Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best body glitter

Whether you’re headed to a holiday party, music festival, or other special event, some occasions require a seriously glammed up look, and if you want to stand out, strategically placed body glitter can definitely do the trick.

Body glitter is similar to the glitter used for craft projects, but it’s safe for use on the skin. It adds intense shine and sparkle that catches the light wherever it’s placed — shoulders, collarbone, chest, back, arms, or legs. And some body glitter is suitable for use on the face, too. Body glitter comes in a wide variety of colors and textures, so you can find an option that’s as subtle or dramatic as you like. 

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Avoid applying body glitter to any area that has a rash or other skin irritation.

Key considerations


The most important thing to consider when shopping for body glitter is whether the glitter is cosmetic grade or not. Using glitter that isn’t safe to apply to the skin may not seem like a big deal, but it can be incredibly dangerous.

Unlike craft glitter, cosmetic-grade glitter is made of nontoxic plastic that isn’t harmful if accidentally ingested. More importantly, cosmetic-grade glitter is more finely milled than craft glitter, and its edges are rounded, which reduces the risk of scratching the skin or eyes. Getting craft glitter in your eyes can do significant damage and may even impair your vision.

Finally, the manufacture of cosmetic-grade glitter follows safety guidelines to ensure that the process is sanitary. That way, you don’t have to worry about the glitter transferring dirt, germs, or bacteria to your skin. 

Loose vs. gel

Body glitter comes in two types: loose and gel. 

Loose body glitter is what most people probably think of when they think of glitter. It comes in a jar that contains loose particles. Loose glitter can be pretty messy, and it requires a separate medium like hair gel or eyelash glue to adhere it to the skin. Loose glitter is usually available in more color options than glitter gel. 

Gel body glitter is a product that combines the glitter and a gel base. That means you can apply it without needing any additional products or adhesives. Glitter gel is also less messy because you don’t have to worry about the glitter spilling if you accidentally knock over the container. 


You can find body glitter with an extremely fine-milled texture, a chunky texture, and every texture in between. 

Fine: Finely milled glitter offers a more subtle sheen on the skin and typically works best if you want to apply shine to a larger area like your shoulders. 

Chunky: This glitter has a much more dramatic look. It’s ideal for smaller areas that you want to accent with major shine, such as your collarbone. Some brands of chunky body glitter contain particles that are so large that you can see discernible shapes. For example, you can find some that contain heart-, star-, or moon-shaped particles.


Nearly all body glitter is suitable for use not only on your body but also on your nails and even hair. Some formulas are also suitable for use on the face. However, not all body glitter should be used on the face, because glitter made for use on the body can be chunkier than face glitter. Using large glitter on the face can be dangerous because it can get into your eyes and cause vision problems. If you want a versatile body glitter, choose a formula that specifically states that it can be used on the face, too.

Use multipurpose body glitter in your hair by mixing it with hair gel or spraying your hair with hairspray and sprinkling the glitter over it.




Body glitter is available in a wide range of colors. Silver and gold are traditional options, but you can find red, blue, green, purple, pink, and yellow, too. Glitter gels come in plenty of colors, but loose glitter offers more color options. 

You can also find holographic and duo-chrome body glitter. Holographic glitter shows all seven colors of the rainbow depending on how the light hits it. Duochrome glitter shines in two different colors depending on how the light hits it.


Body glitter may seem relatively harmless for the environment, but because it’s made of plastic it can pose an issue when you rinse it off and it makes its way into local waterways. Fortunately, you can find biodegradable body glitter that’s made of plant-based cellulose. It breaks down naturally, so you don’t have to worry about it lingering in water and affecting marine life. 


If you’re an animal lover, you’ll want to look for body glitter made by a company that doesn’t test its products on animals or use manufacturing partners that engage in animal testing. Some cruelty-free formulas are also vegan and don’t contain any animal products.

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Gold body glitter complements warm-toned complexions. For cool-toned skin, go with silver glitter.


Eye glitter: SHANY Loose Pearl and Glitter Eye Shadow
If your body glitter isn’t safe for use around the eyes, you’ll want a product that is. We love this set from SHANY because it contains 40 long-wearing, mineral-formula shades, two brushes, and is made in the United States.

Makeup brushes: BS-MALL Makeup Brushes
While you can apply body glitter with your fingers, it helps to have quality makeup brushes to smooth it over the skin and keep your hands clean. This ten-piece set from BS-MALL is perfect because it features easy-to-clean synthetic bristles and comfortable handles.

Body glitter prices

Body glitter varies in price based on the type, container size, and formula. Most body glitter costs between $2 and $35

Inexpensive: The most affordable body glitter is typically loose glitter or glitter gel with a lower-quality base. Some formulas in this price range are cruelty-free, but not all are vegan. These usually cost between $2 and $7.

Mid-range: In this range, you can find loose glitter in sets with multiple colors or glitter gels with a high-quality base. This glitter is generally cruelty-free and many are also vegan. Some are also made of biodegradable materials. These products typically cost between $7 and $20

Expensive: The most expensive body glitter is typically biodegradable glitter gel or loose biodegradable glitter sets containing multiple shades. Nearly all are cruelty-free, and many of these are vegan as well. This body glitter usually costs between $20 and $35.

Mix a finely milled loose glitter with body oil to create a shimmery oil that you can apply all over your arms and legs.



  • Clean and exfoliate skin. Before applying body glitter, make sure that your skin is clean and exfoliated. Apply moisturizer, too, and allow it to sink in for at least 10 to 15 minutes before applying the glitter.
  • Apply adhesive first. If you’re using loose body glitter, apply the adhesive to your skin first. 
  • Start with a little. With glitter, less is usually more, so it’s best to start with a small amount and only add more if you need it. Use a brush to gently press the glitter over the adhesive to avoid making a mess and getting glitter everywhere. 
  • Start with one or two colors. Playing with body glitter is fun, and you might be tempted to use several shades at once. It’s usually best to stick to just one to two colors, though, to avoid creating a look that’s too busy.
  • Try makeup sponges. You can use inexpensive makeup sponges to create glitter “tattoos” on your body. Cut the sponge into a shape, such as a heart or star, and then cover the surface with glitter gel. Press the sponge to your skin for a glittery, fun-shaped tattoo! 
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If you use a glitter adhesive to help your body glitter stick to the skin, make sure it’s water-based. It will be easier to remove.


Q. Is it safe to use body glitter? 

A. Body glitter is perfectly safe to use as long as you choose cosmetic-grade glitter. You should never use craft glitter on your skin because it has sharp edges that can scratch. It’s particularly important if you want to use glitter on your face because errant pieces can seriously damage the eyes. You can get glitter in your eyes even if you only use it on your body, however, so any glitter product you use on your skin must be cosmetic grade.

Q. What can I use as adhesive for loose body glitter? 

A. There are quite a few options when it comes to glitter adhesive. Some brands sell products specifically intended to serve as a glitter adhesive, but many people use hair gel or eyelash adhesive to get the glitter to stick to the skin. You can also use hand sanitizer or even petroleum jelly, though petroleum jelly doesn’t offer as strong a hold as other options. 

Q. How do I remove body glitter? 

A. Start by pressing transparent adhesive tape over the glitter. That will remove most of the loose pieces so they don’t go everywhere when you try to rub or wipe it away. Next, apply a cleansing oil to a cotton pad and wipe it over the area to remove the bulk of the remaining glitter. You can then shower and use a washcloth and your favorite body wash to remove any lingering glitter.


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