Due to an unprecedentedly low-carb count leading up to comp, I haven’t had access to full-functioning brain cells over the last 2 weeks and have no idea how I survived on auto-pilot the entire time.
I am, however, ecstatically pleased to announce that I got my much needed carb re-feed over the weekend and now the proud owner of MASSIVE amounts of erratic energy- indeed, life is full of rainbows and lollipops when glucose is coursing through my veins!
Which is what has brought on this post- 3 competitions down and one more in 12 days time, I’ve been meaning to put fingers to keyboard and share the most important things I’ve learnt along the way to help others avoid falling for the same silly mistakes I made.
Here’s the Top 6 that I swear by
#1. Thou shall embrace the drag queen within
Slather on the face paint sista because those stage lights are harsher than Simon Cowell’s scathing comments!
Subtle DOES NOT WORK and if this is your first time doing competition tanning, I highly recommend you hunt down the services of a good make up and hair stylist. Not only do you have to look elegant and feminine, you have to also ensure that you don’t end up with the unfortunate “ghost face” effect where the skin on your noggin’ is a completely different shade to your body.
Contact your competition event organizer or visit their website, as most will be able to refer hair and beauty professionals to help you achieve the perfect look. I’ve been charged anything from $300 to $120 for hair and make up packages for competition days, so if you do have the time shop around- some even make house calls to make life easier.
Tip: Scout previous competitions by the same federation and see what kind of “look” the girls that placed had in common, paying attention to how they wore their hair down to the shade of their tan. You don’t want to look over-cooked or drowned out.
#2. Thou shall look like a bronze life-sized Oscar trophy
What ever color you call it- bronze, gold, orange, poo brown, just make sure it’s not blotchy. Enlist the palms of a helper (thank god for Ben and his perfectionist ways!) to slap on your touch-ups before you step out on stage. I say SLAP because in the short time frame that I have been competing, we’ve done the old school thing and layered Contest Color with coats of Dream Tan on the day. Dream Tan is like a top coat and the stuff is thick and requires force to stick to the skin. It also rubs off easily, so don’t go bumping into walls or hugging anyone in white anytime you don the stuff.
My tan in the first comp was the biggest rookie mistake- I was blotchy and too light compared to the other girls on stage and the judges were RUTHLESS. It didn’t matter I brought the sass or posed my little heart out, they did not see past my appearance and it was one of the primary reasons I bombed out spectacularly.
The judges WILL mark you down if your arms are caramel and your bum is mocha, so consistency is key. And, while you’re at it, get rid of streaks or crease lines as much as you can!
I got my butt blasted in the last comp because I thought I could skip out on a base spray tan prior to chucking on the layers of Contest Color…let’s just say that Ben is still giving me lip about it and there were words I can’t repeat in this blog that he used on the day when he was desperately trying to even out the color on my body.
So, rule of thumb: if you are normally porcelain white 365 days a year like me, get a base coat spray tan at least 48 hours out before the Contest Color layers go on. Or get ready to feel the wrath of your tanning buddy on the day!
Tip: Always read the instruction labels on whatever tanning product you have chosen to use- there are options to get spray competition tans on the day itself, but I haven’t experienced this (yet) so can’t really comment. And, if ever in doubt, get the opinion of your event organizer or federation judge to point you in the right direction.
#3. Thou shall prepare costumes months in advance
Never, ever, EVER leave this to the last minute because bikinis and pole shoes don’t come easy. Well, not in Australia anyway.
The most popular and neutral pole shoes to get are the 6 inch clear “Pleasers” and they are cheaper if you order them online- ebay have a few all the time and there are other sites that stock them. Otherwise, you can always try your luck at your local Sexyland or ClubX. These shoes are from the States, so budget at least 2-3 months out from comp to get them organised in case they come and they’re too big, small, etc. Getting the right bikini is always a mission for me- I don’t have big boobies and tend to find triangle tops that can be adjusted on the under-bust string work the best. Plus, most designs come with handy little pockets for chicken fillets to get that extra boost. Score. Start by approaching your federation for bikini designers- the 2 main ones in Australia are muscledazzle.com.au and danacarmont.com.
Bright colors and sparkles work well on stage, but just remember you’re going to be slathered in fake tan and if you go for a lighter bikini it’s a small mission to keep the color clean! Popular colors that work well for most girls are bright pinks, aquas and a striking emeralds. I usually splurge on the bikini (prices can range from $150 to $300+) but save on the frostings- all my bling was bought cheap on ebay but they did the job and looked a million bucks.
Tip: You want the judges to look at your body, however complete your overall “look” by wearing an elegant bracelet to accentuate your arms and light shoes to elongate your pins. Necklaces are optional but hound it up with pretty earrings to frame your face. If you are planning to accessorize your sports wear round or wear colored shoes, always ask the event organizer if this is allowed first- some federations hate gloves, etc. and will mark you down for it.
#4. Thou shall prep magnesium pills to prevent embarrassing stage cramps mid money shot
Thankfully this hasn’t happened to me on stage, however I’ve heard horror stories of girls (and blokes) experiencing muscle cramps mid pose. Remember, you’ll probably be water depleted and those stage lights are ridiculously warm, so make sure you are taking some good quality magnesium pills in the days leading up to comp. Short and sweet, but something that gets overlooked!
Tip: Bring a bottle of magnesium to the venue with you. That is all. Oh, and maybe do a small prayer that you don’t cramp up on stage.
#5. Thou shall practice walking and posing…in 6 inch platforms
I feel like an old fart when I say this but, in my youth (oh my god…), I practically lived in 4 inch (minimum) heels and refused to leave home without stilettos. Even though I consider myself a High Heel Veteran, I still had to wear my 6-inch skyscrapers around the house in the weeks leading up to comp just to get accustomed to how they feel. Wear and practice as much as you can in your stripper heels until you are confident you don’t look like a constipated duck.
Sigh…the things we do for longer legs, aye…
Tip: Federations often hold posing classes (free and paid) so find out when the next scheduled one is and go down for some tips and practice. You can even go one step further and engage a posing coach to help you one on one if you have two left feet (like me)!
#6. Thou shall go on stage & have fun
You’ve worked this hard to come all this way, now go on stage and have the time of your life!
Bring it, because you can be anyone you want to be on stage and you will look BEAUTIFUL.
Or, at the very least, you will be so high on lollies and rice cakes that you wouldn’t remember anything anyway.
Either way, make sure you do your packing the night before and have everything ready to go because an hour in between rounds goes by in a blink of an eye backstage. The less you need to worry about, the better. Keep smiling, make eye contact with the judges and shine!
I hope this gives you an insight on what to expect, what to think about and what to practice prior to strutting your booteh on stage.
Good luck on your comp prep and you can thank me later (send me peanut butter protein bars or shakes hehe) x
- I’m Natural Yo! (Behind the Scene – Naturalmania 2013) (skinnyfatsky.wordpress.com)
- ANB Natural Mania Championships 2013 (skinnyfatsky.wordpress.com)
- Preparing for Your First Bikini Competition (thefitnesscommitment.wordpress.com)