Which glitter eyeliner is best?

Channel your inner diva with glitter eyeliner that makes your eyes stand out. Whether you use it to accent a cat eye or tightline the inner corners of your eye to give your look sparkle and glow, glitter eyeliner is a fun addition to your evening look. If you’re looking for a good, all-purpose glitter eyeliner, Urban Decay Cosmetics Sparkle Out Loud Heavy Metal Glitter Gel in Saturday Stardust is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy a glitter eyeliner

Glitter eyeliner takes a steady hand

Due to the consistency required to make cosmetic pieces of glitter stand out but remain spreadable, most glitter eyeliner is liquid. As such, it requires a confident application and is unforgiving of mistakes. If you want to try out glitter eyeliner but aren’t sure you can make a straight enough line, enlist a friend to do it for you. It’s always easier to keep your hand steady when applying liquid products to someone else’s eye area than your own.

Glitter eyeliner requires a good applicator

While most glitter eyeliners come with an applicator, it’s a good idea to have your own liquid eyeliner applicator for maximum control and in order to be able to clean it thoroughly after use. Choose one that’s thin enough for precision application but sturdy enough to take on enough of the product to create the effect you want. 

Dark or light makes a big difference in the look

A dark glitter eyeliner looks smoldery and adds depth to your look. A light glitter says, “Look at me!” and is a great highlight for dramatic lines or for making brow bones stand out. Decide which of the two is your goal before choosing a glitter eyeliner.

What to look for in a quality glitter eyeliner

Smooth formula

Because glitter is inherently bulkier than other liquid liners, it can be a challenge to make it go on smoothly. The trick is in finding a formula that has both all the sparkle you want and enough emollients to make it go on evenly. 

A cool or warm formula

As with so many things in makeup, the items that are most flattering are not just good in general, but good for you specifically. If your skin tends to be on the warm side, a cold silver eyeliner may look artificial, but a sparkly rose gold will look like you were born to wear it. Consider the undertones in your skin when deciding on your glitter eyeliner.

Hydrating ingredients

Liquid eyeliners can require less tugging and thus be easier on the eyes than pencils. If the area around your eyes tends to be sensitive, be sure to find a soothing, hydrating formula that will add moisture and not cause irritation.

How much you can expect to spend on a glitter eyeliner

A good drugstore brand costs around $8. More upscale premium glitter eyeliners average around $20.

Glitter eyeliner FAQ

Can I just add craft glitter to my liquid eyeliner to make my own glitter eyeliner?

A. You shouldn’t, for safety reasons. Craft glitter (the kind used in school projects and crafts) is made from plastic cut into small, sharp shapes which will cut your eye if it gets into them. The glitter used in commercially-available glitter eyeliner is specially formulated to not damage the eyes and the delicate skin around them. Be sure to only put cosmetics-grade glitter near your eyes or anywhere on your face.

At what point in my makeup application should I apply glitter eyeliner?

A. Glitter eyeliner goes last. Create your full eye look with a base color, darker crease color, brow highlighter and any dark, shadow-creating eyeliner you want to wear. Finish up your eyelashes by curling and applying mascara. After all this is dry, go ahead and apply your glitter eyeliner to add a sparkly accent. 

What are the best glitter eyeliners to buy?

Top glitter eyeliner

Urban Decay Cosmetics Sparkle Out Loud Heavy Metal Glitter Gel in Saturday Stardust 

Urban Decay Cosmetics Sparkle Out Loud Heavy Metal Glitter Gel in Saturday Stardust 

What you need to know: Urban Decay shines in its offerings of unique, flattering eye makeup. Their glitters are bold and eye-catching, and Saturday Stardust is a formula that looks good on just about anyone.

What you’ll love: This glitter eyeliner is super reflective and formulated with a gel, making it less sticky than some of its counterparts.

What you should consider: The pieces of glitter are big. This is not for when you want to create a subtle look. 

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

Top glitter eyeliner for money

E.L.F. Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow in Flirty Birdy

E.L.F. Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow in Flirty Birdy

What you need to know: E.L.F.’s drugstore formulas rival their more expensive counterparts in quality, color saturation and ease of application.

What you’ll love: The rich formula layers on a thick amount of glitter for a bold, stand-out look. The color is on the warmer side, but this line comes in eight shades, so there are options for cooler-toned skin as well.

What you should consider: There’s some fall-out of glitter, so consider a setting spray if you need this liner to have staying power.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Lancôme Drama Longwear Eyeliner

Lancôme Drama Longwear Eyeliner

What you need to know: A luxurious splurge with a more toned-down sparkle. Stays put where you apply it and lasts all night.

What you’ll love: If liquid eyeliner just isn’t for you, this eyeliner comes close to offering the sparkle of liquid with the ease of application of a pencil. It leans a bit more on the metallic side than a full-on glitter, with no big chunks of sparkles, but it still adds a good amount of sparkle. 

What you should consider: Although application is smooth, it takes a bit more work to spread it thick than it does with a liquid.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora


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Maria Andreu writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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