You are here

Glam Makeup Secrets from the Set of DWTS

There's more to ABC's hit show Dancing With the Stars than meets the eye. Sure, they're all glamorous celebrities, who don the most outrageous costumes and put their dancing prowess (or lack thereof) on the line each week, risking total public embarrassment (all with their eye on that Mirror Ball prize). But, if there's one thing we can learn from the hoofing stars, it's how they look so good doing it. We went right to the source—the star-studded show's former chief makeup artist Melanie Mills. Here are some of her favorite dancers and the insider tricks she used to help them look their best come competition night.

Brandy Norwood: Bold Brows
The songstress and actress was "all about flawless makeup and a perfectly sculpted eyebrow," Mills says. On Norwood, she used the Brow Pro series from Anastasia as well as the Ebony brow duo to fill in sparse areas. For Norwood, Mills also used an eye-popping pro trick that shouldn't be attempted at home without the help of a professional—doubling up on false lashes (placing one strip on top of another).
Lacey Schwimmer: Matte Maven
While other dancers amped up the sparkle factor, Lacey Schwimmer preferred to stay a little more matte. "She wore lots of powder to eliminate shine, like Makeup Forever HD, and avoided the creamy blushes and went for powder blush by MAC instead," Mills says. Bronzy eye shadows and lots and lots of lashes completed her look.
Kelly Osbourne: Lip Service
This punk rock princess provided "a perfect canvas of creamy, dense skin that loves makeup," Mills says. "She has gorgeous skin and she would spray tan her body only." But, the biggest emphasis each week was on "bright poppy lips, which she would pull off stunningly." So what did Mills use to pull off those poppy lips? "I used Lime Crime's Centrifuschia and Julie Hewett's Film Noir," Mills says.
Anna Trebunskaya: Porcelain Complexion
This Russian doll turned dancer is flawless in every way, Mills says. "With perfect features and flawless skin, Anna is a perfectionist on the dance floor and in the makeup chair." To make sure her natural beauty shines through, Mills mixed the Light Gold Gleam from her line, with Trebunskaya's own Armani liquid foundation to achieve that fabulous "lit from within" look. No doll-face would be complete without rosy cheeks. "I used a peachy shade of Julie Hewett Cheekie crème blush dabbed on the apples of her cheeks," Mills says.
Kym Johnson: Bronzed Beauty
"Golden hair and sultry, smoky eyes, she rocks a nude lip and prefers that balance of a dramatic eye and neutral lip tone," Mills says. But Kym Johnson's best assets were emphasized by expertly applied bronzer (Mills alternated between Smashbox and Christian Dior's versions), and the Makeup Forever Sculpting Kit for contouring and highlighting facial features.
Susan Lucci: Sparkling Soapstar
The former soap star is undeniably stunning at all times (I can attest, I saw her up close and personal while signing books next to her at the recent East Hampton Author's Night) so Mills decided to play up her best features for her stint on DWTS. "Lucci's beauty trademark is the shape of her big expressive cat eyes," Mills says. "To accentuate them, I lined her entire eye, especially the inner eye rim, which made those amazing peepers even wider." Mills also says she mixed Rose Gold Gleam from her own product line into Lucci's foundation for that "golden glow" and finished with a dab of gold lipstick in the center of her bottom lip for extra sparkle.
Pamela Anderson: Blushing Bombshell
The bombshell rocked her signature looks, like bronzy skin, smoky eyes and lots of blush. But, when one episode called for Mills to make Anderson up to look like Marilyn Monroe, she pulled out all the stops, including a bold red lip. "MAC Spice lip liner with Gleam Lip Radiance in Naked was her go-to favorite lip, except when we pulled out the rich Julie Hewett red lipsticks, some of the best around," Mills says.

More on SHAPE.com:
Celebrity Workouts You've Never Heard of
Nicole Scherzinger's 5 Moves for a Firm Body
Get Sexy Hair like Denise Richards