How to Create a Makeup Morgue

By Bridgette Redman
Illustrations demonstrating make-up application techniques on a table backstage.

Drawing upon the traditions of newspaper morgues, a makeup morgue is a record of specific makeup looks. It is filled with photographs, drawings and instructions for how to achieve stage makeup looks for a variety of ages, states of health, facial hair and characters. It can include makeup for animals, aliens, fantasy or supernatural creatures. It forms a record so that a performer or makeup artist can pull out a look whenever needed and re-create it again.

Storing the Photos

Choose a place to store the photos. In the past, artists used an accordion file or even a file cabinet drawer, depending on how many photos they had. Today, it is far more common to store photos in some form of digital arrangement. Some artists use Pinterest, Flickr or similar sites to post and save their makeup looks for future access, or you can store them in an album on your computer. Establish categories, such as fantasy, facial hair, children, cut or bruised, dirty or glamorous, and sort and store your photos in those categories.

Collecting Makeup Photos

Take photos of makeup looks for each dance, show or production that you're in. Make notes on the brand of makeup, color, how it was applied and how much was used. Collect photos of other makeup looks from magazines, newspapers or online photographs.

About the Author

As a professional writer since 1985, Bridgette Redman's career has included journalism, educational writing, book authoring and training. She's worked for daily newspapers, an educational publisher, websites, nonprofit associations and individuals. She is the author of two blogs, reviews live theater and has a weekly column in the "Lansing State Journal." She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University.