The Top 10 Performance Makeup Mistakes and How to Fix Them

By | January 29, 2018

Time and time again, as a former professional NYC dancer, I witnessed attractive young girls poorly put on tons of makeup before performances. In my 10 years of dancing I saw how, well, ugly, bad backstage makeup skills can get! Makeup can help create the best possible version of ourselves. As a makeup artist I learned how to emphasize our best aspects with makeup.

This is my list of Top 10 Performance Makeup Mistakes in no particular order.

1) MISTAKE: Lack of Eyebrows! WHY? When there are no eyebrows we lose the emotional expression of the face.

FIX IT: In order to create a more natural look then an eyebrow pencil use a pressed mineral eye shadow powder. Use a color that either matches or is slightly darker than your own hair color. To accentuate and frame the eyes use an angled eyeliner makeup brush to fill in the natural shape of the eyebrows.

2) MISTAKE: On the inside of the lower lash line using a black pencil eyeliner. WHY? This is a great makeup method for fashion shows, print ads, TV, and in person but not for performances on stage. During a stage performance it makes eyes look smaller.

FIX IT: A WHITE Highlighter Pencil on the outside corner of the eyes and on the inside lower lash line will make eyes look bigger and brighter.

3) MISTAKE: Applying black liner under the eye and in to the far inner corner of the eye. WHY? It gives the eye a very round appearance, you want more of an almond shape. It can sometimes give the look of being “cross-eyed” to the dancer.

FIX IT: In order to achieve the more desirable shape use a darker brown eye shadow with an eyeliner brush as a liner under the eye. Start under the pupil and brush out following the natural curve of the eye.
Do NOT join the upper lash liner and the lower lash liner. Not connecting these lines will give you the illusion that the whites of the eyes are very large.

4) MISTAKE: The darkest eye shadow contour color that is too close to the nose and too high on the crease of the eye (up to the eyebrows). WHY? It takes all of the emotion out of the eyes. It gives the look of big black holes. For the same reason the “Smokey-eyed look” does NOT work on stage performances.

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