Pedralta World Fusion®

Make up tips for performance - Eyes

We are quite often are asked for advice on using make up for performance on a stage, so we created a workshop on costuming and make up. Here are some of the notes from the workshop.

Please feel free to contact Donna for more information about booking her workshop:

When applying make up for a performance, consider whether you’re going to be in natural or stage lighting. How far away will the audience be? Is there a theme for your performance...Gothic, Art Deco, Spanish, North African...?

  1. Primer
  2. Eye shadow (neutral)
  3. Eye shadow (colour)
  4. Eye highlighter
  5. Eye liner
  6. False lashes
  7. Mascara
  8. Eyebrows

Step 1 - Primer

Primer evens out the skin tone on the eye lids. It provides a good base which helps the eye shadow to stay put, and prevents creases.

You can use:

  • Benefit Lemon Aid
  • Illamasqua Eye Primer

I no longer use eye lid primer because I use BareMineral Foundation, which is applied to the whole of the eye socket as well.

Step 2 - Eye Shadow (Neutral)

Eye shadow is put on your eyelids and below your eyebrows. It helps make your eyes look attractive and 'stand out' (not literally!)

Apply a neutral shade eye shadow sparingly all over eye socket. Don't use white for this because it's too harsh and 'glares' under ultra violet.

I use:

  • Clinique - any pale 'pinky' beige. Tip: If you buy 2 Clinique products when there's a bonus deal on you'll usually get a nice neutral shade in the 'freebie' pack.
  • MAC Paintily shade

Step 3 - Eye Shadow (Colour)

This is a very individual area.

Choose a shade that looks great with your eyes - not necessarily one that matches your costume.

  • Avoid really dark shades. Or if you use them - use them very sparingly.
  • Don't match your eye colour. Contrasts will compliment your eyes and make them "pop" (not literally!)

To apply colour eye shadow, start from the middle of the eye lid at the eye-lash line and work upwards and outwards. Apply a little at a time and blend carefully as you go.

My eyes are hazel/green. I wear purple, aqua, royal blue, pink/gold, silver, and tangerine.

  • Mac Pigments
  • Mac Shadows
  • BareMinerals
  • Illamasqua

Anything cheap, cheerful and colourful is worth a try.

Step 4 - Eye Highlighter

Eye highlighters are used to lighten and draw attention to areas you want highlighting. They open up the eye and lift the eye brow. Highlighters can be reflective - or can even be sparkly.

I use:

  • Benefit Brow Lift Pencil
  • Urban Decay silver sparkly shadow
  • Glitter pots

If you're lucky you may find a pallet that has all these eye colours in. These are handy for travelling. I have a smashbox one.

Step 5 - Eye Liner

This is tricky!

Because our dance style is Eastern, we aim to extend the eye outwards into more of an almond shape.

If your eyes are very round like mine, start in the middle of the eye lid and work outwards. Use a small amount. It should be heavier in the centre and taper towards the edge.

Use a liner brush.

The best product to start with is a brown eye shadow. Wet the brush. Pick up some shadow. Tap away the excess. Then apply from middle-to-out on the upper eye lid, right next to the lash line. Repeat with more layers.

Then do the same on the lower lash line.

Use a liquid liner that comes with its own brush. I find a shorter brush easier to manage.

Use brown for a soft look. Black can look harsh.

Step 6 - False Lashes

These can greatly enhance your eyes - or they can make you look like a drag act.

You may need to cut them down if they are too long for your eyes. That is you may need to cut them to shorten the width, not the length.

Or you may want to use them just at the out edges of your eyes.

After you have put false lashes on, you may need to apply eye liner to blend in the line.

I have used MAC. They are more expensive, and I didn't find them to be any easier to use or last any longer than cheaper brands.

Eyelure is available in supermarkets and Bodysave. These are perfectly good for the job. In fact because the ridge is not so thick I find they blend better and look lighter.

If they need to stay put for hours, I use surgical wound glue. This is great when it's fixed and will stay put but it's thicker and tackier than the glue that come with lashes. I find it can be very messy to apply and can get stuck on lids, messing up shadow.

Put a little adhesive onto a cotton bud then wipe the ridge of the lash over the glue to pick it up. Some lashes are self adhesive and this works well if they don't need to stay put for hours.

Step 7 - Mascara

Mascara enhances lashes, and "opens up" the eyes. You may not need this if you opt for false lashes or you may need some to blend false eyelashes into your own eye lashes.

Use an eyelash curler before mascara. Run the curler under hot water to heat it. It's more effective when warm.

Aim the mascara at the lash roots, and then sweep upwards and outwards. Use several coats.

If you don't usually wear make-up, or you're fair skinned and find black too harsh, go for a brown mascara.

I like most Maybelline mascaras, especially the one in the pink container with black lid. (But I haven't been able to find it lately). I like waterproof mascara.

The Maybelline mascaras are not the most expensive and they last a long time, without drying out or becoming clumpy.

Eye brows

Eye brows are very important and often overlooked.

Never use black to enhance eye brows, even if you have black hair. It's too harsh.

There are products specifically made for eye brows, including washes and gels to keep them in place and mascara-type products just for eye brows.

Use eye shadow. Fill in any gaps with a little brown eye shadow. Extend the outer edge if you need to.

Put a brush/pencil from your nose side out to your eye outer edge. The line that the brush handle makes where it reaches the height of your brow is where your brows should extend to.

Once you've coloured the brow, fix in place with hair spray on a brush or you can buy gels with their own brush to do this.

To Remove

Make-up wipes will do in an emergency to remove the excess if you're going for a meal or something after a performance, but it's really important to cleanse well after all this stuff!

Clinique Take the Day Off Balm is a thick, slightly greasy consistency and can be used over the whole face, throat and eyes. It will remove waterproof mascara too.

Dermalogica Pre Cleanse Solution feels good on the skin, very efficient cleanser. Will also remove waterproof mascara.

Use a cleansing "soap" and water after both these, followed by a moisturiser.

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