Eyes On You

Your eyes are windows to the dancer in you!

You can be every bit as professional as a makeup artist. When it comes to applying makeup yourself, a few tips can make life easier when there just doesn’t happen to be a makeup artist around and/or it’s just time to learn how to do it yourself.


A good rule of thumb in applying makeup is to always look like the dance/part you are portraying. Whether it is vibrant, bold, intense, full, rich or just natural and comfortable, these eye makeup tips are the basics for any (dance) situation. For you guys (dancers) out there, you may have to put on a little eyeliner or mascara once in awhile to enhance your features, so don’t be afraid of trying it too. I’ve made instructions as easy as possible so anyone can do it.

Eye Liner:

The most common makeup a dancer uses is liquid eyeliner. The trick is to get as close to the lash line as you can, working from inner to outer corner. Practice feathering strokes until you get a steady hand. A popular and fun eyeliner technique is the flirty cat eye. The trick to it is to extend the line beyond the corners of the eyes slightly. There are other exotic techniques available to learn just by going online and doing research. For now, we are keeping it simple. A waterproof eyeliner called Ultra Liner by Maybelline will not run.

Smokey Eyes:

Smokey eyes are very in right now and give more definition to the eyes. You can achieve this technique by blending liner out with a brush or smudger tip. To soften the line, apply a similar shade of shadow over eyeliner.

Eye Shadow:

To make eyes pop, choose shades that either complement or contrast your eye color. Let’s say you have brown eyes; you should choose soft peach, cream tones, coppers, light browns, medium browns or even dark browns.

Applying eye shadow is probably the easiest of all techniques. Use a mid to light tone shade on the lid as a base, then add the darkest shade in the crease to contour and add a lighter shade on the brow bone to highlight.


When applying mascara, the key is to start at the roots of the brush and glide easily through to the tips. The trick with mascara is to apply it evenly without causing the lashes to look too thick in any one spot. Practice even strokes without clumping. I suggest not using too much at first and building slowly.

Bottom Lashes:

Don’t forget the bottom lashes. Use tip of mascara brush to apply to lower lashes and to reach corner lashes.

A Cool Trick:

Shadow sticks are one of the quickest ways to do your eye makeup because you don’t need applicators or brushes. All you do is dab onto your lids using the light shades in the brow bone and deeper shades on your lids. Then blend with fingertips before the shadow sets. You can also use shadow sticks underneath powder shadow for an extra pop of color.

So whether you are a beginner or curious about theatrical makeup , it is probably a wise dancer who is prepared for anything; which may include being able to apply your own makeup and maybe your dance partner’s too for your next show.

Practice makes perfect!



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website https://slowmotiondancevideos.com/