Fri 9 Sep, 2005 02:56 pm
This afternoon I was buying a new lipstickand found myself a bit intimidated by the spectrum of choices. Red. Pink. Purple. Lavender. Shades of Brown. Blue and Green Pastels with nail polish to match....
At any rate I had a flash memory of my days in college and community theater when the final touch at the hands of the make-up artiste was two little dots of bright red lipstick, one near the inner corner of each eye.
According to theatrical lore of the time these little red dots would make an actor eyes sparkle, even unto the back rows of the house and the seats of the gods.
False? True? If true, why would it work? Is the custom still followed?
I think the red must make the whites of your eyes stand out more.
Just like they can make your teeth seem whiter.
My eyes are hazel green, but when I put a stroke of deep purple eye shadow from the inner corner of my eye up to the inner edge of my eyebrow, it makes them look REALLY green.
that is a practice still used today
but more in commercial make up..
Other eye make up tips that include the areas around the eyes.
If your eyes are less than an eyes-width apart, you can create the illusion of being wider set by keeping the inside corners of your eyes light & the outer edges darker. To do this, sweep a concealer one shade lighter than your skin at the inner corner of the lids. Blend well & don't forget the gray shadowy areas on the side of your nose. Take a matte eyeshadow in a medium-to-dark shade & stroke it outward & slightly upward from the middle part of your lid. the outer half of your lid. Take eyeliner & start the line just a bit in from the inner corner of your eye, tapering the line up and out, just a bit past the outer corner of the eyes.
This wasn't a sweep or a swoop of color. I'm talking about a bright red dot applied just outside the inward corners of the eyes with a toothpick.
I remember doing plays in high school and most of us were just given the make-up and told to 'go to it'! There were tips here and there, but not a class or some kind of professional-type help that would be beneficial in stopping the mad make-up jobs that are part of high school productions.
I took a stage make-up class in college (circa 1977). The placement of tiny red dots in the inner corner of the eyes was presented, but only as an old-fashioned theatrical technique. I'd already seen it done at the community theater across town by then.
I wish I still had my textbook to see if making the whites brighter was the purpose of the red dots.
My guess was that red dot lore added a mystic professionalism to amateur productions.
My father's theatrical time took place in the '20's and '30's and he swore by the mystic red dots. Very unusually for a man who made his living as a newspaper man he couldn't come up with a reason beyond "brightens the eyes".
I don't whistle backstage, either--or quote the Scottish Play.
I thought it was so you didn't look cross eyed to the audience while on stage...
"I’ve seen various descriptions of it. Some put the red dot on the inside of the eye and the white dot on the outside. The white dot expands the eyes, and the red dot helps keep the eyes from looking "crossed" (because the pupil is no longer in the apparent center of the eye)."