Monday, November 28, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

What were you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? I know there are 13 children in Minnesota who were thankful just to have a family this Thanksgiving!

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of being a part of the Hennepin County Adoption Days event, which I've painted at with my mom for several years. During this year's event 13 kids were adopted into 9 families.  According to their website, Hennepin County has finalized 1,761 adoptions from 2000 to 2009.

What a privilege to be able to take part in such a big day for so many families as they finalize their adoptions! This event is always held right before Thanksgiving, and serves as a timely reminder of what is really important in life.

"There's no place like home"... this was the quote worn by one family who were all coordinated in custom made Wizard of Oz clothing for this year's adoption days!  I had a lot of fun painting these ruby slippers, yellow brick road, and emerald city on the kids' grandmother!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Masquerade Masks!

I've had a couple requests in the past to paint groups of women before heading out for a masquerade themed bachelorette party.  Unfortunately none of them have panned out so I haven't had the opportunity yet!  But, today I was inspired while browsing through a Google image search of Venetian masquerade masks and had to give it a try on myself...

This was really my first attempt at a mask, and boy am I ever blind when painting myself without my glasses on!  (And afterwards looking at photos, I'm always kicking myself for not putting on any makeup, pretty earrings, or something nicer looking than a sweatshirt, but oh well! It's just practice!) I always have to literally paint in super slow motion when painting myself like this, so this one took about a half hour.  But, it turned out pretty cool in the end.  I had a lot of fun with my interferenz gold paint, metallic silver, and adding sparkly details with my Liquid Bling and also adhering some acrylic rhinestones with eyelash adhesive!

Once I get some more time to edit my other photos, maybe I'll share the step by step process of this one too, if not here than on my free e-newsletter!

New Acrylic Rhinestone Shapes Now Available!

We've just received a new shipment of acrylic rhinestones!  New additions to the assortment now include smaller 5mm round gems, tear drop shaped gems, and larger 18mm red hearts.  Check them out on our Acrylic Rhinestone page, where you can also browse our many other shapes and sizes, as well as adhesives!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Private Session: Father Frost & Mother Frost

I had the pleasure of painting "Father Frost" and "Mother Frost" on their way to a Halloween costume party last night!

Working on Mother Frost

For "Mother Frost" I used a mix of the regular Aquacolor paints (white & blues), and interferenz paints.  I used a little snowflake stencil which was pretty slick, and had fun adding details with a bottle of Mehron white Detailz paint and some Amerikan Body Art Liquid Bling in silver. She brought her own sparkly blue eyelashes which were very cool, and also put on some pretty blue & aqua eyeshadow and lips!

 For "Father Frost" I first covered his face and head in a base coat of Interferenz Silver mixed with a little bit of Aquacolor white, which gave him that frosty, pale look with some shimmer.  Then I used more interferenz blues around his eyes to add some drama with the frosty cracks and icicles around his eyes.  Aquacolor white made a nice snowflake on his cheek, but I added some blue around it to make it really pop!  The blue sparkly dots done with Amerikan Body Art Liquid Bling really added a lot when the light hit it as well! I also brushed a little interferenz blue in his beard too which worked well.  I'm kicking myself because I forgot to spritz his beard with a little Glitter Spray!  But, it all came out looking pretty cool! (pardon the pun!)

I have the joy of painting at Christmas parties each year for "Father Frost" when he plays Santa Carlucci.  "Mother Frost" plays a great "Cheryl Claus" at Christmas time and also made their incredible costumes.  Turns out they ended up winning first place in the costume contest at the party they attended, which was very cool and well earned as they put so much time and attention to detail into their costumes! Congrats, "Father & Mother Frost!"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paintertainment FAQ: Is Any "non-toxic" Acrylic Paint Safe for Face Painting?

