Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Dance Bag Essentials

Vivian has been dancing for a few years now and I feel like with every competition and recital that passes I learn some new trick or essential item that I need to have in our dance bag.  This dance stuff is serious business, yo.  I thought I would do a little post of what I like to make sure is in our suitcase when it's time for a dance competition - please let me know if there's anything else I should have!

Competition make up is NO JOKE.  Seriously, nothing is stranger than putting heavy makeup on a 5 year old, but that's the way it goes.  It's important that the kids all look the same and that they stand out on stage.  Without makeup they end up being totally washed out.  The look for our dance studio is black winged liquid liner with dark blue eye shadow, black mascara, rosy red cheeks, and red lips with an exaggerated cupid's bow.  False lashes aren't required, but they are suggested.  I haven't mastered getting them on Vivian yet, but we have them in the bag.

Here's what our dance makeup kit looks like.



Yes, it's a cliche but that pink Maybelline mascara is the best stuff there is.  I don't like to have a bunch of expensive stuff in the dance makeup kit since it is easy to lose it in a dressing room so that mascara is perfect.  The dark blue eyeshadow is a Smashbox shade that I already had and I use Q-tips to apply it to get it on nice and dark.  I have a small sample size of Urban Decay eye primer that works really well to make sure nothing rubs off once I get her eyes all done.  I try to keep everything compact in the kit so having a sample of it is perfect.  I also use a small Kabuki brush for her blush since it goes on nice and bright and is compact.  Having a blush brush with a cap on it makes sure that it doesn't get all mangled in the bag too.

My real trick in the bag is the lip stuff.  I have a lip liner for her, but I'm not crazy about it.  I started with lipstick for her but found she was constantly rubbing at it or it would wear off too quickly.  then I found this Elf Lip Stain at Old Navy.  It's the BEST.  It's basically a red magic marker for lips and it costs like $3.  I grab one pretty well every time I'm at Old Navy so I can make sure I have one with me for dance all the time.  This is what I keep in my pocket so I have it for backstage touchups on Vivian.  It stains their lips a really nice bright red and stays put even when they drink.  No more rubbing it across a cheek right before they go out on stage.

For her eyeliner I like these double ended deals.  This one is by Annabelle and it works really nicely.  It's what I use at home too.  One side has a Kajal end so it goes on really smoothly and evenly.





The other side is liquid liner that again is basically a black Sharpie.  It's got a nice felt tip that makes it easy to be precise.  I use the Kajal if I'm in a rush and the liquid liner if I have time to be more careful.  You never know with wiggly kids how much time you'll get so it's nice to have options.


Her blush pallette is another cheap find from Elf at Old Navy.  Seriously, their makeup is perfect for something like this.  So cheap and the colours are nice and bright.  Not for me to wear everyday, but great for kids.  As you can tell I favour the reddish gold colour in the bottom right corner - perfect for those apple cheeked kids!


I like to keep her makeup in a clear bag so I can tell right away if I'm missing something.  I have a habit of putting things in my pocket so this cuts down on digging time.


Another important item for our studio are eye gems.  The kids wear three small eye gems at the corner of each eye and then larger gems stuck on their ears.  These are just plain rhinestone stickers from the dollar store - another thing I grab every time I see them.  These get passed around the dressing rooms like crazy - there's always someone who needs some eye gems!


Other makeup essentials?  Bobby pins, safety pins, cotton pads and sponges.  I keep wet wipes and makeup remover wipes in there too to fix anything up and I should pick up a small sewing kit to keep in there.  I also have a baggie with small rubber elastics which are essential.  Our kids wear cornrows for their competition hair.  It's complicated, but it works really nicely to be able to quickly pull the rest of their hair back.  Having the front in braids also gives a simple place to be able to secure any hair accessories.


Other things I like to have on hand?  Water bottles, simple snacks, extra tights (always have a spare set of tights!), warm up clothes, and shoes that are easy to slip on and off for backstage.  Vivian also wears a hairpiece for routines which I like to keep in a large Ziploc bag.  Any accessories she has I keep grouped in large Ziploc bags as well - labelled with her name and the routine name.  For her recital she was in four separate routines so having all accessories in a bag that was clearly marked with her name and which routine was essential for getting costume changes done quickly.  

I don't know how some parents do it with the number of routines their kids are in.  Vivian hasn't quite graduated to needing a dance suitcase like this yet, but I know that day is coming!  Any other tips or tricks are much appreciated!

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