It was one short day in the Emerald City.
With the hit musical Wicked back in Manila for another run, we were given an invitation to explore the backstage of the Solaire Theatre and experience being Elphaba-green for once — naturally we agreed.
Charlotte Lander, the makeup artist behind Wicked’s Elphaba, has been doing this for about three years and has done it on about 10 different theatre actresses, the most recent one being Jacqueline Hughes.
The first step in getting “greenified” is to use a light or pale colored foundation to even out your skin tone. “It’s really for the lights in the theatre,” Charlotte explains, “You wouldn’t want to have blotchy skin on stage.” Unlike your typical drugstore Halloween face paint, Charlotte uses MAC Cosmetic’s Chromacake in Landscape Green to turn my face completely, well, green. It looked intimidating at first because of the unconventional shade (and because Charlotte uses a wide painted brush) but it is light on the skin and glides smoothly on the face.
She also gave me strong (read: fleek) eyebrows using a MAC eyeshadow in Chroma. With green skin, you have a limited eyeshadow palette (seriously, what goes well with green?) so Charlotte uses MAC’s eyeshadow in Fig. 1 and Chroma to give Elphaba that fierce smokey eye.
In the first act of the show, we see a younger Elphaba so the makeup was also designed to make her look youthful. However, things get a bit more fun in act two — at least makeup-wise. Her look gets stronger, and Charlotte adds more dimension to Elphaba’s face with a green Kryolan TV paint stick. She made Elphaba glow brighter than Dorothy’s ruby red slipper with MAC’s pigment in Golden Olive. “Surprisingly, green works well with everyone,” she shares.
To see one’s face green outside Halloween is quite strange at first. You look and feel weird, and you’ll catch yourself laughing over how ridiculous it is. But after watching myself transform to the Wicked Witch of the West in just 25 minutes and especially after watching the show, I felt powerful. What I thought was going to be a funny experience ended up with me #feelingmyself. I felt like a girl boss.
Sure, the color green may be associated with greed, jealousy, and disgust in pop culture (see: the Grinch and the Green Goblin) but in Wicked, it was the total opposite. What Elphaba represented was power, harmony, and change. Turning green went beyond looking horrifying — it was powerful and man, was it wicked.
Special thanks to Anna Yulo from Concertus Manila for the experience. Catch Wicked in Manila at the Theatre at Solaire until March 19. For full show schedules and to reservations visit Ticketworld.com