How to Do Cats the Musical Makeup

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Whether you're attending a costume party or looking for a Halloween costume or even performing a number from "Cats," all you need is a little bit of stage makeup and you can recreate the makeup look from the hit musical. Pick your favorite "Cats" character to base your face paint on, or just design your own unique look. This is also a great way to get kids excited about theater productions---having their makeup done will give them a taste of what goes on behind-the-scenes in musicals like this one.

Things You'll Need

  • Stage makeup or greasepaint in your desired colors
  • Makeup sponge
  • White highlighter
  • Black eyeliner
  • Makeup remover or cold cream
  • False eyelashes, if desired
  • Lipstick
  • Apply base color of greasepaint. Dip a slightly dampened makeup sponge into the greasepaint, then apply slow, short strokes to your face to get an even coat. Choose your base color by deciding which "Cats" character you'd like to resemble. For example, if you want Exotica's makeup, start with a dark brown base. If you want to look more like Munkustrap or Grizabella, start with a white base. Apply the desired color to your forehead, the hollows of your cheeks, the bridge of your nose, and along your jaw line. Use a photograph of the character you want to resemble to decide where else to add the color. Demeter's tan base coat covers most of his face except for the area around his mouth and the very center of his forehead. Exotica's base coat covers everywhere but the area around her mouth and her cheekbones. Munkustrap's white base coat covers his entire face.

  • Apply secondary color, also using a makeup sponge. If you have only one sponge, wash it thoroughly and air-dry until moist before you apply the second color.

    If you're Exotica, use tan greasepaint. If you're Demeter, use white. Most of the cat characters in the musical have a lighter secondary color, which appears in a circle around their mouth, extending from their chin to just below their nose. You can add a V-shape in the center of your forehead with either the secondary color or a darker, third color. Add long streaks of the second and third colors at the edge of your face, just below your cheekbones, and from your eyebrows leading up to the edges of your forehead. This mimics the color pattern of real cats' facial fur.

  • Outline your eyes. Using black eyeliner, start on the inside corner of your eyes and make two short downward marks, one from your lower lid toward the bridge of your nose, and one from your upper lid in the same direction. Then, at the outer corner of your lower eyelid (and in some "Cats" characters your upper eyelid as well), draw a thick line that extends past the edge of your eye and up toward your eyebrows. At this point, you can also use the black eyeliner to make whiskers---draw five or six solid dots above both sides of your upper lip. If the character model you're using has a black nose, smudge the tip of your nose with the eyeliner. If your character's nose is pink, apply a dab of pink greasepaint to the nose-tip.

  • Create optional wrinkles. First, draw a thin, dark line with black eyeliner where you'd like the wrinkle to be. Blend one edge of this line so that one side of the line is sharp while the other is blurred. Add a thin line of white highlighter along the sharp edge of the black line. Blend the white line on the opposite side of the black line, so that the outer edges of your wrinkle are blurred, but the inner edges, where the dark and light lines touch, are sharp. This gives your wrinkles a realistic look.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply lipstick when the rest of your makeup is finished. False eyelashes can add to your look, or apply a heavy layer of mascara.
  • Don't let greasepaint get it in your eyes. Use makeup remover or cold cream to remove it. Do not sleep with the makeup on, or you skin will break out the next day.

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