One of the main concerns for parents is: what do my child’s hair and make-up need to look like for recital? With these easy tutorials, and some additional resources you will be an expert at stage make-up and recital hair in no time.


Recital Hair

Almost all classes this year will be wearing their hair in a ballet bun. For those with short hair please try the best you can to attempt a bun, and at worst you can always modify it for your dancer i.e. half up in a bun/half down, bangs pulled back, or a half up half down ponytail.

The best trick for keeping a ballet bun in place are hair nets; Walmart and other local drug stores do have these in their hair care aisle for purchase, and they are an absolute must for students with up-do resistant hair. Another incredible tip for buns: hairspray your bobby pins or hair pins before putting them in your hair. The best way to do this is to spread out your hair/bobby pins on a paper towel and spray them with hairspray; wait until the first side is dry and then flip them over and repeat.

Recital Make-Up

For older students:

  • Foundation is a must – stage lighting washes dancers out, so to avoid being a white blur of light in person and on camera foundation is vital.
  • Eyeshadow – brown eyeshadow with a darker brown shadow used on the crease. Highlight the eyebrow and inner and outer corner of the eye with a white eyeshadow.
  • Blush – to give your dancer some color onstage apply blush from the cheekbones to the temples, and use a color that is flattering to your dancer’s skin tone.
  • Eyeliner – black eyeliner works best.
  • Mascara – black mascara also works best, but feel free to use a shade that you are most comfortable with. False eyelashes are not required for dancers, but feel free to use them on your dancer if you would like.
  • Lipstick – we suggest using either a darker pink or red lipstick for dancers.

For younger students:

The amount of makeup a young dancer wears will be significantly different than what an older dancer will wear. The important part of recital makeup for young dancers is simply to highlight their facial features so they don’t get washed out onstage.

  • Foundation – we do not require young dancers to wear foundation, but we do warn parents that stage lighting is very harsh and can wash out their little one. So, we leave the choice of wearing foundation up to parents.
  • Blush – since stage makeup is a little more dramatic than day-to-day makeup you will want to put extra on your dancer, and the best way to find your little dancer’s cheekbones is to have them smile as big as they can or suck in their cheeks like a fish.
  • Eyeshadow – use a color for the lid that is close to your dancer’s skin tone only a few shades darker, and highlight the brow bone with a neutral color.
  • Eyeliner and Mascara – we leave the use of these two items on young dancers up to their guardian’s discretion. If you choose to use eyeliner, we recommend using something other than a pencil on their delicate skin. If you use mascara, a good suggestion is to either find a sample- or travel size, or even a mascara made for lower lashes as the brushes will be much smaller and more manageable for young one’s eyes.
  • Lips – we highly recommend using even a light pink color on the lips just to give their face more color on stage. If lipstick seems far-fetched for your young one then you can easily use a dull lip liner pencil and fill the whole mouth in with that.

We are always available to answer any questions you may have concerning the recital. Also, please be aware that if your dancer’s teacher gives you specific instructions on hair or makeup that does not coincide with what is written or presented here that is okay, go with what they have told you.