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Painting with makeup

Anna Mayes

April 21, 2020


By Anna Mayes

James Charles, Tati Westbrook, Jeffree Star, Jackie Aina. These are influential people in the makeup industry who love to paint their faces. But hey don’t paint portraits with makeup. 

I was first allowed to get makeup right before my  sophomore year when I was 15. Last summer, I thought to myself, “I have never seen anyone paint a face out of makeup. I think that could be really cool if someone did it!” So, I did. Now, I sometimes go into a store, and look at the makeup just to see if I could use any of the makeup in a painting. 

When this quarantine started, I asked my friends to send pictures of them so I could paint them using makeup. I decided on this picture of my friend, Addie. 

First, I drew a rough outline of the eyes, nose and face using a pencil. I tested out which foundation color was best, then started dabbing it on the canvas, leaving enough gap room for eyes and a mouth. Using an eyebrow brush, I drew on the eyebrows. The rest of the face came together as I added eyeshadow, highlight, a slight bronzer, more foundation, eyeliner, and more eyeshadow. The lips are a combination of lipstick, eyeliner, and light eyeshadow. 

Eyeshadow, much like on a face, shows up quite a bit better and brighter when it has something to stick to. In this case, either eyeshadow primer or foundation. The hair and background is all eyeshadow. 

Painting with makeup is the same as if one is painting with acrylics or oil paints. The artist simply has to know the medium she works with. 

One of my favorite things is looking at the art from different angles and being able to see all of the highlight areas.  If anyone tries to “paint” with makeup, I suggest using an actual canvas as it will help with blending and keeping things where you want them.

Also, painting with makeup can use quite a bit of product at times, so don’t be using all of your favorite palettes unless you want to buy more!

This form of art makes me feel creative and original because it’s not something that a lot of people do. Knowing that I can do something that others may have never thought to do inspires me to keep coming up with more madness. 

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