Bharatanatyam Makeup Tutorial In 10 Simple Steps

Because we know how important it is that you rock your next on-stage performance.

Written by , MA (Mass Communication) Nisha Baghadia MA (Mass Communication) Experience: 3 years

Bharatanatyam is one of the most graceful and famous forms of Indian classical dance, and Bharatanatyam dancers look gorgeous in their authentic costumes and makeup. Their makeup look is very bold, colorful, and expressive. You will find plenty of Bharatanatyam makeup tutorials online if you are a professional dancer and are looking for some inspo.

In this article, you will find answers to all your questions about this particular makeup look. The Bharatanatyam makeup look is created with great attention to detail and precision to ensure that it rightly suits the dance form. Furthermore, most people stick to using waterproof and smudge-resistant makeup to ensure that the artists look perfect throughout their performance.

Makeup artists also need to ensure that they are equipped with the right makeup tools and makeup products for different skin tones. In this article, you will find a step-by-step guide on doing Bharatanatyam makeup, including the eyes, lips, cheeks, and other intricate details. Keep reading!

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Dinesh Cyanam

Make up must be suited to the skin tone perfectly and for that, you will need good quality makeup brushes and makeup sponges. The unevenness of the skin tone should also be covered with makeup perfectly.

How To Do Bharatanatyam Makeup? – Stepwise Tutorial

You can follow these simple basic steps for Bharatanatyam makeup.

Step 1:

Use a sweat proof concealer and foundation so that the makeup stays on place. Also, you need to apply a good quality photogenic primer.

Next, apply a stick concealer lighter than your skin tone on the spots & blemishes and even on your eyelids. Ensure that you go with a good quality foundation on the face, including eyelids and blend in with a makeup sponge properly.

Tip: Test two foundations on the jaw line, to know which one matches your skin tone exactly. Alternatively, you can also blend in two foundations to get the desired colour.

Application of blend of two foundations for perfect Bhartanyatam makeup


Start with brows, darken them using an eyebrow pencil. Now take a brow powder and apply over the brow with a sponge applicator to smudge the brow pencil’s effect and give it a more natural effect.

Step 3:

For eye shadow, you have to choose 3 basic tones of a particular colour. For example, if you are choosing a pink tone, then choose a dark pink shade that is to be applied in a thin form just above the upper lash line.

Next, choose a tone lighter to this one and apply horizontally to almost cover the whole of lid.

The third tone is to be the lightest of the three colours and use it to cover up till the brow bones.

Step 4:

The eyes are essential in this form of Indian classical dance because they express the complete theme of the dance. Thus, ensure your eyes look extremely bold and dramatic.

Start by using darkest of kohl and kajal to line the top lash line ending in a tail or winged extension. Line the lower lash line below the rim to broaden the line and drag the lower lining extending in another tail.

Do not forget applying sufficient Mascara.

Step 5: Lip Makeup

Line the lips with a maroon or red lip liner or the colour that matches the saree you are wearing.

Once you fill the lips with a perfect lipstick, put a dollop of lip-gloss on the top and lower lip centre for a fuller and thicker lip appearance, but retain the matte effect, as it is mostly preferred in this makeup style.

Final look of lip makeup for Bharatanatyam

Step 6: Cheeks Makeup

For the cheeks, use a rosy blush on to the contours by sucking your cheeks in.

Step 7: Put Bindi

Put a large round bindi if you have a round face or you may go for a teardrop shaped bindi.

Step 8:

Your Bharatanatyam makeup is done. As for the hair, you could make a bun and decorate it with false flower garlands or seek professional assistance for a different hairdo.

Add accessories to finish Bhartanyatam makeup
Step 9: Nose Decoration

Front nose rings are a common jewellery accessory in this dance form, you could consider it as optional if you are uncomfortable wearing it.

Final look of Bhartanyatam makeup
Step 10: Final Decoration

Finally, you can decorate your palms, on top and inside region by colouring with red in the form of circles, also using the same colour for the fingertips.

And thats it! Your perfect Bharatanatyam eye makeup and face makeup is done!

Image courtesy Google

No matter what type of makeup you do, precision is essential. And only rigorous practice can give you precision. When it comes to Bharatanatyam makeup, you have to understand that you are doing it for a dance performance, so the makeup has to be gentle on your skin, suit your skin tone and stay put for long hours. So, next time you go for this makeup, take our Bharatanatyam makeup tutorial as your guide, and we are sure that you will love the finished look.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Alta in Bharatanatyam?

Alta is a red dye that is mostly applied to women’s hands and feet in the Indian subcontinent. It is applied with a cotton swab or brushes to the feet and hands during festivals and wedding rituals. In addition, Alta is used to enhance the drama of mudras (hand gestures) and present the movements to the audience.

Why is makeup important for Bharatanatyam?

Bright makeup is important to make the Bharatanatyam dancer’s facial expressions easier for the audience to observe and comprehend.

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Nisha Baghadia

Nisha BaghadiaContributor

Nisha is a contributor to StyleCraze and has 3 years of experience in content writing for different genres. She is a makeup aficionado and combines her love for makeup and writing to provide her readers with the latest information in the beauty world. When she is not working, Nisha loves trying out the newest makeup fads and curling up full bio