On television the tiniest flaw to your face make you look absolutely horrible. Without make up you look plain and dull, this is because of the bright 32k white lights we have to use.

So if you are recording, have no make up on, and came in with no sleep the night before, your dark circles and bags look even worse than they really are. Ever hear the saying that “the camera adds ten pounds”? It is because it is magnifying you.

People do not understand that makeup is necessary on television. Lighting designers light the performers brightly and evenly, meaning there is no shadow to hide your oh so itty bitty flaws. It also makes your face seem like you have a flat face! No depth at all! To convince someone that they will look bad without the makeup just tape them a bit and show them how bad they look.
Stage makeup, like a person who is in a play, is used for three main reasons:

1. To bring out the character more
2. For attractiveness
3. To add a three dimensional look because the lights take away your natural shadows.

Stage makeup is applied heavily so the audience can see the facial expressions. Although if you walk right up to them they would look like they feel really bad about themselves, even though they would be looking worse. Television makeup is used for these reasons as well although there is much less makeup involved. You are supposed to have a natural look for a distance of 8-10 feet, which is the average distance between the person watching and the television.

Jim Stinson tells us that very little makeup is used in most personal and entry-level professional videos.  Female cast members generally wear their normal street makeup. Men usually wear none at all. Nevertheless, you should have at least the following items to use for touching up your talent:

Neutral powder for eliminating skin shine
Light-and medium-toned powders for minimizing skin imperfections
One or two powder brushes
Neutral blemish spotter in a variety of skin tones
Facial tissues
Hairbrush, comb
Hair spray, to keep hair in place
Trim scissors
Small plastic tool or tackle box to hold everything!

If your programs include performers of different ethnicities, you will want to customize your powder and spotter colors to suit.  In most, larger cities, you can buy makeup at theatrical supply houses.  In smaller cities and towns, try stores that sell dance supplies or party and Halloween costumes.  You can obtain simple products at any drug or discount store makeup counter.

With your supplies assembled, here are some tips for using makeup in your programs:
Use as little as possible
Fold tissues around collars to keep powder off costumes
Use makeup only to cover things up (shine, blemishes), not to alter a performer’s appearance.
Let women apply their own makeup and both women and men fix their own hair.  They know themselves better than you do.
One last point: Check the effect of makeup on an external color monitor before taping.

Excerpted with permission from Video: Digital Communication & Production Second Edition by Jim Stinson Copyright 2008.