3 Stage Makeup Tricks to Steal for Everyday

We may play dress up on Halloween, but stage and television stars use makeup to transform themselves on a daily basis. Who better to ask for tips on maximizing our everyday makeup? We got the scoop from two pros: TONY Award-winning actress Nikki James from The Book of Mormon and Smashbox Lead Makeup Artist Lori Taylor. Find out what stage tricks you should be stealing.

Contouring is Your Friend

According to Taylor, angular faces look best under camera and stage lights. “Heart-shaped faces tend to be more photogenic, with their angles at the forehead, eye line, cheekbone, and chin. We think of contouring as a way to cheat that.” Use a matte bronzer like Jouer’s Mineral Bronzing Powder in Suntan to contour at the top of your forehead, at your eye line, on your cheek at the middle of your ear and along your jawline. Taylor uses a small blush brush instead of a fluffy powder brush or a fan brush. “The round shape is easier for precise application and control of the product,” she says.

Let Your Hair Dictate Your Makeup

We usually consider our hair and makeup to be independent entities but James points out that they should really complement each other. She says, “The whole point of stage makeup is to enhance your features so that they can be read from a distance—eyes and mouth being most important. So we amp up the blush and the lip color to focus on highlights and defining the brows and eyes (liner and lashes!).” Since James and her cast mates are often wearing wigs on stage, they have to adjust their makeup accordingly. “Your makeup will seem extreme in the mirror with your hair pulled back and then the wig goes on and you realize that you need more blush. This happens to me every day.” While most of us don’t wear wigs on a daily basis, keep in mind your makeup will look more bold with a sleek, pulled back pony than, say, with big waves.

Don’t be Afraid of Powder

“We're under hot lights (which are more bright than hot) and we sweat a lot,” says James. “Blotting papers and oil-reducing powders are a must." Instead of just piling the powder on, Taylor recommends adding powder into your liquid foundation and applying in a stippling motion with a sponge for full coverage (on Halloween for example), and lightly layering powder over foundation for an everyday natural look. She recommends sticking with a matte power, since “shimmer makes skin look a little more oily on camera.” Our picks? Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Set Pressed Powder, of course, as well as Youngblood’s Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder.

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