Makeup & Lighting: Everyday vs. Stage / Photography

Makeup is executed in degrees of contrast or boldness for different environments and lighting.  Here, we’ll discuss approaches to different types of makeup applications.

  • Everyday: your most subtle makeup- even your turned up look.  Everyday makeup is worse than being shot in HD: people can observe you from every angle and under different light sources, thus making your everyday makeup the most difficult and important to perfect. You want the right shades for your concealer (1-2 shades lighter than your skin) and foundation (exact match), and want to compliment your eye, lip, and blush colors to create a cohesive look.  When you’re selecting foundation & concealer shades for everyday wear, it’s suggested you color match and test it in sunlight.
  • Photos and Video: flash photo shoots, filming, even your youtube videos can apply here if you’re using lighting appropriately.  Photoshoots, making videos just for fun, and vlogging are a blast- but the makeup has to be done in a slightly exaggerated fashion to define the features with your lighting source(s).  If, like many vloggers, you have a light source directly on the face, this will be paramount: when I started using my HD camera and lighting, I noticed I couldn’t see my eyes, certain features seemed blurry, out of focus, non-existent.  I realized I needed foundation to even my skin-tone, concealer for under my eyes, and most shockingly- I found I needed a touch of either liner or mascara to make my eyes actually show up on camera  (autofocus webcam), this is due to the lighting and any makeup on your lashes.

*Black and White Photography: turned up even more, makeup for black and white photography has to be taken even further or it won’t show up.

  • Stage Makeup: makeup is dramatically turned up (on white and medium complexions, not dark as it naturally reflects the light) to define the facial features with shadow, highlight, and color in a way that compliments the lighting design.  For instance, when I was in theatre, they’d give us orange lips and create super defined features- we felt ridiculous, but on stage it looked normal.  Why do you have to do makeup for theatre? Because  the lighting is so strong it would actually blur all of the features- creating a blurry undefined face.  Because people in the back will need to see you as well, you have to define the face in a pronounced manner.  This doesn’t mean huge lips, big giant colorful eyes, it means knowing your lighting design, using your knowledge of the color wheel and creating your makeup in a way that compliments it.

See my post on Color Correctors.

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