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Makeup for Stage Performers

Guess who used to work at Sephora! Me! And I wanted to share what I would consider essential makeup items for anyone who performs on stage regularly. It does not need to be fancy or expensive, but in order for people to actually see your face instead of a washed out ghost from 100 yards away it is necessary.


  1. A moisturizer

You probably already have this. This is going to prep your skin for makeup. My preference is for one that is very thick and moisturizing, regardless of skin type, because having moisturized skin is the single most important thing to makeup looking good and having longevity.

  1. A foundation that suits your skin type/concern

Foundation is an absolute necessity for evening out complexion, hiding blemishes and making you look smooth. My preference is, again, towards something hydrating or ‘natural finish’ because they still look like skin, but if you are an oil slick it might be wise to get a matte one. This also provides the base to the rest of your makeup. If there’s one thing I’d suggest splurging on, it's a good foundation.

  1. A concealer that’s roughly 2 shades lighter than your skin tone

This is for brightening up your under eye area. In my opinion, drawing as much attention to your eyes as you can is generally a solid strategy for stage makeup. You can also use this on stubborn hard to cover blemishes under your foundation.

  1. Black mascara

Eyes are the window to the soul; if we can’t see them we lose half of your performance. A little mascara helps to add tons of definition.

  1. Black/dark brown pencil eyeliner

See above.

  1. Bright blush

This is essential for taking your complexion from pallid to alive under stage lights. As a rule of thumb, I generally use way more than seems reasonable. Blush will also help give your face structure, and if it is a dark enough shade can be used for contouring.

  1. Loose or pressed setting powder

This is to lock all of your makeup in place so it does not slide off your face as you inevitably get sweaty on stage. It will also mattify your skin, as being oily under stage lights is generally not the most flattering of looks


And that’s pretty much all you need for a barebones theatrical makeup kit. None of these items need to be expensive because the drugstore has good quality makeup, especially NYX and ELF! There are many other things that you can add to your kit that can definitely improve it, like a setting spray, but they are not strictly necessary.


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