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Jun 20, 2005
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so here's the deal... i have an opportunity to work on a small film project... i thought i was going to assist the makeup person and pick up some things, but it looks more like i'm going to BE the makeup person... ok, a lil bit of pressure, but i'll survive... i need suggestions on good film/theatrical makeup... not necessarily special effects but the main makeup subject will be "ghostly" and I need to create some options for the director to choose from... oh, and what powder would be rest to keep the shine of the rest of the people??... any and all suggestions are welcomed!!!
Yeah Charms, that's exactly who I was going to suggest to...Joy is awesome !!!

yay! congrats! i would ask joy about that. she's the only one that i know of on here that has taken makeup classes for stuff like that.

Originally Posted by Charmaine That's awesome, Nikki!!! Congrats! Sorry though but I don't know anything about theatrical makeup. Joy, however, is quite the expert - I've seen her work and she is awesome at theatrical makeup. I believe she has a link to her website on her profile...lemme go check. Here it is: Originally Posted by K*O* Yeah Charms, that's exactly who I was going to suggest to...Joy is awesome !!! Wonderful!!!! Much appreciated!!

awww, you guys are sweet! :icon_love

Congrats on the job Nikki!!
I'd love to help you out & answer questions. I'm just leaving the house to run some errands but will check back in tonight.

When you say "ghostly", what exactly do you mean? Is s/he supposed to be dead, a ghost or just kinda creepy looking? What is the character's back story?

Originally Posted by Joyeuux awww, you guys are sweet! :icon_love
Congrats on the job Nikki!!
I'd love to help you out & answer questions. I'm just leaving the house to run some errands but will check back in tonight.

When you say "ghostly", what exactly do you mean? Is s/he supposed to be dead, a ghost or just kinda creepy looking? What is the character's back story?

Thank You!!! It (the creature) is supposed to be an incarnation of the curse behind MacBeth (I'm not in the theatre so I have no problem saying/writing that)... the film itself is supposed to be in the vein of the japanese precursors to The Ring and The Grudge - those types of creatures.. and since I haven't seen either of those, I figure I'm at a slight disadvantage, although I'm pretty sure I could find some pictures of em...
Sooooooooooooooooo, I'm ready to be led, oh wise one!!

Originally Posted by Liz yay! congrats! i would ask joy about that. she's the only one that i know of on here that has taken makeup classes for stuff like that. Thank You!!!!!
What an awesome opportunity! I'm sure you'll make the most of it. Best of luck!

Congrats and make sure you take lots of pics. Like everyone has already said, Joy is amazing and she will be able to make some suggestions.


Products and Recommendations


<O:p>About Base Products: Foundation is really a term that denotes basing the face with products that evens out the skin tone and provides continuity to the complexion both in color and texture with the right amount of coverage. A good foundation laid down with the right base, powder and concealer will enhance and help bring forward those features you accent with color such as the lips, cheeks and eyes. </O:p>

<O:p>Astarte': This liquid base line is good for meeting the exact skin undertone ranges of Asian/Oriental, Hispanic, Mediterranean, Indian and Black complexions, right down to the blue/black undertone. It is professional quality and meets the foundation requirements I often have within the range of these undertones yet allowing the skin to remain translucent. Astarte' is the first product line I go to when working with Ethnic skin tones for live appearances or broadcast, film and some print work, and this is especially important with the advent of high def broadcast. With a range of 12 colors from a light tan to blue-black, the base is formulated in the key tone of yellow that is prevalent in these complexions, so you can get an exact match with great coverage. The powder line is a perfect compliment, sets the base almost invisibly, and will not cause oxidation of the base color as some other powders can do with titanium dioxide (that dull or ashy look.) Astarte' contains no oils, or alcohols, and is scent free and water based. Aside from professional needs, Astarte' is great for streetwear. I know some other top editorial makeup artists also using Astarte' products in their work, and some very prominent black celebrities also use it for their personal makeup regimen. Astarte' formulations also converts nicely for airbrush use. </O:p>

