We theater kids may be nerds, losers, freaks (and proud!), and/or the loudest ones in the room, but we know our way around makeup better than anyone else. Stage makeup is meant to make your face ‘pop’, and highlighting and lowlighting are a HUGE part of that. And, you know, looking back I probably should have known that part of my future was destined to be in the beauty industry – one of the most influential classes I took while earning my musical theater degree was Stage Makeup with the amazing Charlotte Yetman, a ridiculously talented designer, costumer, and seamstress, who put me in some of the most beautiful clothing I’ve ever worn (hello corseted everything for Lola in Damn Yankees!) and taught me most of what I know about applying makeup – from learning the *actual* shape of my face and undertones to helping me transform into the Statue of Liberty, custom blended verdigris-green foundation and all, for my final project. THANK YOU, CHARLOTTE, for helping this makeup-newbie kid blossom into a beauty junkie! From then on, it was over. This theater brat/makeup n00b earned her BM (lololz, Bachelor of Music but I made you chuckle didn’t I?) AND her makeup chops, and my path was set.
This is all to say that Y’ALL, THIS SHIZZLE IS NOTHING NEW. Just like contouring, baking isn’t some new Youtube beauty blogger trend – it’s been around FOREVER and y’all are late to the party! Bake your work with Ben Nye Neutral Set and your face will stay beat all. day. and. night, through thick and thin, sweat and lights and hours and hours of wear ($7 at Camera Ready Cosmetics).
Why do I know that this setting powder is the best (not to mention SO MUCH cheaper than any other brand)?! BECAUSE STAGE PEOPLE WERE DOING ALL OF THIS SHIT FIRST, DAMMIT. Dancers, drag queens, actors, ALL of us. Now, of course, I wouldn’t make such a claim without proof, so CHECK IT AND WEEP!
Baby ballerina wannabe Tara in ’92 *FEELING MYSELF* in some light contour, maybe a bit too much blush, a rosy pink lip, and mom’s still-awesome Maybelline Great Lash (a CLASSIC and $5.99!!! at Ulta),
VERY SERIOUS DANCER high school Tara still en pointe even though her body type was like ‘LOL you will literally never do this professionally’ in liquid eyeliner, contour on her entire upper body to attempt to look thinner *eye roll*, and a ballerina bun. Non-makeup show-person tip: when you’re a dancer, you get to the point where you can execute a flawless bun blind in 30 seconds flat – the secret? Hair pins ($2.99 at Sally Beauty Supply).
Why bobby pins became the norm, I have NO idea. They don’t work that well, and no one uses them correctly anyway!!! PET PEEVE but this is a tangent so ANYWAY…
Mid-music degree Tara in full Reno Sweeney mode flanked by the equally glam Angels, all bronzed and contoured to the heavens (and rocking a killer black bob that part of me wants to chop my mop off to replicate today) because I was post-class-with-Charlotte and now KNEW how to beat my face, baby! Admittedly, there was quiiiiite a bit of Ben Nye Total Cover All on all of my acne because there was PLENTY of it and NOTHING covered and stayed like it ($13 at Alcone)
Showcase Tara SCREAMING HER FACE OFF (it never ceases to amaze me just how big my mouth is…) and showing you her graduate-level no-budge ‘I later got married in this’ red lip in Iconic Red by Make Up For Ever ($24 at Sephora)
and cheekbones by Ben Nye ($12 for all 3 at Stage Makeup Online).
So THERE. PROOF that Charlotte Yetman knows all, and that those basics got NOTHIN on we stage folk, who have been sculpting our faces with Ben Nye & a prayer since there were footlights to step in front of!
CAN I GET AN AMEN, THEATER FOLK?!