I’m A Stripper — & I Spend $2,980 A Year On My Beauty Routine

For the past 10 years, Bianca Dagga has become an expert at artfully taking off her clothes — and putting on her makeup. For the burlesque dancer turned stripper, a great long-wear lipstick and body glitter are just as essential to her performance as the astounding upper-arm strength she needs to propel around a pole four nights a week.

"Sometimes I'm more bold and smoky for nights like Friday or Saturday, which are our most popular," Dagga, who goes by the stage name Raquel, tells Refinery29. "Then I have the girl-next-door look, which is all neutrals and pink lipstick on nights that I know are going to be a bit more low-key."


With the release of the movie Hustlers, which stars Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, and Cardi B as strippers who scam rich Wall Street clients, there's now renewed interest in routines like Dagga's, which take into consideration the kinds of beauty products that can safely withstand such a demanding job.

"That's one of the challenges," Dagga, 30, says. "Throughout the whole night, with the lights on me, I'm sweating so much when I'm dancing — makeup is the one thing that I always want to keep on."

Ahead, we asked Dagga for the products she swears by and tallied up just how much it costs to do makeup, skin care, and hair removal when you're a dancer. Hint: It's a lot.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Burt's Bees Micellar Makeup Removing Wipes

"After I'm done with my show, I start off with Burt's Bees wipes. They’re all-natural and they take off makeup pretty well without feeling like you're scrubbing too hard."

4x a year: $16.96
Burt's Bees® Burt's Bees Micellar Makeup Removing Wipes - 30ct$4.99 $4.24 Buy

Bioré Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub 

"There’s been a few nights that I get home at 4:30 a.m. and fall asleep with my whole face on. I'll break out the very next day, so I know it’s super important to keep up with daily skin care. This baking soda scrub gets everything off, so I use it first thing in the morning and sometimes at night to help get rid of all my makeup."

4x a year: $27
Biore Bioré Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub$6.75 Buy

DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew SPF 15

"This moisturizer is good in the morning because it has SPF. It’s super light, too."

4x a year: $156

DDF DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew SPF 15$0.00 Buy

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

"After I come home, I'll shower and then I use the Clinique Moisturizing Gel. It leaves my face really dewy and fresh in the morning. I'll wake up and my face doesn't look tired or anything."

3x a year: $84
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel$28.00 Buy

Shine & Co Pure Castor Oil & Vitamin E

"Sometimes I'll put a castor oil with vitamin E under my eyes because it helps with my dark circles."

Shine & Co Shine & Co Pure Castor Oil & Vitamin E$23.99 Buy

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Body Lotion

"There’s signs downstairs to not wear any oils or creams on stage because we pole dance. If the pole is too greasy, it can get pretty dangerous. However, I know it's important to moisturize at night or hours before work, so for that I like to use Palmer's Cocoa Butter."

2x a year: $19.38

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Lotion$9.69 Buy

NYX Professional Makeup Metallic Glitter

"Sometimes I'll put shimmer or glitter on my collarbones and shoulders. The loose glitters by NYX really stick on there."

2x a year: $13
NYX Professional Makeup Metallic Glitter$6.50 Buy

Victoria's Secret Pink Scented Shimmer Mist

"We wear perfumes a lot. I have this spray from Victoria’s Secret that has glitter inside of it, so it’s highlighting my skin as well as making me smell sexy."

2x a year: $33
Victoria's Secret Pink PINK Scented Shimmer Mist - Cool & Bright$16.50 Buy

Cabot Labs Musk Oil

"I think everybody has their own signature scent. It’s a defining thing and it helps attract customers based on the scents that they’re used to. My signature is this musk oil. You just dab it on wherever you want to smell and your own body chemistry makes it smell different."

2x a year: $31.92

Cabot Labs Cabot Labs Musk Oil$15.96 Buy

Schick Hydro 5 Razor

"I have to shave my legs constantly. I use this one, even though it's for men. Gender binaries are weird!"

12x a year: $119.88

Schick Hydro 5 Razor$9.99 Buy

Secret Outlast With Olay

"I tried to go all-natural, but we sweat too much in this job. I always carry this one around with me since it does the job and makes my underarms feel smooth."

6x a year: $29.94
Secret Outlast With Olay Completely Clean Deodorant$4.99 Buy

MAC Prep + Prime 

"I like this primer because it fills in my pores and makes my foundation look flawless."

