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Which Makeup Products Salsa Dancers Should Use and Wear and How to Make Your Face Last a Night of Dancing

Updated on June 30, 2015
abrodech profile image

Anya Brodech is a professional salsa, latin, swing, and ballroom dance teacher in Oakland, CA.

My Salsa Dance Makeup Collection

Ready to Go Out!

Me (the author) with my makeup and hair done ready to head out the door and go salsa dancing!
Me (the author) with my makeup and hair done ready to head out the door and go salsa dancing!
Some venues are dimly lit, while others leave you in the spotlight
Some venues are dimly lit, while others leave you in the spotlight

Why You Should Be Prepared for Going Out Dancing at a Dance Studio or Club

Regardless of skin type, many women tend to wear makeup when they go out, especially for dancing because they are in close proximity to other people, including their dance partner!

If you are in a dance studio setting, and tend to be self-conscious about your face, especially, I recommend wearing at least some light makeup so you don't feel so naked and exposed under the bright lights with a bare face.

And if you are going out to a club or bar for social dancing, then be prepared to get hot and sweaty! This means that you need heavy duty makeup that can take the heat so you can look great for as long as possible while dancing!

Here are some makeup suggestions that I have found to be very helpful and work for me!

My Urban Decay De-Slick Make Up Setting Spray Oil Control

Cap on
Cap on
Cap off
Cap off

Why You Should Use a Makeup Setting Spray to Make Your Makeup Last Longer

First off, I recommend that you use a makeup setting spray to help minimize and control shine, as well as ensure that your makeup stays put and doesn't melt off or crease.

I recommend the makeup setting sprays by Urban Decay, either the "De Slick" version for oily prone skin, or the "All Nighter" for extra long wear.

It's really easy to use because you just follow the directions and spray it on your face before you put on any makeup, and then you spray your face a second time once you are done with your makeup.

I love it because it makes a noticeable difference in how my face looks as the night goes on. Normally my face is somewhat matte at the beginning of the evening, but then it gets all shiny and oily just from sheer exertion, even if my foundation is really good! This stuff dramatically reduces how shiny my face gets, even when it's like a zillion degrees and I'm dying from the heat!

Other makeup setting products that I've encountered are too confusing for me to use because they involve some kind of cream or gel and you have to apply it with a sponge or something...I'm still not quite sure because the saleswoman seriously overwhelmed me!

This stuff is great because it's easy to use and very effective! Must-have!

If you have other skin-care concerns that you would like to be addressed by your makeup setting spray, go where Urban Decay Products are sold, either in stores or online and read up on their other makeup setting sprays that they have so you can find the one that best suits your needs. Regardless of which specific one you get, I can promise you that they are all very good! :)

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup

Why You Should Use Liquid Foundation/Concealer to Help Control Shine

Wear long-lasting foundation/concealer that will stay in place and not melt off/dissolve when your face gets all hot and sweaty.

Personally, I like the one by Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup because it gives you great coverage and sticks to your face and doesn't come off easily, especially when you use it with a makeup setting spray! It also helps control shine and hides any redness that you might develop while got all hot and sticky dancing!

It's great for when I need some heavy-duty coverage and am planning to be out dancing for a long time and getting really hot. I recommend going to an Estee Lauder counter at a department store and asking a specialist to match you up with the right shade because it's hard to do that on your own sometimes.

To remove it at the end of the night, use a makeup remover towelette. The most effective ones by far are by Neutrogena.

Loose Mineral Powder by Laura Mercier

Loose Mineral Powder by Laura Mercier
Loose Mineral Powder by Laura Mercier
Loose Mineral Powder by Laura Mercier in Natural Beige
Loose Mineral Powder by Laura Mercier in Natural Beige

How You Can Use Loose Mineral Powder Instead of Liquid Concealer/Foundation

Another option to liquid makeup is loose mineral powder. I like it because it's natural and provides me with coverage but isn't too heavy. My favorite is the one by Laura Mercier which I bought at Nordstrom because it gives me better coverage and last longer than Bare Minerals. It's also good because it's gentler on my skin than liquid makeup so I don't have to worry about breakouts as much.