Question: Is it safe to use acrylic paints and other "craft" paints as face paint, as long as the package says it is "non-toxic?"  The answer: Absolutely NOT!  Non-Toxic does NOT mean FDA approved for cosmetic use, which is what paints must be in order to be considered safe for use on human skin.  I'd even go as far as to say that the term "non-toxic" is as meaningless as the term "hypoallergenic," at least where face paints are concerned.  Is the paint labeled "washable?" They are talking about FABRIC. The only language that you must always look for in face paints is "FDA Approved for cosmetic use or made of FDA compliant ingredients."

Here are just a few images that anyone can find via a simple Google image search for reactions to bad face paints.  Does this look non-toxic to you?!  

via Touchstone Essentials
Photo by Terra Fender (via)
via Painted Party
via Face-Painting-Fun
PLEASE read this post in it's entirety before you decide whether risking a child's health is worth saving a few bucks...

Professional face painter Susan Judd from Liverpool has done a lot of research into this subject, and was gracious enough to let me share this great information that she summarized to help really explain why acrylic paints should never be used on skin:

"Most 'non – toxic' acrylics have formaldehyde as a preservative. This is not bad in its correct application, even in terms of getting a bit on your hands and washing off. The amount that they have in them accounts for this. BUT why are they considered a big 'no' as face paint?

Formaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen -cancer causing (it has only been proven in animals, and depending upon the country in Australia it is classified as one) and outright poison that has been researched since the 1940s. It is easily absorbed through the skin, and inhaled.

It has a particular effect on mucus membranes i.e. eyes, throat, nose and gut. 30mls of formaldehyde is a lethal poison to kill a human. And formaldehyde is commonly tested for as an allergen by in an allergy test.

When they approve this as a preservative, they make allowances for, say, it being stuck under fingernails for a few days, but not slapped on a face next to the mucus membranes to be inhaled and seep through and get in eyes. All acrylics are recommended for use in a well-ventilated area as formaldehyde is released into the air as they dry. Again acrylics not so good near the nose and mouth.

Now if the amount of formaldehyde is less than 1% the manufacturer does not have to list that ingredient. As that is a safe amount for its correct application. and it can be labeled Non Toxic.

You will find formaldehyde in shampoo, conditioner etc. but at no more than 0.2% and they have to include releasing agents in them to basically release the toxins as much as possible in the manufacturing process so it is safe for general use. Many things in life contain formaldehyde but are safe due to the way they were manufactured. Unfortunately general paint slips through this as it is not intended to be misused.

Most 'non-toxic' paint is a myth, as they just count on people using it safely. And that is why it is approved as paint but not as a cosmetic. Unless labelled formaldehyde free.  There are other ingredients we could talk about, but Google formaldehyde to find out more.

Please don’t freak out about you kids having paints in general it is OK just obviously not with prolonged exposure to skin, as face paint. (or ingested in large quantities I suppose) I read up a lot about it but
it is just too much to type.

Formaldehyde (CAS# 50-00-0) is one of the most common chemicals in use today. It is found in many processes and products, being widely used as a preservative, embalming fluid, sterilant and fumigant. Formaldehyde is also used in the production of resins, plastics, dyestuffs, 'non-iron' fabrics, paper products, paint, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products. With such widespread uses and applications, many people come into contact with formaldehyde in one form or another in the workplace.
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas with a strong, pungent odor. It is commonly used in liquid form as a 40% aqueous solution known as formalin and in solid form as a white powder called paraformaldehyde. Because of its volatility, both formalin and paraformaldehyde will readily give off irritating formaldehyde vapour with a strong odour.

Health Effects of Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde can affect you when you breathe its vapour or come into contact with materials containing formaldehyde. It reacts very rapidly with moist body tissue, so particularly vulnerable areas are those that can come into direct contact such as the skin, upper respiratory tract and eyes.
The effects of formaldehyde exposure can vary from person to person. Some may show symptoms of irritation at very low levels, while others can tolerate exposure to higher concentrations with little or no reaction. 

