Stage makeup is very tricky for most people. It’s layers thick (and always seems TOO thick when it’s going on), and it looks very garish. Many people actually don’t put it on thick enough. Even if it looks very dark while it’s being done, it still may fade under the bright stage lights.
Foundation goes on first. It’s very thick, heavy cream and should be a little bit darker than skin tone. Two colors can be blended (the lighter one going on first) if there’s no color that’s appropriate. Darker (but not excessively dark) is always better. Start the foundation at the forehead and blend up to the hairline. Then cover the rest of the face, including ears, eyelids, and the neck. The neck is necessary so it doesn’t look like a mask. On guys, the entire neck (back too) is sometimes done, but this is messy. After the general foundation, a lighter color goes over the shadows under the nose and on the chin.
After all of the foundation is complete, the blush is done. Choose a rosy color and streak it over the cheekbone. Blend down and up, about halfway down the cheek. On men, it should look naturally rosy, while on women it should be dark enough that it will be seen on the stage as makeup. The blush is also (very slightly) blended over the nose and onto the forehead. The blush will almost always be darker at first. This must be visible to the audience from under the hot stage lights.
Next is the eye makeup, which is the most complicated part. First a very white ‘highlighter’ is used along the brow bone (right underneath the eyebrow) and under the eye. This should be well blended so there are no white streaks, but the area is lightened. Next, a color that’s a little darker than skin tone is brushed over the eye, just above the eyelid but below the brow bone. This is also blended beneath the eye. Over this, an even darker color is put along the top of the eyelid and is blended downwards. It also acts as an eye liner, but only on the top of the eye. After color is on, line the eyes with Black liner. Last, Black mascara is put on the top lashes. Try putting the wand into the actor’s lashes and having him or her blink – this makes errors less likely.
After this you apply lipstick which is fairly simple. For men, choose a color which is only a little bit darker than their usual lip color. Lip liner should match this. Liner and lipstick can be put on in any order; it depends on the individual’s preference. Make sure that the liner goes on the outside of the lips, and not outside the natural line. This will look fake. Liner can be used over all the lips before lipstick is put on to make it stick better and last longer. Lipstick should fill in the lips completely and be dark enough to be seen from the stage. Up close, it should look garish and unrealistic, like Halloween wax lips.
Last, loose powder is dusted over the face. Dip a large brush into a jar of the powder, then shake it to get most of the powder off. Not doing so will result in a large white streak over the makeup that’s just been done, and will ruin it. The purpose of this powder is to secure the makeup in place and make it less likely to run when the actor sweats on stage.
Blush: Rose or Bronze Rose color. Do not use the brush that comes with the blush, go and buy one. Doesn’t have to be expensive by any means. Walmart,Target,Wallgreens, and Rite-Aid all have rather inexpensive choices. You are looking for longer bristles, we are going for rosy cheeks not a stripe of pink across the face.
Eye Shadow: Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Light Brown, and white. The browns can usually be purchased in one palate.
Eye liner: Black pencil, Cover girl or NYC are pretty inexpensive reliable choice.
Mascara: Black if it is lengthening and voluminous it’ll work that much better but not necessary