The simple art of making faces

Cosplay, the New Dressups .. don’t forget the Makeup

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It’s the latest thing! .. if you’re young at heart.  Remember when you were a child and dressing up was just part of your everyday play activities.  We communicated through play, we found self-esteem through play, we learnt to communicate with play.  Our imagination soared with inspirations from books, movies and characters from TV shows.  Nothing has changed, now we’re more influenced than ever by what we see in the media, and what we hear musically.  So it’s no surprise that dressing up as our favourite characters is still enjoyable.  Not just waiting for the next costume party now, but we are forming groups and clubs with like-minded company to keep.  It’s great to have a fabulous costume, but unless your character really doesn’t wear makeup or you’re lucky enough to be the perfect look-a-like, it would be like a cake without icing.

So it’s no surprise that our makeup should compliment our costume.  That’s where a little know-how and character makeup can come in handy.  I suggest starting simply with a good base foundation on clean skin primed with either a moisturizer, primer or anything that can act as a barrier to protect your skin.  You don’t need to apply very much as it can make the base foundation a little oily.  Whether you’re applying a coloured base such as a cream foundation or wet n dry cake makeup, just make sure it’s applied evenly and with a good coverage, not forgetting the neck, ears etc.  If you use a creamstick or paintstick, set it with a translucent powder.  A good base for your character makeup is most important, all you’ll need to do after that is create your character detail.  A basic eyeliner, mascara, brow definition, lips and contour all goes without saying, then you can build on that.  Well that’s depending on what type of character of course.  But even the palest skin tones require a little contouring.

Create your makeup design onto a face chart, just copy a picture or draw it yourself.  It’s a good place work out how simple or intricate your design should be, also adding your colours onto the chart with a legend is good for reference.  I apply the actual makeup I’ll be using to the face chart and blend with my fingers.  It’s really effective and gives you a near-enough idea how it will look.  Practice a little, take photographs in different lighting.  Check your design in the mirror for symmetry accuracy and adjust accordingly.  Always use proper makeup, not cheap untested face paints or you’ll be sorry, ending up with stained skin for days.  Especially pigmented is red, blue, green and even yellow tones.  Professional makeup will remove easily with soap and water, makeup remover or a simple baby oil.

Brands best suited for theatrical makeup are: Mehron, Ben Nye, Kryolan, Cinema Secrets, Snazaroo, Masquerade Professional (made in Australia), Derivan, Global Art, TAG, the list goes on.  My favourites for colour creams and cake makeup are Mehron, Kryolan, Ben Nye, Cinema Secrets and Masquerade.  Derivan, Global Art have good liquid paint.  Watercolour palette with primary colours are excellent to help you create some detail.  There are lots of other products you could keep handy like glitter, adhesive and remover like spirit gum, special effects blood and waxes, fake hair bronzer dirt and ash powders, highlighters and contour.

Don’t forget the wig!

This is just the first post of my blog, so I’ll continue on blogging about stage makeup starter kits a little later.  Our online makeup store is a great place to check out some stage makeup products that might suit your project.

Cheers for now.


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