Typical exposure symptoms include:

Low 0.1 - 5 parts per million 

Eye irritation, tears
Skin irritation
Respiratory tract irritation

Moderate5 - 20 ppm 

Burning of eyes and respiratory tract
Difficulty in breathing / coughing

High 20 - 100 ppm  

Chest tightening, pain
Irregular heartbeat
Severe lung irritation
Pulmonary oedema
Death in severe cases

Skin: Contact with formaldehyde solutions or resins can cause eczema (dry, flaking and itching skin) and in extreme cases can lead to dermatitis. This is a skin disease that can appear as a simple rash to severe skin cracking and blistering. These symptoms can also be caused by contact with clothing contaminated with formaldehyde. 

Eyes: Exposure to formaldehyde vapour can cause reddening and a burning sensation in the eyes accompanied by tears production. Formaldehyde solutions coming into direct contact with the eye can cause serious damage to the cornea, possibly leading to blindness. 

Nose, Throat and Lungs: Low ambient concentrations of formaldehyde can cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract. At higher concentrations, the effects become more severe, with levels above 10 ppm causing coughing and chest tightness. Exposure to very high levels can lead to death from throat swelling and chemical burns to the lungs. 

In some people, exposure to formaldehyde vapours, even at very low concentrations, leads to respiratory sensitization resulting in an allergic reaction similar to asthma. This can be triggered at any time, even in individuals who have worked with formaldehyde in the past with no apparent reaction, resulting in shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing and coughing. 

Cancer: Although there is no conclusive evidence available to prove that formaldehyde is a human carcinogen, it has been shown to cause cancer in animals. Formaldehyde is therefore considered to be a probable human carcinogen, particularly as a cause of nasal and nasopharyngeal cancers as these areas are more likely to come into direct contact with formaldehyde."

So the bottom line is, after reading all of this, is it really worth the chance of causing any level of harm to your child or anyone else's with acrylic and other craft paints, when there are already SO many products out there that are FDA approved and specifically designed for use on skin?  It seems to be common sense to me, although I know many people see the words "non-toxic" and think you are safe to use it for whatever you want.  Not so!  So, consider yourself officially time you take your child to get their face painted, or the next time you hire a face painter, make certain you know exactly what they are putting on your child's skin.  After all, the safety of your child is your job as a parent, and the safety of your little customers is your job as a professional face painter.

Here is another bit of info that I pulled off of the Snazaroo acrylic paint FAQ page from "Hopeful the Clown," who wrote to Binney Smith Company, maker of Liquitex acrylic paints, requesting their MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for Liquitex acrylic colors in tubes, jars and artist colors.

Below is some of the information they received:

A-Chronic Health Hazards: Contains soluble cadmium. Avoid using if pregnant or contemplating pregnancy. Exposure may cause harm to developing fetus. Not for use by children.

B-Chronic Health Hazards: Contains soluble nickel. May be harmful if swallowed. Exposure may cause damage to the testes. When using do not eat, drink, or smoke. Not for use by children.

c-Medical conditions aggravated by exposure: Pre-existing skin, eye and respiratory disorders may by aggravated by exposure to this product.

D- Emergency and First Aid:
1- Eyes: Flush with water for 15 minutes. Call Physician if symptoms exist.
2- Skin: Wipe off excess and flush with warm water and soap.
3- Ingestion: consult Physician, hospital, or poison control center.
4- Inhalation: Remove victim to fresh air and treat symptomatically.

E- Carcinogenicity: The ingredients of this product are on the toxic substance control act (TSCA) inventory.

F- Do not store near extreme heat.

G- For Airbrushing" Use NIOSH certified respirator. Do not inhale spray from airbrush. Use adequate ventilation to control fumes vapors and dust/. Do not airbrush colors 162, 168,161, 312,154,157,168, 150,152,and 160.

Links to check out:
Snazaroo's Acrylic paint FAQ page
Another good blog post on the dangers of non-professional supplies
News Article: New Mexico State Fair shuts down face painter using acrylics
News Article: Kids left "branded" at Family Fun Day 

Here are some more useful links found by Susan Judd (Thanks, Susan!!):

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby Bump Painting: Minnesota Twins!

