Glitter: if it’s the herpes of craft supplies, it’s the 3am-combo-wrap-from-an-unfamiliar-kebab-shop of cosmetics. When you’re in party mode, it seems like a fantastic idea, but then you spent the next three days regretting it in every part of your body.
And glitter these days is no joke. This isn’t the sheer, fine-grained gel formulas of late-90s body glitter. No, siree – the glitter of the Instagram era ranges from densely sparkly, fine sand to basically full-on glass shards, and we’re crusting that s**t onto our cheekbones and our scalps and our chests like panko breadcrumbs on a pub schnitzel.
As it’s Mardi Gras week, there will be precisely one sextillion metric tons of glitter washing down drains and making itself a forever home in bedsheets this week.
There are a couple of things you can do to make sure the worst outcome from covering yourself in tiny, sharp-edged bits of iridescent plastic is that you get a couple of funny looks at work on Monday because there’s still some behind your ear.
First of all, for the love of all that’s shiny, stick to cosmetic-grade glitter, especially for your face, but also for everything. Craft glitter is cheaper for a reason – it’s coarser and tends to have sharper edges.
A young mother in the US lost an eye in 2016 after a single piece of her daughter’s craft glitter got stuck and cut her cornea. Two failed corneal transplants and a serious risk of sepsis (WHICH CAN KILL YOU) later, doctors had to remove the eye.
Even the cosmetic kind can be damaging if it falls into your peepers. So don’t put anything in or around your eye area unless it specifically says it’s eye-safe; use a good-quality lash glue to stick on chunky glitter; and if you do get fallout that hurts and won’t blink away, DO NOT RUB IT. Get some saline, get a friend to help you flush it with the saline, and get thee to an optometrist or doctor ASAP.
And while we’re on the subject: again, glitter gets everywhere, so try really, really hard to avoid getting it on your genitals.
Do not put glitter on your penis or your vulva.
You wouldn’t think this needed to be said, but remember how in 2017 those Passion Dust vaginal glitter capsules went viral? Because someone decided sex would be more fun if you could put a dissolving pod of edible glitter and sugar gel up your box for that realistic going-down-on-Tinkerbell experience, or something.
That kind of thing will mess up your vaginal flora (the bacterial and pH balance that keeps it from feeling itchy, sore, gross, inflamed, and other unsexy, uncomfortable states).
And if you get craft glitter stuck in the sensitive, soft skin of your genitals, it can hang out there for a while, get into your urethra, cause infections, and even form a kind of big gross sore called a granuloma, which is a fun thing to google.
The other thing about glitter is: most of it is plastic. Even “BPA-free”, “vegan” plastic? Still plastic.
You can chuck out all your microbead scrubs but glitter is basically just, y’know, the flat version of that. So when you wash it off, where does it all go?
You can get biodegradable glitter online, though! They even sell it on ASOS.
So if the idea of washing a plastic shopping bag’s worth of glitter down the drain where it will make a whole lot of adorable turtles and seahorsies feel much less fabulous, track down some biosparkles. You’ve still got time to get it express shipped.
And there are other options to make yourself super shiny: metallic body and face paint! Foil temporary tattoos! Glow sticks! Sequins! Lurex!
All of them are easier to take off before you get to brunch on Sunday
morning afternoon, and the only risk of going blind is from catching sight of your gorgeous self in a mirror.
In short: glitter is fun, but evil. Sparkle smarter this weekend, babes.