Fun

Literally the Best Thing Ever: Glitter

It needed to be said.

Illustration by Minna

Is there anything in this world that brings an instant feeling of elation quite like glitter does? Some people enjoy the laughter of a newborn baby or a puppy falling on its butt or whatever, but glitter is the universal symbol for awesomeness and parties and fun.

And so it is that girls in particular just love glitter. I generalize because it’s true. Boys like glitter when they’re little. We all do as we sit at our communal tables in preschool and draw trees and faces and monsters in white glue on construction paper, which we then douse with glitter and bring home to our parents like a treasure. Then someone is all, “Glitter is for girls!” So boys dump it aside to go play in mud and we don’t even care ’cause we’re all, “More glitter for us!”

But: WHY? Why is it that teeny-tiny pieces of shiny paper can be the thing that lifts us up to a higher level of sparkle-consciousness? I don’t even know what glitter is actually made of, but does it matter? I just assume it’s, like, tiny pieces of stars crushed and bottled for our enjoyment.

Growing up, I put a lot of effort into rejecting stereotypically girly things (OK, mostly I was just really against the color pink), but even in my fervent feminism, glitter never offended me. I had blue glitter sunglasses that were my signature until my face outgrew them and they became part of a décor I call “crap on my vanity.” Then there was my first electric guitar, a Stratocaster-style black number that found itself covered in multiple coats of silver nail polish within two weeks of coming home with me. (How else would it be obvious that it was mine?) I named her Stella as in stellar as in stars as in glitter. That very same polish was later used to coat a pair of kick-ass spectator shoes that I purchased in the midst of a Gwen Stefani phase. I bet you didn’t even know a tiny bottle of nail polish can go that far, but yes, it can.

Glitter nail polish is INDISPENSABLE. It is the MacGruber of your life. Never travel without it. Never live without it. Luckily, when I was growing up, there were a myriad of options to glitterify our entire existence. It was almost necessary to sparkle at all times and not because we were vampires. My friends and I stocked up on body glitter during weekly pilgrimages to Claire’s, where we also picked up my favorite glitter-development of the ’90s: the hair-jewel malarkies. They were tiny rhinestones with Velcro in the back that you would put in your hair and they would stay because that’s what happens when you put Velcro on hair. Maybe you think a rhinestone is not technically glitter, but if you were a giant, it would look like glitter from afar, so it stays. Courtney Love rocked the hell out of this look and she also made it rain glitter in her video for “Miss World” and, obviously, she’s a good role model. Anyway, I had glitter eye shadow and glitter eyeliner, so it was just never possible for me to be matte. I never wanted to be matte. What was the point of wearing makeup if you weren’t going to sparkle and shimmer?

My roommate's glittery fabric swatch.

Whether you wear it in your hair or on your face, glitter is infallible. It’s not just something that you douse yourself in before every major (and minor) event in your life. No, it’s also a substance that brings us all together. When I told my new roommate, Amy, that I would be writing about glitter, she excitedly showed me her experiment with glitter and fabric glue, which was basically a rectangle of fabric packed so tight with sparkling pieces that I almost had a heart attack because I suddenly wanted everything I owned to look like that. We ruminated for what seemed like forever about the many items of clothing we would DIY, like shoes and jeans and hats and possibly even our own skin, and how we would love to leave fabulous trails of glitter everywhere we went. And glitter is the only thing that will make me willingly talk to strangers on the subway or in the street. I can admire someone’s shoes, but if they’re wearing glitter shoes? I will take off my headphones and ASK where those came from.

Glitter (and love, I guess) will bring us together. But mostly glitter. ♦

78 Comments

  • Hunter January 11th, 2012 11:14 PM

    One of my best friends just died, and at her burial I mixed in a handful of glitter with the dirt I threw on her grave. It poofed up into a plume of golden sparkles…it was perfect! There was glitter all over my hands and clothes and everyone who had the unfortunate experience of coming in contact with me after. It made things a little bit better. I’m smiling as I’m writing this and thinking about how there is glitter on her casket and always will be~~awww

    • Laia January 11th, 2012 11:34 PM

      i’m sorry for your loss but this is so sweet!

      • cleobea January 11th, 2012 11:50 PM

        that is the sweetest thing ever. I would like someone to do that at my funeral. But I’m awfully sorry for your loss

    • Willow G. April 24th, 2013 8:59 PM

      im sorry for your loss, but that is possibly the most wonderful and awesome way of honoring a friend ever!

