There’s a time and a place to be extra, and that time and place are whenever you want. If you’re feeling yourself and you want everybody to know, go a little overboard with your makeup look, and especially your lashes. Spend three hours getting ready for a coffee date if you want to.
Spending that extra time to glam yourself up is a form of self-love. It’s that meditative space of self-care where you can express yourself creatively and boost your confidence at the same time.
You don’t even need a reason. If you have the time and you’re in need of a pick me up, glam yourself up to stay home and watch Netflix. Wear a full red carpet face in your bathrobe. Do what makes you feel beautiful.
The Glam Complexion
The traditional glam complexion is smooth, satiny, heavily contoured, and brightly highlighted.
For a glam look, stick to foundations on the side of a fuller coverage. Radiant, dewy finishes exude more of an aura of glam than matte foundations. Matte foundations are a little more conservative, and the idea of glam makeup is to appear as though you’re almost glowing.
Your concealer should be the same finish as your foundation to avoid looking patchy in delicate areas. Apply concealer underneath the eyes in a large “V” shape or in the shape of an upside-down right triangle.
To do this, bring your concealer down in a straight line, even with the inner corner of your eye. Then, angle it upwards towards your temple to create the perfect canvas for a radiant cheek highlight. Blend it out by bouncing or tapping lightly with a damp blending sponge.
You can also apply concealer to the center of the chin, down the bridge of the nose, and in the center of the forehead in an upside-down triangle shape. This will add brightness to the higher points of the face, emphasizing and highlighting.
Use a matte, cool-toned neutral powder to contour the face. If you suck in your cheeks, you’ll easily be able to find your cheekbones. Apply your contour along the bottom of your cheekbone, blending it down to create and define hollows within your cheeks. Use a thinner brush to apply contour down the sides of your nose, blending it back towards the place where your nose meets your cheek. That’ll give you the snatched look we all are looking for.
With your contour color on a fluffy brush, sweep some light shadows in at your temples and along your hairline. The contrast will look warm, pushing forward the center of your face and pulling it back at the sides to add dimension and make your features pop. You can also put a small amount of contour underneath the center of your lower lip to add the illusion of fullness.
Blush is very important when you use a full coverage foundation because none of your natural skin color will show through. Without blush, you might look like you’re wearing a mask. For glam cheek colors, something rosy or something tan will always play well. It all depends on your skin tone.
You want glam blush to look natural. The blush you choose should be closest to the color you see when you pinch your cheeks, and they remain a little red. You want a few shades lighter than that to avoid looking like you’ve actually been pinched.
Once you’re done placing your products, use a puff to liberally apply setting powder to the areas where you’ve placed your concealer. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then use a clean, dry powder brush to knock away the excess. This will keep your concealer in place.
With the excess powder gone, you’re free to use a liquid or powder highlighter on the top of your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, at the tip of your nose, in the center of your forehead, along your cupid’s bow, and in the center of your chin.
Glam makeup works well with champagne or gold-toned highlighters. Very shimmery shades should be used with a light hand, built up in intensity. It’s harder to take highlight off than it is to apply more highlight. Start with a subtle dusting and top it off with a little more where you feel like you need it.
The Glam Brow
Glam brows are usually very clean and heavily defined, with high arches and elongated tails. Start by using a sharp-angled brush and a brow pomade that’s one or two shades lighter than your hair color. Load the brush up with pomade and swirl off the excess into the cap of the jar. Start by tracing beneath your brow to create a sharp line with a high arch. This line will serve as the foundation for your entire brow.
Then, do the same for the top. You might want to over exaggerate the shape the smallest amount at the top of the arch to create a bold curve. Pull the brush through the tail of the brows, shaping it down to a razor-sharp point. Then, use small stroking motions to fill in the center of the brow you’ve framed.
You can take a small concealer brush loaded with concealer and precisely follow along the bottom line of the brow to clearly define the shape and make the brow appear crisp. Alternatively, you can use a flat, stiff brush with a nude-colored shadow for a similar but less pronounced effect.
The Glam Lash
There’s two ways to approach the glam lash. One is a full, lush, shorter lash with tons of volume at the outer corner. Something like Sexy Lash, Wifey Lash, or Foxy Lash will exude classic glam. If you’re more interested in bold statement glam, go big or go home. Styles like Money Lash, Bossy Lash, or Boujie Lash will amp up the intensity and put the drama into overdrive.
No glam look has ever looked complete without a cat eye liner. Dramatic glam calls for a bold, elongated cat-eye. Classic or conservative glam works well with a thin, subtle feline flick at the outer corner of the eye.
Vintage glam, like old Hollywood, utilizes a color palette rich with champagne, burgundy, copper, and matte chocolate browns. If you’re a sucker for retro old hollywood, the roaring 20’s, or pinup goddesses, you’re going to want to work with these simple shimmery shades.
A wash of champagne on both the upper and lower eyelids will make your eyes sparkle. Add a little depth and drama with a matte dark chocolate shade in the crease and along the outer corner. Try using a white or beige liner on the waterline and using a black pencil liner to add fullness to the lower lash line. Most vintage glam looks emphasize the doe eye, and this is an easy way to fake larger, wider eyes.
Vintage glam looks are never complete without a classic red lip. Very vintage looks work best with deep cherry reds. For vintage looks inspired by the ’50s, ’60s, or ’70s, classic matte reds will do the trick.
Classic glam looks utilize bronze and gold shades. A gold smokey eye is the quintessential red carpet look, as it’s simultaneously modern and timeless. Apply a rich gold or bronze to the entire eyelid, and use a dark brown shade for depth at the outer corner of the eye and in the crease.
Putting a pop of champagne at the inner corner of the eye will make you look bright and dreamy. Black eyeliner on the waterline and heavily defined lower lashes will give you effortless, sultry bedroom eyes.
Classic glam works with a red lip, but it works even better with deep, nude pink shades. Brownish pinks, tea rose shades, or tan lipsticks with a slightly pink hue will do the trick. The idea is to pick a shade that looks like your lips, but better.
Instagram Glam (or Instaglam!)
Instaglam is a no-rules game. Use a heavy hand with your bronzer, and don’t be afraid to stylize your whole eye look around a heavy cat-eye shape. Dark lids fading into medium tone crease shades create sultry photo-worthy smoky eyes.
If you’re really feeling it, drop a bright contrasting color in your inner corner. Deep smokey eyes can be contrasted with an inner corner highlight of icy cerulean blue or shimmering pastel lilac.
You’ll often see a light pink or nude glossy pout on Instagram, but the platform is also home to the unconventional lip. If you’re feeling bold enough to try a navy blue, emerald green, or pure black lipstick, it will translate perfectly into an Instaglam look.
There are many ways to achieve a glam look. Your personal preference should always play a role in the way you decide to feel glam. If your glam is a little more goth or a little more colorful than someone else’s idea of glam, don’t let that stop you.
The most important thing about a glam look is the way it makes you feel. If you look at yourself in the mirror and you know you’re ready to slay, that means you did it right.