Building the Basic Stage Makeup Kit

actors putting on makeup

kathy_zhuang / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

It's always ideal for you as a performer to have your own stage makeup kit.

You'll need a good makeup kit as you progress in your craft as a performer because it provides a powerful tool for your performances. Great stage makeup means you can appear attractive or ugly, old or young, crafty or innocent, and everything in between.

It's called greasepaint because the best and hardiest stage makeup is typically oil-based. But more importantly, it adds more paint and nuance to the face—your canvas for your art as a performer. On the bright side, this makes the makeup hardier and better able to withstand the heat and light of the stage. On the other hand, it's also stubborn and harder to remove. You'll need to implement a good and rigorous cleansing routine before and after you apply your stage makeup to keep your skin healthy and clean.

It's a good idea not to share your makeup—nor your brushes or other tools. Be especially careful not to share anything that directly touches your eyes or lips.

Cleansing Agents

  • Makeup Removing Wipes (great for fast removal)
  • Makeup Remover Cream or Lotion (many still swear by old-fashioned Cold Cream)
  • Makeup Remover Cloths
  • Facial Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Cotton Balls
  • Moisturizer

Application Tools

  • Applicator Sponges
  • Foundation Brushes
  • Liner brushes (in varying sizes)
  • Dusting or Fan Powder brushes
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Powder Puff
  • Blotting Papers

Makeup Elements

  • Base (Foundation, Cake Makeup, or Cream)
  • Cream Contouring Colors (Slightly Darker Shades than Base Foundation)
  • Rouge (blush)
  • Setting Powder
  • Eye Liners
  • Lip Liners
  • Eye Colors (Creams as well as Powders)
  • Lipsticks or Lip Colors
  • Eyelash Brush
  • Eyebrow Comb/Brush
  • Waterproof Mascara
  • False Eyelashes
  • Eyelash Glue

Sprays and Extras

  • Barrier Spray (for foundation prep)
  • Fixing Spray or Finishing Anti-Shine or Gel Treatment (to set your look)

Effects Items

  • Stage blood
  • Spirit Gum
  • Spirit Gum Remover
  • Nose or Scar Wax
  • False Mustaches, Beards or Other Facial Hair

With these elements in your toolbox, you'll be prepared for any role, and you're sure to look smashing while you play it!

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