The use of makeup is divided into three categories:
Basic - designed to compensate for undesirable changes in appearance introduced by the television process.
Corrective - designed to enhance positive attributes and downplay flaws.
Character - which introduces major changes in appearance.
Although people might think that makeup is reserved for people "who just want to look better" on TV or in film, in actual fact, makeup may be required to just retain a subject's normal appearance.
As we noted in the information on digital camera setup, modern digital cameras have skin enhancing setup options that can reduce, but generally not eliminate, the need for makeup.
In particular, they can appreciably smooth out wrinkles and conceal minor blemishes.
Video engineers may not always want to apply these techniques, however, since they to some degree degrade optimum video sharpness, color, and quality. Note the difference between the two photos below.
With the advent of high-definition television, the need for people skilled in the application of effective but subtle makeup has increased. As in most areas of television, makeup is an element that is best when it goes unnoticed.
This brings us to our first category.
In both film and video work, makeup on the face and possibly even the body is needed especially for people who will be on camera any length of time.
For starters, normal skin contains a certain amount of oil that generally goes unnoticed until viewed in a close-up. This shine can be exaggerated by the heat of studio lights and personal tension. At the very least, subjects should use a face powder that matches their skin tone.
After this, we move to so-called basic makeup.
For this, the skin should first be cleaned with mild soap or cleansing cream prior to the application of a makeup base or foundation.
Both are available in either oil or water base, but the latter has the advantage of not requiring face powder and being easier to remove.
Before these are applied, it's best to use an astringent to tighten facial pores and prepare the skin.
A shade of base or foundation should be selected that matches the normal skin tones, unless the goal is to slightly lighten or darken all skin tones. In this case, it's best not to go beyond two shades lighter or darker than the normal tone.
There are about 20 shades available, but if for some reason the proper shade isn't available, shades can be mixed to provide an in-between shade.
A foam rubber sponge, which can be moistened slightly, is used to apply the base or foundation to the face, ears, and neck.
With deeply tanned Caucasian skin tones it may be necessary to even out skin tones around the eyes or bridge of the nose by mixing the base or foundation with a touch of rouge.
Other evidences of uneven tan, such as the halter strap marks over the shoulders of a woman, should be filled in so they blend with adjacent skin.
Even right after shaving, dark-haired men will evidence "a five o'clock shadow" that can be reduced or eliminated by blending in the foundation or makeup base.
If precautions are not taken, it is possible that makeup applicators can transfer skin bacteria or even a rash from one person to another.
To guard against this possibility disposable sponges, cotton balls or quilted cotton squares should be used.
Makeup in containers can also be contaminated. To avoid dipping an applicator back into the makeup container many makeup artists use the back of their hands as a palette.
Makeup brushes should be cleaned before reuse with hair shampoo or a commercial cleaner.
Makeup should always be checked, and if possible even applied, under the lighting that will be used in photographing the subject.
Even when video cameras are properly color balanced, sunlight, incandescent, and fluorescent lighting will all affect subject matter in different ways. For this reason, many makeup mirrors have adjustments for each of these types of light.
This consideration is particularly important with standard fluorescent light (if you can't avoid that type of lighting) because these lights tend to be low in red light and high in green.
Because normal skin tones contain a significant amount of green to start with, you may note obvious green skin tones under standard fluorescent light. The problem may be compounded if the makeup, itself, has green elements.
This is just another reason that you should use a high-quality, properly color-balanced video monitor to check the results.
Eyebrows should be brushed with a clean eyebrow brush and plucked of any stray or unruly hairs. Though bushy eyebrows may be acceptable for men, women should carefully shape their brows into a gentle arch that tapers off at the ends.
Making fine delicate strokes, use an eyebrow pencil of an appropriate shade to fill in or reshape the eyebrows.
For women, a touch of eye shadow is almost always desirable. The dry powder or cake type of eye shadow is preferred over the cream type, since it both lends itself to easier and more subtle blending and holds up better under hot studio lights.
Whether a woman's eye shadow should match her eyes, clothes, or neither, is a fashion opinion, which can vary from season to season. Whatever the color choice, it should be subtle.
A darker shade of the same color used on the eyelids (or a soft brown shade) can be lightly brushed into the lid crease to add depth and size to the eye.
Women with heavy-lidded eyes should avoid this last technique because it will probably emphasize the problem. A dot of ivory or pale yellow eye shadow smoothed under the brow bone will lighten and "open" the eyes.
Eyeliner can be applied close to the top lashes either by using a soft, fine brush or a sharp eyebrow pencil.
An eyelash curler and a light application of mascara will accent eyelashes. Excess clumps of mascara should be removed with a few upward strokes of a clean brush. False eyelashes can be used, but they should be carefully trimmed to fit the individual's eyes.
Another aspect of particular importance to women is the proper selection of lipstick. Some types of lipstick and rouge not designed for television have a latent blue hue, which can take on a decided purple appearance when photographed. A pure red lipstick that will harmonize with the skin coloration and wardrobe is best.
At the same time you will not want to chose a bright red lipstick that will dominate the face and create a garish appearance.
Before applying lipstick, lips should be outlined by using either a lipstick brush or a lip pencil. If the lips are well proportioned, this accentuates them. But lip outlining can also be used as a corrective technique.
People with either overly thin or full lips can improve their lip line by first covering their lips with their base makeup and then drawing or outlining a more desired shape. A lip brush should also be used to give color to the entire lip.
