The Long Evolution of Theatre Makeup

Humans have been putting on play and drama for thousands of years. Thus, adding dramatic makeup and costume was the natural route to make performers stand out. When it comes to theatrical supplies in NH, it might feel like finding the right performance makeup you need is impossible. But, don’t fret! APS Lighting in Merrimack, NH, has everything you need, from the basics to the big and bold when it comes to theatre makeup. Now, let’s dive into the long evolution and history of theatre makeup!


Beginnings and Earliest History


The earliest known use of theatrical makeup was by a Greek actor name Thepis. The actor was hoping to stand out from the rest of the performers, so he painted his face white and red. But, after this, it’s unknown whether Thepis started a makeup revolution. Why? Well, the Greek drama performers were using masks to represent and convey different emotions. 


Makeup Evolution


Performers in medieval dramas during the 1500 and 1600s began to use face makeup to depict different characters. For example, in England, they would use a combination of chalk and soot to show the expression on their faces. Over time, the makeup became more elaborate and began to have a polished look. By the 1800s, there were consistent powders and pigments created for use as makeup.


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Stage Makeup Improvements


The beginning of the modern era of theatre makeup began with the invention of greasepaint. It was developed by a German actor who combined lard with rich pigments. Thus, creating a smooth and colorful makeup that can be applied in various ways. Furthermore, this led to the invention of lipsticks, liners, and makeup sticks. 


Moreover, the invention of pancake makeup transformed what is still used today as modern makeup use. Pancake makeup was a thick, water-based makeup compacted and applied to the face for matte coverage. Pancake makeup can be considered an early base for powder-based foundation.


Makeup & Theatrical Supplies in NH


Professional makeup and theatrical supplies in NH can make all the difference when it comes to your performance. Whether you need new makeup to accentuate your face for the next big show or need a new set of lights, APS Lighting has your back. Visit us in Merrimack, NH, or give us a call at 1-(800)-837-0005.

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