Body Makeup, Spray Tans, and Other Secrets From the Dancing


Anybody with access to cable TV in the last 15 years knows the following equation: mainstream celebrity + paso doble + glittery getup = Dancing With the Stars. For 29 seasons, it’s been primetime’s titular dancing show, with approximately 12 million eyeballs glued to the screen each episode. That’s why, prior to 2020, there was no reason to change a thing. Then, the pandemic hit.

Like much else in the world, COVID-19 flipped everything upside down for the cast and crew of DWTS. For one thing, the network employed 70 percent more makeup artists than earlier seasons – an effort to avoid cross-contamination by giving each team their own glam point person, said the show’s makeup department head, Zena Shteysel.

“This season has been quite different,” she told POPSUGAR (and she would know – she’s been working on the series since the very beginning). “Before, we used to create the looks the day of and then present it to the couple. We’d look at: what’s the wardrobe? What’s the dance? What’s the story they’re trying to convey? From there, we’d draw inspiration for a makeup look.