Lately, there has been a subtle change on my Instagram feed: Shimmering makeup looks are starting to creep into view after having been shunned from our makeup bags and selfies thanks to an overt favouritism for all things matte. However, not only can a glowing wash of glittering eye shadow or a subtle shimmer highlight look far more youthful, but it can also appear far less try-hard and in turn way cooler than its matte makeup rival.
We’re not expecting the world to drop its matte liquid lipsticks and chalky eye shadows anytime soon (we still love them here at Byrdie HQ), but switching up your look with surprising opalescent textures will garner way more compliments. It’s true—we put it to the test. I wore Topshop Chameleon Highlighter (£13), a pressed powder that changes colour in different lights (from pink to peach to gold), on my eyelids and as a highlighter, and received more compliments in that week than in the whole year previous.
So what specifically inspired the makeup update? It was during a late-night Instagram scroll that I came across makeup artist Anne Sophie Costa, whose feed is achingly cool and stands out thanks to its unapologetic close-ups on mermaid-esque shimmering eyes, lips and cheeks. This is the modern, refined way to do glitter makeup. I was so enamored with Costa’s skills that I reached out to her for the inside scoop on how to re-create these looks in real life. Thankfully, Costa came back and shared her secrets to nailing this shimmer makeup trend. Keep scrolling for all the intel, then go forth and sparkle.
My first question for Costa: How do you know which iridescent shades will suit you? “I think in this case, you kind of need to try a few colours to see which one goes well on your skin. There’s nothing better than actually trying products before you buy, but usually cold tones (think blues and greens) go well on very pale skin, while warm tones (those pinks and golds) look great on darker skin,” she explained.
Shimmer and glitter, especially if it’s a wet look, have a tendency to slip. How can we ensure it lasts? Costa said, “The best way to ensure the glossy look lasts is to prep the skin with a very rich moisturiser. Then you know your skin is fully moisturised from the inside out and won’t lose the glow. Next, tap with a tissue on the T-zone; you don’t want excess moisture in that area! Apply some foundation—I like MAC Face and Body (£24). It is oil-based, so it helps to keep the glow. Then I apply illuminator on the top of cheek bones, and use Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Cream (£27) on the eyelids and over the illuminator if it’s a real wet look. Eight-Hour gives that glossy, fresh skin look and hydrates as well. I’ll then only apply powder on the T-zone.”
To create that chameleon, mermaid-esque hue, Costa uses a range of different products. Keep scrolling to see our favourite looks with an explanation from the makeup artist for each one, then shop the products below.