Friday, September 30, 2016

Pack it Up: Showgirl Necessities

A great way to bond in the dressing room is to have something you can share. Ol' broads, new performers, traveling showgirls all want to make friends in the dressing room. Someone always forgets something. You want to be remembered by your colleagues and producers as being great backstage.

Here's my list for the most requested/forgotten items that someone needs in the dressing room.

  1. Pastie adhesive: tape, spirit gum, medical adhesive
  2. Eyelash glue
  3. Safety pins
  4. Body glitter
  5. Hair spray
  6. Lady supplies: usually tampons but pantyliners and pads are not uncommon
  7. Scissors
  8. Pain reliever: aspirin, acetaminophen
  9. Bobby pins
  10. Food: energy bar, tiny bag of nuts, Snickers, fruit leather
  11. Bandaid
I suggest you label containers of stuff that you want back so they don't get permanently rehomed.

If you're a producer or troupe leader, you may consider adding these to your list of necessities:
  • Extra fishnets or pantyhose
  • Spare single-use pasties
  • Break & use ice pack
  • Needles & thread
  • Black duct tape
  • Spare eyelashes
Lili vonSchtupp at the Monday Night Tease typically has a kit backstage that contains some of these items. She asks performers to throw in a couple bucks if they take the eyelashes or pasties so she can replace them.

If you wind up asking for someone to share supplies, be sure to thank the person for helping you out. We all forget something at some point. Don't let the rush of the moment make you come off as ungrateful.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Atomic Thursday: Spackle

I've been upgrading my cosmetics and skin care collection over the past several months. I've long admired the Atomic Cosmetics line from afar. When Dr. Jen came to visit Los Angeles earlier this year, I spent as much as I could on product. I really believe in her products. Since I've been able to try many things I figured I'd share my product reviews with you on Thursdays.

A couple of these have been kicking around my vanity.
Atomic Cosmetics: Spackle

The reason I'm reviewing this first is because this product is leaving the Atomic Cosmetics line. Spackle is gone as of November 1st. White Girl Wasted is the exception; it will still be available. It's a fantastic product so I encourage you to get it while it's available.

Spackle is a pigment-rich, oil-based, full coverage foundation. It comes in small pots or cream stick. I can use it straight out of the container to cover blemishes and under-eye freckles. I typically mix it with a primer to prepare for the stage, applying it with a brush. (You can use a sponge. I'm a brush person with facial foundation and a sponge person for body makeup.) You can get lighter and darker colors for highlight and shadow.
L to R: White Girl Wasted, Porcelain Doll, Nude Beach, Hunty

I use Nude Beach for my face and the sun-kissed parts of my body. (I love that this nudist requires the color Nude Beach.) I use Porcelain Doll under my eyes to brighten up the area a bit. Porcelain Doll is also great on skin imperfections on the paler parts of my body. Hunty is a bit darker. It would work as a gentle shadow for me. It would probably work better on the face of the mister than on me.  White Girl Wasted is white, great for the brow bone, highlights on the inner corner of the eye beside the nose, and below the eye. (Use is on the under-eye area before applying skin tone foundation.)

You can look at the product on different skin tones on the website so you can see what it looks like on someone close to your shade. Nude Beach might be a better highlight for someone else than it is for me.

This stuff lasts a while if you mix it with a primer. I've been working on the same small container for months, using it every time I perform or do a photo shoot. I encourage you to get a full stick now so you can work with something incredible. I feel like it's an ideal, the Golden Mean.

I suggest you pick some up as soon as you can.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Body Makeup: Look Flawless

You want to look put-together when you perform for people. The more of you that's being seen, the more care you have to give your presentation. Make your appearance intentional and unified. Even if you are portraying a character you are presenting something for the audience to view as an ideal of that thing. As an example, a hobo number should fully communicate 'hobo' to the audience with everything that's being presented.

How much of your body canvas is being incorporated into your act? Makeup isn't just for faces.

You can work out like a champ, avoid most processed foods, drink plenty of water and still have skin imperfections that show up under stage lights. Dress for your final reveal and note which areas of your skin don't contribute to the last image you give your audience as they applaud. Sunburns, skin irritations, eruptions and discoloration may need some spackle.

Ingredients for success with body makeup
You have to learn how to camouflage your body's flaws. (Flaws in this case are things that do not contribute to the ideal you're presenting to the audience.) Don't expect the venue's lighting to do the work for you.

I have a varicose vein. It's not from a sedentary lifestyle. It's hereditary. It doesn't contribute to the look I'm going for when I peel stockings and get as naked as possible on stage. Removing it would be painful and expensive. I just cover it with makeup.

You may know the rule to cover bruises with yellow and redness with green. That works best in small areas and when you can see and reach those spots to precisely dab and blend. Drug store concealer doesn't have enough pigment to cover much.

Dermablend is made to cover body flaws. It's $25-$30 per tube. It's worth the expense but it's important to know how to get the most out of each bottle.

Here's my process:
  1. Shower, shave and exfoliate. Let your skin dry completely.
  2. Mix a dollop of Dermablend with two dollops of Skin Zen Body Butter from Xerion Skin Science. (This stuff smells good and shouldn't further irritate your skin.) I highly recommend working in small quantities and using a skewer or plastic knife.
  3. Using a fresh cosmetics sponge, apply swipes of the blend to your legs. Make sure the coverage appears even. Give them a couple minutes to dry before you move to your arms; this stuff gives great coverage but can get pigment streaks when you rub treated areas against each other while still wet. Give your arms a couple minutes to cure as well. It should feel dry to the touch before moving to your torso.
  4. Apply the blend to your body using the sponge. Wait ten minutes as it cures. Walk around naked for a little while.
  5. Check your coverage. Swipe a fresh cotton swab around the opening of the Dermablend tube. Use that pigment to cover any intense discoloration like pimples, ingrown hairs or spider veins. Let it dry.
  6. Did I mention to let it dry? This stuff looks great when it's dry but it will make your clothing nasty when it's wet.
  7. Use alcohol wipes to remove excess makeup from any area that requires adhesive for your garment.
  8. Wash your hands with soap and water. You may need to use dish soap if it got all over your hands.
You can layer glitter on top of this mixture but lotion will reactivate the color and you'll have to wait 10-15 minutes for it to cure.

After the show and before bed, you need to shower so your body pores don't get clogged. I prefer Bathhouse Soapery body scrubs from my hometown. The natural oils reactivate the color so it washes away. These also exfoliate, getting the nonsense out of your pores. I prefer Ciocolotto, Bathhouse Couture, or a blend of Lavender and Mud & Minerals.

Dermablend is also great for photo shoots, especially if you're trying to cover tattoos.