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How to Use Body Shimmer & Glitter

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What’s the first thing you think of when you hear body glitter or body shimmer? If you are anything like I am, you probably think of chunky, roll-on glitters from the early ’00s or the shimmer body spray from Victoria’s Secret that has always been popular amongst tweens. But shimmering body lotions aren’t only for those under the legal drinking age.

Now, you may think you can slather on some shimmer lotion or oil and head out the door, but taking a few calculated steps will have you shining bright like a diamond. Below, we discuss the ways of using body shimmer products correctly. Keep reading to check them out!

In this article:

For the Body

Shimmer Oils and Lotions

  • Pick the Right Area: When using body shimmers or glitters, you should focus on the areas that are sure to catch the light and reflect those beautiful products. Your shoulders, collarbones, thighs, and calves are the best places to focus on. Having targeted areas for the product will also keep you from overdoing it.
  • Preparation: To make sure that your shimmer and sparkle lasts until the morning dawn, be sure to moisturize your body correctly beforehand. Having moisturized skin will give your product an excellent base to work its sparkle on.
  • Application: When it comes to something highly concentrated like a body shimmer oil, you should consider using a brush for your application. If you use your hands to apply a product like a shimmer oil or lotion, chances are the product will stick more to your hands than the body part you’re applying it to.  A stippled makeup brush is perfect for picking up a product and applying it to different parts of your body without getting it on your hands.


If you’re using a shimmer powder on your body, the application will be slightly different from an oil or lotion.

  • Go Nude: Shimmer powders are best applied before you get dressed. This will lessen the amount of transfer from your body to your clothing. Make sure your skin is completely dry before using any powder.
  • Use the Right Brush: For powders applied to the body, a large, fluffy brush will be your best friend for a diffused, natural glow. One of my favorite affordable, large powder brushes is this one from EcoTools!
  • Application: For the best application of shimmer powders on the body, you can follow the same path as you would with an oil or lotion product. Highlighting your collarbones and décolletage will bring light and attention to the area, which can be beneficial if you’re wearing a dramatically cut or off-the-shoulder top. You can also drag the shimmer lightly over the bust line.
  • For the legs, use the same brush to lightly dust the shimmer powder down the front of your shins, starting just below the knee. 

Body Glitters

When it comes to chunkier body glitters, they can be a hassle in and of themselves, especially when it comes to application and getting them to stick around. It often gets a bad rap, but you can use it in a myriad of ways, from enhancing a costume to glamming up a special occasion or even for everyday wear if you’re feeling bold.

  • Use a large paintbrush or a flat foundation brush to apply your glitter. This will help with the fallout and keep you from getting bits of glitter stuck to your hands for hours.
  • Use a mixing medium of some sort to keep your glitter in place. Putting glitter on your bare skin isn’t going to keep it there, but it can help it stick if you apply it over another product. You can use hairspray, hair gel, petroleum-based products like Vaseline, or even hand sanitizer in a pinch!
  • A Tip for Fun Designs: If you want to create a pattern with your body glitters, such as stars or hearts, cut out the shape in a disposable makeup sponge and dip the sponge in glitter, then stamp it on!
How to Apply Body Shimmer & Glitter

For the Face

When it comes to shimmer products for the face, most of the application process can be considered similar to the body, but you have to consider how it may affect your skin more seriously. Some people are very sensitive, particularly on their face, so always be aware of the ingredients of the products that you’re using.

Shimmer Oils or Drops

If you’re using a shimmer oil or drops, you have a few options.

  • You can apply the drops underneath your foundation after moisturizing for a glowing base.
  • You can also mix the drops directly with your foundation for a “lit from within” appearance.
  • For a more glowy, natural look, try adding 1-2 drops directly to your moisturizer, skipping the foundation altogether.


Shimmer powders are incredibly versatile when wearing them on your face. Here are a few tips to enhance your glow when using a powder product.

  • Highlight Your Best Angles: A shimmer powder for the face should be used similarly to one for the body. Use it to highlight your face’s angles that will catch the light, focusing on your cheekbones, jaw, and bridge of the nose.
  • Finishing Touch: When applying shimmer powders to the face, lay them over the top of any other makeup in your routine. Since most shimmer powders are so light, you won’t be able to see them layered under other products. They should be your last step in your makeup routine before a setting spray.
  • For an Extra Pop: For extra attention to your eye look, use a small, dense shadow brush to apply a shimmer powder to the brow bone, as well as the innermost corners of your eyes. Just be sure to avoid getting any product in your eye!

Face Glitter

Applying glitter to the face can be challenging, especially when you think about all the tiny particles! It can be messy and difficult to handle, but here are a few tips and tricks.

  • Mix It up: Like with body glitter, mixing any glitter with the proper medium can completely change the application. If you have a cosmetic-grade loose glitter you want to turn into a product for your face, you can mix it with makeup products like a facial primer and apply it directly to the skin. You can also use specific mixing mediums, like this one from MAC. Remember to always use a cosmetic-grade glitter, like the NYX one featured on this list!
  • A Sparkling Smile: If you have a loose cosmetic glitter and want to take glitter lips for a spin, you can apply a cream lipstick of your choice first before gently patting the glitter over the top of your lipstick. Just be careful not to lick your lips too much!
  • Bold Brows: If you want to extend your glitter look to your brows, you can do that easily by grabbing a clean mascara wand, some hairspray, and your glitter. Pour a little hairspray into a bowl and mix in your glitter, creating a sort of gel. Use the wand to brush the gel through your eyebrows and disperse the glitter.
How to Remove Body Glitter

How to Remove Body Glitter

Removing body glitter is probably one of the top reasons why it gets such a bad reputation. You’ve heard horror stories of not being able to remove glitter, or finding it in different locations days, even weeks later! But if you use these methods, removing the body and face glitter will be much easier!

Oil Method

When it comes to your skin and hair, oils are some of the best products you can use to remove those pesky, sparkly flakes. For instance, if you’ve used glitter to accentuate your hairline, coat your fingers in an oil of your choice (olive, coconut, etc.) and give yourself a scalp massage to help loosen the glitter from the scalp. You can soak a cotton pad in the same oil for the body and swipe it over the glitter-covered areas to loosen it.

With Tape

You can use scotch tape for more delicate pieces of glitter on the face that won’t lift. Wrap a piece of tape around your fingers, sticky side facing out, and blot at the areas to raise the sparkles from your skin.

Lint Roller

Now, if you’ve found your clothes covered in glitter from your adventures, fear not! A new lint roller brush will help lift away the glitter from your clothes. If you don’t have a lint roller, a larger piece of duct tape used in the same way as the scotch tape method above will work just as well; it just might take you longer.

Photos via @nrahmichelle, Instagram