a pop star’s make-up arsenal. It’s also the stuff of cleaning nightmares. But where does glitter come from? Why does it exist? And how in the name of all that is good can you get it off the upholstery?

While prehistoric humans loved stones like mica for their sparkly properties, modern glitter is made out of super-thin plastic or foils like mylar. This is painted with pigments that are safe for use in cosmetics, and then gets cut into thousands of teeny-tiny pieces.

Cosmetic vs. Craft Store

Now, repeat after me, everyone: Never, EVER use craft glitter on your face!

Cosmetic glitter is made of special plastic that is non-toxic, even if ingested in small quantities. It’s colored with pigment rather than dye, so that the color doesn’t leach out and stain. Cosmetic glitter is much finer than craft glitter, and the individual particles are usually rounded rather than hexagonal. It’s also made in different facilities with super-high standards of cleanliness–nobody wants a rusty machine cutting out the glitter that’s going in their lip gloss!

In short: Cosmetic glitter is designed especially to reduce the risk of irritating skin and eyes, as it considers the potential risks posed by cosmetic-grade glitter to be very small.

OK, But Is It Safe?

Mostly. Personally, I’ve been dousing myself in glitter since I was a teenager, and I’ve never had a single glitter-related injury.

That said, nothing in the world is 100% safe to put near your eyes. Glitter has the potential to irritate your peepers and scratch up your corneas, which is VERY painful–but eyes are delicate, and even a contact lens or a rogue eyelash can do the same thing. By using cosmetic-grade glitter you are significantly reducing this risk, but you can’t eliminate it altogether.

Worn on the skin, glitter is pretty safe. Wash your hands well after applying, and don’t commit any crimes while wearing it–glitter is so unique that it’s considered awesome forensic evidence.

In nail polish, glitter bonds with the lacquer to form a hard plate that really isn’t going anywhere. Applying loose glitter to nails isn’t hard, but it’s even easier to use polishes with sparkle already in them.

On lips, you’re likely fine. Cosmetic glitter won’t hurt you unless you eat a LOT of it, which you shouldn’t do, it’s not Milo. You should also be careful not to inhale it. And please don’t take those pills that promise to make your poop sparkle. That’s so gross.

So How Can I Wear It Safely?

Glitter should always be suspended in something–in a gel, on an adhesive, in a gloss, etc. Applying loose glitter directly to your person is a bad idea, as it won’t stick properly and you run the risk of inhaling it or transferring it elsewhere (i.e., into your eyes). So picking good products are very important!

If you’re using loose glitter, you need an adhesive medium to keep it in place. Our Unicorn Glitter Primer Gel is the best for this, as it provides a quick-setting, budge-proof base for all your sparkle requirements. You can either mix the glitter into the primer first and then apply with a brush as liner, or brush the medium directly onto your skin and press glitter overtop with our Glitter Girl Makeup Brush The choice is yours!

I also love our Unicorn Glitter Palette, which are very fine cosmetic glitters pressed into a workable base.

You can wear it in a thin line, all across the lid or dabbed atop your cheeks and lips (I’ve even used it on my nails). The gel dries quickly and stays put, so that no glitter will accidentally fall into your eyes.

My general rules for safe glitter use are mostly common sense: don’t rub your face while wearing it, don’t give it to little kids, NEVER put glitter on your waterline, and remove it really thoroughly.


Hate to say it, but rinsing your face in the shower isn’t good enough for glitter. Use an oil-based eye makeup remover on a cotton round or tissue, and wipe away from your eyes.

Use a fresh side or a new cotton round for each swipe until all the glitter is off your eyes. If it’s stuck between the lashes, use a cotton swab dipped in remover to get rid of it.

Depending on the type used, glitter nail polish can be a pain to remove. I fill a shot glass with nail polish remover, soak each fingernail for about 20 seconds, then scrub the polish off with a cotton ball.

It takes a minute, but it works!

What if I Get Glitter In My Eyes?

If you feel something scratchy in your eyes–this applies to everything, not just glitter–for the love of god, DON’T RUB. Use gentle eye drops and irrigate the eye to rinse it out. If you think you’ve scratched your cornea, go see your doctor (preferably an ophthalmologist).

~ What’s your favorite way to wear glitter?

~ What’s your very best glitter safety tip?

~ Do you have any foolproof ways to get glitter out of carpets? Asking for a friend…..

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