This semester I am enrolled in a stage makeup class. I think this class ties in nicely with my quest to find out how and why people alter their appearances; with stage makeup the goal is often to look like someone else through the application of heavy make-up. This week, I learned how to age my face. Here is my face, modeling the “middle-age” look.
Depending on the environment in which an actor is performing, the makeup can be darker and more prominent, or softer and more evenly blended. The larger the auditorium, the more dramatic the makeup needs to be in order for everyone in the theatre to see the features of the face. This makeup is suitable for a somewhat small theatre, yet up close it still looks quite strange.
Above is a close up of the makeup. I used two different shadow colors, as well as a highlight to move the features of my face downward, and to create a more spherical quality to the planes of my face. As you age, your facial features go from angular, to cylindrical. I also added deep creases to the nasolabial folds (smile lines), as well as crows feet, and more prominent under eye bags.
Then I used a stippling sponge and a darker color base to create an uneven texture and age spots to the skin. My professor also suggested that I lighten my eyebrows because as one ages, the eyebrows get thinner. I have very strong eyebrows, and it may not look it, but those are significantly lightened. I look very frowny in these pictures, but really that’s just the makeup.
As you can see, from a distance the stippling and shadow doesn’t look so harsh, and from a distance of ten feet or more, the makeup looks completely natural.
I hope this post will inspire a few Halloween costumes! Thanks for reading.