Makeup Tips and Tricks for Stage Performances

Hello friends,
How many of you love stage performances? I think everybody does. I feel it is a very special form of art as it helps the artist to connect with the audience directly. It is also challenging as everything is live and there is absolutely no chance of rectifying a mistake. Be it a dance performance or theatre, makeup is an integral part. Now although in most of the cases a makeup artist is present, you should know the basics of stage makeup.

stage door

A few things you should know:
1. If you are a regular performer, buy your own products and brushes. The makeup artist who helps you at the backstage uses the same foundation and lipstick with the same brush on about 15 to 20 different people. If you are a regular performer and need to get makeup done every now and then, the risk of skin infection is really high. So try to get your own products.


2. Stage makeup is different from the daily makeup you wear or even the heavy makeup you do for parties. The light and heat will melt your normal makeup in a few minutes and make you look like a zombie. Try using the waterproof products and make sure to set the makeup setting sprays and powders.

3. Know your place of performance. While stage performance in large auditoriums with loads of lights demands a heavy makeup, open stage performances/road shows in day light deserve a more everyday kind of makeup with long-lasting products.

dramatic eyes

4. During stage performances, the audiences sit quite far away from the stage and it is important to highlight your features so that they can see it. For example, using a pale nude lipcolour won’t actually show up in the stage lights. Using a deeper shade of brown will look like your normal lipcolour when you are on the stage.

5. Avoid using crazy colours. Blood red blushes and fuchsia pink lips may make you look like a clown on the stage. Try to stick to the colours that work on your skin in the bright light. For example, foundations with pink undertone may appear a little pale and overdone (if you are playing a witch, it is all right). Instead, go for foundations with yellow undertones to add some warmth to the skin.

6. Do not forget to highlight your features. Work on your eyebrows, contour your face and define your lips.

7. Just like dress rehearsals, makeup rehearsal is important too. Try to get one done before the final performance and ask someone to sit in the audience to see if the look is working the way it should.
8. Wash your hand after the makeup is done as otherwise the colour may transfer to your costume.
9. Make sure to remove the makeup after the show even if you are tired using an oil-based makeup remover. Use serums and moisturizers soon afterwards to heal the damages done.

girl in front of a mirror

Steps to be followed for makeup:
• Wash your face properly. Tone and moisturize it well. Apply lip balm on your lips. The face should look hydrated and fresh. You can also use a primer as the heavy makeup on skin for a long time may cause damage.
• Now start applying the foundation. It should be a few tones darker than your original skintone. Generally, a warmer shade of foundation is recommended as it counteracts the colder effect of the stage light. Otherwise your face may look pale and lifeless. Apply it evenly on face, ears, neck and hairline.
• Now the canvas is ready for you and it is time to contour and highlight. Use a darker shade of foundation to create the hollow in your cheeks. Blend the colour to create a shadow along the jaw line. It will reduce the plumpness and add definition to the face. Apply a darker brown shadow on the two sides of your nose to make it look sharp. Apply a highlighter on the bridge of the nose. Also shadow the crease of the eye to add depth.
• Add a blush to the cheekbones. Spread it on the cheekbones in the outward direction toward ears.
• Use a pale eyeshadow on the lids and browbone. It helps to open up the eyes. Apply a very narrow line of eyeliner along the lash line. Use brown for natural look and black to create a dramatic effect. Mascara and false eyelashes add to the dramatic look. Use a white liner on the waterline as it makes the eyes look bigger.
• Draw the brows using a black pencil, enhancing the arches well.
• Now set the face makeup using sprays and loose powder.
• Next line the natural lip line using a deep brown colour to enhance the shape of the lip. Now fill it up. Try using the colours from a professional lip palette as they last longer than normal lipsticks. Use a brush to fill in the colour.

ariana grande

You are ready now. Do not forget your dialogues or dance moves while doing the makeup! Give your best on the stage and make the audience praise both your performance and makeup.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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