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.
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.
This was followed by decorating clubbers with mainly gold face and body art designs.
When I was contacted by this club, I had expected to be decorating the dancers. After a long trip down there, I was ushered into the changing rooms and met the bar staff, many of whom were not used to baring quite so much and were understandably nervous although all gorgeous.
We did not have much time for each lady, and I had prepared special breast covers for each one that I glued on (safer than bikini tops – can’t be untied or slip off!) before sketching in designs with paint.
The theme, of course, was the Stars & Stripes. Using large flake glitter on top of the cosmetic glue (as it was not near the face) as well as some finer Facade cosmetic glitters, variations on the theme were completed following discussions with each lady about what she did or didn’t want exposed.
It all looked amazing when I left, and I hope they had a good night. The advantage of glitter tattoo tops (although I had to ‘glue’ larger areas than I like as it would be harder for the girls to remove with oil afterwards) is that as they worked serving drinks, any spillages would just run off – its all waterproof!
I have created several leotards for Symone of Pole Paradise HK in the past, as she needs to have fabric protecting her limbs when she is doing hoop acrobatic shows and wanted unique costumes.
She contacted me when I was at home in the UK and asked me to do two, one for her and one for her husband for an upcoming show.
I started Jose’s red tribal flame design with the leotard stretched over my trust shop dummy, but found that awkward to move about and hard to paint on.
I use the bottles and applicators I sell here. Videos of me waffling in so you can literally watch the glue dry…
I then managed to find an inflatable shop dummy to do Symone’s watery design blue leotard on, as of course she was in HK, so couldn’t fill out the leotards as I worked.
It usually takes several layers of glue, dried in between, to create a design sticky enough for the glitter to adhere too. Fabric glue does not work well – it dries too stiff- so I stick to my normal prosthetic adhesive which I knew does NOT wash out if you get it inot clothes, no matter how I try!
Luckily this time the leotards ‘took’ the glue well and I was able to complete them within a week.
I delivered them to Symone when I was over to face paint at the Rugby 7’s.
We met up near the (in?)Famous Hong Kong Lady’s Market (it does have an ‘interesting’ range of men’s underwear!) as I’d had a request from my brother in Barbados for a few knock-off items.
I don’t think I’d ever bought any fakes when I was living in HK, and typically, visiting for a short period so rushing round this time, it turned out there had been a huge police crack-down on fakes and there were few to be found!
The show looks like it went well and as the leotards can be hand-washed (I cool-machine-wash some of my glittered shirts) they can be used many times.
This was an idea that started after I developed my ‘Pretty Horrible’ slashed butterfly/ heart faces last Hallowe’en.
Elizabethwas going to be a beat-up stitched together zombie doll, a bit like the Corpse Bride. The dead doll look is really popular at Halloween, it must be a Manga or Horror Film thing or something as there are loads of costumes of it.
The gorgeous Di Smith of Frozen Photography again came round to take the photos, as we wanted to use them for a Valentine’s promo, and bought big bags of fake flowers as props.
I’d got flesh-time pants and the big bra inserts I like that almost matched Liz’s skin, so we put them on first.
I ‘bruised’ up Liz with an assortment of Grimas burgundyand Paradise lime green etc, before painting on the ‘joints’ and ‘joins’. I then added freehand glitter tattoo glue lines using the kit which I sell, to hold red and dark glitters.
For the second time I had the interesting booking at Gilgamesh, decorating dancers for the annual party/ show hosted by some online internet gambling sites.
As usual Gilgamesh is a stunning venue in London’s Camden Locks, several floors of luxurious carved extravagant exotica. This year the theme was a sort of evolution for the show, starting with special effects MUA Sammm‘s slimed clay man bursting out of a bubble/ egg latex thing and culminating in my snake dancers.
My brief, again an interesting one, was for ‘sexy snake dancers with Voldemort heads’. Hmm! Samm had created some latex facial bits and we wrapped their long hair in tape to make it look strange too.
All sorts of chaos was going on around us and some of the props looked… interesting…:) His expression cracks me up!
I used mainly Grimas and Diamond FX body paints, with home-made and machine-made-shop-bought flexible stencils.
There were real live snakes dancing with angels too.
There was a hiccup when the show had to be moved from the main stage to downstairs, to a more public stage. This meant dozens of topless acts got sent back up to get on some sort of pasties (nipple covers) as the police/ public passing by could now see in. Luckily Sammm had some spare bits of scaly latex we glued (using the glitter tattoo glue I sell) on to our ladies.
I even had to paint big more obvious pants onto them as G-strings were deemed too skimpy! First time I’ve had to paint knickers on – I usually work on models already IN big pants.
I just got the photos from this so am adding it a little late!
Victoria Lesley the amazing photographer I have worked with several times wanted to be a model for a change (she does work as one sometimes). So, Di Smith offered to take the shots and we met at my father-in-laws to try out the new glue application bottles I had sourced.
I used to use empty bling bottle etc but they tended to suddenly ‘pop’ and coat the model in their entire contents, so I had been looking doe something like I saw nurses using when I was in hospital.
This is what I came up with – squeezable oval bottles with tips that lock on and twist off! I sell them in my shop.
Anyway as it was just before Halloween we went for a spooky feel.
I added tiny dots in a webby pattern, then used silver Mehron or powder to highlight some when it was dry. A dark mix of cosmetic glitters fromFacade for the rest of the webs and brush it off.
Another layer of glue for spiders etc, glitter and voila.
A waterproof, smudgeproof sparkling necklace that would last an evening of dancing perfectly.
