I've had shimmer on the mind since since New Year's. Or is it glimmer or glitter or sparkles. . . or frost? Whatever you call it, it's all about creating some type of glow. Whether it's bold and eye-catching or softly luminizing, check out my little guideline regarding those finishes that glisten below. Which one is your favorite?

  1. Shimmer: A subtle sheen with a hint of sparkle that flickers lightly. A classic example is Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact ($38).
  2. Glimmer: Shimmer's little cousin. A much softer version of shimmer, glimmers are the way to go if you don't want too much sparkle. Try Bare Minerals Glimmer ($13).
  3. Glitter: The "woot, woot" of the glistening finishes. Glitter is the heaviest of the bunch, with small chunks of light-reflecting particles within the composition. Urban Decay makes a Heavy Metal Glitter Liner ($18) for maximum drama.
  4. Frost: More opaque than shimmer, but still gives shine and sheen. Sometimes has a metallic finish or a silvery-white appearance. Check out Milani Lip Color in Frosted Pink ($3.49).
  5. Pearlescent: Has a pearly luster or gloss, giving the illusion of many layers and shades. It has more dimension than frost, and is typically iridescent, shiny, and swirly in appearance — much like pearls themselves. Often found in lipsticks, powders, and nail polishes: Tropez Super Pearl Nail Enamel in Paradise Pearl ($1.99), for instance.