How to Get the Perfect Sunless Tan

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As a dancer for professional dance teams, I know all about the self-tan. I have spent years trying all the options. I used to go to the tanning bed but have sworn off the bed because of the damage it causes, the heightened chances for skin cancer and the aging of the skin.

Here are several methods that I use depending on what I am doing and how dark I want to be. This might be frustrating at first. Who wants orange palms and streaky legs? But learn from my experience. Use the tricks of the trade I have learned and have fun with a beautiful looking tan that is healthy!

•   Exfoliate your skin with a cotton washcloth in the bath or shower. Loofas can cause a streaky affect. You can also use an exfoliator. Any kind works, so don’t pay a lot.
•   Shave and lotion your skin. Allow time for the lotion to dry.

Get Tan Options:
Mystic Tan at a Tanning Salon
•   Cost from $20 to $30, can be less when you purchase a package
•   Go to:
•   Lasts one week
•   Results: dark tan all over
•   Drawbacks: High cost, need to be careful to wash off hands and feet or they will be dark orange!
•   Tips: Always wear the hair cover, goggles and nose plugs or cotton in your nose. Cover your hands and feet with barrier cream/lotion.
•   For perfect feet that are not too dark, wear the foot coverings and blend a little barrier cream/lotion onto the top of your feet and your ankles. After your Mystic session, rub some of the tanning solution from your legs onto the tops of your feet. This way you will have a nice glow but no scary dark toes or soles of the feet.
•   Put a little barrier cream/lotion on your elbows, ankles, knees, and tops of your feet. You my want to put a tiny bit in your belly button, anywhere your skin is thicker the tan will become much darker.

Self Tanning Lotion
•   Costs from $7 to $30 a bottle, many applications
•   Lasts 2 to 3 days
•   Results: light glow to medium tan depending on type and number of applications
•   Drawbacks: Hard to reach your whole body.
•   Tips: use one with a tinted color or bronzer so you can see where you applied it. This will help with the streaky look you can get with lotions.
•   Wash your hands several times during application to prevent dark palms, use a nail brush or old tooth brush to scrub around and under your nails. Another option is gloves; try the cheap plastic gloves sold in a big box.

Self Tanning At-Home Spray
•   Costs $9 for the spray gun, which you keep and use again. Each cartridge will cost $8 which has several applications.
•   Lasts 3 to 4 days
•   Results: Great all-over tan, costs less than the salon. Use several applications for a dark tan.
•   Drawbacks: Can be messy to clean up around where you tan.
•   Tips: To control the mess, spray yourself in your shower or put a big towel on the floor. Use the small sponge that comes with the applicator gun to wipe up any drips or dark spots. Or use your hands with gloves on.

Tips for All Types of Tans:
•   5 to 10 minutes after your application put some plain lotion on your knees,
elbows, ankles etc. to lighten the color.
•   Let your tan dry on your skin before getting dressed.
•   Don’t shower for 8 hours.
•   Tanning solution will wash out of most fabrics. Add some OxyClean to your wash just in case.
•   Blend a little solution onto the backs of your hands to match your arms. Wipe off your palms after that.
•   Cover the skin on your face with a lightweight lotion at least 10 minutes before tanning. This will prevent the tan from settling in fine lines.
•   Wipe some of the solution off of your armpits so they don’t get too dark.
•   Most sunless tanners do not contain sunscreen. So if you will be outside, put on sunscreen after your sunless tan is dry.
•   Apply moisturizer to you skin every day to keep your tan as long as possible.

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Dos and Don’ts for Beautiful Hair

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There are so many products out there, so how do you choose what’s right for you? How do you care for your hair to get a shiny, healthy appearance? Here are some basic dos and don’ts to help!

Hair Care Dos
1) Get a trim every 6 to 8 weeks
•   Even if you want to keep your hair long, it is essential to get rid of split ends and keep your hair healthy. This will ensure beautiful, shiny, strong locks.

2) Shampoo your hair only when needed
•   Your hair can get very dried out if you shampoo every day. You can rinse your hair if you have excess oil.

