Applying Stage Makeup
Tips, Techniques, Ideas

Step by Step Instructions for applying stage makeup.

Once you have learnt how to apply make up, it will be so easy. Follow these tips!

Pull hair completely off the face with a hairband.

Wash and dry the face.

If the skin is particularly dry you may need to apply a thin layer of moisturiser. Normally though, young children don't need this.


Applying stage makeup - foundation. First dot the foundation over the face. Gently with circular motions, rub the foundation into the skin, making sure all the face is covered, including nose and eyelids. Blend it well into the skin around the hair and jaw line so you don't see a line where the make-up starts.

You can apply foundation with your first 2 fingers, blending and rubbing in a circular motion, or you can purchase a make-up sponge, dampen very slightly, still apply first to the face and then use the sponge to blend in. With time and practice you will develop a preference.

Applying stage makeupApply foundation

Face Powder

Face powder. After applying stage makeup, pat the face powder all over the face. Then, taking a large brush, gently brush off any excess face powder. This will help set the foundation and avoid shiny faces on stage, especially noticeable under bright stage lights.

Applying makeup powderTips to apply make up


Blusher. This can sometimes be tricky to apply to young children who don't have pronounced cheekbones. A powder blusher with a brush is best. One way is to ask the child to suck their cheeks in, that way highlighting the cheek bone. Brush the blusher from the cheek bone near the ear, running along the bottom edge of the bone (feel it with your fingers) to end just before the bone ends. Blend in slightly.

Applying makeup blusher to kidsTips to apply blusher make up

Eye Shadow

Eye Shadow. Good eye make up will bring a face to life on stage. Your dance teacher will tell you what colours they want. Sometimes it will be one colour all over, but most times it will be 2 colors. A popular example is brown and white, which looks great on stage, you can always find a nice shimmery brown to add a bit of sparkle.

Apply eyeshadow to kidsHave the child close their eyes, gently closed, not scrunched as this causes lines. Applying the darker of the two colours on the bottom half of the lid, using an eyeshadow applicator. Use smooth strokes starting at the inside corner of the eye, moving out to the edge. Blend this eyeshadow out and up to the end of the eyebrow.

On the top part of the lid, apply the lighter shade of eyeshadow, filling in the rest of the eyelid.

This is the basic style of eyeshadow. Once you're more experienced at applying stage makeup, you can get more creative, using another colour to blend in along the crease line, or apply glitter eyeshadow over the top.


Apply white eyeliner to kidsApply white eyeliner just under the eyelashes on the bottom eyelid. It is very hard to find white liquid eyeliner, but there is a wide range of pencils, look for a soft pencil. This technique has an amazing effect of opening the eyes up on stage, making them appear much larger.

Apply black eyeliner to kidsApplying Black eyeliner to the top lid, along the line of eyelashes, as close to the lashes as possible. If the dancer is very close to the audience a thin line is only necessary, however on stage a thicker line is needed to emphasise the eyes. I personally prefer the liquid eyeliner, it takes a little practice, but very soon you will become an expert with it. Some kids don't like this part of applying stage makeup, they get scared (especially with a sharp pencil) coming so close to their eye, again a liquid eyeliner with brush is not so scary or doesn't hurt so much.

If using liquid eye liner, wait until the liquid dries before opening the eye or it will smudge.

Another option is to apply a thin line of black eyeliner under the white on the bottom lid. Only for stage, this has an amazing effect of enlarging the eyes on stage, and making them seem bigger.

Check out this page for more instructions on applying eyeliner, including using different types of eyeliner for different effects and how to make your own unique colored eyeliners.


Apply False EyelashesIf you are putting on false eyelashes, this is the stage to apply them. The best type are the ones you apply a thin layer of adhesive to the false lash and then gently, starting from the inside corner of the eye, press down as close to the root of the eye lash as possible, pressing along the line to the end. Do not apply glue directly to the eye. Open the eye straight away. Adjust to get a straight line.

Check out this page for large selection of false eyelashes and more detailed instructions on How to Apply False Eyelashes

If using lashes, you won't really need to apply mascara as well, not on young children. Teenagers will probably like to still apply mascara.

(To remove false eyelashes, gently pull off from one end to the other.)


Mascara. You will need a black mascara. It can be tricky applying mascara to small children. At first it feels very unnatural to them and their instinct is to scrunch their eyes, thus smudging the black. One method I have found to work to compensate this is to hold a folded paper tissue on the cheek, right up to the eye, under the bottom lashes. If you do smudge, it goes on the tissue. Get your child to hold the mascara bottle (gives them something to do and think about). See our large selection of Mascara

First, coat the top side of the upper lashes with the mascara wand brushing down and out from lid to outer lash. Then, with their eyes open, hold the wand close to the eye and have them blink, very gently, making sure each time they blink their lashes catch on the wand and get a coating of mascara. They only need to do this 3 or 4 times. Any excess mascara will go onto the tissue - not the skin, and the bottom lashes will get a gentle coating and won't need doing separately. Try to keep the child from blinking hard until the mascara has dried.

Applying makeup mascara to kidsTips to apply mascara make upApply makeup mascara to kids

mascara for kidsTips to apply mascara


Apply lipstick to kidsLips. Normally a bright red lipstick is used, especially on stage to show up the lips to the fullest. Alternatively, pink lipstick is used to co-ordinate with some costumes. Apply lipstick first along the outline of the mouth, then fill in all the lips. You don't need a lipstick pencil.

One thing you must be careful when applying stage makeup, especially with lipstick on children if you are changing costumes is not to smudge lipstick or get it on either their costume or another's. If your child is in several dances at one time, e.g. a concert, and you will need the same colour lipstick on all evening, a great lipstick on the market is a liquid type that comes in a bottle and you brush it on the lips. Leave it to dry. Once dry, it will stay on, smudge free for hours. It normally comes in a pack with a lip gloss and all you need to do is re apply the lip gloss through the show. Do be careful when applying the lipstick that you don't go out of the lip line, as its hard to rub off. If you have to correct, as with the mascara, cover up with foundation.

Clean smudge makeup on kidsTips. If you get black eyeliner, mascara or lipstick smudged on the skin or eyes, do not try to rub it off, that will only make a bigger mess. Using a Q tip, dip it into the foundation and dab onto the smudge until it is completely covered. Leave it to dry and apply another coat of foundation or eyeshadow over the top.

Stage makeup for kidsThe full stage makeup, finished. Although at first it may feel like it takes a long time to do, you will soon become used to applying stage makeup for kids quickly.

You can use glitter on the eyelids and above the cheeks to add sparkle when dancing on stage.

Stage makeup with glitter for kids

Make Up Removal

When you need to remove your make up you will need a good quality
Make Up Remover especially to clean off all the eye make up.

Check out our picture gallery for some ideas of Makeup Styles.

Have a look at the best Make Up Books on the market and our reviews for more ideas, tips and techniques for applying makeup.

DermStore Free Samples

We have a great selection of make up products to help you!

Make Up Brushes

Make Up Brush Holders

Eyelash Curlers

Magnifying Make Up Mirrors

Lighted Make Up Mirrors

Return from Tips for Applying Stage Makeup to Stage Makeup

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