Makeup

Watch Cirque Du Soleil performer's makeup transformation

In a timelapsed video, watch a circus performer's incredible transformation into a 'Na'vi' Avatar.

To celebrate the arrival of Cirque Du Soleil in New Zealand, we sat down with acrobat Kristi Wade to discuss her beauty routine.
For a step by step demonstration of how the cast transform into Na’Vi, watch the video above of circus artist Jessica Ward.
Inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar, Cirque du Soleil transports you to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery and possibility.
Click here to buy tickets to Toruk The First Flight - opening September 1st.

How does your performance makeup and beauty routine differ to your everyday look?

Actually my performance makeup has almost turned into my everyday look - I am blue more than I am natural nowadays!
Seriously, since TORUK is inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar, we all play Na’vi characters so we wear blue makeup… that’s the first major difference!
There is a blue cream layer, and then we add highlights and contouring with 5 shades of blue and white.
My show skin involves stripes and luminescent dots and we create the illusion of yellow eyes, like the Na’vi in the movie. I also wear a wig so there is no need to do my hair. That’s a nice change to a daily routine!

How long does it take to apply your look?

I have to allow at least 1 hour 20 to transform myself into a Na`vi. My makeup takes 1 hr 10, and putting my costume on takes about 5-10minutes.
When we first started, we would have makeup classes at Cirque du Soleil’s head quarters in Montreal, Canada. Back then, it took me 2.5 hours before I was finished! Having put on this show makeup almost everyday for the past two years, I’ve had quite a bit of practice so I’ve definitely improved since then!

What products do you use?

For the show, we use many of the MAC products. They are a professional brand and have a huge range of durable makeup, but also removers and skin care products as well.
We also have a few Ben Nye products. Many shades of blue were created specifically for our show to match the blue in our costumes.
Most of the girls in the cast – including myself - have also fallen in love with the MIA2 Sonic Facial Cleanser by Clarisonic. It helps so much to really get that blue out of our pores! Personally, I also use Kiehl’s Products.

How do you get it all off after a show?

Well, it is a process! But it’s quite quick actually. First, we use MAC’s Cleanse Off Oil which we massage into the face with our fingers to dissolve the makeup.
Then, we rinse it with a face cloth that takes most of the makeup straight off.
Sometimes, we follow with the Gently Off Eye and Lip Makeup Remover by MAC. From there I usually combine MAC’s Marine-Bright Formula Cleanser with my MIA2 brush and then allow that to do its magic for 30 seconds or so before washing and cleansing my skin thoroughly.
And of course, I also end with a good moisturiser!

Do you have any secret beauty tricks to stay stage-ready?

I wouldn’t really call them secrets: we just have to look after ourselves. Our bodies are our career and our only machine so we must treat it with love, nourishment and make it a priority to keep it healthy.
For me, it’s all about adopting a rounded healthy life style: eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising daily as well as performing.
Having said that, we do wear a Blue skin suit which is not very forgiving, so it’s in our best interest to resist that 2nd brownie!
I would also say that a good attitude also goes a long way and it’s important to take the time to have fun. All in all, I think a smile will always be my beauty secret.

How do you make sure you’re taking care of your skin when you’re wearing so much makeup?

When you wear show makeup nearly everyday, it’s really important to cleanse your face properly and take care of your skin to have the best canvas possible to start with.
I make sure to do that every single time after we finish the show. I also try to avoid heavy makeup on my days off so I can let my skin breathe.
Another very important tip is to wash your brushes thoroughly at least a couple times per week so that I’m not putting bacteria on my face from old built up paint. Using quality products and discipline is key!