Category : The Feis Look

How to match your hair color to your wig for Irish dance_ready-to-feis
The Feis Look

How to match your hair color to your wig for Irish dance

One of the more unusual aspects of Irish dancing costuming is the wigs. What’s even more unusual is that many dancers will wear a wig that doesn’t match their natural hair color. This is done for myriad reasons, such as a certain color looking better with the color of their costume e.g red hair with a green dress. It could be done to stand out on stage e.g. going platinum blonde instead of regular blonde. It could also be done because some teachers prefer the uniform look of all dancers in the same hair color for team dancing.

Changing the front of your hair to match your wig is not as tricky as it may seem. First of all, from a distance on stage it doesn’t need to match perfectly. Once your hair is styled in the pre-wig stage – your bun is done and your poof/quiff/braid at the front is ready – you simply spray the colored hairspray over the front of the hair, gently avoiding the forehead and ears. Once the spray is dry, put on the wig and hair accessories.

Hot tip: For a more vibrant result, use a white spray as a base, like the Jerome Russell Platinum spray, and then spray the color on top. This works particularly well for creating a red shade.

With thanks to Erin Kouridakis from Not My Reel Hair, and Camelia Rose for partnering with us on this video.



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New Irish dancing hair trends_ready to feis_Irish dance
The Feis Look

Trend watch: New Irish dancing hair trends

If you’re in the competitive Irish dancing scene, one of the most fun parts of the majors circuit is seeing people unveil new competition looks – what’s on trend now, who is pushing the envelope, and what look will everyone be copying by the next feis. While it takes a while for dress trends to filter down – you can’t exactly buy a new dress from major to major – it’s easier and more affordable to jump on the trend bandwagon with a fresh hairdo. We asked hair expert Donna from Australian dance vendor Irish Dance Diva to weigh in on what we’re seeing on heads now.

The Short Wig

This trend is being driven by Ciara Loughran (pictured below), who styled a Robyn wig for the 2016 World Championship and cut it into a long bob. In fact, Ciara is such a trendsetter here that Camelia Rose named this brand new short wig after her! “The hottest new look is the Camelia Rose Ciara wig. This variation of their Robyn wig is approx 3″ inches shorter. I love this look as it is clean, modern and perfect for both solo and teams”, explains Donna.

The Double Bun

The higher the hair, the closer to God? Perhaps. we have seen bun wigs get taller and taller over the last year, as dancers have gotten creative in their styling (forget donuts, it’s all about the socks in the wig for extra height). According to Donna, “Another new wig trend is the Camelia Rose Clodagh bun wig. It is the same loose curl as their best selling Alliyah bun wig but double the size. Perfect look for teenagers and older dancers.” The danger with this trend is looking a little too Marge Simpson – proceed with caution when styling it.

The Fabric-Backed Tiara

Everything old is new again! This trend was first popular in the mid 1990s, when dancers would sew a triangle of fabric behind their tiara to match their dress. Cut to 2016 where the tiaras are bigger, but the trend is right back in play. Donna says, “The new look of fabric backed tiara’s has followed the trend from dress makers to supply fabric headpieces to match dancers dresses. Camelia Rose has collaborated with dress makers Rising Star to come up with the clever idea of selling a fabric piece that can be attached to one of their tiara’s.” In the photo we see double backed fabric which pick up the colours of the dancers dress perfectly.

An Accent Piece to the Side

First spotted on Amy-Mae Dolan, this asymmetric look is not for the faint-hearted. While not a tiara and not a flower, it’s an intricate hair piece in the style of a fascinator, placed to the side and often nestled amongst curls. This look definitely works best with an up-do, but is also stunning with the new short wig style. “We have seen lots of gorgeous lace pieces worn to the side of the dancers head. This replaces the need for a tiara and creates a more soft, natural look. Here the dancers have customised side pieces to match their dresses.”

Have you spotted any other new trends? Do you like to experiment with your hair? Share a picture of your new look on our Facebook page.

Check out the Facebook Live video with did with Rosey from Camelia Rose talking about hair trends at NAIDC2016, and the Facebook Live we did with Jason Hays talking dress trends.

For Australian dancers, be sure to check out Irish Dance Diva for all your wig and hair accessory needs.

