The secrets of stage makeup

Preparation for a bodybuilding competition means an extreme diet and training regime and lots of stress on the body that shows on the quality of the skin. By the show day girls are dehydrated and pretty much starved but when they step on stage it all doesn’t matter – that’s the time to shine and look stunning! Stage makeup specialist Naomi Louise gives “never heard before” tips how to get ready for the big day and get that winning glow.

Article by Naomi Louise

Stage makeup application tips & tricks

In the last 5 years I did makeup for various bodybuilding shows but now I tend to focus more on fashion & fitness federations such as the USA based Wbff, and popular UK federations such as Miami Pro and Pure Elite. As my signature style glam is recognized at these particular shows.

Skincare: Whether this your first or 10th bodybuilding show, skincare plays a huge factor in achieving flawless results. You work extremely hard on your physique for over 6months, just to feel dissatisfied with your makeup on stage. A lot of competitors think if they wear lots of makeup on stage it will give them perfect skin. This is false! Flawless makeup starts with flawless skin.

Many client’s feel insecure about their skin leading up to show day but many don’t seem to be giving their skin the TLC that requires prior to show day dehydration. Breakouts and dark under eyes tend to be the most common traits female bodybuilders face before show day. Yes, your skin will lack elasticity and may look more gaunt than usual. Give your skin enough time to process these changes, I recommend to start as soon as possible. As soon as you pick a show, whether that is in 4 months or a 1 year away. Make sure you are using a natural / organic face cleansing balm or soap! I do not recommend gel and foam cleansers as they are extremely toxic to the skin.

Applying a super rich, emollient face cream day & night to your face every single day. (Emollient creams cover the skin with a protective film to trap the moisture – BWG note). One of my all time favorites is Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic cream, otherwise an affordable alternative is Khiel’s face cream. You will also need a rich eye cream which contains hyaluronic acid, apply this 2-3 times a day. Face oils that treat your skin issues, while giving you a bright, glowing clear face include; jojoba, grapeseed, marula, rosehip, sesame, argan and avocado oil. This will help you achieve that “Lit FromWithin” glow.

Although this daily routine is not enough on its own, you will require extra help from beauticians / skin professionals. I always recommend steam / infrared light facials to my clients competing, this will help fight congestion on the skin. Due to being on prep your skin will look more gaunt, tired and distressed. Fine lines will also become more visible, so it’s important to take care of yourself during this journey. Don’t be so caught up with your physique appearance that you neglect your skin and overall health.

Don’t be afraid of taking weekly or monthly trips to your local beauty salon and have a nice facial, enquire about micro needling, dermabrasion and vitamin injections. Which will improve your skin texture, helping your makeup look flawless on stage. Again, good makeup starts with good skin.

Dos and Don’ts – Base, prep and application

Face: Firstly apply your skincare and eye cream! A primer is optional, I tend to avoid them unless I am working with excessively oily skin.

When choosing a foundation for a competition I suggest picking a color 2-3 shades darker than your natural skin tone as your show spray tan will be very dark. Illamasqua, Milani, Mac, Loreal, Rimmel and Bobbi Brown have a variety of shades to choose from.

Always have a full coverage concealer that matches your skin tone on the day to cover up blemishes and imperfections. I love Laura Gellar Real Deal Concealer or Laura Mercier Camouflage and one just slightly lighter to highlight sections of the face if needed.

I am a huge cream blusher fan! One of my favorite products is Dr. Paw Paw lip and cheek tint – I apply these onto the apples to create a dewy finish blush effect.

With regards to contouring the face I like using a sculpting stick from, my favorite is Tarte Cosmetics, to map out the contours on the face before blending them into the foundation. I like to set the face with a full coverage powder – such as Laura Gellar Mineral baked powder or Milani pressed powder. Then I use Laura Mercier translucent powder across the face to further set it.

When powder contouring the face make sure you are using a cool toned powder and not warm. Using a cool toned powder will replicate the natural shadows on the face without it looking red or orange.

Once I have finished sculpting the face I further bronze it up with Nars Laguna or NYX Matte bronzing powder.

Finish of with a powdered blusher I prefer a mix of peach and pink mixed together to create that flawless shade.

I always swear by Doll Beauty shine bright highlighter for on stage, it’s super pigmented and elegant on stage. Just add this to the top of your cheek bone and blend outwards towards the temples.

Next I like adding some hydration back to the skin by using the Garnier hydration mist spraying this all over the face to take away any excess powder from the face.

Last and final step for the face is my trusted all time favorite Kryolan fixing spray. It smells like industrial spray but this will keep your makeup looking flawless for 12 hours +.

Eyes Dos & Don’ts

I like to use eyeshadow sticks, pomade gels and kohl eyeliners as a base for eyeshadows instead of primers or concealers. These create a soft, pigmented smoky eye and you do not loose the color pay-off through the entire eyeshadow application.

Do use mattes, shimmers and sparkle pigments. But stay away from pure glitter as this will drop onto the face throughout the day, interfering with the shadows and photography on stage.

Do use black or brown Kohl pencils and gel eyeliners for shows. For extra intensity and to lock the eyeliner in place, apply black or brown eyeshadow to eyeliner.

Don’t use liquid eyeliner on show day as it’s harder to correct mistakes and clean up, plus if you don’t apply enough it can look cracked on top of the eyelid.

Do use brown, black and nude eyeliners in the water line. All eye shapes are different! For hooded, small and deep-set eyes I recommend soft browns and nude eyeliners for show days. For larger eyes such as; almond, round and larger eyes I prefer black or brown to create a more feline effect.

Do have individual lashes done professionally by a lash technician for show day! The lashes will be adhered to suit your natural eye shape, you will not need to worry about lash glue, eyelashes flicking up or falling of on stage. When you are feeling emotional you don’t need to worry about accidentally wiping your eyelash off.

Do not wear stick on lashes for show day as you will constantly be worrying about them falling off, more than likely they will not complement your eyes shape the same way individual lashes would applied by a professional. You will have to carry around lash glue and hope they don’t stick up or dig you in the eye throughout the day. Due to all kinds of emotions running through your mind, you may cry and lift the eyelash off, not being able to stick it down in time ready for your stage routine. So for these reasons I highly recommend you have professional eyelashes done.

With regards to eyebrows I always recommend using Wunderbrow eyebrow gel the night before, as it will set in place for 3 days and you don’t need to worry about rubbing of your pencil or powdered eyebrow on stage. If you decide to opt for Microblading that is great but just keep in mind you will need an eyebrow tint to top them up on stage, especially with the harsh stage lights shining on you. We need them to look visible in photos instead of almost transparent due to the lighting on stage.

For mascara always opt for a WATERPROOF one! I love Maybelline and Lancome waterproof mascaras, they hold all day long and do not drop unlike normal mascaras.

Thumbnail pic model Robin Hatton (IG @robynhattonpt) 
Pic in the post model Anca Nicole (IG @anca_ward_bikini_wellness_pro) 


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest


Don't miss new updates on your email