Monday, March 24, 2014

Laura Oliver - Muse of the Week

Laura Oliver
Laura Oliver is known for her elaborate flower designs and they are gorgeous (as you can see!) but I became a huge fan of hers almost two years ago because she was posting these perfect quick designs done with one-stroke cakes. They weren't elaborate, maybe just two loads and some tear drops...but the placement, the fabulous use of color in combos I would never think of and that they were DOABLE got them on my design board. Her simple blossom cluster has been my MOST popular eye design two years running. Another favorite, the rainbow roses crown, makes moms gasp at every party because it's so flattering and darling.

Denise & Laura
We invited Laura to come and teach in Salt Lake last year and I got to know her even better and what a lovely person she is. She was a generous teacher and very encouraging and kind. She had us all making these elaborate flower designs (even the most ardant "I can't do one-stroke!" painters) and then decorated us with one-of-a-kind eye designs. She got me buying gems again when I'd given up on them and girls love them. She couldn't be a nicer lady, painter and now I consider her a friend and hope we can meet up at some conference again in the future.

I chose to paint myself with the flower blossoms that I've been painting for two years in different combinations. I'll paint them in a cluster like this or as a crown or even a necklace, as I've seen her do too. They are simple and girls and ladies love them. I stuck on a cluster of Laura's favorite gems from Michaels and added lots of star bursts in her honor.

Here's her website:
Face Fancies (there's a funny story about her phone and her business name, you'll have to ask her about it.)

And her Facebook Business page:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Illusion Article - The Director's Cut!

Illusions - Spring 2014
     Earlier this year I submitted an article about Starblend makeup to Claire Guest at Illusion magazine. She loved the article and thought that her readers would too so she agreed to publish it in the Spring issue coming out right now. (Yay!)

     I did have to shorten the article quite a bit for publication so I thought you might like to read the full version here on Teardrops & Tiger Stripes. I also have a bonus EXCLUSIVELY for those that will sign up to receive T&TS by email (fill out that little white box to the left...yeah, that one.) I will send you the step-by-step images of the two designs featured in the article...THAT'S RIGHT! I did step-by-steps for both the flaming skull and the cute leopard, that didn't make it into the issue and I will send them to your email address if you subscribe to my blog. You lucky subscribers you. :)

     You do have to enter your "verified" email address so I'll know where to send them. And don't cheat by asking me on Facebook or by email! I want you to subscribe to the blog because the more subscribers I have, the more fun we can have in the future like contests and drawings, so there is a method to my MADNESS!

     So, here it is, the "Director's Cut" original article written for submission to Illusions Magazine:

The Star of the Show!

Denise Cold
Mehron’s Starblend Makeup is making its way to the top of many painter’s kits. Why? Denise Cold writes this informative article helping to shed light on the mystery surrounding this useful face painting product.

     You may have heard other painters talking about Starblends and been curious about this new type of face paint. Starblend is actually pressed foundation powder produced by Mehron. They come in about 56 colors, 14 of which are brightly colored and can be used as a base for face painting designs.

     Starblends work by adhering to the oils (sebum) in your skin. Because sebum is a natural waterproofing for your epidermis, when the Starblend adheres to those, they become very water resistant and aren’t easily washed away with sweat either. This is one of the big advantages of the product because they can extend your ability to work in extreme conditions such as heat and cold.
Colors in my kit - light green is a blend
of Green & Yellow

     For me, however, the biggest advantage is the ability to use them without water. This makes them easier to use on male clients, particularly young boys. You don’t have to be a face painter long before you realize that boys hate to be sponged and brushed with wet paint. At my first fair, I had a burly young man with tattoos come into my tent. He was being based in white for a skull and was flinching and was very uncomfortable. He proclaimed “this is worse than being tattooed!” After I adopted the use of Starblends for full faces, I had another boy thank me for using them because he didn’t feel anything as I applied the design.

     I started using the product as an alternative to paint but as I got more colors I realized how much I loved their powder properties that made it much easier to shade and highlight designs. I started blending on the face and in the applicator to get different shades and effects. It is almost an airbrushed look with no streaking or lapping.

Cute Leopard - Model, Emma Cold
     I’m often asked if I’ve completely replaced my regular paints with Starblend powders. The simple answer is “no, ” I still have a whole small palette of paints, rainbows and one-strokes. Most of my full-face painting designs are completed using Starblends as a base. It has increased my speed with these faces and has also given me the added benefit of saving me money.

