Glitter Eyes in Bath Southgate Shopping Mall – Walkabout Face Painting Kit for Student Night

This was an unusual booking; the client wanted ‘walkabout’ mobile painting at an outdoor event in Bath’s Southgate Shopping Mall.

I did a few mobile gigs when I lived in Hong Kong about 11 years ago, walking up to decorate guests at dinner tables or around in bars,  and they never seemed as successful (to me) as when I have my kit set up on a table with a tall client chair. But I have done a few since then, so it can be done, but I had a think on a new kit setup…

I used to have the Snazaroo walkabout ‘ kit wheel’ which you gripped in one hand, but found that too heavy and cumbersome. Plus you really need both hands free, one to work, one to steady/ rest on the customer as standing people are even more likely to wibble about than seated!

So, I created a walkabout kit that fitted into an old face paint bag I converted into an apron, with a few extra bits. Not the most stylish but handsfree and pretty comfy apart from when I dropped it all at one point! I’ll tweak it a bit before the next booking as some things I ordered to make it didn’t arrive in time…

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Basically its 2 of the magnetic panels I use in my face paint kit, taped together, taped onto 2 of the Ikea pots I sometimes use as brush holders which fitted tightly into the ‘apron’ pocket.

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The paints (mainly one strokes and mini black, white & skin tones) I already have with magnets on their bottoms, so they sat nicely on the panels. The new Pixie gels I’d decanted into bottles that sat tip down in a nail varnish holder inside one of the Ikea pots, with space for brushes in the middle. A bag of sponges, a ring of stencils (I didn’t use either in the end) and a facecloth clipped onto the apron and my water spray & glitter were in a side pocket.

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Helen’s red snazaroo wheel & my kit as we warmed up hands with hot mochas before the start!

I’d got the lovely Helen hired too, (she ended up with a tired arm from her Snazaroo wheel) so we arrived to find that it was outside and a bit chilly… a special Student Shopping Night promo in the Southgate Shopping Precinct. Its funny as I do lots of student club body art/ face painting bookings but sober, ready-to-shop students were very different! We started by working down the huge entry queue and did eventually have our own little queues going.

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I stuck to using the new Pixie Cosmetic glitter gels around simple eye abstract or flowers as that is what most people wanted. All the stencils and extra paints I had squeezed in were not needed! Various acts and stalls were set up and the Scare crew from Avon Valley Wildlife & Adventure Park kept making clients jump, but we wanted to follow around their evil clown as he had a real flamethrower which was cosy! 

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The kit worked reasonably well but I need to re-think the brush holder being under the paints – my fingers got horribly messy as I kept having to grab the brushes by their painty tips to reach them. I have an idea for a brush holder for next time…

Not many photos as we were so busy & it was dark, but an interesting evening!

 

Halloween Face Painting at parties, raves and bars -Taunton, Bristol & Bath

Well as usual Spooky Season is very VERY busy with me trying to fill as many bookings as possible.

For once I change my costume and was a Star-Wars dressed (my mum adapted the skirt from a lovely dress I found) Day of the Dead sugar skull. I made the flower headdress myself and created sleeves from fancy socks…

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I’d left home early for a private face paint booking in Bath, then by 12 was setting up at the ‘Big Fish Little Fish” Family Rave to offer face paint & body art to the children and parents there.

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I’d been asked to do a ‘menu board’ as that is what was usually offered at their events, and loved the FAB Wipeable Boards Sarah sells for this. The light wasn’t fab & I was too busy to take many photos but it was a great and very busy event.

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Once finished I packed up and drove to Mambo’s Taunton – getting held up in RTA Traffic on the motorway :/ I dashed my kit through the town to get set up on time. I had to re-do my kiddy-friendly sugar skull face as I’d messed it up in my dash.

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Mambos’ had Katie Price (once aka Jordan) DJ’ing in their VIP lounge and a huge Voodoo Party going on – the decorations were fab. The staff had gone all out with costumes and some really got into their look! Even though I was painting outside, it wasn’t actually nippy until about midnight which was great. LOADS of sugar skulls requested, I’m glad to see that culture finally  overtaking the vindictive Trick or Treat styles.

