Each week over 16 million viewers tune in to watch ABC's hit series "Dancing with the Stars". The show, now in its 14th season, has been sustained by a revolving door of celebrities, loveable hot bodied professional dancers, flashy, flesh baring costumes, and dramatic stage make-up. With each musical number and theme change, viewers have come to expect a high level of intensity from each of these components every week, culminating in the final three couples dancing for the mirror ball trophy.
Just two weeks away from this season's dance-off, we were curious about the team behind those double faux lashes and bedazzled lids. Turns out, we were not alone. The "Dancing with the Stars" make-up team received so much fan-mail that they have started their own Facebook page where they break down trade secrets.
Here's what we have learned:
Each star gets around 3 to 4 hours of hair and make-up before show time. Forty-five minutes is spent on body make-up alone and the remaining time is split in half between hair and face make-up.
Contestants are not only spray tanned each week, but hand stained, covered in GLEAM, and dusted with a layer of glitter as well.
The show is shot in High Definition which means the camera will pick up and magnify any flaw so there is no room for mistakes.
The make-up on DWTS takes a cue from real ballroom competitions, where professional dancers have been using extreme make-up for decades to stand out in a room full of competitors.
Show nights are the most intense with anywhere between 7 and 10 artists working in the make-up trailer at a time, most of which are powdering down contestants from sweat and oil after dancing under the lights.
The woman who gets to make the final decisions on the hair and make-up is Department Head, Melanie Mills. Mills has been with the show since Season Two and credits the show's producers with trusting her instincts on how much to "go for it" and when to draw the line.
She served as Department Head for the 2010 Academy Awards as well as the Nickelodeon series iCarly, and Victorious. She was nominated for an Emmy four consecutive years (2007-20010) for her work in make-up artistry.
The talent and creativity on the show speaks for itself. If you want a sneak peak the day of filming, the team posts photos to Facebook from inside the make-up trailer and break down exactly what products and colors they have used. Checkout their page here: Dancing with the Stars Make-up Team
Good luck Semi-finalists, we'll be looking forward to seeing what the team has created next week!