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How to match your foundation to your fake tan_irish dance_ready to feis
The Feis Look

How to match your foundation to your fake tan

When you’re using fake tan for a competition and you’re turning your skin an unnatural shade of brown, your regular foundation is not going to cut it. The biggest danger is that you’ll end up rocking The Eagle – white face, brown body. Make up artist, professional dancer, and TCRG Caitlin Golding talks us through matching your face to your fake tan without looking like an Eagle. Hot tip: don’t put foundation on your neck, use bronzer for that.

Products used:
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Rich Cream Cleanser
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Compact
Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush
Bobbi Brown Corrector
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer
Bobbi Brown Bronzer

Drug store alternatives: 
Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser
Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream
L’Oreal Paris Hydra-Renewal Continuous Moisture Cream
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Advanced Never Fail Makeup
Outop Change Foundation Brush
BH Cosmetics 6 Color Concealer & Corrector Palette
Maybelline New York Fit Me! Concealer
Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting BB Bronzer SPF 20

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The Feis Look

How to apply false lashes for the Irish dancing stage

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the eye lashes are a very beautiful frame. Wearing false lashes for competition is absolutely not essential, but when you’re on the big stage and everything else is big – big hair, dark tan, bright lipstick – wearing false lashes helps to balance out the face and create an overall pleasing look. False lashes can be very fiddly though, which is why we brought in Bobbi Brown makeup artist and professional dancer Caitlin Golding. Once you master this simple application technique for applying false lashes, you’ll be fluttering your way across the stage.


Products used in the video:

Bobbi Brown Black Ink Gel Liner
Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara
Ardell Lashes –  Demi Wispies
Kiss Ever Ez Eye Lash Glue

Great drugstore buys that won’t break the bank:

Duo Lash Adhesive
Maybelline New York Expert Tools Eye Lash Curler
CoverGirl LashBlast Waterproof Mascara
L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes Waterproof Mascara
Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
NYX Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner and Smudger
Kiss I Envy Beyond Naturale Lashes Demi Wispies

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How to apply bronzer for the Irish dancing stage_ready to feis_irish dance makeup
The Feis Look

How to apply bronzer for the Irish dancing stage

When applied incorrectly, bronzer has the power to make you look orange, muddy, streaky, patchy, or like an eagle (brown body, white head). When applied correctly, however, bronzer can make you look lit from within, highlighting your best bits, giving you a healthy glow, and evening out any fake tan. Bronzer can seem scary, but Bobbi Brown makeup artist and cast member of Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games Caitlin Golding is here to help you fight your fears and beat streakiness with this easy to follow tutorial. Once you master this simple application technique you’ll be golden, pun intended.

Remember – tap it off, tap it in, make an E!

Products used in the video:

Bobbi Brown Longwear Compact Foundation in Natural

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light to Medium Bisque

Bobbi Brown Natural Creamy Concealer

Bobbi Brown Pale Yellow Sheer Powder (Pressed or Loose)

Bobbi Brown Natural Bronzer

Bobbi Brown Blush in Pale Pink

Bobbi Brown Rose Shimmer Brick

Great drugstore bronzers that won’t break the bank:

NYX Matte Bronzer

Almay Smart Shade Powder Blush

Pixi Beauty Bronzer

Palladio Mosaic Blush

Rimmel Natural Bronzer

Maybelline Fit Me! Bronzer Pressed Powder

Milani Bronzer XL

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What you need to know about stage makeup_irish dance_ready to feis
The Feis Look

What you need to know about stage makeup

Stage makeup. It’s fun and exciting and scary and confusing and frustrating and a total nightmare depending on who you are. As you climb up the ranks, the stages get bigger and the lights get brighter, which means the requirements change. Knowing how to get your makeup right for the stage can pull your look together, while getting it wrong gets you noticed for the wrong reason.

What is stage makeup?

According to Pauline McArdle, makeup artist and owner of Feis Fab, “you have to wear a certain amount of makeup, with the right type of makeup. The right application will bring the face to life, to give you a happy and animated look that will be appealing to the judges.” Wearing stage makeup is about looking like yourself, but bolder.

What products do you need?

Knowing how to combat the lights is key. “The lighting in most ballrooms is horrendous, and if you do not apply the right type of makeup in the right way your dancer is going to come off bland and will blend in with the backlights. The fluorescent lighting will wipe them out” says McArdle.