     One 56 gm Starblend cake can paint hundreds of faces. A whole skull design can be based with one load of a powder puff. There is also very little waste because there is nothing left behind on the applicator. The applicator is tapped off back into the cake to remove the excess before applying.

     Ah, the excess! One of the biggest complaints I hear from face painters is about the fall out. This is a makeup term for the powder that falls on the surface below where you are applying, usually the cheeks or even clothing. Just as for face paints, there is a learning curve to using them. I have learned how to let gravity be my friend, rather than my enemy. When I am applying a section of color, I start at the top (the forehead, above the eyebrow, on the cheekbone) and the powder will come off the applicator a bit. I then use that deposit to feed the application of color in the rest of that section.

     Another complaint is the coverage. They’ll show their practically pink Spiderman designs and ask “what happened?” Starblend isn’t applied like paints. Many times you can get away with just swiping a filled sponge over the face. These are powders and need to be applied in a circular motion as if you are putting foundation powder on. Most of the colors are very vibrant and photograph well because of the matte finish. There are a few of the colors that aren’t as opaque and may need a primer to adhere to normal skin.

Glycerin can be found in most drug stores
and even craft stores in the baking section.
    Normally there are enough oils in the skin that there is no problem with getting an opaque finish; however, I prefer to use a primer for the blue, green, and purple colors. Makeup primers are quite expensive but I stumbled upon a perfect primer that is also very inexpensive, glycerin. It’s labeled as a “skin protectant” and is often stocked near the bandages in drug stores or can be purchased online. It’s an ingredient in most face paints and I use it to soften paints that have hardened. Only a drop is needed, in the hands or rubbed into a foam makeup sponge, to prime an entire face. Painters worry that having to apply a primer is going to nullify the positive attributes of Starblend use; but, I find that few seconds is soon made up by removing water-loading from the equation.

     You may have heard, from fans of the product, that their speed has really improved with use. This can be explained by simple mathematics. They may be applied immediately without water management or activation. There is minimal time spent reloading the applicator, sometimes just a press back on the cake to pick up product is enough. Switching from one color to the next is not a problem and colors can be mixed right in the applicator without dirtying the cake. A stick sponge can be loaded with two colors, fill different areas and be blended without returning to the pots or colors drying on the applicator. Six colors can be applied to a design that would take twice as long with regular paints and best yet, you can immediately start your line work without literally watching paint dry.

Flaming Skull - Model, Taylor Cold
 Painters have been known to like the positives but give up on using Starblends because they dropped a container and it shattered and they felt they’d wasted their money. Because there is a pressing medium added to the powders, they can be repressed and restored. I discovered that this attribute also means that a small amount of the product can be put into a small sturdy pot and pressed. This has helped with the frustration of many painters who can now carry many colors in a quarter section of a laptop case rather than using a separate container.

     There are three incidental benefits to repotting Starblend in addition to the space saving. Many have found that the powders are now more opaque when applied and I’ve found that new shades can be created or finicky colors improved by mixing with hardier colors. I’ve replaced my regular green with “new green” by mixing green and yellow equally. It’s more opaque and bright and covers much better than green alone.

     You can also create pots of custom colors with just a little knowledge of color theory and a blender. After watching a class on zombies from Nick & Brian Wolfe, I made myself little pots of ivory and “brownple” that are fantastic too for vampires or bruising effects. Other painters have tried raspberry, teal, light blue, peach and even adding Mehron precious gem powders before repressing to get different effects. We fans of the product are hoping that Mehron will expand the color offerings to similar colors to the ones in the Intense eye shadow palettes.

Stick "Lollipop" Sponge Applicators
     Before buying an entire set of Starblends it is a good idea to start with the most useful colors of white, black and red. White can be used for tiger eyes and muzzles, kitty designs, skulls, sugar skulls, cows, lambs, clowns, etc. Black can be used for evil eyes on boy designs, shading, drop shadows, badgers, dogs, and mixed with white you open the door to all the gray designs like rotten zombies, gorillas and elephants. Red is very helpful for pirates, dragons, zombie mouths, and the two of the most intense line work designs: Spiderman and Darth Maul.

