How to Apply Makeup for a Beauty Pageant
Pageant makeup should make you look bold and beautiful. It is the accentuation of classic looks. This look will be heavier and bolder than your normal day-to-day wear, and will make you glamorous during the show.

Part One of Five:
Preparing Your Skin for Heavy Makeup

Wash your face. You want to clean your face of any dirt or oil. Think of this step as preparing your face so it is a blank canvas. You want to prepare your skin as best as you can so your makeup brings out your best features.[1] To wash your face properly, follow these steps:
Wash your face with lukewarm water and a cream cleanser. You want to avoid using too hot of water as it will dry out your skin, and too cold water will make your skin look red or splotchy. A cream cleanser will hydrate your skin and wipe off any lingering oils or makeup.
Dab your face with a towel; do not rub. Rubbing may damage your skin.
If the skin around your eyes is particularly dry, use an eye cream to moisturize.
Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. Exfoliating your skin will remove the top, abrasive layer of your skin. Exfoliating too much may damage your skin, so be careful not to scrub too hard![2] To properly exfoliate your skin, do the following:
Concentrate on the rough and dry patches of your skin. Find the dull, flakey, or uneven patches of your skin.
Gently exfoliate upward, in smooth round motions. Do not be too heavy-handed as it may damage your skin.
Moisturize your skin. The type of moisturizer you apply will depend on your skin and the look that you are trying to achieve.[3]
If you have oily skin, look for a moisturizer that will combat the oil and not leave your face shiny.
If you have dry skin, look for an oil based moisturizer with natural ingredients. This will help your makeup look clean and smooth as opposed to cracked and scaly.
Some moisturizers may be tinted. If you have a favorite tinted moisturizer, you can use this as a primer. If not, consider using a non-tinted moisturizer as you want your primer to act as a neutral base for your make up.
Apply a primer to your skin. A good primer is essential to building a blank canvas before applying makeup. It helps to hydrate and to smooth out the skin on your face. It will combat shininess or unevenness. This is similar to using a base coat when painting your nails; some may see this as an unnecessary step, but you will find it will elevate your makeup.[4]
Primer is essential for pageant wear; you are going to be judged under harsh light and with intense scrutiny. A primer will help create a smooth surface and hide any imperfections in your skin that might otherwise not be hidden with regular makeup.[5]
Use your fingertips to apply a primer. It will help you really work the formula into your skin.
Primers come in gel, cream, or powder form. You can pick a primer based on what you want it to do for your skin.[6] There are a number of primers on the market that advertise different effects such as smoothing, evening, covering, etc.
Part Two of Five:
Applying Foundation to Your Face
Pick the right foundation for your skin type. You will want to pick a foundation will work with not only your skin tone but also your skin type. Generally, foundations come in powder, stick, gel, or cream form.[7] Follow these tips to pick the right formula for your skin:
If you have dry skin — Choose a foundation that is specifically designed for hydration. Liquids and stick foundation are creamier and may help moisturize your skin. Be careful; your skin may become sticky after application, but you can use a powder foundation to mask this.
If you have oily skin — Choose a foundation that is oil free. Oils in foundation may cause your skin to become more oily. Using a powder foundation may help absorb your skin’s natural oils, letting your skin have a matte, healthy look.
If you have a combination of oily/dry skin — Choose both a creamy and a powder foundation! You can strategically apply both foundations to help create an even and healthy skin tone.
Pick a foundation that looks well under harsh lighting conditions. Try out foundation looks before applying it for a pageant. You want to pick something that will look good through pictures, interviews, and stage lights. Since pageant makeup is an overall coverage, you want to start with a strong foundation to apply color and more unique details.
Decide on the right foundation color. You can find foundation in just about every shade imaginable; finding the perfect match should not be too difficult. Keep in mind that you are looking for a color that is more dramatic than everyday wear. You want something that will make you stand out on stage and hold up to stage lighting. Follow these tips to find what tone will work with your skin:
If you can, dip a cotton swab in your desired foundation and apply it on your jaw line. If it does not stand out and looks invisible, you have found your match.
Determine if you should use cool, neutral, or warm tones. You can decide if you should use a cool tone if the veins on your wrists stand out as blue, you burn easily, and you easily flush pink. Pick a foundation with a reddish or blueish base.
Pick a warm tone if the veins on your wrist appear a greenish color and if you quickly bronze or tan in the sun. Pick a foundation with a yellow or gold base.
If you have an equal number of green and blue veins on your wrists, you should use more of a neutral tone. You can pick either a warm or a cool foundation.
A quick tip about foundation colors: if gold looks good on you, you’re more than likely “warm.” If silver looks good on you, you’re a “cool.” If both look great on you, you are a lucky “neutral.”
Apply the foundation with a brush or a sponge. You want to apply your foundation evenly over your face. Makeup artists argue which tool to use when applying foundation.[8] Some argue that brushes are the best with liquid foundations, while others suggest sponges for blending. Use your favorite application and apply these tips for best coverage:
Apply heavy foundation on blemishes. You want your face to look even and healthy. Apply a heavier layer on pimples or discoloration. Do not worry if it looks uneven on the first pass through, you will be going back to smooth and blend these spots out.
Blend the foundation around hairline and jawline. You definitely do not want to appear to be wearing a mask of foundation. Make sure to blend the foundation so it looks natural and smooth.
Use foundation on your eyelids. Just like primer will create a healthy canvas for your face, foundation will apply a canvas for your eyelids. This will help your eyeshadow and eye makeup stand out and stick to your skin.
Be careful when applying foundation around your eyes. Do not get the makeup in your eyes! This can be quite painful. Use a small brush or your fingertips to apply it in these delicate locations.
Buff out any creases caused by the foundation. Once you have applied the first layer of foundation, go back through with a sponge and use a sweeping motion over your skin to smooth out any creases or uneven lines. Pay particular attention to where the makeup cakes over blemishes, creases, lines, etc. Try and make the foundation look as smooth as possible.
Pick a good concealer. You can use your foundation to help combat dark circles or other blemishes on your face. However, for extra coverage for stubborn areas, you must pick a good concealer. You want to choose one that blends well with your foundation.
When picking and applying a concealer, you want one that will blend smoothly. If not, the stage lighting will show “layers” to your makeup and accentuate, not hide, your blemishes. When buffing creases, be sure to look at your skin under different types of lights to catch any of these issues.[9]
Create a matte look with a layer of pressed foundation powder. By now, your face is probably feeling a bit sticky but for a pageant you will need a matte finish. Take a foundation powder, around the same shade as your first foundation, and dust it lightly over your face using a brush.
This will help your foundation stick to your face longer, and help with the “stickiness.” This will also help your makeup look more natural and less like paint.
Part Three of Five:
Highlighting Your Eyes
Pick three colors of eye shadow for your desired look. You will use a light, a medium, and a dark color. The colors you pick are entirely up to you. You can pick colors based on your eye color or you can pick colors depending on what type of event you will be attending.[10]
For example, if you are participating in a night event, you may want to consider darker, bolder colors with a sparkle or shimmer.
You may want to consider different looks for different parts of the pageant. For an interview, you probably do not need a very dramatic look. Instead, consider using more neutral colors for a more professional look.
Apply the three colors onto your eyelids. Divide your eyelid in thirds. Use each color on a third of your eyelid, starting with the lightest shade.
Using the lightest shade, create a triangle on the inside corner of your eyelid, nearest to your nose. Brush a line of the lightest powder along your brow bone. This is the first step to creating a bold eye look.
Apply the medium color to the middle of your eyelid. Make a medium-sized rectangle in the middle of your lid.
Use the darkest shadow and make a triangle on the outside of your eyelid. This should cover the last third of your eyelid, on the outside of your lid.
Blend your eye shadow. Now you want the colors to pop but look like they belong together. Take a small brush and use the medium color to blend light to medium and then dark to medium. Blending is important! You want the colors to blend into one, not look like three separate parts. Using the medium color will make the color change look more natural. It bridges the two colors together.
Add a finishing touch using the darkest color. Use a thin eye shadow brush to contour your eye shadow. Swipe the brush from the outside corner of your eyelid crease to the inside corner of your eyelid.
Shape your eyebrows. Pick an eyebrow pencil that is slightly darker than your natural eyebrow color. Determine what shape eyebrow you are going for. Do you want a thicker look or a more arched look? Again this depends on what look you want.[11]
Using short strokes, form the desired eyebrow shape on your eyebrows. This is dependent on your face and eyebrow shape. Do not go against the shape of your eyebrow. Instead, use your eyebrow bone as a guide for a more natural shape and always follow the direction of your hair.
It is important to fill out your eyebrows well and make them bold. They need to stand out on stage. There is a fine line between bold and gaudy, so try and stick with a color that fits your hair and skin tone.
Apply eyeliner. If you are comfortable using eyeliner and have applied it before, you may go for a liquid or gel eyeliner. If you are new to using eyeliner, you may use a pencil eyeliner as it is easy to fix if you make a mistake.[12]
If the liquid or gel eyeliner comes in a small pot, apply it using an eyeliner brush. If you are using a pencil eyeliner, hold it like you would a normal pencil in your dominant hand. Apply a thin line on the top inside of your eyelid, forming a thicker line as you move outward.
