Professional Beauty North 2016 with Warpaint Magazine

Once again Cat and myself were invited up to Professional Beauty North in Manchester to be guest speakers and head judges for the Warpaint Magazine bodypainting competition.

Our stage presentation was at 4pm on Sunday and in keeping with the theme for their bodypainting competition the next day Cat and myself turned our model Grace into an american inspired bodypaint which you can see a full timelapse of over on our YouTube Channel


On Monday we had a smaller than anticipated turnout for the bodypainting competition but the standard was fabulous with first place for the pro category being won by Cheryl Howes with her model Debbie Tolley and her gorgeous vintage hollywood inspired design.


1st place in the student category was won by Emily Smith who created a wonderful native american bodypaint on her Dad!


As always we had a wonderful time at Pro Beauty North, look out for details of Pro Beauty London soon which is in Feb at The Excel.

Below are some of our own shots of our bodypaint demo but also some great photos captured by some talented Instagram photographers that we were lucky enough to bump into after our demo on Sunday 🙂

Jenn xx







Paintopia event at the Kryolan UK Store, London

For the 2016 Paintopia Festival we were thrilled to have Kryolan UK involved as the events associate sponsor.

In 2015 they had hosted us a wonderful pre-festival event in their Covent Garden store and this year once again they offered to do the same.

2015 Paintopia pre launch event at Kryolan UK. Photo: Simon Ackerman Photography

This year with the festival theme being Urban Jungle, Gemma, Emily & Paul from Kryolan opted for the idea of using some wallpaper over the lightboxes they have in store and us camouflaging models into them.

We also thought that we would leave parts of each bodypaint unfinished so that when the Pro and Student guests arrived later in the evening they could get involved and have a hands on try at bodypainting and try out the Kryolan products we had used too.

The event was once again a huge success with a huge range of professionals and Students attending to find out more about Paintopia or to show support for the event having been involved with it for some time.

Footage & Images from the event can be found over on our YouTube Channel

Bodypaint Team:


Jennie Roberts, Catriona Finlayson, Angela Youngs, Helen Elvins, Gemma Horner, Paul Merchant


Gracie Bodypaint Model, Daniel Kerry, Mel Rose, Claire Hindle, Lucy Parkhouse, Mel Rose

Photographer: Tommy Atkin – The Lincoln Studio

Huge thank you to the whole team at Kryolan Official & Kryolan UK dfor the continued support they give both myself and the festival 🙂

Jenn xx

Paintopia pre festival event team 2016 at Kryolan UK

Isle of Wight Festival with British Airways

Guest Blogger: Cat Finlayson

I was delighted when a PR/ Experiential company I have worked with before (they hire me to paint for a week most springs at a Volvo stand at the Camping & Caravanning expo) contacted me about working for them at the Isle of Wight Festival

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My lovely friend Jennie Roberts of Paintopia was hired to come as the 2nd artist. That was fabulous as we have hardly seen each other in months, even when at the same events, as I’m always painting and she’s hosting, etc.

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The months before, with Paintopia, then IMATS and several other big events, was so busy I hadn’t really looked closely at the booking details until we had met up in Southampton to get on the IOW ferry on Thursday evening. Expecting a B&B or whatever as there weren’t many big hotels,  (we knew it wasn’t a tent behind the festival stand), imagine our shock & delight when we drove down to the south of the island, up the longest private drive ever, to see we were staying in a mansion!


We didn’t need the travel kettle Jennie had packed for late night cups of tea at all – fully equipped kitchen, games room, gym, TV room, dining, sitting and play rooms…. Amazing! We met a few of the TRO & BA Staff, and a couple of the DJs, before heading off to bed quite late.


The next morning we got some more directions and headed back to the north of the island, calling in at a supermarket on the way to buy some snacks and lunch to have onsite. Sadly the rest of the crew were held up (taxis didn’t arrive) and couldn’t meet us with the electric golf cart at the staff parking,  so we ended up having to haul our gear, including hot and wet weather gear, just in case, for a good 30 minutes. Very thankful we had our trolleys!  We passed various parking areas, camp sites, tepee and yurt glamping zones, tent areas and then finally into the festival itself. It all seemed very clean and tidy and I loved that they had sniffer dogs on duty. Thank goodness it was dry – dust I can stand, it would have been impossible in thick mud like Download Fest had that same weekend!

