At Christmas time, clowns can put their comic movement skills to use as Santa’s Helpers. Who makes a better elf than a clown? We love kids, we can improvise in any situation, and both parents and children leave with smiles on their faces.
Creating a character face make-up for an Elf is different than your everyday clown face. You will use your same greasepaint and tools, and you will still be emphasizing your muscle and bone structure, but your design will be more soft and less cartoony. Remember, you will be doing a lot of close-up work with your audience, so you don’t need as much exaggeration or big shapes.
How to create Elf character make-up:
- If you are in a hot location and tend to perspire a lot, use a cotton ball or make-up pad to swab a little of Mehron Skin Prep Pro on your face and let dry. This is an fixative which will seal your pores and prevent you from sweating off your make-up.
- Spray a thin layer of Mehron Barrier Spray on your face. Keep your eyes closed and hold your breath while it dries for a few seconds. Barrier Spray is an ENORMOUS help, and I can’t believe more performers don’t use it on a regular basis. It creates a barrier between your skin and your makeup, which has 5 benefits:
- Prevents allergic reactions to make-up
- Keeps make-up from staining skin
- Gives a smooth working space so make-up applies more evenly and blends more easily
- Speeds up make-up removal time because the grease never had a chance to soak into your skin!
- Actually, the 5th benefit comes when you are done applying your make-up and have powdered. Spray the Barrier Spray two more times onto face. This will preserve your finished look and will “refresh” any of the dull powdered look.
Apply your base foundation. DJ is using Mehron CreamBlend Stick in Juvenile 3B; it is a greasepaint foundation just a shade darker than his normal skin tone.
- I’ve seen a trend recently of some of performers skipping this basic step. Sure you can skip this step…but WHY?? Foundation evens out your skin tone and gives you a great professional look. It also is a “foundation” for blending other grease-based or creme make-ups like blush, eyeshadow, etc.
- It takes less than 2 minutes to apply with a sponge. Such a small investment of time for a more professional appearance. Isn’t your audience worth it?
For an Elf Character you want subtle eyebrows. Just a little black above the thickest part of your eyebrow gives your character more expression. We used the Mehron Slim Pro-Pencil in Black.
- Put black eyeliner on the bottom outside corner of your eye. Just go half-way across. This adds accent without over doing it.
- Don’t forget your smile! Use red greasepaint for a smile that will last all day! We used a Mehron Jumbo Pro-Pencil in Red, but you could also use a Mehron Color Cup in red; anything that will give you a nice grin. Put small round pips in the corners of your mouth for a more character look.
- Outline the bottom of your lip in a thin white line. We used Mehron Slim Pro-Pencil in White.
Powder your face with Mehron Colorset Powder to set the greasepaint and give you a long-lasting clean look. Remove excess powder with a good Powder Brush.
- Green eye shadow on boy and girl elves adds charm. Try Mehron INtense Pressed Pigment Powder in Electric Green and Ocean Breeze. DJ puts the darker Ocean breeze on the inside corner of his eye and then the lighter Electric Green on the eye lid. This gives a very theatrical look without making you look too “made-up.”
- What Christmas Elf doesn’t have rosy cheeks?? We used Mehron Cheek Powder in Wineberry Pink, applied with a blush brush.
- Apply a little to your chin, as well as the tip of your nose (if you aren’t gluing on an Elf Nose)
- Remember the GLITTER! An elf is a MAGICAL character, after all! Mehron GlitterDust in Opal adds the sparkle you need. It is incredibly easy to apply with a moistened tip of your finger on cheeks, eyelids, or in hair.
- Tease your hair and apply Mehron Glitter Spray in Gold or Opal White
- White INtense Pressed Pigment powder on the brow bone
- Green rhinestone gems at the corners of your eyes
- Glue on an elf nose tip or full nose. I’m wearing a Jim Howle Elf-5 Nose, available for special order
- Mehron Performance Mascara on eyelashes
- Comical glasses
- Funny blue wig, in Shocking style
- Pointy elf ear tips
Recently at a community Christmas celebration in Maple Lake, Minnesota, DJ and I clowned around as Santa’s elves.
One of the fun bits we put together was taking our pictures with our “phone”. DJ asked kids and adults if they wanted to be in a “elfie selfie’ with his phone. From out of his pocket he pulled the receiver from my old desk phone — cord still attached — and tried to take a picture of the group. He made lots of silly comments about the lack of reception, and it being out of focus. It was very funny to see people posing and smiling for this old phone receiver! People loved playing along, and a few kids just looked confused!
It’s a great bit for the holidays as a elf or use it as a clown!
Read more make-up tips and Christmas ideas from Pricilla Mooseburger:
- Hand out our cards educating people what a REAL CLOWN is (free download)
- Use powder to set your greasepaint
- How to wrap up your post-holiday business like a professional
- 1 great make-up tip for your eyes
- 5 ways to keep your make-up fresh
- Where’d you get those peepers?
- “Instant Reindeer” bit for Christmas parties
- Clowns are a gift
- 5 Questions you should ask yourself after Christmas
- Clowning at the holidays
- Transform your clown skills into other characters
- Theme parties in and out of clowns
- Best way to remove your clown make-up
- Do you know how to wash your make-up brushes?
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Mooseburger Clown Arts Education has been running one of the world’s most well-rounded clown schools since 1996. Performers from all over the globe travel to Minnesota each summer for a fun and intensive clown training program. Each aspect of our clown camp is designed to meet your needs and boost your confidence as an entertainer.
Whether you want to join the circus, visit nursing homes, run your own birthday party business, paint faces, or twist balloons, there is something just for you at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp.
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