After the application of lipstick, you should blot the lips with a tissue to avoid an unnatural shine.
Lip gloss is generally undesirable for television. Although lipstick is not generally used on men, it is sometimes appropriate to add a touch of a natural-colored lipstick to smooth out a possible line between the lips and the beginning of the base makeup. A brown shade of lipstick applied with a brush is recommended.
Hands, Ears, and Teeth
If hands are to appear on camera, as when products are demonstrated through close-ups, special care must be taken.
Use an appropriate shade of makeup base to ensure that hands match other parts of the body and to minimize wrinkles and color variations.
Nails should be well manicured. Clear or colored fingernail polish can be used. The appearance of the hands should be carefully checked on a TV monitor prior to a production. Extreme close-ups will often reveal makeup flaws that are not normally visible.
Because they are often slightly lighter and redder than adjacent skin tones, ears can be a special problem. Added to this is the fact that back lights will often shine through ears to some degree, further raising their tonal value.
To control this and bring ears back to their proper tonal perspective, they should be covered with a base makeup that is two or three shades darker than the face. The makeup base should then be covered with a translucent face powder.
Bad teeth can be minimized with an appropriate shade of tooth enamel or dentine fluid. Special coverings are available for this purpose.
Since more and more skin seems to be showing up in films and on TV, we need to mention parts of the body other than the face and hands.
Elbows, knees, and ankles can look unnaturally dark unless you use makeup to lighten these areas.
Using a Q-tip, or the edge of a sponge, stretch marks on the stomach can be "painted in" to some degree with a liquid makeup two to four shades lighter than the base. (See photo.)
With dark-haired individuals, areas of the body that have been shaved will need the same treatment.
Scars and removed tattoos will take extra amounts of base or foundation. Often, you can use liberal amounts the same shade as adjacent skin.
The makeup needs of dark-skinned people are not greatly different from those that have been outlined. Appropriate shades of makeup are available for most of the darker skin tones; however, to arrive at the needed tone, it may be necessary to do more in the way of blending different makeup shades.
Generally, makeup for dark-skinned people should be applied sparingly. Black males and other males with dark skin may not need makeup at all. They often photograph well without it.
Problems can arise, however, with very dark-skinned black males who do not exhibit a natural skin sheen, since the tonal reflectance level can drop so low that a loss of form and dimension results. It is desirable to preserve these highlights, and occasionally even accent them with baby oil or glycerin.
Concealing and Emphasizing Facial
Features With Corrective Makeup
Through corrective makeup procedures it may be necessary to play down undesirable facial features and emphasize positive attributes through contouring and highlighting.
In corrective makeup we are starting with the base or foundation and then blending in shades or makeup that are either darker or lighter.
In contouring, a darker shade of makeup than the foundation or base is used to downplay features, such as a high forehead or an overly prominent nose.
Contouring can also be used to bring out the classic jaw line that's seen as desirable for women.
In this case, a darker shade of makeup is carefully blended into the foundation or base. To achieve this "classic look," the darker makeup will go from the chin line up to the earlobes and into the hollows of the cheeks.
In highlighting, the object is to reverse this effect to emphasize or pull the eye toward certain facial features or areas. In this case, use a shade of makeup that is lighter than the foundation or base.
This approach should also be used in shadowy areas under the eyes and under the lower lip to keep them from looking unusually dark on camera. Either use makeup two to three shades lighter than the base, or a translucent white highlighter.
In the case of both men and women, color can be added to the cheeks by mixing a very light trace of rouge with the existing base makeup and then blending it in with a sponge.
After all this is done, it's often necessary to use some transparent powder to dull down some (but not all) of the facial sheen. This is normally applied with a powder puff or soft bristled brush.
Sometimes there will be light spots on the skin, due to aging or whatever, that can be covered with a tanning spray, such as Walgreens Deep Dark Tan Sunless Tanning Spray carefully painted on with a Q-tip. The spray rather than the lotion is best for this.
Since it takes a number of hours even up to a day before the effect becomes noticed, this is a technique that definitely requires planning ahead. And, since results aren't immediately apparent and last several days, you need to experiment with this technique well in advance of going on camera.
However, once mastered, this represents a relatively inexpensive and convenient way of keeping this type of skin discoloration hidden. Prescription skin dye is also available, for this purpose, but it's quite expensive.
Women may prefer to leave makeup on after leaving the TV studio. Unlike stage makeup, it should be so natural looking that there should be no need to remove it, especially early in the day.
Men, being a bit more sensitive to these things, will probably want to remove makeup with a cleansing cream or lotion.
After removing makeup, women may want to use an astringent to condition their skin. Men can use aftershave lotion for the same purpose.
Character makeup covers great range, from adding or subjecting years, to today's grisly science fiction and horror-film transformations. It would take a good-sized book to cover character makeup; and, in fact, numerous books have been written on the subject.
Since it has limited application in day-to-day production work, we well simply use the following photos to give you an idea of what can be done.
Note that the young man shown above can be transformed into an old man through the use of elaborate makeup and prostheses (and a few hours' work).
In this case, a bald cap is first used to cover up the young man's hair (first photo). At that point, prostheses are used to add wrinkles and sagging areas to the face.
Then liberal amounts of makeup are then painted on to blend everything together. Although it may sound simple, character makeup can easily take many hours to apply.