<O:p>VISIORA: Visiora is probably the only pricey brand of base I keep in my kit for my high profile/celebrity clients, solely because they often asked for it if they have been "conditioned" to using this brand. It comes in liquid, creme, and a liquid body makeup. I use the creme formula, because I like the sheer texture, yet it has a bit more coverage than the liquid. The liquid is VERY sheer, just to even out skin tone. It can be used as a base for under the creme formula. Visiora comes in 7 skin tone hues, from ultra light to very dark and it can be tinted warmer or cooler as needed with the two toner shades. I am not all that pleased with the liquid body makeup formulation results so I stick to their creme formula for the face and use other brands for body coverage and continuity. </O:p>

<O:p>RCMA: Next to the decades old MAX Factor Pan-Stik makeup, and along with Westmore, Stein, and Mehron from the early years of professional film and television makeup, RCMA is probably one of the most time honored staples that is still a gold standard for makeup artists in our industry. RCMA (Research Council of Make-up Artists) was developed and manufactured by renowned master makeup artist, Vincent J-R Kehoe, so there is a bit of history still attached to this fine makeup line. This is a creme base with over 85 shades of yellow and pink undertones and a range of values (lightness and darkness). RCMA is also creme formulated with a 50% pigment to vehicle ratio in a vegetable oil base. I find this product produces less of a shine over a period of time, compared to the others. I particularly like the Shinto series, 1-8 (really great for those undertones with a greenish yellow hue), and use them often for television and bridal work. </O:p>

<O:p>DAN READ COSMETICS: A relatively "new kid on the block" but whose professional base line is growing in use and popularity in our industry. Dan Read Silver Screen Series foundation has a slightly less pigment-to-vehicle formulation (at 42%) than RCMA, but has a unique creme to powder matte finish that needs little or no powder. It offers even more of a transparent finish in a lightweight application but still adjustable up to a more opaque coverage, using less product than the other brands. I find this brand to be quite versatile in use, particularly in film work and live appearances because it enhances natural skin tones and values for a more natural looking finish. Dan Read is a bit on the pricey side, but worth having in a professional kit. </O:p>

<O:p>ULTRAFOUNDATION: This is a little known brand of base made by the highly respected Kryolan Corporation, but it rivals the prestigious Visiora brand, if not a better base product. Across the board, it meets or exceeds the performance of the Visiora Brand, and for a fraction of the cost. It has the ability to allow the luminosity of the skin to come through, as if it is fresh and natural. Another product of micronization technology (transparent color pigments), this base product comes in a range of true skin tones from light to dark, warm to cool. Definitely a consideration for a professional makeup kit. </O:p>

<O:p>MAC: This makeup line was originally made for the professional makeup artist's needs, and it produced a nice series of base formulations in creme sheer, creme full coverage, and liquids, particularly in the yellow key and variations. Sad to say when Estee Lauder acquired this company, they also "fixed" things with it that weren't broken, particularly in the color selections and formulations. MAC is now marketed as a consumer line now rather than a makeup artist line, and many of their great products and formulations we have relied on in the past have all but disappeared in favor of marketing to the masses. I do miss the great original "C" (yellow key) skin tones that were a staple in the Studio Sheer, and Studio Full Coverage, and their replacement colors require some art in selection in keeping the key undertone consistent in value (light to dark.) The one base product they kept intact in the original "C" shades is the Liquid Face and Body Foundation, which I still use on occasion. I can also convert this liquid base to an airbrush formulation with satisfactory results. </O:p>

<O:p>SCREEN FACE: This is a small line of liquid base that is manufactured and sold exclusively in England for film and TV use, and is finding it's way here in professional makeup use. I use the oil-free base formulation, and it has a slightly higher level of pigment than most liquid base products in the US. The coverage is adjustable which is also a plus with me. Screen Face is a nice base for dryer, older skins, and gives a nice even finish with good coverage. This foundation works well as a base to custom mix with other pigments/bases, and I can also convert it very nicely to an airbrush formulation when I need it. </O:p>

