A Dancer's Guide: Stage makeup essentials

When it comes to performance time, presentation is an incredibly important part of enhancing a dancer’s stage presence and building the atmosphere of a performance. Well done stage make-up can amplify a performance by highlighting a dancer's most elegant and expressive features, reflecting the mood of the piece and minimising any unwanted flaws or blemishes. Having a flawless face is also a big advantage when it comes to auditions and giving yourself an extra edge over other hopeful candidates. Stage make-up also serves the dancer by allowing them to completely immerse themselves in the performance with the help of the physical transformation that stage make-up creates.

To ensure everyone has all the tools to create the perfect stage makeup here is our guide to the essential products that will get you performance ready.

Stage Make-up Essentials for the dancer:

1. Serum

Serum hydrates and moisturises the face – it’s lighter composition compared to moisturisers allows the hydration to penetrate deeper into the skin, in preparation for make-up to be effortlessly applied.



2. Primer

A good primer creates a smooth base for the foundation and ensures that make-up remains in place for as long as possible, (nobody wants to end up with a smudged-face disaster half way through a performance!).



3.  Foundation

Foundation is crucial to providing the comprehensive, over-all coverage that creates an even, clear base under the revealing glare of the stage lights. ...In fact we're pretty sure that going on stage without good foundation coverage is classified as a cardinal sin. Right up there with stray pointe shoe ribbons and not warming up... You've been warned!



4.  Blemishes & Discolouration Concealer

Coloured concealer is excellent for camouflaging any pimples and blemishes, counteracting discolorations, lightening shadowed areas, disguising blemishes and scars and neutralising unwanted red patches and dark circles. It's the makeup equivalent of magic.




5.  Concealer

Once any facial discolouration has been evened out by the coloured concealer, a good neutral concealer will work in tandem with your foundation to create a healthy glowing, flawless skin-tone that can withstand even the harshest stage lights and leaves you ready for colour application.



6.     Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow is used to accentuate and draw attention to your eyes, and creates a more visible impact from on stage all the way back to the furthest rows of the audience. The shade of eyeshadow you wear will help to emphasize the style of dance you are performing or the role you're playing. E.g. Soft pinks, peaches, mauves and beige-brown hues are used to create the classical romantic eye worn by ballerinas.



7.     Contour Palette

A contour palette is essential for enhancing facial structure and providing subtle definition to the face, neck and collarbone. Contouring is a key part of applying stage makeup, as it ensures that the concealer and foundation don't leave your face looking flat and one dimensional under the glare of the stage lights by re-defining and enhancing the structural features of your face.



8.     Finishing Powder

Finishing powders are a soft and silky powder used to blend or 'blur' any fine lines and wrinkles. It matifies the skin without altering the natural contours, and the sicilia minerals leave you radiant and glowing. ...Nobody has ever confirmed it, but we're preeeetty sure Sleeping Beauty worshipped this stuff; how else did she keep her skin that flawless?!


9.     Gel Eyeliner (In white)

As far as make up essentials go, eyeliner is about as indispensable as it gets. White eyeliner, however, is the beauty industries greatest secret; acting as a mini highlighter, white liner can create the appearance of dramatically larger eyes and work to contrast black eyeliner for a more dramatic effect. Gel liners in particular also offer much greater control and precision over the line application, ensuring your eye makeup really is on point!


10. Gel Eyeliner (In black)

Ah, good old black eyeliner; the little black dress of the makeup world! No makeup fit for stage is complete without the application of a crisp line of black eyeliner (or brown, if you're feeling playful) to finish the look. And when it comes to staying power, gel and liquid eyeliner will always trump powder-based liners, a big advantage when you're performing for several hours.


11. Eyebrow Pencil

In this day and age we all know the importance of having strong eyebrow game. Thanks to the likes of fierce and fabulous females such as Cara Delevingne, Demi Lovato, Lily Collins and Lady Gaga, gone are the days of paper-thin brows. Today it's all about strong, immacualtely groomed definition, and there's no way you're getting there without a little help from some tweasers and a quality eyebrow pencil to get the most out of your beautiful brows.


12. Mascara

Mascara is one thing that definitely doesn't need anyone to sing it's praises. If we had to worship one beauty product and one alone, then we would happily bow down at the shrine of Mascara. Mascara does such a nifty job of highlighting the eyes and giving you dramatic, bat-able bambi lashes that it's easy to see why some people forget to apply any other eye makeup... but whilst it's tempting just to whack a bit on your lashes and call it a day, remember that when combined with a nice eyeshadow and just the right amount of liner, mascara can make your eyes pop from on stage all the way back to the very last row.


Watch Energetiks How To Video to guide you through applying your make-up for the stage.

So there you have it! All the makeup essentials you'll need to create a flawless face for any dance performance. Of course there are hundreds of potential products for you to choose from - the makeup world is a never-ending land of glitter, vibrant colours and dangerously tasty lipglosses! So feel free to explore and experiment with these products and take some chances, however now at least you know all the tools you'll need to create a classic, stunning makeup look that will dazzle and impress judges and audiences alike.

Article by Elly Ford.