With the holidays comes kitsch, from ironic (read: hideous) Christmas jumpers, novelty earrings and reindeer and Santa headwearto matching pyjamas for all the family. One example of this I have yet to understand is holiday make-up , as if you suddenly have to show up looking like Lady Gaga. MAC Cosmetics has a holiday make-up look called Twinkling Drama. I’m not sure about your family, but mine doesn’t need any more drama during the holidays. Twinkling, though, I’m open to. Glam rock stars of the 1970s may be too far back in history for younger readers to recall, but the use of glitter goes back much further than that. In prehistoric times, sparkling minerals, such as hematite, were used as cosmetics and palaeolithic cave paintings have shown traces of pyrite and mica. Ancient Egyptians crushed beetle shells to create a glitter effect. In the 19th century, German glitter made from ground glass was popular for crafting. The glitter we know best was created in the 1930s by American machinist Henry Ruschmann. It is made from plastics like mylar, which is problematic, but more on that later. Despite my cynicism, I’m no glitter hater. On the contrary, I’ve been a dedicated user of sparkly body products, such as Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse. Sure, it has rubbed off on dates and elsewhere, but it was worth it for the fabulous effect. I love the exuberance and pageantry of music festivals, and the raves that came before them. Unicorn make-up is as joyous as it is ridiculous. Make-up artist Pat McGrath sent models down the runway at Valentino’s recent haute couture show in Beijing with their faces covered in glitter and shimmery red lips. But when it comes to office parties and family gatherings, reel in the glitter. The Pat McGrath Labs cosmetics line offers some of the best glitter products on the market. However, you’ll be lucky to get your hands on the Lust lip kits and Metalmorphosis Everything kits. For loose cosmetic glitter , try brands such as Glitter Injections, NYX, Lemonhead.LA and Eco Glitter Fun. To apply it without looking like a human disco ball, consult a make-up artist at a cosmetics counter,watch YouTube tutorials or tune into the television show Euphoria . Confine the glitter to a single feature, such as your eyes. Check out glitter eyeliner by Sisley, Fenty, Urban Decay or Too Faced. For a fuller look, add eyeshadow, which ranges from a shimmer to full-on glitter by brands like Surratt, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Hourglass. Once you’re confident with that, move on to your lips, face, body and, yes, hair. Pace yourself, because getting glitter off is not easy. Like sand at the beach, it gets everywhere and reappears long after you think it’s gone. Your best friend will be an oil-based make-up remover. Failing that, use tape. The truth is most glitter never goes away because it’s plastic, even if cosmetic glitter is manufactured with as many non-toxic materials as possible. If you care, look for biodegradable, eco-conscious brands such as EcoStardust, Festival Face, BOD and Wild Glitter. Do you really need to put glitter on your face to get into the holiday spirit? Probably not but it is fun. Alternatively, give yourself twinkle toes, or skip the Ziggy Stardust altogether and let your personality do the sparkling.