Life at school

Quick course in theater make-up

Practice makes perfect!

Do you want to learn how to change the expression of a character on stage with super simple grips? How to use makeup, wigs and other effects to highlight magical moments on stage? Because the students at Elverum Folk High School have learned that today. 

Theater makeup

Theater make-up is a type of make-up that must withstand sweat and is specially made for theater needs. The make-up has selected colors for stage lights that should look good on stage.  

Theatrical makeup is also used to create different characters by highlighting the mouth, eyes and eyebrows. Or maybe the face should be made into an animal or other creature? The make-up gives life and depth to the face so that the face does not look flat under the strong stage light. 

How did I

To give the very best tips on theatrical makeup, the documentation team asked the best of the best for advice. Our own expert Beate, who has extensive experience with theater, both performing and as a director for well over twenty years, had a lot of good advice.

What kind of preparations should you make before starting with makeup? 

It is important that there is good hygiene on both the products and the equipment you use, Beate states. It is therefore wise to keep the brushes used on the face and the brushes used in the make-up separate, she adds. 

What is the technique behind theatrical makeup? 

Exercise is simply the secret. As you use the brush often, you will be able to practice a good hand. Otherwise, it is only the imagination that sets the limits, says the theater expert with a smile. 

Is there a type of makeup that you think is best used for theatrical makeup? 

In Norway, we have some shops that sell proper theatrical make-up, and that is the make-up we use here at school. I usually order from a specialty store in Lillehammer, says Beate. The reason why I order from there is simply because it is important that the makeup is of good quality, so that it is well visible in the stage light and that it does not run off. Therefore, it is not beneficial to use makeup from "Her and Mauritz".

Does it take a long time to become a good makeup artist? 

It probably takes some time to become a good make-up artist, because it is actually a separate profession! You can take a journeyman's certificate in masquerade and wigmaking or become a makeup artist. Now I do not remember how long the education is, but it takes a few years, she states. 

What are your top tips for securing the best "makeup look"? 

A good theater mask requires good research. You can find a lot of inspiration online that you can take advantage of in that area, says Beate. 

Of course, it's also fun to be able to be creative and create your own. Other than that, there is only practice left, because you can probably not count on the best result the first time you try. Practice makes perfect, she concludes with a twinkle in her eye. 

Written by Emma Moen Kristensen 
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