Whether to wear makeup to the audition or headshot day is a question that crosses as much the adult performers mind, as it does the minds of parents whose kids are gearing up for their first acting and modeling castings and photo shoots.
There's no overall rule
The truth is, there’s no 100% rule which when broken will get you thrown out of the audition room. But there is a strongly held advice based on what the casting directors are expecting of the performer or model. The majority of on set make-up artists, as well as casting professionals, advise this: whether they’re kids, teens, or adults, actors and models need to use little to no makeup for the audition day, as well as in their headshots. (You can read more about headshots HERE)
Why nay over yay?
The answer is simple. From the moment an actor or a model enters the audition/casting room, they need to present themselves properly and be ready to slip effortlessly into the role they’re reading for or the mood of the photoshoot. The face of the performer/model is not only their vehicle for expression; it's a big part of the reason they'll get chosen for the gig. So keeping it as natural as possible, while still looking well-groomed, is key.
When it comes to older teens and adult actors and models, makeup experts recommend keeping it simple but polished. That means clean skin, brushed up brows, concealed imperfections like spots or under eye circles. On camera, matte finish on the skin will look much better than shimmer, so using a light powder or blotting paper is advised to get rid of excess shine (this applies to guys as much as to girls). A light dusting of blush and a natural hued lipstick or lip gloss won’t do any harm, either. But it’s in no way necessary.
Don't forget the hair
Now, let’s not forget the hair. The most important part of the face for any actor or model is most definitely the eyes. So any hairstyle that’s going to make the eyes look less expressive is a no-go. The hair should be clean and neat, and it’s not advised to go for elaborate hairdos. For models, showing the natural texture of the hair is recommended, so embrace those curls if you have them!
Overall, following the rule less is more is the safest bet for performers and models when going to auditions and castings. It’s important to remember that casting directors are expecting to see an actor/model that looks like the person in their headshot. So keeping it natural, simple, yet polished is the first step of getting the gig.