Stage Makeup Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

This lesson plan will help you teach students the importance of stage makeup, and how to apply it. Students will learn makeup application techniques, and will practice applying stage makeup on each other and themselves.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • understand the need for and purpose of stage makeup.
  • apply stage makeup to others and themselves.

Length

60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.B

Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.C

Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others' questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.

Materials

  • Full stage makeup kit with applicators (enough for each student)
  • Facial cleansing wipes or other facial cleanser
  • Two pictures of a person's face, one with and one without stage makeup (found via Internet search or created on your own, ahead of time); 8x10 size is recommended
  • Optional: Computer and Internet access for each student

Instructions

  • Start the lesson by asking students why they think actors and dancers wear stage makeup. With no prior knowledge to pull from, students may think that stage makeup serves purely aesthetic purposes and is applied to make people look more attractive on stage.
  • Tell students that this is not the case. Explain that stage makeup is worn to make the facial features more pronounced and noticeable under stage lights, and that without stage makeup, facial features can become washed out by the bright lights. Discuss this idea, asking questions like:
    • Why do you think actors and dancers need their facial features to stand out?
    • Why do you think bright lights wash out the features of a person on stage?
  • To demonstrate this concept, show students the two pictures of a person's face with and without stage makeup. Ask students to look at each picture, noting the differences and commenting on the impact stage makeup (or lack of makeup) makes in each picture.

Stage Makeup Tutorial

  • To introduce students to the application of stage makeup, ask for a student volunteer and give a brief tutorial by applying makeup to their face.
  • Begin by discussing the importance of cleansing and moisturizing the skin before any makeup is applied. Then apply foundation, giving reasons for color choice. Demonstrate blending techniques.
  • Continue the demonstration by applying blush, eye shadow, mascara, and lipstick. Then apply makeup to other areas that add further contrast to facial features (eyeliner, bronzer, highlighter, etc.). Be sure to emphasize the fact that this is not to improve the look of the actor or dancer; instead, it is to make the facial features more visually obvious on stage.
  • When the tutorial is complete, ask students to discuss the process and answer any questions.

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