    • LuneSirene May 15th, 2013 1:20 PM

      This made me cry a little. That’s a wonderful thing to do. I’m very sorry you lost your friend. I’m passing some especially multi-colored glitter your way.

  • Celiabow January 11th, 2012 11:15 PM

    OMG this is the best article ever! I don’t think I could live without glitter in my life

  • gill January 11th, 2012 11:30 PM

    i happen to have an unnatural but healthy fear of glitter, having spent the entire summer sweeping it up at a camp i volunteered at. but i love it from afar! as long as i don’t have to tidy up, i’m down to dump it on everything.

    • marimba_girl January 15th, 2012 8:27 PM

      I was one of the campers who got glitter everywhere! I used to put it in my hair and my mom would flip out when I came home. Next time I’ll try to minimize how much of the floor I gliterize…..

    • Ellie January 26th, 2012 8:22 PM

      That’s how I feel about barbecue sauce after a week of last summer being doused it while working at an outside booth for my aunt. It was AWFUL. XD

  • Jenny January 11th, 2012 11:39 PM

    THIS IS BRILLZ.

  • ladyjenna January 11th, 2012 11:44 PM

    This year Ive seen tons of sequined, glittery tops, shirts, skirts, hell, even SHORTS (what would be better than glittery hot pants, do tell?)

  • cleobea January 11th, 2012 11:49 PM

    I love glitter!!! I can’t live without it. I’ve had a pair of sparkly shoes since 4th grade. That’s five years and running. I just got a pair of sparkly smoking slippers and they’re amazing. Glittered shoes make me feel… taller or all-knowing or something. I LOVE GLITTER!

  • Minna January 11th, 2012 11:58 PM

    One time I went really crazy at a party and got this like industrial sized container of glitter and threw it up in the air above me and it was the best feeling in the whole world ever.

    • Naomi January 12th, 2012 12:51 PM

      well that’s going on my to-do list

    • Leeann January 12th, 2012 9:53 PM

      Did someone immediately present you with a sash that said “Belle of the Ball” because I would have.

  • Minna January 12th, 2012 12:00 AM

    And one other time in the 90s I had purple body glitter and I put it on my cheeks and it just looked like I had stubble but I guess it was still cool cos it was sparkling stubble.

    • Leeann January 12th, 2012 9:55 PM

      So much better than the coffee grounds I used to rub on my face to simulate stubble (for some reason I always wanted to be a hobo for Halloween)

  • willow January 12th, 2012 12:05 AM

    A couple of weeks ago at work, I was helping to clean out the supply closet and one of my co-workers found a forgotten unopened package of glitter tubes and she was about to throw them out but then turned to me, and handed me them without saying a word.
    I considered it the best compliment ever. And now I have about 10 tubes of rainbow glitter sitting on my dresser and it’s glorious

  • Bug January 12th, 2012 12:13 AM

    OH GOD GLITTER I LOVE IT SO

    P.s. go to confetti.com and just dream about all the kinds of glitter you could potentially buy. That’s what I do on weekends.

    • hellosailor January 12th, 2012 2:19 AM

      Guess who just found themselves a new hobby !!!

  • jaydee January 12th, 2012 12:24 AM

    Glitter literally is the best thing ever!! I wrote a college scholarship essay on it and *almost* won….But it still was the best thing ever :)

  • Sugar January 12th, 2012 12:42 AM

    ohhhh man. Back around 2001, my sister bought me this roll on glitter from Bath and Body Works that was blueberry scented… if anyone knows where I can get that today… oh man. :)

    • emilyelizabeth January 12th, 2012 11:52 AM

      i had so many of those!!! i don’t know where to get them now though…

  • mews January 12th, 2012 1:31 AM

    This article is gliterally the best thing ever.

    • Narnie January 12th, 2012 3:37 AM

      :)

    • Anaheed January 12th, 2012 9:50 AM

      so much yes

    • Cruicked January 12th, 2012 11:45 AM

      Oh, I like you.

    • Laia January 12th, 2012 11:14 PM

      now I’m upset that i didn’t come up with “gliterally”…

      SO PERFECT.

      • mews January 13th, 2012 7:04 AM

        Ohhh I just figured you guys were too profesh and forwent “gliterally” because it’s a series of articles :(

        Also Laia, if you want to feel like you’re driving through a galaxy, put glitter on your car dahsboard then drive through a tunnel–> starry.

      • Anaheed January 13th, 2012 7:39 AM

        We are the opposite of PROFESH. Wish we had thought of it!

