Gold (or silver) Metallic Bodypaint – Step-by-Step/ FAQ/ How-to.

So Jennie Roberts, myself & Gracie BodypaintModel just did our first youtube bodypaint tutorial (edited by Jade Roberts)…

Approx 30 mins tutorial on different methods of painting a Gold Living Statue

Video here

Cat Finlayson Wheatsheaf goddess for Jungle PR and me11222411_965328283531535_7834711760301172679_n

Video of metallic cosmetic powder with oil bodypaint

I’m putting this up as we are obviously heading into Hallowe’en planning season, as I’ve just had my 4th email in 3 days asking how to do the James Bond Goldfinger girl look. I get a LOT of people asking me to do this/ how to do it, so many that its saved as an auto response in my Gmail.

Date: 10/08/14PH: Hannah McKayPictured: Jason SmythCaption: Paralympian Jason Smyth supports the children's cancer charity, Clic Sargent by being painted in gold body paint.Gold body paint clic jason_smyth_hannah McKay ready in bpc

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10/08/14PH: Hannah McKayPictured: Jason SmythCaption: Paralympian Jason Smyth supports the children’s cancer charity, Clic Sargent by being painted in gold body paint

Plus September is GoGold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Gold Tennis close bpcMetalic oil body powder dark strecth kneel bpcRND Carla nearly done

So; officially, here it is. This is THE most requested, most DIY’d bodypaint (-that usually looks OK unlike many DIY bodypaints-) and usually looks good though possibly not as shiny as some expect (read on for various finishes/ methods).

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For gold statues (or silver, bronze, copper, etc – there is a range of colours!)

I always use Graftobian metallic powder and Liquiset (has urea in it), or metallic powder and mixing liquid (alcohol based). be safe get the liquid that matches the brand of powder you buy.

Each part is usually sold separately, and for most looks you need both – the powder AND the liquid. Both brands sell the powders in 1 size only (bottles all the same size but some have less weight in as some metals are heavier than other shades), but the liquids come in small and large.

Graftobian also sell ‘Metal Mania‘ kits which they say contains all you will need. Personally I think there isn’t enough liquid for a body in it (and I don’t agree with their sponging application methods though – slow & messy, see my tips later).

When living in Hong Kong I also used a very similar product (had the same packaging as Mehron) called Eastman but I haven’t seen it anywhere else.

Yes, I have tried all the cosmetic pre-mixed liquids, regular ‘hard’ cakes, sprays, mousse paints etc on the market (as of  October last year anyway). Trust me (and most pro body-artists), these 2 brands win by far for speed, end look, toughness, and ease of use/ removal.

There are other brands – Kryolan do a liquid paint in a range of metallic colours called Kryolan Liquid Brightness but that’s more sort of a pearly effect really. It is OK to look at and maybe easier for a non-professional to use, but not that shiny – I used it for this statue though she was then ‘aged’ with other shades over the top.

Dunstan statue muse leaned bpc Dunstan statue muse planter bpc

Video of the gold liquid Kryolan paint on Emily

I generally get the larger liquid as it keeps in the bottle. 1 pot of powder is usually more than enough for 1 whole body, provided its not got to paint more than underwear too. I get at least 1 body per pot of powder, with mixing liquid left over.

Neither brand is really meant to be used on a face on/ around the eyes & mouth, so best to use the powder dry there.

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Or you can get a gold eyeshadow or similar if you don’t have proper gold facepaint.  This is because both brands of mixing liquid have a substance (either alcohol or urea) which evaporates and can irritate eyes etc. (Also this means the mix degrades fast so don’t make it until you are ready to use it). But it is all cosmetic, safe for skin, and although staying on very well (non smudge), it washes off.

