Exaggerated eye makeup for teens and women

Posted by Elizabeth Mackinney on


Every party is different, with varying guests who have their own expectations when it comes to face painting. Generally speaking, if your work is high quality and you offer designs with a more sophisticated flair, you’re going to attract not only the children at the party, but the teens and adults as well.

It is a great compliment for a face painter when the older guests at a party request face painting, and I make sure I have a few special designs which appeal to teens and women in reserve. This eye design, which I consider to be a form of exaggerated eye makeup, is one of these. It gives me great pleasure as an artist when I paint a design of this type on a teen or an adult and see their delighted expression when I show them the mirror.

For this design, you could either put it only one one side, or you could mirror it for both. (I prefer an asymmetrical look, so if I chose to put the design on both eyes, I would alter one side slightly, making one the dominant focal point of the design.)


Global small split cake London (or one of your other favorites)
Paradise gold face paint
Diamond FX white
3/4-inch flat brush
#2 round brush
#1 round brush
Cosmetic gold glitter
 Liquid bling


Begin by sponging Paradise gold on the eyelid area with a sponge. Before it is entirely dry, dab some cosmetic gold glitter on the area as well.


Load your 3/4-inch (or 1-inch) flat brush from the small split cake of your choice. For this tutorial, I chose Global’s London, which is my current favorite, but when I’m at an event, I either go with a split which contains the favorite colors of the person in the chair or something which matches the clothing they are wearing. (In all cases, I test my small splits for unusual staining before putting them on the face of any teen or adult. While children are less likely to care whether all the paint color comes off, adults can be pickier about this.)

Place the brush with the lighter color toward the inner corner of the eye and twist it to create the curved upper shape and then pull it away from the eye, twisting it up and over as seen in the picture below.


Reload the brush if necessary to make the leaf shapes coming from the corner of the eye. Practice as much as necessary on yourself (arm, leg, or face) until you can expertly create the strokes during events.


Next, use a #1 or #2 round brush and load it from the darkest color in your small split cake. Pull small swirls and lines up around the corner of the eye. To create the cattail effect, pause near the end of the stroke, press down, and then lift and pull up the tail to finish it.


Next load a mid-value color from the split and again create swirls over the top of the previous swirls. I also added some dots with this mid-value color.


Finally, use the Diamond FX white to make more swirls over the top for contrast and highlighting. I added dots and starbursts at this point too.


For some extra wow, add a faint outline with liquid bling around portions of the design. Many women who have been in my chair for this type of design have requested extra glitter, so if I can, I try to add the liquid bling for them because it’s a wonderful extra effect.


Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary face painter for Face Paint Pizzazz in the NW Chicago suburbs. She also writes for Examiner.com as the Chicago Face Painting Examiner.

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