February 22, 2008, Newsletter Issue #255: Theatre Makeup

Tip of the Week

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 www.bennyemakeup.com.

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