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Module 1: Makeup Applications

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Makeup for television, film and magazines can be broken down into three main categories: basic, corrective and character. Basic makeup involves an application that allows the person to look the same throughout the production process. Corrective makeup enhances the natural positives of the appearance and masks any imperfections. Character makeup creates major appearance changes. Many people have the impression that makeup is used simply to make people look better. However, it is often used to maintain someone's appearance in front of studio lights and cameras, where they otherwise would not look the same. Some digital cameras we use today, incorporate skin enhancing features, so the need for makeup is decreased. The main purpose of these filters is to smooth wrinkles and hide minor imperfections. In the age of high definition cameras and television, it is more important than ever to be able to apply makeup that is not noticeable. People in front of the camera will often have makeup on their face and on other parts of their bodies. Skin naturally contains oil, which is not usually noticeable unless it is seen up close. This can sometimes be the case in front of a camera. In addition, studio lights can increase the shine on the skin, which is another reason why makeup is needed. For makeup application, the skin is first cleaned with a cleansing cream and then the foundation is set. A water based foundation is best, because it doesn’t require the use of powder. The shade of the foundation should be the same colour as the skin tone. If the goal is to darken or lighten the skin tone, it is important not to go more than two shades in either direction, from the person's natural skin tone. You can always mix two foundation colours together, to get the desired skin tone. However, you will need to make sure you mix it well, or you may end up getting an uneven tone. Use a slightly moistened rubber foam sponge to apply the foundation to the neck, ears and face. If there are any tan lines, such as from a strap from a tank top, the foundation needs to be blended into this area and into the skin around it. If possible, check how the makeup appears under the intended studio lights or camera, as it may appear differently. There may be a need to emphasize certain features of the model and mask other features. This is where corrective makeup techniques will be useful. Your skill and experience in this area will help you to determine which areas to focus on and the correct techniques to use. If you're finding this challenging, your model or client may be able to advise you. For example, you may be asked to "shorten" their nose or make their eyes "larger". You will need to make sure that you are using the correct contouring and highlighting techniques, to create the desired effect. You should accept any opportunity you get to create character makeup. Imagine taking a few days off your regular makeovers and being able to make someone look like a zombie. It is definitely something that you can add proudly to your CV. However, for character makeup, you will likely have to do something more common, such as adding or subtracting years. There are a lot of movies for example, where people transform from their younger self to their older self or vice versa. To work in this area, you need to know you are skilled enough to, for example, make a forty year old look realistically like a ninety year old. This type of work can be very interesting and rewarding, but it does require a special skill set.