Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stage Makeup: The Pin-Up Look for BMT's "Guys & Dolls"

BMT's "Guys and Dolls" - Cosmetics for the Pin-Up Look!
Time to experiment with my look for Guys and Dolls!

Since the musical doesn't necessarily have a definitive time stamp on the setting, it's been pretty flexible with the period look and fashions, so as long as everyone has a unified look.  With our production loosely set in the 1940s era, Mandy Meisner, our makeup and hair consultant for the production, has done some fantastic research for us in regards to getting the right look for the period - glamour, sophistication and some slick fashion!  Lucky for me, I get to dress up as a 'pin up' for my role as a Hot Box Girl!

Makeup for women in the 1940s was subtle, but glamourous.  The skin had a matte cream finish for a 'flawless' complexion, with plump lashes and lips and just a touch of rouge on the cheekbones.  Nails were manicured and painted red, hair was curled into 'victory rolls', the popular style of the time.  Seems like a lot of maintenance for women then.  I don't do half of that now!

Mandy was so kind enough to give us photo references of popular styles; the one above is the photo I'll be using for myself.  I had even found a great website that has a step-by-step process on the victory roll hairstyle.  Let's see how easy this is!

It's important to experiment with the makeup look before you get into the dressing room.  Find pictures from the internet or video tutorials like the one above to help pull off the look successfully.  A great source is Pinterest - it's also an addiction, so be careful.  I've found some pretty cool stuff that has helped me immensely, all organized onto one tidy pinboard for easy access.  It's also important to remember that stage makeup is applied with a much heavier hand than your day-to-day makeup.  Since your features will be drowned out by bright stage lights, it's important to draw them out as much as you can with contouring and shading certain angles and features.  So, although blush was an 'afterthought' when it came to everyday makeup wear in the '40s, it still needs to be applied in a fashion that still gives definition to your face to make it not look like a round, flat plate with a mouth.

If you're not certain of your routine beforehand, you may end up taking much more time than necessary when you get to the theatre.  My major issues were the cats eye makeup and false eyelashes.  Anything around my eyes I get fidgety about and sometimes my hands aren't the most steady.  I've been practicing when I can with the eyeliner and getting used to the lashes and glue, but if you've got someone backstage that you're comfortable with to put them on for you, I'd advise for that.  Much steadier hands than your own, most likely.  I'm told there will be ladies backstage to help with hair and makeup, thank goodness.  I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my hair.

In the meantime, I'm going to go play with my makeup!

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