Hair and Makeup

Makeup: Before coming to the theater, parents will apply basic stage makeup to actors – boys and girls. This is necessary in order for the actor to not look ‘washed out’ under the bright stage lights and maintain uniformity amongst the cast.

Basic Stage Makeup consists of:

  1. Foundation (to even out skin tone and add color to the skin – pick color closest to your own skin color)
    a. Try not to purchase  a darker base than your skin tone
  2. Setting Powder (to prevent foundation from running – stage lights are HOT!)
  3. Eye liner (dark brown works well for most actors)
    a. dark brown pencil or gel, black pencil or gel if actor’s hair is black
  4. Blush
    a. “Coral” by Ben Nye is good on most but any natural color is good.
  5. Lip Color (try to match natural lip color)
    a. Nothing glossy – just a touch more color to the lip. It is not supposed to look as though the actor is wearing lipstick.

Ben Nye Theatrical makeup kits (oil-based makeup) can be purchased at San Jose Dancewear (formerly Victoria’s Dance) at 376 Race Street, San Jose. There are different skin tones and this is a great kit to have for basic stage makeup. Staff at the store can match your actor if you are unsure of skin tone. Approximate cost: $20. If you choose to not use Ben Nye, you may use any other makeup that gives good coverage with longevity. Feel free to use what you think works best on your actor’s skin. The actor’s “look” will be a more “amplified” look of their usual self. San Jose Dancewear has given a discount to groups performing at Hoover Theater in the past (10%).

Makeup Tutorial: featuring our Hair & Makeup Designer Heather Sterling. Heather takes us through what is needed and how to apply basic stage makeup for children (15 minute youtube video).


  • Boys: Make sure your hair is combed and neat and off the face (gel back if necessary)
  • Girls: Please make sure your hair is brushed through and pulled off your face. You can use an elastic or discreet headband or pull back front hair into a braid.

Makeup Sharing is not advised due to spread of germs/viruses. Siblings with similar skin tones can share foundation/powder/blush as long as different applicators are used and lipstick if clean Q-tip is used each time lipstick comes out of container to go on actor (no double-dipping!).

Each actor should bring their own labelled comb/brush to the theater due to ongoing lice outbreaks in the area.

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