You may not consider Starblend powders as a replacement for your regular paints and there is a learning curve in their application; but, they may allow you to perform in extreme conditions when using face paints may be nearly impossible. They can keep you productive and making a profit during the stickiest of situations when regular paints won’t work. They may pay for themselves in one job that you would have normally declined in the past.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Marcela Murad - Muse of the Week

I should call her "Muse of the Year!" I've been in love with this painter's work for a very long time. I love that she's able to make little girls more adorable than they already can tell from their expressions that they've never felt more the princess than they do in that moment. A quick look at my Painted Party Facebook page will show her influence on my work.

Marcela is able to do fabulous detailed portfolio work but what I love the most are the photos of the work she shares from OTJ (on-the-job) gigs. They are as inspiring, if not more, to me because I know that if I practice enough, my quick work can be as fabulous as hers.

We invited Marcela to Salt Lake last year for the Enchanted Garden class. This butterfly is an homage to that class, even down to the copper Liquid Bling I was given as a take away gift. If you aren't a member of FABAtv you are missing out. Marcela has many classes on there, including the Enchanted Garden class, and I watch her over and over.

This post is also very appropriate because, quite unexpectedly, I find myself going to FABAIC this May! Marcela has graciously offered to let me demonstrate, along side her, a Starblend design while I'm there. She too is a big fan of the powders.

This is an amazing opportunity and I'm so excited to be surrounded by fabulous instructors and painters from around the world. I have a full heart, not only for her generosity but for the wonderful friends and loved ones that made it possible for me to go. Thank you Marcela!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Naomi Gay - Muse of the Week

You know those painters that you come across and you have to create a whole new folder for? Naomi Gay (Nam Nam) is one of those painters. If you look on her Facebook business page there are dozens of save-worthy photos of gorgeous and inspirational eye designs. And what's really fabulous about all of them is the uniqueness of them all. Some have feathers, swirls, tribals, roses, zebra stripes, dragon flies....WOW!

I noticed on her Facebook page that she is offering classes...Shame on you painters in the UK if you don't go. I would be there in a heart beat. Some of you know that my eye design board is my most popular at parties and makes me LOTS AND LOTS of money at fairs. I've even suggested to Marcela that she be invited to FABAIC in the future because I think eye designs are so valuable. They capture a whole market of tweens and adults that might not consider face painting otherwise.

Here is her professional Facebook page: NamNamsFacePainting

Here is her website:

Here is my attempt at one of her easier eye designs. You'll have to see if you can find it in her Facebook photos. Make sure you like her page while you are there. :) I'm hoping I'll get better and better at the swirls and flairs that are her signature, she makes them look so organic and effortless.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Building Fairies for ¿Pintamos? Facepainting España

About six weeks ago, Pilar of ¿Pintamos? Facepainting España contacted me to do another article similar to the Building Christmas Designs article that I had done for the December 2013 issue. I decided to focus on building fairy designs but had a whole page of design possibilities. I decided the narrow it down to three wing types and 6 embellishments and had so much fun creating them that I ended up with a LOT of designs. I didn't know what she was going to do with everything!

Well, the issue just came out today and I LOVE it. The editors did a fabulous job of combining the step-by-steps I'd sent over with the real life designs I'd painted on the Roberts family. I wasn't sure how they'd pull everything together but it's a lovely article and I hope that it's helpful by showing how easy it is to change up a design and get a totally different look depending on the element and the finishes chosen.

Check out the rest of the magazine. I know it's in Spanish, but the pictures are worth a thousand words. There are cute little bugs, bunches of butterflies, using stencils, focal points of the face and girl superhero designs. They have an article on Mark Reid, Margi Kanter and Jennifer Parker too.

Here's the link:

¿Pintamos? Facepainting España

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Nurit Pilchin - Muse of the Week

I would like to start honoring artists that inspire me to try something new by starting a weekly "Muse of the Week" blog post. These are artists that paint something so inspiring or innovative that I immediately want to pick up my paint brush. Nurit Pilchin is just that person. I've been a big fan for awhile now but she's been posting fabulous photos of butterflies on her daughter so I had to try one. I've used her techniques before on a small scale but I really wanted to go all the way today.

I used her tutorial slide show of a Bronze Butterfly from

And this is what I painted...

Here is her Facebook business page. Be prepared to be amazed!

Here is her website. She's a painter from Israel: