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How To Apply Stage Makeup On Kids: 10 Easy Steps

Whether it’s for a dance recital or a play from English class, makeup is essential in the life of a performing child.

This is mostly because it is generally difficult to see the features and facial expressions of a child performing on stage from a distance, hence the application of makeup.

Applying stage makeup on a child is quite easy to navigate, despite the expected hassle of trying to get your child to sit still, and the fear that you have not used the right products on your child’s face.

In this article, I will be giving you steps on how to properly apply stage makeup on your child, how to handle your child’s skin health, and even a tip on getting makeup on your child’s face before they can’t sit still for much longer and are off again. 

Baby applying makeup on mum

Is Makeup Okay For Kids?

The one question every parent of any child that loves to perform on stage wants answered before anything else is “Is makeup safe for my child?”; thankfully, the answer to that is yes.

Makeup for kids, just as with adults, is perfectly safe, as long as attention is paid to the sensitivity of the skin to the products being used, and a good skin regimen is maintained.

A skin regimen is what I like to call a skin diet; it includes knowing the right products/nutrients to use in caring for your skin; washing and drying your face properly, and developing a steady skincare routine. 

Makeup is today being promoted on major platforms, tv shows and advertising mediums, so even if you try to avoid exposing your child to the world of makeup, it is very likely they are already exposed to makeup by their community (their friends, caregivers /other parents, etc).

Before introducing makeup to your child, be sure to have a talk with them explaining what makeup and skincare are about, learn and encourage what they’re comfortable with if they have previously shown interest, and make them know you are also there to regulate their use of makeup.

That being said, applying makeup on your kid mainly depends on what you and your family are comfortable with and what is accepted in your child’s community. 

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Mother applying makeup on her child

How To Apply Stage Makeup On Kids: 10 Easy Steps

As we’ve established, stage makeup is important for performing children, because it enhances their features which are normally difficult to make out from a distance, and should be applied properly and safely on the child’s skin.

These ten easy steps to applying stage makeup on kids are not only quite simple to follow but also easy to remember, which helps in speeding up the process of applying makeup on your child:

  • Be ready before the child sits.
  • Prep the child’s skin for makeup.
  • Start with minimal quantities.
  • Apply the foundation and blush.
  • Make use of translucent powders.
  • Highlight the child’s features.
  • Use baby wipes to fix mistakes.
  • Favour coconut oil over cleansers.
  • Look out for skin irritation.
  • Set realistic goals/manage your time.
Mum and daughter on makeup staring into camera 

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Be Ready Before Your Child Sits

Before you tell your child to sit still so you can apply makeup on them, you have to be ready to start applying makeup on their features the moment they sit down.

The attention span of your child is really short, which makes them quickly get bored with activities and want to run off to play; to get the desired result from your child’s makeup, you have to be steps ahead of your child. 

Check to make sure your tools are complete and within reach, confirm your child’s performance time and properly cover the child with a smock or big t-shirt to avoid smearing makeup products on their costume.

Each product you are to use for your child’s stage makeup should be skin-appropriate and not expired; in any case, they are, do not borrow products/tools from another parent, as sharing could lead to the spread of germs among the children.

Be sure to have a head tie or headband to hold your child’s hair, if any, away from their face so that strands of hair do not disrupt the process of cleaning the face or applying the makeup. 

Read Also: Makeup Hygiene and Safety Tips for Kids

Prepare Your Child’s Skin For Makeup

The first part of preparing your child’s face for makeup application is ensuring that their skin is clean; wash their hands and face properly with warm water and a mild soap/cleanser, then dry with a clean towel/cloth.

Your child’s skin is naturally sensitive, which means it gets dry easily and is prone to reaction; this can be avoided by applying a moisturising facial lotion to the child’s skin for at least 20 minutes to soak into the skin properly before you begin applying the makeup products.

Remember to also moisturise your child’s hands and lips as much as you can, especially after washing their hands, and right before applying lip gloss, lip colour or lipstick.

Using a plain/glittery/colourful gloss in place of lipstick and artificial lip colours that may cause irritations on your child’s skin is highly recommended for kids’ stage makeup. 

Read Also: The Role of Makeup in Theater and Costumes for Kids

Mother Preparing kid's face for makeup with small amounts of lotion

Start With Small Quantities

The whole point of applying stage makeup on your child is to enhance the child’s features, so excess makeup on your child’s skin is not necessary.

When applying powdery makeup, dip the makeup brush/sponge lightly into the powder and dust off excess makeup product before applying it to your child, repeating this till the makeup process is done.

Use mild and water-resistant makeup products for your child’s stage makeup; you do not want your child’s makeup to get sweaty after running around and ruin all your beautiful work. 