Boy am I lucky to have yet another adorable pregnant woman in my family!  My cousin and his wife, who are expecting TWINS were in town visiting this week, so of course I had to paint her!!  I'm honored that I was able to get a slice of their time, as I know how precious it is when visiting family out of state!

Being that the Minnesota Twins are my cousin's favorite team, AND they are expecting twins, it was only natural that we'd do a Twins baseball design!
Progress shots

First I have the mom-to-be stand while I sketch the design with a white makeup pencil

Then mom gets to sit and get comfy while I paint!

Adding the blue outlines really made it sharp!

Finishing touches!

I had a few different options for Twins designs to choose from, and I'm glad she picked this one!  It looked simple but was fun to really add some dimension and detailing with the stitching, and the giant baseball really played well on her belly shape!

I got some cute shots with the dad-to-be, who also took the photos of me painting above (thank you!!)...I'll probably post some of his own photos later too as he had a better camera!  ;-)  All in all I think it turned out pretty cute and I had a blast!! 

Interested in having your own custom baby bump artwork?  Click here to learn more!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dramatic Celebrity Face Paint Ideas for Halloween Costumes

Nobody wants to show up for a Halloween party and be asked, "so who are YOU supposed to be?!"  Choosing a Halloween persona that incorporates face painting is a great way to achieve the full effect and really look like who you're trying to look like!

There are many movie characters, musicians & celebrities that can easily be mirrored with a little face paint! Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking this Halloween...

 Lady Gaga - Pretty much anything goes, but the above looks can be achieved with Aquacolor paints in the color of your choosing using brushes, paired up with some glitter, glitter spray, or go all out with some acrylic rhinestones attached with eyelash adhesive or spirit gum!

The Mad Hatter from Alice - Use some clown white or aquacolor white for a base, applied with a round or wedge sponge.  Then feather on the pink/red around the cheeks and eyes using Aquacolor paint with a wide brush or a sponge. (Don't forget the makeup remover if you use the clown white or other Supracolor paint as it is not water based)

The Queen of Hearts from Alice - Use some clown white or aquacolor white for a base, applied with a round or wedge sponge.    Then add the blue eyelids and red heart shape over the lips using blue and red Aquacolor paint or supracolor paint and a brush.  Use a fine brush and black Supracolor or Aquacolor black for the little mole and black eyebrows.  OR, try a black Pro pencil or a bottle of Detailz!  You could even achieve this whole look using one 6-color Supracolor palette. (Don't forget the makeup remover if you use the clown white or other Supracolor paint as it is not water based)

Captain Jack Sparrow - Use a brush with some Aquacolor white, black, and green to paint his extra eyes!

The Joker - Try wrinkling up your face while blotting on some Aquacolor white paint with a sponge.  This will help achieve those "cracks" of no paint where the wrinkles are.  Then get some red for the mouth and apply with a brush, and do a mix of black and green around the eyes.  Put a little extra water in the black and red to allow it to bleed into the cracks and you've got yourself one creepy looking Joker face!
KISS - Try some clown white or aquacolor white for a base applied with a round or wedge sponge.  Then add the black details with a brush and black Aquacolor paint.  Use metallic silver around the eyes if that's the face you choose!

Blue Man Group - That's an easy one!  Get an all black outfit and paint your head blue with Aquacolor paint! Use a round or wedge sponge to get quick coverage. (Pick up a skull cap if you're not bald, or go all out and shave your head!)

Be sure to sign up for our FREE e-newsletter too if you haven't already...the next one will be coming out in just days and will include a cute step-by-step Halloween bat cheek art design, as well as some really cool "sugar skull" designs!

Got something awesome planned for this Halloween involving face paint?  We'd love to see how it turns out and post your photos!  Contact me if you'd like to share your costume ideas, past or present!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baby Bump Painting: Goldfish Bowl!

