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Stage Makeup


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I have a performance coming up, and I've never really known what proper stage makeup is. I've never really had formal direction :) ...so can anyone tell me what is normal stage makeup? All the requirements makeup wise are no fake eyelashes, accentuated eyes, and red lipstick. Makeup tips?

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Guest SophieSapphire

hmm..sorry the link didn't go to the page I wanted. Let me tell you where to go.


Click on "Information Center" in the left margin. Then look under the "step by step" catagory. It's the Performance Face one. Sorry!

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But remember this: If you are not working on a stage with a professional level of lighting, you are not going to need much of a performance makeup.

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Guest Cballet4me

For mascara, you should always keep cotton swabs handy. Cleaning mistakes with them is much easier than with a tissue and less messy than cold cream. Also, a product by Almy has these really great makeup remover pads. Make sure you get the kind with red writing on it because otherwise they are really oily and make your face greasy!

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While on this topic-

I'm pretty good with stage makeup for the performances I do here at home, some of which are better lit than others. I'm going to Burklyn this summer though, and there are performances every week, for which I'll obviously have to have makeup. I'm not sure if what I have now is enough, or if I have the right colors. They give a basic list, but not a very specific one. What I currently use is:



eyeliner (liquid or pencil, I have both)

eyeshadow (I have several shades of browns, blues, and purples, but I wear brown for shows)

blush (I have a powder which is a little bit brown, and a creme, which is just pink)

lipstick (sometimes we are asked to wear bright red and sometime I wear a more coraly color)



I have pretty fair skin, freckles, blue eyes, if that makes any difference. Is there anything I'm missing?

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One tip...if you are using liquid mascara, be sure to practice first! Last summer I tried using liquid mascara for the performance, and I couldn't seem to make a straight line. I ended up trying to take it off but it left a dark smudge all around my eye! You might want to stick with pencil unless you are experienced with liquid.


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This is another thing: try and figure out what color the lighting is before hand, alright? In one show I was in (not for dance ... musical theatre thing, I was just like, little person, though) they didn't tell the actors that the lights were going to be blue, so a lot of them wore red lipstick, and their lips looked black. Try and figure out the color of the lights - if the lighting isn't neutral, pink or brown lipstick (depending on the role) is better.

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Guest limeymauve

I think, obviously, that the biggest thing about stage make-up is keeping your face from getting washed out on stage from all the lights. So you exaggerate. My teacher has us use a darker, slightly more orangy foundation, which looks pretty weird up close, but on stage it just makes you look normal. Also, she wants us to wear false eyelashes, which we really don't like, but again, it looks good onstage, as long as you don't get really huge, abnormal ones. The red lipstick is used too, except in situations like Marenetha said, I guess (I've never had that happen, but I can imagine that wouldn't be good). So that's what we do, whether it's right or not. Hope I helped!

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While we are on the topic... Does anyone have any tips for putting on false eyelashes? We always have to wear them during performances and I've always had an older dancer help me. I really want to be able to put them on myself now, because it is kind of embaressing being the only one who can't put them on.

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Use a toothpick. Apply the adhesive to the back of the lashes with the applicator and smooth out the stuff with one end of the toothpick. Then place the lash on unmadeup skin on the eyelid. Do not apply over foundation or eyeshadow. Press the lash gently but firmly to the lid with the other end of the toothpick and adjust as necessary. Allow to dry, then do the same on the other eye. It is unusual to need more than two per head.

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Guest ballethoney

For our preformances our AD likes us to wear a little bit of white eyeshadow where the eyelids meet--closest to the nose. (I hope that made sense :D ) However, she has never told us why. I was just wondering if anyone else does this, and knows why it helps?

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It can help to open up the eyes and make them look bigger, however it's very important to do it carefully and not too much or it becomes too obvious.


I used to use the rounded end of a hair pin for the eyelash glue, and also never had any problem placing it on top of already made up eyes. The glue works with or without shadow already being there. :D

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