Makeup & Hair FAQs

Yes, makeup is required for all female dancers. Stage lights are so strong that they tend to wash out the performers, making it very difficult to distinguish facial expression for those without makeup.

Refer to your costume checklist (which will be provided when you pick up your dancer’s costume at Costume Pick-up Day). If you are unsure, please pull hair up and away from your dancer’s face. Most classes require a clean high ponytail (or bun for Ballet classes) at the crown of their head unless told otherwise.

The basics of stage makeup include foundation, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush, and color stay lipstick.

Check out our Youtube video on Recital hair, makeup, and costume care.

You can also follow this step by step guide to stage make-up with the tabs below.

Use a foundation that matches your skin tone. Apply foundation to a clean face. You can use cosmetic wedges to help blend the foundation into the skin. Be sure to blend a little foundation to the bottom of the chin into the top of the neck so that the foundation looks natural.

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Using black liquid or pencil eyeliner, apply a thin line as close to the lashes as possible. You may apply a small amount to the bottom of the eye as well. Be especially careful on the bottom, as a thick line will actually make the eyes appear closed.

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Typically a three set of complimentary eye shadows work well. PCDC recommends any shade of brown.

  1. Apply the darkest color to the crease of the eye only.
  2. Apply the medium color over entire eyelid and slightly above crease, blending the crease.
  3. Apply the lightest color just under the eyebrow blending the medium and light color together

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Apply mascara to both the bottom and the top lashes, focusing mainly on the top lashes.

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It can be tricky applying mascara to small children. At first, it feels very unnatural to them and their instinct is to scrunch their eyes, which smudges it.

Here is one method to try:

  1. Hold a folded Kleenex or tissue on the cheek as close as you can, to get under the bottom lashes. Let your child hold the mascara bottle (it gives them something to do and think about).
  2. With their eyes almost closed, coat the top side of the upper lashes with the mascara wand brushing down and out from root to the tip of the lash.
  3. Hold the wand letting them blink a couple of times, allowing the wand to coat the lashes more thoroughly. The tissue will protect against smudges and the bottom lashes will also get coated.

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Apply blush to cheekbones, blending with a large brush to appear more natural.

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  1. Applying moisturizer or lip balm first will help lips to not dry out.
  2. Using lip liner to line the lips first can help the lipstick to stay longer, however, this is not necessary.
  3. Apply lipstick to lips, being sure lipstick hasn’t strayed to teeth. We highly recommend Revlon ColorStay because it does not come off when a performer sweats, drinks water or changes their costume. It’s important to apply lipstick after your dancer is dressed to avoid staining their costume.

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We highly recommend that dancers (especially those with multiple performances throughout the year) designate a makeup case specifically for performances. Dancers should pack their stage makeup, extra bobby pins, safety pins, hair ties, nail polish remover, a small sewing kit, hairspray, and anything else they might need. These items should stay in the case and be used only for performances.

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