How Three Professional Dancers Keep Their Makeup Looking Pristine While Performing

How Three Professional Dancers Keep Their Makeup Looking Pristine While Performing

There's no question that dancing releases endorphins that make us feel good. And while I'm certainly not the best dancer myself, I always gravitate towards the dance floor when I hear a song I like — the only downside is that I always work up a sweat.

Then like clockwork, my makeup starts sliding down my face.

That's why I've always wondered how professional dancers can do fully choreographed performances and still look immaculate — with their makeup intact.

Lucky for me, after attending the Red Bull Dance Your Style competition, I learned a little something something about their secret hacks for a flawless finish. Now it's time to share these tips with you.

Inyoung “Dassy” Lee

For Inyoung "Dassy" Lee, dance is more than just a learned passion. As a self-taught dancer known for her infectious, powerful popping style, Lee took herself from doing playful routines in her living room to becoming a globally recognized elite dance champion.

Lee says she gets her makeup inspiration from Instagram, and over the years she's learned different tricks on how to make her beat stay put. "I've tried different makeup styles, but my makeup hasn't really changed, I like to create a classy look, I don't like to add a lot of color to my face," she says.

But of course, she chooses products that last.

Lee’s Go-To Beauty Products

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Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Le Teint Radiant Liquid Foundation

This radiant foundation has an advanced formula that reduces the look of fatigue and creates flawless medium coverage. “I like using this foundation because it blends nicely and is not too thick or heavy,” the dancer shares.  

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

This award-winning powder is not only a favorite of Lee’s, but beauty influencers rave about it as well. The light formula boasts long-lasting wear without adding weight or texture. It absorbs oil and reduces shine all day, creating a flawless, matte finish with no flashback in photos. “When I’m dancing I sweat a lot; I apply this powder to set my makeup and help remove shine,” says Lee. “I used to apply foundation on its own, but I’ve noticed that when I use powder, my makeup stays longer.” 

Dior Diorshow On Stage Liquid Eyeliner

This waterproof liquid eyeliner offers up to 24-hours of wear and has a hybrid tip that combines the ease of a felt-tip pen with the suppleness of a brush. “I always use a waterproof eyeliner,” says Lee. “I like this pen-style tip — there’s not too much ink on the brush so it’s easy to draw a sharp line. I don’t like to use the regular liquid as it gets too messy. I used to just wear eyeliner on its own but when I sweat it goes everywhere, so now, I apply black eyeshadow on top of the eyeliner and it stays much longer.” 

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Mascara

This clump-free mascara delivers nine times the volume in just one coat. “I’ve been using this mascara for over ten years, and it never smudges when I sweat,” says Lee.

Nars Laguna Bronzing Powder

This bronzing powder creates an all-over warmth and a long wearing natural glow. “I use this highlighter for my contouring, and I think it’s the best,” says Lee. 

Angel “Angyil” McNeal

Angela, who goes by the dance battle name Angyil, abandoned her ballet dreams in high school after she was drawn to the rawness and freedom expressed by hip-hop dancers. "I chose popping and hip-hop because of the music," says McNeal who is now a global champion.

The dancer gets her makeup inspiration from the '90s, otherwise known as the genre's golden era. "I feel like the makeup in the '90s was a lot simpler, it was low maintenance," says McNeal. "I don't have a lot of time, the more time it takes me to do my makeup, the less time I have to train."

McNeal describes her makeup look as natural and says she tries to keep it minimal. "I am constantly wiping my face whenever I sweat," she explains. "I often have to get touch-ups when I'm on set, but they're not the best for my skin, especially if I am sweating and then applying more makeup on top of the sweat. I don't want my skin to look bare, but I want it to be able to breathe."

McNeal’s Go-To Beauty Products

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Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing Face & Body Mask

This mask contains just one ingredient: 100% natural calcium bentonite clay, which is amazing for absorbing excess oil and drawing out impurities in the skin. “I use this mask to prep my skin, it helps to detox and close my pores,” says the dancer.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner

Experience the crisp color intensity of a liquid plus the glide of a gel with this long wearing, water-resistant eyeliner “I like to use this eyeliner because it’s waterproof, dries fast, and doesn’t fade,” says McNeal.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in PMS

This ultra-slim lipstick has a long-wearing, petal-soft matte finish, created in a rainbow of weightless, color-intense shades designed to flatter all skin tones. “This lipstick stays put. There are times when I am eating constantly because I have to refuel, and I don’t have to worry about my lipstick coming off. I can go straight from a performance to a media interview and my lipstick will still be intact,” says the dancer. “I also like this shade because it’s an earth tone and goes with anything.” 

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara

This do-it-all mascara features an exclusive flat-to-fat brush that instantly volumizes, lifts, lengthens, and curls lashes. “I have never had to worry about this mascara sweating off,” says McNeal. 

Marie “Pandora” Medina

Marie "Pandora" Medina began her dance career by training with the Los Angeles Pioneers in the dance styles of popping, tutting, waving, robot and animation. She soon became widely known as one of the first females to win multiple international popping titles.

She has since held breakthrough roles in Disney's feature-film Step Up 3D and the ground-breaking Hulu Dance Series THE LXD by Jon M. Chu. She also plays the hometown friend of Gina Rodriguez in the feature film Filly Brown and has appeared in multiple music videos.

Medina says her makeup style is inspired by old Hollywood glamour. "I grew up on a lot of old Hollywood movies, I loved artists like Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn," says the dancer. "I'm also inspired by my culture; I'm Native American — I often try to find something that is traditional and incorporate it into my makeup look."

VIDEO: The Unexpected Eye Makeup Color That's About to Be Everywhere

Medina’s Go-To Beauty Products

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iT CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream SPF 50+

This color-correcting, full-coverage foundation contains SPF 50 physical mineral sunscreen that delivers a flawless, natural finish. “I’ve switched from heavy foundation to a lighter foundation that contains vitamins, and I see how much better it is for my skin,” says Medina. 

Dermablend Loose Setting Powder

Apply this loose setting powder to flawlessly lock in makeup for a matte, smudge, and transfer-resistant wear complexion. “This brand comes dermatologist recommend, it’s good if you have combination skin,” says Medina. “I use it to set my makeup, and for touch-ups.” 

NYX Professional Micro Brow

Use this dual-ended spoolie and colored pencil to define and fill in sparse brows for a natural look. “I like the control this pencil allows me to have when drawing my eyebrows, and when I sweat, it doesn’t smudge,” says Medina. 

Too Faced Peach Mist Mattifying Setting Spray Infused with Peach & Sweet Fig Milk

This refreshing peach and sweet fig milk-infused setting spray locks down makeup with a matte finish and helps to control oil for a comfortable weightless feel that lasts all day. “I spray this on after my makeup to keep everything in place,” says the dancer. 

Too Faced Plump & Prime Face Plumping Primer Serum

Apply this visibly plumping and volumizing serum to help prep your skin for flawless makeup application. “I like that this primer has collagen in, it’s good for the skin, helps my makeup to stay in place, and smells great,” says Medina.

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