Another 10+ minutes of trekking through the various festival zones and we finally found the huge, intriguing British Airways Arena tent. All you could see was a check-in desk with a queuing system in place, just like in an airport.


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The idea was that at the desks, after being asked by real BA air hostesses where you were going and getting a special luggage-tag wristband, you crawled though the luggage carousel and entered a party. A uniformed customs official (a dancer) put you in the body scanner, activated by your wrist band, which took infra-red style photos and videos you could download later, then you walked in through the departures board to see a DJ on top of a pile of suitcases, surrounded by fun free activities.

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There was a speakeasy bar where answering destination riddles won a cocktail from that city. A spin-to-win board where prizes ranged from blow-up airplanes to free flights to CapeTown. A ‘selfie’ fuselage, Caribbean massages, a ski-lift photo booth again with downloadable videos & pics & props, and beside that, a Bedouin tent from Marrakesh with free face & body art inside by Jennie & myself.

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We had been given lovely kaftan tops to wear, which whilst nice and colourful & cool in the heat, were white… not always the best choice for face painters though!

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All with real flight crew in uniform, and a bunch of amazing dancers who constantly changed costume to match different Gatwick British Airways  destinations. It seemed risky – no advertising, nothing to be seen but the check in desk but we loved it.

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On Friday we took part in the ‘flight parade’ to drum up interest. All the glam air crew in matching Union Jack Hunter wellies and uniform, guided by all the dancers in ground-crew jumpsuits & high-vis with glowing plane-directing paddles, were walking in formation through the festival handing out some tickets.

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Jennie & I were supposed to be quickly painting things on interested people as we passed. We soon realised that even just a stencil & puff of glitter put us miles behind the crew, so were always madly stencilling, glittering then running to catch up. Back to the arena tent and we opened at 4.

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The idea was to reward the curious, and oh my goodness did we! The music was fab, we were jigging away as we painted, and the noise when someone won a set of international flights was insane. Jenn and I were flat out, sticking to 3-minute-or-less fast designs, chatting to everyone we painted and asking them to take a selfie, and they all thought the whole thing was amazing.

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We were supposed to be painting to match BA destinations, but as they fly everywhere we could and did do just about anything.

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Day of the dead sugar skulls for South & Central America, USA stuff (inc film/ hero faces),  jungle animals, tropical flowers, snowy things….

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The staff finally managed to shut down our queue so we quickly packed away and stuffed kit behind the scenes so our tent area could be used by the public.


The aircrew and dancers still looked immaculate and were working away in a huge happy crowd. We went to find a very late tea, then walked to the far end of the festival to see the last few songs by the Stereophonics.

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We were going to wait to see Faithless but were so tired we gave up and started the trek back to the car. We stopped to buy churros-  I love them – and for the 1st time were shocked by the giant size of the helpings – we only finished 1 portion, they are usually smaller & shorter! Faithless came on nearly an hour later when we got back to the car, exhausted, so I’m glad we didn’t hang about. As it was, by the time we’d got home, showered, cleaned brushes, stencils & sponges and got into bed, it was after 2 am! The rest of the staff started arriving then too.


Saturday morning we were quite stiff from the unusual working position – the bedouin cushions & settees had looked so nice we had put away our usual chairs for customers the day before, and we felt the difference! We breakfasted by the fish pond on the verandah (!) chatting to some of the crew, which was lovely, and had a short walk around the grounds. After debating getting a taxi in so we had less distance to walk now we didn’t have kit, we decided we might want to pack up after work tonight if we didn’t want to go back into the festival on Sunday. Realising all the bands started after our ferry left on Sunday, we had to do the long walk from staff parking again.


No flight parade this time, but word had got around, so there was an even longer queue to get in all day, as people returned or joined out of curiosity.


By the evening, staff removed one of the luggage crawl-ways so people could just walk in when tagged, which meant more were allowed in,  and the party really kicked off.

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They had to shut off entry to our facepainting queue a long time before we finished, but there was so much else to do people were OK with that. I also went round when we had cleared the queue with all the pre-glued bling I had made, and stuck that on people who hadn’t been painted.


The photo-booth people very kindly offered to drive myself & our kit back so they could see where to go when they had to pack at 1 a..m. so we trundled through the busy crowds at about 10pm.


