Opinions & Lessons

Top Tips for Stage Makeup

By November 25, 2021 No Comments

Being on stage can feel magical, and if you are preparing your makeup for yourself then you will already know that it is perhaps different from the everyday makeup you usually go for.

Whether this is your first time on the stage, or your first time doing your own makeup for your show, this piece will discuss some top tips for stage makeup that you can utilize to make sure you look exactly how you would like and need to look for your performance.

Your Base Is Important  

If you are going to be performing—especially under heavy stage lights—you are going to want a makeup look that lasts. This is why the base of your makeup is important. Your skin needs to be prepped accordingly in order for the makeup to adhere, and also to stay put no matter how much you sweat. It will also help amplify the makeup, allowing it to have a smooth canvas. So, how can you prepare your base?

Moisturizer: First off, looking after your skin is an absolute must when it comes to how your makeup is going to sit. You are going to want a good-quality moisturizer to keep your skin supple and hydrated, as makeup can stick to dry patches and also look “cakey.” That being said, this will not matter too much for the audience, as you will most likely be far enough away for them to notice. 

Primer: Use a primer next, preferably one that suits your skin type, as this will give the makeup another layer to adhere to. Primers are designed specifically to help makeup stay put and put a barrier between your skin oils and sweat—which can make your makeup slide off or smudge. You will most likely want to use a heavy-duty primer for when you are going on stage, as the likelihood is, you will be in harsher conditions (such as under-stage lights) than if you were just running daily errands. 

Choose Pigmented Makeup

Just like with on-screen acting, on-stage acting can be a difficult atmosphere when it comes to makeup being able to show up. The lighting can make the actors’ faces look flat and lose their detail, which is an issue that performers want to avoid when they are an integral part of the show. Often with theatre makeup, bold and exaggerated looks are more common, so shopping from a theatre makeup store will ensure that you have the best-quality pigment and formulas, along with any additional must-have products, such as setting spray. 

Focus on Contour 

As certain lighting can make faces look flat, upping your contour can help ten-fold when it comes to either keeping your face shape or inhibiting someone else’s for a role. 

Contour can be used as a magic trick that can help you add shading and shadows where you need to or to help your already-there structure pop. 

A tip to keep contour from dimming is to use a quality pigmented cream contour first, and then go over it with a powder contour. Make sure the tones of your contour match your face tone if you are looking for a natural look!


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