English National Ballet first artist (and Cover Model Search finalist!) Madison Keesler has a new YouTube channel, and it's everything we've come to expect from our favorite ballerinas/life coaches. (Obviously, Kathryn Morgan has set the bar pretty high.)
A recent back injury gave Keesler the time she needed to learn the ins and outs of filming, editing and producing her own videos. Everything she's made so far has been super professional, and her fun personality shines through. Check out her very thorough stage makeup tutorial and directions on how to make an elegant, low bun. You can also follow her on Instagram at Mad's Pointe. We can't wait for more!
There's something so magical about the transformation that occurs as you apply stage makeup. You're watching yourself gradually becoming the character you're about to play—whether that's literally a character, or just, you know, the "Sasha Fierce" stage version of yourself. But it can also be a kind of meditative experience, a time to center yourself and clear your head before you snap into high-gear performance mode.
Racked NY filmed New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns (who's also doing her own great video series for HuffPo) applying her stage makeup. It's totally mesmerizing—plus she shares some tips and tricks that even us old-timers hadn't heard of. (Contouring with blush on your eyes? Wearing two pairs of false eyelashes at once? Who knew?)
Take a look:
Prepping Your Face for Stage Makeup
If you have a weeklong run of performances, you’ll be applying a lot of makeup—and without the right preparations, it could lead to a major breakout. But don’t fret! We asked Karen Armand, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s specialty makeup supervisor, how to save your face from the havoc heavy makeup application can cause. —Stephanie Falkowski
Step one: Use a cleanser. Start with a clean slate by removing dead skin cells, excess oil and dirt from the skin.
Armand’s pick: Aveeno’s Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser. It’s hypoallergenic and soy-based, so it soothes the skin.
Step two: Apply a moisturizer. Lotion serves as a barrier between your skin and the makeup, keeping in moisture and minimizing irritation from any allergic reactions you may have to the foundation. If you’re using a cream foundation, slather on a heavier moisturizer, but for a water-based foundation, use a lighter moisturizer. Moisturizer will make makeup removal much easier, too.
Armand’s pick: Dr. Hauschka’s Quince Day Cream for heavy moisturizing and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer for lighter moisturizing.
Step three: Use powder to help keep the makeup set. With a flat powder puff—not a brush— press the powder directly onto your face in a blotting motion, so there’s no smearing.
Armand’s pick: MAC Blot Powder
Tip: The makeup-removal process is just as important as the prep because it keeps your pores from clogging. Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes are perfect for quickly taking off makeup and sweat.
Do a trial run! Every dancer’s skin is unique, so test several different products to find what works best for you.
Did You Know?
Visualization can help you eat healthier. In a recent study at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, researchers discovered that people
who visualized the steps they were going to take to change their diets found themselves eating healthier than ever before. So, take a seat, close your eyes and ask yourself: “What healthy foods am I going to buy? Where am I going to buy them? How am I going to prepare them?” Then, put your plan into action. —Michael Anne Bailey
Dying to have a facial but can’t afford the hefty salon price tag? Try Armand’s easy at-home steam facial to help soothe skin irritation from stage makeup. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Place the pot on a sturdy table, then sit in front of it. Drape a large towel over your head and the pot and steam for 5–10 minutes. Be careful not to get too close—steam burns can be serious! Always keep at least six inches to one foot between your face and the pot. —SF
Quick Tip: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, your risk for melanoma doubles if you have more than five sunburns in your lifetime—yikes! So if you’re planning a little fun in the sun, be sure to slather on the sunscreen first.