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I also saw a lot of the usual awful stuff smeared on (cheap paints are pointless – hard to get on, impossible to make look good, often impossible to get off too even if they don’t look bright on!) but some pretty amazing DIY efforts too.

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Sunday I had another party but can’t post the pics up of course, shame as there were some fun ones!

Hope you all had a fab time!

Isle Of Wight Festival British Airways Bodypaint

I was delighted when TRO, a great PR/ Experiential company I have worked with before (they hire me to paint for a week most springs at a Volvo stand at the Camping & Caravanning expo) contacted me about working for them at the Isle Of Wight Festival.

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My lovely friend Jennie Roberts of Paintopia was hired to come as the 2nd artist. That was fabulous as we have hardly seen each other in months, even when at the same events, as I’m always painting and she’s hosting, etc.

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The months before, with Paintopia, then IMATS and several other big events, was so busy I hadn’t really looked closely at the booking details until we had met up in Southampton to get on the IOW ferry on Thursday evening. Expecting a B&B or whatever as there weren’t many big hotels,  (we knew it wasn’t a tent behind the festival stand), imagine our shock & delight when we drove down to the south of the island, up the longest private drive ever, to see we were staying in a mansion!

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We didn’t need the travel kettle Jennie had packed for late night cups of tea at all – fully equipped kitchen, games room, gym, TV room, dining, sitting and play rooms…. Amazing! We met a few of the TRO & BA Staff, and a couple of the DJs, before heading off to bed quite late.

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The next morning we got some more directions and headed back to the north of the island, calling in at a supermarket on the way to buy some snacks and lunch to have onsite. Sadly the rest of the crew were held up (taxis didn’t arrive) and couldn’t meet us with the electric golf cart at the staff parking,  so we ended up having to haul our gear, including hot and wet weather gear, just in case, for a good 30 minutes. Very thankful we had our trolleys!  We passed various parking areas, camp sites, tepee and yurt glamping zones, tent areas and then finally into the festival itself. It all seemed very clean and tidy and I loved that they had sniffer dogs on duty. Thank goodness it was dry – dust I can stand, it would have been impossible in thick mud like Download Fest had that same weekend!

Another 10+ minutes of trekking through the various festival zones and we finally found the huge, intriguing British Airways Arena tent. All you could see was a check-in desk with a queuing system in place, just like in an airport.

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The idea was that at the desks, after being asked by real BA air hostesses where you were going and getting a special luggage-tag wristband, you crawled though the luggage carousel and entered a party. A uniformed customs official (a dancer) put you in the body scanner, activated by your wrist band, which took infra-red style photos and videos you could download later, then you walked in through the departures board to see a DJ on top of a pile of suitcases, surrounded by fun free activities.

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There was a speakeasy bar where answering destination riddles won a cocktail from that city. A spin-to-win board where prizes ranged from blow-up airplanes to free flights to CapeTown. A ‘selfie’ fuselage, Caribbean massages, a ski-lift photo booth again with downloadable videos & pics & props, and beside that, a Bedouin tent from Marrakesh with free face & body art inside by Jennie & myself.

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We had been given lovely kaftan tops to wear, which whilst nice and colourful & cool in the heat, were white… not always the best choice for face painters though!

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All with real flight crew in uniform, and a bunch of amazing dancers who constantly changed costume to match different Gatwick BA destinations. It seemed risky – no advertising, nothing to be seen but the check in desk but we loved it.  

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On Friday we took part in the ‘flight parade’ to drum up interest. All the glam air crew in matching Union Jack Hunter wellies and uniform, guided by all the dancers in ground-crew jumpsuits & high-vis with glowing plane-directing paddles, were walking in formation through the festival handing out some tickets.

