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Ballet Talk for Dancers


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Mel Johnson

Foundation is the overall coat of color that you put as the very first layer of makeup. It goes all over the face and neck. Plus some on the backs of the hands, too, if you're going to be thorough about it.

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One of the Areas I had to learn as a got my design degree was stage makeup. Please read the following:

Max Factor Is a real person or was he' dead. He started his career in the Imperial court of Russia doing makeup for the Czarina and the rest of the ladies in the royal family. Well that was a short lived career as the Bolchevicks (sp?) came to power! He then went to Hollywood and the rest is history. The Max Factor street makeup has a yellow base. Stage makeup has a red base. They are not the same and do not appear the same on stage! Street makeup is fine for a house of about 400 seats or smaller. Larger houses need Stage makeup! I really has a lot to do with the distance and the stage lighting. That said: Take a look at two products design for Television. One is called Rain Barrel the other is Meron. Both are excellent dry bases they are applied with a wet sponge. When dry they can be set with powder or Hairspray believe it of not! Most males should use brown or golden tones Greys work well too for eyes! Blonds are different as are Asians and People of Color!


Blush, what looks like a lot may not show up on stage at all in a 2500 seat house. Here's a little tip. If you squint yours eyes and it looks good you are ok! Blending is important! As far as pencil liners and lip colors Street stuff is ok to use! Yes, No red lips on guys unless you want them to look really Odd! Look for something a shade or two darker than their natural lip color.


Mel you mentioned Texas dirt on one of these forums. Yes, it's great for making Indians but the wardrobe master or mistress will hate you as this stuff is almost impossible to get out of white or light colored clothing! You also mentioned Baby shampoo what a great tip for removing makeup! Baby oil works well too! I see you do know everything. Another tip. If you son is a sweater :P when he dances, spray his face lightly with hairspray, then apply the makeup, powder then spray lightly again. Not perfect but it will help keep the makeup from sliding off! As far as going to a makeup counter at a local department store, you might pick up some good points but they will be for street looks not the stage. This sounds like I need to do makeup seminars at all the local studios!


Here's the best book! Stage Makeup by Richard Corson's a friend of my wife, James Galvin, just re-edited it and included a lot of new stuff. Check for it at the local library as it is an expensive book! You really only need to know the stuff about basic and corrective makeup for dance unless you are doing a character. As always I hope this has been a help.

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  • 8 years later...

J66B...I have hidden your link to the make-up video on youtube since it includes a young dancer. It is our policy here on BT4D not to include any youtube videos which include young dancers for their safety.

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