How to Put on Face Paint for Mime Dancing

Written by rowan wood
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How to Put on Face Paint for Mime Dancing
Mime make-up is used to accent facial expressions. (mime image by michele goglio from

When performing as a mime, the time and attention you give to your make-up application is crucial to the effectiveness of your performance. Since mimes rely heavily on expression and body language, accenting the emotional parts of the face is very important when applying your make-up. As pantomime make-up does not use as many variations or colours as clown make-up, fewer materials are needed. However, mime make-up may take more time to apply than clown make-up since it is more detail-oriented.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • White cake or grease make-up
  • White powder make-up
  • Black eyeliner
  • Black grease pencil
  • Red or black lipstick
  • Make-up sponge

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  1. 1

    Wash your face with soap and water and dry your skin completely. Shave off any stubble or facial hair and tie back long hair. If you are using grease make-up, apply a thin layer of skin moisturiser (not cold cream) to your skin so the make-up spreads more evenly.

  2. 2

    Take your make-up sponge and your white cake or grease make-up and apply it to your face. White cake make-up will provide a breathable, light layer of make-up, while grease make-up will give more even, solid coverage. Cake make-up may leave streaks, while grease make-up can feel thick and heavy on the skin. Create an outline around your jaw and the frame of your face and fill it in with white to keep the make-up tidy. Do not blot the make-up up into your hairline or down your neck, as you want to create the effect of having a mask on your face. You may need more than one coat of make-up for smooth coverage.

  3. 3

    Powder your face lightly with your white powder make-up. If you are using grease make-up, apply powder carefully until the 'sticky' feel of the make-up disappears. You do not need to use powder if you are using cake make-up. Wait 10 minutes before applying your markings.

  4. 4

    Apply your mime markings with your black eyeliner and grease pencil. Accentuate all expressive parts of your face such as your eyebrows and around your eyes. To make exaggerated eyebrows, raise your brows and paint in the first crease above them. Outline your eyes with eyeliner to make them pop. Place lines in the corners and in the centre below the eye to exaggerate them further. Use the lipstick to fill in your lips. Wait 10 minutes for this make-up to settle.

  5. 5

    Powder lightly over your face a second time to seal your make-up. It is safely sealed when it won't smear with a dry cotton swab. Use a very light powder puff or brush so you do not disturb your finished make-up. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any powder outside of the parameter of your make-up. This will give you a finished, professional look.

Tips and warnings

  • Use soap and water to wash away cake make-up. If you are using grease make-up, use cold cream to clean your face.
  • Use a damp cotton swab or Q-tip to correct errors.
  • Experiment with different mime styles. Do not limit yourself to one or two looks. Come up with mime make-up that reflects your acting style.

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