    • SpencerBowie January 22nd, 2012 1:00 AM

      Yes, yes it is! Perfect!

    • Ellie January 26th, 2012 8:23 PM

      *gasp*
      Wow. Can we be friends?

  • Susann January 12th, 2012 1:34 AM

    That reminds me to get some more glitter hairspray! I used to spray it on clothes, haha.
    “More glitter for us!”

    http://fashioninpepperland.blogspot.com/

  • christinachristina January 12th, 2012 2:39 AM

    i always thought it would be really cool if a beach (or all beaches) were made of glitter instead of sand. can you imagine the sun shining on that?! when i tell people this brilliant idea, they’re all like “but geez, glitter would get everywhere!” and i’m like “yeah, but so does sand… and glitter is better.”

  • GagaMcQueen January 12th, 2012 8:38 AM

    GLITTERGLITTERGLITTER. I made my English teacher a list of reasons he should like Lady Gaga, and I think the glitter-glue is what really sold it.

    • SpencerBowie January 22nd, 2012 1:05 AM

      K LOVE ur username! And i’m so glad someone on the awsomeness that is this perfect site that is Rookie, is admiting they love/like GAGA!

      PAWS UP! GLITTER HIGHER!

  • Lillian January 12th, 2012 8:52 AM

    Have you seen Claire Joyce’s glitter paintings? They are amazing. http://www.wondabread.com/clairejoyce/Glitter_Painting/Glitter_Painting.html The pieces are HUGE and beautiful and totally made out of glitter. The photos on her website don’t really do them justice. I had the privilege of seeing some in person several years ago, and they blew me away.

  • Shweta January 12th, 2012 9:55 AM

    OMG i love glitter for math project we painted our whole poster board with silver glitter and it looked awesome!!

  • ghostworld January 12th, 2012 10:09 AM

    if i could, i would smoke glitter.

  • vengadarling January 12th, 2012 10:17 AM

    So, Im living in Berlin, Germany and here Glitter is super hip right now in the club szene. Every hipster wears it! It looks cute but I’m kinda over it bc its nothing special anymore.

  • Cruicked January 12th, 2012 11:46 AM

    This is such a good article. I love glitter.

  • emilyelizabeth January 12th, 2012 11:51 AM

    oh my god, i totally forgot about those velcro hair things! so much fun! my favorite glitter thing is my Betsey Johnson heels that are completely covered in gold glitter. i love them!

  • phoebelouise January 12th, 2012 12:05 PM

    My friend once chucked a mega-tub of glitter in her goldfish pond – don’t worry, there were no fish! :) – and it was actually amazing. It still glitters. :D

  • aliceee January 12th, 2012 12:24 PM

    my friend’s sisters went crazy with glitter while playing fairies one day, & it stuck everywhere… a few months later my friend was born, with sparkles on her

  • phoebecamaro- January 12th, 2012 1:13 PM

    Glitter is my ultimate weakness!! Eeeeeeee! My favourite shoe store, Schuh, have a whole section on their website purely for glittery shoes. And when I say glittery, I MEAN glittery.

  • kittenpuke January 12th, 2012 1:59 PM

    when you cover a drum in loose glitter then hit it with a drumstick SO PRETTY

  • MartiLouise January 12th, 2012 2:56 PM

    This is brilliant! :P

  • samar January 12th, 2012 3:51 PM

    these shoes are pretty easy to make:

    http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-miu-miu-sneakers-vans-giveaway/

    • samar January 12th, 2012 3:52 PM

      also, if you have mass amounts of glitter lying around, there are white canvas shoes like that at target for $12

  • doe-eyes January 12th, 2012 5:15 PM

    vaseline + loose glitter = the cheapest and most amazing eyeshadow ever (people never believe me when i tell them it’s that simple)

    florence and the machine and their glitter fight in the original dog days video is pretty special too
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TwqE2X55Wg

  • Marguerite January 12th, 2012 5:42 PM

    oh last year my school production was about fairies, so on the final night we chucked glitter everywhere, it was a complete mess, and one night during the show, people went out on the school roof, and those who were caught had to vaccum up the glitter during lunch!

  • momonwi January 12th, 2012 6:26 PM

    For a certain Chicago punk band’s last show, I brought a can of glitter and threw it around during their set. I dubbed myself the “Last Show Fairy” and the glitter mosh was in full effect. Unfortunately my effort wasn’t entirely well-received by the other show-goers. I feel bad about glitter getting in some peoples’ eyes, but for everyone else… Eh, I had a ton of fun.

