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But if you're like us, you're equally as impressed by burlesque's intricate hair and makeup looks as the dance moves—and let's face it, the serious balls it takes to get up onstage in the first place. That's why we asked Hazel to document one week on the road while she's on a Southern tour with Mason Dixie Burlesque, where in between performances, she's busy crafting ostrich feather fans, hitting up the South's best retro stores, and naturally, picking out the perfect pair of rhinestoned pasties.
Below, the unlikely Star Trek fan ("A majority of us burlesque performers are nerds at heart," she says) takes us through seven days' worth of bumper bangs, victory rolls, her surprising liquid eyeliner secret (who knew Wet n' Wild was burlesque dancer-approved?), and so, so much loose glitter.
"I'm out on a four-week tour with Mason Dixie Burlesque, and we're bringing our fun and sexy show all over the South! There's Ula Uberbusen, Deanna Danger, and myself in one car, which is packed to the gills as usual, so I've only brought the essentials. With all the makeup I wear, I make sure to pack lots of cotton balls and my Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover along with Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, they're great for my sensitive skin!"
"For my dry skin, especially in the winter, moisturizers are key. Right now I'm using Boots Botanics Night Cream Triple Age Renewal; it smells terrific. For my arms and legs, I have Moon Valley Organics EczaCalm for my driest skin, and my go-to staple, Egyptian Magic skin cream for the rest!"
"My makeup bag is one exception to the 'pack light' rule. It travels with me to every gig, so I need all of the essentials and then some! I've got my makeup brushes, handheld mirror, cotton balls and q-tips, false eyelashes, Duo eyelash glue, tweezers, daily contact lenses, and rhinestones for my face. There's my favorite eyeshadow palette from Bitch Slap Cosmetics, eye primer from NYX, Wet ‘n' Wild liquid eyeliner (I've tried expensive brands as well, this one is THE BEST and the only one I use!), and a few various eyeshadows. My glitter vials (my favorites are from Mattese Elite) live in their own ziploc bags, just in case of accidents! For lipstick I almost always wear my Shien Cosmetics matte lipstick, it stays in place for hours and the colors are perfect."
"My makeup is complete for tonight's show in Durham, NC! Until it's time to fix my hair, I'm almost always wearing a head scarf to tame my flyaways. Tonight it's my Cameo Paisley scarf from Vice Merchants (it has naked ladies on it!). I've also got my Dazzalite earrings on; they sparkle as much as my lips do!"
"A great manicure is important as a showgirl; when you're always posing for photos, you want to look your best! Since I have weak nails and little time for touch-ups, I wear short acrylic stiletto nails with gel polish, so I don't have to worry about my nails for weeks at a time! This month it's a patriotic design in honor of the Mason Dixie Burlesque tour."
"Ostrich feather fans are one of the most iconic props in burlesque. These feathers came from Dersh Feather, my favorite place to buy feathers. To get mine ready for tour I'm adding a second layer of feathers to make them extra gorgeous!"
"Tonight's show is in Atlanta and I'm super excited with how my hair turned out tonight! I roll the front of my hair up into bumper bangs, with two little victory rolls on either side of my head. Then I finish it off with a bouncy ponytail! It gives me the perfect vintage glamor look."
"We're in New Orleans, and I'm celebrating seeing good friends with a beautiful High Tea service at the Windsor Court Hotel. Oh, I wish I had brought a fancy dress with me!"
"We begin, of course, with mimosas, and the most beautiful little sandwiches! Everything is exquisite, from the sandwiches and scones to the sweet little ceramic bowls of lemon curd and clotted cream. Delicious!"
"For a quick daytime look, all I need is my black eyeliner, a touch of eyebrow pencil, a bright red lipstick, and a spritz of the vibrant and refreshing Hesperides Eau de Parfum in Grapefruit from Fresh."
"Traveling around the country, my favorite pastime is to hit up the vintage shops! St. Louis has one of my favorite vintage stores, Retro 101. Right away I find this great Hawaiian two-piece outfit!"
"A majority of us burlesque performers are nerds at heart, and I'm no exception. When I spied this vintage pin in the display cabinet that looked just like a Star-Trek communicator badge, I knew I just had to have it!"
"Tonight I've done a little more of a smoky look with my eyeshadow. St. Louis, here I come!"
"One of the most unique parts of the burlesque makeup look is the glitter lips. While not a very practical thing for wearing around town, it makes a huge impact on stage, and we love it. I use multiple colors of glitter and mix them up in my palm. I've already applied my lipstick, and now I mix the glitter with my fingernail and then apply it with a small brush or the tip of my finger."
"Photo shoot day! Today we are in Nashville, and I'm shooting with Stephanie of La Photographie Nashville. For photo shoots, I tone down my face a little, using more realistic eyelashes, and forgoing the glitter. I curl my hair and pin up the curls until it's time to shoot, and wrap my head up in my favorite scarf!"
"My first outfit is the Trashy Diva Honey dress in Jade Watercolor, with a sunny yellow crinoline underneath, which I purchased during our stop in New Orleans."
"No look is complete without jewelry! Stephanie keeps this gorgeous vintage jewelry in her studio to round out her models' outfits. I chose a lovely set of multicolored stones to go with my dress."
"My second outfit was the Bronte lingerie set by Fauve, also purchased at Trashy Diva in New Orleans. Don't you love the sparkly dressing room?!"
"One of my favorite parts of tour are the hours in the car with my friends! We sing along to our favorite music, talk about the upcoming shows, and even craft! These are some sparkly pasties that we rhinestoned while riding in the car."
"Ula has been rhinestoning her bra. We found the perfect place to hang it while it dries!"
"Sometimes tour can be unpredictable. After hitting some traffic today, we have to do our makeup in the car on the way to our venue. That's the life of a traveling showgirl. I think I did pretty well!"
"Tonight I'm performing my Neon act. This is a fun, fast dance with bright colors, so I like to experiment more with this look."
"I'm using the hot pink Back to Fuschia Rimmel London lipstick, with my favorite glitter, Mattese Elite in Farfallina layered on top. My false eyelashes have an exaggerated separated look, to add to the cartoonish feel."
"To match my costume, I'm wearing some of the brightest pigments from my Bitch Slap Cosmetics palette. I use white on the browbone, grass-green for the lid, and wear the neon yellow and bright blue in the crease."