Nowadays, several brands produce organic makeup and chemical free products. However most of them still use industrially transformed ingredients.
How can we be sure our makeup is 100 % natural?
The answer is in an Indian art called kathakali [roleplay] (Katha means “role” and “Kali” play). This art is mainly performed in Kerala, in the south of India. During my stay in India this Summer, I watched a kathakali show in Kochi. The show was composed of a makeup session (about 1h15) and a show (1h). During a kathakali show, each actor does his own makeup and all actors are men (which means men play women roles sometimes).
Actors do their makeup daily all over their face. Hence, they have to put natural makeup so as to respect their skin and prevents irritations.
Which products do they use?
To obtain a black color, one of the performers revealed the recipe: mix anjana stone powder with coconut oil. Sometimes, a paste composed of kajal or kanmashi powder blended with coconut oil is also used. The black color embodies the devil. During the play I attended, the actor with black makeup was Shiva as a hunter.
Green makeup pastes are made thanks to cucumber or indigo while yellow ones are made with saffron. Shiva had yellow makeup on, while his wife Parvati had green makeup like the king Adjuna.
Kathakali performers all have red eyes. To make their eyes red, they leave a flower seed into their eyes, then remove it.
White makeup hues are a combination of lime and rice powder, whereas red ones use chaayilyam and manayola powder.
Some actors have masks components glued on their face thanks to coconut oil (never apply actual glue on your face because you could damage your skin).
Did you know kathakali? Have you ever attended a kathakali show? What do you think of kathakali makeup?
Let me know.