Keeping your makeup on all day and night is a challenge, even if you're just sitting pretty bingeing Sweet Home Oklahoma. But, what if you need to stay looking fresh while sweating up a storm at a late-night dance party—or grooving to the beat at Coachella? No one knows the answer to that better than world-class DJs, right?
Right! So, we asked leading spin masters how they maintain a pulled-together look when they're on the job. And if these tips help their makeup stay on all night, you know they'll help you out at upcoming festivals, and at sweaty events all summer long.
Spinderella, who has been working the turntables and touring the world with Salt-N-Pepa for some 30 years, has worked with and learned from makeup artists like Sam Fine, Billy B. and the late Kevin Aucoin. "I always believe a fresh face is best, and there is nothing better than natural beauty," she says. "Makeup should be a simple enhancement to your natural beauty. My must-have is Murad's primer, Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30. I keep blotters with me to minimize sweat. Another quick tip is to stay hydrated. I always keep water close for a few sips between backspins."
Use A Long-Lasting Eyeliner
(Photo by We Are Night Owls; top Star Eyes photo by Jayne Lies)
Star Eyes—who hosts "The Vortex" on Red Bull Radio and regularly DJs at clubs around the world—keeps her cat-eye strong. "M.A.C. products are designed for photo shoots, and most of them are very long-wearing," she shares. "I'm a cat-eye girl—the bigger the better—and the only liquid liner I've ever found that doesnt run or smudge is M.A.C. Liquidlast Liner—in black, duh. I sleep in it and just reapply the next day, which is a big no-no but makes me look like Brigitte Bardot when I wake up instead of Gollum. I also swear by their Studio Fix powder and the infamous Ruby Woo red lipstick." No lollipop lips, though.
Highlight Those Brows
DJ Umami keeps her makeup minimal when she spins at the Golden State Warriors basketball games, but she's found that she keeps adding to her routine, starting with her eyebrows. "I recently discovered highlighter powder, and can't live without it," she insists. "I'm growing out my eyebrows and find this is what I have to touch up the most when I'm out. I use an Anastasia pencil to fill in my brows at home, and I'll bring a pencil out with me in my DJ bag and have to touch them up once in a while. I don't really wear lipstick a lot. I like to keep my lips moist. though. I use Tatcha's Camellia oil lip balm. It cost almost $40 a pop, but it's worth every penny, in my opinion."
Reach For The Lip Stains
DJ CherishTheLuv, who recently played for Oprah (and reportedly made her do the robot!), took a break from editing audio in Japan to share the one cosmetic item she can't live without when she's playing. "I am not heavy on the makeup when I gig—or in life in general—mainly because in the frenzy of chopping up music in hot DJ booths I sweat and become a slimy little DJ," she admits.
But, "once people started taking selfies with me I was feeling like I wanted to have more lip color to at least be on some close level with the girls snapping pics. I used to use this great lipstick but truth be told sometimes we lick our fingers when working with vinyl and my lipstick would be gone anyway. I fantasized about using a red Sharpie on my lips—kidding not kidding!—then I remembered a cool, two-part lip stain I used like 10 years ago. I now use Labiotte Wine Lip Tint in Red Shiraz and it is super bold and leaves no grease on my mouth. I also don't really have to reapply within three hours. Just some nice clear lip gloss or balm on top for some dewy vibe."
Touch Up Tastefully
(Photo by Gooch)
Drag queens tend to be expert makeup artists and San Francisco's leading drag queen DJ Juanita MORE! knows that no matter what cosmetic products you select for the night, touch-ups are still going to be necessary. Her trick to stay fresh is to put on a long song and distract everyone with the need to dance: "Every now and then you may need to reapply your face powder or lipstick, so a long playing track gives you the chance to do that."And if you find yourself actually providing the music, don't be afraid to shine. "Most clubs like to keep the DJ in the dark," she notes. "Someone as gorgeous as I am has no reason to hide, so ask for a light."
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