I love to play around with makeup and I love musicals. In fact I went to see Wicked only a week ago as I am writing this post, and instantly fell under the spell of Elphaba. In the second act she ‘learns how to use makeup’, as a behind the scenes video says, and looks absolutely incredible, so of course I had to recreate the look. My friends laughed at the idea, expecting me to stain green, but I found a foolproof way to stop that happening (don’t hold me to that if you do stain though!) This Elphaba makeup tutorial isn’t going to be in the traditional format as I don’t have step by step photos – there was meant to be an Insta video, but we know what camera’s are like – instead I’m going to talk you through the steps I took to create the look you see below…
- Makeup Revolution Foundation Stick in F1
- Collection Lating Perfection Concealer in Light
- Snazaroo face paint in Dark Green
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Zero
- Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette
- Ardell Demi Wispie Lashes
- Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu
- Benefit Roller Lash
Unsurprisingly, the most difficult part of this look is getting yourself green. I couldn’t justify the £22 for the MAC chromecake they used for Wicked, so by using a kids face paint, I was already starting at a disadvantage. Don’t kid yourself here: this WILL take a long time, in fact it took me three attempts in total. I tried the method they use at Wicked, which is applying the green with a soft brush to clean skin – this really didn’t work. I then used a sponge, I can’t say this was worse, instead it was a different type of streaky; some areas were dark some were light, it just would apply evenly. I admit that after the second try I was ready to give up, I was worried I’d stain green and it was really disheartening.
My third (and probably final) attempt was complete guess work. After the first two attempts I’d learnt that you need to use the least amount of water possible and to build the green up in light layers, or I’d end up too dark in places. Another issue I found was that the green LOVED to settle on my dry patches and spots, bearing in mind I had purposely exfoliated and moisturised beforehand to stop this, it was quite frustrating. It turns out, the fix to this was to apply a full coverage base, foundation and concealer, before you start the green – don’t ask me why this works, it just did.
The technique to achieve an even green face is lengthly, I’m talking about 45 minutes, I’m sure you could reduce it with practise, but for a first attempt you need to set aside a couple of hours. My tip for this is don’t use a sponge, unless you’re some kind of face painting wizard. Instead you’re going to need two soft brushes, one to apply the colour and the other to blend. I used the RealTechniques Powder Bleu B02 Finishing Brush to apply it and the SpectrumCollections B02 Domed Buffing Brush to blend.
You want as little water possible on your face paint; if you had a spray bottle of water this would be perfect as you’d get an even cover of water over the entire paint. Take your painting brush and dab it into the paint and gently begin to cover a chosen area of your face, I started with a cheek. The colour needs building up so the thinner the layer the better. Once you’ve applied the first layer gently dab at it with your second brush. This will remove the excess moisture allowing it to set faster and help you blend it in. The applying and dabbing needs to continue until you’re happy with the colour and the finish, I finished around the 40 minute mark. I admit, the shade of green I am is considerably darker than Elphaba in the show, but I actually prefer it and found it covered imperfections better!
Once you sort out all the green, taking it down to your neck to where your outfit starts, and into your ears (we do the hands later,) the fun begins. I say fun because at this point your whole makeup area will be green and you’ll start praying your eyes don’t water and ruin the base you have spent such a long time creating. For the eyes I just went for a matte black eyeshadow from my Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette. I applied it and attempted to blend it out lightly, without disrupting my green-ness.
I used my UD liner in Zero along the top and bottom lash line, as well as in the waterline to make sure my eyes weren’t too light and drawing away attention from the look as a whole. I did apply some falsies as Benefit Roller Lash just wasn’t cutting it – I used my trusty Ardell Demi Wispies for that extra drama. For the brows I used the same eyeliner as earlier, I attempted some sort of shape, but also went for drama too because my brows are a pretty standard shape. They are quite messy, but I think it worked well.
Contour was the hardest thing to get right, I only had one shot and couldn’t over blend. For the shade I mixed two of the UD Gwen Stefani palette together – the matte black, blackout from earlier and Punk a warm toned brown. I know they tend to use purple to contour Elphaba, but my version was a darker green and needed something more to get the effect I wanted. I was a little heavy handed but luckily had the buffing brush from earlier, still with green on it, to dab away the harsh edges. I also contoured my nose, which isn’t something I do in normal life, just to make it stand out. Again if you think it’s too much you can dab it away with your buffing brush.
When I first decided to do an Elphaba makeup tutorial/ halloween look, I knew I had to use my NARS Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil; green makes purple pop and vice versa. I thought the matte purple would bring the look together really well. I applied like I normally would but over lined my lips slightly, because it was easier without a visible lip line!
The final step to this look is to dust it with powder (I didn’t as I wasn’t leaving in it) and cover your arms! This is easy and at the same time not… You paint it on in light layers again, building up the colour but you will find it transfers onto the brush you’re holding to apply it. If you can find someone willing to help with this bit, jump at the chance as it would be so much easier than doing it yourself. Also dust your arms with powder once 100% dry to lessen transfer.
If you made it this far you’re likely waiting to hear about the most important part: removal. I started on the hands and arms first, as they were getting everything green. Using the Dermalogica Pre Cleanse Oil I washed as much off as possible, while being left with an unhealthy yellow glow. I then used Pre Cleanse on the face with the Magnitone WipeOut cloths which left my face with the same yellow tint. Next I lathered on a thick layer of Clinqiue’s Take the Day Off balm and massaged it around my face and ears (don’t forget the ears,) before stepping in the shower. I took my WipeOut cloth with me, wiping off the balm and rinsing it out as I went. I showered like normal and when I got out used my Dermalogica Special Cleansing gel and Daily Microfoliant, once this was complete my face was back to normal. I urge you to exfoliate after as the pain stained my dry patches bright yellow and it wasn’t a good look – especially as I have dry skin!
Strangely, this is one of the cheapest haloween looks I have done. The one thing I actually bought, especially for this look, was the Snazarroo face paint in dark green, which was around £3.50 – not too much of an investment. All the other products were from my collection already, which was good for the bank account. Yes I even had a witches hat lying around too. I hope you liked this Elphaba makeup tutorial, and that it inspires you for halloween, sadly I’m not going as anything this creative as my hockey team have decided on ‘army girls’ – next year I’ll persuade them to go big!
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“And if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free, to those who’d ground me, take a message back from me, tell them how I am, defying gravity…”Defying Gravity, Wicked