Rogue Magazine Lifestyle Stage vs. Screen Glam

Stage vs. Screen Glam

Makeup is an essential component of the entertainment industry, worn by everyone from local news anchors on small town television stations to stars on a Broadway stage. However, makeup for the stage and makeup for the screen are two completely distinct arts, and often, what works for one will be disastrous for the other. Makeup artists and performers alike need to have a firm grasp on the difference between them in order to promote the desired look. Here’s what you need to know:


Stage Makeup


Designed to be bold and dramatic, stage makeup needs to be visible from a distance — after all, stage productions are typically performed before a live audience, many of whom are seated far from the stage. Following are the five main strategies used when applying stage makeup:




To be seen from a distance, particularly under harsh lighting that washes out colors and features, stage makeup needs to be intense and vibrant.


Emphasis on Features


Emphasizing eyes, lips, and cheekbones make facial features and out under stage lights and to be seen more easily from a distance. Makeup artists often use contouring and highlight to achieve this goal.




The rigors of live performances involve sweat, movement, and long hours. Makeup artists must use products that are long-lasting as well as resistant to smudging and.or fading.




Stage makeup typically includes products designed to exaggerate features, such as bold eyeliner, dramatic eyeshadow, and sharply defined lip lines.




Used to create depth and definition, contrast is a key element in stage makeup. Dark colors for shadows and bright colors for highlights are used to ensure that the face is well-defined under different lighting conditions.


Screen Makeup


Screen makeup, on the other hand, is more subtle and realistic than makeup used for stage performances. Whether it’s for film, television, or digital content, the camera shows up-close detail. Makeup artists typically strive to create a natural look that enhances the appearance of the actor without looking too fake or exaggerated. Here’s the five main considerations for screen makeup:


Natural Appearance


Unless the occasion calls for a campy, overdone look, screen makeup should present a natural appearance that looks realistic under the scrutiny of high-definition cameras. Makeup artists use lighter, more natural shades and blending techniques to avoid harsh lines and/or colors.




Because the screen magnifies even minor imperfections, screen makeup requires meticulous attention to detail.


Lighting Considerations


Screen lighting is softer and more controlled than stage lighting, elimination the need for sharp contours and contrasts. Makeup artists typically consider the specific lighting on the set and adjust the makeup accordingly.




Makeup artists often prefer matte finishes for screen makeup because they reduce shine, which can appear amplified by high-definition cameras.




Most screen products are filmed over a period of days or weeks, requiring makeup continuity to maintain consistency of the actor’s appearance. Professional makeup artists keep detailed notes and photographs of each actor to help ensure continuity.


Why Use a Professional for Onscreen Events?


Professional makeup artists have the necessary skills to create the flawless and camera-ready appearance for a polished end result. Their expertise and understanding of how makeup looks on camera under a variety of lighting conditions contributes to creating realistic characters that bring your story to life.

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