Stage Make-Up Essentials

With Nutcracker season quickly approaching, it’s time to make sure you have everything you need for your stage make-up kit! While you are dancing on the stage under harsh lights and with your audience sitting several feet away from you, your facial features and expressions can look washed out and difficult to distinguish. Because of this, the types of products and the method of applying them has to be a bit different than your everyday “street” make-up.

Throughout my years of dancing professionally, I’ve tried out many different products, so here are the ones that I have found work the best for me! (I have fair skin and dark blonde hair)

Foundation essentials:

  • Primer
  • Concealer
  • Foundation
  • Powder
  • Brushes

Foundation essentials

Products I use (pictured left to right) : MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC15 (I use this as primer for my eye area, too), MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NC15, MAC Studio Tech in NC15, MAC Prep and Prime Fix+
Brushes (left to right): MAC 194SE Concealer Brush, MAC 190SE Foundation Brush , MAC 182 Buffer Brush

Cheek/Contour Essentials:

  • Blush
  • Something to use as contour (I just use a blush that is more brown in color, but there are many products out there to choose from!)
  • Blush brush


Products I use (pictured left to right) : MAC Blush in Harmony (for contouring… or Act II of Giselle), MAC Blush in Pinch Me (when I need a lighter pink blush), MAC Blush in Loverush (when I need a darker pink blush)
Brush: MAC 129SH Blush Brush

Eye Essentials:

  • Eye shadow – colors you use will depend on your role, costume, skin tone
  • Eye liner
  • False lashes
  • Mascara
  • Eyebrow Pencil
  • Brushes
  • Eyelash curler (forgot to include in the photo!)


Products I use (pictured top to bottom) : MAC Eyeshadow*, Maybelline Expert Eyes Eyebrow Pencil in Light Brown, Mary Kay Lash Love Mascara in I Heart Black, False Lashes (purchased at CVS), MAC Eye Kohl Pencil in Smolder
Brushes (top to bottom): Sonia Kashuk Eyebrow Brush (from Target), Sigma E65 Small Angle Brush, Sigma E30 Pencil Brush, Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush, Sigma E60 Large Shader Brush
*Eyeshadow: I’ve bought several individual MAC shadows to create my own palettes and use them accordingly depending on what role I’m dancing. For a generic stage look, I would recommend neutral colors such as Shroom (for a highlighter), Naked Lunch, Soft Brown, Brun, and Carbon (I use for liner on my bottom lash line).
**Sigma brushes are a great alternative to MAC brushes if you are looking to save some $$!

Lip Essentials:

  • Lipstick
  • Lip liner


Products pictured : MAC Lipstick in Craving, MAC Lip Liner in Whirl (although this liner doesn’t particularly match this lipstick… couldn’t find my other one!)
*Choosing a lip color will depend a good bit on your complexion, what role you are dancing, and what costume you will be wearing. You don’t want your bright red lipstick to clash with your costume!

I feel that I should note that although I do use mostly MAC products, there are LOTS of other/cheaper products out there that are also just as good for stage! I got hooked on MAC several years ago and never looked back… 🙂

Ok, so now that you have all of your supplies, what do you do with them!? I hope to make my own stage make-up video tutorial at some point, but in the mean time, here are two great ones that I recommend!


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