  • Toria Crux January 12th, 2012 6:42 PM

    GLITTERGLITTERGLITTER!!!! GGGGYYYYYYAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

  • koolkat January 12th, 2012 7:44 PM

    I didn’t know you could do so much with glitter!

  • MissKnowItAll January 12th, 2012 9:01 PM

    OMG once I bought an industrial sized tub of glitter and pretty much bathed in it. The people at the laundromat were less than thrilled though.

  • Kusmin January 12th, 2012 9:03 PM

    OH MY GOD, check out ominidazzle, it’s this thing u can download for ur computer, and u can click and get virtual pixie dust glitter all over ur screen. it is my life. and i love this article, im wearing glitter eyeliner right now

  • Veganpop January 12th, 2012 9:09 PM

    I’ve always wanted to stand on the top of a building and use a confetti canon and just have confetti falling for hours.*

    *Confetti hopefully goes in the same category as sequins (think shiny confetti!)

  • Leeann January 12th, 2012 9:57 PM

    This article is so good. I love how we all have glitter stories, we should make a Glitterzine

    • Laia January 12th, 2012 11:19 PM

      GLITTERZINE.

      i think we MUST.

    • tulgeywood January 25th, 2012 5:57 PM

      This is gonna be a thing

  • Caligirl January 12th, 2012 10:30 PM

    My best friend once got me a big bath salt ball filled with glitter. The ball exploded glitter in the bath and I had glitter EVERYWHERE for about 6 months. She was apologetic but it was fun in a way.

  • Lauren Poor January 13th, 2012 11:45 AM

    yall should do a best thing ever: lip syncing in your dark room alone in front of the window for the world outside WUTUP

  • Mags January 13th, 2012 8:14 PM

    One time when I was around 13 I put glitter makeup all over my eyes and one of the little shards got in my eye. So there I was standing in the street rubbing my eye when a group of hot guys walked by (although maybe they weren’t as hot as I thought considering I was blind in one eye at that moment) and then just stood there looking at me politely while I clawed at my eye and my traitorous best friend stood by laughing. Glitter and I temporarily parted ways after that traumatic incident.

    And that’s my glitter story.

  • teef January 13th, 2012 8:34 PM

    get these in your sparkly babies lives!! my favourite is the silver!

  • Kelso January 14th, 2012 8:45 PM

    I really like painting my nails and then covering them in glitter :D they get all sparkly and distracting.

  • Hedwig January 14th, 2012 11:04 PM

    Glitter shoes!

    http://lohavetehanna.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-to-glitter-shoes-yayayyyyaa.html

  • zazza January 15th, 2012 6:28 AM

    GLITTER !!!!!!!!!!!! yesterday i watched the runaways and had the urge to paint my nails with clear then gold GLITTER and another coat !
    yayyayayayay nail glitter !

  • holly January 15th, 2012 1:45 PM

    LOVE glitter, totally agree!!xxx

  • ERIKA January 17th, 2012 9:13 AM

    Hi, I´m from Bolivia, And I have to say I totally agree! Glitter is the best, sometimes is funny, other elegant… glitter is the best for girls

  • zombiesockmonkey January 17th, 2012 9:24 PM

    okay, reading this article have given me the insatiable desire to paint my nails up all glittery. and wear every single item of glittery jewelry and clothes that I own.

  • Abi January 18th, 2012 12:45 PM

    http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=0&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33057&storeId=12556&productId=4311337&langId=-1&sort_field=Relevance&categoryId=208542&parent_categoryId=208492&pageSize=200

  • Beastiesophie January 20th, 2012 12:39 PM

    What a beautiful and unique thing to do at a funeral :) i am so sorry for your loss x

  • erin January 21st, 2012 6:17 PM

    I have so much glitter, and so few things to put it on. But still, I’m always searching, always on the lookout hahaha.
    keepingupwithunstuck.blogspot.com

  • xxbellexx January 21st, 2012 6:27 PM

    i definatley use glitter nail polish on my shoes..it makes them look so much cooler!

  • nina19 January 26th, 2012 5:48 PM

    oh god, glitter is one of biggest unhealthy obsessions. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have a pair of obnoxiously bright and glittery shoes. and shirts. and bracelets. I see anything covered in glitter and I’m sold.

    http://heres-to-nina.blogspot.com/

  • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini May 9th, 2012 4:09 PM

    Glitter is so expensive where I live, so every December we take advantage of our school’s scarce supply of glitter while making Christmas decorations and just throw it everywhere. Also, glittery eyebrows should be a thing.