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                    INTRO TO MAKEUP  <K>

    Makeup use generally falls into two areas - streetwear or performance. Street application is usually subtle, intended to minimize problems and enhance selected features. Performance makeup is bolder, intended to emphasize or radically change appearance. While makeup may be used anywhere on the body, the following introduction is oriented toward facial changes.


    Performance situations include gray shades (black and white) photo/video, color photo/video, or stage (live) performance. Each situation may include any of the three functions of performance makeup: intensification, characterization, or special effects. Generally, all are intended to compensate for more intense lighting and higher temperature.
    Stage makeup must also include consideration for stage lighting color media (dominantly pinks and ambers) which eliminates the presence of  full spectrum "white" light. Generally, stage color media shifts lit colors (including makeup) to darker shades (hues), while increased luminosity softens shades (richness). The makeup applied in the dressing room becomes, on stage, darker and less distinct.


    A "natural" appearance under strong lighting and/or greater viewing distance requires stronger (color enriched), separated (contrasting) facial features to avoid their being "washed-out" (pale) and/or "lost" (blurred). Even professional speakers, comics, masters of ceremonies, and newscasters utilize "general makeup" to ensure clarity of their facial expressions. The following lists general makeup use by makeup category.
        (1.)  Foundation: A stronger (darker) base (skin shade) on which to build (add) other makeup.
        (2.)  Liner & Shadow: Define shape and increase contrast.
        (3.)  Rouge & Lipstick: Brighten.

        Foundation (1.)
            Lighting intensity and color determine foundation shade. A shade which transitions into neck skin color avoids extensive coverage, as well as, likely costume and possible set piece clean-up. Keep in mind that the color of the makeup in the container is stronger than applied, when the lighter skin-tone reflects through the makeup. Water base makeup is essentially powder, which cannot be layered (applied with increasing thickness), requiring a darker shade than oil bases. Although dry, the grainier texture may be smoothed using powder. Oil base provides a smooth, variable thickness, but has a sheen which should be matted (made non-shiny) with powder. Grease makeup may be applied thick enough to be nearly opaque, eliminating skin-tone reflection, and also requires powdering for a matte finish.
        Powder (1.)
            Makeup powder is needed to yield a smoother, non-shiny, more stable surface. Lightly powdering the foundation tends to retain that finish during further making-up. When done, a final powdering helps integrate the layers into a "single surface" appearance which sustains better against perspiration.
        Lining (2.)
            Defining edges of shapes is usually done using a pencil or narrower brush, in a strong color (eyebrows and lips) or "invisibly" (highlight and shadow ridges). A ridge line divides where contours will be made more prominent (highlight) or hollowed (shadow). Lining provides a preview of the features to be developed with rouges and shadows. Commonly, many liners (shadow/liner) are formulated for distinct lining or light application with a soft brush as a shadow. Minimally, eyebrows and inner and outer eye corners should be "lined".
        Shadow & Rouge (2. & 3.)
            From a contour ridge, highlights (generally upward) are shaded across the prominence to disappear into the foundation; the shadow (usually downward) blending in the opposite direction. Rouge shades are commonly pinks through roses, while shadows, like liners, include a wide spectrum from black through white. Minimally, because the foundation has "buried" original above-the-cheekbone pinks, female rouge application is required.
        Lip Rouge & Lipstick (3.)
            The oils used in lip makeup are more wax-like, less susceptible to saliva and physical contact. A wide range of colors are available, but general makeup should include pinks through roses, slightly darker than rouge, for females; burgundies through browns for males. Without defining the lips, they tend to blurr into the foundation, producing a featureless lower face.

    Begin with a reasonably clean face with hair back, lighted area with mirror and comfortable chair, makeup with applicaters, and facial tissue. If applying oil or grease makeup, foam-tipped swabs are useful. Simply sequenced: Apply foundation to the center of the forehead to determine color depth (intensity). Continue outward and downward until the face is a suitable shade. Carefully blend foundation into, not onto, hairline and onto neck. Lightly powder with a suitable tinted powder to intensify the foundation shade, or "neutral" shade. If the eyebrows are heavily covered, "strip" the makeup using tissue or swab. Using a near-pate-hair-color lining pencil, "shape the brows". The same or a lighter shade pencil can be used to slightly extend laterally the outer corners and define (outline) the inner bottom of the eyes. From the inside outward, blend rouge onto the cheek bones. Lightly shape lipstick across the upper lip, press and slowly roll the lips together to coat the bottom lip and blend color from outer to inner edges, separate lips to view, add lipstick where desired and re-roll lips, use tissue to remove "overflow" and define outer edges. Touch-up as desired and, excluding lips, neutral powder entire face.
    Organizations commonly maintain a makeup stock for use by performers or makeup crew. To avoid unwanted mixing, each makeup item should include a dedicated applicator. Hygenically, it is desireable that each face should have a personal base applicator. This, along with contents control and performer application experience, encourages the use of personal kits.


