How To Apply Stage Makeup Especially For Dancers

Here are some tips on how to apply stage makeup for that big performance or even a dance recital.

When applying stage makeup, the trick for professional looking stage makeup is to always look overdone or over made up.  The reason for this is that you will be performing to an audience that will be sitting far away from you, and thus you will need your features to stand out more than they normally would for greater impact on your to apply stage makeup

If you have never worn stage make up, then you are going to feel as though you have applied far too much the first time.

With stage makeup, you can go wild.  The people that you are performing for will be sitting well away from you, and the makeup will make your appearance more flattering, and make you stand out, especially for those people from the middle to the back of the theatre.

Tips On How To Apply Stage Makeup

Another aspect to consider when applying professional stage make up is the lighting in the theatre  If the lighting is too blue or too red, your features will disappear on the stage.  Only good makeup will correct this problem, and enable the audience to see the features on your face.

Under bright stage lighting, use cream instead of white.  Use brown instead of blue and purple, and avoid yellow, as it looks like white.

If you are a dancer, this is how you should use makeup to enhance your eyes on stage:

  • First of all, you must have your brows defined, so do definite lines on your brows are a must.
  • A red dot on the inner corner of your eye will help to make your eyes stand out.
  • White on the inner corners of your eyes will also go a long way to making your eyes look bigger.
  • Blue, purple or brown eye shadow, boldly applied.  The color will depend on your looks.  Try not to use blue on blue eyes or brown on brown eyes. Use the lighter colors on the lids and the darker colors on the creases for more impact.
  • Use a good liquid liner to draw in a line along the top of your eyelid and wing it out to the side to make it blend in with your eyelashes.
  • Some false eyelashes on the outer corners of your eyes add impact.
  • Remember to blend in your eye makeup well. Lines are not attractive.

Stage make up for male dancers will be very similar to female.  He would use the same colors, as the lighting would affect the facial features in the same way.  Men obviously won’t wear the false eyelashes and don’t use vivid lip colors such as the bright reds that the female dancers wear.

When applying stage makeup, try to avoid the following mistakes:

  • Lining the eyes all around in solid black eyeliner;
  • Shiny foundation or foundation that is too dark;
  • Leaving the brows undefined;
  • Putting too much blush on the apples of the cheeks,

Mehron Makeup Premium Character Kit (Dancer)

  • Create a number of looks ideal for any dancer
  • Detailed instructions on how to apply the makeup and lists the items that will complement your look
  • Available in a variety of characters

The new, all-inclusive Dancer’s makeup Kit includes all of the vital cosmetic tools needed to create the perfect stage face.

Along with an eight-page step-by-step pictorial instruction booklet, created by makeup artists for the American Ballet Theatre, to help dance teachers and their students create an innovative look for every performance.

There are 4 different foundation shades and there is enough makeup in this kit to last for about 10 shows.

The fixer spray that is included is a must to keep your makeup in place for the whole performance.

This kit will make a wonderful present for a young teen dancer who is just learning how to apply her makeup for the stage.

When dancing on stage also take into account that you will be sweating a lot, so remember to use water resistant make up as far as possible.

Here is a detailed tutorial on how to apply stage makeup for a dance show.


7 thoughts on “How To Apply Stage Makeup Especially For Dancers”

  1. It should be common knowledge that, stage make up should be different from normal make up, since most of the audience are far from the dancers, so there’s a need to make up, such that your face stands out. 

    Like you rightly stated, taking the stage lighting into consideration, is paramount and the importance of defining the brows cannot be overstated. 

    I like that the Mehron Makeup Premium Character Kit (Dancer), comes with detailed instructions on how to apply the makeup and lists the items that will complements looks of the dancers. 

  2. Hi Michel, this is a topic which most bloggers seem to shy away from. But as a woman that loves makeup, stage or not its part of a woman’s life. Moreover the methods thought here are simple to follow and make use of without further practical coaching.

    I must commend you for the touching the psychological aspect of stage mounting, especially with a makeup that makes you standout.

    I love this piece as it is part if my daily encounters , I am a stage artist.

  3. Good content. I’m happy to read this lovely post about how to apply stage make up. I would say it’s a interesting post. I also love the way you highlighted your points. I have been following your blog posts for a long time because your posts are always educative and I must tell you this is not an exception.

    Thanks for the informative article

    • Thank you for stopping by and also for following my blog posts. It’s great to know that there are people that enjoy reading what I write about.

  4. Thank you for this detailed information about stage makeup. I have come along your website because I couldn’t believe that there is something like stage makeup. A friend of mine is a dancer at a theatre in Europe and we talked about getting ready for the performance on stage.

    I didn’t believe her that she will put on lots and lots of makeup, however, reading your article made me understand the importance and why this kind of makeup is applied. As I said, I had no idea at all, one less ignorant person here.

    The video was very helpful to close the cap of my knowledge about stage makeup since I am not a dancer myself.

    I appreciate the information you are providing in your article.


    • Thanks for stopping by Sylvia, and I am sure you will know exactly what your friend is talking about next time you chat about stage make up.


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