Two Rockettes explain how they make their makeup last through multiple shows.

By Renee Cherry
December 18, 2019
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It's hard enough for the average person to get a red lip to stay put on any day. But the Rockettes need their makeup to last throughout a grueling schedule of shows (sometimes multiple a day) that even involve wearing a beard at one point. What's even more impressive is that the dancers all do their own makeup (!), so joining the show means they quickly become pros at applying budge-proof makeup.

Hungry for holiday makeup tips? Here's how the Rockettes apply their iconic makeup (including that red lip) for every show. (Related: This Rockettes Workout Is Inspired By One of Their Most Demanding Numbers)

The Rockettes look is a little more understated than your average stage makeup. Everyone wears brown eyeshadow, falsies, and a red lip. "It's more about bringing out your natural features rather than having really heavy makeup," says Rockette Tiffany Griffin. "I did cruise ships, and we did really heavy eye makeup and like huge lashes, and what I like about the Rockette look is that it's just classic and glamorous."

The dancers also have some freedom when choosing their makeup products. To create a solid base, Rockette Lauren Renck starts with a layer of Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation (Buy It, $43, sephora.com). Sometimes she says she'll sub in Maybelline Fit Me Foundation (Buy It, $8, ulta.com) because, real talk, the Estée Lauder pick doesn't come cheap. "On days when I have four shows, I'll start the first show of the day with a light base," says Renck. "As the day goes on, I'll usually reapply." (Related: Exactly What Happens Behind the Scenes of the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular)

Fun fact: Those bright red cheeks the dancers have on their faces during the soldier number aren't face paint but tape! That allows for quicker beauty and outfit changes, but the dancers still need to wear a blush underneath that won't come off with the tape. Griffin relies on Nars Blush in Orgasm (Buy It, $30, sephora.com). "It's my favorite because it's a nice peachy pink with a little bit of shimmer in it," she says.

On to that iconic red lip: Some of the dancers will use regular lipstick with a sealant, a product that's applied over lip color to "seal" it in place. Renck prefers a lip stain as a one-and-done option. She's tested numerous options for longevity while performing throughout the years and has settled on Sephora Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in shade 01 (Buy It, $14, sephora.com). She dips a Mac lip brush into the stain to outline her lips before filling them in using the stain's doe-foot applicator.

The Rockettes each wear false lashes and Griffin has perfected her technique for putting them on. She applies a thin layer of glue to the lashes and waits 30 seconds to one minute before applying them to allow the glue to become tacky, she explains. Once they're on, you can use tweezers to carefully squeeze your natural and false lashes together, she says. Ardell 110 lashes (Buy It, $4, target.com), which are natural-looking, are her favorite lashes, and she uses DUO Brush On Adhesive (Buy It, $9, sephora.com). "DUO Brush On is my favorite because it has a nice thin brush, and it gets tackier quicker," she says. (Related: 7 Lower-Body Exercises the Rockettes Do for Strong, Lean Legs)

Finally, the element that separates a makeup look that fades from one that would withstand the apocalypse is setting spray. Griffin and Renck both agree that Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (Buy It, $33, sephora.com) is the best bet. Even without powder, it locks everything down, says Renck.

With this knowledge in hand, you can totally rock a Rockette-level glam look at your holiday party, and you won't have to worry about losing your lipstick to a plate of cookies.

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