What You Need to Know about Becoming a Dancesport Makeup Artist
I’ve always loved dance and makeup and at one point in time the two crossed paths. I was both a dancer and a makeup artist.
I became truly passionate about makeup when I was working as a dancer. I remember trying to recreate the makeup looks of the older dancers. They always looked fabulous and on point with everything. Of course, now I know that was a mistake and that I should have played more with my imagination. I was trying to learn from somewhere. Later on, I developed my own style.
But first things first, at 10 I had my first dance classes and they were awful. That is because I was the shy kid and everyone was a few steps ahead of me. They had more experience. Good thing my mom made me go to the dance classes and before I even knew I was in love with dance. I ended up doing 12 years of performance and everything that came with it: hours and hours of practicing, training camps, competitions, losing and winning.
Then after these 12 years, my partner (my soon to be husband) and I decided it’s time to move on. So we started working on cruise ships as dancers in the theater. We did that for 6 years and it was one of the best experiences we’ve ever had. We got to do what we love and travel the world together. We visited amazing places that we didn’t even know existed.
Becoming a makeup artist
When I was on the cruise ship I discovered the infinite world of makeup tutorials on YouTube. Initially, I was interested in how to do hair plaits, but somehow all these makeup tutorials popped up in related videos. I was awestruck and immediately drawn into them.
These tutorials were so nicely structured and full of information. I started copying them and trying to recreate the looks (again )…and I became pretty good at it! So when the other performers I was working with asked me to do their makeup, I realized I have to do something about it and learn it properly. I took action and I went back home and started a professional training…and here I am! I go to dancesport competitions to do dancers’ makeup. I also have my own YouTube channel and do some collaborations with makeup brands.
The important role of makeup in dancesport
Makeup is part of your entire look. All the dancers try to do and look their best on the dance floor. Our main ‘tool’ as dancers is our body. We express through music and moves. But then what gets you in a great mood and helps you reflect your personality on stage, is your look.
So you have a gorgeous dress, a nice hairstyle and you’re tanned. Then you have your makeup that completes the look. That moment when you look in the mirror and everything is on point and you’re ready to dance your heart out. Love it!
The makeup artist-dancer communication
Some dancers might feel vulnerable because they have skin problems such as acne, therefore the makeup artist needs to have a warm presence. They need to make them feel at ease and relaxed.
When it comes to the more ‘technical’ side, first, I ask about the dress and what category they’ll participate in. Like this, I know how far I can go with the makeup. Then, the most important is to find out what colors she likes and what she feels comfortable with. I decide what makeup I’m going to do according to their face and eye shape, but I also like to take in consideration what they like.
The main mistakes of applying makeup for a dance competition
I think things can go deeply wrong with eyeshadow. So if you’re not used to bold colors, don’t do it just before an important competition. Unless you practice first. So avoid doing something completely new with your makeup if you’re not sure how to do it or how it’s going to look on you.
Also, I really don’t like it when girls don’t blend their foundation. When you can see streaks of foundation on the jawline for example, and around the neck. That makes your skin look dirty. So make sure you blend products very well and then set them with powder so you won’t get streaks when you sweat.
Coordinating the dress the dancer is wearing with her makeup look
In stage makeup I use a lot of black eyeshadow because black emphasizes your dramatic facial expressions. It’s actually my favorite color…or non color, so versatile!
But I also like to insert accents of colors I see on their dresses and I like to do it using glitter, eyeliner or gemstones.
The 3 tools/products in my makeup kit I can never be without
I’ve got to tell you, that’s a hard one! If we’re talking tools I always carry with me
- a beauty blender
- a brush kit
If we’re talking products I’d say MAC foundation (I personally love Studio Fix), highlighting kit and red lipstick. Also, Kiehl’s is my favorite cosmetic brand.
The toughest part of being a makeup artist
It’s hard to find a tough part when you love what you do. But if I really have to pick something, I think that would be standing for hours on end.
After 18 years of dancing I have problems with my feet and my lower back. Thus, I find it a bit difficult and painful to stand when I have to do makeup for 6/7 hours in a row. But then I see the joy on the girls’ faces and it all goes away!
My most memorable moment of doing makeup
One of the dancers I was working with on a cruise ship, and a dear friend of mine was literally scared of makeup. She had a very bad experience when she was a teenager, a horrible allergic reaction, and because of that she only used very few products. It took me a while to gain her trust and do her makeup. We started with some makeup advice, a winged eyeliner, then eyebrows and so she finally trusted me completely. I did her makeup and she loved it. She actually got some nice job offers after posting photos of her wearing the makeup I did. So yes…that meant a great deal to me!
The makeup artists I admire
One of the most talented makeup artists I know color, and technique-wise, is actually my teacher Emilia Ungureanu. She’s Romanian too and she’s absolutely amazing. I’m very grateful I had her as a makeup trainer. Then I learned about extreme contouring and highlighting from my favorite drag queen, Miss Fame.
I think most people are not aware of how talented drag queens are in the artistry of makeup. They’re men that transform themselves in hot gorgeous women and that’s a skill! So there’s a lot to learn from them. You can’t imagine how many tips and tricks they have under their sleeve.
Being a makeup artist is a very rewarding job especially when you get to work on some amazing dramatic looks and really use your creativity. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is that the person sitting on that chair feels great and ready to rock the stage when they look in the mirror.
Having said that, what are your favorite makeup looks in dancesport that left you speechless?
Mara Pintilie is an emerging makeup artist who developed the passion for beauty while being a dancesport dancer. With experience under her belt, Mara built her makeup career by creating amazing looks for both professional and amateur dancers. You can see more of her makeup tutorials on her YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnwXzupg0-2sQih5LyvMhGA. Follow her on Instagram: instagram.com/mara_professional_makeup/