8 Ways to Look Amazing On Stage
Discover 8 expert tips for looking your best on stage as a singer. From using matte makeup to choosing the right outfit, these tips will help you look amazing under the bright stage lights. Learn how to enhance your appearance and make a lasting impression on your audience.
Let’s elevate your stage game.
1. Add some sparkle
Everyone loves a good bit of bling and adding a little to your outfit can really create that glamorous wow factor but here’s a word of advice; stick to just one shimmery item.
Head to toe sparkle will make you look like a Christmas tree out of season… and have you ever caught an eyeful of Elton John’s OTT sequins? Not pretty.
The stage lights pick up any shiny material making it glitter and you don’t want to run the risk of blinding your audience!
2. Don’t wear black
I love black. It’s slimming and goes with everything except when you wear it on stage, no one can see you. It’s because more often than not, the curtain behind the stage is also black and you will blend right in.
If you sing any of the grungy, rock or punk genres, try mixing black jeans with a white t-shirt with some red writing on it, or whatever you can find that adds a bit of colour to the picture.
You’ll often see my band dressed in black while I’m in some flashy colour and there’s a reason for this. I want to be the focus of all the attention because it’s my gig. Simple.
3. Highlight your cheekbones
Stage lights do wonders for your cheekbones because of the way they are placed on the stage above your head, so why not work with it!?
A little bit of highlighter makeup across the top of your cheekbones combined with a bit of contour beneath will work wonders.
Oh, and don’t forget to smile to really show them off.
Related: Makeup for Stage
4. Wear extra make-up
I’m not a big make-up wearer most days but I do trowel it on for a gig. Well, not always. If I’m just doing a low key gig or it’s a day time thing without the big stage lights, then I don’t always wear a full face, but if it’s a proper show at night then I got the whole hog.
It’s because the stage lights will wash your face out completely if you go al naturale. Make sure you go twice as dark for cheeks and wear a bright coloured lipstick. HUGE TIP though – you can skip the heavy foundation. This will just make you look shiny and will sweat off. I do a light base but heavy everything else.
Colour is your friend, just don’t go overboard.
5. Wear a costume not just an outfit
a. Have fun with it
Being on stage is the one time that you really get to have fun and dress the part. Whatever your genre, make sure how you dress reflects the style. Think of your clothes as a costume rather than just an outfit and really go all out.
Sometimes I see contestants on American Idol who have an entire wardrobe department at their disposal and their outfit is boring and ordinary. If that was me I’d be finding the most glamorous dress they’d let me wear and would create a whole look with the hair, makeup and accessories.
Always wanted to wear something but were too afraid? Now is your chance.
b. Think comfort
When you’re choosing your outfit, comfort should also be a top priority. You’ll be performing on stage, moving around and possibly dancing, so you’ll want to wear something that allows you to move freely and comfortably. Avoid anything too tight or restrictive, as this can distract from your performance (corsets are a huge no-no because they restrict your breathing).
c. Consider the lighting
Another important factor to consider is the stage lighting. Some colors and fabrics can look different under stage lights (er… hello see-through skirt or top!!). Alsoavoid wearing too much white because it can appear to be too reflective under stage lights. Instead, opt for colors that will help to create contrast and make you stand out. Red is a personal fave.
6. Wear pantyhose without any sheen
If you’re into short skirts then make sure you wear pantyhose without any sheen. (I’ll give you some tips on short skirts on stage at a later date – hint: don’t let people see up your skirt ladies! – It happens all the time when you’re higher than the audience on stage.)
Why wear low sheen pantyhose? Because the sheen reflects the stage lights and can make your legs look double the size. A lot of high profile singers wear pantyhose with all their outfits because they get the ‘suck-you-in-and-make-you-thin’ brands.
I’m talking Beyonce here girls. You can bet your bottom dollar she’s wearing those kinds of pantyhose with that leotard. Think smooth, tight and flawless legs and thighs.
7. Don’t go too heavy on the black eyeliner
Learn the difference between photoshoot make-up and stage make-up. They are very different creatures. Those stage lights which were so kind to your cheekbones are enemies of the dark circles under your eyes and wearing a heap of black eye liner just accentuates this.
It also gets hot up there so chances are your liner will run making you look like Courtney Love on a really bad day.
Here are a few more makeup tips for the stage:
- Use a matte, oil-free makeup to avoid shine on your face.
- Apply a subtle, natural-looking bronzer to add some warmth to your skin.
- Use a waterproof mascara to avoid smudging or smearing.
- Apply a touch of lip gloss to add some shine to your lips.
- Use a setting spray to keep your makeup in place.
- Use a light-reflecting concealer to brighten any dark under-eye circles.
- Use a light, sheer powder to set your makeup and reduce shine.
- Bring a small mirror or compact with you to touch up your makeup as needed.
8. Think about your brand
This last tip is a little counter-intuitive to tip #5, but to be honest, everything you do from the venues you choose to perform at, to what you post online to what you wear on stage needs to encompass your brand as a musician.
If your brand style is scruffy hair, ripped jeans and a fluro spandex top, then wear that. It is what people will get to know you for and expect from you.
Of course, feel free to break these rules whenever because musicians are trend setters after all 😉
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