<O:p>BEN NYE: A very durable and dependable product line that, in my opinion, still has some of the best makeup items in the industry. Their Matte Foundation creme formulas are a good investment for any makeup kit at a very reasonable price, and I still use their Shinsei and Ciniora Series of colors on occasion because they have a nice range in the yellow key. Most importantly these are true skin tone colors formulated in a castor base, and have great coverage from sheer to opaque. I feel these bases are equal in performance to RCMA, but for nearly half the price. For any makeup artist starting out and wanting to stock their kits with a good creme base in true skin tone shades, you can't beat it for the price. I like using this product particularly in some of my FX work, and can rely on their skin tone colors to render great true-to-skin results consistently. </O:p>

<O:p>MEHRON: I have to say a few words about Mehron in this section, because I feel their Celebre' line of creme base is really good and a little underrated. This is a silicone-based product in true skin tones, long wearing, and it evens out the complexion in a nice flawless finish. I think this is a good line for bridal work, and some video and television work, and more sensitive skins seem to tolerate this base better than the castor formulated creme bases. It is also a great price for stocking up a beginner kit. I can also convert this product for airbrush use as well with some tinkering with the silicone vehicle of this base.</O:p>


<O:p>MAC: The good thing about MAC powders is they can hold their weight in moisture, so I find I use this brand most often in makeup situations that need attention to climate factors or extended wear under hot lights. I find MAC powders to be coarser in texture and a bit heavier in the finish, so it is great for initially setting a long wearing creme makeup or bridal makeup. I generally cut MAC powders down a bit with a rice powder mixture to refine it a bit further, to improve the overall application, reduce any oxidation potential, and enhance the absorption properties. It is best to invest in the C (yellow key) powders and then custom tone them yourself towards warmer or cooler colors for your needs. I like using the MAC powders for situations that need high absorption and long duration such as bridal work, photography shoots, and some video/TV work. </O:p>

<O:p>KRYOLAN I really like the translucent quality of these powders, and they are more subtly tinted than the strongly tinted Ben Nye's traditional face powders. They set the makeup nicely without adding a measurable degree of color to the base application, so you get a more "true skin tone" rendering in the results. The last thing you need is a powder that will infuse and oxidize the base color and render a foundation that doesn't have continuity from the neck up. That doesn't seem to happen with Kryolan powders. </O:p>

<O:p>CORNSILK: This discount store product has been around for ages, and it is still a great staple product to use, particularly for powdering in male grooming, and for touching up in certain makeup situations. I like the fact that it is not talc based, so it does a good job of keeping the base matte and intact without the immediate buildup you can get with talc based powders. It also wears well under moisture conditions. Cornsilk is best used on light to medium skin tones and it comes in two formulations, translucent and matte. Matte provides more coverage because it is more saturate in pigment,but stick to the translucent formulation for safety in less build-up. There is a reflective agent in the Cornsilk loose powder version, and quite evident when applied on foundation so be very aware of this and use the loose versions according to your needs. Cornsilk No Color Translucent pressed powder is a great "emergency" backup item in your set kit for touching-up on darker skin tones, should the need ever arise. I have had that experience, and it worked really well in a pinch because of it's neutral key color. </O:p>

<O:p>T LeCLERC: This is a line of extremely expensive French-made powders, and is manufactured under very stringent conditions for purity. For me, it isn't worth the price, but you will find that opinions from other makeup artists vary greatly on this product and it's usefulness. Also, the odd range of color selections in T LeClerc is not very useful to most skin tones unless you are trying to color correct or adjust a base color after it is applied without taking it all off. I find very little difference in this powder's performance quality as apposed to using just plain ordinary rice powder. Bananae is one of the most popular colors in T LeClerc, but honestly, I find that Ben Nye's Banana Visage Poudre Luxury Powder is just about the same in texture and performance, and at about a fourth of the price of T LeClerc. I also prefer using Nye's Visage Poudre powder to cut into other powder brands for softening texturing and color. </O:p>

