As the holiday season approaches, the days get shorter and we do all we can to brighten up the long winter nights. City streets are lined with twinkling trees and our homes flash with colourful lights, so why not add some pizzazz to our makeup, too? If worn well (and by well, I mean moderately and tastefully), glitter, shimmer and iridescence can illuminate your festive beauty routine without making you look like a 12-year-old…or a Christmas tree.

Here are five ways to wear sparkly makeup stylishly this holiday season.

Shadow
If you’re going to wear glitter on the eyes, please reserve it for nights out and festive parties. Daytime glitter is a no-no but a touch of evening sparkle can look pretty when the lights are low. For those feeling bold, apply a cream based product to the lids (any concealer or cream eye shadow will do) and press a multi-toned glitter powder on top of it for starry eyes. Be sure to hold a tissue under the eyes and over the cheeks to catch any fall out.
Try: MAKE UP FOR EVER Holodiam Powder, $28.

Liner
Are you a commitment-phobe? You can still dazzle with glitter-infused eyeliner. Apply a glittery gold or silver liquid liner over a black eye pencil -- giving a whole new meaning to the term "a twinkle in your eye."
Try: Marcelle Lux Diamond Liquid Eye Liner in Pure Gold, $12.

Nails
The least intimidating place to try your hand at sparkles is on your nails. Bedazzle your French manicure by substituting the standard white tips with glittery or metallic silver or gold. Make a statement by swapping the conventional nude polish for a dark one. Paint nails black or navy and finish with diamond-encrusted tips.
Try: Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Color in Black Tie, $7.49 with Sally Hansen Gem Crush in Glitz Gal, $8.99.

Highlighter
This is such a simple way to shine but also an easy place to get carried away. Work modestly when applying a shimmer highlighter to the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and the brow bone. Large glittery flecks will look tacky here so make sure to use a soft shimmer for radiant skin.

Try: NARS multiple stick in Copacobana (for fair skin) or South Beach (for darker skin), $46.

Lips
When you think of frosty lips, are you transported back to your elementary school graduation? Fear not, there are modern shimmery lip formulations that don’t need to be paired with taffeta to work. A light or medium-toned shimmery lipstick can add a modern gleam to your holiday look.

Try: Maybelline ColorSensational Lip Color in Cinnamon Stick, $12.

Sparkly makeup can be fun for the festive season but the "less is more" rule definitely applies here. Keep the focus on one shimmering feature and you’ll be good-to-glow.

Quick Tip: If you’re nervous about leaving a trail of glitter everywhere you go for days after you wear it, scotch tape works wonders at removing all those stubborn strays –just be sure to lift it off gently.

Louise Griew

Louise Griew is a Toronto-born makeup artist whose second home is Melbourne, Australia. Her work can be seen in national and international advertising campaigns, magazines, music videos and on TV.