Makeup is a crucial part of any pageant look. It prevents you from being washed out and helps enhance your natural beauty.
Now, when you think of makeup, you think about smokey eyes, killer red lips and some serious contouring. Mastering makeup in these areas is essential to any pageant queen. But what about the rest of your body?
Body makeup can be one of the most overlooked, but necessary, parts of the competition. You have perfected how to apply makeup to your eyes, lips and face. The rest of you should match! (Read: How to Do Your Face Makeup)
However, body makeup is not easy. There are so many types of powders, creams and sprays lining the cosmetics aisle that finding the right one to use can seem impossible. However, Pageant Planet’s latest course contains in-depth knowledge and product recommendations from experts, many which can be found on Pageant Planet’s Directory, to help you master your makeup!
Starting off with one of the biggest topics in pageant makeup: spray tans!
“You don’t want to be washed out on stage, so it’s important you have some kind of tan,” said Holly Heyer, a licensed hair and makeup artist located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Heyer started in pageants before she could even walk. A competitor from six months old, Heyer has won numerous titles over the years, including Teen Miss Florida Forestry 2011. Now, she works exclusively behind the scenes doing hair and makeup. Heyer also offers private lessons. (Read: The 5 Rules of Spray Tanning Every Pageant Girl Should Know)
Getting spray tans
There is nothing better than a professional spray tan. Having a spray tan done professionally ensures your tan is even and long-lasting. Even more important, a professional can ensure you do not end up a lovely shade of carrot two days before your pageant. However, according to Heyer, there is one con in going the professional route.
“Spray tans are a pageant girl’s best friend,” Heyer said. “[They] are normally the route to go, but usually are more expensive.”
However, the payoff can be worth the extra cash. One pageant contestant, Jaimee Dorris, documented her experience with getting her first spray tan as she prepared to compete in the 2016 Mrs. Mississippi America Pageant. (Read: 12 Thoughts Every Pageant Girl Has While Getting a Spray Tan)
Video: Jaimee Dorris
Now, after spending all that money to look this good, you want to maintain it. Poor maintenance of a professional spray tan can result in streaking and blotches the day of your pageant. Luckily, the process is no challenge, even for beginners!
“Maintaining a spray tan is very easy,” Heyer said. “Don’t use harsh soaps and stay moisturized!”
For soap, you want something that will be gentle on your skin. Avoid dyes and perfumes by choosing all-natural soaps that contain few chemicals. Love Beauty and Planet sells vegan body washes free of parabens, dyes and perfumes. This one, containing shea butter, adds moisture and smells great!
Price: $6.99 at Target
You can never moisturize enough with a spray tan! Perfect Glow sells a luxury body lotion it recommends for spray tan aftercare! The lotion lightweight, non-greasy and provides moisture for up to 12 hours.
If a professional spray tan is outside your pageant budget, have no fear! There are always self-tanning options available.
Self-tanning has some pros in that you get to stay at home in a place where you can control the temperature while you wait for it to work its magic. However, there are a few cons.
First, since you are self-tanning, it can be hard to reach and evenly cover spots like your elbows and back. Second, if you have never tanned before, finding the right product can be tricky. We all have heard of or seen self-tanning disasters, and you do not want to end up on that list. Luckily, there is one product that Heyer lives by for a great self-tan. (Read: How to Fix a Blotchy Pageant Spray Tan)
“If you want to tan at home, I highly recommend Fake Bake,” Heyer said. “It’s a cream that you rub onto your skin, sleep in overnight, and rinse the excess off in the morning. It provides a beautiful tan while not looking streaky or orange. Just read directions and follow them carefully!
Price: $30 at Ulta Beauty
Another fantastic product is available at Pageant Planet’s Store is BOLD Sunless SHADE Self-Tanner. The newly formulated product is cruelty-free. In addition, BOLD has served as the official sunless tanning sponsor for Miss Teen USA, Miss USA and Miss Universe since 2013.
