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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stage Make-Up in 10 Easy Steps

A few days ago, I promised to post a blog about stage make-up.  First, let me quote the woman who does my costume alterations.  When I asked her what she knew about stage makeup, this soft-spoken, polite lady from India said, “You put on make-up like a whore.”  There was a moment of shocked silence on my part.  It's like hearing a nun curse.  This wasn’t the first time she has caught me off guard like that.  On my first visit, she was explaining the necessity of sewing a hook and eye at the top of the zipper on my costume.  Quite matter-of-factly, she said in her accented voice, “Otherwise, the skirt might fall down and then you are screwed.” 

 Anyway, I found an article online about stage makeup for belly dancers, specifically, how to achieve the “Arabic eye.”  I’ve attached the link to it below.  It includes a youtube video with step-by-step instructions.  The girl in the video (that really is her eye in the photo) goes through the steps with brisk efficiency, and it still takes her ten minutes to do just one eye.  I figure it would take a novice like me about three times that long.   

the "Arabic eye"
The process involves a slew of shadows and liners and primers, not to mention application tools.  There are brushes for applying shadow to the lid, brushes for applying shadow to the crease of the eyelid, brushes for lining the eyes, and a brush for blending all that together.  This doesn't count the brushes for applying things like foundation and undereye concealer.  I always just used those spongy things that come with the eye shadow.  But I went to the drugstore and bought a few brushes.  I played with those for awhile and have to say they really do work better. 

Then there are false eyelashes, my particular nemesis.  I never could get the hang of those.  The few times I’ve had occasion to wear false eyelashes, they end up coming unglued and hanging there like a spider clinging to my eyelid. 

So there’s some practice ahead for me, if I want to achieve the Arabic eye.  We'll see if I want to go to all that trouble.

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