I do goof around a lot…
Alcohol Activated Paints
I kind of leapt right into here after playing with a little Aquacolour and Snazaroo. Both are fine, and in many ways are easier to apply and blend. However I wanted to paint my whole body red. Red in particular transfers badly in body paint. Really really really badly. No matter how well sealed and set. I found this even with PAX (might be because I did insist on added pure pigment powder and not mixing it fully…)
These have a bit of a reputation for being harder to use, but they aren’t 🙂 So long as you know a few tricks, as with everything 🙂
First, they are solvent in alcohol (ethanol and Isopropyl Alcohol) but also in the industry standard cleaner Isopropyl Myristate. Which is super expensive in NZ. So it means once dry they are set. You would think this is all kinds of bad for tidy up but it’s not.
I set my work area up with my towels and plastic containers and plastic bags so I can just dump everything in my makup up kit at the end happy to wipe down the surfaces with rubbing alcohol and knowing it won’t keep transfering from cloth to surface to cloth like you get with a wet face cloth. or wastes paper towels. And knowing that the paint on the outside of my bottles/pots/pallets can be cleaned off later but won’t damage my kit.
There are several brands to use. The ones I use are:
NZ Airbrush Tatoos Mostly for my white based paints. So for Liara and Rachi. It’s a good product, with amazingly fast response from the owners and they pack the bottles nicely. And cost effectively. Also on TradeMe and I may use their auctions next time so I can leave feedback :)These are in liquid form, ready to airbrush. It’s fairly thin so you do need to evaporate off some of the liquid if you want to paint/sponge on.
Reel Creations I live overseas so can’t buy their paints easily, but the liquid form is apparently already mixed to use in airbrushes as well. I buy their Large Color Pots as they are totally evaporated and so don’t pose a risk to shipping by air. Oh heck, I worked out how much they cost in NZ dollars. But it’s about $24 each including shipping? But one pot of red lasted multiple applications for Darth Talon including the lekku.
harder to remove than the above but still needs hot water and soap at least. IM is best and IA works. Just avoid the face.
Latonas which seems to have changed their bottles and maybe formulation? This is close to PAX as you can get without being PAX. It is/was half diluted, so you need to thin it for airbrush but works well as is to sponge on appliances. It is super durable. I did my underarms and butt/thighs as Talon and I looked like I had red boy shorts on the entire time at C6 and some way in to D*C. Even with IM to remove it.
In all cases I prefer to pour them out into a flat container and evaporate them off so I can use them like a mix between cake make up and watercolour. But using alcohol vs water 😉
I like to buy the red as is as well as the black in all the above and use as is- my lekku are tinted vaguely transluscent within my own skin shades so it refracts light in a similar way to my skin. It’s not perfect but the red is slightly transluscent so is better than not.
I do however buy a lot of white and mix to make the Asari blues and pastel to mid tone shades where possible. This is because I can then be sure they are all equally opaque (some inks are opaque some are transluscent) and equally mixable in to each other.
To do this I have pure pigment from the art store. The skull and bones on the bottles is not because the product is toxic but is so finely milled you do not want to breathe it in! So I get my dust mask, and spriitz the top of the bottle with alcohol to keep stray particles from being breathed in and mix directly in my bottles/containers.
I use a col blue and warm blue, opaque yellow and a “red” that is actually pink and a true red. And also Titanium white as it is a base for cosmetics.
I check my mixes regularly and give a stir every so often after mixing and during the evaporation process as the colour pigments rise and the white/fillers sink. This is also why the paints can look darker once dry than in the bottle/pot.
I also mix street shadow with these pigments to intensify them as you need strong colours to shade with.
First prep the skin:
Shave/defoliate every hair from everywhere you can.I forget this as my hair is so fine and blonde but when I do it gives such a good result. So I will put my hair in a pony tail and use depilatory cream around my hairline and back of neck. These fly away hairs at the back are about 10cm long and can cause issues with gluing bald caps. But you might be suprised how fluffy you are near your hair line!