3x a year: $99
MAC Prep + Prime Skin$33.00 Buy

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade

"I try to make my brows look thicker with a high arch to give me more of a sultry look. My eyebrows are so light in-person that on-stage they disappear, so I have to make them darker with the Anastasia pomade."

2x a year: $36
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade$18.00 Buy

MAC Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation

"I have three foundations that I like. The first one is the Mac Studio Sculpt. That one’s good because it’s thick and full coverage."

3x a year: $108
MAC Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation$36.00 Buy

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

"I use this Make Up For Ever skin tint for weekday shows when I know I won't be sweating as much."

3x a year: $129
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation$43.00 Buy

Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation

"This feels a bit lighter, but it stays on. I don't bruise on my body anymore because it's gotten used to what I put it through [with pole dancing], but this would be great to cover up bruises."

3x a year: $132
Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation$44.00 Buy

E.L.F. Contour Palette

"This face contour palette from E.L.F. is full coverage and comes in four different shades. I use that to contour my cheekbones, forehead, and nose. Then I blend it with my foundation."

2x a year: $16
e.l.f Contour Palette$8.00 Buy

Morphe 35M Boss Mood Artistry Palette

"My eyeshadow could change from super neutral to dark and smoky to glittery. My favorite ones come from this Morphe palette. It has every color from bright to shimmery, which is everything that I need."


Morphe 35M Boss Mood Artistry Palette$25.00 Buy

NYX Professional Makeup Glitter Primer

"If I use glitter, I’ll use a glitter primer by NYX that helps it stick on really well."

3x a year: $13.77
NYX Professional Makeup Professional Makeup Glitter Primer$4.59 Buy

MAC Extreme Dimension Waterproof Mascara

"This mascara makes my eyelashes really bold and long. Plus, it’s easy to apply."

4x a year: $96
MAC In Extreme Dimension Waterproof Mascara$24.00 Buy

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

"I have two eyeliners that I use. The liquid one by Kat Von D is pretty seamless to apply and makes it easy to do a cat-eye, which is typically how I do my eyes."

4x a year: $80
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner$20.00 Buy

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Easy On The Eyes Clay Liner

"For my under-eye and waterline, I use a pencil. This one's very creamy and stays in place."

2x a year: $38
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Easy On The Eyes Clay Liner$19.00 Buy

Ardell Eyelashes 3D Faux Mink

"I try to reuse my false lashes up to three times and then I'll buy more. I've done eyelash extensions, but then I can’t put on heavy makeup because they come off."

52x a year: $337.48
Ardell 3D Faux Mink Lash$6.49 Buy

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish

"My highlighter is by MAC and my favorite shade is called Show Gold. It has gold and pink tones, which work for my skin tone. It looks like I put a light on my face."

2x a year: $72
MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish$36.00 Buy

MAC Lipstick Matte

"My favorite lipstick for a natural look is MAC Velvet Teddy. Then for a bolder color, I go for MAC Ruby Woo."

6x a year: $111
MAC Lipstick Matte Finish$18.50 Buy

NYX Butter Gloss

"I usually put gloss over my lipstick because it really enhances my lips. It could be appealing to customers and it just makes me feel sexy."

6x a year: $21
NYX Cosmetics NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Butter Gloss$4.99 Buy

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Setting Spray

"When I know I'll be dancing hardcore and need my face to stay extra in place, I use this."

3x a year: $84
MAC Prep & Prime Fix + Makeup Setting Spray$28.00 Buy

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo & Conditioner

"I use SheaMoisture because I have curly hair and it leaves it feeling really soft and shiny. The shampoo lasts me two to three months, but the conditioner I really go through. I buy one every month."

18x a year: $151.02
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo$8.39 Buy

Eyebrow Threading

"I try to get my eyebrows threaded once a month. I go to a place in midtown that's so good and yet only $8."

$96 a year

Manicures & Pedicures

"I paint my own nails but do get a pedicure at this place in Williamsburg that charges me $30 a month. I usually get either pink or glitter or sometimes even gold."

$360 a year

Bikini Wax

"I do a bikini wax every month, and I do the whole Brazilian, which costs me $35 a month. It's just what you've gotta do."

$420 a year

Total = $2,980.34

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