The world of theatrical makeup is huge! You will find all sorts of crazy, beautiful creations. Drawing inspiration from anywhere you can, is key to creating an amazing look.
But, before you start, it is important to clean your skin thoroughly. Wash with a face cleansing soap, exfoliate, moisturize. Then apply a good primer and follow up with a foundation that matches your skin tone. To help the foundation stay put, using a translucent powder to "bake" the face is a great technique.
When a good, strong base is achieved, we can move on to all the fun parts: contour, blush, eyes, and lips.
Here are 10 creative and simple theater makeup ideas:
1. The Black Swan
Swan Lake is a theater classic. It was made increasingly popular by the movie Black Swan starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. This look can be made as creative or simple as you like.
To make a black swan inspired look, you have to try and remember what a swan looks like. Its face is long and slim, you will have to recreate this using contour to shape your face. Make the cheekbones pop. Slim the nose, and shape the forehead.
Swans have a natural black, thick liner around their eyes and beak. Almost as if they're wearing a mask. Try to recreate this.
Use all the eyelid space you have. Take advantage of your brows here and include them by making them black to look like they are part of your swan eyes. Add long feathery lashes for a more dramatic look.
For the lips, try use a dark red lipstick. Maybe even make an ombre lip using two shades of red.
2. The Amazing Cleopatra
Cleopatra ruled ancient Egypt. First along with her two brothers and then with her son. She is a symbol for Egypt and today she will be our inspiration for our second look. Cleopatra was known for her beautiful black hair with the classic bangs. Black cat-eye liner, with gold and blue shades complimenting her eyes.
Here is what you need to recreate this look: Black, gold and blue eyeliner. Blue and gold eyeshadows, a deep contour shade and a nude lipstick. If you’d like, add some golden jewelry or headpieces, maybe a black wig, to really make this look like the real deal.
Try to create a cat-eye using the liner, but instead of drawing the line up towards your brow, try to make it straight. You can play around with the blue and gold, there is no specific way to do this. See what you like.
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Maybe create a cut-crease using the blue and gold shadows. Be creative. Use the contour to make your cheekbones pop. Add the nude lipstick to keep all the focus on the eyes.
3. A Pretty Doll
Dolls have always been somewhat of a symbol for "classic" makeup. Long lashes, rosy cheeks, red lips. It is screaming to get recreated and played with.
When creating a doll look, you will first have to decide what kind of a doll you want to be. Should it be the perfect barbie? A classic porcelain doll? Maybe a doll from some kind of classic horror movie? You decide.
When creating your doll look, remember what a doll actually looks like.
She's got big eyes. Try to recreate this using a white liner in your waterline and right underneath your eye. This will create the illusion of bigger eyes. Use a black liner to make a thin line on the eyelid, try to get as close to the lash line as possible. You have to define your eyes and make them stand out. Then put on those big lashes.
Line your lips to make them look bigger, then fill them in using the red lipstick. Add the blush right on the apple of your cheeks. Contour your face as lightly or dramatically as you like.
Think about what your doll needs next. Maybe freckles? If you are making a broken doll, maybe try to create cracks around your face using the black and white liners. You can do this as simple or creative as you like.
4. Old Age Makeup
This is something that can be created in different ways. Two common techniques are: prosthetics, and makeup. We will be using makeup. For this, you will need different shades of contour, and matte and shiny highlights. You can use neutral shades of eyeshadow too.
When creating an old age makeup look, it is a good idea to figure out your character. How old is this person? Male or female? What is their history? Figuring these things out can help create a more real look.
Now, using the contour and matte highlighter, try to create wrinkles, creases and other features your character has. Use your imagination.
Animals are always fun and interesting. You can get really creative with this one.
There are many different animals to choose from, obviously. But try to choose one that will be easy to recreate. An elephant's trunk or a rhino's horns might not be the easiest to create without the help of prosthetics.
After choosing your animal, try to remember what colors it is. How is the shape of its face? Thin and tall or small and round? What do you want to include? Ears? Horns? Maybe you can create something using your hair.
You need to figure these things out so you will know what colors and products you need to use. Before starting, study the animal. This will make it easier for you when creating the look. Keep a picture next to the mirror or in front of you so you have easy access if you need to look.
6. Neon Makeup
Neon makeup is a really cool way to create abstract cartoon looking characters. To succeed in this, you need to be very aware of how and where you place the colors. You have to create an illusion.
Using strong, bright colors you can highlight certain features of the face. You can make yourself look like a cartoon photo filter. To create a neon look, you need to first decide where you want to highlight. Should it just be lines running along your features? Or do you want to create a skull maybe? Anything is possible.
Some important items you need to create this look is; some bright colored liners and shadows, a white and a black liner. You will also need a liquid highlighter and a good blending brush.
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7. Warrior Princess
You can find warriors of all kinds throughout history. They protected their villages, their families, and loved ones. Now, they will help inspire our next look.
Before starting, you have to decide what kind of a warrior you want to be. Should it be historical, or do you want to showcase your idea of, maybe what a warrior would look like today or in the future?
After you have chosen your warrior, try to decide what he or she, should look like. Let history inspire you! Look at Native American warriors, African- or Aztec warriors. They used a lot of face painting to make themselves look intimidating. But they also used it to tell a story. What is your story? Maybe you can use that.
When creating your look, take use of different jewelry, headpieces, and your hair. Use what you can to create your warrior.
8. Astrology Queen
There are 12 different astrology signs, every sign has its own character. We are each born during a star signs passing. Some people are sure we carry some of its traits, while others don’t believe it has anything to do with us. It can still make a super fun and creative makeup look!
You can have a lot of fun here creating your look. Sure they all have an animal, but that doesn't mean you have to base your makeup look on that. Look at the characteristics of the sign you want to create. Is it a fiesty one, is it maybe a shy one? Try to showcase your interpretation of the sign.
You can make it as simple or dramatic as you like.
9. 60s Twiggy
The 1960s were a great year in film and theater. Some of the great classics came out during that decade. Films such as Mary Poppins and Breakfast At Tiffany's.
Twiggy led the way and inspired the world with her makeup. It is a very simple makeup, but distinctive. All the focus should be on the eyes.
With a black eyeliner, try to create a cat-eye. You could also line all the way around your eye. Then add some white liner in the waterline to make the eyes appear bigger.
The brows were nothing like they are today. They should be very natural looking and not too thick. A nude or light pink lip will make sure all the focus is where it needs to be.
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10. Roman Ruler
The ancient Romans ruled the world, well not exactly the whole world, but a great part of it. They were feared by many and loved by some.
During the Roman Empire, theater played a big role. It was full of acrobatics, nude dancers, comedic- and dramatic performances. They didn't use makeup, instead they used a variety of different masks to showcase their story.
But that doesn't mean we can't use makeup to show how they inspired us!
This is a look where you can get as creative as you want! Think about the colors they used; gold, white, red and some green. You could try to recreate a mask using makeup. Or add Caesars iconic headpiece.
If you want to keep it simple, you could easily just do a simple eye using the right colors, maybe add a little headpiece.
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These 10 ideas have hopefully inspired you a little to go out and create your own look.
Be creative. After all, theater is all about creating an illusion, another world, a story. It doesn’t have to be traditionally “beautiful”, makeup is art.