By the time we returned to the BA Arena, Jennie & I went off for an amazing Thai takeaway whilst seeing a bit of The Who, after which she charmed some T-shirt sellers into a large discount on festival tops for us.


Then as we had promised, we returned to the BA tent to find the biggest party in full swing. There were even some Who fans we had painted the Who logo on there – they went to watch the band and after a couple of songs decided the BA tent was more fun so came back!!


We met the Dickson Brothers from Kiss FM who were lovely, (and huge heroes of Jennies eldest daughter), and the off-duty staff were all joining in too.  We bounced around to their fantastic set with the public & staff until the brilliant ‘shut down‘ (click that for a vid clip) with air hostesses, DJ’s etc showing everyone the exits, emergency safety talk style, and had a lovely lock-in with the large crew for a while. Jennie was even allowed to try on a real air stewardess hat.

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By the time we got home and into bed, 1 wee bird started singing. As I mentioned it to Jennie, the whole lot started… been a while since anything except the baby had me still up at dawn!

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Anyway we visited my brother-in-law on the way back to the ferry, and filled up with coffee for our drives to different sides of the country.

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A totally amazing 3 days… bookings like this are what makes the hard slog ones worthwhile. An amazing event with a brilliant team, we can’t say enough about how good the experience was and are so glad it  was so well received, and got into the press.

The Media Makeup & Theatre Event

The Media Makeup & Theatre Event is the brainchild of Martina Parmar Bellieni who is the owner and director of The Professional Makeup Company.

We were thrilled to be invited to be a part of this brand new event to be showcased up in Birmingham at Cranmore Park.

After a somewhat eventful journey from Norfolk across to Birmingham with a poorly car full of Cameleon, European Bodyart, Glitter Lips and the Stylpro Brush Cleaner we were rescued from a roadside services by Helen Elvins and her fabulous Dad whilst my poorly car was sent home in disgrace on a recovery lorry.

We eventually made it to our destination hotel, The Village, which was absolutely lovely and comfortable, just what we needed after 8 hours of the day spent on the side of the A14! Crufts was on at the nearby NEC and the hotel was full of a huge variety of dog breeds which was interesting, luckily no yapping kept us up during the night but I hear some others were not so lucky :/

After unloading Helen’s Dads car into Martina’s car,  a quick bite to eat and a catch up with some of the other lovely painty people attending the event, Grace and myself hit the sack so we could be up and ready for the next day.

I set off at 7am with Martina and some of her team to get set up leaving Grace to have a lie in. Seems my bad luck was set to continue as whilst trying to wheel all my stock in on my trolley I hit the kerb and the whole lot fell off scattering glitter gels all over the place. Thankfully after that things did get better!

Martina had created the event to showcase a wide variety of skill sets across the makeup, facepaint, bodypaint and special fx genres and there was certainly lots of creativity going on throughout the day.

I had a fantastic team for the event consisting of Helen Elvins who was helping me on the stand, Joanna Delilah who was part Paintopia/part Warpaint Magazine correspondant and Cat who was creating a stunning Urban Jungle themed bodypaint on fabulous Gracie.

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Angela Youngs had a team with her consisting of Cheryl Howes, Alison Bessant, Sally Reeves and Helen Eyre and several familiar models – Daniel Kerry, Will Shave, Debbie Tolley, Kerry Clayton plus friends. They created several looks throughout the day in true Angela style! She inspires me so much, not only as an artist but also as a wife and a mother, her and her amazing family are simply wonderful, all of them.

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Also in attendance nearby and creating beautiful bodypaint was Elissa Barrett, Suzanna Forrister-Beer and Victoria Gugenheim. Jo Banks was also bodypainting but sadly I didn’t see much of her as she was in the Creative Artists room.

Tony Cooney was close by with his photography studio and also close by to us was Einat Dan,  MouldlifeNeill’s Materials Makup Academy & Rob Smith with his terrifyingly realistic blood! There were lots of other amazing businesses, academies and artists in attendance too but I simply didn’t have the time to get round to see them.

