Starry Tribal Eye Design Tutorial by Beth MacKinney

I've always admired the bold fluidity of tribal designs, so this week I thought I'd add some special shimmers to a tribal design to make it appealing to girls or women. If you've been intimidated by tribals (like me), grab your brush, some black face paint, and paper or a practice board and play around with some tribal elements yourself. If you feel stuck for ideas, do a search on the internet and practice tribal shapes you find until they feel comfortable to you as you paint them.  


Black face paint (Diamond FX or Wolfe)
Kryvaline Glowgaze split cake
White face paint (Diamond FX or Wolfe)
FAB Ziva Blue shimmer
#4 or #5 round brush
#2 round brush
Cosmetic-grade glitter (purple)


Begin by spritzing the rounded side of a 1/2 circle sponge with a water and squeezing it into a ball-shape which you'll load from the yellow, blue, and purple side of the Kryvaline split cake. (If you have a circle-shaped sponge of the right size, you could use that instead, and of course feel free to experiment with your other favorite split cakes.) Make three dots, one above the eyebrow, one at the lower corner of the eye, and one on the cheekbone. 

Load your #4 or #5 round brush black well and make a curved shape under the eye and then back toward the hairline. 

Make a swirl shape coming out from the bottom of the curve. 

Make a second curved shape up over the eyebrow, and also a thorn going back toward the hairline. 

Again add a swirl, this time coming up out of the top. At this point, the design is very similar to the well-known Mike Tyson tribal design, but we're going to add other elements and change the shape so it goes down over the cheekbone as well.

In order to connect with the third dot of Kryvaline Glowgaze, we're going to pull a thorn shape down toward it and then swirl around it. Add extra thorn shapes as shown. 

According to Pashur, one of the experts when it comes to tribals, you need to have more than one of any given element in a design so you retain the overall balance. I added a v-shape at the back, so I'll have to add at least one more in this design.

So I'm adding two more small v-shapes, which are really just two connected thorns.

Use your #2 round brush and FAB's gorgeous Ziva blue shimmer and once the black is dry, add color right over the top. Also place some purple or blue glitter on the colored dots of Kryvaline.

The last step is to add tiny white dots and stars to the colored dots. You could adapt this design for men as well, who may or may not like the additions of color. I've had men at events request a tribal and also ask for color over the top of the black, even if they don't want it in the background. 

Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary face painter for Face Paint Pizzazz in Elgin, Illinois, and her artwork has appeared in The Colored Palette and SkinMarkz magazines. She services the western and northwestern Chicago suburbs, Chicago’s north side, and the eastern and southeastern suburbs of Rockford. Stop by to enjoy more of Beth’s face painting tutorials.