Dancing With the Stars Makeup Artist Spills Backstage Beauty Secrets, Reveals Just How Much Tanner Is Used

Karina Smirnoff on Dancing with the Stars
Karina Smirnoff shows them how to hoof it on Dancing with the Stars. Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images

Get those tap shoes ready: Dancing With the Stars is back!

The hit competition show, beginning its 19th season tonight at 8 p.m. EST on ABC, is back with a whole new cast of celebrity competitors. Not to mention, former star, pro Julianne Hough, returns to the show this season as the fourth judge on the panel. (No special treatment for brother Derek, though.)

And yet, some things never change—like the intense prep that goes into getting each celeb and professional partner dance-competition beautiful before each big, live performance. Because the ladies (and gents!) always manage to look incredible, even when they’re spinning and jumping nonstop around the DWTS ballroom floor, we decided to steal their secrets for ourselves by going straight to the source: lead makeup artist Zena Shteysel.

“The trick comes down to maintenance,” Shteysel revealed to Us Weekly. “We do use products like face and eye primers.” And according to the makeup maestro, no one does those better than Stila. “Stila Stay All Day Foundation, Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, Hydrating Finishing Powder and Long Wear Lip Color all help to set the makeup.” 

DWTS Beauty Secrets

Regardless, long-lasting makeup can only do so much. “You must maintain and touch-up throughout the show to keep it looking perfect. All the makeup artists have a Z Palette filled with the products used on their talent so they can touch up quickly during commercial breaks,” Shteysel explained. “Nothing is sweat-proof when you're dancing as hard as these people do! We maintain and touch up every chance we get.” 

And when the ladies, who can use up four pairs of lashes per show, are looking understandably exhausted after hours upon hours of rehearsals, how does she get them looking bright-eyed pre-show? “Concealer, eye liner and lashes help to brighten and pop the eyes, to keep the ladies looking show-ready,” quipped Shteysel.

But most of all, everyone wants to look slim and toned before walking out onstage, which is why it all comes down to a good spray tan. “Spray tanning is a major part of the grooming process, as this helps to hide imperfections and creates the illusion of tighter, leaner looking bodies,” Shteysel told Us, revealing that the team goes through four to five gallons of spray tanner per season. “We always add a glow to the bodies before they hit the stage—Southseas Skincare Island Glow Body Bronzer is a favorite on set.”

“The makeup process is very collaborative. We're here to make the celeb and pro feel and look good,” Shteysel told Us. Still, there is one rule backstage: No absconding with lipsticks! “They steal tricks, not makeup.”

Which of the DWTS beauty tricks would you like to try? Tweet with @UsWeekly using hashtag #stylebyUs!

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