General Question

shadling21's avatar

What's a good, cheap alternative to Plains Dust (stage dirt makeup)?

Asked by shadling21 (6496points) April 19th, 2009

I’m considering either burnt cork or a mix of eyeshadows. However, some of the actors I’m makeup-ing are concerned about skin safety. Would either of these work? What is safest?

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4 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Why not use actual dirt? You’d probably have to mix it with something to make it stick. I’m thinking it wouldn’t be that bad for your skin, as long as you wash well afterward. Another option would be acrylic paint (like craft or art paint). That’s what is used for face-painting like you see at fairs and such.

fundevogel's avatar

Burnt cork was used in black face, I would be hesitant to use something with that kind of history.

I couldn’t not think about blackface using it and it just wouldn’t sit well.

shadling21's avatar

I’m probably going with makeups and stuff. I found some old face paint and camo paint in my basement. But you’re right, @augustlan, I could easily just grab some dirt. It’s natural, right?

@fundevogel – Sorry, I don’t see any problem with using burnt cork. The practice isn’t inherently racist, and it’s not as if I’m replicating blackface – just using the stuff to get my actors to look a little dirty. Plus, if we want to get specific, blackface consists of grease, too. I suppose some people would feel uncomfortable, but I think there is enough of a disconnect that it wouldn’t be a problem.

fundevogel's avatar

@shadling21 – I know, I just draw strong associations and would be uncomfortable with doing it myself. I didn’t mean to imply it’s use was the the same as blackface. Perhaps if I had wider knowledge of it’s history of use beyond blackface it wouldn’t bother me.

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