Whether you’re a studio owner, dance teacher, performer parent or dancer, your brain is probably filled with a flurry of little details the day before a recital. There’s costumes to be steamed, stage props to be perfected and flowers to be purchased. And of course, there’s the issue of applying each performer’s dance recital makeup.
Regular daytime makeup simply doesn’t cut it when it comes to recitals. The dancers are a significant distance from the audience, so a light coat of mascara and a sweep of blush won’t be visible to the proud parents. The concept of stage makeup is tricky and often counterintuitive to new performers, so use these six tips to apply bold, eye-catching dance recital makeup.
1. Clean Those Tools
Before you apply any foundation, eyeshadow or blush, clean off your brushes! Allure magazine explained that cosmetic brushes and spongers are porous and can soak up oil, debris and bacteria. You definitely don’t want to be spreading those around your face! It’s best to be using clean tools to apply your stage makeup, so wash off all your implements the day before the recital. You can use a bit of a moisturizing shampoo or a special brush cleaner to get all the makeup remnants off your brushes.
2. Use the 3-Step Eyeshadow Method
Almost all dance recital makeup includes eyeshadow, and you can make any style look for dynamic by using the three-eyeshadow method. You’ll need three colors for this look: a highlighter, your main color and a dark complementary shade. To start, sweep a light layer of lid primer over your entire eyelid. Gotta Dance NJ recommended that you then liberally apply the highlighter, usually a white or champagne, under your eyebrows and in the corners of your eyes. Lightly blend the highlighter toward the center of your eyelid.
Next, you’ll want to apply the main color, which usually matches your outfit, to your eyelids. Go ahead and sweep a good amount onto each lid, then blend the color upward into the highlighter. For this application to look its best, keep blending until your lid has an ombre effect. The colors should seamlessly transition from dark to light.
Finally, look straight ahead and dab just a bit of the darkest shade into your crease. This will help your eyes to really pop when you’re up on stage. Be sure to blend this color along your crease for a flawless eyeshadow look.
3. Embolden Everyone’s Brows
If there’s one step that some performers forget about, it’s filling in their brows. However, this is a crucial step, especially if you have light or sparse eyebrows. Use a slanted precision brush to carefully outline each brow with color. You’ll want to use a product that’s pretty close to your natural hair color, otherwise your brows might be too prominent. Another option is to use a brow pencil – just make sure it’s sharpened for a neat, precise line.
4. Don’t be Afraid of Blush
You may be tempted to just sweep on a light layer of blush, but those rosy pink cheeks are a crucial part of stage makeup. Many people shy away from this product because when applied liberally, you may look a little clownish. However, you have to keep in mind that blush helps to keep your face colorful and lively under those harsh stage lights. You may think you look silly after applying a heavy coat of pink to your apples, but it will translate into a happy, radiant look on stage.
When you’re applying blush, start with your brush on the apple of your cheek – smile to make the area more prominent – then sweep the color out and upward toward your temples. This will help you look great head-on as well as from a profile view.
5. Blending is Your Best Friend
Whether you’re applying foundation, eyeshadow, blush or lip color, the key to a great look is to blend, blend and blend some more. This technique will ensure that your makeup is cohesive and not splotchy. Many cosmetic gurus like to use foam wedges or sponges to blend out their foundation. However, you can also use a big, soft brush as long as it’s free of any other makeup. Blend your eyeshadow for a flawless transition between colors and work your lip color into the lip liner to make your pout look professional.
6. Cheat a Little
Some people are naturally talented when it comes to applying makeup, but there’s no need to worry if you’re all thumbs. Plenty of dancers have to practice for years before they get the hang of stage makeup application. Luckily, there are some ways you can make your life easier with cosmetic cheats or “hacks.” You can dry up acne with a dot of toothpaste, open up sleepy eyes with white liner, perfect a cat eye with an index card or even apply falsies on the first try with the help of a cotton swab and a pair of cuticle scissors.