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Irish
The Ultimate Make-Up Guide (karma: 18)
By Hrynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 924, member since Wed Aug 15, 2007
On Wed Feb 13, 2008 08:16 AM
Made sticky by pharmadancer (87219) on 2008-02-15 08:28:57

Warning: Really long thread ahead. Skip to the section you need.

In response to all of the threads that tend to clog up the boards around majors times, I’ve decided to create an easy to use, easy to follow, guide for all of those hopelessly lost, or dead set against makeup. Yes, make-up, the bane of every dancers existence (or it was mine at least) until you know how to deal with it. I used to run kicking and screaming away from the stuff. However, once you learn that it isn’t necessarily the root of all evil, your life does become easier. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Please also note that this thread is intended for make-up advice for older dancers (above 12) or those young ones competing at events such as AI’s or Worlds where there are huge stages. 12 and unders should simply put on at most a bit of mascara, light shadow, and chapstick if they must. I however, really disapprove of make-up on those that young anyways. Please, don’t make up your kid in the way I describe, I’m begging you. It would be completely inappropriate, not to mention against CLRG rulings.

Also note that I am not a professional. I’m just passing on what I’ve learned from many make-up sessions, teachers who were make-up artists, and years of matching solos and watching others faces at feiseanna. The best way in my opinion to figure out your make-up is to make and appointment and take your solo and wig to a reputable make-up place (MAC, Sephora, etc..) and have the professionals there match your make-up for you. It doesn’t cost much, if anything at all, and you’re not bound into buying any of their products. That being said, let’s move on to the at-home guide.

Why make-up is important in Irish Dance:
Do I think make-up is the most important thing in Irish Dance? No, far from it. Your dancing and your confidence is much more worthwhile of you to focus on. However, part of the overall score is appearance. You’ve spent money on a solo, made sure that your socks are nice and in order. Now wouldn’t it be nice if your face matched the effort you put into the rest of your body, instead of matching the shine coming off the millions of crystals on your dress?

Let’s look at the facts: Most feiseanna are held indoors, in ballrooms these days. The fact of the matter is, the lighting tends to be downright ugly on most skin tones. It makes your face looks washed out, and even almost sickly. Make-up corrects this colour imbalance. Most majors are also held on stages now. Have you ever seen the stage for Worlds or AI? They’re monstrous. Be careful, or your face might disappear between the dress and the wig from far away.

Most of the Irish Dancers I’ve met fit into three categories:

1. The non-makeup wearer. This is the girl who runs about at competition completely natural faced. Tends to be characterized by one of two attitudes: the “I’m taking a stand and don’t think Irish Dance should look like a beauty pageant” girls or the girls with what I call the “Wicked Witch of the West” syndrome. Get near them with a mascara wand, and they react as if you were running towards them with a bucket of water.
2. The “Beauty Pageant” Irish Dancer. These are the girls who wander around in what looks like 10 pounds of make-up. Look completely overdone and fake, even from stage. You don’t want to be one of these. The solo dresses are heavy enough already, so why make your legs work even harder to get that high leap?
3. The “Gorgeous Girl” These are the dancers you want to be. They are the ones that while it might look strange up close, they know how to put on make-up. They have distinguished features up on stage, but look fairly natural still. When up on stage, their faces positively glow with health and radiance.

Which category are you in? If it’s 3, then congrats! You have no need to read this. However, if you are in the other two, I would advice sticking on.

Now, let’s start out whirlwind tour of the face, starting from the base up.

The Base
The first thing you put on when applying make-up is the base. This includes moisturizer, concealer, foundation, and bronzer. Here’s what you should know about it:

1. Moisturizer: This is the all important prep step. Use a moisturizer that is correct for your skin type (oily, dry, combination, etc…). You only need about a nickel sized drop to cover your entire face. This helps to smooth your skin before applying foundation. Sometimes you can borrow some from a friend if you don’t want to buy your own, as long as they have the same skin type.

2. Concealer: Does your face resemble a pepperoni pizza, with little red-spotted toppings all over it? Stayed up late doing that all important final research paper for school, and now have eyes that rival a raccoons? Well, concealer is the part that takes care of those problems for you. Talk to a specialist about different colours that help to correct specific problems (ex, slight blue undertones for zits, etc..)

