I had the pleasure of taking a hair and makeup workshop from Moria Chappell in August. If you’re going “Moria who?”, this website should explain who she is. If, incidentally, you have the opportunity to study with her, I highly recommend doing so. Moria (pronounced “Mariah”) is an impressive dancer who is as interested in ethnic dance and the older forms of belly dance as she is in tribal fusion. In addition, she’s a warm and encouraging teacher as well as being an all-around swell person.
Moria trained as a cosmetologist so I was particularly interested in what she had to say about stage makeup.
- In answer to the Middle Eastern dancer’s dilemma about how much makeup should you wear for the small stages we tend to perform on, Moria recommends doing the same highlighting and contouring that you would do for the theater stage, but just less intense.
- It pays to have someone that you trust in the audience to give you feedback on how you look e.g. were your features discernable or did your face seem to blend into your neck?
- Good makeup brushes are the key to a professional-looking application. If you have good brushes, you can get by with cheap makeup.
- Wear false eyelashes to accent your eyes. If you always found them too heavy for your eyelids that way I did as a young dancer, apply them Moria’s way: tilt your head straight back and position the false lash above your own lashes and about mid-way over the pupil of your eye. Now press in place. The false lashes should go up at the outside corner of your eye. If the lashes seem to be dragging your eye down, take off and reapply. Tilting the head back is the key to applying false lashes.
- Think of your hair as a sculpture. Layer locks of hair over each other in order to build height, then add scarves, flowers, and jewelry.
- Keep hair and hair ornaments in place with bobby pins inserted one over the other to form an “X” shape. Locks and ornaments bobby pinned like that will stay in place all night (and I can vouch for the true of this statement).