<O:p>KRYOLAN DERMACOLOR WATERPROOF POWDER: This product is really the only waterproof powder that I have found, and it works wonderfully in tandem with camouflage products where you need a good surface seal. It can, however, bring down the value (lightness) of the color in a base application, depending upon what brand of base product you are using so be careful in using this, particularly if you are looking for a matting product that doesn't chalk on the base. </O:p>

<O:p>MEHRON: I really like using the Ultra Fine anti-perspirant setting powder for creme base applications that need to wear well in humid conditions. I prefer the soft beige color over the translucent just as insurance against that chalky "halo" effect that happens with some brands of translucent powders. Translucent powders can oxidize base in this manner and skew foundation results so be careful if you use this type of powder for touching up. Ultra Fine is a great skin prep application under my airbrush makeup for male grooming. </O:p>

<O:p>BEN NYE: The traditional face powders from this company are also a long time staple of the industry and one of the first to add skin tone colors to their translucent powder line. Be aware that these powders are strongly tinted so you may need to cut them down some in value (lightness) so it doesn't infuse the color or value of your initial base application or your whole foundation will be slightly off. These powders are better suited for the creme type foundations rather than liquid foundations, and foundation that need to be long wearing. Because these powders are also coarse in texture, I avoid using them for touching up during the day because I find they have a tendency to grab and build up (cake) on the makeup during the day. I think these powders are great for the initial setting of makeup but use caution when employing them for makeup maintenance. </O:p>

<O:p>Ben Nye has come out with a more sheer and refined texture of powder that is rice-based, called Visage Poudre. I feel these are smoother textured and better to use for touching up in a loaded puff, and work fine to set liquid bases. These are translucent shades that have just a hint of color to them, so they won't infuse the base color or value. </O:p>

<O:p>GARDEN BOTANIKA: I like their translucent powder as a back up product for a matte finish to liquid base products. This powder is also is non-talc based, and I use it mainly for skins that have a particular sensitivity to talc based products. I feel it is important to have alternative products in your kit that meet the needs of talc-sensitive individuals, yet can provide the professional results you are looking for. I use this powder as a mixing base with some rice powders also, to give it more of a skin tone finish. </O:p>

<O:p>Powder Alternatives: I always keep sifted rice powder, cornstarch, and kaolin clay as staples in my kit, and to use as "cutters" or softeners with other powders when the need arises. Sometimes I will need to use these items straight up, depending on the base product and the finish and wear I am looking for. </O:p>


<O:p>A Word about Eye Shadow Products: For my purposes, I prefer shadow products that have a high degree of silicone in the base vehicle, rather than being talc-based. This helps to cut down on the "oxidation" that sometimes occurs with talc based colors worn on a lid that has a high degree of oil activity and absorption rate. Lid primer/sealer products aren't always effective on some skin types, so I feel it is best to have silicone based shadows to help keep shadow color true and longer lasting. </O:p>

<O:p>MAC: I rarely use MAC shadows because I just don't like the dryness and "dust" I find in application with these shadows. Also, most of the color selections tend to be too "trendy" or eclectic and have too much iridescence to them now, and that makes them unsuitable for most of my work, especially in tape, some film, and live broadcast. They also don't have the degree of silicone that I like in an eye shadow pigment, and some of the colors do not wear well and/or oxidize over the day, especially if the talent has high acidity in their skin. Sometimes I have to re-apply with MAC, which is a real pain when you need better use of your time for maintenance. I don't have as much trouble with the light/highlighting colors as I do the midtone-to dark shades, where some degree of oxidation does show up on occasion, but overall, I just don't like to chance it. However, MAC's shadow color range in wet or dry applications does offer that "high glam" punch, or in "pushing the envelope" kind of a look. Fashion/Runway and Editorial makeup artists will find color palettes in this line to please them, but for tape and live broadcast use I find it is very limiting.</O:p>