RND carla started nosesRND both done forum.tiffRND Rachael finished

My Red Nose Day photos by Michelle Workman, Models Carla Finlayson &  Rachel 

Dry method

This Mr Freeze was done completely with metallic powder brushed/ polished on with a large fluffy paintbrush and powder pad, dry. It seemed to last pretty well but you could always use a cosmetic fixing spray like Kryolan Fixier (much as I hate fixing anything – use sparingly and avoid eyes/ follow instructions). I wouldn’t advise a whole body this way purely as it seems to use more powder than the liquid methods, and was less sturdy.

Silver head metallic face bodypaint Mr freeze bodypaintingbycat



A little of the powder goes a long way, so DO NOT mix up the entire contents of both bottles! In a desert-sized bowl pour a little liquid, add spoonfuls of powder, and mix. Everything says 1/2 the amount of powder to liquid but that is hard to judge – by weight? by volume? -so it really is trial and error. 

This is the slow bit – keep adding powder, mixing until all dust/ lumps are gone, and when the mix looks like liquid metal in the bowl when fully mixed, test it on your arm. If it dries looking shiny enough for you from all angles, it’s probably ready to use, but you do need to keep adding powder and stirring it as you work.

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 There is no exact guide to how much of each to add to the mix – it gets shinier up to a point then goes slightly solid/dull when it is over-saturated, it is hard to describe. And always try a little more powder than you think even if it looks gold – many beginners get dull looking models as they don’t have enough powder added.

Silver bodypaint rugby point bpcJVC silver bodypaint dressed bpc Silver yoga pat bodypaint rugby bpc
Or you can mix the powders with baby oil for a super shiny look. The drawback is that this oil mix doesn’t dry, so is only really good for photoshoots where the model doesn’t have to touch anything (and doesn’t mind a tough messy clean up afterwards). Even resting fingers/ leaning against things leaves marks on the finish which are easily re-painted or even just smoothed over but a pain if you want them moving about/ touching stuff.

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Make it up in small batches as you work, you can always re-coat areas.

Use a bowl/ pot that you don’t mind getting ruined as it can be hard to wash off utensils.

Don’t keep the mixed powder & liquid or make it up in advance as it goes ‘off’.

It paints over most fabrics that are not too cotton rich (try it on undies to see which type/ fabric/ colour is best). But fabric does soak it up a lot so always take extra/ pre-paint material if you can.

DO NOT spray clothes etc before hand with a gold car-spray as 1 agent did – we had to cut the newly-gold sweatbands with tin-snips and put them on him like handcuffs. Either find gold fabric/ undies or a gold fabric paint/ spray.

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For the liquid methods, once mixed the best (and fastest) way to get the paint on is with a wide,  flat, thin, short-bristled, very soft, brush. I think they are called wash brushes, I usually use a 3 inch wide version with bristles less than 1 cm long. They used to sell cheap 3 packs (3, 2 and 1 inch) in those discount bookshops like the Works. Similar to this anyway – don’t get expensive ones as this tend to ruin them.

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Keep turning the model so thin patches show up as the light changes. Once dry (almost instantly) it stays on really well, I did models in it for events in HK and after working all day they still looked fine – just as well as I don’t use fixing sprays if I can help it! Make sure at any breaks they don’t wrap up in fluffy clothes or towels though as that takes off the shine – I use silky make-up dressing gowns etc.

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 For the oil method, models can often DIY it and pretty much massage it into their skin. Or  you can use a brush of the type I mention above.

Metalllic body oil chest flames bpcMetalllic body oil neck bpcMetalllic body oil all side pose bpc

Video of the gold oil mix in sun on Borg/ C3P0 mashup


This mix can be put onto hair though as usual I’d be careful of recently dyed/ pale/ blonde hair incase of staining. Get the hair as smooth and flat as possible first if you want a solid gold look, which will use a lot of the mix. I find that sort of ‘dry-brushing’ the hair so prominent locks/ strands pick up the gold rather than saturating the whole head works well whilst saving mix. Or use gold or glittery hairspray.

