Shine On: 3 Fun Ways To Wear Metallic Makeup

Like a magpie to a sparkly trinket, we’re inexplicably drawn to metallic makeup. The shine, the glamour, the glitz — we just can’t help but be dazzled by it all. Unfortunately, thanks to an unhealthy obsession with glitter eyeshadow in the ‘90s (damn you, Hard Candy!), we’re still a little spooked by sparkle.

So, to appease our need for twinkle, we went to makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci to find three chic, crazy-cool ways to wear metallic makeup this holiday season. “Metallic makeup is so hot during the colder months because it screams holiday parties and winter wonderland,” says Ciucci. “Nothing says ‘celebrate’ more than a shimmery eye or a shiny lip.”  

Another great bonus with metallics? They’re easy to use and super-flattering: “Matte textures can sometimes catch on the skin while shimmering products literally melt into it,” she says. “Plus, you can transform a super-clean look into something fabulous with just a splash of metal on the eye or lip.”

From a sneaky liner trick to a gilded lip that’s actually wearable, read on for the 411 on how to get your glisten on — the grown-up way.


Mixed Metals

Why settle for just one shimmer when you can have three? This burnished smoky eye combines three metallic hues to create a sultry-yet-unexpected look. “This is a spin on metallics that brings three shades together in a way that’s both subtle and striking,” adds Ciucci. 

Zara Peplum Top with Beaded Neckline, $79.99, available at Zara.


“When wearing metallic eyes, I always like to use a primer or cream shadow first,” says Ciucci. “If you apply a powdered metallic, it might not have the payoff you’re looking for if applied to bare skin. However, if you lay down a creamy base — I love MAC Paints — the shadow will really stick and shine like you want it to.”


To get this look, Ciucci prepped the eye with MAC Paint in Bamboom, painting it on with a soft blending brush. “This is the foundation for your shadow application,” she says. Starting in the corner of the eye, she used a tapered blending brush to apply the dark-brown shade in the NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Cordura, concentrating on the lid and softly blending into the crease. She then used a smudge brush to blend the color under the eye, on the outer third of the lash line.

Using a small, flat, nylon brush, Ciucci appliedBare Escentuals High Shine Eyecolor in Lustre onto the inside corner of the eyelid, packing the pigment on for extra punch. Ciucci wiped off the excess silver shadow from the brush, then dipped it into Bare Escentuals High Shine Eyecolor in Gold Medal and packed it onto the center of the lid, lining it up with Taylor’s pupil for proper placement. With the smudge brush, she blended this under the eye as well, concentrating on the inner two-thirds of the lash line. 

A coat of volumizing black mascara on top and bottom lashes, some pinky-coral blush on the apples of the cheeks, and a nude lipstick — applied by pressing it into the lips with the ring finger — completed the look.


Gilded Graphic

While silver eyeshadow can feel very “been there, done that,” this mod take on a chrome patina gaze features a surprising twist by pairing it with an opaque white liner and a bright, pop-orange lip. “The look is so modern because it allows secondary and tertiary elements to bring out the beauty of the metallic,” says Ciucci. “The white liner and hot lip bring out the shimmery silveriness of the shadow.” Pair that with a graphic, defined shape and you’ve got a shimmery shadow look that’s anything but expected.

Theory Calyx Stretch Cotton Top, $180, available at TheoryTibi Silk Faille Full Skirt, $525, available at TibiTuleste Market Double Star Earrings, $115, available at Shopbop.

“When working around the eye, it’s important to go with cream shadow or loose pigments,” advises Ciucci. “Thick powders can cling to loose skin and make you look tired.” Not exactly the vibe you’re going for with your party makeup…

Here, Ciucci applied Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color in Mist with a soft blending brush, placing it up to the crease and extending the color out past the corner of the eye to create that elongated, cat-eye shape. With a small, flat nylon brush, she then pressed MAC Eyeshadow in Electra onto the lid on top of where she had already applied the cream shadow. “The shape should be sharp and angular — don’t worry about blending the edges,” she says.

Ciucci then grabbed MAC Eye Kohl in Fascinating and sharpened it to a fine point. Holding the pencil parallel to the lash line, with the point facing out, she dragged the pencil along the eye. “Because the point is facing out, you’ll get a nice tapered wing,” she notes. When she reached the middle of the eye, she flipped the pencil so that the point was facing the inside corner of the eye, then dragged the pencil from the inner corner, meeting the other line in the middle. Ciucci suggests drawing over the line again for more intensity.

Apply “gobs” of volumizing black mascara and a sheer tangerine blush on the apples of cheeks. For that vivid orange fizz lip, Ciucci lined the lip and filled it in with Chanel Le Crayon Lèvres Precision Lip Definer in Orange Intense, followed by Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Excentrique


Lip Luster

Yes, we know exactly what you’re thinking: metallic lips? What, is it 1985 again? But hear us out, because there is a modern, cool way to do metallic lips, and you’re looking at it right here. This look combines three things we love — shimmer, ombré, and burgundy — to create one thoroughly chic and oh-so-now pout. “We all know that a shimmery lip is a crowd-pleaser; however, there are tweaks to this concept that will really knock your look out of the park,” says Ciucci. “Ombré has been everywhere lately: in hair, on handbags, on denim. So why not push this theme through the metallic filter straight to the lips?”

H&M dress, available this winter in H&M stores.


If you choose to glitz up your lips, keep in mind that it’s a bit more high-maintenance than a shimmery eye: “Shiny things tend to transfer so avoid this look on a first date,” says Ciucci. And, to keep it modern, avoid shimmer on other areas of your face. You don’t want to go metallic on metallic, which can look dated,” she adds. “If your eye is metallic, keep the lips creamy. If you have a gilded lip, keep the eye clean.” 


To start, Ciucci applied a light brown hue on the lid, followed by a dark brown shadow in the crease. Next, she lined the eye with a black liquid liner and coated lashes with a volumizing mascara. For the cheeks, she applied a liquid highlighter on the browbone and on top of the cheekbones. She then mixed the highlighter with a peach cream blush and blended on the apples of the cheeks for a dewy flush.

For the lips, Ciucci used Chanel Le Crayon Lèvres Precision Lip Definer in Amarante to line and fill them in. Next, she applied Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick in Forbidden Burgundy with a lip brush. “With such a sharp lip, a lip brush provides precise lipstick application,” she says. Finally, she mixed together equal parts MAC Clear Lipgass and a rose gold pigment, using the broken-off end of a Q-Tip to blend them together, then used the lip brush (cleaned of lipstick) to apply this gooey golden mix to the center of both lips.

“Apply the gloss 10 minutes before you go out the door,” she says. “This will allow the gloss to blend naturally with the lipstick. If you try to blend it manually, it’ll become a muddled mess. Also, don’t over-smoosh your lips together — it’ll make a globby mess of your gloss.”  

Photographed by Bek Andersen;

Makeup by Ashleigh Ciucci;

Hair by Andi Y;

Model Taylor Vasi at S Models.

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Confirm you are not a spammer! *