Dancing With the Stars's Makeup Pro Uses How Many Fake Lashes In a Season?

How does a look start and end on the show?

Some people watch Dancing With the Stars for the celebrities, the cha cha cha, and Bruno Tonioli’s enthusiasm. We, on the other hand, have a soft spot for the elaborate costumes and makeup. Head makeup artist Zena Shteysel has been giving the pros and their celeb partners the super-tan, super-sparkly and super-bright beauty looks for years (even winning an Emmy for her work) and once again, she takes us behind the scenes for a peek at what she’s up to already — and what to expect this season. This time, she gives us an up-close look at pro Cheryl Burke’s makeup from last week, and shares how to get it.

DWTS makeup

Courtesy Zena Shteysel

For her foxtrot with new partner Drew Carey, Burke wore a green-and-gold dress, which Shteysel wanted to reflect in her eye makeup. After prepping Burke’s skin with a blend of Stila’s “Stay All Day” foundation (“The best foundations I’ve found to withstand the sweat from rehearsals throughout the day,” she says), she sculpted the dancer’s face by highlighting with Clé de Peau concealer in “Ochre” and contouring with Ben Nye’s “Medium” shade. This “creates dimension to Cheryl’s face under the heavy stage lighting,” Shteysel says.

Next, she applied a mix of Nars “Night Porter” and Makeup Geek “Cocoa Bear” and “Beaches & Cream” around the outside of the eye, then to make the center pop, she applied Too Faced Glitter Glue and applied MAC glitter in Reflects Bronze on top. For the pro number, Burke wore Kevyn Aucoin “Forever” fuchsia lipstick (above), then switched to MAC “Cyber” (below) for a moodier feel during her competition dance.

DWTS makeup

Courtesy Zena Shteysel

Though Shteysel has this down to a science at this point, every week, it’s a collaborative process from start to finish. “The makeup process begins with the wardrobe, the dance, and the music as inspiration,” she says. “Based on these three things, we then create a makeup inspiration collage to present to the celebrity. The celeb and their pro tell a story through the dance so they definitely have input in the final look.”

And who can blame them, with a process that can take about 80 minutes from start to finish, body makeup included? Over the next few months, Shteysel estimates she and the other makeup artists will go through four to five gallons of spray tanning solution, 20 to 30 bottles of bronzer, 10 large containers of glitter and 200 tubes of mascara. She keeps herself organized with her Z Palette (you can see it in the bottom right corner, above!), invented to keep her many different pans and pots organized and at hand — and now used by all the show’s pros and sold at stores including Sephora.

But the one problem Shteysel’s pallette can’t solve: How to keep track of the nearly 500 pairs of eyelashes they’ll go through in a season. Her best tip to keep lashes in place, no matter how sweaty you’re getting? “After applying glue to the lash, wait a minute to allow the glue to get tacky, then apply to your lash. This will ensure your false lash will stay put.” Can’t argue with the master!

Do you love the beauty looks on DWTS? Which pro has your favorite makeup? Let us know in the comments!

–Alex Apatoff

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