A clear glass holds different sized and multi-coloured makeup brushes on the set of a video shoot.
2 February 2023 The basics of video production

Wardrobe and Makeup Essentials for On-screen Talent

Learn from the pros on what wardrobe and makeup essentials every top video production company prioritises for authentic, visually compelling content.

A captivating on-screen presence isn't just about the talent's skills or the script's strength – it's also about how they look. The right wardrobe and makeup choices can amplify a character's emotions, build authenticity, and enhance the overall visual narrative. But what essentials should one focus on?

Here's a guide every video production company swears by when outfitting and prepping their on-screen talent.

1. Wardrobe That Suits the Role

The clothes truly make the character. A meticulously chosen outfit can convey a person's socioeconomic status, personality, or even their current emotional state. It's vital to choose garments that align with and accentuate the character's narrative. For example, a crisp suit can evoke authority, while distressed jeans might signal rebellion or hardship.

2. Avoid Distracting Patterns

On camera, certain patterns, like fine stripes or herringbones, can create a visual distortion known as the 'moire effect'. This can be distracting for viewers. Instead, opt for solid colours or broader patterns. Remember, it's often safer to avoid overly bright or neon colours, as they can reflect onto the talent's face or overpower the scene.

3. Makeup for Camera vs Reality

Makeup for the camera differs significantly from everyday makeup. The lights can wash out features, so contouring becomes essential to give the face dimension. However, it's a fine line – too much can look garish, and too little can render the talent washed out.

4. Mattify, Mattify, Mattify!

On-screen lighting, especially if intense, can create a sheen on the skin. A matte finish, achieved with powders or blotting papers, can prevent the face from looking overly shiny or greasy. Any good video production company will have a range of mattifying products on hand.

5. Wardrobe Continuity Checks

For shoots spanning multiple days or scenes shot out of sequence, it's vital to ensure wardrobe continuity. Documenting each character's outfit, down to accessories, can be a lifesaver. Taking photos or maintaining a log ensures consistency throughout the scenes.

6. Natural Hair and Makeup Touch-ups

Throughout a shoot, hair and makeup will need touch-ups. However, it's essential to keep these adjustments natural, ensuring the talent looks consistent from the start to the end of a scene.

7. Cater to Different Skin Tones

A video production company must be inclusive, ensuring makeup kits cater to all skin tones and types. The goal is to enhance each talent's natural beauty, and that means having a diverse range of shades and products available.

8. Don't Forget the Nails

Although they might seem like a minute detail, nails can be surprisingly noticeable, especially in close-ups. Keeping them clean and opting for neutral shades can ensure they don't distract from the main action.

More Than Just Aesthetics

Wardrobe and makeup are more than mere aesthetic choices. They are narrative tools, amplifying character depth and the story's authenticity. A video production company that invests time and consideration into these aspects doesn't just create visually appealing content – they craft holistic, immersive experiences that resonate deeply with viewers.

Emily Malone

Written by Emily Malone Marketing Manager for Venture — a full-service video production agency that specialises in producing creative videos & campaigns that get real results.

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