Impractical And Totally Necessary: Body Paint!

If you go to a party with a body painter, make a beeline to their station. You deserve to feel like a magical alien fairy hippie!
Publish date:
April 5, 2013
glow-in-the-dark, parties, body paint

People take themselves way too seriously. My number-one beauty tip? Hilarity. IT MUST ENSUE.

Joy keeps us young. I have known some people from the club scene for about 20 years, and unless they got into that pesky heroin chic thing in the ‘90s, they still look pretty damn good.

It’s not just genes, lack of sun damage (one of the benefits of being a night person) or moisturizing. WE MUST LAUGH. Not only does it truly heal, but it also keeps our stress levels down, which inhibits premature aging. Sounds science-y, right?

Recently, my fearless beauty director, Marci, said in reference to some photos I posted on Twitter, “I WANNA KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS BODY PAINT!” (In all caps and everything.)

Well, the first time I did body paint, I was working at Webster Hall as their lighting director in 2002. We were hosting a carnival-themed night out for kids of fallen 9/11 first responders. There were bouncy castles in the club, magicians, balloons, music, and all manner of entertainment. It still ended up being quite a solemn evening, though. It was heartbreaking, seeing all these adorable, little faces trying SO HARD to have fun through their sadness.

There really wasn’t much to do in terms of moving lights, so I was wandering around a lot. There was a face-painting girl stationed nearby, but no one was really paying attention to her. So, understanding that sometimes someone bold has to “start the dance floor,” I went over, sat down, and said “make me pretty.”

She smiled, and went to work on my face.

Within 10 minutes not only did I look like a glittery, sparkly fairy princess (with butterfly wings emblazoned as a mask on my face), but a crowd of kids had gathered. They seemed to connect with the idea that the mask of face paint could be a freeing and fun experience.

The painter lady was pretty busy for the rest of the night, and the kids seemed to open up a little bit after being painted.

At the end of the evening, I grabbed four tables worth of balloon clusters--an obnoxious 80 balloons worth--and set off walking for home. My apartment was only about 15 blocks away, and it was a beautiful early autumn night. I had a new roommate and thought it’d be hilarious to fill his room with balloons to stumble into drunk, and possibly with a girl he’d picked up at the bar.

I’d kind of forgotten about the face paint, but HOO BOY, did every person between 4th Ave and 11th Street and the East Village point it out. In that 20 minute walk, literally EVERYONE on the street mobbed me for pictures, to try and either buy or steal my balloons, or exclaim, “WHERE DID YOU GO?! I WANT TO GO THERE!”

I was like, “Wow. People aren’t as afraid of clowns as I thought.” But as I finally made it home and up the stairs with all the balloons, I realized every single person who accosted me was smiling and laughing at the incredible silliness of it all. Since then, if there is an opportunity to get painted, I’m FIRST IN LINE.

I wish I had pictures of that night, but in 2002, camera phones didn’t exist. *shrug*

The other night, again in NYC, Jared and I attended a fundraiser in the Lower East Side to benefit my friend, John Dill, who while traveling in Bali had a slip and fall accident, and detached a retina. He’s a freelance graphic designer, so no insurance. Luckily, he’s getting great healthcare and has already been through multiple surgeries in Singapore, but he’ll most likely be there for months to come, so his friends banded together to raise funds—and one of those friends is a body painter.

It was a night of great music, black lights, drinks and the dance music community in NYC coming together to support our friend. It was HOT in Tammany Hall that night, so I checked my coat, and strolled over to the rather hulking and kind of scary body paint guy, and said “let’s do this.”

The half an hour of dabbing, swirling, and attention my face, arms, chest and back got resulted in beautiful images of roses, eyes, angel wings and a half mask. Also, poor Jared got an eyeful of some hulking stranger touching me almost intimately for what seemed like a loooooong time.

The designs were strong and stable all night, and the paint was water-based; so it washed right off.

If you want to do your own body paint, I highly recommend products from the Glimmer Body Art line. They have fantastically easy to use paints, glitter, and stencils, which are waterproof up to a week!

Is it practical? No. But that’s what makes it so very necessary!

Do you have any photos of yourself in body paint? Tweet them at me!