Perfect Pageant Makeup for Interviews and Stage
“For my interview I wore real natural-looking shades of lipstick and looked as soft and natural as I could. Pageant makeup should be something that enhances, but doesn’t look like makeup.” — Debra Maffett, Miss America 1983
Pageant makeup has come a long way, baby! Long gone are the days when Mary Campbell, Miss America 1922, boasted, “I don’t use cosmetics. I never have. I don’t need them.” Today, high tech pageant cosmetics can virtually transform a young woman from fine to fabulous.
For example, when Secrets Revealed cameras filmed Lu Parker, Miss USA 1994, minus her makeup, the stunning beauty queen looked like any other college kid. Yet, with the right cosmetics, Lu turned into a world-class beauty.
With a little practice anyone can learn to use makeup to create a winning image for pageants.
The Difference between Makeup for Interviews and Stage Events
First, keep in mind the purpose for pageant makeup. It is not theatrical makeup. Pageant makeup should make the young woman look pretty and fresh under stage lights for the judges.
As Debra Maffett, Miss America 1983 and an entertainer, explains, “A lot of girls put on stage makeup as if they were putting it on for the person in the back row to see. The judges are in the front row — and they’re the ones who select the winner. When I was onstage I just added a little to my regular makeup. I put on enough for the first row — the judges. For the final telecast, I put on a few individual eyelashes to enhance my eyes. The lighting onstage is very bright and hard so you have to find a way to “pop” your features out, but make it look natural.”
Makeup for Judges Interviews
For the private interviews, makeup should be more subtle than for the stage events. One of the most common mistakes contestants make is wearing makeup which is appropriate for on-stage competitions during the private daytime interviews with judges.
Sadly, the effect is clownish makeup.
“For the interview I always put my makeup on as natural as possible, but at the same time enhance myself,” Debra explains. “The first three years in Texas [when she lost] I put on tons of makeup, false eyelashes, the whole bit. But by the time I was in Atlantic City I had learned what enhanced me … and what was too much. For my interview I wore real natural-looking shades of lipstick and looked as soft and natural as I could. Pageant makeup should be something that enhances, but doesn’t look like makeup.”
Guide to Perfect Pageant Makeup:
Here are some guidelines offered by several pageant cosmetics experts:
- To avoid breakouts wear foundation your skin is used to, but wear more and in a darker shade. Blend the makeup down the neck to prevent an obvious line.
- For more coverage use a cream pancake or cream foundation.
- Powder your entire face with loose translucent matte powder to avoid a shiny face on-stage / on-camera.
- Rarely wear frosted cosmetics. Matte finishes create a more natural look.
- For color depth on TV, go one shade brighter (not darker) with lipstick and blusher.
- Avoid bright, unnatural eye shadows like blue or green for private interview makeup.
- Use dark eyeliner/pencil to widen or define eyes, soften the line with a cotton swab.
- Try combining heavy mascara and individual lash clusters.
- For contouring use off-whites (not white) and gray/browns.
- Blend all makeup carefully.
- Avoid vivid nail polish colors. They are distracting.
- Pageant Makeup Tips from Rain Cosmetics and Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo [HOW TO PHOTOS]
- Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanello gets her winning look from Rain Cosmetics [HOW TO PHOTOS]
- Artistry Cosmetics and Miss America