When it comes to applying makeup to stage performers, there is a real balance to getting the act right. It is indeed part science and part art, and it will require a lot of trial and error, both with the techniques and products.
Stage makeup is also more challenging than makeup applied to performers on TV or in film. This is because it needs to be exaggerated so that it will look natural for those in the audience, but up close, it may look a bit odd and over the top!
Getting the right balance is tough and if you are looking for some rookie tips to avoid, read on!
Remember, stage makeup is heavier than makeup that is applied in magazines or on a film set. So, applying makeup to someone else, or yourself, will look and feel unnatural at first.
To help you, or the person you are applying the foundation, feel comfortable, you should spend your money wisely on theatrical makeup supplies, such as a cream-based foundation. This will look heavy when it is first put on, but as the show progresses, it will fade and slink off, without lines or looking patchy.
Hide The Sweat
If you know that the people you are putting the makeup on are going to be under those sweltering stage lights for hours, or if they are performing a dance piece, you will want to conceal their sweat as much as you can.
Of course, there are the right makeups out there that can minimize the appearance of a shine from sweating. And, in simple terms, they are waterproof! So, always aim to have a waterproof set in your stage makeup kit. Also, use a fixing powder or spray just to be safe.
Practice the Intensity
It has been mentioned earlier in this article, but when you are applying makeup that is going to be seen on stage, you will need to overdo it up close and then check the makeup look from a distance.
The best way to get the balance right and to find your signature look is to practice with the intensity of the makeup, especially around the eyes, under the cheekbones, and on the lips. Remember, stage makeup that is too light will fade and will remove all trace of character from the performer.
Experiment With Colour
It is also worth experimenting with color.
Not in a clown-based way, but in a way that allows it to look seamless on the stage and blend in. For instance, choose cream-based foundations with a yellow tint, as this will look ideal under the right lighting. Dial down the reds and try to avoid pinks if you can.
Don’t Focus on Details
Don’t focus on getting the mascara to look perfect. Line the eyebrows, highlight the cheeks, and use contouring to bring the faces to life. Use mascara and eyeliner, but try to make it look a bit thicker to draw attention to the eyes.