You probably recognize Maddie Ziegler from her newly-minted role as "Mini Sia" in a slew of videos and live performances by the Grammy-winning Aussie singer. Or maybe it's her work with the elite Abby Lee Dance Company on the highly bingeable Lifetime reality series Dance Moms. But you probably didn't know that, at the ripe age of 12, she's also a bona fide beauty expert. One look at her Instagram (run by her mom, natch), will reveal snaps of the young talent doling out tips to her three million-plus followers, with the savviness of a seasoned beauty editor.
As it turns out, in the midst of a grueling practice schedule, Ziegler makes time to do her own hair and makeup for performances, as well as that of her younger sister, Mackenzie (pictured below), also a dancer on the show. I recently had the pleasure of catching up with the pint-sized rising star—with her little sis in tow—at the InStyle offices, and she bequeathed me some golden nuggets of beauty wisdom that she's picked up during her 10-year-long career as a competitive dancer. Below, nine things I learned.
1. Embrace setting spray.
"I put it on after I apply makeup to keep it intact, and it makes it stay on forever. Urban Decay Setting Spray ($30; ulta.com) is my go-to."
2. Trim fake eyelashes.
"They're way too long otherwise and don't look realistic."
3. Spray your hair before curling it.
"It holds the curls much better [than spraying afterward]. I also flip my hair upside down after curling it to make looser waves. The Bombay Curling Wand ($160; bombayhair.com) does a good job with curls."
4. Digger pins are your friend.
"You need at least five or six to properly hold an updo."
5. Never underestimate the power of permanent lipstick.
"When I perform, I use Lime Crime's Unicorn Lipstick ($18; limecrime.com). It takes a while to come off, but you never have to reapply."
6. When in doubt, use a heavy-duty makeup remover.
"Spirit Gum Remover ($6; amazon.com) is pretty much the only thing that will totally remove face paint."
7. Putting on a wig is not as easy as it looks.
"Before I put on the Sia wig, we braid my whole head, put it in a spiral bun, then put on a wig cap, pin it, put on the actual wig, then add more pins. It hurts really badly sometimes."
9. Expensive makeup is worth the bank.
"If it's on your face, it should make you feel great. Plus, it's more pigmented."