I am sooo excited to share my first baby bump painting, done just this afternoon!  Well, my first on someone else...I did paint my own belly like a pumpkin on Halloween two years ago.  But it was much trickier not being able to see below my belly button.  ;-)

Pregnant belly painting, also known as "gestational art," is all the rage these days.  Moms-to-be are having their bellies painted and photographed with their dads-to-be for their baby books, and even having them done at baby showers!  You may have seen moms on A Baby Story having their bellies painted, or maybe you've seen some celebrities in the news having it done, like Mariah Carey.

Having your baby bump painted and photographed is a really fun way to preserve some memories from pregnancy and celebrate your growing belly!  I've always had so much fun studying all of the photos of baby bump art in my face & body painting magazines, so I put a feeler out on Facebook to see if I could get a model or two to let me paint them.  My wonderful second cousin, who is 32 weeks pregnant, graciously volunteered, having never even heard of having your belly painted!

I started by sending her a few photos off of the web of other people's painted bellies to get the wheels turning.  She decided on the fishbowl idea, which is a really fun play on the round pregnant belly!  I put together this Photoshopped concept for her using various clipped digital images off the web, and I used this for reference:

digital concept "sketch"

 ...and here's the finished piece...pretty close!
 I gave her a page of different plants to choose from, and she picked these cute lilly pads which were fun shapes to create!

After reading some suggestions from experienced belly painters on the face paint forum, I decided to have her stand at first while I drew the basic design on her belly with a makeup pencil ($5 each for black or white).  This prevents the design from looking distorted when she is done and stands back up.

 Above are a few progess shots along the way.  I used a round makeup sponge that I had cut in half ($1.20 each) to fill in the white base and some blue shading.  Then I used my #28 flat sable brush ($19.50) to feather and blend the blue and white to give the bowl a nice round appearance.  From there I used my #5 and #2 contour round brushes ($3.40 & $4.60) to fill in all of the colors and details.

I'm really glad that she brought her mom to share in the experience, because she was a great photographer and captured the whole process!

 I've never really painted pictures of goldfish and it was really fun.  Normally I spend about 30 seconds to a minute on a design, on very adorable yet wiggly children.  I was wondering if I could even get myself to spend more than 20 minutes on a design!  Turns out the challenge for me was making myself STOP tweaking and adding more detail after over an hour of painting!  The time flew by though and I already can't wait for my next belly painting.

After we were finished we took tons of photos!  I didn't have an actual fish net so I Photoshopped this one into the picture, which turned out pretty cute:
 ...although I was kindof wishing I had a cat to put next to her!

All in all I think it went well for my first belly painting and I think my wonderful model enjoyed it too! Many thanks to her for driving out more than an hour I'm sure to my house so that I could paint her while my two boys were napping!  ;-)

If you live in the Twin Cities area (Minneapolis / St Paul Minnesota) and are interested in having your belly painted, or in giving a belly painting as a gift to an expectant mom, check out my website here for more info!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Package Deal: The Charity Fundraising Kit!

I am pleased to announce yet another new product introduction to the Paintertainment online shop...the Charity Fundraiser Kit!  This kit was designed to help people raise money for various charitable causes, enabling someone with no experience face painting to achieve professional results without the high price tag of hiring an actual professional.  Click here for a video demonstration!

For just $23.99 (over a $2.00 savings versus buying each item individually) 
the kit includes:
• One #2 round brush for outlining
• One round makeup sponge, which can be cut in half to make two sponges
• 2.5 ounces of Kryolan Aquacolor makeup in the color of your choosing
• .5 ounces of Kryolan Aquacolor black makeup for outlines
• One ribbon design stencil from Snazaroo

Not sure what colors represent what causes?  I'm in the process of putting together my own color chart, but in the meantime, I really like this one put together by Fire Mountain Gems, a place I like to buy beads for jewelry making!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rainbow Butterfly How-To

Tonight I finally had a chance to try out a few of the fun new products that were recently added to Paintertainment's online shop!  I took photos along the way so that I could share a little rainbow butterfly how-to for you!

