So you are going with an all-black jumpsuit, pantsuit, or little black dress for an intimate New Year's Eve soiree. The high-gloss clutch is tucked under your arm. Hair is side-swept into a magnificent updo - cascading curls and all.

What's missing?

The trendlet

The sparkle. Eyelids should shine. Lips must dazzle. Cheeks should shimmer. In other words, metallics are a must to complete the party season's clean cocktail look.

Where does it come from?

Metallic makeup had its beginnings on glamour girls' eyes in the 1950s. Actresses like Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner added hints of white sparkle to deep black- and midnight-blue-lined lids. By the early 1960s, soft pastels were used to add brightness.

Shimmer migrated to cheeks during the 1970s disco era - remember Donna Summer? Dancing queens also added bling to their lips. The closer you matched the disco ball, the better.

In the next decades, makeup alternated between shine and matte. During the last two to three years, makeup artists and DIYers have perfected techniques like strobing, highlighting, and contouring that use generous amounts of liquid shimmers to make faces look longer and thinner, à la Kim Kardashian (and every other woman on a reality television series).

This season, metallics have been added to create sparkle that's more opaque than translucent.

Who is wearing it?

Olivia Palermo, Freida Pinto, Karlie Kloss, and any lady who craves a healthy dose of drama in her nighttime (and daytime) look.

Would Elizabeth Wear it?

Not so much.

Should you wear it?

It's a good look. Although modern-day makeup artists say metallic accents are appropriate for daytime, I tend to think too much shine is distracting - especially at work. But after happy hour, no amount of metallics is too much.


Model: Elizabeth Vassallo. Makeup courtesy of Laini Bianculli, CEO and creative image director of Style with Laini and Laini Cosmetics,, 800-218-3614.