Last year I had the incredible honor of forming a partnership with the Australian Ballet. This collaboration has given me yet another avenue to explore my creativity, work with some incredible creative talent within the arts, and to create my Love Unleashed collection, which was inspired by the company's production of Romeo and Juliet. My Australian creative team of makeup artists also work with the ballerinas to help them perfect their makeup application skills, for both stage and street. Like the score and the set design, the makeup establishes the mood for the performance and I adore working with such talented artists and contributing to their craft in my own way.
Last month the Australian Ballet made its first New York appearance in 13 years, performing Swan Lake and a mixed bill of standout Australian works. It got me thinking about the inextricable relationship between makeup and dance performances. So many young girls have their first encounters with makeup getting ready for dance recitals and makeup has always been a significant element of theatrical performance. Halloween and dance recitals are the only times I'll let my four daughters wear makeup and they love getting glammed up for their moments in the spotlight.
Along with helping to set the mood for the audience, makeup can also play a major role in getting dancers into the performance mindset. My dear friend Brooke Lockett, a coryphée with the Australian Ballet (and a self-proclaimed fan of my brand!), says her favorite part of preparing for a show is sitting down to do her makeup. (Yes, the dancers create those gorgeous looks themselves!). "It's when I get into the character I'm doing and when I center myself. I feel most beautiful when I have my stage face on and I'm dancing on stage," she tells me. "We always do our own makeup and I've loved it since I was a little girl so for me, it's an integral aspect of the whole experience of performing."
I'm in awe of Brooke and the other dancers, as they manage to deliver such commanding and physically demanding performances while exuding femininity and glamour. With the Olympics coming up, I look forward to seeing how form and function come together for athletes who compete in gymnastics, synchronized swimming and even track and field. I love seeing even the fiercest competitors express themselves through their appearance. If they can look fab underwater and flying through the air, it should be a cinch for the rest of us right!