I base my articles on my own experiences as a previous belly dance student, A current community belly dance leader and a professional performer. The articles are meant as a guide to help belly dancing students , Semi pro's and performers. Take from them what you will and enjoy. - Copyrighted please ask permission to use.Whether a belly dance student performer or a professional dancer it's very important to always look your best whilst you are working. Your best may be a different idea to what somebody else does to look their best. That's okay there are no strict rules about how you choose to scrub up well as long as you make some kind of effort. Sometimes you can over or under do looking your best (I have been there). Too much make-up that clashes with the colour of your costume, Huge false lashes that make you look more like camel over a beautiful dancer and of course that dreaded streaky smelly orange false tan.
Don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with wearing contrasting colours where make up is concerned or wearing false lashes or false tan but there is something to be said about planning your makeup, investing in the correct lash style for your eye shape and preparing the skin before the application of tan. I have put together a list of my very own beauty tips along with beauty trade secrets and my face products.
Looking after your skin from the outside in
Drink plenty of water
Get alot of sleep
Eat a healthy balance diet
Switch that first morning coffee for warm lemon water
Exercise the face and body at least 3 times a week ontop of your dancing. Adding Cardio, Weights. Core exercises like squats & planks, Arm exersisers & flexibility stretching exersisers like pilates and yoga.
Try to save a little money for a deep tissue, Aromatherapy or sports massage every 4-6 weeks. This will do your muscle good, Release toxins, Lactic acid and painful knots that gather around you shoulder blades.
If you are on a low wage or a no wage get in touch with the beauty department at your local college. They have training days for students and you can get a good massage for a fraction on the price. When my friend was training I went and had a full body one hour fifteen minute Swedish massage for £8. When I trained in beauty the college charged £22.00 for top to toe package. Yes that's a one hour French facial, A half leg, under arm, lip, chin and eyebrow wax, Eyebrow and lash tint, A fourty five minute manicure and pedicure. All of this would easily cost well over a hundred pounds and you would also be helping the students pass their course and gain qualifications.
Add supplements to your diet -
Vitimin E,C & B & collagen, Drink a Whey protein shake after your dance & workouts (avoid creatine protein this will add body builder bulk)
Add sea salt to your bath to help flush toxins, Relax your muscles and acts as a de-stresser
Give yourself a weekly facial (see the blog post "DIY facial")
Exfoliate your body 3 times per week
Gently exfoliate your face on a daily basis if you wear foundation powder or tinted moisturiser but avoid the eye area and avoid all together if you have broken capillaries or suffer from rosacia(reddening of the skin). Instead use a light cleansing milk with a slightly warm flannel or Muslin cloth and repeat with cold water afterwards.
Invest in some rosewater. This is a great toning tonic for the skin and is suitable for all skin types. It has a cooling effect and makes a great soother for the eyes. Soak cotton pads in rose water and place on the eyes for ten minutes.
Cleanse and moisturiser twice a day I don't use a shop bought toner because it is not good for my skin. ( basic water acts as a toner and pore shrinker so if you are sensitive to shop bought toners just rinse your face with cool water)
Invest in a good night cream - collagen!
Moisturiser your whole body daily even if you have oily skin
Oily Skin - work with it not against it. Don't strip your skin of its natural oils. Use a moisturing lotion or a gel. Aloe vera is great. Tone with normal water or rose water. Blot you skin after moisturising. Oily skin still need exfoliation but not as much as other skin types. Try exfoliated once or twice a week. If you over exfoliatate you will stimulate your skin and produce more oil. Instead of covering your face with foundation try using a light conceler under your eyes, around the nose and anywhere there is reddening or shadow, let it set a little the blend lightly, don't blend too much or you will rub it off. Set with a translucent powder using a large soft brush. Take a small pack of tissues out with you or even cigarette papers to blot your skin if needed throughout the day\night. Have a translucent compact and a small soft rounded brush a lightly dust your shiny parts. Avoid light particles, Mineral make up,Tan and blusher powder with shiny bits in. Remember the point is oily skin looks the most healthy, Youthful, duey and smooth, don't hide it just control it a little. We dont want to make ut look matte, We want to make it look softer. You may have always hated your oily skin but its time to love it, When you are past fifty you will be glad of it. Avoid make up with too much of a creamy texture. Cream equals oil.