For your bottom lid, make a line on the inside of your eyelid (also called the water line). This is not beneath the lash line, but on the inside the lid itself. Be careful not to poke yourself in the eye as you do this.
Pick a mascara that will add volume to your eyes. You can even layer two different mascaras to get your desired effect. For example, some mascaras are great for volume while others are great for color. Use both for a fuller, darker look.
Slide the brush out of the tube slowly, making sure there is an even amount of mascara on only sides of the brush. Apply the mascara to your eyelashes, starting with your top eyelashes. Move the brush from the bottom of your lashes to the ends of your lashes in one fluid motion. You can apply several layers of the mascara, but avoid overdoing it as you do not want the mascara to clump to your eyelashes.
You can also apply mascara to your lower lashes. You will likely have less lashes on the bottom of your eye so apply the mascara carefully, applying one to two layers on your lower lashes.
Part Four of Five:
Creating Beautiful Lips
Pick your favorite lip liner, lipstick, and lip gloss. Your choice of lipstick with depend on your skin tone and your look.[13]
Identify your skin undertone. Is your undertone more yellow or pink? Yellow is warmer, and pink is cooler. This is very similar to picking the right foundation color; you want to pick a lip color that goes with your undertone.
Once you have identified your skin tone, you can look for lip liner, lipstick, and lip gloss in colors that will complement your skin tone. For example, if you have a cooler skin tone, you may choose reds that have some blue in them, while warmer skin tones often look good with orange based reds. You can ask a beauty consultant at your local make up counter for more advice if you have trouble determining your skin tone.
Put lip liner on your lips. Using short strokes with the liner pencil, fill in your lips. This will help the lipstick pop and stick to your lips. Think of the lip liner as adding foundation to your lips, preparing them for the lip color.
Make your top lip look a bit bigger that your bottom. Use your lip liner and gently shape your desired lip shape. You want to make this look bold, but natural. Do not exaggerate this too much or it will look unnatural.
You can also play around with the liner to make the shape that you want. Experimenting is key here!
Apply the lipstick. Follow your lip liner and apply the lipstick to your lips. Try to do this in a fluid motion, running the lipstick over your top lip and your bottom lip.
Once you apply the lipstick, you should fold a piece of clean tissue in half and close your lips over it. This will help to seal in the color on your lips.
You should also check that there is no lipstick on your teeth. Open your mouth and smile to confirm this.
Dab lip gloss in the middle of your top lip and bottom lip. Avoid putting gloss all over your lips; instead, you want to contour your lips with the gloss.
This tip is very similar to how you can contour your nose to look different. Applying lip gloss on the center of your lips will make them look fuller.
Lip gloss will also help your lips photograph well and make them noticeable from the stage.
Part Five of Five:
Applying the Finishing Touches
Use a large, puffy brush to apply highlighting powder. Highlighting powder can be a good final touch for your face and help to bring attention to your stand out features. You should select a highlighting powder based on your skin tone.[14]
If you have fair skin, you should use a pearl colored pressed powder. If you have a fair to medium skin tone, you should select a champagne toned highlighter or a pale pink highlighter. For medium to dark skin tones, go for a highlighter in a neutral peach shade and avoid highlighters with any yellow in them. Darker skin tones should go for a highlighter with a gold shimmer.
Start by lightly running the highlighting powder underneath the arch of your eyebrows and in the inner corner of your eyelids. You should also apply it on the bridge of your nose just between your eyes. Make sure you brush the powder away from your nose and eyes.
You should also run the brush on the high points of your cheeks. This line of contour powder will help your cheekbone pop and add dimension to your face.
Finally, put a small amount of highlighter above your lips, at your Cupid’s bow. Always brush out, moving away from your nose and mouth to avoid getting powder on your lips.
Apply bronzer to your cheeks. This will help to thin out your cheeks. Apply a small amount of bronzer; you do not want to make it look unnatural or out of place.
Next you can finish your look by applying blush right above your bronzer. The color is dependent on how bold of a look you want. The darker color you use, the bolder the look will be. You want to emphasize the apples of your cheek.
If you want a thinner nose, use a brush and brush the bronzer down the sides of your nose. This will highlight your nose and manipulate the way it looks.
Review your work! Go over your face and add more color if you need to. Or, you can go back and buff out any trouble spots that you notice.[15]
Because you have applied this look in layers, you can easily touch up any spots that you are unhappy with by repeating the steps of this process.
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Not all colors or makeup work for every type of person or skin tone. Experiment with colors to see what works best for you.
You want to go with a bolder look for competitions than you would for everyday wear.
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About This Article
Co-authors: 13
Updated: May 30, 2017
Views: 24,291
Article Rating: 100% – 5 votes
Categories: Beauty Contests and Beauty Pageants
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