Easy Dance Recital Makeup in 7 Steps

Every year, I hear the same questions. The first of which is “Why does my little girl need to wear so much makeup?” Secondly, “How in the world do I put on recital makeup?”

I’m here to ease your concerns and hopefully make performance day that much more fun and less stressful.

To start, let me explain WHY your child needs recital make-up.

  1. Stage lights are very bright. Because of this, dancers appear very washed out and pale. Facial features are lost and expression is hard to see.
  2. Dance costumes are over the top! They sparkle, shine, and can easily overpower your child’s sweet face. We want to make sure their beautiful smiles are seen. This requires bright lipstick (among other things!)
  3. The stage is huge — not to mention quite far from the audience. This is another reason we need to enhance your child’s features.

A few notes on make-up type. I recommend using makeup that is hypo-allergenic, sweat proof, and long-lasting. Dancers should come to the recital venue with makeup already done. It needs to last through several hours of waiting backstage, traveling in the car, sitting with friends, and creating adorable memories.

Before you begin, make sure the dancer”s face is clean. Add a light moisturizer or primer, if desired.

Use a make-up sponge or foundation brush to add foundation that is slightly darker than the dancer’s face. (Advance tip – If you are a pro and know how to contour, use a lighter foundation and add bronzer to highlight bone structure. )

Use an angled brush to fill in eyebrows and make them more prominent. If your child has light or blonde hair, use a medium brown to highlight their eyebrows. If they have dark eyebrows, match their hair color to simply fill in between the hairs and shape.

Apply a dark brown eyeshadow from the lash line to the crease of the eye. Apply an even darker shade in the crease of the eye and blend thoroughly. Apply a white shadow directly underneath the eyebrow. I always recommend a little sparkle in eyeshadow 🙂

I know what you’re thinking, “There is NO way I’m putting eyeliner on my child.” If you are working with a wiggly three-year-old, I agree with you. If you’re working with a calmer child, go for it. You can either use a dark brown or black eyeshadow to line their eyes with a thin angled brush or be brave and use black eyeliner for a bigger impact.

Another sharp object…I know. If you are able, apply black mascara to the lashes…VERY CAREFULLY.

Directly under the cheekbone, near the hairline, brush a line of dark pink or peach blush downwards towards the lips. Stop near the apples of their cheeks and blend, blend, blend! Do not solely put blush on the apple of the cheeks or they will look more like clowns than dancers!

Use a bright red, hot pink, or maroon liner to line the lips. Fill in with a similar color lipstick. This is one item of make-up that will likely need to be reapplied before going onstage. I do recommend a high-quality lipstick to maintain an intense color for longer than 5 minutes.

Now, that wasn’t so bad, right? However, the key to looking stage ready on recital day is practicing these techniques. Adjust color choices based on skin tone and most of all, have fun getting fancy with your little lady! I should note, boys should wear stage make-up too! But, that”s a whole other topic! Enjoy and I hope this helped.  

Here is the exact make-up and tools used in this tutorial. Simple, right?

Thanks to our beautiful model, Abby!