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Jennie & I were supposed to be quickly painting things on interested people as we passed. We soon realised that even just a stencil & puff of glitter put us miles behind the crew, so were always madly stencilling, glittering then running to catch up. Back to the arena tent and we opened at 4.

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The idea was to reward the curious, and oh my goodness did we! The music was fab, we were jigging away as we painted, and the noise when someone won a set of international flights was insane. Jenn and I were flat out, sticking to 3-minute-or-less fast designs, chatting to everyone we painted and asking them to take a selfie, and they all thought the whole thing was amazing.

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We were supposed to be painting to match BA destinations, but as they fly everywhere we could and did do just about anything.

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Day of the dead sugar skulls for South & Central America, USA stuff (inc film/ hero faces),  jungle animals, tropical flowers, snowy things….

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The staff finally managed to shut down our queue so we quickly packed away and stuffed kit behind the scenes so our tent area could be used by the public.

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The aircrew and dancers still looked immaculate and were working away in a huge happy crowd. We went to find a very late tea, then walked to the far end of the festival to see the last few songs by the Stereophonics.

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We were going to wait to see Faithless but were so tired we gave up and started the trek back to the car. We stopped to buy churros-  I love them – and for the 1st time were shocked by the giant size of the helpings – we only finished 1 portion, they are usually smaller & shorter! Faithless came on nearly an hour later when we got back to the car, exhausted, so I’m glad we didn’t hang about. As it was, by the time we’d got home, showered, cleaned brushes, stencils & sponges and got into bed, it was after 2 am! The rest of the staff started arriving then too.

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Saturday morning we were quite stiff from the unusual working position – the bedouin cushions & settees had looked so nice we had put away our usual chairs for customers the day before, and we felt the difference! We breakfasted by the fish pond on the verandah (!) chatting to some of the crew, which was lovely, and had a short walk around the grounds. After debating getting a taxi in so we had less distance to walk now we didn’t have kit, we decided we might want to pack up after work tonight if we didn’t want to go back into the festival on Sunday. Realising all the bands started after our ferry left on Sunday, we had to do the long walk from staff parking again.

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No flight parade this time, but word had got around, so there was an even longer queue to get in all day, as people returned or joined out of curiosity.

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By the evening, staff removed one of the luggage crawl-ways so people could just walk in when tagged, which meant more were allowed in,  and the party really kicked off.

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They had to shut off entry to our facepainting queue a long time before we finished, but there was so much else to do people were OK with that. I also went round when we had cleared the queue with all the pre-glued bling I had made, and stuck that on people who hadn’t been painted.

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The photo-booth people very kindly offered to drive myself & our kit back so they could see where to go when they had to pack at 1 a..m. so we trundled through the busy crowds at about 10pm.

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By the time we returned to the BA Arena, Jennie & I went off for an amazing Thai takeaway whilst seeing a bit of The Who, after which she charmed some T-shirt sellers into a large discount on festival tops for us.

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Then as we had promised, we returned to the BA tent to find the biggest party in full swing. There were even some Who fans we had painted the Who logo on there – they went to watch the band and after a couple of songs decided the BA tent was more fun so came back!!

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We met the Dickson Brothers from Kiss FM who were lovely, (and huge heroes of Jennies eldest daughter), and the off-duty staff were all joining in too.  We bounced around to their fantastic set with the public & staff until the brilliant ‘shut down‘ (click that for a vid clip) with air hostesses, DJ’s etc showing everyone the exits, emergency safety talk style, and had a lovely lock-in with the large crew for a while. Jennie was even allowed to try on a real air stewardess hat.

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By the time we got home and into bed, 1 wee bird started singing. As I mentioned it to Jennie, the whole lot started… been a while since anything except the baby had me still up at dawn!

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Anyway we visited my brother-in-law on the way back to the ferry, and filled up with coffee for our drives to different sides of the country.

