Step by Step Theatrical Make-Up

A Photo Shoot Party 

Chapter 3: Ready for My Close-Up

In which the party guests are given special treatment


One of the things we definitely did right for our photo shoot was to have my brother, a theatrical make-up genius, get us ready for our close-ups.  In case you don't have an experienced person such as this to call upon, Greg has provided a tutorial.  We can't wait for you to see how he has transformed all of us (big reveal on Friday!) but for now, Greg's taking you step-by-step as he prepares Betty's make-up.  She'll be channeling the spirit of a peacock for her scene.  

Greg:  Betty starts with a clean face and applies moisturizer before we get started with the makeup.


Applying false eyelashes takes some getting used to.  First you squeeze a small amount of glue along the false lash line.  Then, starting with the inner corner of your eye, gently place the false lash on top of your lid, above your real lashes.  You can use tweezers if it helps.  Then you press the rest of the lashes to your lid, moving outward.  Give it a few seconds to set before opening your eye.  Deciding when to apply the lashes during the make-up process is a matter of personal preference.  Some people save them for last so the lashes don’t get in the way when applying the rest of the eye makeup. Betty prefers to put them on early so they adhere better. Either way requires patience!



Next I apply a coat of liquid foundation with a makeup wedge, and even it out with a dry powder brush. For this dramatic look, I'm using a base color that’s lighter than Betty’s natural coloring. If you wish to use concealer, now’s the time to do it.



I’ve chosen three colors of eye shadow for this look, which I apply with a small brush: first a metallic slate blue on the inner corners of the eyelids, then a deeper blue-violet hue on the outside corners. Finally I brush on a more vibrant teal under the brow line, and extend it back towards the temple for an avian look.



I’ll use the same vibrant teal in a narrow swath under the eyes, and taper it up to the corners in a wing-like shape.  Generally, I would use a dark color in the inner corners of the eye, following the crease up and out.  Then I would use a very light, almost white color under the brow and on the lower lid.  This makes the eyes look extra large on stage.  But that would assume you're doing make-up for a human, not a bird-like creature!  



With the shadow in place, it’s time to use a pencil for greater control. I darken, define, and extend the brows with a black pencil, and lightly define the lower lid as well. With a teal pencil, I begin adding “feather” lines at the temples. I use a violet pencil for just a few contrast lines, but we want the overall direction of movement to be diagonally up toward the hairline.  We want deep blacks for contrast with the bright colors, so I use liquid liner above and below the eyes before applying mascara. The mascara helps extend the natural lashes into the curve of the falsies, as well as defining and plumping the lashes. Afterward, I use a soft black pencil to touch up any uneven spots.



Now for the fun part!  To add sparkle to this look, you could adhere small jewels directly to the face using spirit gum (an adhesive you can find through a theatrical make-up supplier).  Here, I've achieved a similar affect by dipping the tip of a round brush into cold water and then into an iridescent metallic powder eye shadow and then pressing it to the skin in a dotted pattern.  


I’m pleased with how the metallic powder looked above the eyes, so I conduct an experiment. Will the same trick work for the lips? The answer is yes – for a photo shoot. If you want to wear a similar look for a dinner party, invest in a lipstick/gloss combination that will withstand food and beverages!



We’ve got a lot of blues and greens going on now, so I brush on some pink for contrast – blush on the cheeks, sweeping up and back along the cheekbone, and an accent color in the shape of a widow’s peak. Define that accent color with a violet pencil, and maybe we should call it a widow’s “beak” instead?



Makeup applied, we complete the somewhat wild look by teasing Betty’s hair with a comb and a lot of hairspray. The teal you see in the hair is the same powder I used earlier under the brows and on the lips. A little glitter goes a long way!

Good luck and have fun!

--Greg (Zandra's I-got-roped-into-this brother)



Here's a sneak peak of what Greg's fantastic make-up looks like under the lights!  Be sure to follow the rest of the story as we put together this crazy photo-shoot party!  You can see our invite and our first DIY, a ring made from a globe terrarium.  Tomorrow we'll show you our second DIY and on Friday, you'll see all of the final portraits.  Stay tuned!

xoxo Zandra