One of the most important things about stage makeup, particularly for a major feis, is endurance. “You need to be able to sustain a look the entire day. You want to be able to go on for your recall, after a whole day of dancing, and still look as fresh as you did at 8:30 in the morning.” When it comes to purchasing products, the key to that endurance is good quality. McArdle acknowledges, “I know it’s not the most reasonable type of stuff! You really need to start with good quality makeup, particularly for foundation and blush. Invest once in a good foundation and a good blush, and that will last you”

Bronzer is also important for fighting the washing out effects of stage lights. McArdle explains, “Bronzer can do a lot for you. It can be used to highlight your cheeks and your natural facial expression. When doing makeup, we ask that the dancer smiles. We see where the cheek bones go and we define that. You want to define your natural expressions, not a frown because a lot of people misapply the blush – they look like they are clowns and they look like they are frowning, and that is not what the judges want to see!”

When talking brands, McArdle says, “We only use MAC because MAC was originally designed for professionals on stage. It was manufactured for stage makeup, that’s where their standard came from, that’s where they started, and it makes perfect sense for us to continue with this brand because it looks the best and the makeup stays on.“

Basic rules of stage makeup

McArdle has a collection of great advice when it comes to getting your makeup right.

  • “You don’t want to wear big bright eye shadow to match your dress, because when you look down that is all the judges are going to see and they will know that you are looking at your feet and not looking ahead.”
  • “The runway look is very big right now – using more natural tones like browns, and getting away from the color matching to your dress that’s very outdated.”
  • “To make the eyes very bright, avoid a lot of heavy mascara, heavy eye shadow, and heavy eyeliner. With natural wide open eyes, an open face and bright lips, it looks like you are smiling and enjoying yourself, which is very pleasing.”
  • “You want to highlight the natural, you don’t want to paint something on that is not there naturally. Putting the blush on the apples doesn’t work for every kid, because not every kid has that facial structure in their cheek bones. You want to follow the natural line of where their cheek bones go so that you lift their face up.”

Please note: Check with your teacher regarding the makeup rules for your organisation. For CLRG, makeup is not permitted for the first two grades, up to and including the under 12 age group worldwide. Makeup (including false eyelashes) is not permitted for dancers up to and including the under 10 age group. Both makeup rules apply to the age group of the competition, not the actual age of the dancer. See the CLRG rule book for rules 4.5 for clarification.

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how to apply fake tan for competitions
The Feis Look

How To Apply Fake Tan For Competitions

While it doesn’t say in any feis syllabus anywhere in the world that fake tan is a required element of costume or appearance, fake tan has become de rigeur for competing. Skin can look washed out under heavy stage lighting, so makeup and fake tan are applied to pull the competition look together, along with a wig that’s bigger than day-to-day hair, and brightly coloured costumes adorned with sparkles.

If you’re going to tan up for feises, then you need to know what you’re doing or it can go horribly wrong! We spoke to Jules Heptonstall, St.Tropez Global Skin Finishing Expert and Tanning Expert on television show Strictly Come Dancing, to get the inside scoop on tanning for stage, and how you can do it at home without looking like a streaky oompa loompa!

Heptonstall says, “For the deepest, darkest bronze that looks totally natural it’s important to prep your skin, because you’re going to be putting A LOT of tan onto it.

I hold off applying any self tan for two weeks before my deepest darkest tan, to ensure my skin is totally free of any residue from old self-tan. To create a flawless skin surface I exfoliate twice a week before the application.

Before tan application, ensure your skin is make up and deodorant free. Moisturise dry areas including hands, elbows, knees and feet, and if you’re fair, moisturise your eyebrows and hairline too. You’ll need to do this on both applications.

Start by applying St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Lotion two days before your event – using a mitt and working around the body in sweeping motions. Don’t be alarmed if the guide colour looks uneven when you’re applying, this overlapping just shows you’ve totally covered yourself all over. Let the first coat dry (I like to wait 5 minutes) before applying the second. Wear loose dark clothing after application, and wipe your fingernails, palms, in-between your fingers and add a little moisturiser to the bottom of your palms. If you’re nervous, just take a buffing mitt and glide all over your body to blend.

Allow the tan to develop for 12 hours, and shower off using a nourishing oil-free shower cream.

Then repeat the process with St. Tropez Self Tan Lotion, leaving the tan on for 12 hours before showing, OR have a St. Tropez Self Tan Express Spray, leaving the tan on for 3 hours before showering.

My top tip for this is to moisturise with rich body butters to lock in hydration into the skin. Lotions are hydrating anyway, but because you’re double tanning, skin may feel a little dry. This tan will last the longest compared to using mousses and sprays.”

What are your top tips and tricks for applying fake tan? Do you have a favourite brand that you use?

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