3. Foundation: This is probably one of the most important pieces of make-up, as it is the base for the rest. While it doesn’t need to be expensive, it does need to match your skin as perfectly as possible. Foundation comes in two main undertones: Yellow and Pink. While most of the world has a yellow undertone, about 10% of the population uses pink or looks sick. Go to a make-up counter and get it matched if you have your doubts. Remember, you don’t have to end up buying the products, but it always helps to have a chat with the experts, especially when it comes to foundation. Be sure to try it before you buy it, and make sure to do an allergy test. A lot of people are allergic to different ingredients in foundation. Look for a hypo-allergenic type if you find you are allergic. Chances are, you’ll be able to tell if a foundation is right for you or not. It should make your skin look even and healthy.

4. Bronzer: If you’ve tanned your legs, this is a must. The bronzer is what gets your face closer in shade to your legs. This is something that is worthwhile to invest in. Just like fake tan, it can look orange if you get the cheap kind. And we wouldn’t want you to look like an oompa loopa, would we? After all, while they had decent turnout, the crossover was all over the place! Wouldn’t want to remind the adjudicator of that. Some bronzer application tips:
Invest in a good brush which applies the bronzer evenly
Don’t cake it onto your face
Some areas should be a little (very little) darker than others. These include T-
zone, cheekbones, and temples, for definition.
Don’t forget to blend downwards. If your face is tanned, but your neck is
shining like the moon at night, this isn’t good.
What my school does is buy a MAC bronzer that works for literally, every skin type I’ve ever seen. Black or Irish Pale, we use it on all our girls. While expensive, split between the families it isn’t that much. Another bonus: It smells like cinnamon!

5. Blush: Blush should be in a colour that matches the pink your cheeks turn in the cold. When applied, don’t overdo it. You’re not a Barbie, you’re a human being. Bright red cheeks don’t equal a good look. Instead, dust some lightly over you cheekbones, putting a little more on the apples of your cheeks rather than dragging a slashing line of blush straight out across your face. Confused as to where your cheekbones are? All you have to do is either smile or make a “fish-face” to be able to find them.

The Eyes and Lips
Ready for the all important rule of thumb as to not look like a drag queen? Emphasise either the eyes or the lips. That doesn’t mean ignore the rest of your face of course. It just means you chose to bring out one of these features especially. When you try to bring out both features, that’s when you end up looking like a clown. Which feature do you like better? Highlight this one. It’s also important to consider any nervous habits you may have. Start biting your lip in worry at competitions? Bright red lipstick probably won’t help you into fooling the adjudicator that you’re calm. Similarly, if when you dance you get that “deer in the headlights” look in your eyes, but have a brilliant smile on your face, highlighting your eyes are probably not your best option. Go for what makes you look confident, and feel your best.

Now, on to eyes, which are the most commonly highlighted feature.

Eye do’s:
1. Prep your eyes! Make sure that your eye make-up won’t be sliding all over your face while you’re dancing.
2. Choose a shade that compliments your dress. Enclosed is my handy reference chart, just find your dress colours:
a. White/Copper/Yellow: This is a superb dress to wear a nice shimmery copper or bronze colour on the eyelids for, with perhaps an ivory base.
b. Blue/Purple: Try a nice combination of these two colours, perhaps a nice periwinkle? Another idea is to get various shades of the colour of your dress, or its highlights, and use these to create a bit of a smoky eye effect, with the darker shades on the outside of the eye blending into the lighter shades in the centre.
c. Black: Opt for various shades of black, dark brown, and silver.
d. Pink/Red: A nice light pink dusting on the shades looks lovely on almost everyone. Make sure to keep this shade fairly light though.
3. Use waterproof eyeliner and mascara. When you finally win Oireachtas, after all your hard work, you don’t want the pictures to show you with black streaks down your face accepting your award, right? Make sure to curl your eyelashes before putting on mascara. If you have very short, or uncurly eyelashes, perhaps try some false eyelashes to make your eyes pop more.
4. Experiment with different colours, combinations of shades, etc… For instance, I’ve found that using white eyeliner to do the very inner corner of my eye makes my eyes pop out and widen more, even though I use black eyeliner too. I also use silver eyeliner. For my eyes alone, I normally use about three different shades of shadow. You don’t need to limit yourself to just one, experiment with combinations! Just don’t do the experimenting on feis day.
5. Try the shades of eye shadow on your skin to see how it will look before purchasing. A good way of doing this is to take a bit of the sample colour and rub some on the back of your hand, near the thumb, to see what it will look like on the skin.

