I would give my coveted Eyelash Extensions to look like the cartoon version of Jessica Rabbit!  Shes been a favourite icon for years so I jumped at the chance of working with Hannah Padden on her ‘Cartoon Skit’ themed wedding shoot.  St Albans seems to house an extensive array of local ladies (and men) that get together to work on some epic photo shoots, Ive have the pleasure of being included in this one.
Jessica Rabbit marries The Cat in the Hat – strange enough concept but boy did it work.  The colours of the clothes, makeup, body art and even wig were fantastic and a real eye opener for someone who fancies a slightly alternative wedding theme.  My favourite dress was Butter by Nadia, available from St Albans ‘The Dressing Room’. We borrowed the claret red, slinky version that was a perfect clash of colours with the copper wig.

Jessica Rabbit Makeup and The cat in the hat

The Challenge

Soooo – my challenge was the Makeup, to give it some clout I used all Illamasqua products.  High in pigments and bold in colours. It was shot just before Valentines Day so the reds were intense and glossy, a statement for Jessica Rabbit and her ruby red lips – check out the #IMTHEONE collection. With product names of Throb, Touch, Maneater and Feisty it’s not for the faint hearted 😉  I definitely recommend a soft touch lip liner when wearing reds, oranges and dark colour lips to give you the perfect outline and shape and to prevent the colour from bleeding onto the delicate skin around the mouth.  Im also a fan of popping on a thin layer of sheer gloss or balm before applying the lipstick, especially with such a highly pigmented, matt finish as the Illamasqua Lipstick range.
To complete the dramatic, cartoon style look I used False Eyelashes in Lush – they retail for £14.50 and are reusable, as are all their lashes.  The dramatic overall effect worked well with Hannah’s body painting.  Her kit is as exciting as mine!  The colours were immense and the application so fast.  Hannah created a stunning painted necklace, it could have been as elaborate and intricate as The Crown Jewels and obviously weighs nothing!

Jessica Rabbit Collage

Interview with a face painter

I caught up with Hannah to get some info from one artist to another…


I know I used to love face painting as a youngster, do you consider your body painting an upgraded, adult version?


Painting children is likely to be the staple work for any face and body artist and the pleasure of working with children is often what draws you into it, and also keeps you in the profession.  Because one of my early contracts was with London 2012 I had the unusual experience of being launched into a job where age wasn’t a factor or an obstacle to the crowds I was there to entertain. I painted from age 2 – 92, day-in, day-out, so I just continued on the assumption that face painting was for everyone. Adult shoots are something I involve myself in for my own creative development and I do enjoy the heightened level of scrutiny that comes with that work. I also like trying to achieve a lot with very little, which demands a real eye for placement and an instinct for how to fit in with the overall styling.


Face art is so popular at festivals and on girlie nights out, do you offer a service available to groups before their big day/night?


Absolutely, face painting adds so much sparkle and buzz to big-night preparations. One job that stands out is when I prepared a group for a glamorous Halloween night at The Ministry of Sound. In that situation you have some fabulous outfits to work with and some pre-prepped, high-camp make-up, so you’re there to step it up to the next,daring level, while keeping it flattering and photogenic.


When you paint at wedding receptions and parties what is the most asked for ‘look’?


It’s not unusual at a wedding that includes children for dads to have whatever their (often daughters) ask me to do. Usually that’s rainbows, dolphins and unicorns! Bearing in mind the wine is free-flowing when I hit the dancefloor with my mobile, belted kit, I find lads want something to amuse, such as hot dogs, complete with mustard and ketchup. Ladies usually want a surprise and just leave me to it, so I work with their makeup and outfit. To date I’ve always painted the bride and that’s always flowers, bar one who had peacock feathers.


Whats hot in body and face painting for 2014?


The wonderful thing about body art it endures through the computer age, but what we’re starting to see is the parodying of the graphic novel, manga and pop art styles. Hand-painting this mass-produced, digitally-created imagery is proving very appealing to the fashion industry. We’re also seeing body painting combine imaginatively with other artforms, such as dance, performance art and circus. This is a fabulously fresh take on the body as a canvas, no longer a static, passive element of the work, instead breathing life into the paintwork.

Coming Soon…

I met up with Hannah again for PREP FOR YOUR MATERNITY SHOOT and she kindly painted me a beautiful necklace.  Watch this space.

The Credits

Photographer Jeanette Lendon of Jeanette Lendon Photography

Face & body painting by Hannah Padden of The Glitterbox
T: @thegltrbox

Hair and Make-up by Makeup Artist Karen Snook of St Albans Hair and Makeup
T: @stalbanshair
Instagram: @stalbanshair

Stylist Alexandra Merri of The Bijou Bride
Instagram @bijoubride

Cakes by Cake Designer Samantha Pilling of Bite Me Bakery
T: @bitemebakeryuk

Button Bouquets by Emma Lyth of Beaubuttons Bespoke Button Bouquets
T: @Beaubuttons
Instagram: @Beaubuttons

Model Chelsea Clarke
T: @ChelseaCClarke
Instagram: CCClarke

Model Dan
T: DJ__07

Tailors William Young of London
T: @WilliamYoungLon

A-List Boutique
T: @dynastyUK

The Dressing Room

Cafe Rouge

St Albans & Clarion Collection Hotel, St Albans

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