You've heard of Victoria's Secret Angels, but have you heard of Ultra Angels? These stunning women also hail from all over the globe, but instead of strutting their stuff on a catwalk, their stage is the world, as they travel from country to country for the Ultra Music Festival. But looking gorgeous in the sometimes sweaty and chaotic setting of a dance music festival is no accident. These ladies know their beauty. We speak to Katie Kansas, the director of entertainment at Ultra, to find out some of their best kept secrets and tips that even a mere mortal will find useful.
What are the hardworking and long-lasting makeup products that you use to get ready for Ultra?
We are very lucky that most of the time we have makeup artists, so we get to experience many different brands of makeup, but when we have the chance to do our own faces, we are huge fans of Urban Decay. Many of us like the All Nighter Liquid Foundation. We tend to not use too much powder especially during the day, as it easily sweats off and it usually enhances any wrinkles and we prefer to top off the foundation with a setting spray.
The Naked Smoky palette is the best for both day and night eye looks. We can have stage natural during the day and a dramatic smoky eye at night with just this combination of colours. Most of the time we wear fake lashes or have extensions. But it is always important to have a tube of good mascara around just in case, and also for those bottom lashes. For blusher, we used Naked Flushed in Strip. This can be used for the day to highlight and bronze the skin as well as at night with more of the pink tone used on the cheekbones. We tend to wear a lot of nude lips during the day. Vice Lipstick in Barfly is our colour of choice for daytime natural. At night we go dark, opting for either purple or red depending on the look we are going for. We like Seismic for the dark purple and F-Bomb for the red. And we never forget to line those lips when wearing dark colours.
How do you keep your makeup staying on and looking fresh in the heat and amidst all the dancing and activity?
We like to start with Naked Skin One & Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector as our base. It has an 20 SPF rating and you can easily reapply this over and over again during the day. You don't need much more for a flawless day time look. As the day progresses we tend to blot our faces with towels after a set of dancing — so on our breaks we will touch up the foundation and start adding a bit of powder as it turns to night. We love to top off our makeup with the All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray. We also stay hydrated so our skin is always looking its best.
Brittany Marsicek, who will be performing her first show in Singapore, says that besides the setting spray, her pre-makeup prep is very important for her. She uses a serum primer like It Cosmetic's No. 50 Serum Collagen Veil Anti-Aging Primer before her foundation.
What products do you carry with you on the day of the festival? How do you carry them on you, or are they kept backstage?
There is so much more you need to have to make it through a long festival weekend than just hair and makeup products: Bobby pins, safety pins, fashion tape, nippies, a comb, a sewing kit, scissors, electrolytes and hairspray. Brands are not specific to any of these essentials items, so sometimes we buy whatever is available in the country we are in! We keep most of our performance items in our green room but each of us carry a fanny pack with what is most important to have when on stage: Lipstick, eyedrops, ear plugs, a brush and of course our phones.
How do you keep your hair looking fabulous during each festival?
We have realised that it is important to do hairstyles that not only work with our outfit but allow us the freedom to dance without fear of looking bad in front of the camera. Updos and wigs are always an easy way to keep the hair looking good all the time. If we do our hair down, it is usually straight or with a slight wave depending on the girl's hair. Jocelyn Lam, a veteran Angel says that although she loves the hairstyles she wears, the constant teasing and heat styling can wreak havoc on her tresses. To keep her hair strong and healthy, she applies a ton of coconut oil, wraps it in saran wrap and keeps it on overnight. She also uses AG Hair BB Cream Primer to protect her hair against UV damage. Because it's humidity resistant, it provides a barrier against the sun and makes hair feel silky.
What are your holy grail hair products that keep your styles firmly in place?
Hairspray. Any kind, any brand as long as it is maximum hold. Also an easy fix for flyaways is simply using lotion or even lip balm. Put a little in your hands and run your palms lightly over your top layer of hair. It is a quick and easy fix between sets on stage.
Do you have any secret tips or tricks to share with other festival-goers on looking good, especially in photos or when you're onstage?
Staying hydrated is most important. You want your lips and skin to look healthy so you don't need to wear too much makeup that might run from the humidity and perspiration from dancing. Keep a small brush or comb in your bag for emergency touch ups too. Using a brush like the Luxe Travel Brush from Sephora will help with frizz and flyaways.
Singapore is very humid. If you've been in similar climates before, how do you expect you will alter your beauty routine to combat this?
Our home town of Miami is also very humid. It is always very hard to combat sweaty frizzy hair on stage no matter how good the products are so for events in a climate like this we will keep our hair down and straight or with a slight wave during the day. This makes it easy to smooth out between sets. At night we will do an updo, braids or use wigs so we don't have to worry about our hair being out of place and can focus on performing our best on Main Stage!
Read more about the Ultra Music Festival here