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How to Apply Camera-Friendly Makeup for Men and Women

Michael Maher

Movie makeup ranges from simple applications to incredibly complex monster looks. In this roundup, learn how to apply the “No Makeup” makeup technique.

Film unions classify movie makeup artists based on the area of the actor’s body needing makeup. A makeup artist applies cosmetics from the top of a persons head to the top of their breastbone. A body makeup artist applies makeup to any other area of an actor’s body.

In this article we will be focusing on a makeup artist’s “No Makeup” makeup, specifically applying makeup that does not look like a person is wearing makeup.


How to Apply Camera-Friendly Makeup for Men and Women: Woman Applying Makeup

Makeup application is a key part of filmmaking. Sure, makeup can make you look more attractive, but it’s really used to correct the distortions caused by the camera lens and lights.

Cameras can accentuate wrinkles, affect skin tone, and magnify skin flaws like scars and acne. Makeup is used to bring out natural features and cover up an blemishes.

The lights and camera will wash out your natural skin tone, so you need makeup to bring your skin back to life and keep you from looking like a ghost. Warm colors are best for video. Cooler colors are overly exaggerated on camera. Be sure to use matte and neutral hues. Also, avoid high-shine that is commonly found in blushes, lip glosses, and eye shadow.


Make Up Tips for Men

Men at least require powdered makeup, especially if they are bald. Bald heads reflect lights, so powdered makeup is needed all over their head to prevent light from bouncing off of them. The oil produced by pores shines on camera, and a small amount of powder can significantly reduce that.

The key for men is evening out skin tone, covering blemishes, and eliminating any shine or reflection.

Check out this video from Pixiwoo, where they show how to properly groom a male subject before applying makeup. Then you will see the proper steps to making them look great on camera.


Makeup Tips for Women

One of the most desired looks for women, on and off camera, is the No Makeup makeup look. It’s a very natural look that accentuates features without looking overly colorful or made up. In this tutorial from Sephora, you will learn the step-by-step process of creating the “No Makeup” makeup look.

In this tutorial from Gregory Arlt, the Director of Makeup Artistry for MAC Cosmetics, you can learn a simple and quick technique to help achieve flawless skin.

In this video, Gregory Arlt shows you how to correctly apply lipstick with a brush. Start in the center of the lip and then blend it in. It creates a very simple stained look. Be sure to apply a bit more to the center of the lip, which will lightly soften the edges to blend in with the skin.

When it comes to eyeliner, lay the brush flat, right above the eyelid and bring it straight across. By laying the brush flat, you will achieve a straight line every time.

For eyebrows, first take the brow pencil and brush them into place. Use a pencil that’s a shade lighter than your subject’s brow color to help define the brow, rather than darkening it. Hold the pencil to the side and feather the brow. Then use an angle brush to distribute the color. Finally, use the brow pencil once again to brush the brows.


Bonus Tip

How to Apply Camera-Friendly Makeup for Men and Women: Sephora Store
Image: Sephora store via Cosmopolitan

If you will be applying your own makeup, and have no experience doing so, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

One of the best options available is going straight to a makeup store. You can visit department stores or go to specialty shops like Sephora. You’ll easily find a makeup artist who can help you find the right makeup for your skin, and even show you how to apply it.

Have any experience with applying makeup? Got any tips to share? Do it in the comments below!

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