I have been to over twenty seven dance recitals in my lifetime! I have two daughters who have danced from the ages of three to seventeen. Ballet, tap, jazz-they took it all! When my daughter’s dance teacher informed me that she would have to wear makeup to the recital, I had no idea what she wanted. Over the years I became a pro at it, and by the time my daughters were ten years old, they did it themselves. However, I was happy to help new moms (and dads!) with their daughter’s dance makeup. Here are my top ten tips.

Tip #1-Always check with your child’s dance teacher or studio. What are the expectations for makeup? Do they want a certain brand or color? Some studios are very specific, some aren’t.

Tip #2-It is not necessary to buy expensive makeup or theatrical makeup. Use the brands that you find in your local drug store or Wal Mart, just in the necessary colors or shades. (Once again, check with your studio.)

Tip #3-The idea of stage make up is to allow your daughter to be seen under the stage lights. She spent hours and hours practicing, and this is her moment. You want to see her! That being said, you do not want her to look inappropriate for her age. You will use more makeup than usual, but use what you and your daughter feel comfortable with.

Tip #4-You must first start with a liquid foundation that is slightly darker than your natural skin tone. If you use a foundation that is too light, you will look ghostly. Use a make up sponge to blend it into your face and neck.

Tip #5-Blush should be applied next. A large brush should be used for blush. Once again, use a color that is slightly darker than you would normally use. A dark rosy color works best. Apply it as you always do, just heavier.

Tip #6-Eyeliner is a must for older dancers, as it really makes your eyes “pop.” (Ask your dance teacher for guidelines for younger students.) It is important to use black, and a liquid works better than a pencil. Start at the inner, upper eyelid, and paint a thin line along the lash and extend it a little past your lash line. Do the same with the lower lash line. This takes practice, especially if you have never used liquid eyeliner before. It is also important to keep the eye closed during and until the liquid has dried. If you get a smudge, use a Q-tip dipped in makeup remover to touch it up.

Tip #7-Most dance teachers prefer a dark brown eye shadow, but check with your studio to make sure. Use a make up applicator to apply to your lid, reaching your eyebrow. I have found that it is a personal preference to either apply the shadow before or after eyeliner, but we have always applied it after.

Tip #8-False eyelashes are the final touch to the eyes, and in my opinion, the icing on the cake. Once again, this could depend on the age of the student. Choose eyelashes that are black and NOT outrageously long. Place the eyelash to your lash line without glue first, and trim if necessary. Place a thin line of glue on the eyelash, close the eye, and place it along the lash line. Hold it and count to fifteen. This will allow the glue to dry. Once again, this takes practice and a steady hand. Using tweezers to hold the lash may help. Another tip-a good time to buy false eyelashes is Halloween. They are usually cheaper then.

Tip #9-Apply lipstick. Your dance teacher should tell you what shade of lipstick to use. It is usually a dark pick or burgundy. Use a lip liner pencil to line the lip and fill in with the lip stick. An easy way is to use a thin lipstick brush to fill in the lip, especially with little ones.

Tip #10-Use a face powder and a brush to set the makeup. Usually many costume changes are a part of dance recitals and you do not want the makeup to smear or end up on an expensive costume.

As I have said, it is important to practice applying the makeup before the big night. Many young girls have never used make up before, and it is very time consuming. I speak from experience when I say recital night is usually crazy, and you do not want that to be the first time with make up.