In the Hot Seat With Zena Shteysel, Makeup Director for Dancing with the Stars

Dancing With the Stars is the hottest show on TV. But ever notice that the celeb competitors and the pro dancers always look flawless and fabulous, even under the hot lights, while sweating and dancing? The reason the participants on DWTS always look so good is due in large part to the work and efforts of one Zena Shteysel, the Makeup Director for the show and creator of the Z Palette, and her team.

Of course we invited Zena to sit in the hot seat to offer some tips and secrets of the show, as well as some her kit faves.

BN: What is your exact role and title with DWTS?
ZS: Department Head Makeup Artist. I’m responsible for the makeup looks on the show.

BN: Do you decide all of the makeup looks, shades and styling? Do you take a lot of input from the pro dancers and the stars? Shed a little light on the process for our readers and fans of the show.
ZS: The makeup process is very collaborative. The makeup process begins with the wardrobe, the dance, and the music as inspiration. Based on these three elements, we then create a makeup inspiration collage to present to the celeb. The celeb and their pro tell a story through the dance, so they definitely have input in the final look.

BN: What do you have to do differently to make sure that makeup doesn’t migrate due to sweat or so that it looks good on TV lights or for HD cameras?
ZS: To maintain the looks during the show, we touch up during commercial breaks and at every opportunity we can. It’s not uncommon to see two or three artists on one person just after they danced, mopping up sweat, holding a fan, and touching up makeup all at the same time. We use Beauty Blenders that are damp to melt foundation into the skin. It not only helps apply the makeup, but it also feels good on the skin.

BN: How hard is to keep the dancers looking so flawless?
Zs: Touch ups have to be done very quickly on set; having everything organized in the Z Palette for fast application is essential. Bruises come with the territory when it comes to dance rehearsals; however, on show day, the cast is to look like perfection. The body makeup artists cover bruises with camouflage creams and add shimmer powder on top to reflect and diffuse the area so they go unnoticed.

BN: What’s a universal makeup tip you can share for our readers?
ZS: Don’t forget to fill in and shape your brows. The makeup look is incomplete without a finished brow.

BN: One product YOU MUST have in your kit and why?
ZS: Z-Palette to keep all my shadows, blushes, concealers and more organized in one convenient place. This is a huge space and time saver when applying makeup and touching up on set.

BN: Fave luxe product?
ZS: Giorgio Armani foundation.

BN: Favorite cheapie or bargain product?
ZS: La Femme lip liner in Nutmeg. It’s $2 and looks amazing on everyone.

BN: Any other universal makeup tip you can share for our readers and the everyday beautiful woman?
ZS: DWTS is known for the beautiful, tanned skin and glow. We not only add shimmer to the bodies but to the face as well by mixing MAC Luster Drops or Armani Fluid Sheers into the foundation and on cheekbones.

BN: One product YOU MUST have in your kit and why?
ZS: We love eye pigments, such as Stila’s Magnificent Metal eye shadows, as they are much more intense in color than other eye shadows and perfect for heavy stage lighting.

BN: And what’s the secret for keeping the men looking good?
ZS: Although we love shine and glow on the show, not so much when it comes to the men. We use blot papers and anti-shine lotions instead of powder to keep the men looking clean and smooth and not cakey.

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