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“Hi, I’m Caitlin McAvoy [@caitlinmcavoy] and I currently live in Nashville, originally from Overland Park, Kansas. I work as a dancer in the Nashville Ballet's second company. I love the feeling of dancing—it's hard to describe what it's like to be on stage and to trust your body and your training to do their jobs. A lot of times, it feels like work. Other times, it just feels so freeing.
The costumes, makeup, and hair are always exciting, but beauty in ballet is interesting—dancers are beautiful not because of the way they look, but because of the way they move. I think ballet has really broadened what I consider beautiful. People can bring so much more to the table than by being conventionally ‘attractive.’ At the same time, it makes me hyperaware of how I look, just because we spend so much time looking in the mirror. I’m definitely particular about how I want to look, because if I don’t like my hair or my makeup, I’m stuck looking at it all day.
My earliest exposure to makeup was through dance. My mom would do my makeup for all of my recitals and performances, and I always thought it was fun to wear. Now I really enjoy doing it myself. When you're doing stage makeup for 12 performances and eight dress rehearsals a week, you have to be efficent, so my routine is almost methodical. For a full face, I’ll put on Laura Geller Spackle Primer in Champagne first because it makes me feel glow-y, and then I'll use Tonymoly Panda's Dream Brightening Eye Base under my eyes for my huge dark circles. Then I’ll apply Dr. Jart Beauty Balm in Light/Medium and Cover FX Cream Concealer in Extra Light, which I blend with a Beautyblender under my eyes and around my nostrils. I have to set my undereye concealer with powder or else it tends to crease, so I use a T.LeClerc Powder in Banane. It’s a mess when I open it, but the product is great.
I’ll use the darker side of Nars’ Contour Blush in Olympia to contour my cheekbones, and I like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Palette in Champagne Glow to highlight. For blush, I love Too Faced Love Flush in Love Hangover and Justify My Love. They’re super pigmented and go on so evenly. I’ll blend those in with a kabuki brush. I've also gotten really good at finding products that keep my makeup in place... If you know you're dancing a role that makes you sweat a lot, apply your foundation and then use a loose powder on a sponge and press it into your face. You can apply your blush and contour on top and it won’t slide all over the place.
For my eyebrows I use Anastasia's Dipbrow Pomade in Medium Brown, which is easy and lasts all day. On my eyelids I’ll start with Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. It's seriously the greatest primer and one of my favorite products maybe ever. There’s no one go-to eyeshadow for me, but I love Colourpop’s Nillionaire, Weenie, and Mixed Tape shades. After eyeshadow, I’ll mist with Make Up For Ever’s Mist and Fix Setting Spray. I like to set my eyebrows with NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel and will do a coat of mascara with Too Faced’s Better Than Sex. It’s the best for length and volume and doesn’t clump at all. Finally, I’ll use a lipgloss or lipstick. Lip color is important on me because I look really pale without it, and Lipstick Queen’s Jean Queen is one of my favorite pinks. I really like Revlon's Rose Velvet for an everyday look because the color isn't too red or too pink, and the texture is really silky on your lips.
I only wash my face when I shower in the evening, and I use Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser along with a Simple Micellar Water for my eye makeup. After I wash, I spritz my face with the Herbivore Botanicals Balance Toner that I'm completely obsessed with. I’ll follow with Mizon's All-In-One Snail Repair Cream once the toner has dried. You can put a ton of it on and your skin completely absorbs it! Before I go to sleep I'll put on Mario Badescu's Seaweed Night Cream and Glycolic Eye Cream, and if I have any pimples, I use Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion on them overnight. In the morning I just use the micellar water on a cotton ball, then toner spray and Mizon cream before I do my makeup. I break out really easily and have struggled with acne, so my skincare routine is probably the most important part of my beauty regimen.
My hair is always up [for dance], so I wash it one to three times a week—it’s really fine and it dries out if I wash it any more than that. I use R+Co's Sunset Blvd Shampoo and Conditioner, but if it's cold and my scalp is dry, I'll use Neutrogena's T/Gel Shampoo. I also love to use the Fekkai Technician Color Care Hair Mask in place of a conditioner because it's so hydrating. Before blow drying I'll spray some R+Co Dallas Thickening Spray on my roots to give me some volume. I always have to use hairspray because my hair will slip out of my bun without it, but I've found that R+Co's Outer Space Flexible Hairspray doesn’t build up a gross layer and make your hair look filmy. It really holds!
To stay fit, I eat a lot of protein and try to drink a ton of water—even though I’m pretty bad at actually doing it. Depending on what I'm rehearsing, which can change drastically month to month, I'll go on the treadmill and add more cardio to keep my stamina up. When we rehearse ballets like Swan Lake or the Nutcracker, the work is pretty aerobic and you'll be in rehearsals all day, so your stamina will be up and you'll be really in shape. But when we’re not rehearsing for a performance, I'll add in additional cardio workouts. I also love to get a lot of sleep. Napping and going to sleep early are things I have to do. When I’m tired, I’m not functional in any way.”
—as told to ITG