All that glitter

With its ability to lift any look, glitter makeup is trending among fashionistas despite its environmental drawbacks.
Actor Channing Tatum with American TV host Gayle King at Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour
Actor Channing Tatum with American TV host Gayle King at Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour

Being a part of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour or simply going out partying or just glam-ing up for a traditional desi event, glitter has made its comeback in makeup routines. From glitter body sprays for that extra shine to a cheekbone, to glitter eyeshadow, glitter has been shining in recent times.

As the makeup palette tilts towards nude look, glitter adds a beautiful texture to it, according to celebrity makeup artist Rashida Pavtiwada, who says, “We are looking at different dimensions in makeup. In the ’80s and early ’90s, pink and blue eyeshadow added to the colour pop. Now, the palette has gone more towards nudes – very close to skin colour; in that case, glitter gives dimension because it has texture, and has reflective properties.”

For makeup artist Manasa Vihana, glitter gleams on the Indian skin tone and facial features. “Indians have beautiful eyes and it gives definition. If you are wearing glitter for an Indian event, it also gives you a brighter look,” says Vihana. According to Vihana, most people have very vague ideas about how glitter should be used. “There are different kinds of glitter: loose and pressed, each giving very different looks. It depends on what look you are going for. Today, there is a wide range of glitters that you can go for, even if it’s for a subdued look,” she says.

Glitter has been a part of Indian events but along the way it lost its sheen. Makeup artist Ramya explains why it’s making a comeback. “We grew up seeing Indian brides using glitter which was always part of the makeup scheme since it fit in well with the glamorous dresses we wear. But as we got exposed to different styles, glitter faded out. But fashion and makeup trends are cyclic, so it was bound to come back in trend,” she says.

However, glitter has faced backlash for containing microplastics, which contaminate the soil, air, water, and food. Sabrina Suhail, founder of Tinge, a vegan beauty brand, says there are sustainable alternatives to the microplastic in glitters.

“Although glitters are fun and shiny, they are extremely hazardous to the environment. It washes its way into the water sources and is consumed by aquatic life,” says Suhail. A sustainable way to use glitter is to go for a mica-based glitter. “One of the ways to test the glitter is to put it in water, if it’s mica, it sinks but if it floats, it’s plastic,” she explains.

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The New Indian Express