Stage Lighting is very bright, and will show every flaw that you have if they are not properly covered up. Not to mention they will also drown you out if your coloring and tones are off. Choose your make-up with that in mind. Use a darker shade of base blended well to the hairline as well as down your neck. Choose eyeshadows that don't reflect light to an extreme like darker colors such as browns, plums, grays, etc.. Lipstick should compliment the overall appearance of your face. If you use a color that is too dark, it will overpower your tones and colors, if you use a lipstick that is too light it will wash you out under the lighting. Experiment with different colors of make-up and have your colors picked out before your show. A make-up artist or a consultant at a cosmetic counter can assist you in this area. Your make-up should be even and well toned to enhance and exaggerate your features on stage. Always wear your make-up much darker than you normally would for everyday, but it must appear clean and fresh. When you are standing front and center, your appearance should come across as glowing.
Hair should be well conditioned with a nice cut that compliments your face. You will need to eliminate any damage or split-ends from the hair before your show. If you are going to use hi-lites or color your hair make sure that you use a professional stylist who knows what they are doing and can match your colors properly. Let them know what colors you will be wearing for your routine and swimsuit, and style yourself around those outfits and colors. It is wise to use colors on your face that matches well with all of your outfits so that you don't have to make changes to your make-up between rounds. You won't have much time for that, especially at the evening show when things move more quickly.
Body Tone: If your skin is fair its a good idea to use a type of competition tanning product which you apply onto your skin and wash off after the competition is over. Jan Tana products offer a great selection to use for this reason. You can buy those items here on Bodybuilding.com. If your skin tans well, go to a tanning bed 4-6 weeks out from competition to get a really good base tan. Then apply 3-4 coats of competition tan over that base color to give yourself a deeper tanned appearance and to help even out your skin tones overall. Use plenty of skin lotion that is non-greasy under the tanning product to prevent the skin from appearing too dry or chapped. It will also give your skin a healthy silky look. Use several coats of competition tan, because once under the lights you will appear 1-3 shades lighter depending on the brightness of the stage lights. Stage lights at the national shows are very bright because you are going to be performing on a much more professional stage setting. However, at regionals, the lights can be just as bright.
Backstage: You will be told by the backstage manager when it is time for you to go out on stage to perform your routine or for the swimsuit lineup. They will always give you a time limit before you actually walk out, so that you can be ready when its your turn. Wear your number pinned to your suit or costume on the left side unless otherwise told differently by the manager. Make sure that it is in clear view for the judges to see.
Routine Round: When you are called out to begin your routine, come out onto the stage with a smile on your face and a spring in your step always looking toward the judges and audience. Do not walk out slowly with your head down. Show your confidence and the pride in yourself. Some competitors acknowledge the judges before getting into their beginning stance or pose. That is up to you. I always acknowledge the judges first. It shows that you are aware of their presence. When transforming into your beginning stance or pose do so fluently with style and grace. Get into your "ready" position quickly and easily. It shows that you are ready and prepared. Hold your stance or pose completely still until your music starts. Being focused most of all. Give the performance of your life. Keep a smile on your face throughout the routine, and get the audience involved early on with gestures--hand and body, as well as eye contact. Remember this: if you miss a step or make a mistake in your routine keep going as if nothing happened. The judges nor the audience have a clue as to what you are going to do next. Just move on to the next part of your routine as smoothly as you possibly can, refocus yourself and keep going like nothing ever happened. Don't ever let it show that you messed up or missed something. No one knows that but you. DON'T EVER STOP MID-ROUTINE!!!! if you make a mistake. The judges will not let you start over, and you lose all of your points that cannot be made-up later. You will have no way of winning after that. After your routine is finished, bow to the judges and acknowledge them again. Then bow to the audience and remove yourself from stage with the same amount of energy, confidence and grace that you had when you came onto it. Wait until you get back stage before gasping for breath.
Swimsuit Round: Depending on the show you may come out in a line first or alone first to do your quarter turns. Use Bikini Bite or some other type of body adhesive to hold your suit in place and prevent it from riding up. During the prejudging round you may want to wear your hair up and off of your shoulders so that the judges can get a clear view of your body front and back, and you won't have to fumble with moving your hair with each turn. When walking out on stage keep your shoulders back and down in a relaxed posture, head up and abdomen in. Walk straight but relaxed with your arms by your sides. Do not stiffen the body when walking. It looks funny. Walk with one foot in front of the other. Never look down at your feet while you are walking unless you are going up or coming down stairs, and then do that only on the first step to get your balance. Practice walking at home a lot before your show. The way you walk will tell a lot about you. The goal is to come across as sacheting onto the stage with poise and grace. To look confident, not frightened, self-assured not nervous. And Smile Smile Smile.
When you walk out alone to do your turns, really sachet with fluidity, because all eyes are on you at this point. Shift your hips front then back when stopping for a pose, and hold the shoulders back and head up. You may want to put a hand on your hip for some attitude if you would like. This is your time to show yourself and your beauty, so TAKE YOUR TIME!!! Stop in your pose and look slowly left to right then back again. In mid-stage stop and complete a model turn to show front and back. Move stage right and stage left to show off the sides of your body. Be very graceful. Do not walk stiff bodied. When in a pose keep your legs together, and always pull the lead leg back into the body. Practice!! Have you plan in place before you walk out onto the stage. Tune out other competitors who are talking about how nervous they are. They are just trying to psych you out so that you make a mistake. Stay focused on yourself.
In The Lineup you will be asked by the judges to perform quarter turns until you have make one complete turn. They may have you do that several times more, because they are comparing everyone. You must always quarter turn to the right, never the left. You may also be called up for comparisons with 2-3 other competitors. When you are called up, that is an excellent sign. However, if you are not called up that doesn't mean that the judges aren't interested in you. Always acknowledge the judges after you have been called up, and completed the turns that they wanted you to do. Graciously step back and walk back to your place in the lineup. They will tell you what to do next, or have the entire lineup exit the stage. The prejudging always takes longer than the evening show, and believe me, the judges have picked their winner before that evening show. So you don't want to mess anything up during prejudging. Relax for the rest of the afternoon, and ready yourself to put on a show for that evening. Stay confident and focused and you will do very well.
Train for Success!!!