We have a machinist from New Jersey to thank for the
invention of modern-day glitter. In 1934, Henry Ruschmann devised a way to crush up plastic to produce large quantities of the shiny stuff. He created a manufacturing company — Meadowbrook Glitter — to double down on his brainchild and now, decades later, that crushed up shiny stuff is everywhere in makeup aisles, from lipglosses to eyeliners, and most definitely eyeshadows.
But there is one big downside of wearing
glittery eyeshadow: That shit gets everywhere. Thankfully, some brands have come to realize that we definitely don't want to be wiping glitter out of our hair, bathroom tiles, and clothes every day, and have opted for improved technology and things like eyeshadow creams and gels.
We can't thank them enough. Ahead, check out our favorite foolproof glitter shadows that won't be haunting you and all of your belongings days after wearing it.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. The Lip Bar Vegan Quick Lid One Swipe Liquid EyeshadowConsider this eyeshadow the most no-nonsense formula in your makeup bag. In one swipe, you get enough shimmery coverage that won't smear and spread all over your face, and you can sheer it out with your fingers or let multiple layers dry down for bold pigment. The formula wipes clean off at the end of the day without leaving flecks of glitter on your cheeks. The Lip Bar
The Lip Bar Vegan Quick Lid One Swipe Liquid Eyeshadow, $11.99
Buy Kaja Moon Crystal Sparkling Eye Pigment Just try and tear yourself away from the mirror after swiping on this unique eye shimmer, which has a mix of crystal powders and metallic-coated pearls that reflects light like nobody's business. The pigmented jelly goes on like a gel but dries down to a mess-free powder finish. Kaja
Moon Crystal Sparkling Eye Pigment, $16.00
Buy Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow
This high-impact shadow won a Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Award for a reason: The long-wearing formula is loaded with fine glitter that dries down to a budge-proof finish. (
Drag queens love it
, too, and they know their stuff.)
Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow, $24.00
Buy Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow
Ever since debuting at Sephora, this Hourglass glitter eyeshadow is never
not selling out
. With its fine glitter texture and finish that allows you to blend different shades together on your eyelids, fans have dubbed this a potted version of that beloved Stila liquid shadow, above.
Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow, $29.00
Buy Tom Ford Cream Color For Eyes Leave it to Tom Ford to formulate an array of smooth cream shadows in ultra-pigmented metallic shades like deep bronze and sea-inspired blue that make the steep $46 price tag seem not that unreasonable. Tom Ford
Cream Color For Eyes, $46.00
Buy RMS Beauty Eye Polish
Now that we've raved about RMS Beauty's natural-finish
Living Luminizer highlighter
, it's time you meet the brand's glossy eye polish, which comes in both metallic and satin finishes.
Eye Polish, $28.00
Buy Pat McGrath Mothership V Eyeshadow Palette - Bronze Seduction
If you love glitter and you're looking to splurge, this palette is right up your alley. As seen on
at the 2018 VMAs, Pat McGrath's palette includes 10 richly-pigmented shades that seriously don't budge.
PAT McGRATH LABS
Mothership V Eyeshadow Palette - Bronze Seduction, $125.00
Buy Urban Decay Stoned Vibes Eyeshadow Palette There's a shade in Urban Decay's newest palette for everyone, whether you're looking for silver, purple, pink, or blue. Plus, the duochrome, silky powder blends like a dream. Urban Decay
Stoned Vibes Eyeshadow Palette, $54.00
Buy Lemonhead LA Houdini Spacepaste Hate loose glitter with a burning passion? Try Lemonhead's Space Paste instead. They're loaded with a mix of fine and chunky particles and once they're set, they're not transferring onto anything. Lemonhead LA
Houdini Spacepaste Glitter, $22.00
Buy ColourPop Disco Lady Put away the glitter glue, because you won't need it with this gel. Sheer it out with a few dabs of your finger for some major shine, or pile it on for a metallic foiled look. ColourPop
Disco Lady, $8.00
Buy Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single We like to think of this glitter gel as a gateway drug into more intense glitters. It'll set you back just $3 and comes in five wearable shades. There's one caveat, though: Unlike some of the other shadows in this roundup, this one doesn't last too long on its own, so we suggest laying a primer down underneath to improve wear-time. Wet N' Wild
Color Icon Glitter Single, $3.00
Buy E.L.F. Cosmetics Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow One swipe of this e.l.f. gel provides a sheer veil of sparkle, but two or three will take you into high-shine territory. Just make sure to let each layer dry before going in for more. e.l.f. Cosmetics
Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow, $5.00
Buy Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art Not sure how intense you want to go? Reach for one of Revlon's new PhotoReady Eye Arts. The double-sided tubes hold a metallic liquid shadow on one end and a glittery gel on the other, both of which can be worn solo or mixed and matched for custom looks.