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​Learn From Christine Dion How To Create Nutcracker Characters Makeup!

Posted by Christine Dion on 22nd Oct 2014

Tis the season for Christmas Holiday shows and of course the most popular of all, the Nutcracker, will be presented by studios across the country. In many cases this will be presented on a large stage and may require a little more facial enhancement than a typical small stage performance. The makeup used for the nutcracker features many characters. With the following performances, a simple eye makeup change is all that’s needed to add drama and help enhance the theme of the look.

Here are a few tips to help:


1. Sugar Plum Fairies and the Land Of Snow. Where traditional ballet makeup is required keep in mind that the brows need a little more enhancement and extending. Eyeliner will need to be extended a bit further at the ends. Be sure to not meet the lower and upper lines at the sides.I like to use a brown cake/shadow liner below lower lashes and a black cake/shadow liner at the end of upper lashes to create a softer look. A Mode Dion Pro Pallet eyeshadow compact has all the colors you need. Keep eyes wide with white pencil in between. Add a little white shimmer like Mode Dion’s Shimmer Pot to the center of lid, brow arch and inner eye corner to open eyes even more. False lashes will be a must to create big elegant eyes. Adding a bit of magical glimmer to the cheekbones and eyes can really create more enchantment. Use glitter in opal/white like Mode Dion’s Crystalina and secure it with spirit gum like Mode Dion’s Diva Glue.


2. Arabian dancers can quickly get the look just by extending the black cake/shadow liner towards the inner eye corner creating a cat eye appearance. White pencil will help define the look by applying a little at the inner eye corner and between the two lines out at the end of the eye corners. Extend liner a bit there too as this will lengthen eyes creating a more exotic effect. (photo Arabian) Rhinestones placed along the upper brow line can create more drama. Place little dots with your eyeliner first to get the design and spacing right then adhere them with eyelash glue. If the costume is sparkly, enhance that with matching glitter secured with Mode Dion's Diva Glue.

3. Chinese Dance only requires a very red lipstick applied just at the middle of the upper and lower lip to create a tiny rosebud mouth and lengthened eyeliner extended out at the sides of the eyes up. Meet the upper and lower eyeliners at the sides to close and angle eyes for an Asian look. If lids are naturally full they can easily be reduced to a more Asian almond eyed look by using black shadow across the lid. Very red cheeks just on the apples will make the face look rounder. This tutorial is a very dramatic version to create a classic Shanghai Doll look. For a softer effect use brown onto the lid instead of black.

The Doll/Toy look is an easy twist form a standard stage makeup look. Add more red cheek color to the rounds of the cheek. Remove lip color from the sides of the mouth and create a more rounded lip look for a baby doll lip. Highlight center of upper and lower lip so lips look even more pulled forward. Draw lines below lower lashes to look like painted on lashes and in between use white pencil to help them look more pronounced from a distance. Apply shimmer highlighter like Mode Dion Shimmer Pot (opaque shimmer) to cheekbones, chin, forehead and down center of nose to make skin look light reflective like plastic.

4. Clara and other children in the party scene should have a softer more natural looking makeup. Skin should appear flawless by applying a matte oil-free foundation and powder. Brows should be well defined and shaped along with lips and cheeks slightly flushed. Mode Dion’s Stage Red cheek color and Rhubarb lipstick add just enough color to look natural and show up on stage.

5. Men and boys should be sure to wear foundation, concealer to cover dark circles under eyes and powder to set. A cheek contour shade under cheekbones and along sides of nose will help further define features. Shade sides of mouth with a natural lip pencil and apply a lipstick close to the same shade as lips. Define brows, line eyes with brown liner lightly and apply black mascara.

by Christine Dion

About the Author...

Christine Dion has been setting the trends in stage beauty for over 30 years. As a Speaker, Author, Columnist and Stage Cosmetic Designer in the Dance Beauty Industry.


MODE DION offers high quality stage make-up and professional products with support and education including books & DVD’s. The company website is a full beauty resource featuring beauty training from street to stage, Christine's many magazine articles under “Media”, “How to Videos”, Shopping and step by steps. Connect through the website and find more training on the You TubeChannel at “Mode Dion Makeup University”, Newsletter “Look of the Month”, Face Book and Twitter with tips/updates.

Make-up kits and bulk discounts available for studio owners. Call (760) 837-9433 for more info!