What is the Best Makeup to Use in Theatre?

Regardless of the level at which you work in the performing arts from novice to professional, theatrical makeup materials must be of the highest quality possible in order to fulfill the prescribed role in a realistic manor. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, an enthusiastic amateur, or a professional—the right materials will simply make it that much easier for you to do your best. This is especially the case with stage makeup.
The best theatrical makeups are designed to hold up under the sweat and physicality of live performance, look realistic and vibrant under all types of light, and to blend well with each actor’s features in the best way for each representational role. Consequently, realistic effects, ease of use, safety, and durability under the adverse conditions that they may encounter are all hallmarks of the best makeups for theatre and performing arts. When it comes time to find the best makeup to use in the theatre the following list of well-known and trusted major manufacturers is a good start.

Ben Nye Makeup

Ben Nye Makeup has been an industry standard makeup materials manufacturer for professionals in film and theatrical productions for decades. Founded by Ben Nye who is noted for his work with an early 20th Century Fox, the company is known for theatrical makeup that is the height of quality, versatility, and affordability. Ben Nye Makeup has been proven to provide the level of quality across a broad spectrum of makeup types and needs including theatrical/stage, special effects, clown, television, HD, film, print, and glamour.

In addition to their stellar reputation among professionals Ben Nye makeup has become a leading choice for educational and amateur settings that need a single source of high quality makeup that has a broad palette of types for differing uses. While the company is known for their very extensive line of high quality, yet affordable makeup products and accessories, they are equally known for a wide variety of complete makeup kits. In addition, the company is known for providing a great deal of educational materials on how to choose, apply, and work with their entire line.


As a leader in professional performance makeup and special effects makeup used by stage and screen performers for over eight decades, Mehron was founded in 1927 by pro theatrical makeup pioneer Mehron Melik. The company specializes in professional makeup products and accessories used by the world’s leading makeup artists and special effects artists throughout the entertainment industry.

Mehron is well known for producing and innovating in areas such as character makeup kits, professional clown makeup, Halloween makeup as well as face and body painting makeup products among others. In addition, the company also specializes in Extreme Beauty Makeup and is known for their long experience in Professional Makeup Kits and Educational Makeup Tools for students and aspiring performers of all kinds.

Michael Davy

When it comes to special effects makeup for film, television, event/theme park characters, and theatre, Michael Davy makeup has become a prime choice. As a special effects and general makeup artist for television, films and theme parks, Michael Davy has made a name for himself and his products across industries from pro to novice.

The company has an extensive line of appliances, adhesives, sealers, airbrush and makeup products, bald caps and much more all designed by Davy. Novices and pros that are looking to create characters from old age and period makeup effects to zombies and aliens can find highly affordable products as well as instruction on applying and utilizing an extensive catalog selection of products. Michael Davy is particularly known for their self-adhering appliances and water-soluble foundation and prosthetic makeup products as well as blood products and wound kits among many others.


Berlin-based Kryolan has been supplying the film, theater, and television industries with makeup supplies for over sixty-six years. Today, the company has more than 16,000 high-quality make-up products and accessories used around the world. The makeup maker/designer’s products are known for their ability to work well on camera and under HD lighting and filming conditions as well as live theater.

Wolfe Face Art and FX

Wolfe face paints were developed in 2004 with the help of identical twins, Nick and Brian Wolfe, both veterans of theme park face painting. Today, Wolfe Face Art & FX, LLC (Wolfe), is a division of Dynamix PDMG as a professional special effects make-up and face painting company. In addition to an extensive line of theatrical and face painting makeup for novices and pros that are known for their simplicity of use, the company offers educational programs including workshops, seminars, hands-on training for make-up professionals, and high quality step-by-step books.

Graftobian Makeup Co.

Established in 1978, Graftobian Makeup Company is a manufacturer and distributor of virtually every type of make-up and makeup supply for theater and performing arts. This includes stage, TV, film, and special effects. In addition to theatrical and special effects makeup and accessories, this family run, U.S.-based company is known for the best Hi-Def Make-up for TV, film, and print media as well as beauty and fashion work.

While all of these companies are industry leaders, the decision on which is the best makeup for theatre is a personal one that depends on a number of factors. That is why it pays to work with a reseller that provides the support and price incentives that can fit the budget of any user while still providing professional products used throughout the industry.