Today we have professional makeup artist, Jill Glaser with us, sharing five great tips for stage makeup that ballet dancers can make use of….and a quick shout out to pro dancers out there–if you have any additional tips that you have found useful, please leave a comment and share your knowledge with others out there! – Catherine
Theatrical makeup techniques are used when doing a makeup application for the ballet dancer. In both the theater and the dance performance, the makeup applied must not only help create a “character”, but also be visible from the stage
- The dancer must understand the principles of highlight and contour, or shadow, in order to add drama to the face. Highlight, sometimes in the form of shimmer, may be applied to the brow bone and cheeks. Highlight may be added to the lips by the addition of gloss. Darker, matte shades may be added to create shape, such as definition of the jawline and cheekbone.
- If the theater is large, then the makeup application should be more dramatic; there will be less blending of light and shadow. If the theater is small, the makeup application should be less subtle, but still more dramatic than street makeup.
- The eyes are the “windows to the soul”, particularly in a dramatic venue. The use of eyeliner will create whatever shape is desired. Liquid or gel eyeliner is preferred due to its opacity. The liner should follow the upper lash line, and then extend or “wing” beyond the eye in an upward motion. Deep, warm brown eyeliner may also be added to the lower lash line, but should not be connected to the upper eyeliner; instead, the lower lash line should also follow the contour of the lower eye and may also extend beyond the actual lash line. To create even more drama, dancers may wish to add white or silver cream liner to the lower water line (inside lash line). Don’t forget to add false lashes, but be careful that they are not too dense; if the lashes are too thick, they may cast shadows on the face.
- The shadow used on the eyelids should be a neutral, warm shade. Dancers should avoid color on the lids that, combined with stage lighting, will make the lids appear bruised. Of course, color on the lids may be used for certain character dancers to help create that character; e.g. the bluebird in “Sleeping Beauty” may want to add some blue to the lids.
- Dancers should generally avoid orange-based color on the cheeks and lips, instead using “ballet pink” across the apples of the cheeks. The lip color is typically either a true red, or a blue-red. Again, gloss is added for drama.
This article is the property of Jill Glaser and Make Up First ® School of Makeup Artistry, and may not be reproduced without permission from the author.
Jill Glaser is a freelance media makeup artist. She received her formal training at Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois. Several renowned makeup artists, including Linda Mason and Eve Pearl from New York City, and Maurice Stein of Cinema Secrets, from Los Angeles, have also trained her.
Jill is considered to be an expert in makeup and hairstyling for the demands of high definition television, film, video and print. A former corporate attorney, Jill is most comfortable working in the advertising/corporate environment. However, Jill continues to freelance in all aspects of media makeup.
In 2006, in order to answer the need for superior, formal training in Chicago, Jill founded Make Up First ® School of Makeup Artistry (the “School”). Jill currently teaches the Media, Airbrush and some of the other courses at the School. In so doing, Jill serves not only as a teacher, but also more importantly, as a mentor to those aspiring makeup artists who wish to pursue their passion.