Aside from those mentioned there was lots of other things to see and do including mini masterclasses, demos and a student competition. Because I was busy on the stand I only managed to take a few snaps but the lovely Joanna Delilah will hopefully have some more to add to this blog later on as she was busy snapping away all day! If anyone has any photos they’d like to add to this blog do please send them over to me – I’ll credit them of course 🙂

The atmosphere in the room was lovely and everyone we spoke to seemed to be having a great day too. Well done to Martina and her team for putting on a great show, we really look forward to returning next year, hopefully without breaking down on the way!

Jenn xx

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Stylpro Brush Cleaner

Guest Blogger –Catriona Finlayson

This is something I have been completely over-excited about since it was mentioned on Warpaint Magazine‘s blog the week before Professional Beauty.

You see, brush cleaning is the ‘worst’ bit of being a professional painter. I carry a small container of Cameleon Brush Soap in my kit, and do try to rinse out my brushes at the end of gigs with it, but due to parking fees at malls, party venues needing to be cleared, and hopefuls assuming if I’m still there with my brushes out I can still paint them, I usually stuff brushes away rinsed but half-dirty and unpack everything again at home to clean properly. Not ideal as with 2 kids I tend to be busy & they have dried stiff & gross before I have a chance to get them out later. I use a little nobbly mat to help get the paint out as repeatedly rubbing several dozen brushes against my own palms actually makes them hurt and I always end up with cold, wrinkly hands too.

And don’t get me started on kabukis! Even more so than the large body-brushes kabukis, they EAT paint and then hang onto it. I rinse, soap, rinse, soap at least 4 times in a row, maybe taking 15 minutes per brush. I then try to squeeze out as much water, scrub them drier on towels and try to leave them somewhere warm-ish to dry out.

It can still take days and like several famous painters I have heard complain of it, still get mouldy smelly brushes sometimes at the end of it and have to start over. And sometimes when loading them with a pale colour you still get a darker tone from a colour used several bodies ago :/ It is also why I have about 10 kabukis (not all in my favourite shape or size sadly), so that when I’m painting a body, I can have 1 per colour, more or less, as you have no chance of getting them clean & dry enough to switch between colours on a single kabuki (Ok yes lighter to darker, sometimes). Plus of course they are not cheap! And yes I’ve tried most cleaner solutions, soaps etc on the market.

So when WarPaint mentioned the Stylpro brush cleaner & drier, I immediately tweeted Inventor Tom (yes the one who won The Apprentice), asking if we could come and try it. Tom’s research showed that many makeup brushes had as many bacteria on them after cleaning as a loo brush! So he invented a solution, the Style-Pro. We wanted to see if it suited us first, as it seemed to be aimed at make-up more than body/ face painters and we tend to use different types of brushes & products. He kindly told us to come along and give it a try!

We were so busy painting Grace, had to finish off our design on her as a demo on the Warpaint stage and pose for 100’s of photos with the lovely public, it took us a while to locate Tom’s busy stall (thanks Maria for locating it for us!) on Sunday. We were peering curiously over the shoulders of his customers, watching the demos, when he spotted us and the holder full of paint-soaked brushes we’d bought along to test (and Grace in full bodypaint).

Tom immediately nabbed one of the big angled kabukis I loved, plugged it into the right sleeve, added it to the handle and dunked it into his splash-proof bowl. Everyone oohed as the paint flew off, and after a few moments, the kabuki was pulled out, bone dry. We were sold, even though Tom pointed out it would need a water change or two and another few dunkings as the paint was so much stronger/ more soaked in than makeup was. We immediately bought one each as did several of the people watching.

So whilst Grace had some professional photos done, Jennie and I unboxed our brush cleaner and had a play, footage of which can be found on the Paintopia YouTube channel. Joey Bevan joins us briefly too! (Slight technical hitch as we’d packed away our soaps already so just tried the oil-based remover it came with as an added extra). It really is like playing too! A quick dunk & whizz and hey presto, clean bacteria free brushes! It definitely seemed to work best on the bigger 1 stroke and kabuki brushes, and for that alone I will be taking mine along to all gigs and not spending hours ruining toilet sinks for once.

There are a few adaptations we are talking to Tom about specifically for face/ body painters (extra rinsing containers, a carry case/ non glass bowl, sleeves for smaller brushes etc). Tom is lovely and really keen to get his products right for his customers which is just amazing. I really think it is an invaluable tool for a busy painter, and as it runs on AAA batteries, can be used out in the field easily too. Or for just time saving, and knowing yet another source of bacterial infection is gone, fab.

