Cheerleading competition season is quickly approaching! Your team has been hitting the floor non-stop to master all the moves in your routine, and when you’re not on the floor you’re working hard following your conditioning plan. Your whole squad is bustling with excitement, and you just know that you are physically and mentally ready for the challenge of this year’s cheerelading competitions. In all the preparation chaos, did you remember to coordinate your team’s hair and makeup presentation? Crazy as it may be, judges actually have a place on the score sheet for this section! It’s such an easy away to gain points so it is important that you don’t forget about this section on the scorecard. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect hair and makeup styles for your team: Cheer Competition Makeup Your team will be smiling their faces off and hitting their expressions as hard as their moves, but keep in mind that the judge’s seats are a distance from the mat and the bright overhead lights will easily wash out those smiles. It’s important to apply your makeup in a “stage’ manner, which means heavier than usual. Have fun with your makeup look, but be sure to balance your creativity and practicality. You don’t want to look like a group of clowns! Be sure to use performance grade and/or waterproof makeup. That way, you’ll be confident that it will hold through your jumping, stunting and tumbling! Please remember to check your specific competition’s guidelines for restrictions against items, like rhinestones, and keep these tips in mind: Always start with a fresh, clean face and apply moisturizer before applying foundation. Be careful when choosing your foundation and/or bronzer color. Get a color a little darker than usual so you don’t look washed out, but not so dark that your face looks like a mask. Consider purchasing actual stage makeup for more practical options. Test your makeup a few days before the competition. Make sure you are a pro at applying it, and that it wears well on your skin. You want to use a darker than normal blush, but only by a shade or two, to help highlight your expressions. Don’t apply more than usual – the darker color will highlight your cheeks without looking overdone. Wait until right before you perform to add the finishing touch – your lipstick! This will keep it from wearing off. For a little added shine, consider applying a layer glitter over your lipstick! Here are some useful websites that give you a step by step tutorial on how to create make up looks that really stand out. Glitterbug Cosmetics They offer some great step by step makeup tutorials for cheerleaders and dancers. They also have a great price point range if your team is on a budget. Urban Decay Cosmetics Even though they are more expensive, they offer some out-of-the-box tutorials and they’re products can be bought in department stores and Sephora. MAC Cosmetics A much higher price point, but a lot of their looks can be translated into makeup ideas for teams. They are always rotating tutorials through their website as well, so there is a lot to choose from. Another great place to find makeup tutorials is YouTube. YouTube has a large source of user made videos that take you through the step by step process of applying makeup. Though the products they use are often not linked, you can draw a lot of inspiration from these creative makeup artists. Cheer Competition Hair Since cheerleading is an active sport, a team’s hairstyles need to be practical. The style needs to hold in place through stunts and jumps, and also needs to stay off of the team’s faces and out of their eyes. With all that in mind it might seem like cheerleaders are stuck with the boring ponytail. Not so! Whether your team decides to have identical hairstyles or allows each girl to choose her own, here are some cheer hair tips to get you started perfecting your strands: If you have fine hair, you might want to skip washing and conditioning it the night before the competition. Hair that is just a little dirty is easier to style and will need less product. Avoid using sharp or potentially dangerous objects in your hair. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you can do it with plastic or fabric hair accessories. Put your uniform on before doing your hair so you don’t mess up your perfect style! The classic ponytail will never let you down…but you can let it down, or move it up! Have fun with the positioning of your ponytail to give it some character. Add some curls to it, or pull it to the side. Mix it up with braids. The possibilities are endless! Braid the sides of your hair before pulling it back, or add a few braids after pulling your hair back. After securing your ponytail, pull a medium sized amount of hair from the under side of the pony, braid it and then wrap it around the pony’s base to cover the elastic and add some spunk! Pigtails sound like they are for children, but giving them a modern twist makes them great for anyone. Again, just get creative! Pull both sides into low ponytails, braid them half way down and then curl the rest. Have fun with your front and back part by doing it in a zigzag pattern or off to one side. A simple bun will look clean and keep your hair off your face. But you can also spice up your bun by using the same tricks you would a ponytail – adjust the height, pull it off to just one side and add some twists or braids! Accessorize any style with cheerleading bows and ribbons. Use your school colors, funky patterns and sequins for that little extra flare. Check out the Complete Cheer Competition Guide For Cheerleaders and Parents!