There is no easy way to say it, but as we mature in years our skin can present issues with our clown make up. Some of my clown friends who have been in the business over two decades have shared some of the hurdles they have encountered as they have aged. This article will share some of these issues and possible solutions.
Color shiftPerhaps one of the more interesting stories shared was that of white make up taking on a yellow hue. Now this was a brand used regularly by my clown friend for many years, at first thinking the make up perhaps went bad, they purchased another to find the same results, a yellow hue once it was applied. Oddly enough a new medication had an adverse reaction to an ingredient in the white make up which caused the color shift. The solution was simple, a switch of Clown White to a different brand and no more yellow whiteface. Which makeup works best depends on the individual, so some testing is involed.
Take care of your skinOften our skin becomes more dry as we age and one of the biggest problems of wearing make up of any kind is the damage it can do to our skin, this is why it’s often recommended we use moisturizer after the make up is removed to keep our skin healthy. A fellow clown has made moisturizing part of his pre make up practice, an oatmeal based skin moisturizer is applied a few minutes before he starts his face; this helps the skin to be more accepting to the make up. Try to avoid using a moisturizer with an oil base and this can cause a break down of the make up, and be sure to allow time for the moisturizer to completely absorb.
I highly suggest anyone using heavy make up on a regular basis adopt a healthy skin policy from the make up removers to the moisturizers. Try to find products that are easy on the skin, baby soap and shampoos are a very popular product among clowns for make up removal. Others like me prefer to use a cold cream to remove make up. The oatmeal-based moisturizers are said to help restore the skin more so than the oil-based products.
Smoothing the landscapeI have heard many complaints about covering up the wrinkles, especially among the White Face clowns. It seems that the white tends to show off the crinkles and lines a bit more than the skin tone make up. Again, trying a different brand may be helpful. Jim Howle Professional Clown Makeup is of a smooth, creamy consistency and tends to fill in nicely over the more mature faces. Jim’s make up also has a soybean base so it is healthier on the skin to start with. This brand also has more pigment than many other brands allowing greater coverage with less make up. The entire make up for my Tramp character “Miles” is Jim Howle brand, including the nose.
Worst caseUnfortunately some of us have succumbed to adverse reactions to putting on make up of any sort. When this occurs sadly it may be time to retire the clown face all together, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still entertain. A dear friend of mine has found herself in this very predicament, after years of clowning she can no longer where make up of any kind. This did not stop her from sharing her talents; she still has the heart of a clown and enjoys face painting, just minus the clown make up. She has created a wonderful librarian character that is excellent for story time with children; this would actually be a form of Character clown.