Recital Theme and Era Makeup Tips

Recital make-up should be age appropriate, compliment the costume and set the mood of the dance piece. The right makeup adds life and show appeal. These tips will help you create polish and fantasy to your production. Remember the theme of the look as make-up changes every era just like fashion as well as the story of the performance. Fairies, Cats and other characters require little tweaks to standard stage makeup to truly help the character come alive. These tips will help you add show appeal and visual excitement to each performance.  See Mode Dion’s Pro Makeup Kit for every thing you need to get the looks below. Click here to see all our Stage Character Looks.  For all looks and more go to

Era looks that set the style in their day:

1900, Cabaret, Moulin Rouge, Can Can and Vixon looks used black eyeshadow across the lid and deep burgundy lips. If using red lipstick just mix our Mode Dion Pro Pallet black/drama eye shadow into the lip color to deepen. Top with a gloss. Click Here for the step by step Vixon look.

Dance Competition Makeup

Cabaret Makeup

1920’s,  Flapper girls used burgundy eye shadow applied dark on lid and along lower lash line. Lips were made smaller and called rosebud lips in a dark red color. Use black eye shadow to darken a red lipstick. Click Here for steps, tips and video for  Flapper look.

Flapper Girl Makeup

Flapper Girl Makeup

1940’s A bold black line across the eye lid only, sweeping up and out just beyond the eye crease. Eye shadow was light. Movie Starlets would look best in the Classic Stage Face application without the lower eye liner. Lips were in rich red made fuller towards the top and rounded at the sides. Click Here for Classic Stage Face.
1950’s blue shadow and pink lipstick was the color of the moment. Cheek bones had a soft shine. Use Mode Dion Shimmer Cream Pot for shine.
1960’s saw heavy lined eyes usually only across the lid.  White eye shadow all over the lid and under brow for a Mod look can be achieved with the Mode Dion Shimmer Pot in Stardust. For eye crease go dark with black/drama eye shadow through the crease and lifting up at the sides. The lips were light and washed out to keep the eyes the focus. Tip: Apply the Highlight eye shadow shade to lips or use Shimmer Cream Pot to lighten from  and top with gloss. Click Here for steps, tips and a video to get the Go Go 60’s look.

Go Go Dancer

Go Go Dancer

1970’s blue shadow was back but with frost for the lid and white shadow highlighted under the brow. The face was brightened with pink cheeks and pale pink glossy lips. Try Mode Dion Pretty N Pink Pallet for these colors.
1980’s, the era of excess, saw three colors of bright shadow, heavy brows, and bright lipstick. The Pretty N Pink Pallet can work well for this look as well. Add extra bright colors using Mode Dion Pigment Colors.

Fantasy Faces

When creating a fantasy, the era may not play a role at all; instead you might want to play on the imagination of the audience. Create magic by defining the character of the piece.
Fantasy character looks, tips, steps and the colors that make them come alive:

Arabian Dancer. Extend liner out and up at outer eye corner and into inner eye corner. Click Here for Arabian steps and video.

Arabian Makeup Look

Arabian Makeup Look

Egyptian Dancer. Brows are dark and meet at ends to the outer corner eyeliner. Bold shadow. Click Here for Egyptian steps and video.

Chinese Dancer. To create an Asian almond shaped eye lids must be darkened and liners meet at the inner and outer eye corners to make eyes appear smaller and angled. Click Here for the Chinese Dancer steps and video.
The Show Girl. Feathers in the hair, big lashes and glitter everywhere. The brighter the colors the better. Click Here for the Show Girl look.

Rhinestone Stage Makeup

Show Girl Makeup

The Spanish Flamingo Dancer. Heavy black eye liner sweeping up at the corners, red lips, and a spit curl along the side of the cheek.
The Cat. Whether you choose a lion, a leopard, or a tiger, the drama is purr-fect for a feline fantasy. Use face pencils or Mode Dion Pigment Paint in black, brown, orange, yellow, white, and red/brown. Click Here for Cat step by step and video.

Stage Makeup Cat Face

Cat Face

Fairy Princess. A favorite for classical pieces, this look is soft and sweet. Lot’s of glitter and sparkling shimmers, placed only on the key light catching spots. Try Mode Dion Glitter in Crystalina, Shimmer Cream Pot in Stardust and Cosmic Glitter Spray for hair and body. Click Here for Fairy Princess steps and video.
Man look. This look is a suit and tie, hair parted and slicked back, but the face is feminine. Lips are red or defined with lot’s of gloss, cheekbones contoured and eyes are shaded in browns with thick black lashes.

Stage Glitter Makeup Step By Step


Make-up to accent costumes.

Add rhinestones and glitter to the face in complimenting colors to draw attention to unique costume detail. Other accents can include:
Glitter on lips, temples, cheek bones and eyes or use sparkling shimmer powders. I like to mix the two. Cosmic Glitter Spray on body and hair can really set off a Princess or Fairy.
Wigs- whether platinum blonde, fire engine red, or a passionate purple wigs can create a new mood in minutes.

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