Friday, March 23, 2012

Stage Beauty: Necessities for Backstage Prep

With three weeks to go before Guys and Dolls' opening curtain, it's time to run down the checklist of necessities for the backstage survival kit - stage cosmetics, toiletries and everything to make you comfortable and ready for just about any personal and esthetic emergency you can think of.  For women, it's simply an expansion of your normal cosmetics bag.  For men, take your shaving kit and steal a few ideas from the women.

Here are a few recommendations I've put together for your 'starter kit', courtesy of Polyvore!
Stage Beauty: Prepping for Showtime!

H M makeup brush
£2.99 - 
There are a wide array of brushes available for application, I'll be packing at least five: two large blush brushes, one for translucent powder and one for blush/bronzer; one small, thin brush for lips; one rounded and one angled, both small, for the eyes.  A few extra brushes wouldn't hurt to pack just in case you don't want to mix too many cosmetics on one brush.

Laura Mercier makeup
$15 -
I like to apply my foundation on the back of my hand and use my fingers to apply and blend around my face - but we're talking everyday makeup for that.  There's a reason stage foundation is commonly known as 'pancake makeup': it's much thicker than your standard everyday concealer.  Foundation is essential for both men and women on stage because it helps bring dimension to the face for easily-read expression and not have it washed out by the heavy stage lights.  Makeup sponges create a better consistency all over the face, and due to the consistency of the makeup, is easier to apply with than fingertips.  Pack plenty, plenty, plenty - but don't be afraid to reuse!

Le Metier de Beaute eyelash curler
$18 -
Men won't need to pack these, unless they're playing up their feminine features!  Eyelash curlers help with the natural emphasis of upturned eyelashes and also help those falsies stay curled after so many shows.  I'll be wearing falsies for my Hot Box Dancer numbers, but I'll need to tear them off afterwards for other scenes, so this tool will help keep their longevity - at least for this show!

Pencil sharpener
$2.96 -
Everything from lip to eyeliner or anything else that needs a precise edge, you'll be thankful to packed one of these when you're in a pinch.

John Lewis tweezers brow
£4.25 -
Same with the sharpener, tweezers help with the tine maintenance problems, and is a handy tool to have around for any emergencies that could happen.

Eylure false eyelash
$12 -
I'll be wearing these for the show in a few scenes, but I'll be packing a few extra pair just to be sure.  Most falsies come with a tube of adhesive for immediate application, but it never hurts to pick up an extra small tube, in case the adhesive with the pair dries out.

Neutrogena makeup remover
$50 -
A huge favourite of mine, I always make sure I have all-over face makeup remover towelettes in my case.  From reapplication after screwing up the cat-eye liner, to a quick change in makeup looks between scenes, to racing out of the dressing room to meet your friends after curtain, these are a quick fix to get the stuff off in one swipe. 

Clinique face cleanser
$20 -
Of course, makeup remover towlettes don't compare to the ritual of a proper cleanse.  Pack your facial cleanser and moisturizer from home to give your skin a proper scrub from the heavy makeup.

Clinique face moisturizer
$21 -
Still looking after your skin?  Oh, good!  Don't forget to pack that moisturizer - there's nothing worse than having a 'tight face' after all these cleaning products have passed over your face.

Burt s Bees lip treatment
£3.70 -
I'll probably have a few different lip remedies in my case, depending on the lipstick I'll be using.  I like to use lip balm as a base before I apply lipstick, and it also keeps my lips protected from the piles of makeup and consistent singing and projecting on stage.

Travel makeup bag
$595 -
Get yourself a big enough bag to put all this in!  A large shoulder overnight or weekender bag should do you well.  I have a vintage Samsonite train case I use for every show; it's managed to hold everything I need for years.

Trish McEvoy beauty product
$5 -
Cotton pads and Q-Tips, along with your makeup remover towelettes, will be your secret weapons when it comes to makeup application!  These tools are great for removing smudges, adding detail and getting rid of those last traces of makeup around your eyes when you wash it all away.

Clinique beauty product
$10 -
No matter how much deodorant you put on, you will be sweating terribly.  I don't care who you are, it'll happen.  The problem is - when will those costumes get washed again?!  Keep some deodorant in your case to keep yourself as fresh-smelling as possible - even if those costumes don't.  Just be thankful no one else wears it!

NYX makeup travel bag
$20 -
A cosmetics mirror is handy to have for those close-up jobs - anything applied around the eyes, for example.  Depending on your costume changes and where you enter/exit on stage, you could probably have your mirror in the wings to do some 'face checks' after using it in your prep.

Deborah Lippmann nail
$18 -
If you are wearing pantyhose or stockings on stage, keep a bottle of clear nail polish in your case to stop any runs that start.  For men, put a dollop on your shirt buttons to keep them from threading off!

Linen Herringbone Washcloth
£15 -
Bring a bath towel and face towel with you; some dressing rooms are equipped with showers, and you'll need something to dry up your wet, sopping face after you wash off all that makeup.

Here are a few other things to consider throwing in your case:
A few more things ...
  • Throat lozenges or a really strong mint, like Fisherman's Friends or Altoids.  They'll help clear your throat for the performance.
  • Safety pins and a sewing kit for those costume emergencies.  The costumer should have these on hand, but sometimes she's not immediately available for a quick stitch you can take care of yourself.
  • Bobby pins for your hair; you'll never know when it'll get unruly despite hairspray.
  • Shower essentials; shampoo, conditioner and body wash.  Pick up a new loofah sponge, as well - you'll most likely not want to bring it home afterwards.
  • Bandages and ointment - no explanation necessary there, I assume?  Get the clear bandages if you can, in case you need to cover an exposed boo-boo.
Up next - packing up the cosmetics!

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