5 Costume Tips for New Directors


School is back in session across the country, and we know what that means… it’s time to get your Rivar’s order started! For those of you that are seasoned professionals, you know the drill when it comes to picking your fabrics and styles (you probably started brainstorming last school year!), sizing your students, and placing your order with your account manager. But for all the new directors out there, this process can be overwhelming, and it’s hard to know where to begin. Rivar’s is here to help.


  1. Ask questions!

There is no such thing as too many questions when talking with a costume company throughout the ordering process. These costumes are made-to-order, and we want to make sure you love them and your expectations are met! Schedule time to call your sales rep and discuss the sizing/ordering process at length. Knowing all the details about sizing, ordering and timeline will help you feel more prepared, and make your sales rep more prepared to accommodate your needs.


  1. Seek design advice.

Overwhelmed by the variety of sequins? Our sales reps are here to help you in the creative process as well as the administrative one. They are familiar with the fabrics and styles we offer, and they can help you design the dress of your dreams. Because we work as a team, we are able to bounce ideas off of one another, which allows us to put together the perfect outfit for your group.


  1. The earlier, the better!

Size early. Order early. The earlier you order, the less panic will ensue as your concert date arrives. As a new director, you have enough to worry about without having to stress about your costumes. We are here to take care of your costumes, but we need your order in our hands to get your costumes into production. Questions about sizing and ordering? Call us!


  1. Find a costume mom!

Costuming will need care and attention all throughout the school year, and having a costume mom or team to take care of the situations that arise will make that process much smoother.  A common misconception is that costumes will arrive, fitting perfectly, and they won’t have to worry about them from there on.  The reality is, students grow and change throughout the school year.  A hem might tear or zipper might bust due to heavy choreography and constant wear.  Some students will be better about keeping track of all their pieces than others.  Having a costume army to take charge of these things will keep you focused on the bigger picture – your students and the music!


  1. Remain calm, and enjoy the ride.

We believe that you are playing a vital role in the lives of many students. The arts are such a special field to be a part of, and we are grateful that you are giving this season of your life to developing the next generation of artists. We are a custom apparel company, but we are also huge supporters of the arts and music education. We encourage you to remain calm when the overwhelm starts to take over, and remember that this new school year is part of a wonderful adventure. You are changing lives, and there is nothing better than that.

Brighter and Bolder: Rivar’s Makeup Tutorial

Rivar’s Makeup Tutorial

Are you looking for a way to look brighter and bolder under stage lights? We’re here to help. Welcome to our very first Rivar’s makeup tutorial! My name is Jessamyn, and I’m a customer service associate and show choir alum. After many years of competitions, concerts, and other performance opportunities, I’ve learned a lot about what (and what not to do!) with your stage makeup. So I’m here to share some tips and tricks for looking your best on a show choir stage.

In an effort to make your life as easy as possible, I’ve written down the steps from the video in addition to some extra tips for makeup application. As in the video, I’ve broken down this list into three major sections: face, eyes, and lips.


  • Foundation
    • Choose the foundation formula that’s right for you!
    • You can use a brush, a sponge, or your fingers for application. Again, it depends on your skin type and the formula you choose.
    • TIP: Apply the foundation in the direction of the hairs on your face for the smoothest appearance.
  • Concealer
    • The shade of concealer should match your skin exactly or be one shade lighter. If it’s darker, it will draw attention to those spots on your face instead of covering them up.
  • Contour
    • Remember the places you need to contour: under your cheekbones, the “corners” of your hairline/forhead, the sides of your nose, and your jawline.
    • TIP: When contouring your nose, don’t put the makeup beyond the sides of your nose. This will broaden instead of narrow your  nose.
  • Blush
    • Remember… if you think have enough on, put on some more. Blush really warms up your face under lights and prevents you from looking washed-out.
    • TIP: The placement of your blush (and highlight and contour for that matter) depends on your face shape. Check out this picture for some tips on application based on your face shape.
  • Highlight
    • TIP: Use highlight with a little shimmer on your cheekbones if you want your skin to catch the light a little more.
  • Powder
    • Because you already have so much color on your face, I recommend a light translucent powder for this final step. You can reapply powder throughout the day to keep the shine away.


  • Eyebrows
    • Correction: In the video, I said that I recommend using an angled brush with eyeliner, but I meant to say an angled brush with eyeshadow. I apologize for the confusion!
  • Eyelid
    • Use a flat brush and a lighter neutral color like taupe, copper, or silver for your eyelid.
  • Crease
    • TIP: If you want to add a bold color to your look, this is the place to do it!
  • Highlight
    • Highlighting is the crucial blending step. Make sure to apply the highlight under your eyebrow and in the corner of your eye.
  • Eyelash Curler
    • Pump your eyelashes from base to tip to curl instead of crease.
  • Eyeliner (black and white)
    • I used Covergirl Perfect Point Plus in this video because it is easy to apply, and you don’t need to sharpen it. You can use any eyeliner formula you like: liquid, gel, pencil, or something else.
    • TIP: For bigger eyes (and less shadow on stage), do not connect your upper and lower eyeliner lines. You can even extend the upper and lower eyeliner slightly beyond your natural lashline to make your eyes pop even more.
    • Apply the white eyeliner along the waterline for an extra boost.
  • Mascara
    • You only need a thin coat! The purpose of this step is to prepare your real eyelashes to blend into your false ones.
  • False Eyelashes
    • Apply a very thin line of glue along the edge of the lashes, and wait a moment for the glue to get sticky before applying.
    • TIP: Longer and thinner lashes will make your eyes look bigger on stage. Shorter and thicker lashes will weigh down your eyes and shadow your face. You can even cut off the side of a false eyelash if it’s too long for your eyelid.
  • Pop of Color
    • Bring back your crease color to soften your under-eye eyeliner.


  • Lip balm
    • Apply a thin coat of a very smooth lip balm or chapstick to soften your lips before putting on lipstick.
  • Lip liner
    • Choose a color that matches your lipstick or is a neutral color.
    • You can fill in your lips entirely or line your lips (which is what I did in the video).
  • Lipstick
    • TIP: Choose the red that’s right for you! We all have different skin tones and undertones, and red lipstick is created from different color combinations. The same red is not going to look good on everyone, so look around for the right red for you.

Thank you for watching our Rivar’s makeup tutorial! I hope you learned something new (or learned a LOT of new things!) while watching our video. We had a lot of fun putting this together and sincerely hope it helps you look your best under stage lights. We wish you the best of luck this competition season!

For more on all things show choir, check out our blog!

Makeup artist and speaker: Jessamyn Anderson

Video and Photography: Evan Cain