Makeup for Dance

MakeupBlogI am a very low maintenance person when it comes to makeup – I thought that I should make this clear right away.  On an average day, I wear a sheer pink lipstick and perhaps some light eyeliner, and that’s it.  No skin makeup (foundation, blush, etc).  Part of it is that my dance lifestyle doesn’t allow me to indulge in much makeup (long sweaty days) and part of it is that makeup has never been something that I’ve gravitated towards with passion.  I basically want to look as nice as possible with as little effort as it takes.  BUT, when it comes to dance performance, my feelings are different.  Everything related to the performance process is important to me because I feel that it directly reflects the quality and impact of what I produce on stage.  Costume and makeup at this point become a priority.  And so even though I am not knowledgeable or experienced in day-to-day makeup, I feel like I have some useful info that I can offer regarding makeup for dance performance.  I’d like to speak about 5 products/things that I feel really help bring together a nice stage face.  I would like to say in advance, that some of these are slightly expensive, but a little goes a very long way and if you store the products properly you can hold on to them for a long time.

1) Foundation: Luminous Silk by Giorgio Armani.  For someone who doesn’t put on foundation on an everyday basis, as soon as you put something on your skin, it’s all you can think about because it feels heavy and foreign.  However, this product is very light and a pleasant surprise for non-foundations wearers.  It has a photo finish look, which makes skin looks really nice in dance pictures (so important!), and it has great coverage.  I have worn it through long, intense performances and it stays perfectly in tact and even holds on well to the make up that is applied on top of it.

2) Angle Eye Shadow Brush: I use the one by Mac and don’t have any experience with others brands.  This is the most important tool of my performance make-up kit.  I use this brush with dark shadows (black, grey, brown) to create an extended eye shape.  When people watch you dance, especially Indian dance, they watch your eyes for expression and passion.  This brush allows me to do my makeup so that my eyes stand out even from far away and I feel that this allows me to effectively convey my emotions when I perform.

3) Baby Powder: this one may come as a surprise, but I sprinkle baby powder generously under my eyes before I do my eye makeup and then sweep it off when I’m done.  Not only does this brush off any unwanted eye shadow particles that may fall under my eyes, but it gives a nice highlight to my under eye area.

4) Red Lipstick: Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick, 1E0 Classic Red. In Indian Classical Dance a good red lipstick is a must.  I think I spent about 15 years wearing horrific shades of red lipstick that I couldn’t wait to wipe off as soon as I came off the stage.  Until….I found this.  This is the perfect shade of red (not too dark not too light) that I believe would suit a variety of skin colors.  It has a really nice moist texture and yet it stays intact through long performances.  I love it and highly recommend it.

5) Blush: Bobbi Brown Powder Blush, Peony. Despite the overwhelming baby pink look of this blush in the container, it highlights a made up face beautifully.  Sometimes when you perform and try to put on a everyday blush, you end up applying it 25 times and still feel like its not doing the trick.  This blush goes on nicely (even for someone that doesn’t know the do’s and dont’s of applying blush) and brightens the face in just the right amount.  I do think this blush is likely ideal for tanned, olive or light brown skin.


About Parul Gupta

Parul is the founder and principal teacher of Infusion Dance Studios,, based in Toronto and Montreal. Her choreographies are part of 3 Cirque du Soleil productions: “Love”, “Kooza” & “Totem”. Parul is committed to continually advancing her dance technique with reputable teachers in both Canada and India. She is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for her artistic development, and was awarded the Shastri Indo-Canadian Arts Fellowship to study dance in India. Parul has given performances and workshops across Canada, in the U.S.A and in India.

, , , , , , ,