By: Midori Tajiri-Byrd
Glitter has been sparkling since the 1930's and while, for some of us, it's never gone out of fashion, it's definitely enjoying another major trend high. As we move into summer and festival season, the glitter we swept up from Mardi Gras and the holidays shows no sign of leaving. And that's not just because we can't get it out of the carpet! From chunky glitter, glitter tears, glitter parts, body glitter and yes... #glitterboobs, check out any of the #festivalmakeup and fashion trends and you'll see it's everywhere.
Does that mean when summer is over we will be washing away the sparkles for good? That's unlikely. The internet drives trends more than ever, so as long as folks continue to click the "like" button on this trend, it's here to stay. But have you ever wondered why humans are so inexplicably drawn to glitter?
Scientists claim our attraction towards glittery things stem from our human desire for survival. Early humans searching for clean drinking water were drawn to the sparkling rivers and creeks. It is said that, once there, they may have collected the glittery rocks and minerals that they later used to decorate their caves and bodies. Pyrite was used to add shimmer to Paleolithic cave paintings, Mayans used mica in 6th century temples and Egyptians used ground green malachite and silvery galena in their cosmetics.
In the 1930's, glitter, as we know it, was invented by accident when an American machinist ground a load of scrap metal and plastic into a fine powder. It was even briefly used by the U.S. Air Force to throw off enemy radar when dumped from airplanes in what can only be described as the ultimate glitter bomb (http://m.mentalfloss.com/article.php?id=71034).
Today, cosmetics that shimmer may contain either minerals, ground fish scales or beetle shells. Products that glitter may contain makeup safe glitter made from plastic, ground to a micro fine powder. Bio-degradable glitter, made from mica is still used in bath products and edible glitter is made from gum arabic.
Glitter bomb jokes aside, its interesting to note that the original owner of "Ship Your Enemies Glitter" the Australian company that offered glitter filled packages to be sent to enemies, quickly sold the company because they couldn't keep up with the high demand. Although we speculate a good portion of those sales were actually sent to glitter lovers rather than enemies, we do encourage you to respect those with glitter free houses... whoever they are.
Its important, especially during festival and parade season to respect glitter etiquette. Never glitter bomb someone in the face without their consent, particularly without warning. Only use makeup safe, micro fine, cosmetic grade glitter on the eyes. When using chunky glitter on the face, rinse away toward the hairline, careful not to get it in the eyes.
Our favorite local glitter brand is Elektra Cosmetics, whose collection of over 29 shades of cosmetic glitter and 3 shades of chunky Bolt Balm come in shades like iridescent "Unicorn" or gold and silver ("Midas Touch" and "Disco Ball") which contain tiny stars and hexagons!!
To create the featured look we used Elektra Cosmetics microfine glitter in Silver, Silver AB holographic, Iridescent and Aquamarine and Bolt Balm in Unicorn and Disco Ball.