<O:p>LE FEMME: This pressed eye shadow brand has been around the industry for ages, and is a very highly pigmented brand of eye shadows. I like this brand particularly when I need a rich color application, and more depth for mid to darker skin tones. Their color selections are rich and very realistic in hues. The drawback in using any kind of high saturation pigment shadow product is that it does not blend as easily and has more of a grab when applied, so learn to work with it to get the results you want. Above all, use the correct brush texture and size for the area you are working on as this will help in the blending. Another plus with these shadows is they are one of the few that can be applied dry, or wet satisfactorily for an even more intense look. I really like using them for character work, or if I am trying to make a particular bold statement or high drama in an eye makeup look. </O:p>

<O:p>BEN NYE: These shadows have basically the same properties as the Le Femme line, but the color selection is more fashion oriented, and with a few more neutral color selections. These can also be used wet or dry with good results. Same cautions I gave about Le Femme also apply with the Ben Nye shadows. </O:p>

<O:p>BLUSHERS: </O:p>

<O:p>About Blush Products: In my view, blush use is overrated and colors overused. Blush is purely a psychological need and not necessarily an absolute or vital ingredient in a makeup application unless you are slightly sinking the cheek bone features to create a better curvature to help bring features forward in recorded or transmitted media. In that case, a contour color in the skin tone shade that is ½ to 2 steps darker is used to visually "bend" the area under the bone, and a blush color is used as a slight accent on the bend. Those who have circulatory redness in their skin toptone or a couperose/rosacea condition should use great care in applying a blush product so it doesn't look like a "bleed through". Blush is definitely not meant to match your lipstick color or eye shadow! Quite simply, blush is used to restore a "visual" natural flush to that area of the stratum corneum layer of skin that shows emotions, or what we call "blushing". That natural range is not an extreme variance of colors, like cosmetic companies like to market to consumers, rather it is a slight hint of color in a range of pinkish to pale crimson flushed skin, in light to medium skin tones. On medium dark to dark skin tones flushed skin does not show naturally, and if you try to blush the cheek area you will end up with a fake, striped look. You are better off sinking the contour of the cheek bone with a like skin tone shade that is one-half to two steps lower in value (darker) for a more natural look. </O:p>

<O:p>CHANEL: This is the one expensive product investment I have made from Chanel, because their Golden Sun blush color creates the subtle rendering of flushed skin on just about all light to medium skin tones. The color doesn't oxidize during a long wear, and I put it under a dusting of powder so that it has the appearance of being underneath the skin. </O:p>

<O:p>JANE: A great brand from discount stores, #1 Blushing Baby Doll color also is great for subtle rendering on light to medium skin tones. I apply it in the same technique as with Chanel. </O:p>


<O:p>About Skin Correctors: The two biggest problems to a well laid face foundation is hyperpigmentation or discoloration in the skin's top tone and blemishes that can also cause uneven texture. The best way to disguise this is to use a product that matches your skin tone but with more coverage. Most of the time I use a 50% pigmented base, like RCMA, as concealers because I can raise the intensity without it getting heavy or looking obvious. This is especially important under my airbrush makeup applications. I also use other brands for discolorations (dark circles, bruising, hyper pigmentation, etc.) and other little problems that crop up. The idea behind concealing is to raise the level of opaqueness over the problem without changing the skin tone or texture of skin in the area you are trying to conceal. There is a threshold in a concealer application that is the visual boundary between believable and artificial, so be careful in your application, and choosing the right color key for skin undertone. </O:p>

<O:p>Makeup artists are divided, pro and con, about the use of neutralizers in their work. Personally, I don't believe in total neutralizing for traditional use, it makes no perceptive difference in the final look, and is a step you can do without. Concealing is faster and works better overall because of it's light reflecting quality, and a slightly yellow based concealer works well in most cases. In airbrush makeup methods, the neutralizing approach is more effective because the layering application process allows the neutralizing color to remain instead of being absorbed as it does under a hand-applied foundation. In some cases where dark undereye circles are a problem, I will drop a bit of yellow powder in the area on top of the foundation, or lay down a yellow corrector in a transparent application over the foundation and under the final powdering. </O:p>

