Theatre is the art of selling illusion as reality. Thus, the magic of costuming, makeup, lighting and acting combine to convince audiences that the images they are witnessing are real. These images are presented by actors who have the task of playing characters of various ages. Makeup and costuming can age an actor tremendously onstage, but both can also help an actor look younger. Since smaller stage productions may not employ a makeup artist, there are ways you can achieve this on your own.
Begin cleaning, toning and moisturizing your skin daily for several weeks leading up to your stage production. Buy high-quality products from a beauty supply or health supply store.
Apply cleanser to your face and wash off according to the directions. Apply toner and wait for it to dry. Put a small amount of moisturizer in your hands and apply to your face until the lotion or cream is absorbed.
Exfoliate your skin with a loofah sponge at least once a week during the same period you perform Steps 1 and 2 leading up to the production. Wet your face before gently scrubbing your face with the loofah.
Apply foundation to your entire face, covering any wrinkles, creases and bags under the eyes. Use a color that will lighten dark spots on the face and conceal uneven skin tones.
Apply blush lightly to your cheeks, giving your cheeks a bloom that appears youthful onstage.
Put on full makeup for a rehearsal, and ask the lighting director to set the lights as he would for the stage production. Ask a fellow actor or stage crew member to sit in the audience. Ask him if your makeup strategy has worked. Have him change seats to different spots in the audience and offer his opinions from there.
Address the eye area if you need to look even younger. Start by using an eyeliner pencil to finely line the area above your eyes as this will open up your eyes. Use the pencil to color in your eyebrows in a way to make them thicker. Apply an illuminator to your face; this will give you a youthful glow.
Appearing youthful onstage is also about using your body, voice and overall acting abilities. Cosmetically, you can look younger onstage by softening your adult features.
Cake makeup should be used as opposed to liquid makeup which is also more likely to run or wear off under stage lighting.
Avoid expired products, particularly sunscreen products and skincare products with retinoid and alfa-hydroxy acids. Find skincare products that work best for you. Changing products frequently can become detrimental to the skin, which can react violently to changing chemicals.