3) Use a wide-tooth comb when your hair is wet
•   When your hair is wet it is very easy to break, so comb with care starting with the ends and moving toward the scalp. Only use a brush when your hair is dry.

4) Use products for your hair type
•   If you color your hair, use shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair. If you have very oily hair use a deep cleansing shampoo. To keep your hair color brilliant, use a color enhanced shampoo and conditioner for your specific color.

5) Stay with one chemical treatment at a time
•   To keep your hair healthy, choose one chemical treatment at a time such as color, perm, or relaxing.

6) For drastic color changes go to a professional
•   If you want to go from brunet to blond go to a salon. At home color is good for small changes. Try a washout color for the fun without the commitment.

7) Use a styling product to protect hair from heat before drying and ironing
•   Use a styling product before you blow-dry your hair. When possible, let your hair air-dry because styling with heat cases damage to hair.

Hair Care Don’ts
1) Don’t trim your own hair. A regular scissors can damage hair and cause more split ends.
2) Don’t stay with an outdated look! Change is good. Look at magazines and talk with your stylist for suggestions.
3) Don’t use lightening products that work with the sun. They dry hair out and may make it look orange.
4) Do not go to a new salon with out getting a referral from a friend. Or you can look online for salons that are related to one of your cities’ best.
5) Avoid excessive sun, chlorine and salt water, which can damage your hair.
6) Don’t use a clarifying product more than once a week.

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How to Apply Makeup

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Whether you are going out with friends or getting ready for an audition or competition, the basics of applying makeup are the same. Here is an outline you can use to get the look you want and learn some great tips for you and your friends!

The Basics
•   Clean your face with an oil-free cleanser.
•   Follow with an acne prevention or treatment. This is a good step for teens and even older dancers to prevent pores from getting clogged with makeup and sweat, which can cause breakouts.
•   End your preparation with an oil-free facial moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Cover imperfections, under-eye darkness and blemishes with concealer. Blend the edges with your finger or a sponge.
•   Apply a liquid or powder foundation over your whole face with a brush, make up sponge or fingers. Make sure to blend around your hairline and your jaw. To make sure your color looks consistent you can use some foundation on your neck. Try blending foundation with lotion to make it easy to apply on the neck.
•   To set your foundation and help prevent shine, add a translucent powder like corn silk on your face with a brush.
•   Finish off your foundation with a matching powder, blending it in circles to give your skin a finished look.

•   If you tweeze your brows, only take the stray hairs from around your natural brow. If you have never done this you may want to try getting your brows waxed once so you can find a good shape for you. Then you can keep that shape by tweezing strays.
•   Do not over-tweeze your brows, because very thin brows will make you look older. Also, the more you tweeze the better the chances are that your hair follicle will die and your brow will not grow back.
•   If you need to, fill out your brows with a pencil that matches your hair color.

Eye Shadow and Liner
•   If you use eyeliner, begin by applying it. Use your finger to gently pull your eyelid out so the skin lays flat. Apply a liquid or pencil to the upper lash line, and the lower as well if you choose. Liquid is much bolder and darker, and is a good choice for competitions.
•   Blend the edges of your pencil liner with your finger or a small makeup brush.
•   Eye shadow is a lot of fun. If you are at a competition you may want to use a color that complements or matches your costume. Or you may choose more neutral browns or strong grays and blacks.
•   Basic: use a darker color on your eyelid and the crease of your eye. Use a lighter color for a highlighter below the arch of your brow. Blend all colors and along the edges.
•   Three Color: use three different shades; the lightest highlighter can be applied to the arch below the brow and on the inner part eyelid.
•   The second darker shade can be applied to the middle section of the eyelid.
•   The darkest shade is applied to the outer corner of the eyelid.
•   Blend all edges; you want the colors to blend in with each other.

