The venue was filled with mirth as the audience, composed of beauty editors, bloggers and makeup artists, watched Kellie Ritchie wield with gusto what looked to be a four-inch-wide flat paintbrush—the kind you use on walls—on Ali Calder’s face.
At one point, the brush caught on the actress’ mouth as she responded to questions from fellow actor, Steve Danielsen, who was hosting the afternoon’s affair. It was MAC Cosmetics’ “Wicked Greening” event at the MAC boutique in Glorietta, Makati.
Ritchie is the head of wigs and makeup of the Australian touring production of “Wicked,” which is on an extended run (until March 9) in Manila at the CCP Main Theater. Calder is the Elphaba understudy, while Danielsen plays the prince, Fiyero.
Ritchie was tasked to demonstrate how she does the makeup of the green-skinned witch Elphaba on the makeshift stage, and though the program was set for 30 minutes, the makeup artist said she has done it in only five to seven minutes, which explained her rapid brushstroke.
MAC is the official makeup sponsor of the Tony award-winning production, which debuted on Broadway in 2003. Elphaba’s green makeup is MAC PRO Chromacake Landscape Green,
which Ritchie applied on Calder’s bare face, neck and ears.
A liberal dust of setting powder was applied all over to set the makeup. This ensures that the makeup lasts throughout the show, said Ritchie.
When this was done, the makeup artist proceeded to shape the brows (using MAC Carbon) and applied MAC Purple Haze on Calder’s lids. (These two eye shadows plus the Chromacake are the key products for Elphaba’s look, according to Ritchie.) Then contouring and shading was done. Calder, whose nails were also painted in a shade of green, finished her stage look by applying her own dark lipstick and mascara.
Ritchie began her career in the stage with lighting, and has been a makeup artist for 10 years. She leads a lean team of four on “Wicked,” and says the wigs—70 in total—actually require more work than the makeup part.
“Wicked” fans have been known to dress up in green when they go to watch the show. Now MAC has prepared a template for how fans can adapt an Elphaba-inspired makeup look without going all-out Oz and painting one’s face entirely green. (See photo at far left.)
The focus is on the eyes, smoky with green overtones (Fresh Flare) and golden undertones (Gorgeous Gold), and a nude lip (Honeylove) as foil. The result is positively wicked.