To apply it, I just twist off the cap, twist the little plastic thing inside and shake out some powder onto the cap. Then I swirl my big fluffy makeup brush around, tap the excess off, and apply it to my face.

When I use this loose mineral powder with my makeup setting spray it really lasts, even when I'm sweating like crazy!

What my Loose mineral powder looks like

My blush and brush

My blush by Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder Signature Silky Powder Blush in Plum Nuance
Estee Lauder Signature Silky Powder Blush in Plum Nuance


As every girl knows, your face looks more complete with some nice blush to give you a healthy rosy glow and that makes you look more alive and perky than having just plain foundation all over.

I use the one by Estee Lauder because it gives me nice color without looking overdone. I got it when I went to buy my concealer/foundation so that's how I came across it. I like this one because it isn't just one solid color, so I can sweep my makeup brush across it and get some more depth in my color when I apply it to my face.

I apply blush to the apples of my cheeks, and then for evening I brush it all the way to cheekbones at an angle so like / to give my face more depth and add some drama for evening, just a little bit though! You don't wanna overdo it with blush so you don't end up looking like a clown, or like you're permanently embarrassed about something.

Feel free to use whichever kind of blush you like, as long as it goes with your skin tone and is good quality. And of course make sure you use a makeup setting spray so it stays put!

Outside Cover of Naked Eyeshadow Palette

Favorite Eyeshadow Color: "Sidecar"

Why You Should Use the Naked Eyeshadow Palette

As a somewhat "adult" woman now that's graduated college already, I feel silly wearing pink and purple eyeshadow like I used to in high school.

So this is why for eyeshadow, I recommend the "Naked" or "Naked 2" palette by Urban Decay. I really like this palette because it has a lot of good shades that are "neutral" but very sexy without being overdone. They have a variety of shades and are really high-quality.

I own the original "Naked" palette and my favorite/most-used shade is "Sidecar." They have all of the colors you need to make a smokey eye, and a number of other combinations. I'm kind of lazy about and not too fancy about my eye shadow, so usually I just wear "Sidecar" and keep my life simple.

The palette comes with a brush already so you don't have to worry about buying one. However, if you want to do some more complex eye makeup, then you should definitely invest in some additional brushes because you won't be able to do anything too fancy with just this one.

What I did is bought multiple eye shadow brushes so this way I have one for each color that I use and don't have to worry about cleaning them so I can switch colors. For evening I like to use 2 eyeshadow colors: a darker one on my eyelid/crease and a light one above it. I apply them using two separate brushes, then I use a fluffy little eye shadow brush to blend the two together.

Naked Eyeshadow Palette by Urban Decay

The Importance of Eyeshadow Primer and Why You Should Use It

Once you've decided on an eyeshadow, make sure you pair it with an eye shadow primer.

The Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion is really good.

IThe regular sized tube comes with a twist off cap, so you have to squeeze the tube and use about a pea-sized amount total for both of your eyes. You only need a thin layer to do the job, like half of a pea-size amount; serious.

I use the original Eyeshadow Primer Potion, but there are several other primers available by Urban Decay. The original one is light colored, which is great if you are light-skinned like me. But if you are more dark-skinned, then I recommend getting the one in "sin" because that one is a champagne shimmer color that is going to blend in with your skin tone better. They also have an anti-aging wrinkle cream one for mature skin. If anything, you can go where they sell these in stores and test them out to see which one goes best for you.

Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Why You Should Eye Shadow and Eye Shadow Primer TOGETHER

The reason why you should wear eyeshadow and eyeshadow primer together is because

  • a) the Naked eyeshadow palette gives you deep rich color that looks sexy and sophisticated, and
  • b) the eyeshadow primer ensures that your eyeshadow doesn't crease or melt away!! Yes, I am totally 100% serious! I had stopped wearing eye shadow to dance for the longest time because it always melted off, but then my friend recommend the Urban Decay makeup products to me and it made such a difference! Trust me, this stuff works!!

