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How to Apply Stage Makeup for Men

A brush can come in handy when applying some makeup.
makeup display and brush after makeup was done image by Nellie Vin from Fotolia.com

Stage makeup for any male thespian can be simple and applied in less than 30 minutes. Most men are under the illusion that stage makeup application is difficult. The creme foundations and makeup used can be quite messy, but crafting your technique with practice can bring you to a professional level in no time.

Things You'll Need:

  • Brown Or Black Mascara
  • Neutral Rose Tone Lipstick
  • Cosmetic Sponge
  • Mirror
  • Large Makeup Applicator Brush
  • Brown Creme Liner
  • White Creme Liner
  • Face Powder
  • Rouge Or Blush Makeup
  • Base Or Foundation Makeup
  • Brown Or Black Liner Pencil
  • Small Applicator Brush
  • Facial Moisturizer
  • Facial Cleanser

Wash your face with facial cleanser. This removes oil and dirt.

Apply facial moisturizer as a base.

Apply base or foundation makeup of your skin tone to your cheeks, nose and forehead. Blend in an upward motion using a cosmetic sponge to create a base of makeup on your face. Use a mirror. Blend the makeup into your hairline, and from your jawline into your neck area. Cover both the front and back of your neck in order to avoid unsightly makeup lines.

Spread rouge or blush on your cheeks. Brush the rouge on your cheeks in an upward motion using a large makeup applicator brush. Stand up from your work station, and move about one room's length away from the mirror. Apply more blush if it is barely noticeable. Blush should look naturally rosy from a far distance.

Apply a small amount of pencil liner or brown creme liner along your eyelids. This will bring out your eyes. Take the pencil or brush with creme liner in one hand, close one eye and, using your free hand, stretch the outside corner of your eye out until the eyelid is almost flat. Then draw a thin line from one corner to the other. Do the same with your other eyelid.

Apply mascara. Do this with a smooth, outward stroke from the bottom of your eyelashes to the top. Use several coats if needed for darker lashes.

Add character definition. Use the brown and white creme liners for this. Apply brown liner to eyebrows using a small applicator brush; this defines the eyebrows. Then apply a thin line of white liner below the eyebrows and blend it lightly. Play with ways in which you arch an eyebrow for villainous type characters. Use this same technique on your jawline by drawing a line of brown creme from one side of your jaw to the other and drawing a white line under the brown. Blend the two in a downward motion with a sponge applicator. Stand up and move away from the mirror. You should appear to have a prominent jaw.

Cover your entire face with face powder. This sets the makeup. First, place the sponge or brush inside the powder pot. Then dust off excess powder from the sponge or brush to avoid streaks. Finally, apply the powder until your entire face is covered.

Spread neutral rose tone lipstick from one corner of your lips to the other. Apply to both your top and bottom lip. Press and/or rub your lips together to even the color. The lipstick should appear natural at a room's length.


Often stage makeup is sold in starter kits that include foundation, color wheels for lining the eyes and lips, sponges and just about all you need to start out. They are often sold by skin color, and they can be found in novelty shops across the United States or online. Universities sometimes carry these products in their bookshops at a discount rate for drama students.

If you cannot find a good match to your skin tone, blend two colors together, and match them to the skin on the top of your hand.


  • Before using some products, check for allergies to latex and other ingredients often used in stage production-quality makeups and adhesives for stage makeup.
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