Game Face On: How to Prepare Hair and Makeup for Perfomances

While I am in the middle of Nutcracker season right now, I thought that this would be an excellent time to discuss how to properly prepare hair, makeup, and shoes for a performance whether it is Nutcracker or any other holiday show.

Always look performance ready from your head to your toes! (Photo courtesy of Randy Talley Photography)
Always look performance ready from your head to your toes!
(Photo courtesy of Randy Talley Photography)

Part 1: Lots of Locks
The first task that I prefer to accomplish before I even head out the door to the theater for warm up and a performance is fixing my hair. For this, you should have the following essentials:
• Strong hold hairspray (I prefer Tresemme’s Mega Firm Control spray for maximum hold)
• Water (a sink or a filled spray bottle)
• Bobby pins (the amount depends on your hair length and thickness)
• Hair ties
• A hair net
• A round brush (boar hair brushes tend to work very well for this)
The first step is to get all of your hair into a ponytail at the crown of your head (but don’t secure it with hair ties just yet). Grab you hair spray and spray section by section while smoothing out your hair after each spray. Next, use water from your sink or spray bottle to spray your hair again while still holding up in a mock ponytail. Then, spray one more layer of hair

Always be prepared for anything in the studio and on the stage. (Photo courtesy of The Daily Lobo)
Always be prepared for anything in the studio and on the stage.
(Photo courtesy of The Daily Lobo)

spray before fastening your hair securely in a hair tie or two.
The second step is to wrap your ponytail around in a bun and then place both small and large bobby pins in it to help it stay. Be sure to not stick the bobby pins all the way in the bun or else your hair will not stay properly. After this, give your hair another spray and then place the hairnet on top to hide any loose strands.

Part 2: Face Time
Stage makeup is not all that different from everyday makeup, but its important to know what colors to use to counter the bright lights. I tend to use a medium dark brown eye shadow for the bottom part of my eyelids and a lighter, almost white shade for the upper section. I also recommend pink blush, not softer flesh tones, in order to accentuate your face. Finally, use red lipstick! Pink shades tend to show up very faintly onstage, but red will make your mouth appear normal.
In between pieces or numbers in a show be sure to touch up both your makeup and your hair. This will help you continue to look performance ready.

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