X- Makeup for the Stage:

Stage makeup is often considered a part of the costume design. This role may be performed either by a member of the costumes team or by a makeup designer.
As with costumes, makeup helps enhance character traits and relationships. It also helps the actor to achieve certain character transformations, such as age, which might be hard without the aid of these tools.
The first meetings for this area of design usually occur two or three weeks prior to the performance, depending on the complexity of the requirements for the play (Check production calendar for more information).
Designing makeup for the stage involves a great number of techniques. When applying any makeup for the stage it is important to:

1-) Wash face with soap, or any other cleanser.
2-) Apply astringent to close the pores
3-) Apply facial lotion or humidifier (stage makeup is rough on skin and it can be painful if this procedure is not followed.)
4-) Apply the foundation (base) and distribute it evenly throughout the face. Do not use too much base or the surface will be extremely greasy and unmanageable.
5-) Apply desired makeup design (i.e. Old age makeup, facial hair, street makeup, etc.)
6-) After the make up has been completed it is important to apply powder all over the face to avoid makeup from running or shining too much with the stage lights.


A. Duties of the Makeup Designer:
•Two or three weeks prior to the performance, meet with the director and in some occasions the costume designer and talk about the general concept for the play, character relationships, ages, etc.
• Design makeup for each character on the makeup design sheets provided. The design does not have to be an artistic drawing. The importance of the make up design is to make sure that both the director and the designer have the same thing in mind.
• Once the makeup design has been approved by the director, check the makeup inventory enclosed in this packet and order any makeup supplies that might be necessary.
• Prior to the final dress rehearsals, schedule some time with the actors and try the makeup designs on them. The makeup designer might show them how to do it and if the makeup designer agrees, the actors themselves may apply their own makeup for future performances/ rehearsals. If not, the makeup designer shall apply the makeup to the actors.
• Along with the costumes crew, the makeup designer is responsible for setting up the dressing rooms prior to the dress rehearsals and the performance (s). Even if some of the rehearsals in the performance space do not include makeup, the makeup designer should be there to assist the actors and help prepare the backstage area.
• During the final dress rehearsals, the makeup designer must sit in the audience and make sure that the makeup looks good with the way the lights have been set up for the play. If the makeup is too strong or subtle, make notes and correct it for future rehearsals.
Please stay until the very end of the rehearsals. Notes given by the director are as important to the designers as they are to the actors.
•After the rehearsals/ performance(s), clean all of the brushes and put the makeup away in a safe place. Even though keeping the dressing rooms clean is the responsibility of the actor, the makeup and costume crews are responsible for the enforcement of this rule.
•During strike for the show, put all of the makeup away and adjust the previous inventory in the event that any materials have been purchased. If taking the class for credit, this inventory may be submitted as a part of the final paper.
• I suggest using the bookStage Makeup by Richard Corson as a reference. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall: 1986. The book The Face is a Canvas by Irene Corey is also a good reference.
• There are a great number of stage makeup techniques. For the purposes of Teatrotaller we have found these to be the most useful ones:

B. Facial Hair:
Using facial hair for male characters is very useful because it gives the actor a totally different look and in many occasions it also makes him look older.

Facial hair may be purchased through a catalogue (order form enclosed). They have styles and colors for all basic needs.
When the makeup for the character has been completed (Steps 1-6 above mentioned have been followed), apply Spirit Gum over the desired area. Allow a couple of seconds for the glue to start setting and then press the facial hair piece against the face. Hold for about one minute until it feels secure.

With a cotton ball, Q-tip, etc., moisten area around the facial hair with spirit gum remover. Gently pull away until the piece comes off. Wash the remaining spirit gum off the skin with alcohol.

C. Old Age Makeup:
The old age makeup technique is achieved by modeling the face with patterns of highlights and shadows.

Apply steps 1-4 above mentioned.
1-) With a medium size brush apply shadows ( facial makeup normally three shades darker that the skin’s foundation) on the areas where wrinkles generally form. These areas have been marked in the makeup design sheet enclosed in this section. In order to make the character look older, darker shadows may be used.
2-) With a different brush, apply highlights to the areas surrounding these “crevices” or “wrinkles”. Highlights are generally three shades lighter than the normal skin foundation.
Shadows recede while highlights jump forward. By delineating the “wrinkles” with the shadows, these appear to be sunk in contrast to the highlighted area surrounding these, which is flabby and puffy.
3-) The amount of lines and the intensity in color and size of these will vary depending on the age of the character.
4-) Once the old-age makeup has been completed, continue makeup as usual following the steps above mentioned.
The fastest and most efficient way to remove old age makeup and makeup in general from the face is with baby wipes. I recommend using these for quick changes in makeup.