I’ve only had mine for a week and it is already changing the way I work. I’m afraid I often don’t give students kabukis to use when I’m teaching short workshops, as they destroy them and the paints by getting the paints mixed up/ muddied, and the brushes sopping wet when trying to clean them, so I have difficulty using them and spend ages cleaning. Plus, of course, I’m often teaching before or after or in the middle of my own paint demo and need the kabukis myself. I’m actually doing that this Saturday at the Professional Media Makeup Event in Birmingham; I have an all day paint on Grace with a 90 minute workshop class in the middle. But I will let them use my kabukis as I can clean and dry them from being used on Grace before the class, AND clean & dry them fast afterwards to go back to painting Grace! And of course I can now rapidly clean and store brushes at the end of gigs without having to unpack it all at home later to start again. Bliss. Love it.

Jennie is selling the Style-Pro on Paintopia’s webshop and at events we go to including this Saturday at the Professional Media Makeup Event; I’ll be a Style-Pro ambassador which is very exciting too!

Thanks Tom for making life a lot easier for lots of us!

Cat xx

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Bodypainting presentation at Professional Beauty London 2016

Guest Blogger – Catriona Finlayson

Once again Jennie,Grace & I hit the road, and were representing Paintopia at the UK’s largest beauty event, Professional Beauty. It has 100’s of salon- related & makeup stands,  demos and lots of student & professional competitions. It is hosted in London’s Excel in Feb, and in Manchester in September, and we’re honoured to say this is our 3rd year of being guest speakers & judges for Warpaint Magazine.



We love it, especially as they host us in rather nice hotels! This time it was back at the Aloft at the Excel, London, and we bumped into fabulous fashion designer & stylist Joey Bevan as we arrived so ended up chatting with him cos we hadn’t seen him in ages rather than getting poor Grace upstairs to wash off her bodypaint (from the FACE Jam).


After unpacking, Jennie & I went down to the welcome event, and met the lovely WarPaint Magazine ladies for a few drinks and a catch-up. Back in our room we ordered an extremely late pizza and finally I finished off the props I’d been making the last few nights.


After an amazing breakfast, we trundled our gear over to the Excel (thanks Joey Bevan for the stalker snap) and eventually (its a huge place!) got to the Warpaint Competition Area to start painting.  As the competitions we’d be judging on Monday were circus themed, we stuck to that idea. I planned pure colour and no dark, as we’ve recently done several moodier ones and I wanted a change. I started by sketching in the design I’d mostly sorted out on our wonderful FAB wipeable practice bodyboards (available exclusively from the Paintopia shop).


Then we both started blocking in colours, mainly Cameleon Banana Yellow, Orange Juice, Teal, and Bollywood Pink (also available in the Paintopia shop with Paradise by Mehron white. I started neatening edges with the Kryolan UK body-tape as a stencil but then realised I could just stick on the strips of sparkly quilling paper I’d bought to finish Grace’s hat off instead – it went on reasonably easily with the cosmetic Mouldlife Aquafix I sell. Jennie started blocking on base colours and blending with Royal & Langnickel kabukis and also started on the leg stripes, whilst I started adding the partial lettering stencils I’d spent hours cutting.

The idea was that Grace would be a walking billboard like a circus poster on the back, advertising our demo onstage & the finals on Monday, whilst from the front she’d be a cirque-inspired showgirl. I then filled in in white and outlined all the words in my fave Cameleon Inkheart blue, leaving a final few to do as our onstage demo. I started glueing on Swarovski crystals, sequins and gems to add sparkle, and we sprinkled over some of The Facepainting Shop‘s holographic silver glitter. We both loved their new range of black & pink handled brushes by the way!

We were amused as though we were in the corner of a roped-off high-walled area, people did spot us in passing and especially the guys would then casually hang around at the next ‘window’ to look in. Time passed (rapidly), and around lunchtime Jennie had to trek back to her car for stuff we’d forgotten which again took a good while. Amazingly I managed to get the hat I’d made to sit on Grace’s bun without to many tears from either of us! The hooped crinoline thing with added bunched up Fairylove tutu and feathers we tied & pinned on, and I even managed lashes which is usually Jennies skill too. She got back in time to help with a few final bits and get the excrutiating shoes on.