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A totally amazing 3 days… bookings like this are what makes the hard slog ones worthwhile. An amazing event with a brilliant team, we can’t say enough about how good the experience was and are so glad it  was so well received, and got into the press.

http://www.reveal.co.uk/showbiz-celeb-gossip/news/a688333/isle-of-wight-festival-2016-our-10-highlights-from-an-amazing-weekend.html

 

June 2014 UEA Pimp My Wagon Zoo Bodypaints

Pimp My Wagon is an annual rag/ fundraiser/ pub-crawl race held at UEA in Norwich to get funds for the Big C.

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Students get a wheelbarrow and decorate it and themselves to race through the streets. A houseful of mainly (very glam!) student nurses hired me to bodypaint them as assorted animals/ zoo creatures to match their jungle-themed barrow.

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Sadly by the time they were ready it had started pouring so a very soggy race it would have been! I didn’t get photos of all of them but here is a selection…

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April Elements Body Paints

I do a lot of painting for gentlemen’s clubs and Pole Dancing establishments, but I won’t show the photos as generally although they do wear thongs and nipple covers, the dancers are wearing less paint than is appropriate for my website. And generally I have an extremely sort time to paint each of them so its not my highest quality photo!

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But this was fun as a venue in Norwich re-launched as “Elements” and wanted 4 ladies each painted to match their theme posters – cocktail glasses full of splashing water, smoke, air (I did clouds and feathers) and flames.

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As they booked me for several nights in a row, we did something different every night. The last night we also added their logo.

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Halloween Face & Body Painting in clubs & UV

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I had several late-night club etc and pub paint sessions booked in after my daily gigs and enjoyed them.

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Some had me matching their outfits or themes, others wanted the usual/ randomn things.

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I also did a VIP lounge in all sorts of ‘dead stars’ ideas which was actually quite difficult in some cases. How many Hollywood etc stars died in ways that it is easy to paint/ SFX onto a live person and be easy to identify? So mostly I zombied them up a bit if bullet wounds etc were not required – hurrah for Zombie skin again!

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Another night it was UV again… I HATE the line of stupid dots so many people now ‘expect’ from painters as its what they get at festivals. Why – are they DIY jobs or are the painters at some festivals so unskilled they are really charging for faces THAT badly painted? I tend to refuse on the grounds I can and will do much better…..

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Did have a go at my first ever UV sugar skull!

Freehand Glitter Tattoos for Club Mantra in Norwich

July 2013

This was the 1st of several bookings for Club Mantra in Norwich.

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They had asked me to free-hand glitter tattoo their logo and stencil tattoo a glittery dragon onto VIP guests and staff.

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These waterproof cosmetic designs last several days unless removed with baby oil.

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Sparkly shoes once again!

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Glitter Tattoo & Body Paint for a Snake Dancer

Feb 2013

Hayley contacted me; she was one of the dancers I painted and Samm did the latex heads on for the elaborate dance show at Gilgamesh last year.

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Hayley was applying to be a performer at a rather nice cabaret club in Soho, as a snake dancer with her own real pet snake and wanted to wow them. So, we ordered a snake face prosthetic & stencils, and I quickly glued that on and painted her up. Then I glitter tattooed on the scales in patches all ver her and over a glued-on thong to give her the most reptilian look possible.

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It was icy outside so we had to keep her Burmese Python toasty, and she did get a bit inquisitive when finally let out of her box! 

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I have edited the videos to avoid boob views as Hayley was topless under the paint, which is why they are short and clipped.

Her act was amazing!

Gold Party Olympics Celebration at Club in Norwich

Tau, Norwich Aug 2012

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Yet more gold living statues – aka gold bond girls, for a nightclub in Norwich. This is always a crowd pleaser and the most requested fancy dress paint I get asked for.

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I use Mehron or Graftobian metallic powder with the matching mixer. It looks best on smooth tight hairless areas (foreheads, shins etc) but a flash photo really makes it shine. For REAL liquid-metal effects I’d need to mix it with cosmetic oil but that stays wet all the time so its no use apart from for posed statues/ photo shoots.

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This was followed by decorating clubbers with mainly gold face and body art designs.

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