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Show Ready – Horse Show Makeup Artists Offer Show Pen Makeup Pointers


Undoubtedly, the makeup industry has made its mark at horse shows. For the past few years, exhibitors have often chosen to hire a makeup artist at major events, like the World Show and Congress.

First impressions are crucial and makeup Is a perfect way to finish out a look by adding a glamorous touch. Just like fashion trends, makeup is continually evolving and changing every year. These days, hiring a makeup artist to keep up with the latest trends is a savvy option. With the growing popularity, makeup artists such as Dylan Campbell of SkinbyDylll and Deanna Green of DGlam have emerged.

Over the years, both Green and Campbell have been active competitors at AQHA shows, and now they also work at the major shows as makeup artists. They both gave us beauty tips and tricks for helping competitors feel confident when entering the show pen.

Each Exhibitor is Different

Every client is different and making sure that their makeup reflects who they are is incredibly important. Dylan emphasizes, “I pick a unique look for each exhibitor because every client is unique. Their makeup look has to match their personality, and it has to be something they feel comfortable in,” he says. “I always try to get inspiration from them and their preferences to create a look they adore. I like to coordinate every look with their outfits, choosing colors and tones that will complement those of their show clothing, and which class they show in.” 

Deanna takes a bit of a different approach. Green assesses three key features before working with a client, “their skin texture, skin coloring, and bone structure. You don’t want to put anything on a client’s skin that will draw attention to the imperfections. As far as the overall look, it’s all about the client. I also coordinate their looks with the show outfits and which class they are showing in.”

Must-Have Products

When you go to a show, there are always those “must-have” products that you bring everywhere. However, this varies for each artist. Campbell says, “One of my favorite products to use on every client is the Dior Forever Flawless liquid foundation. It makes everyone’s skin look like silk and makes for a great base for the rest of the look.”

Campbell continues. “My go-to eye shadow pallets come from Morphe. Their shades are so pigmented and pop so well in the show pen. My all-time favorite brow and contour products come from Anastasia Beverly Hills. My final staple is from Urban Decay. It’s the ‘All Nighter’ setting spray.”

Green adds, “My go-to products for horse show makeup would be the Monat Be Gentle Moisturizer to use before primer, Mac Pro Longwear Foundation or Dior Forever Foundation, depending on the skin type, Morphe setting mist, and Mac creme lipstick in the shade, ‘Rebel.’”

Different Classes – Different Makeup

Differentiating makeup for each class is essential because some classes require a more subtle and classy look, while others can be more glamorous. Green offered some insight on how to choose the perfect look.

“A lot of the differentiation in my looks has to do with the client’s personal preference and what looks good on their face,” Deanna shares. “I find that typically, western riding, western pleasure, and the trail can have super fun looks, but I prefer to keep horsemanship, equitation, showmanship, and hunter under saddle makeup more professional. That doesn’t mean it can’t still be dramatic, but for sure more uniform.”

To be successful at creating makeup looks in the show pen, you must remember the makeup to class ratio; a rail class requires more glam than a pattern class. Pairing the color palette of your makeup to match the colors of your outfit is also important. And finally, remember that iff you are doing makeup to last all day for multiple classes, go with a neutral look to accompany the all-around classes.

A classy and simplistic look will never go out of style. Makeup can be dressed both up and down, so the degree of artistry is up to you. Have fun and be bold…but, not too bold.


About the Author: Abigail Cole is an avid youth competitor who shows Gona Getcha Good in the the all-around events under the guidance of Cook Performance Horses.

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