Price: $29 at Pageant Planet’s Store
Tanning in the sun
No. Nope. Nadah. No way.
Laying out by the pool on a Saturday afternoon to tan as part of your pageant prep seems like the perfect treat, but it is one of the worst things you can do to your skin.
According to the AIM At Melanoma Foundation, outdoor tanning exposes your skin to the harsh UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Your tan develops after a certain amount of damage has occurred to your skin cells. Your damaged skin then tries to protect itself by sending signals to your body to produce more melanin. Melanin darkens your skin, resulting in a tan. (Read: Pageant Question of the Day: Tanning)
However, when the body cannot produce the melanin fast enough, you end up with a wicked sunburn.
Constant exposure to the sun’s rays from tanning can have many negative side effects, including premature aging and skin cancer. Factoring this with the availability of other safer, fake tanning methods, there is no reason to risk damage to your skin for the sake of looking good on stage.
Your nails are one of the most important details on stage. A crisp, clean manicure adds an extra touch of polish to every part of your pageant wardrobe. It is important to note that you want your nails to be trendy, without being distracting. (Read: What Nail Colors Should You Wear for a Pageant?)
Starting off with color, it is best to always keep colors natural and neutral. Bright colors are fun, but your personality should be shining on stage, not your nails. When it comes to choosing the right shade, stick to pinks, nudes and other colors that match your skin. The trend is super hot right now, a great example coming from Miss USA 2017, Kára McCullough.
In this famous crowning moment photos, you can see her fabulous manicure. She chose a light pink shade that pairs great with her skin tone and does not compete with the colors of her wardrobe. Now, imagine if she had chosen a brighter shade of pink. The color would be so distracting that you would not be able to focus on anything else, ruining the photo. (Read: How Nail Polish Can be Used at a Pageant)
A great shade you can use to achieve a look like this is Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer in “Mums The Word.” The opaque, rosy creme color complements a variety of skin tones. The neutral shade ensures it will match with all your pageant looks.
Price: $18 at Ulta Beauty
The way you style your nail is just as important as the color.
Starting off with shapes, there are a lot. Social media crazes have given way to some insane nail shapes. However, some are more appropriate for the pageant stage than others. (Read: Are Accent Nails Pageant Appropriate?)
A classic nail shape, like square, round or oval, is the best for the pageant stage. The styles are simple, clean and will not distract from the judges.
There are also many types of manicures, each resulting in a different style and look. French manicures are the most common. The classic look has a solid white tip and a clear base with no other color. The signature of the look lies in the perfect arch of each tip.
America manicures are a more subtle version of a French manicure and contain more color. The tip of the nail is a faint white or cream color, with the entire nail painted over with a light or skin-toned color. It is the type of manicure worn by McCullough above.
Should you cover?
Tattoos on stage used to be taboo. However, contestants like Miss Kansas 2013, Theresa Vail, have broken down that barrier in recent years by competing with their tattoos uncovered. This can leave a contestant, especially a beginner, torn on what to do. (Read: Can Pageant Girls Have Tattoos)
For years, the answer was always yes, cover your tattoos. Now, the answer is not so black-and-white.
Vail provides a great case to look at for this debate. She made history as the first woman to compete with her tattoos uncovered on the Miss America stage. The choice landed her a special place in America’s heart, resulting in her making the semi-finals as the “America’s Choice” winner and ultimately walking away with a Top 10 finish.
Before the pageant, Vail announced the decision on her blog. She described that both of her tattoos have special meaning and she wanted to share that on stage as a way to empower women.
“Why am I choosing to bear my tattoos,” Vail wrote. “Reference A: my platform! Empowering women to OVERCOME stereotypes and break barriers. What a hypocrite I would be if I covered the ink. With my platform, how could I tell other women to be fearless and be true to themselves if I can’t do the same? Now, had my platform been something entirely different, maybe the tables would be turned. Maybe. But I am who I am, tattoos and all.”
