by Alex Dejdarova, Professional Makeup Artist
In the past, there were strict rules for the type of make up you would wear for film, TV or stage auditions. Many of these rules have blended together, now there are similar makeup rules for all types of auditions with a few exceptions.
First Rule: Makeup should look natural and you must look as much like your headshot as possible. The casting person initially used this headshot to select you for a call back after all. Be careful of applying too much makeup, it will make you look older than you are. Although some casting people prefer a person auditioning to be in character from the time they walk into the audition space, be careful, many casting people prefer to see “the real you.” Try to find out prior to audition what the casting people actually want.
Skincare – Have a good daily cleaning, exfoliating and moisturizing routine which will produce healthy and glowing skin. When going outdoors even for 5 minutes be sure to wear a good sunscreen to help delay wrinkles and/or skin cancer. Also, drink lots of water which is great for your skin and you will save you lots of money on beauty products.
Primer – Apply primer prior to foundation which give you a much smoother look and the foundation will last longer.
Foundation – Apply foundation with either a damp sponge, foundation brush or CLEAN fingers. Apply to face and neck and blend well to prevent streaks. Foundation must match your skin tone. Do the color test on your jaw line with natural day light. Cream base foundation is great for stage/dance auditions but not good for camera auditions when all make up needs to be as matte as possible. Remember to use a setting powder and a finishing spray as final step.
Concealer ...no more than one shade lighter then your complexion…make sure it’s not an obliviously different shade than your foundation. Concealer can be used to cover any imperfections on your face such as acne and rosacea or to lighten dark skin spots and dark circles under eyes.
Colorless blotting loose powder – Use after applying your foundation for a matte look if you don’t want a dewy/shiny look.
Blush – Use a pink or peach or bronzer matte shade for camera and cream base if a dance/stage audition.
Eye Brows – Apply a clear gel to your eyebrows then comb eyebrow hair upwards. Eyebrows should be same color or slightly lighter than your hair to bring out your eyes.
Eye Shadow – Avoid smoky or overly dramatic eye makeup. Before applying eye shadow use long lasting shadow base coat. The easiest way to apply eye makeup is to use 3 color palette. Under eyebrow and inner eyelid corner apply light color…not too pale. Apply medium color over main part of lid and darker color apply just on the outer corner of the eye and slightly up to create more open and younger looking eyes.
Brown eyes: use beige, tan, bronze, gold or violet
Blue eyes: pastel shades of purple/blue, or bronze
Green eyes: all colors work with green eye color
Try to avoid gray and colors with too much pearl shine or sparkle.
Eyeliner – Avoid using black eyeliner. For a better, less dramatic look use dark brown or dark gray eyeliner depending on shadow color.
Mascara and False Eyelashes – Curl your eyelashes then put on a lash primer and then your mascara. Make sure mascara is waterproof as some auditions might require you to cry or you might perspire during a dance number. On camera, you can wear false eyelashes but make sure they are applied correctly and not too long…a fuller, shorter lash works best for that natural look. Do not wear false eyelashes for stage/dance auditions
Lipstick – Always use a lip liner pencil or brush for a clear outline. Lip liner needs to be the same color as your lipstick. Lipstick can be a shiny lip gloss with slight color or regular lipstick. Just be sure that the color is not as bold/dramatic as your eyes. When your eyes are dramatic, your lipstick must be light and less dramatic. Remember draw attention to your eyes OR mouth but not both.
Hair – Hair should be clean and shiny with bangs away face. During a dance audition, your hair needs be tied back. Hair should never be a distraction from your face.
Clothing – Business casual….avoid prints of any kind…..wear bright colors that match well with your complexion …avoid wearing jewelry. Clothing/shoes should be comfortable and must match the type of character you are auditioning for.
I hope this will help you and encourage you to be confident with your personal presentation. Getting your look right and feeling good about it will help you so much. You want everything to support your talent and nothing to get in the way of an audience or a casting director from seeing it.