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Important Message!!

General tips on show makeup!

Most guards I've seen had some great makeup, but I've also seen many guards with...ummm...well let's just say "less than great" makeup. Here are some general show makeup tips to avoid that "less than great" makeup look. This section won't tell you what to wear, but it'll just give general tips. If you're completely stumped on the makeup, hopefully this will help you decide on your guard look.

The tips below are given with the marching field in mind, the season with the band.

1. Stay away from bright red blushes and lipsticks. Too much red will make the guard look too clownish and sunburnt. Unless your show can justify the reds, keep this tip in mind.

2. Do try to make your faces up so it brightens and accents your eyes. The judges will be able to see your faces more clearly and that seems to help with scores... ;)

3. Keep the blush low key, even if it's not red. Unless you want it, too much blush tends to make it look like you have a mask on.

4. Dark eyeshadow colors is best for an intense show. Try not to use really dark eyeshadow unless your show supports it. It'll confuse the audience if you have scary makeup and with happy go-lucky show music.

5. Try to stay away from heavy eyeliner. It scares people. :) Go for it if you want that look though...the scary guard look.

6. Always try and accent one part of the face with the makeup. The eyes are usually the best part, but if you want, you could also just accent the lips, cheeks, whatever.

7. One fun thing you could try is to buy those little stick-on body jewels and put just a couple on your face for sparkle.

8. Stay away from too much glitter!!! Too much glitter on the face is a big no-no in general! Go glitter-fy your uniform and your arms and stuff, but too much glitter on the face will give you a clownish look, just like too much blush.

9. Don't use the same makeup for every person on the guard. Sure, try to make them match, but rarely will the same colors work for all the ethnicities on the guard. I'm Asian, and my sophomore year, they tried bright blue shadow on my eyelids. Big mistake. It worked on all the nice caucasian girls, but since I was the only other different race on the guard, they didn't realize it wouldn't work. Try out different colors for different skin colors.

10. If you have guys on your guard, they don't have to wear makeup (duh) but one trick to use is they could use a bit of brightening foundation to bring out their face. Then use a smoky/grayish color pencil eyeliner and put light lines on their jawbones. Not like a bright line or anything, but just a smudgy line so it looks like a semi-shadow. It defines the face.

11. Also, make sure that you all wash your faces with a cleansing soap after the performance! :) Makeup can be dirty and clog up your pores!!

More to come!

I recently got a submission that bought up several points I would like to clear up. Sierra submitted an email to me saying:

"I have some things to say about the makeup. If you want to be seen, the thicker the better. Cateyes are a must, it makes you look like you actually have eyes. And you have to have red blush, or maroon so it will show up on the field, especially in the dark. Red lipgloss is good too. And for it to look uniform, every guard member should look the same."

I thank her for the submission, but I would like to say something in reply to that:

For the band-guard season, I've noticed that the judges and the audience as well don't really pay attention to makeup. There is so much happening on the field that there isn't a lot of effort going toward the makeup. Some people may notice it, but unless the makeup is thematic to the show, it's not really noticed. From various guard members, judges and instructors I've talked to, I've come to the conclusion that makeup shouldn't be a huge part of the guard preparation routine. It's nice to have, but not very important. The judges really look for expression in the guard, not their makeup. Expression is achieved best through keeping the head up and body movements. Winterguard, on the other hand, is a big opportunity for makeup. There isn't a 200-member band to distract the attention, and there is a wayyyy smaller space to divert your attention to, so audiences tend to notice the makeup factor more often. I like to stress makeup there, during winterguard season instead of band season. And yes, the guard should look uniform, but again, the rules are different for the different seasons of guard. Winterguard should be a more uniform look, but most winterguard colors and themes work universally anyways, so there's no worry there. Band season, however, can be very flexible, for the reasons mentioned above.