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Archive for Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Mixing glitter and glam perfect for the new year

December 28, 2004

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— Want to start the new year in style? Get yourself some sparkle and shine.

A sequined top, glittery lips and metallic shoes are all festive party looks that will keep their luster through the next fashion cycle.

"The glitter trend will move into spring," predicts Maryellen Gordon, deputy style editor of Glamour. "It's a perfect trend to buy into because it won't die five minutes before you're walking out the door."

How you wear it, though, is more important than when you wear it.

It doesn't matter if you're going to a blowout bash or to the office, glitter should never be a head-to-toe look, Gordon says. The idea is to flash hints of sparkle.

The most obvious way to do this is with sequins. But consider a sequin tank top under a sweater or blazer, or a blouse with a beaded collar or a skirt with a beaded hem, Gordon suggests. These pieces are often made of a year-round fabric, such as silk, satin or a high-quality polyester, adding a surprising practicality to the purchase.

Shimmer even has a place in your weekend wardrobe: Mix high shine with something low-key, perhaps a glittery top with jeans and a fitted olive cotton jacket. You'll be fashion-forward instead of a fashion victim, Gordon says.

Accessories can also infuse small doses of glitter into an existing wardrobe.

"You can add a little festivity to your look with special accessories -- a caged-toe sparkly shoe, metallic gold peep-toe shoes are sexy and fun, and a Swarovski crystal embellished belt will make you feel special," says Stefano Gabbana, half of the Dolce & Gabbana design duo, a favorite among Hollywood glitterati.

The floral skirts that designers are touting for 2005 also work with glittery tops, trims and accessories because the prints are smaller and more graphic so the two strong visuals can complement each other instead of being overpowering, Gordon explains.

She also likes the contrast of a gold sash with tweed work pants. The belt, she says, "is a little glam rock addition."

Shine will attract the eye of passers-by, so placement should be strategic.

A sparkly neckline or scarf will attract attention to your face, while a belt will put the emphasis on the waist -- a part of the body some women want to highlight while others definitely do not.

Gordon also says light and bright shades of satin can be tough to wear. "They require a lot of body confidence," she says. "You can do a satin shirt with a sweater over it. I saw someone wear one of those Tory Burch sweaters with a gold collar and cuff on a navy sweater. It looks festive but you can wear it to the office."

But if your top is flashy, don't wear flashy earrings, says Gordon. Save those for a simple outfit instead.

The same rule goes for makeup. "If you wear bright, glam makeup with a lot of shine and shimmer on the eyes or lips, you might want to reconsider the seriously 'bling' earrings or the giant chandeliers with a ton of colored beads. You don't want to have people not know where to look. ... You want to charm people, not blow them over," Gordon says.

Linda Cantello, artistic adviser for makeup for Yves Saint Laurent, considers lip gloss the ideal entry-level product. "Lip gloss is sparkly but not stick-on glitter. It's quite discreet."

Nail polish and blush with a slight iridescence also illuminate the face without being blinding. "This year isn't about crunchy glitter, we're trying to use it in a more tasteful way," Cantello says.

Cantello urges caution when experimenting with shimmery cosmetics, especially around the eyes. She warns that glittery eyeliners or mascaras can be dangerous because whole pieces of glitter can get in the eye. Eyeshadow, however, is safe, she adds, because the glitter is finely ground.

There are no rules for choosing either the right shade of shimmer or metallic tone based on complexion, hair color or face shape, according to Cantello. The only way to find the right one is trial and error, she adds.

Personally, she stays away from yellow gold around the eyes. "It tends to make you look sickly."

However, metallics -- gold, silver or bronze -- generally are more wearable than green, purple or blue infused with shine. They need to be applied with a lighter touch, Cantello says.

That's not true of colored gems, the newest take on bling. Plus, you're hitting two trends at once since jewel tones are the big color story for spring.

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