Metalllic body oil tribal face DSC_7227 bpc

With cakes its generally too expensive and takes a very long time. Cameleon and Kryolan are my fave solid-cake golds.
If you buy Kryolan in ‘cake’ form, for either face or body, generally buy Kryolan Aquacolour, NOT SupraColor- that is oil based and a pain to fix/ get get off (although it looks fab). The only difference is the word on the lid so watch out. The other thing you is the Kryolan AqC gold doesn’t look gold – I think its their copper that looks more gold!


I’ve always advised soap/ shower gel & a body scrubber (wipe off as much of the oil method with paper towels or a scarficial cloth first). But we recently discovered that the usually magical Cameleon solid brush & body soap didn’t budge some application methods of the mix, but the Cameleon brush & body foam soap pump took it easily off AND cleaned the bath too!

Gold top Taryne bpc

Powder & matching liquid method – as you can see no transferring onto white dress! 


Make sure your model hasn’t used anything on her skin that day  – fake tans etc can react, and moisturiser or oils make it hard to stay on.

It looks best on smooth, tight hairless skin – i.e. shins and foreheads. And always looks better with bright sharp lighting e.g. in flash photos.

Good luck!

AND the Gold Bond Girl ‘death’ due to suffocation in the paint is a MYTH. We are mammals, with lungs – we do not breathe through our skin or need a small bare patch at the base of our backs to breathe through! And if you use good safe cosmetic stuff like this, you can still sweat so won’t be overheating any more than a non-painted person.

And don’t get me started on the eejit who replied to my ‘how to’ email that it was hurting his girlfriend and he couldn’t get it off – he’s used a well-known brand of garage-door-type paint. I told him they were idiots and to go to A&E…

ALSO TRY LOOKING AT Facepaint-UK‘s blog years back for ideas


VW Whitenoise Bodypaint

June 2014

David Cook (photography organiser for Paintopia, fireworks display creator etc) has been organising monthly meet-ups for some locals to get more into bodypainting. As it is often at weekends I’ve not been able to go that much as I tend to have jobs, but I managed to get there this time and do a quick promo paint for VW Whitenoise who have asked me to paint there this summer.

Whitenoise Graff dh painting face bpcWhitenoise Graff dh me hairing bpcWhitenoise Graff dh shoulder in prog bpc

I said I’d do a little advert paint and Stephanie Moore volunteered, turning up with loads of festival-type clothes.

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I used the new graffiti face & body art stencils I bought from Illusion Magazine, love them! And mainly Cameleon Uvs.

Whitenoise Graff dh steph laugh bpcWhitenoise darren rainbow top smile bpcWhitenoise Graff dh crop bpcWhitenoise Graff dh face crop bpc

Thanks all, fun and in my fave colours!

Whitenoise Graff dh both straps bpc


Halloween Face Body Painting

October is the busiest month for face & body painters, so if you’d like me to paint at your party, club night or event, or need painting or prosthetics as part of your costume, book NOW.

If you would like any special effects or prosthetics included you also need to discuss that with me so I can order them before Oct 4th.

I’m thinking of booking a space in somewhere central and taking bookings/ walk-ins all day too…. if you know a suitable venue or would book in please say!



Hustler Body Glitter 4th July

July 2013

I was once again invited to decorate the bar staff of Hustlers Croydon with quick USA-inspired glitter tattoos. These are cosmetic adhesive, coated with cosmetic glitters, and are tough and waterproof but can be removed with baby oil.

hustlers stars n stripes usa 4th 2012 stairs

First I had pre-cut and pre-glued star or other shaped bra-inserts to suit the designs. Once they were attached we did super-fast red white and blue (or stardust-white) patterns according to some ideas they had and some things/ areas the ladies wanted covered or shapes they liked.


I managed to get the last train home but noticed how glittery my feet were as I was waiting!


May 2013 Paintopia Face & Body Art Festival

4 days of paint and glitter  I really looked forward to, as we’d lost my pregnancy late on a few months earlier and needed some distraction – and this lovely bunch were the best & kindest help ever. So excuse me looking an even worse mess than usual.