<O:p>Ben Nye's Mello Yellow: This stuff is a staple in my kit. I call it a semi-neutralizer/concealer as it does a great job of smoothing out true discolorations in the area without looking fake. I can use this on top of a foundation application and under powder with great results. It is best to thin it out first (reduce the viscosity) before you apply it so it wears more naturally with the skin. </O:p>

<O:p>KRYOLAN'S DERMACOLOR: Another staple of the industry and should be in every makeup artist's kit. Dermacolor is one of the best opaque camouflage creams you can use, and is very long lasting and can be thinned down for use. Whether you are spot covering, or needing coverage for a large area, you will get great smooth results with this stuff when applied properly and with the right kind and size of taklon brush. </O:p>

<O:p>LOREAL VISABLE LIFT EYE MINIMIZING CONCEALER: This is one of the newer gel formulated concealers that is extremely lightweight but opaque enough in coverage. It also will stay put and wear with the face without traveling on skin, creasing, or drying out. </O:p>


<O:p>There are so many different lip products out there that I find my kit in continual transition when it comes to lipsticks and lip liners. Lipsticks come in four basic formulations: cremes, mattes, sheer, and stains. Depending on trends, any one of these four can come and go, in and out of "fashion" so to speak. What is most important is the staying power or wearability of the product, and that can be enhanced by how you prepare the lips for coloring. This is a must, using a priming product or technique so that color and its vehicle has something to grab on to and hold. One trick is to always keep a gold colored lip color to use over or under mid to dark value colors to tone or warm them up and create an interesting new and wearable shade. Another trick is to have both a white and black lip color (You can find these in ethnic oriented makeup lines) as a staple in your kit so that you can mix up or down the value (light or darkness) of any of your lip colors. I also keep a violet colored lip toner to cool down some shades that are too warm or yellow based. </O:p>

<O:p>I like a high degree of wax in my lip liners because it helps to minimize lip color bleed. I sometimes use a cosmetic grade pure colorless wax pencil over the entire lip area as well as the lip line when I need speed but durability in my application. If you use a color liner, choose one that is closest to the natural lip color such as a nude color or a slight reddish brown, as this will help bring out the shape of the lips without the fake looking outline. Use the liner to fill in the entire lip area as a base color also. The wax will help lip color adhere a bit stronger. </O:p>


<O:p>Mascara brands abound in our industry! So many makes and formula variations are available but it is important to note that they are broken down into two basic formulas, waterproof (needs to be removed with an oil based remover), and washable (comes off with soap and water.) Generally, most people can wear a black-brown color, and it is the safest color to choose when in doubt, especially with light to medium skin tones. Darker skin tones need to wear black so they maintain some contrast. The top three mascara brands most professional makeup artists choose to work with are Maybelline (Great Lash), Lancombe, and Max Factor (2000 Calorie.) Regardless of what you may think is the best formula of mascara, its really the wand/ brush style that comes with it that makes all the difference in building length and fullness. It is just as important to choose the right brush for the density (how thick or thin) and length of the lashes. </O:p>

<O:p>The basic ingredients in mascara are either beeswax and caranuba wax, (washable) or polymer resins and petroleum distillates (waterproof.) The newer formulas of longer wearing mascara (Revlon's Colorstay and Max Factor's Lashfinity) contain a demi-permanent ingredient, isododecane, and silicones to permit the product to stay on for up to 3 days. These mascara brands don't build fullness or length, rather they are used to tint or darken, and accentuate the lashes and provide durable wear under moisture conditions. </O:p>


Originally Posted by QurlySq so here's the deal... i have an opportunity to work on a small film project... i thought i was going to assist the makeup person and pick up some things, but it looks more like i'm going to BE the makeup person... ok, a lil bit of pressure, but i'll survive... i need suggestions on good film/theatrical makeup... not necessarily special effects but the main makeup subject will be "ghostly" and I need to create some options for the director to choose from... oh, and what powder would be rest to keep the shine of the rest of the people??... any and all suggestions are welcomed!!!