Eventually we took the nearly-completed Grace on a shuffle (its a really huge busy event & even a bodypainted dayglo model with foot long feathers can’t get through fast) to the Warpaint stage to meet the gorgeous Armand Beasley who was our presenter.


I was miked up and bibbled away happily about what we were doing & the festival,  as directed by Armand and/ or Emma, and we pretty much finished Grace onstage. Our lovely friend Byrony O’Dame kindly took photos and video for us (you tube timelapse and stage presentation coming soon) and one nice surprise was to see Laurence Caird, who was being painted by Mona Turnbull on the Atelier Paris stand, we hauled him up onstage too.

Back to our bombsite (we got a bit frantic & messy towards the end – we’d only ended upwith about 3.5 hours painting time)


we tidied up, had a late snack and took Grace off round the showfloor to see what we could find. It always causes a riot and most people, are fascinated and want photos. The ladies at Glitterlips were fun (we love their product so much at the last few shows we bought it for ourselves, and Jennie now retails it in the Paintopia shop – its the only lip stuff I can wear that I keep on longer than 5 minutes!).  We also finally met another product I’ve been Twitter-stalking since I heard about it, but more on that in another blog coming soon! We met a model painted to promote Mehron products, and then bumped into a male model who’d just contacted us after we ‘recruited’ him last year – hopefully we’ll be painting him soon.

Finally when Grace’s shoes were making her feet swell and looking really painful, we headed back to pack up and get back to the hotel. Again with Grace being snapped at every step!

The paper strips then showed their true form and were a nightmare to get off – even with lots of isopropyl, the glittery top layer would peel off beautifully leaving the plain paper underlayer firmly glued on. Poor Grace was a trouper but it took forever and we didn’t make it out to dinner with some friends as we’d originally planned to :/

As the Professional Beauty Awards gala dinner was on, the hotel restaurant was lovely and quiet and we ended the loooong day with a superb meal – one of the best we’ve had in a long time. And pudding of course 🙂


Judging at Professional Beauty London 2016 Blog coming soon…..

Cat xx

Photo Credits: Cat, Jenn, Bryony & Neil Tailor Photography

FACE – The Wham Bam Jam 2016

This weekend saw me and Cat whizz in and join all the fun of the annual FACE conference!

FACE is The International Facepainting Association and every year a member volunteers to host the following years conference. This year was the turn of Fran Heaver (and helpers) and the event was held in sunny Southend on Sea on the last weekend of February.





Having never made it to the event before I was unsure of what to expect but soon settled in once I saw several familiar faces upon arrival.

Friday night was a fun filled evening full of painty games and singing!

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The wee small hours of Saturday morning saw the arrival of one of the UK’s top bodypaint models Grace Williams. She had been asked by Fran several weeks previously if she would model for previous Skin Wars contestant Dutch Bihary on the Saturday of the event and although she already had promised her Dad a date at an ELO tribute concert in Norfolk, never one to let anyone down, her boyfriend drove her down to Southend during the night so that she would be ready and waiting for her artist first thing Saturday morning.

That morning the room soon became a hive of painting activity with tables set up in every available space, demos going on by the main stage and competitions and challenges well underway.

It was absolutely lovely to be painted up by the talented Erica Wafford and catch up with so many familiar faces in the facepainting world. Impossible to role call everyone but it was great especially to catch up with Jasmin Walsh,  Raphaelle Fieldhouse and Glyn Goodwin as I don’t see them very often and it was a joy to meet the super talented Nurit Pilchin at long last!

Unfortunately myself, Cat and Gracie had to leave the party early due to other event commitments for Sunday and Monday, huge thanks to Angela Youngs and her amazing husband Daniel Kerry for manning my stand on Sunday and delivering it to me in London on Monday! Well done to Fran and everyone involved with FACE and thanks for inviting us along to their fabulous weekend, below are some of our snaps 🙂

More information about FACE and what they stand for or for details on how to become a member can be found on their website

Jenn xx






Paintopia’s Professor’s Apprentice Competition

Want to have a go at bodypainting but not really sure where to begin or are daunted at the prospect? Then our Professor’s Apprentice Competition is made for you!

