For many singers make-up is part of their performance armour, helping them to create an artistic persona that comes to life when they’re in front of an audience.
Get it right and make-up will give you added confidence, get it wrong and you could be belting it out to a crowd with panda eyes and foundation running down your cheeks (remember, it’s hot under those stage lights). To help you avoid such a scenario, three professional singers share their tips and fave products.
Erika Footman is a singer-songwriter who has provided backing vocals for Mika and Skunk Anansie and recorded with Bastille. She needs just three items to create her signature look: mascara, black liquid eye liner and lipstick (which can double up as blush).
“These are my three absolute must-haves,” she says. “With them I can make a look as simple or as dramatic as possible.”
Footman worked with a make-up professional to define her style.
“When I worked for Mika, a make-up artist showed me and drummer Cherisse Osei how to perfect our look so that when we were on tour we had the same professional look every night. It was great. I learnt a lot which I could take forward to create more looks.
Preparation is also vital, she says. “Give yourself enough time to get ready, especially if you have to do eyelashes. You don’t want a last-minute battle with eyelash glue or be mid-set with eyelashes sliding down your face (it’s happened to me). With time you can adjust calmly and be ready for the show with less anger.”
It’s important to look after your skin, so you have a clean, fresh canvas to work with. Footman’s favourite skincare products are:
“It’s a three-in-one moisturiser/primer/moisturising mask and the first moisturiser which I have found that really works for me!”
“I love this, it’s non-greasy and comes off so easily.”
“It’s pricey but every day you feel like you get a little facial, a little treat to yourself.”
Denosh Bennett is a backing vocalist extraordinaire who has worked with Robbie Williams, Rihanna and Demi Lovato.
Her advice is to learn what colour palette is best for your skin colour and tone and to appreciate that working on stage under heaving lighting may require a different approach.
“Some colours and types of makeup don’t read well on stage,” Bennett says. “So what you use for day time or in person, may not work for an arena or certain lighting. Also get a good assortment of the right brushes and prep your skin properly.”
Bennett’s fave make-up products include:
“I love it because it’s vegan and cruelty free, gives great natural coverage with SPF 20 and makes you look great without looking like you’re trying too hard.”
“I have no eyebrows, so this helps me shape and embellish what I have, and again, it’s vegan and cruelty free.”
“I don’t like to wear a lot make up off stage, but this classic red lipglass give an amazing pop of colour for daytime, and really shows up on stage! No lip liner necessary!”
“I love using this mist for refreshing my skin when it needs moisture, as a toner, Before I apply makeup, and I even spray it in my hair before I moisturize and twist it.”
Sofia Zanghirella is the lead singer of Glossii, a four-piece rock/post punk band who just released a new single. Her favourite products include: