Fake nails = $60
Tanning = $70
Makeup application = $70
Hair updo = $80
Feeling like a million bucks? = could be cheaper
While it's AWESOME to use the talented vendors available at competitions, sometimes time and money can keep you from using their services. Instead of walking on the floor looking unprepared, learn how to do simple versions of the ballroom looks.
- Simple is ALWAYS a good idea.
- 10 foot rule - It doesn't have to look perfect to you, while you're leaning over your sink and 4 inches away from your mirror. It has to look good from 10 feet away. AKA? Don't sweat the small stuff (your slightly crooked eyelash, that one lick of hair that mysteriously resists hairspray, THAT SPOT ON YOUR FACE THAT WON'T TAKE MAKEUP [breathe breathe, breathe], etc.)
- Practice your hair/makeup/costume routine AT LEAST ONCE - It's reeeeeally helpful to A) know how long it takes to complete B) know what you're doing C) know that you won't fall out of/rip/be uncomfortable in your look.
If you are a lady, read this:
If you are a man, read this:
Go get some press on nails and be done with it. Sooooo easy. Sooooo cheap.
There's tons of brands to choose from with different options ranging from super long to super short, having the glue already on, and crazy colors. Most of the brands will last at least a weekend and look just as good as the "real" fake nails.
I'm going to say something crazy:
You don't have to tan.
If it's your first time hitting the floor, you're dancing in something like Beginning Bronze or Newcomer, and you are feeling the pressure up to here, don't worry about it.
That being said, tanning makes you look 10% more awesome on the dance floor. And that's science.
The easiest option is to pick up some of that tanning stuff at the store (L'oreal, Neutrogena, Banana Boat, etc.) and slather it on. The goal for most Causasian people is to get out the pink undertones (which tend to make you look ghostly under bright lights). If you have a darker complexion, you're probably good to go au naturel.
If you'd like to up your game, but still want a temporary fix, try Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. It's basically body makeup: lasts through a light sweat, doesn't rub off too easily, yet comes off in the shower with some vigorous scrubbing.
Ready for the next option? You can buy a bottle of Dancesport self tanner, find a GOOD friend, and go to town painting this stuff on yourself. A bottle lasts for three or four competitions. (You can also check out the other tanning options on Danceshopper.com, a favorite online store.)
Makeup application, including eyelash application, is not hard. Do the basic stuff in colors that you like AND LOOK GOOD IN, make sure you have done your eyebrows, put on a bright lipstick, glue on your eyelashes, and WALK OUT THE DOOR.
Once you have mastered the basics, you can try some trickier techniques, but remember that simple is always a good choice. (Here's some more great tutorials for basic makeup, and you can check out some fancier looks on my Dancetastic Pinterest page.)
Eyelashes freaking you out?
- Start small. Cut a full length piece into quarters. Even now, I have to cut off a centimeter or so of my sets or the ends stick me in the eye. OUCH.
- Put on your glue (I love DUO in clear; I feel the black in not forgiving in mistakes) in a thin line and wait 10 - 20 seconds. If your glue isn't sticky, you are in for a world of pain.
- Keep your eyes open and stick it close-ish to the outer edge of your eye.
Let's not get crazy.
Let's do something that you can PRACTICE ahead of time and uses easily accessible supplies and looks good. Let's do something that won't move, won't get in the way, and won't stick to your face. Let's do something that takes less than an hour and leaves the feeling in your arms since you'll need those for dancing.
Ladies' Long Hair
SOCK BUN : if your hair is long enough for a ponytail, get thee a sock bun. Wear it low right by the nape of your neck, or high up on your head. Wearing your bun right in the back of your head is too ballerina, not enough bad ass.
Once your bun is in order, hairspray the bejeezus out of it. Let it dry... then do it again. And there's no such thing as too many bobby pins. AND it's commonly known that your hair isn't done until you have a bobby pin in your brain (or at least one that feels like it is).
Are you done yet? NO! Put a hair net over that bunny beauty. Yes, a hair net. And secure it with MORE BOBBY PINS.
I'm a big fan of Jac-o-net, with their nearly invisible and slightly creepy "like human hair!", which are sold at Sally's Beauty Supply. Conair also makes decent hair nets and you can find them at Walgreens.
I also like got2be glued hairspray, which has great hold and a great price and you can find it at most drugstores.
Ladies' Medium Length Hair
If you can get your hair in a teeny tiny ponytail, do that. Then get a hair piece that matches your hair (find them at Walgreens or the like) and proceed as above with the sock bun. Also, see "Other Stuff" below.
Ladies' Short Hair
It is okay to leave it loose, but bring a blowdryer. It is NOT okay to have sweaty hair sticking to your face. Plus, it's annoying. If you're feeling the least bit sweaty between dances, find an outlet, plug in your blowdryer and do a mini-blowout. If you need to bring your curling iron, then go ahead. The time you saved in "not doing your hair" is time you'll have to spend doing your hair at some point.
Otherwise, try slicking it down.
You may wear your hair half-up, but you still have to DO it. Flat iron or curl the loose hair and still smooth down your half-ponytail with half a can of hairspray.
Basically, ask yourself, "What would J-Lo do?"
Put something in your hair. No, not something sparkly. Get some gel, pomade, or hairspray. And probably a haircut. Do something like this (I love Egor... and his website) or just make sure you look nice. Like you're going to a wedding. Your boss's wedding.
Most importantly, remember dancing is fun, looking nice is fun, and you're fun.
What else do you need to know? I'll direct you to sources as much as possible!