Hear Me Out, the Controversial Body Glitter Trend Can Actually Be Grown Up and Sophisticated

An illustrated argument.

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Hear me out, the controversial body glitter trend can actually be grown up and sophisticated
Photo: Sephora/ Fenty Beauty

Flashback to the early 2000s: My older sister was in middle school, I was in elementary school, and we were both obsessed with body glitter. Our private school uniform jumpers had huge pockets, in which we'd try to inconspicuously carry around pump bottles of glitter body lotion. Unsurprisingly, we weren't successful and our products were routinely confiscated.

As someone who is still reeling from the era of low-rise jeans and pencil-thin eyebrows, the overall revival of early '00s trends is not something I can get behind. But one of the singular exceptions to my nostalgic aversion is, as you may have surmised, the return of body glitter.

The bottles of body glitter confiscated by Sister Faye were tacky, and not in the cool John Waters sense. They were more like body gels than anything else — transparent and sticky with incredibly large flakes of glitter suspended in the jelly-like substance that irritated my sensitive skin.

Body glitter 2.0, on the other hand, is better described as body shimmer, but really the goal — at least to me, is the same: to ensconce my skin in a hypnotizing sparkling sheen. I don't know where I was getting those bottles of green goop when I was a child, but the seven ones littering my shelf now are from incredibly chic brands like Costa Brazil and African Botanics.

Because of who I am as a person, I have a bottle of every single product listed below. The seven products fall into two groups — sheer oil with shimmer and slightly tinted bronzing oil with shimmer. As the days become longer and the sun peeks through, more often I prefer the latter — the very subtle tanned effect makes me look healthy and happy and not like I just spent the last five months locked indoors.

I promise, regardless of which one you pick, you will look like an effervescent being glowing in the sun, and not like you're heading to detention for carrying contraband beauty products.

body glitter trend

Myself wearing Huda Beauty's N.Y.M.P.H body glitter.

Huda Beauty N.Y.M.P.H Body Drip Shimmering Dry Body Oil

controversial body glitter trend

Shop now: $49; sephora.com

Although I wear my shimmer year-round, sunny days are really when you can make the most of the way it draws in, captures, and reflects light. I wear all of the products below but the one I reach for most frequently is Huda Beauty's N.Y.M.P.H Dry Body Oil. The bronze tint is subtle enough that it works even on my sun-deprived winter skin. This also has probably the most shimmer per ounce ratio.

Nars Monoï Body Glow

body glitter

Shop now: $47 with code AFTERPAYDAY (Originally $59); narscosmetics.com

The first sophisticated body glitter I was ever aware of is from Nars, and I remember it existing at least seven years ago. Monoï is primarily a body bronzer, but it does contain a fair amount of body glitter. Apply liberally with your hands or a body brush, give it a few minutes to set, and you'll look like you just came back from basking in the Sardinian sun.

African Botanics Marula Shimmering Gold Oil

controversial body glitter trend

Shop now: $105; credobeauty.com

For a skincare product, $105 is very standard (unfortunately for my wallet), but I understand that this is a splurge — especially relative to the other shimmers on this list. But this is a skincare product first (marula oil is one of the most nourishing and effective ingredients for my skin, specifically) and a glitter second, which justifies the price.

Shop More of My Favorite Body Glitters:

Patrick Ta Mini Major Glow Body Oil

controversial body glitter trend

Shop now: $25; tartecosmetics.com

Costa Brazil Lua Moonlight Body Oil

controversial body glitter trend

Shop now: $54; revolve.com

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Body Lava Body Luminizer

controversial body glitter trend

Shop now: $41 (Originally $59); sephora.com

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