Eye Don’ts:
1. Use red eye shadow. Ever. Period, no arguments. From far away, this can make your eyes look red themselves, and who wants to see what looks like a rabid bunny hoping about onstage?
2. Use the wrong shade of eyeliner / mascara. If you are a pale girl with red hair and freckles (like my sister) it probably will look unnatural and gaudy if your eyes are covered in deep black eyeliner and mascara. Opt for a nice brown colour instead, just for a little pop still.
3. Neglect your eyebrows. If you have really super light eyebrows, a bit of light brown eye shadow goes a long way to make sure they don’t disappear into your skin.
4. Slather the shadow on. It’s okay to go a bit strong, if this is what you are highlighting. You still don’t want to look too overdone though. What’s a good test? Take about 20-30 steps back from a well lit mirror. Look at your face in it from that distance. Are your features distinct, but don’t look extremely heavily made up? That’s good, it’s what you’re aiming for.

Lip Do’s:
1. Chose a colour that compliments your dress in addition to your skin. For instance, if your dress is green, don’t use a bright red lipstick please, no matter how gorgeous it looks on your face.
2. If you aren’t highlighting your lips, go with a fairly neutral colour. A nice pinkish peach colour suites almost all dancers and dress colours really well.
3. If you are highlighting your lips, go with a bright, fun colour. Please make sure that it matches your dress exactly though. My first solo had a pinkish / purple pattern on it, which is what I chose to match too. Therefore, I had to look all over for a lipstick with a fair amount of purple in it. It looked strange on my face alone, but with the dress on looked amazing because of how well it matches. Similarly, I now use a bright red lipstick which matches the crystals on my solo. It took me 25+ shades before I could find the right mix of orange and red. Everything else clashed horribly with it. While it does take a long search, it definitely is worth it in the end.
4. Use gloss on top of your lipstick. This finishes off the look of the lips, and makes you look polished. In addition, putting a touch more of gloss on the centre area of your lips makes them look fuller.

Lip Don’ts:
1. Buy lipstick without trying it on your lips. Believe it or not, the different tones in lips can drastically alter the colour of the lipstick.
2. Use a lip gloss / lipstick that isn’t durable. Long wear lipsticks are what you’re looking for, to be able to not have to reapply as often.
3. Disregard the dancer’s age. I would not recommend anyone wearing bright red lipstick before the age of about 16. For under 14’s, a tinted lip gloss works even better than lipstick in my opinion, and also looks much more natural.

Closing Words

Woohoo! We’re finally done with our handy, yet long winded guide. I’m hoping this has been of use to some of you who are currently suffering from make-up confusion. Some closing comments:
• Chose make-up that you’re comfortable in
• Don’t judge the make-up up close, judge it from far away
• For majors, always apply a little more, make it heavier, to compensate for the
bigger stage and often harsher lighting.
• Try applying your make-up a few times before your first competition with it. Practice makes perfect!
• Keep it within a reasonable budget. Places to splurge are bronzer and unusual shades of make-up which are hard to find. Places to save? Ordinary things such as black eye liner, mascara, common colours, etc. It doesn’t need to break your bank.

All right, I am now being quiet and going back into being my normal recluse on the boards. Happy dancing!

62 Replies to The Ultimate Make-Up Guide

re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By lorna_doonemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1532, member since Tue Sep 12, 2006
On Wed Feb 13, 2008 09:33 AM
^ nice^ wonderful job.


STICKY!!!!! ;)
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By DanceBunnehmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 645, member since Sun Sep 04, 2005
On Thu Feb 14, 2008 05:40 AM
Wow! I REALLY liked reading this post! I usually do most of that, just not tanning my legs unless its a major. :P But this post is great! I also think it should be a STICKY!!!
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By FeisForFoodmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2956, member since Mon Jul 17, 2006
On Thu Feb 14, 2008 06:11 AM
Oh oh oh!! Thank you! Karma. :)
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By oooshinymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1876, member since Wed Dec 12, 2007
On Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:45 AM
great post! So helpful! I've been experimenting with make-up for a while to see what will look good with my dress and this thread gave me some good pointers :)
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By dancingthrulife1 Comments: 428, member since Mon Jan 14, 2008
On Thu Feb 14, 2008 01:39 PM
Someone make this a STICKY!!! serious karma...

quick question... My dress right now has some turquoise in it and it looks great around my eyes. my new dress is going to be purple and gold, and I want to do turquoise on the underskirt... think i could still use turquoise liner and everything??? I've been using it so long it'll be weird to change to a different color...
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By Hrynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 924, member since Wed Aug 15, 2007
On Thu Feb 14, 2008 02:09 PM
Aww, thanks for all the replies everyone! I'm glad it's helpful.

