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6 Helpful YouTube Tutorials For Stage Makeup

Whether for a high school play, dance recital or because the makeup artist broke her  hand an hour before the show, every performer should know how to apply their own stage makeup. It can seem like a daunting task to someone who has never done it before. Endless questions will arise about which products you’ll need, how much to use and how to apply it. Or, perhaps you’ve mastered the basics and are looking for character- or era-specific makeup.

Video tutorials are an easy way to learn from others with more experience so you can practice creating a look before the big show.

Here are six helpful YouTube makeup tutorials for performers:

1. Demi Rawling, “Performance Makeup Tutorial”

Demi Rawling introduces herself in her videos as a full-time ballet dancer at the West Australian School of Dance. Her tutorial is basic and features simple stage makeup anyone can use. She provides her viewers with great tips, lists all of her products/shades and explains each step while showing how to apply the products.

2. Kathryn Morgan, “Basic Stage Makeup Tutorial”

A former soloist with the New York City Ballet, Kathryn Morgan is now a performer, teacher and speaker with a successful YouTube channel, blog and podcast. Her video teaches viewers how to do basic stage makeup using neutral colors and gives good tips for multiple roles. Her step-by-step instructions includes suggested products, helpful tips and explanations of how the makeup will look from the audience.

Morgan’s channel has an entire playlist devoted to stage makeup tutorials for a variety of characters. Most of them are ballet characters, but these looks are easily transferrable and good for a variety of characters. She also has a tutorial for audition makeup on her everyday makeup playlist.

3. CoyMakeup, “How to Do an Old-Age Makeup”

In the event your characters calls for old-age makeup, it might be helpful to know how to apply your own. Once you provide your basic base, this is a great tutorial for aging yourself. Makeup artist Sarah Coy does this with three powders and nothing else. It’s pretty impressive. She offers suggestions for finding inspiration and explains the way the skin changes, so there’s an understanding as to why the makeup is being applied in a certain way. Coy has several other makeup tutorials, including ones for geisha, goth, drag and leopard.

4. Lisa Eldridge, “Old Hollywood-Inspired Party Look With Vintage Golds”

Lisa Eldridge is a profesional makeup artist with a long list of celebrity clients and experience, so she certainly knows her stuff. She has an entire playlist of basics in case you are new to makeup application or are looking to improve a specific skill, such as applying false lashes or winged liner. Her channel is especially helpful once you’ve mastered the basics and are looking to achieve historical makeup looks for different shows. She has an entire playlist of vintage, historical and iconic makeup looks as well.

5. JAM Cosmetics, “Stage Makeup”

This tutorial gives an overview of the whole process from start to finish. While it doesn’t break the entire process down in as much detail as some of the other videos, it includes specifics when it comes to eye makeup, one of the more difficult portions of makeup application. They use their own products in the tutorial, but other products in similar colors and shades would work just fine.

6. Zabrena, “Historically Accurate: 1920s Makeup Tutorial”

Again, this channel is great once you’ve mastered the basics and are looking to achieve a specific look to match a character. Beauty and fashion vlogger Zabrena offers a slew of researched historical makeup tutorials, where she shares facts as she applies makeup. She shows viewers techniques from historical periods that can be tailored for the stage by combining them with stage makeup basics.

Don’t be afraid to start over if the application isn’t working right the first time. It might take a few tries. Remember, the right makeup can help both the actor and the audience immerse themselves fully in the character~

Looking for more? Check out these 11 tips for applying your own stage makeup

Have any helpful stage makeup tips? Know of a video that we missed? Let us know in the comments below…

Written by Katelynn Johnston

Katelynn is a writer and elementary arts teacher from Toronto. From acting to choreographing to directing, she has been fortunate enough to take part in a variety of shows.

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