Show Choir Tips and Tricks

I am about to enter competition season for my second year of show choir, and I decided that the best way to celebrate is to make a list of what I wish I had known last year.


If your show choir prefers curls, I have found that this wand works the best. Wand curls tend to last longer and look bouncier. Remember, show choir hair isn’t supposed to look normal, it should be over the top. For hair spray, I love using Pump It Up! (the only place I have found it is at Dollar General) on a section, letting it dry, and then curling it. Spray your hair with an aerosol hairspray (there really isn’t much of a difference, but I use this) after each layer, and once you’ve finished curling your hair.

If you need to have straight hair, try spraying this spray before flat ironing your hair. Generally, any straightener will work.

Often, each show choir requires a specific style of bump. If you are just told to have a bump, without specific instructions, this is how I would do it. Separate the hair that you will bump. Section that piece of hair parallel to your forehead in 3 pieces. On the bottom section of hair, tease the top side. On the middle section, tease both the top and the bottom side. Do not tease any of the top section. In all your teasing, have most of the teasing occur closest to the forehead. Stack the sections again, smooth the top section over the teasing, and bobbby pin them, ensuring that it stays fluffed.

Overall, particular for competitions, I highly recommend finding someone who isn’t busy and getting them to do your hair. If you are in a prep group, see if someone in varsity is available. Or, see if anyone in pit is bored. This works even better if you identify someone before competition season begins, and have them do it every time. This will save you a ton of time, as you can do your makeup while they do your hair.


Makeup will also strongly depend on what your director wants. You will definitely need liquid foundation. If you have foundation that is more of a “summer” color for you, that will help you show up better on stage. MAKE SURE YOU BLEND DOWN YOUR NECK AND CHEST. Before performing, run a trial with your selected primer, foundation, and powder where you are sweating for 10-15 minutes, just to make sure your foundation isn’t going to completely melt. I would recommend using a beauty blender or a knock-off (I like this or this), just make sure you get to the bathroom to get it wet prior to getting all situated. In addition, a buffing brush like this, this, or this is fantastic, and more convenient. If you don’t have darker foundation, use bronzer to frame your face, below your cheekbones, and down your neck. Use a bright blush, about the color of your natural lips, on the apples of your cheeks, blending back.

Regardless of the color eyeshadow requested by your director, make sure you use a primer. My favorite is this one in sheer, or pearl if you need anything but neutrals. Make sure you apply and blend this all the way from your lash line to your eyebrows. If you need neutral eyeshadows, I highly recommend Naked palettes, either the original, or the second. I personally use UD Suspect on the inner half of my eye, and UD Snakebite on the outer half and crease, dragging the color up to just below my browbone. I then blend a little bit of UD Undone in my outer corner, and UD Foxy on my browbone. Use a dark brown or black kohl eyeliner on your upper eyelid, add a volumizing mascara (this is my favorite), and you’re done!

Finally, make sure you bring lipstick!!! As facials are so important to a performance, make sure your judges can see them. Many directors have a color preference, otherwise, just bring a dark pink. I have always used Maybelline Color Sensational in Hooked on Pink, but find something that matches your skin tone.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • To get more traction on your character shoes, put a piece of duct tape on the toes, and lightly scratch it with a key.
  • Hairspray is a good quick fix for tight runs, and clear nail polish all around the hole is even better!
  • Know ahead of time that all concession food will be ridiculously expensive. If you are allowed, consider bringing some snacks with you. I would recommend bringing $20-30 dollars in fives or tens to purchase food.
  • Check your teeth for lipstick before leaving your homeroom. 🙂

Feel free to ask any questions you have, I have no idea if my writing makes sense 🙂

Show choir alums, please let me know your tips and tricks in the comments!