It is the season for glittery glam, glitzy jewels and everything bling
It is the season for glittery glam, glitzy jewels and everything bling Image Credit: Pixabay

As the year draws to a close this month, and festive fireworks grace the skies, UAE residents are heading to more evening parties, bejeweled and glittery in some of our boldest looks of the year. ‘Tis officially the season for glittery glam, glitzy jewels and everything bling.

While we aim to glow up for the festivities, no one likes one too many a careful hour spent at beauty mirrors after work. Fortunately, there are some products that can instantly transform your look without much effort and what’s more - it’s guaranteed to look great!

Gulf News spoke to Rebecca Dutton, a certified beauty therapist and makeup artist with 15 years of experience in Dubai and UK, as well as Sana Afzal, a certified advanced makeup artist from the London College of Makeup based in Dubai, for the best festive hacks this season – so the next time you’re en route to a party after work, just pop these in your purse to transform your look in seconds!

1. Let loose liquid glitter eyeshadow

Bottom line: Eyeliner, block colour, statement crease liner, glitter colour gradations on your eye

Liquid glitter eyeshadow can ease you into evening glam with a few sweeps of product. Image Credit: Pexels/BestBe Models

With a single sweep over your eye crease, colouring in your eyelid or doubling up as eyeliner – this versatile item is certain to give your look the upgrade it needs this festive season. Go for a classic silver or gold, or turn eyes with flashes of glittery colour.

Dutton says, “They’re really great and versatile to use, to create an average daytime look straight into an evening glam look – perfect for evening work parties or New Year’s eve events.

A royal blue glittery lid. Image Credit: Shutterstock

“First I’d recommend to apply a primer – if you don’t have access to a primer, then a concealer works well. Put that as your base down first – it’ll make the colour come out well, and the base last longer. You can put your glitter all over the base of the lid, and can create full block colours, and to top it off you can finish it with some mascara and lashes as well. “

However, if blinking glittery eyelids are not your cup of tea, you can also just use it as a liner for a more subtle look. Just take an angled brush or an eyeliner brush, pop a little bit of liquid glitter on your hand, and line your lids as you would for your usual eyeliner. Dutton also recommends a subtle cut-crease effect of using a matte neutral eyeshadow such as neutral browns, and then just drawing the glitter along only the crease of your eye. 

Dutton adds, “Another thing that I really like to do is to use highlighter in the corners of your eye and you can add a little bit of sparkle there and under the brow bones, just to finish off if you don’t want to do too much.”

If you’d like a gradation of colour, just do vertical sweeps of increasingly darker-coloured glitter eyeshadow from the inner corner outwards, and blend quickly with an eyeshadow brush or using your fingers.

2. Buff up shimmery body highlighter

Bottom line: Accentuated features

For a speedy glow that accentuates your best features in your favourite evening gown, shimmery body highlighters are the way to go. Dutton recommends mixing them with perfumed creams or with your body lotion as well. She says, “Then you get the best of both – you’re not using a lot of body highlighter, and you smell great as well.

“You can either just apply with hands – just put it directly on to your legs, shoulders, chest and decotellage. A little goes a long way – just apply directly down the shin bone of the leg, it’ll make it look more elongated and slimmer, around the shoulders if they’re exposed – and you can also just go down the forearm to really give a nice natural glow.”

If you are not looking to apply using your hands, Dutton recommends just pumping the product onto the back of your hand, and using a medium fluffy brush or a highlighter brush to apply as per your liking.

Afzal says, “We use highlighter everywhere, from our lips to our eyes - a highlighter can absolutely remodel your face fix up your glow game and rock the charisma.”

Bemused about blush?
What should you do with blush when going for a show-stopping eye look? Rebecca Dutton, a certified beauty therapist and makeup artist based in Dubai, says, “If you’re going really bold on the eyes, with chunky bits of glitter - then for your cheeks, you just want to go for something matte or quite neutral really, like a soft peach, or a soft pink or nude. No need to go for brighter colours, because there’ll be too much going on in the face – if you’re making a statement on the eyes in my opinion.”

3. Gem up with hair and skin jewels

Bottom line: Hollywood glam hair, masquerade makeup

Skin and hair jewels
Using jewelled hair accessories, or sticking on skin and hair jewels can upgrade your look in an instant. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Even if you’re not trying to channel The Great Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan or pay homage to Elvis’s rhinestone collection, sticking on jewels on your hair or face can enhance your New Year’s Eve look in moments.

“They’re better if you’re going for a masquerade event, especially for like New Year’s eve to a party or something,” says Dutton. You can create a mask-like effect by using jewels on the eyes and forehead and include it in the hair, in a slicked back updo. There are specific adhesives that need to be bought for these.

What designs to do? Many such hair and skin jewel sets come in already set patterns, but you can also find inspiration in your Pinterest boards and online feeds. Another easy way is to use jeweled hair clips, whether of diamantes or pearls to hold back one side of your parting.

You can also join celebrities like Rita Ora, and Miley Cyrus by putting glitter directly in your hair, but this can be reserved for very specific occasions.

Dutton adds, “Chunky jewels look better with the hair braided up. If you have the hair down you can comb some glitter through or if you want to, put some in the parting, then use a makeup brush …to like blend it out.”

Dutton also recommends watching out for biodegradable and eco-friendly brands of glitter that are safer for the environment when washed off. Another option is incorporating a few shiny tinsel extensions into your hair in advance, much like Beyoncé’ in 2019. Hair tinsel shown below: 

4. Make a statement with jewelry

Bottom line: Statement necklaces, bracelets, earrings

Any subtle black jumper, slip dress, satin shirt and more can benefit from a pair of statement earrings, bracelets or statement necklace.