Professor: Fleur van Dijk, Apprentice: Charlotte Gardner, Model: Kyle James, Photo: 410 Photography

What on earth is The Professor’s Apprentice Competition?

Back when the very first Paintopia festival was just an idea in the planning stages I wanted to make sure that artists of all skill levels felt that they could participate in something at the festival. We already had a category for novice facepainters but I felt something of a similar nature was missing for bodypainters.

Yes, I could have created an amateur category but I felt that was just a bit too predictable and well frankly a bit boring. Then suddenly at 3am one morning whilst being unable to sleep (which is not unusual in the lead up to Paintopia and often when my best ideas become apparent) it suddenly clicked to create a bodypainting category that allowed a novice painter to be partnered with an experienced bodypainter and that they can then be paired up a few months before the festival to allow them time to plan and design and then on the competition day create an amazing bodypaint together.

Because the very first festival back in 2012 had the theme of The wonderful world of all things Wizardly I decided to call the competition The Professor’s Apprentice and because of it’s popularity the name has stuck!

1 professor erica wafford apprentice chloe brady model michelle walton photo dragonflies
2012 Professor’s Apprentice Winner. Professor: Erica Wafford, Apprentice: Chloe Kenny, Model: Michelle Walton, Photo: Dragonflies Photography


How does it work?

When Artists register for the festival there is an option on the form to tick if they wish to be a Professor or Apprentice in the competition which for this year is held on Sunday 15th May 2016. Professor’s book a model for this competition from the model list we send out to them and to be a Professor does not mean you need to be an award winning artist. Great Professor criteria is the ability to mentor someone and willing to share some time and skill with a newer painter. It is desirable that Apprentice’s have some painting skills and a suitable kit of face/bodypaint products of their own. Under 2 years painting experience is desirable too.

Once places are full for both categories we make a draw to determine the pairings for the competition. It is not possible to request specific people to be partnered with as we like to keep the competition as fair and fun as possible for all involved.

Once the draw has been made we will send you an email with contact information for your Professor or Apprentice and if you are on Facebook we will probably friend suggest you to each other, it may even be that you know each other already!

Once in contact with each other the planning for the competition can begin with the theme in mind which this year is Urban Myths & Legends. Although it is essentially a mentoring competition that does not mean that the Professor has to do the lions share of the planning or designing, it is supposed to be a team effort so we encourage Apprentice’s to push themselves to be as creative as possible especially as a lot of the Professor’s will also be entered into Friday’s Bodypainter of the Year competition and will already have a lot of designing and prep to work on.

Apprentice’s should be aware that this is not a free bodypaint lesson but an opportunity to develop some basic painting skills that they already possess, gain confidence in the world of bodypainting, meet new people and most of all have fun!

Professor: Cat Finlayson, Apprentice: Nicky Gardner, Model: James Dyble, Photo: Michelle Workman

On the day

So, planning has all been done, props created and with a model ready you are all set to create your fabulous design during the 4 hour competition!

Once the painting is over all models and artists will need to go to the judging area where they will be seen one at a time by the judging panel. After judging models and artists are free to go off for photographs and to mingle with the public that attend the event on the Sunday. At the end of the day (approx 4.30 / 5pm) there will be a parade of all the entries on the main stage and awards will be presented straight afterwards.

Stage line up of Professor’s Apprentice competition in 2014. Photo: Michelle Workman

So what are you waiting for?

There are still some spaces left in this fabulous competition, especially for Professors! Full information can be found on our website or you can sign up right away with our registration form

Come along, develop your skills, gain confidence and make some amazing new friends too!

Look forward to seeing lots of you there!

Jenn xx


Photo Credits:

Online Alley at Paintopia

The seed for Online Alley was planted at Paintopia 2015, after recruiting our very own social media correspondent Joanna Delilah to vlog her way through the festival for her youtube channel.
Joanna Delilah creating one of her lovely bump paints
Jo brought along her friend the incredible Charlie Short aka Pinkstylist on YouTube, Charlie has a huge online following as a special effects makeup artist who does regular videos and amazing transformations on himself.
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Jo & Charlie at Paintopia 2015 (pre makeup)
Charlie was so inspired by the atmosphere at Paintopia he couldn’t resist getting his brushes out and we were honoured to have him recreate one of his famous looks for us live at Paintopia.
2015-07-06 07.51.21
Jo & Charlie at Paintopia 2015 (post makeup)
Charlie also live streamed his makeup application to his fans online. That, and the fact that instafamous makeup artist Maria Malone-Guerbaa was demonstrating some of her famous live looks over on the Kryolan stand gave us the idea to build on this success and create an area for artists who focus on creating content online.
Maria Malone-Guerbaa looking gorgeous before one of her transformations
Maria checking into the hotel at Paintopia 2015
Jo and I got our heads together and Online Alley became the working title, it seemed fitting to have a street name for our little row of online artists so the name stuck.
Onto 2016 and our dear Charlie is back headlining for Online Alley as a guest artist alongside Insta-famous viral-video sensation Maria Malone-Guerbaa
The spirit of Paintopia has always been one of inclusivity not exclusivity, with this in mind we are offering the chance for anyone to apply to take a seat at Online Alley alongside our internet superstars.
To apply you must:
1) Have great makeup/painting skills
2) Have an online profile which is dedicated to your makeup work – this can be instagram, facebook or youtube
3) Have lots of images of your work which you have done specifically for your online profile (not just posting pictures of makeup you have done for events or clients, but looks you have done specifically to post online)
4) Be available to come to Paintopia on either Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 May 2016, Sprowston Manor Hotel, Norwich, Uk
5) Be flexible, a team player and just be lovely!
This is not about having a big following, yes many of our artists do, but this is by no means a pre-requisite, we are all about encouraging and nurturing talent, if you have the 5 key points above then there is nothing stopping you!
If you need further convincing then Jo has done a little Online Alley information video over on her You Tube channel.
Apply now by emailing Jo at
If you are chosen to participate you will be given a time slot and day, you will come along with your kit and brushes and create your makeup look in our Online Alley section at Paintopia.
The idea is that you will film a tutorial of your look from the event which you will then upload to your youtube.
If instagram is your thing then you can take photos of the process and upload those to your insta.
You can stream on periscope, tweet, facebook – the more the better!
You can also vlog or blog your experience.
We will be filming and sharing your work on all of Paintopia’s social media platforms throughout and after the festival.
Time slots will vary but we are aiming to keep them no less than 2 hours, no more than 3.
We are super excited about the first ever Online Alley, what are you waiting for?
Come and join the fun!
Jenn & Jo xx

FAB Wipeable Bodypaint Boards

In autumn 2015 Cat and myself had a fabulous meeting with the lovely Sarah-Jane from FAB Wipeable Boards about an idea that we had had for some time regarding reuseable bodypainting boards.

Our vision was to create something that would mean bodypainters would be able to practice and lay out their designs without the need for scraps of paper or a live model. There are loads of face charts available on the market but nothing that we felt ticked that box for bodypainters. Several artists we know either sketch their own body templates or use templates they download from the internet but we found these were mostly low res and too small even when enlarged to get the full design effect desired.

Sarah-Jane had already established an excellent reputation within the facepainting community for her fabulous wipeable face painting boards and after some chats with her and some tooing and froing of designs between us and her talented graphic designer husband, Roger, who after much time researching into the plastic that these boards are printed on was the original designer behind the very first wipeable practice boards on the market, we came up with A2 front and back boards we were all extremely happy and proud of.


We kept the boards as unisex as possible and we chose to not include the face on the boards as FAB already make face boards which you could use alongside the bodyboards and we felt that that meant there was more room for the body. We also chose not to include hands and below the knee because experience has taught us over many years and much competing in competitions that whilst these areas do require painting they are not so important in requirements of design judging in competitions as the torso and back are and as there is only so much space on a board those areas were more of our focus than hands and feet.

Cat and myself have used the boards may times already and Cat has done a couple of simple YouTube Tutorials which will give you a good indication of their size and ease to use. When you have created a design on them you could take them to events to use as a reference by transporting them in a A2 art folder or if prefered you could photograph the design and work from the reference photo.

Splat design Wipeable Body Board shoulderYOUTUBEthumb

The boards are available from the Paintopia Webshop and can be bought as a pair or individually. They come with a care sheet for effective removal of paint and are perfect for individual practice or for group lessons in workshops or colleges. We hope you will find them as useful as we do!

Jenn xx