Sensitive skin - Comes under vombination skin type. Avoid toner and find a good product suited to sentive skin. Aloe vera is a great moisturiser for sensitive skin. Depending if you have another skin type on top of your skin type. (See the other skin types)
Dry skin - your skin type needs a lot more care, You need to exfoliate regularly and moisturiser with a thicker cream at least twice a day. Your skin type can take on a heavy cream foundation alind with creamy blushers and eye shadows. Try to avoid powder, It will only gather in your lines, Creaser's or wrinkles and accumulate more dry patches.
Avoid products with too much powder ...Matte.
Normal skin - is really actually unnormal to have. You can do just about anything you want with your skin type however you must look after it just as much as other skin types.
Combination skin - Assess your face and find out what combinations you have. If you have an oily Tzone (centre of the face and across the forehead) and dry areas you need to treat each part of the face as you would that skin type.
Where make up is concerned stick to a liquid foundation or follow the oily skin make up technique.
Face shapes - Oval faces are considered the perfect symetry and face shape, the forehead is around the same size as the sides of the face \cheeks. When we are applying makeup we are seeking to start with the perfect face shape therefore we may have to fake it by applying an specialist style of make-up called contouring. Once we have a good base to start from we can then build upon the look we are seeking to acheive.
See another Article on contouring.
It's good to remember it is a powerful tool used for lots of different reasons. Some people wear makeup as camaglauge to hide birth marks or burns. In some counties makeup is worn for worship and ritual in tribal communities. Make up is worn by the dead when funeral homes prepare the body to be viewed by family and friends. Makeup has saved lives for instance people at auvhwich pinpricked their gingers to blend blood into the cheeks to trick the Nazis into believing they where healthy enough to live. Makeup has been used to glamour us through celebrity Tv, Theatre, photography, film. The ancient Egyptian wore makeup. No matter the negative associations it may have its safe to say it is an art form in itself. It is harder to apply makeup to a face, than it is pen or paint to paper.
I always find it amusing to hear Women with their own issues try to over compensate with comments about how they don't need make-up. They ussually make the comments in the company of other Women who proudly wear makeup who they may feel threatened by. Similar comments made about breast size or body weight. Like they are trying to convince themselves that they are in some way better, More womanly more natural. In my opinion as a Women who leads a dance group for Women with a background in working with Women's refuge and coming from a family with strong unique glamoured women I am all about empowerment. Working together and appreciating each other. There is a heart mind and soul with real feelings, Memories, trauma behind the eyes of many women no matter if their eyes are bare or heavily made up. Crappy comments font make anyone feel good including the commentator. As a makeup artist I don't think any face need make-up for every day use. It's more of an option but I do believe and I am sure many makeup artists, Modeling and entertainment agencies, Photographers and performance artists would agree...any one who performs in public should wear make and defiantly does need make-up.
In conclusion - Asess you face in the mirror. Look at everyday images of your face. Watch practice videos if yourself. Watch performance videos of yourself. Look at professional images of yourself. Assess your face and work out what features you like and want to highlight and what features you don't like and would prefer to hide. Work from there and play with your look. Take photographs and images and see what works for you.
Some of the best performance artists have there look down to a T, They know what works for them. This makes these feminine beauties look more polished and professional whilst still being unique. My favourites are.... Dita Von Teese, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Samia Gamal, Didem, Katie Perry, Mirium Fares, Natacha Atlas, Little Mix, Rita Ora, Rachaeal Brice, Shakira, Rihanna, Shirly Bassey, Marylin Monroe, Janet Jackson, Josephine Baker, Farah (dancer\london) Lady Gaga, Bjork, Christina Aguilera, Jenifer Lopez, Stevie Nicks and many more.
Dont try to immitate anyone, Build your confidence and self esteem, Always work from your heart and find time to be genuine and nice to people even if you are in competition or not getting an opportunity. Falsness, Jelousy and gossip contorts a beautiful face. A good honest personality always shines through and thats what make a person beautiful. Find your own style and shine, be unique and remember people appreciate uniquness. Make your mark and dont seek permission or admiration from anyone, You have as much right as anyone else to create and do whatever you want. Enjoy being you....because there will only ever be one!