Knowing how to apply stage makeup is essential for all dancers. Without it, it is impossible to see a person's face on stage. It is important to understand why performers of all ages need to wear stage makeup. As we all already know, no child needs makeup to look beautiful. Wearing makeup on stage is NOT about trying to improve your looks. It is about being seen under bright lights from a far distance. Stage lights are extremely bright and will wash out any and all facial features if no makeup is applied.
What you need:
- Basic makeup brush set
- Cosmetic wedges
- Foundation (slightly darker than your complexion)
- Eyeshadow palate with at least 3 complimentary colors
- Liquid eyeliner (black)
- Pencil eyeliner (black)
- Mascara (black)
- Lip Liner (red)
- Colorstay lipstick (red)
- Makeup bag or case
Makeup Brush Set
Makeup brushes are important to good makeup application because they apply to the face and blend better than the brushes that come with the makeup itself. Try to buy a set that includes an eyelash/eyebrow comb. (the brush second from the right in the picture).
Apply foundation to a clean face. Use the cosmetic wedges to help blend the foundation into the skin. Be sure to blend a little foundation to the bottom of the chin into the top of the neck so that the foundation looks natural.
- Apply the lightest color to just under the eyebrow and to the eyelid.
- Apply the next lightest color in between where you put the lightest color and blend it in well.
- Apply the darkest color to the crease of the eye only and blend it in well.
- Apply liquid eyeliner to the top of the eye, as close to the lashes as you can manage.
- Apply a very thin line of pencil eyeliner to the bottom of the eye. Be careful not to apply too much. If the line is too thick on the bottom of the eye, it actually makes the eyes look less open on stage.
Apply mascara to lashes. Again, focus more on the top lashes and apply very little to the bottom lashes. Use the eyelash comb to help separate and extend the eyelashes after applying mascara.
Starting at the middle of the cheekbone, use a big brush to blend the blush back. Using a large blush brush (as opposed to the kind that comes with the blush) will help to blend the blush into the skin and make it look more natural.
- Apply lipliner first. Be sure to stay within the natural lines of the lips.
- Next, apply lipstick to the inside of the lips. Colorstay works best because once it is on, it does not come off when a performer sweats, drinks water, or changes her costume (It is next to impossible to get red lipstick out of a light-colored costume).
Cosmetic Bag or Case
If your child is in multiple routines, you may need to touch up her makeup from time to time. Keep all your makeup and hair accessories in one place so it is easier to locate and won't destroy anything if it accidentally opens up during transport.
Our performance team members, or any other dancer that has to perform more than once a year, should designate a case specifically for performances. All stage makeup, bobby pins, safety pins, and a sewing kit should be well-stocked and always ready to go. This makeup is not for school or for playtime. It should stay in the case and used for performances only. That way, you never have to check to make sure you have everything. If it stays in the bag, you always know you have everything you need.
For very young (non-competition) dancers:
It can be very difficult to apply makeup to a very young child. We hear all the time that getting them to sit still long enough for hair and makeup when they are so excited about the recital can be a challenge. Also, it is important to note that not all young children like the sensation of makeup being applied (usually eyeliner and mascara), and because of this, applying certain kinds of makeup can quickly become a real challenge.
If you are a brand new dance mom, or if you have a child that is very young or sensitive to certain kinds of makeup, we ask you to just try to apply what you can, and not worry about the rest.
It is most important to apply one color of eyeshadow on the lid of the eye, mascara, blush, and lipstick.
Foundation, multiple colors of eyeshadows, and eyeliner are all more advanced makeup techniques and can be skipped until you and your child are a little more experienced.