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The Definitive "Hedwig And The Angry Inch" Makeup Tutorial

To celebrate Halloween, the talented makeup team behind Broadway's Tony-winning Hedwig and the Angry Inch turned me into the eponymous queer rock star. Here's a step-by-step guide to the process.

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Before each performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, now running at New York's Belasco Theatre, hair and makeup designer Mike Potter and assistant hair and makeup designer Nicole Bridgeford turn the show's leading man into glittery rock goddess Hedwig Schmidt. John Cameron Mitchell took on the role in the 2001 film, which he and composer Stephen Trask adapted from the stage production they had created, and the current Broadway run has seen Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, and now Michael C. Hall donning the iconic wig and blue eyeshadow.

For the purposes of BuzzFeed's Hedwig makeup tutorial, Potter and Bridgeford were kind enough to use my face as their canvas.

Below are step-by-step instructions to becoming Hedwig, and you'll find a list of recommended supplies at the bottom. Use it for the perfect Halloween costume, or really, whenever you feel like being fabulous. Note that while you can do this yourself, it really helps to have someone do it for you — so go out there and find your other half.

1. Cover your eyebrows with a glue stick.

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed News

You're going to get brand new eyebrows, so you want to get your real ones totally covered. We'll move on to concealing them in a bit — for now, you just want to let that glue dry. Bridgeford is using a simple Elmer's glue stick here.

2. Apply foundation to the face, and use a concealer stick to cover any stubble.

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If you have very little facial hair, like I do, this will be one of the easiest steps! Your preferred foundation and concealer will do the trick here.


3. Draw on new eyebrows.

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed News

Don't worry that your own glued-down eyebrows are still showing — they'll be gone soon. Hedwig has very distinctive eyebrows, so try to match those while also taking your face shape into account. Potter sketched mine out with pencil, and then Bridgeford went over them in black MAC Creme liner.

6. Apply eye shadow.

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed News

I'll let Potter explain. "I take cream blue here, but you can use the powder blue to create a color base," he said. "What you’re gonna do is, you’re gonna do a base of color and then put glitter over it. You don’t ever want to try to create the entire eye with glitter because it won’t look bright and intense.” This is MAC Electric Eel eye shadow that Bridgeford is using.


7. Use a white pencil to further conceal your eyebrows.

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You can use white eye shadow, too. Potter is using a MAC Pure White pencil. "I take a white pencil or some white eye shadow and go back over the concealer," he said. "We want the texture to be smooth."

8. Apply blush to your jawline.

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This is MAC Rhubarb blush. "It defines the face," Potter explained. "But it's also kind of glam having blush in weird places, like David Bowie."

9. Use an index card to create the perfect triangle of blush.

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed News

You'll want to use the same blush for this, of course. What's most important is where you position the index card — it should run from the top of your ear to the corner of your lip.

10. Use a Q-tip dipped in hair gel to apply the glitter.

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed News

It doesn't have to be hair gel — anything of that consistency will work. You just want to make sure the glitter sticks to the Q-tip and will roll on easily. Make sure not to rub because you'll remove the makeup that way. Just roll it on over the makeup. You can get glitter at any craft store.


11. Add more glitter.

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Can you ever have too much glitter? (I got some in my eyes, so yes. Yes, you can. But pain is beauty!) Again, you just want to roll it on over the makeup. "It's all about layers," Potter said.

12. Use black eye shadow to help shape the eyes.

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Using MAC Carbon eye shadow, Potter added a little more detail below the glitter. "That's the key to making everybody look like Hedwig," he said. "She has a certain kind of eye shape."

13. Paint the lip shape using a dark burgundy pencil.

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed News

Potter wouldn't give specifics here, because the details of Hedwig's lips are a secret. Seriously. The key is using a dark color. He did say, "When you put bright glitter on a light surface it doesn’t look bright and shiny and glittery." You want that glitter to pop.

14. Apply lipstick.

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed News

Again, go a shade darker than the glitter so that the glitter really stands out. Also make sure you're using a sticky lipstick, otherwise the glitter won't stay put.


20. Use tape to remove excess glitter.

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This is a classic drag queen secret that Potter insisted I share. "Glitter everywhere?" he asked. "Scotch tape takes it right off the face." Don't put the tape directly on the makeup, just on any areas where errant glitter has fallen. And if you've worked with glitter before, you know that will be everywhere.



Here's what you'll need to create the Hedwig look. I'm including specifics wherever possible, but you can obviously use whichever brands you prefer.

- Elmer's glue stick

- Foundation

- Black MAC Creme liner

- MAC Electric Eel eye shadow

- MAC Pure White pencil

- MAC Rhubarb blush

- Hair gel

- Glitter

- Q-tips

- Dark burgundy pencil

- Dark red lipstick

- MAC Zoom Lash mascara

- Fake eyelashes

- Scotch tape

- Blonde wig