Presentation is critical for enhancing a dancer’s stage presence and setting the tone for a dance performance. Every dancer is well aware of having the right costume and other dancewear for their on-stage performance. Having the appropriate hair accessories on hand is essential for preparation before the show if you don’t want your hair on your face. But what about makeup?
Why Do Dancers Wear Stage Makeup?
For your on-stage performance, well-done makeup is just as crucial as your costume and other dance accessories. A dancer’s facial expressions won’t be clearly defined or visible to the audience if they aren’t wearing makeup. Theatres, concert halls, and auditoriums have large, elevated stages farther from the audience. Performance makeup gives the appearance of a clear face from a distance.
Because of this, stage makeup is more dramatic than regular makeup and draws more attention to the dancer’s facial features. Another reason to wear makeup is stage lighting. Bright stage lighting for dance performances helps draw attention to and emphasise essential areas where the audience’s eyes should be focused.
A dancer without stage makeup will look washed out and faceless in bright lights, affecting the dance’s mood or tone. Dancers use their bodies to translate words and emotions into narratives. Their entire bodies, including their facial expressions, must be visible to convey the story to the audience and prevent it from being misunderstood, lost, or not told.
Dance Cosmetics Checklist
Here is our list of the essential dance cosmetics that will get you performance-ready so that you have the tools to create the ideal stage makeup. They include makeup, as well as other accessories.
Essential Makeup Items
Getting the right look is the first step toward a confident dance performance. Instead of panicking because you’re the only one who forgot your lipstick, use the following helpful checklist to avoid cosmetic disasters and makeup meltdowns:
- Serum or moisturiser. Bring a hydrating face lotion to start with smooth and bright skin. Choose a non-greasy, quick-drying formula because it will absorb more quickly and allow you to move on to the next step of your makeup routine. Serum hydrates and moisturises the face; unlike moisturisers, its lighter formulation enables the hydration to penetrate deeper into the skin, allowing for the effortless application of makeup.
- Primer. Nobody wants to have a smudged-face disaster mid-performance! A good primer ensures that makeup stays in place for as long as possible and creates a smooth base for the foundation.
- Foundation. Essential to provide thorough, all-over coverage that creates an even, clear base under the glaring stage lights. We’re confident that performing on stage without adequate foundation coverage is a cardinal sin in the same league as loose pointe shoe ribbons and failing to warm up.
- Concealer. Coloured concealer works wonders at hiding pimples and blemishes, eradicating discolourations, bringing light to shadowed areas, hiding scars, and reducing unwanted red patches and dark circles. It’s magic in terms of dance cosmetics so you can’t do without it. Once the coloured concealer has evened out any facial discolouration, a neutral concealer will work with your foundation to produce a healthy, flawless skin tone that can withstand even the harshest stage lights, leaving you prepared for colour application.
- Contour palette. A contour palette is necessary for highlighting facial features and giving the face, neck, and collarbone a delicate definition. Contouring is an essential step in applying stage makeup to prevent your face from appearing flat and one-dimensional under the glare of the stage lights. It does this by redefining and enhancing the structural features of your face.
- Eyeshadow. The use of eyeshadow enhances and draws attention to your eyes, making them more noticeable from on stage all the way to the back rows of the audience. You can emphasise the type of dance you’re doing or the character you’re playing by wearing a particular eyeshadow colour. For example, if you want to create the traditional romantic eye worn by ballerinas, use soft pinks, peaches, mauves, and beige-brown hues.
- Eyeliners. Eyeliners in liquid or gel form last longer than those in pencil form. Black eyeliner pressed into the upper and lower lash lines will make your eyes and lashes stand out even more and set off your shadow. White eyeliner applied to the waterline makes the eyes look bigger.
- False eyelashes. False eyelashes are necessary cosmetics for the stage because they make your eyes pop. Invest in a pack of these beauty accessories – extra lashes in particular to be safe.
- Mascara. Although you don’t need mascara if you’re wearing false eyelashes, it can be helpful to carry a tube around just in case your false eyelashes act up and refuse to stay in place.
- Lipstick and Lipliner. Bring a long-wear lipstick that will keep your lips moisturised throughout the competition. Lipstick isn’t enough; a lip liner in a complementary colour will define your lips and serve as a barrier to stop lipstick from transferring from your lips and showing up on your teeth when you smile for competition photos.
- Finishing powder or setting spray. The final touch to your look, a finishing powder or setting spray, will ensure that your makeup stays in place no matter how much you sweat.
- Portable mirror. Finding beauty products you truly adore is only half of the equation. You must use the proper lighting to get the perfect makeup. Most celebrity makeup artists agree that proper lighting is essential for any makeup look, especially on-stage performances. Under the correct amount of lighting, you can blend, even out, and match the foundation to your skin tone. That makes a portable makeup mirror with lights the best makeup accessory for dancers.
- Makeup bag. To pack all the cosmetic products listed above, choose a bag that will keep you organised, especially when travelling. Travelling is frequently chaotic in and of itself, and the last thing you want to do is search through the chaos for that ONE lip gloss.