Tropical Dream Split Cake Design by Pam Kinneberg

This colorful design demonstrates many uses of a split cake or rainbow cake, one of the greatest tools in a facepainter’s kit! Split cakes allow for a quick application of multiple colors to make a big impression and move through our lines faster. It creates an instant WOW factor! Below you will find some tips for working with these beauties.


Silly Farm Caribbean Cool Rainbow Cake

Wolfe Black Paint

Wolfe White Paint

BAM Stencil #2030: The Birds

BAM Stencil #3011: Curvy Curls

BAM Stencil #1319

Sponges, (cut in half)

Loew-Cornell Gold Grip #1 Brush

Loew-Cornell Gold Grip #3 Brush

Mama Clown Iridescent Glitter: Hot Pink

Mama Clown Iridescent Glitter: Neon Yellow


Step one: load a sponge 

Caribbean Cool is one of my favorite split cakes. It is perfect for a tropical design and much more. When loading a sponge, I spray the sponge with water and then drag it over the surface of the cake a few times making sure to get a good load. 

Step two: forehead and eyelid

To begin, I only picked up the gold, orange and pink on my sponge so that I could do the top of the design and on the eyelid without getting blue into that area. I hold the bottom end of my sponge up when loading the top three colors. Apply the color by using a tapping motion over the skin so that the colors blend. You don’t want to leave a distinct line between the colors.

Step three: cheek area

Reload the sponge now picking up all four colors. Tap over the skin until the color makes a nice blend. You will notice that the teal and the pink will make a lovely purple when blended. Connect it to the upper half so it is sort of a semi circle coming down onto the cheekbone.

Step four: stencil texture

This demonstrates a fun tip for using a split cake. Simply position the stencil over the cheekbone area and flip the already loaded sponge the opposite direction and tap it over the stencil. Voila! You have a multicolored gradated texture in one easy step!

Step five: load a pouncer

If you look through my blog posts, you will notice I use these pouncers a lot! They work so good for a quick circle. And what is even better...using them with a split cake! Spray the pouncer and drag the pouncer over the colors you want. I chose to use the top three colors.

Step six: add a sun

Left photo: With your loaded pouncer, position it at the top. Then push and twist the pouncer to blend the colors in a circular motion. I typically keep the darker color on the bottom to look like the shadow area, with the lighter color on top for a highlight. Right Photo: Position the Curvy Curls stencil over the sun and using the same loaded pouncer, flip it so the dark color is now at the top and apply the color over the stencil.

Step seven: add trees and black line work

A black silhouette looks so beautiful over this Caribbean Cool base! Use a #1 round brush for the trees. The thin tip works great for palm trees. I switched to a #3 round for the rest of the black line work. You can either paint a bird freehand, or use the Birds stencil like I did.

Step eight: colorful teardrops

One other way to make the most out of your split cake is to use the individual colors for parts of your design. I used all the colors to make teardrops. I also combined the teal and pink to make a purple teardrop. This speeds up a design as you are not reaching to find all these individual colors in your kit.

Step nine: highlights, glitter and lips

Adding some white highlights always makes a design pop! I added some teardrops and dots around the design. I also added orange dots using the color in the split cake. Apply glitter in various areas by simply wetting your fingertip, dipping it in the glitter and then tap it onto the areas your want the glitter to go. I put pink glitter on the eyelid and yellow glitter on the sun. If you have time, paint the lips to set off the design.

Using split cakes is a sure way to quickly add pizzazz to your designs. I always get oohs and aahs from the crowd when I use them. 


Pam Kinneberg is the owner and artist for her business, PiKadilly Face Painting located near Fargo, North Dakota. She has won numerous contests and can be found in various magazines including SkinMarkz Magazine, The Colored Palette, QMagazine, Wet Paint Magazine and SillyFarm Newsletters. 

Instagram: @pikadillyfacepainting