When I started performing in Ballet Concerts and Recitals my Mum would be handed a paper template of stage make-up that she had to replicate on me for every performance. Luckily, Mum has had a lot of experience with make-up and was able to interpret the template to suit us.
However, if it's not in your skillset, trying to put make-up on a wriggling little ballerina can be rather tricky! In this video tutorial, I explain the steps to create classic ballet stage make-up without spending too much money or going over the top with the make-up.
What you will need:
- Liquid foundation or a gentle tinted moisturizer. Make sure you test the colour before purchasing it. We used this tinted moisturiser from Nars
- Translucent pressed powder. We used Mac Prime + Prep Translucent Finishing Powder.
- Eyebrow pencil and brush. We used the L’Oréal Brow Artist Xpert in Blonde. It combines both the pencil and the brush.
- An Eyeshadow Palette which has a white, nude (non-sparkly is better) and a couple of shades of brown.
- Black Liquid Eyeliner
- White pencil eyeliner
- Black or Clear Mascara
- An applicator sponge, a powder brush, a small angled brush, a blending brush, and an eyeshadow brush and a couple of cotton buds to clean up any mistakes.
Step 1: Apply the Base
Choose a lightweight foundation, children have the most beautiful skin so it doesn’t need to be heavy! Apply roughly with a brush then use a sponge to smooth out and blend. The foundation can be slightly darker than your child’s skin tone, under stage lights it will look natural.
Step 2: Apply Powder
Use a translucent powder. we find that pressed powder is better than loose. It has no colour, just sets the base and makes them not too shiny.
Step 3: Darken and Shape Brows
Take a brow pencil and define their eyebrows arching towards the middle of the brow which makes their eyes appear larger. After applying the brow pencil use a brush to smooth and even it out.
Step 4: Nude Eye Shadow
Use a nude eye shadow over the eyelids as your base for the eye make-up.
Step 5: Eye Crease
Using a medium-dark brown shade of eye shadow and a brush create a line on their eyelid which follows the upper edge of the eye. A brush is easier to use than a pen liner and to correct especially when you are applying it to a little dancer who can’t sit still.
Then take a blending brush to soften the line, extending it just beyond the edge of their eyelashes so it can be seen when their eyes are open.
Don’t have a blending brush? A cotton bud is equally effective or a clean finger if it's all you've got.
Step 6: Eyeshadow
Apply a light/white illuminating eyeshadow below the eye line you created above. This will draw focus to their eyes on stage and make them appear more open. Apply a slightly darker nude shadow above the line to give contrast.
Step 7: Black Eye Liner
With black liquid eyeliner, starting from the inner corner of their eye, draw along the eyelid as close to the lashes as possible. Make it easier to apply by using your thumb at the outer corner of their eye to pull the skin a little tighter. If you make any errors just use a damp cotton bud to correct it. Extend the line beyond their eyelashes angling up as far as you need. Perfect the line by using a small angled brush to smooth out above the eyelashes.
Step 8: Bottom Liner
Instead of using a liquid liner for this step (super tricky and uncomfortable for your little dancer) we prefer to use a dark brown eyeshadow and our small angled brush. With eyes closed start by making a small angled line at the outside edge of the eyelashes. This gives you the endpoint, next make a small line at the inside edge of the eye to give you the start point. With your child’s eyes open use your brush and shadow to create the line in between.
Step 9: Highlights
Use a white eye pencil at both corners of the eye just between the top liner and bottom liner to highlight the eyes.
Step 10: Mascara
Apply black or clear mascara to the top lashes. I wouldn’t recommend using false eyelashes on any child under 8 years old.
Step 11: Blush
Use any shade of pink blush to their cheekbones, a little darker than you would normally.
Step 12: Lips
Most ballet teachers will request a red lipstick for performances. Use any shade of red that you have. I prefer to use a brush and palette as it’s easier to shape on a child than a lipstick. You can also always use your finger on your own child.
Voilá! One little dancer ready to take the stage. Remember this make-up is designed to appear under stage lights and only viewed from a distance. So if it's not perfect don't worry!
Thank you to our fabulous Make-up Artist, Aneta Nabrdalik (@anetka_mua) and our beautiful little ballerina: Emmy (Emmy is wearing our Diamanté Collar Tutu Dress - it has the right amount of sparkles for any performance!)