Dutton says, “If you’ve got a low-cut slip dress or something like that, then a statement necklace is really nice just to give a focal point to the outfit. Definitely, earrings are a must to wear if you’re going to a party this season, and it depends on the hairstyle but something chunky with diamantes or glitter. You can never go too much over the festive period – sequins, glitter, anything like that works really well.”

Afzal says, “I love using statement jewellery as it introduces you before even you speak.

“When sporting assertion earrings, it will be an excellent concept to keep your hair sleek - pull your hair up or tuck it in the back of your ears. In general, assertion jewellery can create such an effect for your outfit that you would need to keep in mind to put on one piece at a time, or pair it with understated clothes and strong colour tops.”

5. Go mono with matte eyes

Bottom line: black and white cat-eye, single colour eyeshadow

Mono matte colours, that you can apply using liquid eyeshadow is an instant and understated glam look. Image Credit: Pexels/Monstera

Whether a striking splash of a single colour, or a classic black and white monochrome – these always make a statement.

Just pop into the washroom or dressing table, spray some setting spray on your eyeshadow colour for a more intense hue and use it as an eyeliner or eyeshadow. You can use a matte liquid eyeshadow for express application, and blend it in the outside with neutral skin-toned eyeshadow.

Dutton says, “If you didn’t want to go too bold, then you could just use really neutral brown on the top lids, and right underneath the lash line, put some of the matte bright colour with a flat headed brush.

“These are always popular to wear and is just a classic sort of look,” says Dutton. She has a tip for a classic ‘Chanel-like’ cat-eye look: “You can go with any liquid black and do a signature cat-eye. On top of that, just take a white liquid eyeliner and just go over the shape slightly thinner with that to create a really classic monochrome look.”

Paired with a classic black gown, you can look like you’ve just stepped out of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

6. Holo highlighter for your face

Bottom line: Glowing cheeks, dewy look

Highlighter makeup
Glam holographic, glitter or classic gold facial highlighters will give your face a sparkling-from-inside glow. Image Credit: Pexels/Ehsan

A dab of glam holographic, glitter or classic gold facial highlighters can go a long way for evening glitz.

Dutton says, “Spritz facial fixer spray onto the powder to wet it slightly – get your highlighter brush and then go directly onto the tops of your cheek bones. You can put a little bit on the centre of your nose, some on the inner corners of your eyes, under the brow bone.”

However, she warns, “With highlighter, it’s just highlighting your best features, so if you put too much, it’ll just make your face look too sharp, shiny and weird looking.”

Afzal explains the six places you should use highlighter on your face:

Your cheekbones: Most common place to highlight used to enhance the bone structure.

Nose: The nose bridge is the highest point of the face; it makes sense to add highlighter there. Be sure to blend it out so you’re not left with a harsh line down your nose.

Brow bone: You can give a lifted appearance by adding highlighter to the brow bone.

Center of eyelids: To brighten the eyes, but do not not pair with smoky eyes.

Center of chin: If someone has an oval-shaped, face that wish to round out a bit, highlighting the center of your chin is a great makeup technique for you.

Inner corner of eyes: To widen the eyes.

Highlighters: Faux it until you make it
Sana Afzal, a certified advanced makeup artist from the London College of Makeup based in Dubai, says ,“Glowing, healthy-looking pores and skin is continually in. Need proof? Just test your favourite celebrities. Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian West, Zendaya, Selena Gomez — they continually appear bright with diffused shine in all of the proper places.”

However, isn’t that from expensive skincare routines?

Afzal adds, “But even as that is true, it does not suggest you cannot faux it till you make it. That's in which highlighting, also called strobing comes in – to give your skin a sparkling from inside appearance.”

7. Iridescence on your lips

Bottom line: Striking, glittery lips

Glitter lips
You can go for glittery lipsticks, whether in bold colour or transparent for a more subtle glam. Image Credit: Shutterstock

If bold eyes, glitter and too much makeup are not your thing, you can go for subtler shine with iridescent or glittery lipsticks and lip-glosses.

Dutton says, “That’ll boost your makeup look and make you look a bit more party without being too overwhelming if you’re not used to wearing a lot of makeup.”

Don’t have an iridescent lip-gloss? Here’s a hack to replace it:

Get some of their highlighter that you use on your cheek. Dutton says, “And once you’ve applied lipstick, you can use your ring finger to get just a bit of highlighter and dab it on the top of your lip on the Cupid’s bow and onto the centre of your lower lip – it’ll create that nice shimmery, iridescent effect. You can go over the top with the lip gloss as well, to just seal it into place.”

8. No-makeup makeup dewy eyes

Bottom line: Subtly glowing lids

Kate Moss and Gigi Hadid are known for favouring natural makeup looks, and have sported such glowing eye looks on the red carpet.

Dutton says, “This is an iridescent cream glitter eyeshadow look and is not as extreme as liquid glitter.” You can just lightly apply it to your eyelid base, and if you have a non-glittery cream eyeshadow, Dutton recommends scraping off your facial highlighter and mixing it in to achieve the same glow.

If you don’t have cream eyeshadow, worry not – there’s still highlighter to the rescue! Dutton says, “Put a bit of the clear lip gloss on the back of your hand, sprinkle in some of your powder highlighter and then mix that together – and then you can apply that to the base of your eyelid for a creamy sort of iridescent effect.

‘If you want to ramp it up a bit, you could add glittery lips to that as well.”

Keeping a highlighter for multipurpose use, bold liquid eyeshadow colours, lipstick and statement jewellery can help you ease into your evening glam best with ease.

Note: This article was first published in December 2021