Performance Makeup for Little Kids

Naural, Easy, and Light

Makeup tips for little kiddos

I’m often asked “How much makeup should she wear in the show?” This is an especially important question when the little performer is in preschool or kindergarten. My answer is always: to your comfort level. There are 3 comfort levels I’ve come across:

“I don’t want her to look like she’s wearing makeup at all.”

“A little bit is okay, but I want her to look natural”

“It’s a show, bring on the paints!”

Personally, I have the third attitude. Usually kids have occasion to wear makeup just once a year, and for these performances, makeup is part of the costume. But whatever your comfort level, here are some tips:

Tristan’s #1 golden rule of little kids makeup: natural colors. No blues, no greens, no violets or reds. The only time I use these colors is when a child is playing the role of a sea creature, monster, alien, etc. and then they act as face-paints rather than makeup. When you’re dealing with no-frills makeup, always stick with pink, peach or taupe and never stray more than one shade lighter or one shade darker than your child’s natural skin tone.

If you don’t want your child to wear makeup,but you’re willing to let them think they’re wearing makeup, great! Your job is easy.

  • clear lip gloss
  • translucent powder to take away shine
  • a natural blush (which more or less matches their skin) to dust on the cheekbones

You can use any or all of these three, and you’re done!

If you don’t know how to do your child’s makeup but you’re willing to give it a go, here are some step by step instructions for selecting and applying light, natural makeup:

Step one: APPLY A BASE

If you are going to apply powder, you must first apply a cream base. I recommend tinted moisturizer. Make sure the color matches your child’s skin tone, so you won’t be turning them into a ghost or an oompa loompa. If you don’t have tinted moisturizer, mix foundation half-half with face moisturizer. Apply a thin, even coat on your child’s eyelids and cheeks. Be sure coverage of these areas is thorough.

2015-03-26 05_Fotor

If you want to go even more natural, you can also use plain face moisturizer. It doesn’t work as well as tinted moisturizer, but it will provide some base. Use your fingers to apply moisturizer all over your child’s face in a thin, even coat.

My preferred method for applying foundation or moisturizer is to use your fingers, but you can also use a sponge or a foundation brush.

To avoid making mistakes with foundation and powder colors, practice a few days before the show until you get it right. Apply makeup, step back, and ask if it looks natural, like they’re not wearing anything at all. If you can tell they are wearing foundation, it’s probably not the right color.

Step two: POWDER

After you’ve applied a base, use a large brush to dust your child’s face lightly with loose powder. To avoid shine, make sure you dust them everywhere: eyelids, forehead, nose, cheeks, chin.

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Make sure you choose a color that matches your child’s skin tone as closely as possible. The easiest way to do this is to buy a translucent powder. Translucent powder has very little color itself and will take on the color of your child’s skin.

Step three: SHIMMER

Choose very neutral colors (pink, peach, taupe) that more or less match your child’s skin tone. Going one shade lighter or one shade darker turns the powder into a highlighter, which looks very natural and pretty. Too many shades lighter or darker, and your makeup will start to look very toddlers-and-tiaras.

Make sure it has some shine. You want your powder to be a natural color, but to also have some glitter or shimmer to it.

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Now you’re ready to apply the shimmer to your child’s eyelids and cheekbones. Use a large brush to sweep shimmer along their cheekbones. Use a small brush to lightly dust your child’s eyelids with shimmer.

If you want to go fancier, you can use a few different colors of eyeshadow to give your child’s eyelids some dimension. Sweep under their brow with eyeshadow one shade lighter than skin tone. Sweep along the crease with eyeshadow one shade darker than skin tone. Blend any harsh edges by sweeping with a clean brush at the end.

2015-03-26 05_Fotorshadow

Step four: LIP GLOSS

Pick a natural lip gloss that matches your child’s lips. Stay away from reds and dark browns, and instead go with pinks and taupes, or even clear gloss. If you want an extra kick, find a gloss with some glitter or shine to it.

Step five: GLITTER

Glitter is fun for kids and looks great on stage. If you’re okay knowing there will be traces of glitter on your child’s face for a few days (and traces on everything they touch) then grab some glitter and a large brush, and dust it very lightly on those cheekbones. Choose pale colored glitter, like this basic white iridescent one. Avoid dark colored glitters because in certain lights you’ll look like you have a dirty face!

2015-03-26 05_Fotorglitter

You can always add more if you are comfortable (eyeliner, mascara, brow pencil, daring colors) but I do not     recommend this to first time makeup artists. Makeup can be tricky to apply, especially when your subject is a squirming child. If you want to go all out with makeup for the show, I recommend practicing a few times until you feel comfortable applying their makeup. You can also take them to the makeup counter, but be sure to tell the makeup artist exactly which colors to use, or they might get creative and give your little one a bolder look than you care for!

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