Choosing to show your tattoos for the emotional connections you have with them or the statements they make is a valid point. However, your choice to cover may not have to do with the emotional aspects, but the physical.
Vail provides another great example. Her most notable tattoo, the “Serenity Prayer,” runs down the entirety of the right side of her torso. In addition, the ink is jet black. (Read: 5 Steps to Cover a Tattoo Without Smudges)
Covering a tattoo this large and dark requires a ridiculous amount of time and energy. With the amount of time Vail would need, covering a tattoo of this size is not feasible given the scheduling demands of competition.
When in doubt about whether to cover your tattoo, look at the system in which you are competing. Is there a rule that states you cannot show tattoos? Have other contestants shown tattoos in the past? If so, how did they do during the competition?
If you still find yourself at a loss, it is best to ask your director. They only want what is best for you, and if the tattoos are appropriate, they will let you know. (Read: 3 Misconceptions Contestants Have of Pageant Directors)
How to cover?
If after researching your pageant you decide that you will, in fact, cover your tattoo, a combination of products should help you accomplish the job.
“Tattoo coverup has become easier now that it’s more common for contestants to have one,” Heyer said. “You can use either foundation topped with a loose powder or an actual tattoo cover-up. For foundation, get something with great coverage – I like Maybelline FIT Me – and then the Airspun loose powder, or powder to match your skin color. For tattoo cover up, I would highly recommend Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer.”
Maybelline FIT Me Foundation is a great choice for tattoos. There are 40 different shades to help you best match your skin tone.
Price: $7.99 at Ulta Beauty
A loose powder on top helps set the foundation. Coty Airspun Translucent Extra Coverage Loose Face Powder is super affordable and works as a setting powder for your face as well! (Read: How to Do Your Eye Makeup)
Price: $5.97 at Walmart
Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer is a product pageant girls swear by! The cover-up works on even the darkest of tattoos without irritating your skin. She even made a how-to video for fans! (Read: Kat Von D Lock It Tattoo Foundation: Spend the Money or Save the Dough)
Price: $15 at Sephora
A bright smile is the key to winning any pageant! You can never invest enough into one of the most important parts of your pageant brand! With that being said, there are more than a few tips and tricks pageant girls everywhere have discovered in order to achieve a brighter smile. Plus, your bright red lip will look even brighter with whiter teeth! (Read: How to Do Your Lips)
These are a must-have in any pageant girl’s suitcase. Whitening strips help remove layers of plaque and buildup that ordinary brushing cannot. Crest 3D Whitestrips are a reliable brand. While they are on the more expensive side, they are both effective and long lasting. (Read: The Best Ways to Whiten Your Teeth for the Pageant)
Price: $44.99 at Target
Activated charcoal may seem strange, but it is a great product for achieving a pageant-ready smile!
The product comes in capsules or loose powder and is available at your local pharmacy or health food store. To use, open the capsule carefully over the sink and pour the contents onto a wet toothbrush. For the loose powder, simply mix a little with your normal toothpaste. Brush your teeth as normal, leaving it on for up to five minutes.
Your teeth will look black during this, but don’t worry, it washes right off! With a clean toothbrush, add toothpaste and remove the charcoal by brushing and rinsing with water. Do this three to four times a week for a brighter smile in no time.
Price: $17.50 at Dazzle Pro
Toothpaste that contains baking soda is super effective at whitening and removing stains. Adding an extra pinch on your toothbrush in the mornings will help you have a whiter smile in no time!
If you want to invest in a toothpaste with baking soda, Arm & Hammer Advance Whitening Toothpaste is super cheap and works great!
Price: $3.48 at Walmart
Body makeup is an overlooked but critical part of bringing home your dream title. You want to look your best from head to toe, and that includes taking care of your nails, teeth and skin.
Learning how to do any type of makeup can be a challenge. If you still find yourself struggling, Pageant Planet’s Directory can help you find a makeup artist where you can book a one-on-one lesson!
What tips do you have for mastering body makeup? Comment below!