This year Pashur, a fab American artist, had asked to come and teach there; he and Jay Bautista were amazing.

316189_512576758806429_1278038343_nPashur painting on Gracie

It was also Laurence’s birthday, and even though he was just back from the USA and heading up a Stag party the next day, he kindly drove over to model for me on the main body paint comp day.


As it was his 30th, Jennie arranged a beautiful cake (as one of LL’s superman body-paints) and I’d got a superman (in black so paint wouldn’t show!) dressing-gown for him. And we got the whole dining room to sing to him of course.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA432163_10151703051251115_1842947219_nIt was Eug’s birthday too

On the main paint comp day, I tried a bald cap (my 2nd ever attempt!) and facial prosthetics on LL to transform him into a svelte ‘The Rock’ from the Fantastic Four.

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His back I attempted re-creating a comic page of how scientist Ben gets transformed in a cosmic space storm, set against that space storm.

The Thing Paintopia 13 isnapevents galaxy bpcThe Thing Paintopia 13 isnapevents studio snarl bpcThe Thing Paintopia 13 isnapevents studio back bpc

The catwalk was a fab idea of Jennies and totally worth all her stress. Each artist had chosen music to suit their theme, whilst Shelley read out a prepared blurb on the design – good to hear the ideas and inspiration!

431843_10151677228821115_374660026_nIMG_8020Simon Smith’s amazing Catwoman on Stephanie

IMG_8152The Thing Paintopia 13 isnapevents catwalking bpcthing back cartoon rhonda p

I really enjoyed this paint, its not my usual style as ‘hero’ paints are generally a bit too easy (bright and simple) to do at competitions. But, seeing LL onstage getting the audience going to Queen’s “We will Rock You”  as Shelley read out my blurb was FAB. I think he quite liked it to!

248296_10151675615171115_2069407047_nLaurence with Gracie as painted by Jennie Marquis- she won 3rd place!

He had to shower and dash off to drive hours to be head stag, poor soul.


The theme this year was Sci-Fi and Fantasy so we had all sorts of interesting people stopping by – the Nor-Con Dr Who crew, Iron Man and the UK Predators. They did freak me out – and at 1 point I couldn’t work out what the red dot on my paintwork was – it was 1 of them teasing me with his laser sights!


The party that night was full of brilliant costumes- I was R2D2 as the Death Star idea I’d orignally done didn’t work without a baby bump to fill it. My fave was the Star tTek ‘Adopt a Tribble’agency – my wee boy still has the fluff ball, thanks!

391540_636363366375706_1931521510_nIMG_7776Brill work by David Southworth

The next day was the Professor’s Apprentice competition where I had the lovely Daniel Formosa from Malta. He’d not really used brush & sponge to body paint before so was trying that out instead of airbrush.

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He’d also made some really cool cones for the hair of the Poison Ivy and had some amazing nails done.

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The stunning Leeanne (the blue Paintopia starry girl I painted before the 1st ever year) was our model and really lived the lush temptress look. The idea was that she was plant based like the Batman evil poisoner, with plant tubes giving off pheremones to attract men AND the (using real beetle wings) insects to her. She won the model of the year comp later on!

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I did a not-quite-on-theme Freehand Glitter Tattoo so it wasn’t really in the comp but could be used to promo 2013’s ‘Vintage’ theme on Emily, who had been the gold Paintopia statue that 1st year.

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A slightly circus ‘corset’ top was made with stripes of cosmetic adhesive and curly prosthetic breast covers.

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We borrowed Liz Bylett’s lovely top hat and net bustle to complete the outfit. Emily’s brother James was modelling for Brierly with an amazing steampunky beetle glittered on his chest, and as the 2 used to dance, posed marvellously together.

405656_511436005587171_2075443556_n479736_10151699228096115_325365587_n Gorgeous stuff from Brierly as ever.

