The best sparkle eyeshadows

Glitter, shimmer, iridescence and glimmer; there’s nothing more beautiful than a sparkle eyeshadow.

Eyeshadow - Glitter - Makeup

It’s hard to choose a favourite genre of makeup product. Some people would be quick to say lipstick, or mascara, others concealer or bronzer. High on my list is the sparkle eyeshadow. It’s not an essential in the way that mascara might be, not a makeup bag must have, but a sparkly, even glittery eyeshadow just epitomises what makeup is all about to me. It’s pretty, it’s alluring, it’s glamorous, creative, beautifying and it’s fun. Who can resist something that sparkles?

I love a high impact glitter, but today want to give mention to the more subtle of the sparkles – those glimmering pots of iridescent magic dust. Over the top? Ok, I got carried away. But you know the type I’m talking about – no chunky glitter pieces requiring glitter glue, but just lovely shimmering top coats that can be worn alone, or layered over any eyeshadow to add some glitz and glamour.

While I did say no chunky glitter, I have to give an honourable mention to one of the originals, Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eyeshadow. This product really doesn’t get the attention it deserves anymore with the newcomers stealing the show.  Bobbi Brown was dabbing on the glitter to the centre of the eyelid long before we all caught on. These little individual compacts come in a range of gorgeous colours. I love Sunlight; a classic gold, Ballet Sparkle; the prettiest subtle pink that beautifies any eye look, and Cement; a light taupe-bronze that layers beautifully over a neutral brown eye look. They are the chunkiest of the glitters I’m going to talk about, but they swipe on effortlessly with a fingertip and make me feel pretty – what more can you ask for?

A tiny step down in the glitter stakes but utterly beautiful is the pop shade from Charlotte Tilbury’s The Uptown Girl palette. This is a great sparkle shadow, and you get the bonus of three other beautiful eyeshadows with it. I often reach for this particular shade on a bare lid, when I want just a flesh toned iridescence and shimmer. If this was available as an individual shadow I would definitely be stockpiling it. It’s gorgeous. 

One of my favourite products of the last year is Shiseido’s Aura Dew. These beautiful glass pots are filled with ultra-fine fairy dust style sparkle shadow. They feel like fine silk to touch, and blend onto the eyelid so smoothly.  Perhaps the most subtle of the bunch, because of the fineness of the sparkle, Aura Dew can be used to add just a hint of glitz to an eye look, or built up to be really blingy. They don’t have as much of a base colour as other glitters, so you can easily layer them over any colour. Choose Lunar for a silvery sparkle, or Solar for gold.

A little like Aura Dew in Lunar is Tom Ford’s Paillette Breathless – a beautiful, silky smooth silver sparkle. Housed in it’s own dainty compact, you cannot beat Tom Ford packaging but a useful tip from someone who struggled: in order to open the compact, you pull down the gold bar and lift up the top of the case. Sounds simple, but I spent way too long trying to de-code that little mystery.

A final mention has to go to Chantecaille’s Luminescent Eye Shade in Cheetah, which also featured in my November favourites. This champagne-gold compact only just made it into the post as it’s not strictly just a sparkle shadow, and does have more of a base colour to it. However, it’s simply too beautiful not to mention. The pressed fern pattern is stunning, and the intention behind this entire collection that supports Africa’s endangered species is comendable. You can wear this shadow alone for a glimmering, gold lid or apply it lightly over another shadow to add just a touch of luminosity and sparkle.

This list could go on and on, with Chanel’s recent limited edition sparkle and Dior’s discontinued Meteore. I could rave about Stila, but they lean more into glitter than mere sparkle. Speaking of which, keep an eye on my Instagram for another post dedicated solely to my favourite glitter products. After all, you can never have too much sparkle.

Find Bobbi Brown at

Find Shiseido at Sephora

Find Tom Ford at Net A Porter

Find Chantecaille at Mecca and Space NK

Find Charlotte Tilbury at Cult Beauty 

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