- Opaque Glitter– This type of glitter has an opaque surface and does not allow light through its particles. Consequently, it reflects the full spectrum of light, making it the sparkiest type of glitter.
- Translucent Glitter– Also known as semi-opaque, translucent glitter is the type of glitter that only reflects partial light and lets some of it through its flakes. Therefore, it is less flashy than opaque glitter and exhibits a softer soothing sparkle.
- Matte Glitter – Matte glitter is a type of glitter with a satin finish rather than the glossy look of most glitter. It has a barely there, almost non-existent glimmer but is brightly colored with a subtle sheen.
Holographic Glitter– If glitter types were to hold a glam contest, holographic glitter would certainly emerge at the top. This glitter has a dazzling colorful shine. Holographic glitter is opaque with an ultra-thin aluminum film that diffuses light landing on its surface into a spectrum of colors.
- The reflection can be anything from two tones to an entire rainbow. It works like a prism splitting light landing on its surface into individual colors. This type of glitter is among the most spectacular and can be used on any project you want to glamorize.
Metallic Glitter– When you hear metallic glitter, your first thought is likely that this glitter is made of metals, but that’s not the case. Metallic glitter adopted its name from its appearance.
- It is opaque glitter with a consistent, reflective, mirror-like shine similar to shiny polished metal. It is a single-color flake kind of glitter. There’s no dramatic switch of colors; just a dazzling beautiful shine from light reflection over its vibrant metallic-colored surface.
- Metallic glitter is the default type of glitter used for body art and thus is sold as a fine powder. There are several colors to choose from, including gold, rose gold, silver, chrome, copper, bronze, blue, and green.
Iridescent Glitter – Iridescent glitter is a semi-opaque glitter with a gentle sparkle and a pearlescent shine. This means that light partially goes through the specks and partially refracts in a splay of colors. It is not as striking and flamboyant as the holographic glitter and metallic glitter but has its own charm.
- The core is made with micro-layers of plastic placed at alternating angles such that the light refracts on itself. But because this type of glitter is translucent or semi-opaque, the sparkle is not as brilliant as holographic or metallic glitter.
- The color display is softer too. Iridescent glitter can have a 2-3 color maximum rainbow effect, a milky rainbow effect, or a pearl-like effect. Rainbow iridescent glitter will reflect a rainbow of colors with a gentle color shift.
- Opalescent iridescent glitter, on the other hand, has an iridescent reflection with a milky haze. The colors are laced with white reflections resembling an oil slick.
- Pearl iridescent glitter is the least sparkly. It has a matte surface with a pale iridescent shimmer of not more than three pastel colors.
- Color Shift/Chameleon – Color-shifting glitter is double-toned glitter that displays one color at a time and switches to another when the glitter tilts. Unlike other types of glitter, the different colors do not emanate from the shine of the glitter. Rather, these specks reflect a new color only when you switch the angle of view.
- Neon/Florescent – This type of glitter has a matte surface and lacks the gleam of reflective glitter. But even without a high sparkle, neon glitter draws attention to itself with its super brilliant neon/fluorescent pigments that exhibit striking vividness.
UV Glitter – UV glitter may also be referred to as blacklight reactive glitter. That means the glitter requires charging under UV light to activate the magic. The glow reveals itself when the glitter is brought under a black or fluorescent light.
- Under normal light, this glitter may be invisible, matte, or brightly colored but without a sparkle. It can also be a single color or color changing. Because they glow mainly in the dark under a special light, UV glitter is popularly used in dark or dimly lit spaces.
- You can witness its luminous magic in signage, decorations, costumes, and hair and body art during night parties, festivals and celebrations. It is also used to craft night decor in homes like bedroom wall decals.
Glitter By Size And Cuts
Aside from learning about the different types of glitters, you should also be knowledgeable about the available sizes and cuts. This information helps you find glitter that is both aesthetic and functional for your purpose. A good example is when making confetti. You wouldn’t want dust-sized particles, would you? Contrarily, chunky glitter wouldn’t sit well in eyeshadows.
The particle size of glitter can range from powder to jumbo flakes. Usually, the outer dimensions measured in mm, inches, and sometimes microns determine the size of glitter.
There are universal names for the various sizes too, but some brands have custom names and sizes. The following glitter size chart shows you the most popular sizes, though several other dimensions exist in the same family.
|Size name||Inches||Fraction of an inch||Millimeters||Microns|
- Microfine – This is the finest glitter, with a speck size of 0.004 inches. It is in a powdery state and used in a wide variety of applications. However, it is prevalent in cosmetics like lip gloss, eyeshadows, body shimmer, and lotions.
- Ultra Fine – Ultra fine glitter also comes in a powder with micro specks measuring only 0.008 inches. It is used in cardstock crafts, nail polish, lotions, gels, paints, resin art, jewelry making, tumblers, wine glass decor, candles, soaps, bath bombs, and silk screen printing on clothing, painting art, among other crafts.
- Fine – Under fine glitter is a range of sizes, including fine, very fine, and extra fine glitter. The particles vary in size from 0.015″ to 0.040″. Fine glitter is the most popular glitter for arts and crafts at home and in school projects. This glitter size also constitutes the chunky mix glitter.
- Medium Glitter – Medium glitter, sometimes called chunky glitter, has a flake size of 0.062 inches. This size is in the mid-range, but various sizes are under this same category. It has found uses in kids’ crafts, theatrical props, and costumes. It also makes up the chunky mix glitter.
- Large Glitter – Large glitter is extra chunky with a flake size of 0.125 inches. It is ideal as a filler and for large-scale coverage since it takes up more space quickly. It forms part of the chunky mix glitter and is also used in outdoor decor, signage, and advertising.
- Extra Large Glitter – Also known as super chunky, extra large glitter has big flakes that are 0.25 inches across. This glitter size is commonly used as confetti and sequins.
- Chunky Mix Glitter – Chunky mix glitter is not on the chart because it contains glitter flakes of variable sizes. People who dislike mixing their own glitter often prefer this type of glitter. It is a combination of fine, medium, and large size glitter flakes.
The cut of glitter refers to the shape of its flakes. There are a couple of cuts.
- Standard Cut – Glitter is typically standard cut. Standard Cuts include hexagonal, rectangular, or square-shaped flakes.
- Dot Cut – has round-shaped flakes like polka dots. Its rounded periphery makes it gentler on the skin and perfect for body art.
- Specialty Cut – also called shape cut glitter or festive glitter is glitter whose flakes are cut into fancy shapes. It could be a star, crescent, diamond, flower, butterfly, or heart shaped. This cut is typical of chunky glitter and is a familiar feature of party decorations and kids’ crafts.
- Irregular Cut – also known as shredded glitter, needs no explanation. This glitter is shredded in no defined pattern. Therefore, every flake takes a random unique shape.
Hopefully, we’ve answered all your questions related to glitter types, sizes, and cuts in this insightful post. You can now confidently choose the best kind of glitter for your project.
Remember, polyester glitter is far superior than craft glitter. It is more durable, acid-free, great for outdoors and thus expensive. Craft glitter is relatively affordable but not long wearing. It works best for indoor bound crafts.