And then I use tweezers on my brows and upper lip and even my epilady if I am brave. I didn’t do my brows or lip for Rachi and in person you could tell, not so much in photos though! If you forget the hairs will get coated in paint and stick out like bristles.
Moisturise as usual but use a dry cloth after and wipe off any excess. Moisturiser and AA paint do not mix.
I have an airbrush but it is better for detail work and I rely on canned air so it’s not economically feasable atm. Also it’s toploaded so makes it hard to self paint faces! So I use a large filbert type brush. Starting on the cheeks and nose and working towards the jawline and neck then across the forehead and down to the brows, finally dabbing with the same brush with minimal paint and minimal alcohol towards the eyes. I do paint over my lids but it’s usually lighter than elsewhere and I avoid my brows as much as possible.
For Talon this was pretty much it except some minor shading at the eyes and of course the painting of the tattoos… I only hand painted the face and lekku, my body tattoos were transfers. Very expensive, fiddly but if done right works really well. It’s about $50 an application atm. I hope I can get that down and also to get my tattoos a little more finetuned. I am not happy to share my graphics as I did use Jan’s work so much on this. However I will ask her permission once they are actually okay to convert to PDF as I know it would help a lot of Talons in the waiting.
For Liara and Rachi though I then got stippling with a sponge and the pallettes. Lots of white for Liara on the nose and jawline and cheeks and a little pink on the eyes.
I use a range of sponges. For liara I used the defolitaing side of the depilitory sponge as it is very open celled and very firm. This makes for a light freckly type of effect.
For Rachi I used a latex wedge for the cheeks as it lays down a lighter but more easily blended layer of colour.
For Rachi and Liara I also wear aggressive lashes! There is always a gap between lash line and lashes so once in place I use a very long pointed brush and use the very tip to fill in tat line. And then also top the lashes.
For the eyes I also use black to line under the eye and bend with a colour I use to shade. So for Liara this is a purple as well as pink. And use white abover the liner on my upper lashes before getting the pink/other pastel shader over it. And also a little white directly under the brow. Again i will over colour with another pastel if it is too stark.
I also paint in my brows with a fine brush and black paint usually. Twi’lek and Asari are reptilian essentially so their brows look painted in anyway.
The good news is you cannot go too far. Once you look painted you look painted. You may as well use every trick in the book to make your eyes look bigger, give definition to your jaw and cheeks as you can.
I basically use old theatre make up tricks in the alien colours to counter the flattening effect of opaque colour.
I have used a few abbreviations so here they are all consolidated 🙂
Fill a basin with hot hot water. Put in your face cloth. Take out and wring then put on your face. This is like having a nice steam facial and helps by getting your face sweating. Do this a few times and be careful. You want that theraputic heat not scalding heat!
Next use same face cloth with a gentle soap. Gently use the cloth and soap on your cheeks and jaw and the less sensitive areas.
If this has been going well you won’t need to try the next but you may…
For my hands I spritz with IA (Isopropy Alcohol) or ethanol (“meths” in NZ though no methanol is involved any more thank goodness) and use a hot facecloth again and scrub. I kind of beat up my hands anyway.
I will also use IA/ethanol on my neck and arms etc. But I avoid my face and also any areas I have pulled PA from (edges of latex appliances). Well I do *now*. Lesson leart the hard way!
For the face I also use a good big dollop of Aveeno and work then in to the skin already cleaned and in to the edges of the paint to help lift it. The heat from the face cloth, the moisturiser and gentle buffing action will remove most. (I use this to remove street make up too).
But if you have some Isopropyl Myristate (IM) this is the ideal time to use it.
It is oily and mega effective so always keep it separate from your main kit and well sealed. IA/ethanol with dissolve the paint and then evaporate leaving the paint actually still usable (if you can get at it). IM does not. I suspect it joins to the binder like an emollient so one end is soluble in oil and the other in alcohol and even water. So a forever solution.
Baby oil helps but it is a mechanical action with massage and heat helping.
If you use IM or baby oil remember to also then clean your face with a gentle cleanser and use your moisturiser. They are oily so can clog pores.
Sorry for huuuuuuge wall of text! I could have broken this up as well 😉