Read Also: How to do Traditional Makeup Looks for Kids

Mother applying foundation and bush to her daughter's face

Apply Foundation And Blush

Always remember that you are only enhancing your child’s features with the stage makeup, so you do not need to apply lots of product on your child’s face; some kids end up looking pasty and fake, which is not what you want for your child.

Choose a waterproof foundation that is a shade or two darker than your child’s skin tone, and lightly apply it on the child’s face with a damp sponge or makeup brush, spreading from the forehead and cheeks to cover the child’s face.

Foundations that are in a compressed-pancake form are best to work with in applying stage makeup on your child and should be used in place of liquid foundation, to prevent your child’s makeup from getting runny when they get sweaty.

Using blush powder for children’s stage makeup helps to add a rosy glow to the child’s features, so pick a blush shade that is a shade slightly darker than the child’s skin tone and brush gently on the child’s cheeks, blending inward.

It is best to apply the foundation and blush with a sponge, then blend with a soft makeup brush, making sure the makeup is blended in properly and excess makeup product is dusted off. 

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Utilise Translucent Powders

Translucent powders are soft airy powders you can use to set your child’s makeup and keep the makeup on their face after applying foundation and blush on the child’s face.

Some setting powders contain glittery particles, and these powders should be avoided; look out for clear translucent powder brands for your child’s makeup, because the glittery powders make your child glow like a lightbulb, taking attention from the child’s features.

Gently brush the translucent powder all around your child’s face, beginning from the cheeks till the powder is evenly layered all over the child’s face. 

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I recommend the Aesthetica Translucent Setting Powder as it always yields good results.

Aesthetica Translucent Setting Powder
Aesthetica Translucent Setting Powder

Highlight Your Child’s Features

I do not think I have stressed enough how important it is to highlight your child’s features when applying stage makeup on them, when in fact it is extremely important.

I attended one of my niece’s dance recitals and was meant to fix her makeup before she went up, but couldn’t because I was late and I couldn’t even recognise her when I got there; her mother had to point her shoes out to me before I realised where she was.

Highlighting your child’s features requires applying little amounts of makeup on your child; because of the fresh and tender quality of your child’s skin, just a little bit of makeup is enough for their stage makeup.

Applying lip gloss and eye shadow in mild, natural colours helps to accentuate your child’s lip and eye features, without changing or covering the natural aspects of these features.

Carefully use the eyeliner to line around your child’s eyes, and apply a little bit of mascara on your child’s lashes, being patient throughout the process so the child would be cooperative while you apply the makeup. 

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Use Baby-wipes To Fix Mistakes

When applying stage makeup on your child, especially for the first time, it’s normal to make little mistakes in applying the makeup products, especially smearing the child’s makeup while applying it.

Such mistakes are best corrected with baby wipes, which contain non-alcoholic cleansing liquids that do not irritate your child’s skin, and that wipe off makeup easier and cleaner than water would.

Simply wipe the smeared spot with a piece of baby wipes, cleaning off every bit of makeup in that spot, then reapply foundation, blush and powder as before.

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Manage Your Application Time

There is always the problem of doing a child’s makeup too early, and the makeup gets semi-sweaty and almost ruined when it’s their turn to perform.

To avoid this, get the child’s makeup ready on their face within, at most, five minutes before they are up to perform.

Making your child up in five minutes is very doable once you focus on highlighting the child’s features more than the amount of product used; less product means less time taken in blending and adjusting the makeup on the child.  

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Favour Coconut Oil Over Cleansers

Once your child’s performance is done, the makeup should be properly cleaned from the child’s skin, which can be done with mild cleansers and soap.

However, if your child has sensitive skin, you should instead use coconut oil in place of cleansers; simply rub a spoonful of coconut oil all over the child’s face and clean it off with a warm, damp cloth.

It’s okay to use more than a spoonful of coconut oil because the amount of makeup on your child’s skin determines the amount of coconut oil you need in cleaning.

I recommend the Natural Force Organic MCT Oil as it is completely organic and smooth with no impurities. 

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Natural Force Organic MCT Oil

Look Out For Skin Irritation

After the first application of makeup on your child, observe your child’s skin and be on the lookout for skin irritation and reactions to makeup products used

This would help you learn what makeup products to stay away from, what products are healthier to use and how to manage the general skin health of your child.   

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In Addition

Your child is most likely to be in their performance costume before stage makeup is applied on them, and you do not want makeup products to stain your child’s costume during makeup application.

The best way to avoid this problem is to cover your child in a smock or large t-shirt before applying stage makeup on them, a surefire way to cover and protect their costumes from stains and smears.


Stage makeup is important when getting your child ready to perform, as it helps in enhancing the features of the child which otherwise would be difficult to make out from a distance; simply maintaining a healthy skin regimen, using the right products on your child’s skin and rightly timing the makeup application process is sure to give you and your child a safe and fun experience with stage makeup.

If this article on stage makeup application for kids has been helpful to you, do not hesitate to share this with anyone who might need it. 

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