Stage Makeup Myths & Mistakes

Stage and Dance Makeup Mistakes

Myth: Dancers should only wear RED lipstick on stage

Reality: In the Ballet world, it is clearly understood that dancers are playing characters…and their makeup reflects that. If you were choreographing “Romeo and Juliet”, would Juliet wear a dramatic, red lipstick? I think not. An alternative to this common bright red would be a neutral, rose-toned pink lip color (see our WILDCHILD Pink-Rose Mineral Lipstick). This color is gorgeous on stage and looks stunning on dancers of every skin color. Instead of looking like you're wearing lipstick, the pink will look your own lips, which is what we are going for! After all, the purpose of stage makeup is to enhance your natural features so they can be seen from farther away and under lights... We should be focusing on the performance, not the dramatic makeup!

Myth: Dancers should wear BLUE EYE SHADOW on stage

Reality: Blue eye shadow was popular for stage makeup back in the 60’s and 70’s.  Many former professional dancers that are now teachers have passed this stage makeup idea down to their students. The reason blue eye shadow ended up on stages was because it was a very popular fashion trend at that time – not because it was the best eye shadow color to wear on stage! Blue eye shadow does not accentuate the eyes well under intense stage lighting! Blue eye shadow does not make many skin tones look healthy on stage!  Blue eye shadow does not coordinate well with all costume colors!

If not blue, then what? What are the best colors to use that show up well under intense stage lighting, make the face look fresh, and look great with every costume change? Stick to neutral, earthy toned eye shadows for stage performances – white, cream, beige, gold, bronze, peach, pink, med – dark brown, and black. Our makeup kits have all been designed using these tones! Check them out HERE.

Myth: Stage makeup should be dark enough to reach the back of the theatre

Reality: If your stage makeup is dark enough to reach the back of the theatre... imagine how dark it would look to the audience members at the front of the theatre! And, more often than not, those at front of the audience have either paid a ton for their performance tickets, or are judges. So, they are the crowd that you do want to please! The reasoning of having extremely dark makeup is outdated, as we no longer have bright footlights propped up on the front of the stage that wash you out like there were in the 70's. Stage lighting is lot less harsh than it was back in the day. Your stage makeup should be dark enough so that your facial features are clearly seen by the first 8-12 rows of the theatre – about 3-4 times darker than your street makeup. Let your smile, your energy, and your passion for dancing reach the back of the theatre... not your makeup!

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