On Sunday I held a beginner’s body-paint workshop, kindly sponsored by Charles Fox who gave the class a lot of Kryolan Aquacolour paints to try out. We had Stephanie and another model to try and create 2 very fast Super Heroes on – Storm and Pheonix- which I later finished off.

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My wee boy Finley had been bought over by his god-mum Michelle (of Purple Photography) and had an amazing time with all the sci-fi characters, in his Anakin Star wars costume. Huge apologies to Kate MiniMonsters & anyone he light-sabred… at home he’s not allowed to make contact with it but I realised that had not been stuck to when he got in the car to go home with a totally battered to floppiness lighsabre!

Paintopia pirate Kate jedi Fin

4th of July Body Glitter Tattoo Tops at Hustlers Club UK

 July 2012

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.

 Hustler USA 4th July glitter tatts right 3.26

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.

Hustler USA 4th July glitter tatts 4.05

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!

Yoga Glitter Tattoo Body Art

March 2012

Either side of the Hong Kong Rugby 7’s booking and all the prep/ tidy up for HK Y.A.F., I had a free day.

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The 1st morning my ‘old’ colleague Pat who I often painted before I left HK (and did my 1st ever solo attempt at a 1/2 body paint on) called round to my hotel.

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A dancer and hockey player, she  has started working as a yoga instructor and fancied a glittery something to show off her moves. The colours & pattern were inspired by the Rock Fitness Yoga  business she is joining.

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Sorry about the iffy photos, it was just me snapping her in the little garden square between high-rises beside the hotel.

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These are all over the city, and people play, read, smoke, eat and practice Tai-chi in them so they were not quite sure what to make of us!

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Paradise Face & Body Jam Feb 2012

This is the biggest jam for face & body artists, held in Paradise Wildlife Park and hosted by Facade.

Lots of competitions, demos, and just painters ‘jamming'(painting and playing with ideas and kit). I’d been asked to do a quick demo/ body paint, but the model I had booked cancelled on the morning.


Luckily Jules abandoned her face paint shop stall and offered to model wrapped in a tablecloth so I could have access to her shoulders!

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I had a bunch of fake roses and glued a Body FX foam latex breast cover (rose shaped) onto her shoulder for interest.

Rosie redneck front bpc


Then I used mainly my fave matt Grimas’s as base paint.

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And my freehand glitter tattoo work using the bottles, tips and glues I sell on top. Glitters from Facade.

Isn’t she a stunner? Great event! Jules went out like that that night and had an excellent time:)




My Bloody Valentine Dead Doll bodypaint Shoot

Feb 2012

This was an idea that started after I developed my ‘Pretty Horrible’ slashed butterfly/ heart faces last Hallowe’en.

Elizabeth was 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.

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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.

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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.

Bloody valentine heart

I ‘bruised’ up Liz with an assortment of Grimas burgundy and 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.

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ta dah!

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Traditional Christmas Fairy Body Paint

Dec 2011

I’m lucky enough to get quite a few models and photographers contacting me hoping to work together, and do sometimes arrange a shoot with some of them. Emily I’d painted as a bronze statue for the Paintopia promo shots, and she was keen to get painted again.

Alex Burlingham was still in school and planned to do photography at Higher Education, but the portfolio she sent me was already really interesting.

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We arranged to meet up at her house where she had an actual studio set-up, impressive for a school pupil. Once Emily was in big pants and the bra inserts I prfer to glue on (they are huge and cover the whole breast so no naughty bits show), I’d found a traditionally-decorated Christmas Bauble I liked as inspiration,

Christmas Spirit Alex arm bauble bpc

and to carry on from the glitter-blowing Frost Fae shoot, had got some fake ‘snow’ that you added water to. It puffed up, looked fairly realistic, and was dry to the touch.

This was my favourite Grimas dark red/ burgundy over gold Mehron/ Graftobian powder and matching mix.

Christmas Spirit Alex blow bpc

A fun afternoon, thanks ladies! And good luck in your career Alex.