Makeup, by definition, means an assortment of things: the way in which something is composed or arranged, cosmetics applied especially to the face, and materials, such as cosmetics and costumes, that an actor or actress uses in portraying a role ("Makeup.") Aside from normal cosmetics, theatrical makeup has been around for as long as 4000 BC. In the earlier years of theater, makeup was used in order to portray different ages, genders, and classes of society. This makeup had to be applied heavily on the face, in order for the audience to see the character’s expressions from far away. Theater makeup was believed to have originated from Greece and became a worldwide tool in theater that many cultures, over time adopted ("Theatrical Makeup.")
The Kabuki Theater in Japan is a great example of how theatrical makeup spread to different parts of world. The Japanese makeup consisted of white face paint made from rice, called Oshiroi. Different shades of white where produced in order for the actors to depict different attributes of characters. However, in order for the makeup to stick to their skin, they had to apply a mixture of waxes and oils beforehand. The Kabuki Theater makeup was also aided by the colors black and red to outline the performers lips and eyes, in order to express various expressions. White, black and red weren’t the only colors used in the theater. Japanese theater revolved around the culture’s folklore, so different colors of paint where needed in order to showcase the story’s characters. Thanks to an assortment of pigments found in nature, the Japanese created many colors such a dark red, blue, pink, green, and purple in order to depict gods, demons, and its heroes ("Kabuki Makeup.")
Makeup stayed in theater for centuries, but as time passed and the popularity of film grew, theater makeup turned out to be far to “fake looking” for cinema because of its pasty appearance on camera. Notably,... [continues]
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