^ To answer your question, I would say that you should try and be a bit adventurous with your colours. If your dress doesn't have any blue or turquoise in it, having the eyeliner there might look a bit strange. You can try it, but it probably won't work out too extremely well. May I suggest a purple liner instead? If you have brown or green eyes, you'll be amazed at how much they make your eye colour pop out!
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By PointOfNoReturnmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 580, member since Thu Mar 18, 2004
On Thu Feb 14, 2008 03:05 PM
What eye shadow color would be good with a bright pink dress? I've tried gold but I'm not sure how good it looked. Ahhh I'm so bad with makeup!!
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By Hrynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 924, member since Wed Aug 15, 2007
On Fri Feb 15, 2008 07:22 AM
A different, lighter shade of pink could look good depending on the intensity of the pink in your dress. Even a bright pink to match should look okay as long as it doesn't have too much red in it. Lighter shimmery white shades should look quite pretty also. I would advise going for perhaps a pastel colour in whatever shade you try. For instance, I don't picture intense gold as looking good with the dress, but a nice champagne might. Just try stuff out, and see how it looks. Also, your dance teacher is invaluable in helping you to chose the right make-up. My student teacher always comes with me when I need new make-up. See what their opinion is on it.
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By Summer Comments: 1255, member since Sat Sep 09, 2006
On Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:07 AM
Great post! I have a question about the lipstick, though. I wear teal and blue eyeshadow to match my dress, and I've been struggling to find a lipstick that doesn't clash horribly. As for this "pinkish peach", could you suggest a few brands/shades as examples?

Thanks!
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By dancingthrulife1 Comments: 428, member since Mon Jan 14, 2008
On Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:40 PM
thanks... I'll definitely try the purple

for the pink dress, i'd try a really shimmery light pink. Lancome has a really good one, and so does the body shop (shimmer cubes) even if that's not exactly where you want to go with your make up, it's a good back up.
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By Hrynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 924, member since Wed Aug 15, 2007
On Fri Feb 15, 2008 02:25 PM
For the pinkish peach colour, it's Love Nectar lipglass by MAC is what my sister wears. She's a really pale red head, with an unusual colour of yellow dress. It works really well for her, although it is a bit expensive. I have found MAC to have the biggest variety of shades for lips, so you could stop by there and see.

Another suggestion, if you're looking for something a bit less toned down than lipstick would be burts bees lip balm in champagne. It adds a nice glow to the lips, and with some gloss over it could look very neutral and good. It's also quite cheap.
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By irishdancer92 Comments: 173, member since Sat Apr 05, 2008
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 06:50 AM
Hi

My dress is black & pink, what shades do i use for my eyeliner & shadow, and how do i applyit? eyeliner, then shadow and mascara for on top, and underneath just eyeliner?? and where do i work the pink in? my dress has some white to it as well, do i work that in?

GREAT POST THOUGH THANK YOU!
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By Hrynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 924, member since Wed Aug 15, 2007
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 09:55 AM
The first question is, what shade of pink is it? Is it a very red pink, or a nice pastel? Or does it have varying colours of pink?

I would personally go with a light pink eyeshadow base, with a darker pink eyeshadow towards the outside of the eye (think a pink smokey eye effect) make sure that the pink eyeshadow isn't too red though.

I would also use black eyeliner and mascara along the top and bottom lashes (not too heavy on the bottom.) Depending on your face, the eyeliner might look good winged out a bit too, just not too drastically. Also, bear in mind that I am suggesting black eyeliner and mascara on the assumption that you are a brunette. If you are a blond, you will want to stay away from this dark of colours, for it will look very harsh and odd on you.

As for the white, what I did was used a whiteish golden base for my eyes, extended up to the browbown. I also used a white eyeliner just on the inner corners of my eyes to widen them a bit, but make sure it's not too obvious.

