Feature Articles

Makeup Master Class

With Tina Sparks of Stand Out Cosmetics

Can’t master the smokey eye, or winged eyeliner? Want your skin to look less shiny in photos? Here at Dance Informa we are going to tackle your makeup mishaps head on, with a little help from professional artist Tina Sparks. Tina is a professional dancer, teacher, choreographer, adjudicator, and makeup artist. Creating her own line of specialist makeup for performers -‘Stand Out Cosmetics – On Stage and Off’, Tina runs makeup workshops for studios, professional productions and individuals.

By Kristy Johnson.

Back to Base
When selecting a foundation or makeup base, consider the effects of stage lighting on your skin tone. Stage lighting can tend to wash out skin tones and make you appear pale. Tina suggests looking for a shade that is one to two shades darker than your normal skin color in a warm tone, as neutral tones that have a pink base can appear silky under the spotlight. Have dark skin? Opt for a foundation that evens out your complexion naturally.

Lights, Camera, Makeup
When preparing for a photo shoot, some foundations can produce a ‘high-shine’ look. So what are the best products or techniques to prevent this? “Our skin determines how a foundation reacts, so if you have oily skin, no matter what foundation you use for photos, you will look shinier than you actually are. Dry sensitive skin can appear red on a photo shoot, so concealers that are used can sometimes look oily too,” says Tina. All skin tones should look for a non-caking blot powder. Choose a translucent loose powder that is finely milled and won’t cake your skin.

Highlight and Shade
Specific makeup techniques work perfectly to add contouring or dimension to the face, and can require just as much practice as perfecting a pirouette or hip hop routine. Tina suggests shading under the jaw and along the neckline, and to highlight the areas you want the audience to see, such as the cheek and collar bone.

Beauty Bag Essentials
So which makeup products or tools should you have readily on hand when performing on stage? For the most essential items, Tina wouldn’t be without:
– five eye shadows that work for any occasion – a gold, brown, white, lemon base and black
– two blushes acting as a highlighter and shader
– pink based red lipstick
– eye liner
– mascara
–  false lashes for the girls and professional glue
– an invisible blot powder.

Makeup Faux Pas
Educating dancers about the difference between makeup for the stage and photography is important, says Tina. “Sometimes what looks great in a magazine looks wrong for the stage. That’s because the camera lens can get nice and close and show all the definition in the makeup. However, when we do the same for stage, since we are far away from the audience, the stage lighting washes out our features, colors mix together, and you create the look of a bruised eye instead.” To prevent the ‘bruised eye look’ apply your makeup and have your teacher or friend stand in the audience and give you honest feedback. Remember, when applying makeup in the dressing room that the audience won’t be as close as the mirror!

Makeup versus Overall Grooming
Makeup is a crucial part of the judging process and it’s imperative to take it into careful consideration. As an adjudicator, Tina has spoken to fellow judges and says that makeup can become a deciding factor when picking a winner between two dancers or dance groups with flawless routines.  So how do we stand out in our routines with our makeup? “One stand out example is a lipstick. This is such a bright part of makeup and if all the shades are different in a group, this will be the most noticeable,” says Tina. If at least all the lipsticks are the same, you will be on the right track to becoming an unbeatable team! 

Runway to Reality
Any runway or industry trends that dancers should be giving a go? “One simple makeup application that can make a huge difference to your end result is eye brows,” says Tina. “Stay away from pencils and crayons in the brows, as they can move with sweat and tend to look fake or harsh on the dancer.” Which color should you opt for? If you have dark brows, opt for brown and grey eye shadows, for light brown to blonde brows use light brown or taupe shades, and red heads should look for terracotta colors.

Hair teasing is making a return and Tina suggests giving backcombing a go. “This simple technique can give all hair types a fuller ballet bun or runway up style. Celebrities won’t be seen without a donut in their hair this summer; a fun and easy style that’s perfect for dance exams, routines and everyday wear.”

The Perfect Portfolio
When producing a portfolio of images to present to a potential client or agent Tina suggests choosing one to five pictures in a portfolio with a few diverse looks, so the agent has a good mix of jobs they can see you suitable for. “Examples I suggest are a good natural head shot with minimal make up, one glamour look, and a ‘character make up’ shot such as a Cabaret look, that is completely different with wig, costume and make up that changes you enough to show diversity in your look.”

Beauty Bootcamp
Grooming and beauty are not just skin deep. Eating the right foods can help you achieve a perfect complexion. Tina suggests the following tips for flawless skin:
– Drink plenty of water. This is the cheapest skin treatment available!
– Choose makeup that won’t clog your pores
– Always use a primer
– Wash your face after sweating with a non-soap wash
– Clean your makeup brushes and throw away sponges after use
– Don’t share your makeup
– Clean mobile phones that touch your cheeks
– Eat foods rich in antioxidants
– Try a Berry Fresh fruit juice or make your own skin cleansing miracle tonic: in a juicer blend one beetroot, one carrot, two red apples, and one stick of celery, drink and watch your skin glow!

Photos: © Kelliem | Dreamstime.com © Yuri Arcurs | Dreamstime.com

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