Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Indian classical dance make-up

The Indian classical dance makeup should have a graceful look and should be suitable for stage light rather than day light. It also should be equally suitable for dancers with dark or fair skin colors.

Make-up may smudge! Keep your face oil-free. Some dancers become very emotional just before the dance – but don’t cry!!!

Below is the list of Items you need for Indian Classical Dance makeup. This is applicable for Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathak and Kuchipudi.

Note: All the items except the items in the first line are available in any makeup kit available from Wal-Mart or Target

Altha, Sindoor, Kumkum, Bindi (preferably Maroon color)

Black eyeliner or Kajal


Eye shadow

Facial powder / Talcum powder (inhaling or swallowing talcum powder is dangerous)

Light foundation

Indian dance makeup – step by step procedure:

1. Using a gentle soap wash face and wipe with a soft lint free cotton cloth

2. Apply an oil-free moisturizer. We recommend you to use herbal moisturizer. Remember, chemicals are harmful !

3. Apply a light coat of facial powder

4. Apply the foundation. This can be a nice thick (just noticeable) coating. The foundation color should be little bit lighter than your skin color

5. Over the foundation, apply a coat of facial powder

6. Now apply blush

7. Draw the outline of both eyes using black eyeliner. Make sure the end of the outline is curved so that the eyes appear like a lotus petal.

8. Apply multiple coats of black mascara

9. On the nose, especially on the sides, apply dark foundation to the sides of your nose.

10. Select an appropriate color lipstick with some gloss and apply

11. Place a maroon sticker Bindi in the middle of your fore-head. For round face, use a rain drop shaped bindi. For a long face, use a round bindi

Hair makeup is a different topic and it varies depending upon the dance style. However, irrespective of the dance style, all uses false hair and hair kunjalam. We will cover the hair makeup in a separate blog.