Friday, August 16, 2013

Best of the Interview Series

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the wildly popular interview series. Each dancer who's been interviewed has shared such amazing insights with our dance community.  To commemorate, I read back through the interviews and pick my favorite quote from each dancer.

"The only way to find your voice in this dance is to DANCE. It took me a few years to get my true voice in this dance, and it was one of the best journeys I’ve ever experienced!" - Nadira

"I think there's room for all of us. We should all be sisters in the dance. As dancers, we are already on the fringe anyway, so it's a waste of energy to compete or argue. We should band together." - Dolphina

"There are three things that make a great dancer: technique, appearance, and stage presence....To be a good dancer, you need two of those three attributes. To be a great dancer you need all three. And I would say there's a certain charisma that makes up the last 10% that really tells you someone is a star. When you see it, you will know. The hair on the back of your neck will stand up because it is so perfect and so amazing. That's what it's all about. You will just know." - Mish Mish

"Dance is build on basics. Take the time to learn the dance and don't rush to get ahead." - Tamalyn Dallal

"Taking the stage is sacred, wait for it and know that you earned it....And remember that when you are on stage, your number one job is to make every audience member comfortable. No one should feel scared for you. "Introduce" yourself as the dancer and be confident. When you are comfortable, the audience will be comfortable and will be able to enjoy the performance. Then you can just be you and share what is in your heart. " - Malia 

"I know there's a lesson for me in every gig, and every dancer will experience audiences that are indifferent or even offended.  These situations demand of us to dance for ourselves in the moment.  When I find myself in a gig like that, where I just want to walk out, I have to remember, and am reminded, that there are always a few lives I touch no matter what." - Dahlia

"Whether you want to think of your dance as a business or not, it’s really important to determine how much time you want to invest in it. How much you put in, is how much you’ll get out of it."  - Ziva Emtiyaz

P.S. I know it's been a couple months since a new interview has come out.  Once I get through my wedding and honeymoon, I'll have some more time and interviews will recommence. Keep your eyes peeled!
Photo Credit (Left to Right): Dahlia, Nadira, Malia

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Favorite Beauty Products for Belly Dancers

The makeup, the glitter, the sparkle, the shimmer.  If you want to be involved in belly dance, you better like to play dress-up, because makeup and beauty products are required.  In a big way.  I've compiled a list of my favorite beauty and beauty-related products.  Whether a dancer, performer, planning a special night, or just heading to the office, I think you'll find something in this list to add to your makeup bag.
  1. Estee Lauder Daywear BB Creme: If I were to only apply one beauty product in the morning, this would be it. It's an oil-free antioxidant moisturizer and foundation in one. It goes on light, but provides exceptional coverage, so I use it for the stage as well.  And best of all, it has 35 SPF coverage, because I'm sure you never, ever leave the house without sun protection on, right?
  2. Sephora Collection Blotting Papers: I have a tendency toward afternoon t-zone oiliness.  I've never bought into the idea of applying a layer of powder over oil to mask shine.  Why not just remove it? These little blotting papers do the trick.  And now they come with added beneficial ingredients infused, such as tea tea oil, salicylic acid, lavender, or Vitamin C, depending on your skin concern.   
  3. Conair Ion Shine Hot Rollers: Hot rollers are the secret to creating volume, movement, and body in hair.  A Conair set from the drugstore works just fine.  I would recommend "jumbo" size to get big luscious waves.  (By the way, I wrote a whole blog post on hair care and styling here.)
  4. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion: I used to apply eyeshadow and two hours later I would have big creases guaranteed.  Not anymore.  I apply this primer first and my eyeshadow stays in place.  Also great for beach vacations.  Use this product and your eyeshadow will still be on when you exit the water.
  5. Urban Decay Eyeshadow:  Apparently Urban Decay has it figured out when it comes to eye makeup.  Because not only do they make my favorite primer, they also make my favorite eyeshadow.  They have a broad spectrum of fun, bright colors, and many with that staple of the stage - glitter.
  6. M.A.C. Paint Pot: Another area where I used to have melting and smudged eye makeup.  This  cream eyeliner pigment goes on thick and dark, and then dries without becoming flaky.  Stays on through multiple sets and accidental eye rubs.  I never use any other type of eye liner anymore.
  7. Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Creme Protectant: A Jill-of-all-trades skin product.  You can use it to gloss lips, shape eyebrows, smooth cuticles, protect cuts, and more.  I predominately use it over lipstick to add shine.  But I've also used it to effectively soothe rashes and irritated skin.  I also really like it for after performances to restore moisture to my lips after wearing heavy matte colors.
  8. Duo Eyelash Adhesive: That eyelash adhesive that came with your lashes? You can toss that straight into the trash.  Duo eyelash adhesive will ensure that through multiple performances your lashes will remain in place, rather that slowly migrating around to different parts of your face.
  9. Crest 3D White Strips Gentle Routine: I always keep a supply of these white strips on hand.  If I've had to much coffee and my teeth are looking less than white, I'll pop one of these in, which I've even been know to do on route to a gig.  I have sensitive teeth and gums, and as such can't use a number of whitening products on the market, but these are gentle enough to not cause any pain.
  10. Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil: This is always another staple in my medicine cabinet. It's cheap and it works wonders on clearing up blemishes and helping heal scars.  If you're not near a Trader Joe's, pretty much any other brand that's 100% Austrlian Tea Tree Oil works just fine as well. 
  11. Dior Bronze Natural Glow Self-Tanner: Being a natural shade of pasty white, I've tried quite a few at-home self-tanners in my lifetime and this one is my favorite. It adds a nice subtle tanned glow, dries quickly, doesn't permanently stain clothes or sheets, and goes on streak-free, even for the novice self-tanner.
  12. Dermalogica MediBac Clearing Skin Purifying Wipes: Combine sweat, spray-tan, and hair products and you have a recipe for back acne, especially if you just let the combo sit on your skin and percolate. Enter the Dermalogica wipe. The salicylic acid in these wipes helps remove that film of junk from skin and minimize breakouts. Especially during summer time or when I know I'm a long ways out from a shower, I stash these in my bag and give my skin a quick wipe down after sweaty performances.  
  13. Yes to Cucumbers Natural Glow Facial Towelettes: These facial cleansing wipes require no water.  They are gentle enough for sensitive skin, but tough enough to take off your layers of stage makeup.  Great for on-the-go removal of excess makeup and perspiration after performances.
  14. Lancome Juicy Tubes: I am a slave to this hydrating lip gloss, and in particular, the Tickled Pink color.  Not enough color to wear alone on the stage, but great for every day or wearing over lipstick for added shine.
  15. Bauble Bar Jewelry: Love, love, love this site. I am a convert. I no longer buy jewelry from anywhere else. They have gorgeous jewelry at pretty reasonable prices, including free shipping and free returns. You also collect points for each purchase, which can be used immediately after on your next purchase to discount your price. Everything I've bought so far has stood up to wear and tear, with no broken clasps, missing gemstones, or tarnishing.
Your turn! What would you add to this list?

Photo Credit: Unknown