    Classified as human (aged, ill, weathered, ethnic, etc.) or non-human (animal, alien, monster, etc.), the appearance change ranges from obvious to radical, not subtle. Each character requires different materials and techniques, but the following introduction expands from general makeup without including prosthetic or other effects.
        [1.]  Foundation: A tint is most easily achieved with a water base, use oil to blend shades, grease is most vividly monochrome.
        [2.]  Liner & Shadow: Generally, begin with stronger colors, then hand-blend (smear) to soften lines.
        [3.]  Rouge & Lipstick: Darker, bright, or metallic colors may require the use of liners or special order lipstick (no, you don't need to eat gold foundation).

        Foundation [1.]
            Special human shades include sallows (purple, yellow, gray), weathered (roseate, sunburn, brown), ethnic (Indian, Oriental, olive, Negro). The strongest colors are achieved using oil and grease bases.
        Powder [1.]
            Few bright colors exist, some effects colors (dirt, soot) may prove helpful, with neutral least effecting underlying shades. To retain a metallic or bright finish, use a spray sealer rather than powder.
        Lining & Shadow [2.]
            Soft shadow/liner or oil based foundation may be "painted" to achieve any image.
        Lipstick [3.]
            Lipstick is available from transparent to black, including several bright colors and some metallics. Order early, uncommon colors may have to be resourced. As a last resort, use lipstick sealer over non-lip makeup.

    See Intensification, BASIC APPLICATION above for basic principles and techniques which can be exagerated (reshape eyes and cheekbones) and expanded (eyes and lips age/stress lines) for human characters. Animal and fantasy faces may be "cartooned" on paper, then "pencilled" onto the face, providing a preview of the character and functional makeup guide-lines. When blending makeup into prosthetic and costume colors, pre-mix oil bases to required shade before applying.


    Non-prosthetic (wounds, UV, etc.) and prostheses (attached artificial body parts) include most makeup special effects. Adhesive and/or restructuring materials are commonly needed to reshape facial features; but bruise, cut, scar, puncture, and other features can be achieved using only makeup.
        {1.}  Restructure & Adhesive: Collodian can secure "pinched" skin wrinkling. Liquid latex, wax, and putty are traditional add-on materials with blends and new "special effects" (burn, skin, etc.) formulas available. Prosthetics may be custom molded, but good to professional quality commercial appliances (prostheses) range from small items (warts, bullet holes, noses) to multi-piece functional faces (aged, witch, animals). Generally, all pieces should be secured with spirit gum; use stronger adhesive for heavier pieces.
        {2.}  Foundation: Various bases of fluorescent and phosphorescent colors are available. Oil base permits blending of radical shades into natural colors. Mask (prosthetics) makeup provides "waxier", higher density coverage. If intended for reuse, latex should be cleaned before storage. Makeup oil eventually deteriorates latex.
        {3.}  Liner & Shadow: As with foundation, oil bases are more creatively useful and include iridescent colors.
        {4.}  Lipstick: Ultraviolet light (UV) responsive and "special" colors are available.
        {5.}  Overlay Effects: Blood, tears, soot, glitter, reflective spray.

        Restructure & Adhesive {1.}
            Always begin with a clean surface. Using wax or putty, small structures may be molded onto the body. If adhesion is doubtful, remove the piece then reattach using spirit gum. Many 3-dimensional effects (cuts, tears, punctures) can be achieved by layering liquid latex to a desired thickness, then "cutting" or tearing to open the "laceration". Frequently, if carefully removed and the back reinforced with another coat of latex, these prostheses become reuseable with spirit gum. NOTE: Never use liquid latex near eyes or on hair - it becomes solid rubber.
        Foundation {2.}
            After restructuring, pencil outline color zones. Generally, blend from the center of each zone into the next. Quality prosthetics have non-linear thin edges, easily covered with oil or grease makeup. For lighting effects (UV, phosphorescence, glitter, iridescence) plan larger areas to assure visual effectiveness when viewed at a distance.
        Liner & Shadow {3.}
            Strong contrasts are often needed, representing injuries or strongly emphasizing features. Overlays may be used.
        Lipstick {4.}
            While bright and effects lipsticks are available, mouth wound emphasis may require multiple lipstick colors, tooth enamel, or mouth blood for in-mouth effects. Lip makeup stabilizers are available.
        Overlays {5.}
            Blood effects range from a lump of smearable gel, through running blood packs (ask GTS) and mouth capsules, to arterial sprays. If you need assistance, telephone. Makeup powders provide hygienic "filth" (dirt, ash, fallen masonry), as well as, a makeup finish; however, if a bright or wet sheen is desired, use a liquid spray sealer. Glitter can damage eye lenses - use carefully and never on youngsters.

    Various makeup effects require radically different techniques, from simple "body painting" of tatoos to custom molding of large prosthetics. The above information may offer some insight with "Casualty Kits" and "face painting" booklets providing a further introduction, and excellent specialty makeup books available for anyone seeking additional exploration.

The creative variability of stage makeup frequently forces the mixing of functions, approaches, materials, and techniques, leading to new problems and discoveries. If you need help, give Globe a call, and enjoy the challenges.

Return to PRODUCT CATEGORIES directory. View MAKEUP, PROSTHETICS or FACIAL HAIR highlight list.
This file was partially updated 4/26/16.