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Belly Dance Makeup to Go with Your Costume


By Saqra


Table of Contents



Makeup & Costume

We all know that stage performance requires heavier makeup just to make your features be visible. However, actually all costumed performances, no matter how casual, need your makeup adjusted to coordinate with the costume.

When you put on a costume, you probably dress in a color or glitter scheme you don't wear for street attire. Your makeup needs to be adjusted for that. If you really are wearing solid flat black on stage like what most people do for street attire we need to have a talk about how flat black dance costuming sucks up body movement....

Are you wearing a jewel-toned costume? Then your usual streetwear blush and lip treatment probably aren't good enough, even if you choose the "evening makeup" version and apply it extra thick.

Your face needs to be in the same color palette and density / saturation as the rest of your body (costume). Otherwise, there is a visual disconnect that makes your head look unrelated to the rest of you.

Stage makeup isn't solely about making yourself prettier and better defined. It is about making your face match your costume and not look like a foreign object.

You (probably) wouldn't wear high top tennis shoes with a silk gown, so don't assume it's sufficient to wear civilian evening makeup with a stage costume. They are not related.

Don't know what to do to fix this? Look for a book such as Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin for ideas. Really evaluate what type of makeup is required to be on the same level as your costume. (I personally like this book, but there are plenty of other good ones, too. This is just my personal recommendation.)

Or, go to a department store or MAC makeup store to get your makeup done and learn from that. However, note that these makeup artists tend to do simply flattering evening make-up, especially if you are "older", so you may need to tart it up afterward with glitter or rhinestones glued to your face with clear "permanent" eyelash glue. There is no such thing as too much!

Once again, this is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Sarah Selwood, Leeds, United Kingdom.




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About the Author

Saqra (Seattle, Washington, USA) is a powerful dance artist and a master instructor. Her fluidity, grace, and technical skill is highlighted by her friendly demeanor and clear joy of the dance. She did not inherit the diva gene.

Saqra won titles in Belly Dance USA (Oregon), Belly Dancer of the Year (California), Belly Dancer of the Universe (California), Wiggles of the West (Nevada), and many other competitions. She was voted "Best Kept Secret of 2005" and "Instructor of the Year 2008" by readers of Zaghareet Magazine.

Saqra's journey in this dance form began in 1977 and has led her to study with many of the best dancers in the world, including in America, Canada, Turkey and Egypt. Saqra continues to travel and study both in the USA and abroad and prides herself on proper research for anything she teaches. Folklore, fakelore, and stage creativity: all three are valuable, and Saqra clearly presents for each what they actually are. Saqra is constantly expanding her expertise in the traditional ethnic forms of the dance, the modern stage variants, and the continuing evolving fusion techniques, all these areas combined keep her material fresh and current.

Saqra is widely known as an event promoter, musician, music and instructional video producer, and a registered hypnotherapist in the state of Washington. That is enough stuff to start explaining what she has been doing in belly dance since 1977. Visit her at

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California. In the photo, Saqra is holding her Teacher of the Year 2008 Award from Zaghareet Magazine.

Saqra with Award



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