or Connect
Specktra › Welcome to the Specktra Community! › Cosmetic Topics › Recommendations › Theatrical makeup - advice please!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Theatrical makeup - advice please!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a show coming up in a few weeks and have tried, without much success, to find advice/tutorials online to help me with my makeup. I've done a few shows in the past, but whenever I've been cast as a 'normal' character (i.e., not a ghost, witch or other deranged character) my makeup ends up looking bleached-out and in particular my eyes almost disappear

The show is Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta 'Patience' and I'm playing Patience, an 18-year-old dairy made, set in 1880. The theatre is very small, so I'm concerned about overdoing the makeup and looking daft, but equally, as this is a major role for me, I'd like to look really good.

I have NC15 skin, hazel eyes and almost black hair. If possible I'd prefer to avoid using traditional stage makeup such as Kryolan, as it wrecks my skin, and would prefer to use a full-coverage MAC base. I also plan to use MAC blush in Frankly Scarlet or Dollymix and either So Scarlet or New York Apple lipstick - does anyone know if these would be appropriate choices?

My main concern is eye makeup, as I really don't have a clue! I'd like to make my eyes really pop, but I'm worried about looking like a drag queen. Also, as I'm actually 40 and therefore somewhat older than the character I'm playing, I have dark shadows, wrinkles bags I need to hide! I find that eyeshadow usually highlights these faults rather than disguising them, so I'd be really grateful for any advice regarding appropriate colours and application of products

Thanks in advance for your help!
post #2 of 6

Re: Theatrical makeup - advice please!

When building your base (face), use a foundation that really matches you skin tone then work your way up from there. If you feel that you look washed out, try to go a shade or two darker than your normal shade, just blend down the neck well. Also contouring is the most important part of stage makeup. Over-dramatize your normal contour you should look harsh off stage, and perfect on stage. Highlight using a foundation or powder or cream that is too light to look younger keep your highlights more towards the center of the face. Almost as if your youthfulness is radiating from the tip of your nose. As far as eyes go make sure you conceal, conceal,conceal and avoid using eyeshadows that have any shimmers. Shimmer settles into the skin and accentuate the fine lines of the area. Avoid coloring in the waterline with black to make your eyes look youthful put a stark white line there, and under your lashes use a dark brown/ black liner. Keep your eyes fairly natural but make sure you darken your crease and outer v.
post #3 of 6

Re: Theatrical makeup - advice please!

My number one rule for theatre/theater (however you feel like spelling it) makeup is don't use anything with SPF in it! You're likely to look really pale, because it creates a whitish cast under the bright lighting. Use a good makeup that'll wear well, and not sweat off, and then start the rest of your face. Like the above poster said, stay away from shimmery/glittery makeup, and really play up your eyes. I'd use the white liner, but set it with a white eyeshadow too, just to give it extra staying power. Line your eyes (upper and lower lashline) a liiiiiiiiiiittle bit thicker than you would if you were going out in public, over-accentuate your crease a bit, with a matte brown shadow (espresso is perfect for this), and apply tons of mascara...you could do false lashes, too, if you want. Contour the crap out of your face...you're going to look crazy if you're standing next to someone, but those bright stage lights really have a tendency to flatten out your features, so contour, contour, contour! Apply your blush heavier than you usually would as well. Not sure if lips are an issue, but I've found that a nice matte berry color translates nicely, and makes you look very youthful. You can sheer out a too-dark shade with some lip balm (think Carmex or Chapstick), NOT dazzleglass or anything sparkly.
I haven't done theatre since I was in HS, but I dance, so the same rules apply, since the lighting conditions are generally very similar. Hope this helps a bit, and break a leg.

Hmm, I just re-read your post and noticed your age...girl, I think you look fabulous! Anyway, to help convey the youth a bit more, when you're contouring, curve your contour color a bit under the apples of your cheeks...when I do my contouring, I always keep Barbara Feldon in mind...I think she's absolutely stunning, and I LOVE her cheekbones http://www.hipsterama.com/wp-content...ra-feldon2.jpg to me, she always looks very youthful, even now http://images.broadwayworld.com/uplo...0_img_5336.jpg
Hope that little bit helps, too!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Re: Theatrical makeup - advice please!

Wow - thank you both for your advice and kind comments - you've been really helpful
post #5 of 6

Re: Theatrical makeup - advice please!

I agree with everyone else. Contour and over define. Stage lights will wash you out like crazy. You should look like a drag queen offstage, but promise the lights will tone it down when you are onstage. If it looks natural in normal lighting add more. One of my fave tricks for stage is to contour with a dark matte grey (or if your adept at blending) a matte black. Since this colors do not reflect light they tend to add a sharper contrast onstage. Rimming the eye in pure matte white is also a fave trick for stage, the kind of heavy makeup needed to read under bright lights tends to close off the eye (especially for the cheep seats) and this will help keep the contrast bright and keep your eye open.

If this is something you do on a regular basis I would highly recommend taking a look at Ben Nye products. They have a huge range of stage makeup products and no joke... they work well. The staying power is amazing and they hold up like a dream under heat. The color cakes are my fave and their blushes and contour powders are increable.

Hope that helps!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Re: Theatrical makeup - advice please!

Thanks for your advice Strawberrymold - I'll visit ScreenFace and have a look at the Ben Nye products at the weekend.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Recommendations
Specktra › Welcome to the Specktra Community! › Cosmetic Topics › Recommendations › Theatrical makeup - advice please!