1) Wet the brush and/or paint. Swipe the Snazaroo butterfly fan brush across the Paradise Rainbow Cake to load it with a rainbow of colors! (You'll swipe in the other direction, loading the other side of the brush, when you do the butterfly's right wing in step 3)

2) Lay the butterfly fan brush against the skin, making sure that all colors make contact.

3) Swipe to the right as you lift the brush up for the left wing! Repeat using the other side of the brush for the right wing.

4) Outline the wings in black.  I used the Kryolan #5 round brush and black Aquacolor paint.

5) Paint a body and add antennae and outlines.  I used more of the Kryolan Aquacolor paint for the body, and a black bottle of Paradise Detailz for the outlines and antennae.

6) Add the finishing touches in white! I used the Snazaroo dotting wand for the white dots on the edges of the wings, and a white bottle of Paradise Detailz for the fine highlights and details.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Paradise & Mehron Products Now Available!

I'm pleased to announce another round of great new products just added to!

Glitter Spray 
- Glitter spray is a water based gel with glitter suspended throughout. It may be sprayed on the skin, hair or clothing. Use alone or to add sparkling accents!

Pro Pencils
- These silky smooth, ultra creamy pencils glide on with ease and come with a sturdy composite casing to protect the tip. Use them to draw designs or outline shapes to indicate placement of makeup...a must have for clowns and baby bump artists! Hint: for better point, put pencil in the freezer for a few minutes before sharpening!

Rainbow Cakes
- This 6-color rainbow cake is made up of Mehron's world famous Paradise Makeup AQ paint. The large surface of the rectangular cake has equal amounts of each color. They can be applied with a dampened sponge or brush, and remove easily with soap and water. The container measures about 3 1/8" x 2 1/4"

-This liquid color concentrate is specifically designed for detail work. Each bottle comes with its own special applicator that provides the artist with the ability to add those fine details to intricate designs, outlines, fine lines, round accent spots and dots of various sizes.

I can't WAIT to try out all of these cool products, and as soon as I do I'll be sure to post pictures!

Happy painting! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Full Faces Freak me out!

 I hesitate to even post these just because full faces still totally creep me out!!  That's probably a bad trait for a face painter, eh? ;-) Well, I thought I'd try my hand at some full face animals on myself.  So here they are:

Leopard - This was my first try at using a "rake brush," and a neat animal print stencil I just bought online.  Never thought I'd use a stencil but they are pretty slick for things like prints!

My tiger face, before I had the rake brush which makes such great fur...

Trying out another new stencil of reptile skin! The interferenz paints were pretty cool for this.  If I did it again I'd do a darker base and then do the stencil'ed pattern in lighter green. I used to have an iguana named Gonzo.  There's your trivia for the day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Two of My Favorite Summer "Gigs!"

Now that things are barely settling down a bit, I thought I'd post some photos from a couple of my favorite annual gigs that were last week!

 My mom and I have been doing this outdoor concert together for the past few years at the Village at Mendota Heights. So far we've always lucked out with great weather!  There's a cute grassy "square" outside where all the families gather to listen to children's entertainment.  This year there was even a petting zoo!

a few happy customers!

My mom painting
 Then the next day I painted at another one of my favorite events to work at...the fall kickoff party at Virtuosos Music Academy in Plymouth! The past few years they've been including some of the other neighboring businesses and the event grows every year.  It is free and open to the public with wonderful live music by the students, karate demonstrations from the nearby karate school, and this year they even had free Starbucks, and some professional stylists from The Style Room styling and spraying kids' hair fun colors!
some musicians performing from the music school

I had just a few minutes to paint my own arm when I started! I love doing the music related designs at this event.

My little portable face painting setup.  It all folds up and fits in the back of my VW Beetle!

A little father son arm painting!

There was a rush of "eye swirls" after everyone saw this one! I love how it matched her earrings!
It was a busy end to a busy summer, and I still have more events to paint at this September.  Business is booming and I've been having a lot of fun!  Before we know it I'll be posting photos of Christmas gigs with Santa...gotta enjoy these summer days as long as we can!