The lovely Moria Chappell's stage makeup is always top-notch! She also teaches makeup classes at many festivals.
I’m often asked, “If I am going to perform, do I have to wear makeup?” The simple answer, every time, is YES.
Here’s the long and the short of it -- your performance makeup is part of your costume. If you were to put on a long evening gown, have your hair in an up-do, put on your high heel shoes and some jewelry but put NOTHING on your face, you would look like you were missing something. Your face would be overshadowed by your outfit and would look drab. We NEVER want our costume to overshadow our face.
Most dancers know how to apply makeup for daily usage or restaurant performances, but when it comes to stage makeup, application drastically affects the audience’s perception of the dancer.
What are the differences between stage makeup and regular makeup?
The differences between the two aren’t as vast as one might think. Stage makeup is meant to be heavier, both in texture and pigment. This allows the makeup effects to be seen from afar, which is typically the case during a stage production. From highlighting and even exaggerating the shape of a performer's face to giving the effect of aging or special characteristics, makeup can transform you.
Regular makeup is much lighter than that which was created for the stage. The pigments are natural looking, giving regular makeup a much more organic look. The idea of regular makeup is to cover blemishes without making the makeup the focal point. Stage makeup should be noticed and is intended to be part of the costume on stage; while everyday makeup is intended more for the background and should blend in to one’s natural features.
Can stage makeup be used every day?
Because stage makeup is essentially just a heavier version of regular makeup, it can be used every day. It’s all a matter of personal preference; some people prefer to wear lighter makeup and would most likely be uncomfortable in stage makeup outside of the theater/performing venue. Wearing it offstage will create a heavier look that is atypical for day-to-day use, but it really is a matter of personal preference.
Can regular makeup be worn on stage?
With the right application techniques, regular makeup can absolutely work well on stage. By applying the makeup much more heavily and in a more dramatic way, it can create the desired effects just as well as stage makeup. There are also many performing locations that require a natural look, making regular makeup a much better choice. It’s easier to use regular makeup on stage than vice versa.
More about make-up next month!