Remi & Josh have kindly had me over to bodypaint them before their Halloween party for the last 2 years.
This year Josh went for a Fallen Angel look – I made wings on his back using freehand body glitter tattoos, and glued a range of types and sizes of feathers (peacock with no eyes, black-gold cockerel feathers, maribu fluff etc). I then made his face look a little hollowed out, added some quick tribal tattoos and sprayed him all over with a misting of metallics.
Remi had a rather snazzy ‘mummy’ suit, a stretchy ribbed looking bandage affair.
So I created a rotted flesh/ aged bandage look for his face using my usual face/ body paints.
This year Josh’s partner Michelle also joined in the fun. She had a cute ‘Doll’ outfit, sort of Bride of Chucky or Death Dolly or something (possible manga or gaming??). She wanted a stitched together look so I played with my favourite Grimas burgundy to make a slashed mouth and chest with crude stitches surrounded by sore-looking skin/ bruises.
She had some black contact lenses that I finished off with majorly OTT /cried-in mascara dripping down her cheeks.Their guests all make a real effort, from these photos they have kindly sent me.
Looks like a great welcome & a fab event!
And not a bad DIY look by the zombies Remi mummy is glaring at here:)
I actually 1st ‘met’ face paint when I was the Education Officer at Banham Zoo, running science lessons and giving public feeding talks. They used good paints (Grimas) but the designs and hygiene were not great and I improved loads as soon as I started researching face paint myself. Banham Zoo is 1 of 3 East Anglian attractions owned by the same group, and after having worked in their safari park too, I always meant to visit their original site, Norfolks‘ Dinosaur Adventure Park.
That was 8 years ago; we finally drove up when my mum was visiting at the end of September, and it was a really good day.
You could tell which of their life-size models were older (or cheaper maybe) as some of the anatomy just looked…. – wrong. I’m not an expert – yes I worked in London’s Natural History Museumfor years when I first graduated,but the Dino Gallery wasn’t my fave area in it – but some were great.
Plus there was the petting zoo (Finley got to cuddle a guinea pig, etc, he’s mainly used only to farm animals at home-check out the ‘vicious wee killer Monty Python beastie’ lurking behind him!)and all the adventure play stuff. Typically where we spent longest was on a big trampoline!
Anyway long story short, I saw they were holding a horror event in the evenings over Halloween, so I emailed asking who did their actor’s makeup. And was asked to go and run a face-paint stall there instead. It sounded interesting, both for getting to paint things not usually on offer at my main hirer, Bewilderwood, but also to see what goes on at a Haunted House type event which they called ‘PrimEvil, Norfolks biggest Halloween Experience’.
It was a bit of a rush each evening, finishing painting at Bewilderwood, packing all my gear into my car, fighting rush-hour traffic, lugging my kit back out of the car and through the queue into the Dino Park’s entrance restaurant and setting up again.
I was beside some guys called Isnap Events doing green-screen on-demand photos which was a fantastic idea. People posed against the screen and then in this case could see how the looked in each of 4 spooky backgrounds (like this) and were then able to buy a print if they wished. I also tried and got addicted to chilli popcorn from Bintree Farm – which wasn’t hot enough to burn but tasted warm even when it was cold. Yum.
It was slightly off-putting painting with a large T-Rex looming over me (and 1 of the ladies who covered the Sat night when I was bodypainting elsewhere said she kept getting his claws in her hair) but it made the on-my-chair photos interesting:)And I did put MrT to good use!
As far as I can work out, people bought tickets first of all to just the ‘free’ things – whatever was going on in the big new indoor kids play area and a long walk through the woods with actors etc leaping out at you. And animal handling sessions with bugs, snakes etc. There was also a wee fireworks show towards 9pm I think it was each night.
My faves were the seriously freaky stilt walkers, the guy with the roughest scariest growly voice, who appeared in a variety of costumes including a striped cirque de freke style thing and as giant bugs. Just simple words – like “LIKE” and “PRETTY” being screamed out by him at randomn people were enough to halt several groups at the entrance and put a few off for a while:)They also had a giant Monty Python style ‘death’ look with huge crabby hands. What I loved was that customers would run into the cafe with me, or the low ceilinged entrance area between the cafe and the shop/ ticket office, and think they were ‘safe’. But then the stilt walkers would bend almost double and get in to chase them! Brilliant. Again thats 6ft7 richard making the young lady appear a bit smaller than she actually was…
Then you could also buy extra tickets into the ‘special’ areas – there was an Insanitarium and a Circus of Horrors, also staffed with more actors, which advised no under 12’s go in. From what I heard – and the state of a few severely rattled adults/ teens who came back to the cafe to calm down or sit out the rest- it could be pretty scary. 2 Code Yellows and a Code Brown were also rumoured. But some kids were fine…I’m afraid I chickened out as I am really not great with scary stuff. I adored Stephen king, James Herbet etc books as a teen but since I had Finley I don’t seem to be able to cope with even slightly spooky films!
So I painted customers and staff instead. This is my new fave gore idea – razor slashed faces. This 1 is a Bloody Valentine (heart) eye but I was doing a great line in razor-slashed butterflies too. I LOVE Grimas burgundy for this, is perfect for bruising and old blood as well as nice flowers and butterflies. I don’t have SFX kit (as said not good with scary and hate faffing around/ lugging yet more kit in) so I just use my regular paints. Got to say I reckon it’s just as good as SFX gore in some cases and probably a lot faster.
It’s an odd gig – as an ex- teacher (or anything else!) I never expected to be having conversations with parents like this:
Me: “…and how would you like your child to have died?”