Why You Should Use Waterproof Mascara When Out Dancing Salsa

Since you will be getting hot and sweaty, to one degree or another, I recommend using waterproof mascara because it helps minimize/avoid smudging unlike regular mascara which will make you look like you've been crying all night. I like the "Scandaleyes" one by Rimmel London because it gives me a nice black color, good volume, and doesn't smudge much.

Obviously if you're going to be sweating your face off, your mascara will smudge a bit, which is why you should take a little zip-lock baggy of Q-tips and a little bottle of hand lotion with you when you go out dancing. Check your face in the bathroom mirror periodically and if you see your mascara smudging, do the following:

1) wash and dry your hands,

2) squirt out a pea-size drop of lotion into your palm

3) take a Q-tip and swirl it around in the lotion a little

4) gently wipe off any excess chunks of lotion from the q-tip onto your palm in a dry spot

5) gently swipe the lotioned end of the q-tip under one eye over the area where the smudged mascara is

6) follow up with the other dry-non-lotioned end of the q-tip and gently swipe it over the area you just went over the lotioned q-tip to remove the lotion and smudged makeup

7) throw away that q-tip,

Repeat steps 3-7 again for the other eye. Once your eyes are nice and not smudged anymore and there's no residue left from the procedure, just rub your hands together to get rid of the lotion, or wipe your hands off with a dry paper towel before heading out.

Brow pencil, brush, and sharpener

Brow Care

If you have light/fine eyebrows like me, then you should consider using a brow pencil to fill them in and give them more shape and define them. I like the one by Maybelline, called "Master Shape" and get it in the lightest color available, blonde. This pencil is good because it lets you sharpen it as you go along, meaning that you have a lot to use before you run out. Also, the other end has a brush on it, so you can distribute and blend the color more evenly throughout your brows.

I recommend buying a little makeup pencil sharpener so this way you could sharpen your eyebrow pencil as needed when it gets flat.

There are different kinds of brow pencils in different shades, so go with the one that best suits your eyebrow color and feel free to consult with a makeup artist at a department/beauty store if you have any concerns.

When in Doubt, Ask A Professional

I hope that my advice on what kinds of products you should use, along with other helpful hints is of use to you. If you have any questions, concerns, and/or doubts if a particular product/item is right for you, go ask a professional makeup artist/associate in the makeup department of a store like Macy's, Ulta, Sephora, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, etc. If you have any skin conditions that might be an issue, consult with your doctor and/or dermatologist first so you don't end up with an allergic reaction or anything like that.


I would like to thank my friend Tanya M. for introducing me to makeup/beauty products by Urban Decay because they have made a significant positive impact on the longevity of my makeup when I go out, especially the makeup setting spray and eyeshadow primer! I also would like to thank the staff at the Estee Lauder Counter at Macy's and Laura Mercier in Nordstrom for pairing me up with the right products for my face. And of course none of this would be possible without my friends Eryka K. and Nadiya F., (and my mother) who taught me how to use makeup in the first place! :)

Where to Buy Makeup Products

Since you get really hot and sweaty while dancing salsa, it is important that your makeup is up to the challenge!!! I explained above what kind of makeup you should wear and why. Most of this stuff is available online and in stores.

I bought my Urban Decay makeup setting spray, eye primer potion, and eyeshadow from Ulta after my best friend Tanya recommended it to me. You can buy Urban Decay makeup and beauty products also from their official product website (, at Sephora, Macy's, and Amazon. I have also included some links on here for Ebay.

My Estee Lauder stuff (liquid foundation/concealer and blush) I bought at Macy's, but you can get it at most nice department stores like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as the official Estee Lauder Website

Please Read My Other Articles for Even More Information About Dancing!

What to Wear to Dance:



Other Types of Latin Dancing: Cha-Cha, Merengue, Reggaeton and Zumba

Where to Go Out Salsa/Latin Dancing:

Social Etiquette/Interpersonal Relations at Dance

© 2013 Anya Brodech


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