We've been craving gold, silver, pearls, sapphires and diamonds this season. And it's no surprise. Those invites for holiday parties have us looking for ways to add some sparkle to our days and nights. We could turn to our jewelry boxes. But makeup is also offering a virtual treasure chest of options for adding subtle shine or high-wattage glitter. Here are some of our favorites gems for creating a shimmering beauty look.
Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura Holiday Collection 2012 False Lashes ($30/$75) includes Mini lashes with silver sequins and a festive red streak and Premium lashes, handmade with tiny silver crystals on black-and-white fabric. Leave it to the style icon himself to make batting your falsies even more fabulous.
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Bronze ($40) packs bars of gold, copper, bronze, rose gold and pearl that positively glitter in the palette, but brush on gently to leave the subtlest sheen. Dip into one color or swirl them all together for a blush or highlighter that can even accent bare collarbones and shoulders.
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32) is a high-intensity cream-powder hybrid that is laced with metallic shimmer. It goes on wet or dry, depending on how much drama you want to create, and stays put without creasing or rubbing off to get you through those late-night holiday parties. Try Blast of Blue (a sapphire with flecks of gold) or Lust Red (a luminescent dark red and black).
Lancôme Artliner Golden Shimmer in 24 Karat ($29.50) is a liquid eye pen that goes on smoothly (read: no tugging), thanks to a uniquely shaped foam tip that lets you easily line and define with a luxurious gilt shade that lasts all evening long. Talk about striking gold!
Essie Nail Polish in Leading Lady ($8) is a ruby polish as sparkly as the jewel itself. The formula is packed with finely milled red and fuchsia glitter that adds depth, but stll looks elegant and sophisticated.
Illamasqua Nail Varnish ($14) offers such a tantalizing trend-driven range of colors that you may feel like a kid in a candy shop when choosing which one to buy. Particularly tempting are Untold (red glitter with a super glossy finish), Spartan (a glittery gold), Creator (black with silver glitter) and Swinger (a glistening platinum).
Lancôme Les Paillettes Aux Yeux ($20) is packaged in a clever little shaker that dispenses just the right amount of shine. The powdery sparkles are easy to blend and can appear sheer or intense, depending on how much you layer, and can be worn alone or layered over any favorite eye shadow. Putting on the Ritz is a soft, warm candlelit pink, while Lumieres de Paris is an icy silver.
Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner ($18) is our favorite pick for a playful big-night-out look. These long-lasting liners are bright and full of good cheer. The fun, bold colors include Catfight (a bright pink) and Spandex (black accented with rainbow glitter).
MAC Dazzleglass ($19.50) is a lightweight, nonsticky gloss that is formulated with large pearl particles to reflect light and mimic the brilliance of quartz and opal crystal. We especially adore the red, Love Alert.
YSL Dare to Glow ($28) challenges you to see the light on eyes, cheekbones and lips. The silky gel is enriched with mother-of-pearl particles for a multidimensional luminosity that can appear subtle or bright.

Photo: Courtesy of the brands