The two all-too-common comments from dance parents regarding recital makeup are:
“Why does she need to wear so much makeup for the recital? She’s too young.”
“How do I do dance recital makeup? I don’t even wear makeup myself!”
If you have ever asked yourself these questions... read on! Or, if you already know the why and how of recital makeup, don't go anywhere, as you may find a few ways to improve or simplify what you are already doing well!
Firstly, here’s WHY you need to properly apply recital makeup to your young performer (yes, even toddlers):
a) Those super cute, shiny costumes look stunning on stage! But, they will completely overshadow your dancer’s beautiful smile and facial expression if we don’t apply enough makeup.
b) The stage lights are very intense and make a dancer’s face look washed out. Properly applied stage makeup will illuminate and accentuate your dancer’s features under bright, colorful stage lights.
c) The dancers are elevated on a stage and are very far away from the audience. This makes the facial features disappear and your dancer look less animated on stage. Properly applied stage makeup will not only give the face a more three-dimensional look but it will also make the eyes and facial features look bigger, brighter and more pronounced on stage.
d) Your little ones will likely be dropped off backstage an hour or so before the show starts... so, they need stage makeup that will STAY ON without looking blotchy or sloppy by the time they take the stage for the show.
Now that we understand the importance of stage makeup, even for young dancers, let's go over how to achieve the look! Our "Young Dancer" look will be demonstrated, using our "JAMGlam" palette!
Clean and moisturize her face to ensure her makeup stays fresh.
Step 1: FOUNDATION
Apply a thin application of a water-resistant foundation (See our Perfection Stix Foundation) with a foundation brush or a makeup sponge to even out skin tone and keep makeup looking fresh longer. It will creates a clean, matte surface to apply your colors to.
Step 2: EYEBROWS
Open up your JAMGlam palette. Apply a thin line of "Fear Me" eyeshadow through center of brow and brush out with a brow brush (or disposable mascara wand you can get at Sally’s Beauty Supply). This step is very important for blonds and those without brows. Use a color that is a shade darker than her actual brows.
Step 3: LOOSE POWDER
Dab a makeup sponge in translucent loose powder then dab the loose powder under her eyes to create little loose powder “puddles”. The loose powder will catch any dark eyeshadow speckles that fall onto her cheeks (Try this will your own makeup... it works so well!). After eyeshadow is complete, sweep the loose powder away. You will be left with a lovely, soft highlight under the eyes.
Step 4a: EYESHADOW ON EYELID
Apply "Fear Me" eyeshadow, darkest at the lash line and fade it out as you reach the crease. Apply "Fool Me" gold eyeshadow to inner corners of the eyes. Apply "Innocent Me" white shimmer shadow to her brow bone to highlight. Optional: Use an angular liner brush to apply "Double-Dar Me" black shadow/eyeliner along the top lash line ONLY.
Step 4b: EYESHADOW/LOWER LASH LINE
Using a thin eyeliner brush, sweep a line of "Fear Me" eyeshadow from outside corner of her eye and in towards the middle. This will make the eyes look bigger on stage. Blend so as not to have a harsh line. Stay away from dark colors under the eyes, to ensure you have a softer, more youthful look to younger eyes.
Step 4c: MASCARA (optional)
This step is optional and dependent on how cooperative your dancer is while having a pointy object half and inch from their eyeball. Have your dancer sit up very straight and look down with their eyes (head stays lifted). Gently lift their eyelid with one finger. Have them blink a few times to practice before mascara wand is used. Keep wand parallel to lash line and sweep color though lashes starting at the base. Remind dancer to blink so that eyes don’t water. Only apply mascara to top lashes. Make sure you use a water-resistant, sensitive eyes formula black mascara. Avoid waterproof mascaras as they are very harsh to remove from young, sensitive eyes.
Step 5: BLUSH
Find cheekbone with fingers. Place blush brush at hairline just below cheekbone and sweep pink/peach blush color UNDER cheekbone and the sweep UP over apples of the cheeks. Make sure to use a small enough blush brush on her tiny cheeks so that blush line does not go lower than the lip line. Otherwise, your little dancer will look like they’ve got a sunburn! Blend. Blend. Blend. Oh yes, and please, no “apples of the cheeks” clown blush.
Step 6a: LIP LINER
Imagine that the lips actually have four parts to them – upper right lip line, upper left lip liner, lower right lip line, lower left lip line. Take your pink/rose colored lip liner pencil and line the upper right side of lip ridge from outside corner into center cupid’s bow. Next, line the upper left side of lip ridge from outside corner into center cupid’s bow. Then, line the lower right lip ridge from outside corner to center of bottom lip. Lastly, line the lower left lip ridge from outside corner to center of bottom lip. Now, fill entire lip in with pink/rose colored lip liner pencil. This is the easiest way to make the lips look even!
Step 6b: LIPSTICK
Fill lips in with lipstick color. On young dancers, using a rose-toned lipstick (See our Wild Child Mineral Lipstick!) rather than a red creates a softer, more age-appropriate look. That being said, many studio owners/directors prefer a red lipstick on stage. Be sure to check with your studio’s dance recital makeup guidelines to confirm!
AFTER: Ready for the show!