It's easy being green, once you learn the knack.
To create the distinctive pigment for Elphaba, the title witch in "Wicked," makeup designer Joseph Dulude had one goal.
"The most important thing was that we didn't want it to look fake," Dulude said. "We wanted it to look like skin, and we wanted Elphaba to be pretty. People hate her not because she's ugly, but because her skin color is different."
Dulude tried several products before he settled on Landscape Green Chromacake, after discovering that it could not be applied full-strength, which required airbrushing.
"It looked great, but the singer would be breathing in all of this makeup each time from the airbrushing," he said. "So I added a little water to it — it's kind of like a watercolor — and I used a large Japanese brush. Then I buffed it out a little to look more like skin."
Golden Olive Pigment is the finishing touch, which Dulude favors for its shimmering, natural quality.
Going green eight times a week for the show is "actually not that bad," said Christine Dwyer, who is performing the Elphaba role at the Hippodrome. "It's usually on in about 20 minutes, and it comes off pretty easily."
One night during the show's Baltimore visit, Dwyer plans to alter her regimen.
"For Halloween, I think I'll keep the makeup on after the show," she said, "and go out as She-Venom, a Marvels Comic Book character. I figured I'll already be green."