why do I need stage makeup
10 May 2014

Why Do I Need Stage Makeup?

Dancers ask me this questions ALL THE TIME. And really, they are asking two separate questions: Why does a young competitive or recital dancer need to wear ANY makeup on stage? Why does a competitive or recital dancer need to wear “professional” stage makeup?

5 Reasons to wear professional Stage Makeup for Dance Performances

  1. Distance between the performer and the audience – When I am sitting in the audience, I am too far away from you to see the emotions on your face unless you enhance your features with makeup. Your makeup actually needs to be dark enough for your features to be visible to the first 8 – 12 rows of the theater. Many street makeup brand colors cannot get dark enough even when layered. They stay one color no matter how much you put on. Professional stage makeup is versatile because it is highly-pigmented so that you can wear a little or a lot, depending on how you much you apply – the less you apply, the lighter it is – the more you apply, the darker it is.
  2. Intense stage lighting – Stage lighting can really “flatten” your features and take away all of the dimensions that help the audience see your facial expressions clearly. Most street makeup brands are limited in their amount of pigment and just cannot get dark enough to be seen under stage lighting. Great professional stage makeup will be highly-pigmented so that it can be seen under colorful, intense stage lighting – it won’t disappear when the lights hit you.
  3. Decorative costuming – Your performance makeup is part of your costume. If you were to put on a long evening gown, have your hair in an up-do, put on your high heel shoes and some jewelry but put NOTHING on your face, you would look like you were missing something. Your face would be overshadowed by your outfit and would look drab. We NEVER want our costume to overshadow our face. EVER. Professional stage makeup is primarily neutral, earth-toned colors to coordinate well with every costume change, every lighting situation and every skin tone.
  4. Sweat-factor – When you are performing on stage, under intense stage lighting, you will sweat (and as I used to tell my dancers – if you are not sweating then you are not working hard enough!). There is nothing more uncomfortable than having a bead of sweat roll down into your eye while you are dancing onstage and having your eye sting like crazy because all of your eye makeup is now IN your eye! Many street makeup brands are either NOT sweat-resistant or long-lasting. You are eating chemicals (in lipsticks) and absorbing them into your skin. High quality, professional stage makeup will be naturally sweat-resistant, hypo-allergenic and will not irritate sensitive eyes or skin.
  5. Protect the skin – Professional stage makeup should be highly-pigmented, hypo-allergenic (no known allergens used), non-comedogenic (non-clogging to the pores, so no break outs), and as NATURALLY sweat-resistant as possible.

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Not sure what makeup brushes you need, for real? How/why do I use them or how do I clean my makeup brushes? We’ve got it covered in The Basics of Makeup Brushes

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