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The Things We Carry: What’s in a Burlesque Performer’s Makeup Bag?

The Things We Carry: What’s in a Burlesque Performer’s Makeup Bag?

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It’s no secret that stage makeup and dropping the kids at school makeup are quintessentially different. It’s a pretty rare occasion that I’m wearing rhinestones, prosthetics, glitter lips, or fake eyelashes through the halls of my kid’s school (though, honestly, not an impossibility).

Over the years and years of performing, I have found that:

  1. The more makeup I wear onstage, the less I wear offstage.
  2. No matter how many new products are created, I still have my go-to, ultimate favorites, that, if they are ever discontinued, would cause the world as I know it to implode into a blackhole devoid of all meaning…let that be a warning to the below companies…

So, what’s in my bag? Let’s start with the basics:

My Daily Go-Tos

The Things We Carry: What’s in a Burlesque Performer’s Makeup Bag?

  • Bare Minerals original powder foundation
  • Bare minerals powder concealer
  • Bare Minerals All Over Face Powder in Warmth – a note on Bare minerals: I first started using them when I was about 16 and I don’t think I could use another product. I have tried liquid foundations and I don’t understand how you can apply these without looking terrible up-close. I don’t want to be a “full-on Monet” as Cher from Clueless puts it. Now for photoshoots, I get it. I’ve had my make-up professionally done for all sorts of events, but again, I am no professional. I love how easy and clean Bare Minerals leaves my face, and because I don’t use a lot, I don’t have to worry about leaving a big makeup smudge on my friend’s shoulder when I give them a hug in the heat and humidity.
  • Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer, available at Neiman Marcus. Yeah, I’m a solo-mom…I need TWO concealers!
  • Natural Ice Chapstick – it’s seriously my favorite and definitely not for everyone, but man do I love this stuff! And yes, I need a 12-pack!

And if I’m feeling fancy:

The Things We Carry: What’s in a Burlesque Performer’s Makeup Bag?

  • Maybelline Full and Soft Waterproof Mascara in Very Black. I have yet to try a mascara that didn’t make my lashes look cakey…except this one. I honestly feel like my lashes just look like a better version of me, rather than a “made-up” version of me. Waterproof because it’s humid as hell everywhere I live!
  • Bare Minerals eyeshadow in “Sex Kitten.” I love this color—it’s boring brown, meets sassy, subtle sparkle. Kind of like me. And can I help it if the name describes me, too. 😉 Unfortunately, they apparently don’t make it anymore, which means I will have to be even MORE selective with the occasions I wear it. Sigh…Permanent hermit it is!
  • Black eyeliner. I wish I could say I had a “favorite,” but any cheap-o black liner will work for me.
  • Anastasia Brow Powder Duo.

And thaaaat’s it! I’m not wearing anything I don’t feel is absolutely necessary to avoid people stopping me in the grocery store to ask if I’m ill.

I think it’s also important to note that I was never into makeup as a kid. I was a serious tomboy, mostly because my older sister was the opposite, and I wanted to make sure differentiated myself. That being said, I never actually learned how to apply makeup. All the YouTube and Pinterest tutorials in the world will never change that.

I also suffer from this weird need to NOT be noticed—I know, somewhat a paradox for a Burlesque performer. I actually don’t want people to notice my hair or makeup. I want them to notice something great I’ve done, instead. I don’t even like telling people I’m getting a haircut for this exact reason. I know it’s weird, but so am I.

Now costume makeup, now there’s a different story! I am in no way a professional, but I love me some creepy makeup!

Fix Your Face: Makeup Removal Tips and Tricks

Occasionally, I am able to use my freakish love of all things Halloween and incorporate the gruesome into my stage performances, but more often than not, I try to look “pretty.” Sigh. I would love to be able to perform some Gore-lesque one day, when I find a more feasible venue. But until then, these are my go-to glamour products…just some, not all…girl has to have some secrets:

My Glamour Go-Tos:

Other Things I Carry:

Yeah…it’s pretty minimal. I do have other products. In fact, I have a giant container full of random colored eyeshadows, liners, face and body paint, etc. But those are the items I use most often.

I would LOVE your favorites! What products do you “swear by?”

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

Bourbon Layne, “A Warm Shot of Burlesque Whiskey”. Bourbon Layne is the most mysterious member of Cabaret & Cocktails. She’s sinfully sultry with a steamy sense of humor. She’ll wrap around you like a warm shot of burlesque whiskey, and leave you drunk and wanting more. Bourbon has a unique creative outlook and comes with an impressive aerial background to Cabaret & Cocktails.

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