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Stage Makeup Tips

Read these 4 Stage Makeup Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Make-Up tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How is theatre makeup different than regular makeup?

Theatre Makeup

William Shakespeare wrote, “All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.”

Within the many parts that actors play, many different kinds of makeup are required. The type of lighting used and the size of the theatre will let you know how much makeup you should wear. Skin can look washed out and pale without the right kind of traditional pancake makeup. Foundation used for stage needs to have a lot of pigment in it, and should be able to hold up under hot lighting and activity. It needs to be sweat and smudge-resistant, too.

Features tend to get blurred on stage, so you need to bring them out. You want the audience member in the very back of the theater to be able to hear you as well as see the color of your lips and the shape of your eyes, so apply more eyeliner, blush, and lipstick (use a lip liner to precisely shape your lips) than you would normally wear. The Ben Nye Makeup Company has specialized in theatrical makeup for forty years. They are a family-run company located in Culver City, CA. You can find everything you need for stage and screen at

How can I learn about special effects makeup?

Special Effects Makeup

As a special effects makeup artist, Rick Baker is known for his work in creating realistic looking creatures. Two of his most notable movies are Star Wars and An American Werewolf in London, for which he won his first of six Academy Awards for “Best Makeup”.

If you have aspirations of being the next Rick Baker, start with school. Special effects makeup is not at all like doing regular makeup. The techniques and oddities of special effects makeup takes intense training to master. Your best bet is to find a school that specializes in this art form, but in this case, location is also key . You need to be in the location that is eventually going to get you the most work.

The Cinema Makeup School, Studio Makeup Academy, or Elegance International are all located in the Los Angeles area and specialize in teaching special effects makeup. Your classes will include advanced work in character makeup, prosthetic applications, sculpture breakdown, and digital FX makeup. These courses help prepare students to work in the film and television industry. Could you be the next Rick Baker?

Can you please give me a step by step instuctions of how to put on stage/performance make up?

How to apply stage performance make up.

Stage performance make up is similar to regular make up. The difference is when you are performing on stage you need your face to be seen. If you don't apply your make up right for a performance you will look pale/washed out and your face will blend into the light.

The first step to applying stage make up is to start with a clean moisturized face. Put foundation over you entire face and neck . A thick pancake make up works well because it will cover everything and provide a skin color to your face.

After the foundation you should apply the blush. Using a cream or stick blush will give you long lasting color.

The eyes can be a little tricky. Depending on your role you want to accentuate the eyes with a dark line and put on plenty of mascara. The shadows should be natural looking or colorful (again depending on the role).

Last but not least are your lips. Use a little foundation or concealer on your lips before you apply the lipstick. Line your lips with a dark color and fill it in with matching lipstick.

Your make up needs to be exaggerated in order to show up under the bright lights. Even though it may look like a lot when you are doing it, you will look fabulous on stage.

What is difference between stage and everyday makeup?

Stage vs Everyday Makeup

Stage makeup is different from everyday makeup in that it is heavier in formulation. Max Factor cosmetics began years ago as makeup for the stars. Pancake makeup was used to create flawless skin. In order to see makeup from a distance (stage to audience), bright, intense colors and false eyelashes are necessary. Also, heavy makeup is needed so it doesn't run with perspiration. Makeup is then set with powder.

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Patricia Walters-Fischer