•   Curl your eyelashes. This will make your eyes look big and your lashes look long. Use an eyelash curler with padded edges. Gently pinch your lashes and use several quick clamps with the curler moving from the base of the lash out.
•   If you are applying false eyelashes for a big event, put glue on lashes and let them dry until the glue is tacky, and then apply the lashes. Place the longer lengths at the outer edges of your eyes.
•   Then finish up with mascara to blend the fake lashes with your own. If you are going to be working hard and sweating, use waterproof mascara.

•   Apply blush with a brush on the apple of your cheeks. Smile while looking in the mirror to find the round apple of your cheeks.Then blend the edges.

Finish with lipstick or colored lip gloss. If you are at a competition or need your lipstick to last a long time, try a color-last or long-wear formula. If you are on stage choose a red color. Red will show up to the audience, define your face and show your emotions. Red shades work on everyone. Pinks and browns work for some skin tones.
•   For casual events, choose a color that is close to the shade of your lips.
•   For a quick fresh makeup look use a tinted lotion with SPF, mascara and lip gloss!
* To add a little quick color add a swipe of liquid eye shadow to lips.

•   Check your make up in natural light!
•   You can use blush for your eye color and cheeks.
•   Blend a little lipstick with gloss for a touch of color.
•   Blend your tan summer foundation with a lighter winter color for spring and fall.
•   Use oil blotting papers to control shine throughout the day.
•   Always wear a moisturizer with an SPF; the sun ages skin more than anything else.
•   Use Crest White Strips for a beautiful white smile.
•   Use baby wipes to remove color-stay lipstick and other makeup.

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Great Costumes for Less

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By Jill Swenby

If you are a dance teacher looking to purchase recital costumes but are frustrated by the high prices, the Costume Closet may be just the right alternative for you. Costume Closet is an online dance costume catalog that allows dance teams to consign costumes for their team, and sell or rent them to other teams.

This set up allows dance teams to save up to 60% off the original retail price. Consignment costumes average $15-20, and rentals cost on average $15-23. With over 1,000 costumes in stock, they have a wide range of costumes that cansuit any team’s needs. How does it work?

Dance teams have the Costume Closet custom design costumes specific to their needs.
“Teachers send in ideas and designs. We have someone who can produce the costumes,” said Amber, the Costume Closet owner. They can alter costumes made by name brands such as Watercolour, Marcea, Kelle’, Capezio, Body Wrappers and more. Costume Closet does not carry children’s sizes, only adult.

After using the costumes, dance teams can sell or rent them to other teams through the Costume Closet website.
The Costume Closet shares the profit with the dance team that sells the costumes. As a dancer herself, Amber says that this is a great way for dance teams to raise money.

Other teams can rent or buy these costumes.
This saves them money and makes money for the team that is selling. If a team wants to rent a costume, they just need to fill out the rental agreement, and they can rent the costumes for one month.

“We send it out. They wear it, clean it, and return it,” says Amber. If a customer is sent the wrong item, they have 7 days to return it for the correct item. The best time to place orders for spring is between October and December.

Having been around since 1997, the Costume Closet has provided costumes for a variety of teams and seen a lot of changing styles. When asked about style, Amber said, “They’re getting away from a lot of the sequins and stuff…well…but then again they’re coming back in style.”

Because the Costume Closet has a constantly changing assortment, they do not have a printed catalog. Their only catalog is online. As styles change, so do dance costumes and the Costume Closet has come up with a great way to get beautiful costumes for less and help dance teams fundraise at the same time.

For more information, you can call the costume closet at 1-800-319-7317 or visit their website at

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Essential Kit for Competitions and Shows

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Here is a list of an essential kit you should always have with you at competitions, conventions, shows, etc:

  • First aide kit (you can get a kit with everything you need at Target)
  • Bandages and ice packs
  • Make up such as: lip stick, eyeliner, eye shadow, blush, powder, bronzer, and eyelash glue
  • Fake eyelashes
  • Eyelash curler
  • Hair spray
  • Bobbie pins
  • Hairties
  • Hair gel
  • Hairnets
  • Comb and brush
  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Clear nail polish for runs in tights
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Safety pins
  • Tape: regular and double-sided
  • Baby/makeup wipes
  • Feminine products

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