bad makeup is distracting
28 March 2014

Bad Makeup is Distracting…

I have traveled on competition circuits, taken my dancers to competition, and been a judge.  And I can say confidently, with conviction, that blue eye shadow, peach blush, and hot pink lipstick should not be paired with a Flamenco costume!  You laugh?  I’ve seen it.  And I remember nothing about that dance except the bad makeup!

Over the years, I have been asking judges how they feel about the stage makeup that they are seeing these days.  The feedback I have gotten was that, it is not that they notice the makeup.  What they notice is BAD makeup.  In fact, one judge said to me, “if the dancers walk on stage and they have bad hair and bad makeup – they are BUSTED.  Before the music even starts, I know that the number will NOT be good because details like hair and makeup were missed”.  I couldn’t agree more!

A sloppy appearance in ANY situation says a lot about who you are, how you take care of yourself and how much you pay attention to details…but even more so on stage in front of judges.  Bad makeup could be defined as:

  • inappropriately bright/ bold eye shadow, blush or lipstick colors that clash with costumes
  • incorrectly or poorly applied colors
  • lipsticks that have not be reapplied after eating so that dancers in a group look like they are all wearing a different color lipstick
  • dancers in a group all wearing different makeup/lipstick colors
  • blotchy discoloration from makeup that has partially worn off from sweating
  • not wearing enough makeup so the dancer looks washed out, pale and/or sickly on stage.

When I consult with studio owners and directors, they often express to me that they want their dancers to have a “unique” makeup look and to really stand out and that’s why they were a funky eye shadow or lipstick color.  My response is, “it looks really unique when every one of the dancers in a company or on a comp team looks BEAUTIFUL and their emotions and love for dance can be SEEN because the audience can clearly see their face.”  Their uniqueness should come out in their dance technique, appropriate costumes, and your creative choreography.  We, as judges or as audience members, do not want to be distracted from what the choreographer has created by poor makeup choices that make the dancers look unattractive.

Ideally, dancers, please stick to neutral, earthy, warm-toned colors under stage lighting.  This will give you a healthy, vibrant, gorgeous glow so we are compelled to watch you dance.

Remember…historically, dancers are known to be the most beautiful women in the world!  Beautiful IS trendy!!!  Learn how to make a gorgeous, professional appearance every time your feet touch a stage or whenever you enter an audition space.  It is part of your art.



Tell me about “bad makeup” fails that drive you CRAZY!  (It drives me nuts when I see foundation color on face that it is too dark and the neck is ghostly white!)

If you liked this article, keep reading and signup for the World of JAM to learn the Top 10 Stage Makeup Mistakes!

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