Keep lips and cheeks neutral with this colour scheme, maybe a very light pink / coral lip gloss.
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By irishdancer92 Comments: 173, member since Sat Apr 05, 2008
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 01:33 PM
for the pink, think like umm a deep salmon colour almost
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By Hrynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 924, member since Wed Aug 15, 2007
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 03:59 PM
Well, then that would work great as an eyeshadow colour on your eyes. Just make sure to match it well to your dress. Also, if it's an unusual colour of pink, you might want to stay away from pink tinted lip gloss, and tend more towards peach and gold coloured shades.

As for application order, here's what I do:

1. eyeshadow primer / base
2. Eyeshadow
3. Eyeliner
4. Fake lashes
5. accent eyeshadow, touch up eyeshadow and liner.

And voila! You have eyes...
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By irishdancer92 Comments: 173, member since Sat Apr 05, 2008
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 04:02 PM
will i have to bring my tiara with me while shopping to make sure it matches well?, thank you for all your advice

and what is eyeshadow primer/ base? where do i get it, and what does it do?
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By Hrynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 924, member since Wed Aug 15, 2007
On Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:31 PM
I always take at least my tiara with me when shopping for make-up, if not my entire dress. Also wig, to make sure that the change in my facial appearance due to the sudden mass of hair looks okay with the make-up. But I also get all of my make-up in one go for each new solo I get, so it's not like I'm hauling my dress from place to place.

Eyeshadow primer / base is one of those optional make-up accessories. It's function is basically to keep the eyeshadow smooth, non clumpy, and where you want it on your eye instead of smeared all over your face. It really depends on the eyeshadow you get whether you need this or not. It's in a very neutral colour, so it's not something you need to change with each dress, instead being a constant. It's really up to you if you want to buy it or not.
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By DanceRDie13member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 184, member since Wed Apr 27, 2005
On Wed Jun 11, 2008 02:39 PM
Wow! Thanks for the tips!
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By painter308member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 323, member since Sun Jun 22, 2008
On Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:55 AM
Hi! You have left so awesome tips but im just wondering what kind of eye shadow would you wear with a lime green dress? Also I am extremely pale and blond and have trouble with blush/bronzer sometimes it looks very strange.
Thanks for all you help!
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By Hrynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 924, member since Wed Aug 15, 2007
On Thu Jul 10, 2008 04:28 PM
A lime green to match your dress (or a combination of greens) should work pretty well. Especially if you use it near your lash line, because that'll really bring out the colour of your eyes, especially if they are a brownish colour! Another option, if you have green eyes especially, and aren't comfortable with wearing bright green eyeshadow, or find it doesn't go well with your skin, is a nice light lilac shade, which will really make your eyes pop and will contrast with the green of the dress. Just remember to keep your lipstick natural.

Also, if the accent colours on the dress are appropriate, why not use an accent colour of your dress as an eyeshadow? Just play around with it, see what you like.

Hope that helps!
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By painter308member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 323, member since Sun Jun 22, 2008
On Thu Jul 10, 2008 04:46 PM
Thanks! i will definately go for the green eye shadow! It should look great at the feis on Saturday.
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By LynnMc Comments: 35, member since Thu Oct 30, 2008
On Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:37 AM
Hi there,

Just want to say this is a fantastic post!!! so right about dont overdo it ! my dress is orange and black which posed some decisions i go for just shimmer on the eyes with fake eye lashes and a orange red lipstick as i usually get that Rabbit in the headlight look! lol

congrats on a fab blog!

xx
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By makeup100 Comments: 167, member since Wed Oct 24, 2007
On Mon Nov 03, 2008 02:12 PM
Hi , i am a brunette with a strong lime green dress with blackin it with shines of silver. For my eyeshadow i use BarryM dazzle dust which matches perfect with my dress with black eyeliner and mascara ect and i always have tan on. I do have a addiction to red lipstick and want to wear it to a feis but it just dosent go! what colour would you recommened for my lips ?? any places to buy them , also do you know of a good eye shadow primer ??
sorry for the hundred Questions ,
Brilliant Thread must have took a while ,
VERY appriciated though , trust me :D
Thanks
xx
re: The Ultimate Make-Up Guide
By ceiliqueen23member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 206, member since Wed Mar 25, 2009
On Thu Mar 26, 2009 04:20 PM
this is very helpful i never know if I am doing my makeup right I don't wear it much in the real world
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