Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Stage makeup for middle eastern dance

Q: Help - I need to do stage makeup for a middle eastern dance performance but I don't know where to start!

A: Questions you should think about when selecting your makeup: What style of belly dance do you do? How far from your audience will you be? Are you performing more than one set or just a single dance? Will you sweat alot? Under lights?

I teach Modern Egyptian and have worked as a professional costumer/makeup designer. In my experience the type of makeup and the colours that you need can vary with different performance types.

The discount cosmetics place in civic - coscut - is a good start. The Revlon counter at DJs is also good. Napoleon perdis are good but I find that they don’t know much about performance makeup and that they often suggest colours that are not suitable for use under stage lights. Blochs and Taps dancewear both stock pro lines for dancers.

For basic theatrical makeup for MED I usually suggest that my students invest in:

* Good quality foundation 1-2 shades darker than your natural skin tone (for STAGE performances - where you get washed out under lights. For close up performances go closer to your skin tone.) Revlon makes a good basic pancake formula. Check out coscut/priceline.
* A true matt lipstick and a matching lip liner. No brown or frosting - it goes funny on stage/under lights.
* A true reddish pink blush. Matt. No brown, no sparkles!!!
* Dark brown or black waterproof liquid eyeliner. (I like the kind that comes in a pot and that you apply with an angled brush.)
* A chocolate brown eye shadow.
* A white eye shadow for highlighting.
* Dark brown or black mascara - waterproof.
* Translucent powder for setting the makeup.
* Hypoallergenic makeup remover suitable for removing eye makeup. Most of my students also like to use moist towelettes are they are easy to use and make for a quick cleanup.
Once you have these add:
* a tube of vaseline - so your lips don’t stick when you get a dry mouth; and
* An eyelash curler is really useful.
Then you can add:
* colored eye shadow (neutral brown, gold, pink, plum etc);
* a second darker foundation for contouring;
* glitter etc…

If you are ready to invest in proper stage makeup I highly recommend that next time you are in Sydney that you go to Mac for a makeover. I use them for all my stage makeup. They actually started out as a pro/stage makeup company and their makeup artists are taught about stage makeup!!!