CriticalDance Forum

Nutcracker makeup
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Author:  Noahskape [ Fri Nov 26, 2004 6:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Nutcracker makeup

Can anyone give me advice on applying makeup? This is my 4th year taking ballet and I was cast for the role of the Nutcracker this year in my company's production. The artistic director wants me to wear makeup, but I'm supposed to know how to apply it myself. Is there any special makeup tips that I need specially for my role? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Author:  citibob [ Sat Nov 27, 2004 3:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nutcracker makeup

Hello Christopher,

The makeup you use depends on many factors, none of which I know:
1. Your general complexion
2. What your role is supposed to look like
3. The lighting, distance from the audience, etc.

In general, the stage lights will wash out your features. If you have dark features, you may not need much. In my case, I have light feature --- if I don't paint on my own eyebrows, I won't have any on stage.

The purpose of stage makeup in general is:
1. Make feature not wash out.
2. Make your eyes look bigger, but not unnatural (from a distance).

I would suggest you find someone who is an expert with STAGE makeup (as opposed to someone's mother who wears street makeup daily but doesn't know how to do it for the stage). Get that person to evaluate your face and make suggestions of what to do. Ask "why" for everything that is being applied.

It might also help to go to a makeup counter in a department store and ask them for help. Although these people are not experts in STAGE makeup, they will at least be able to suggest colors that match your complexion. Foundation, for example, is matched to your skin color. You can then purchase these colors and try to get a stage makeup person to help you.

That will give a good starting point for your face; later, you can vary it to suit your tastes, the show, etc.

The Nutcracker Prince is actually a toy, right? So depending on what is wanted (ask the director), you might want "toy-type" makeup. In this case, the desire is NOT to look natural, but rather to look like a painted toy. You might use a lot of white makeup (as opposed to flesh-colored). Big, bold features (lips, over-sized eyes, etc) would be appropriate. Maybe some felt dots pasted onto the cheeks, instead of rouge.

Try to use water-based makeup. The grease-based makeup will ruin costumes because it does not wash out with soap and water.

In my case, I use:
1. Foundation --- matched to my skin color.
2. Eyeliner (black) --- drawn a bit bigger than would be normal for street makeup, to make my eyes look bigger. Bottom and top.
3. Eye shadow --- white. I have heavy brows, the white eye shadow helps lessen the deep shadows that naturally develop over my eyes, especially around the nose.
4. Mascara --- optional, but it gives me eyelashes that would otherwise be invisible.
5. Eyebrows --- I color in my eyebrows with an eyeliner pencil (brown). Black eyebrows look really out of place on me, not at all believeable, since nothing else in my complexion is that color. But brown eyebrows work. I usually try to color in the tops of the eyebrows, even a bit over the top --- and not the bottom. That way, my eyebrows look a little bit higher than they really are.
4. Rouge --- if you use foundation, you must use rouge to try to bring back a "natural" kind of color to your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead.
5. Lipstick --- not a bright red, but actually matched to my lip color. Not too heavy.

There are also some "tricks" you might need. Little lines you place on the nose or the cheekbones (with an eyeliner) that can accentuate or diminish those features, as desired. I don't remember the tricks, I don't use them for my face.

-- Bob

Author:  Noahskape [ Sat Nov 27, 2004 5:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nutcracker makeup

thanks a lot for the help. Greatly appreciated.

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