Body Painting, Bikini Top

Boston doesn't have much of a counter-culture, but it does have a long history of women's suffrage and feminist movements. Back in the early 1970s, there were numerous female liberation protests, in an effort to promote equal rights and equal pay for women. Today, body painting is used for commercial purposes, artistic fashion, and to promote women's issues to this day. A lot of people consider body painting a form of art.

With so many college students and young people in Boston, this article describes how to paint a faux bikini top, maybe for that special masquerade party, themed rave at a nightclub, or some other occasion that compels one to make a fashion statement.

Always seek professional advice before attempting face or body painting. Always follow the instructions and warnings of any paint, brush, tool, or product required for face or body painting.

Body Painting, Bikini Top
Bikini Body Paint

One needs to purchase water-based theatrical makeup in the primary color of the bikini top. White and black are needed to create shadow or draw designs on the "bikini." Body makeup is often just labeled as "face paint." It is important to use water-based paint because it's safe and easy to remove. Theatrical paints can be labeled as "non-toxic," but that does not ensure it's safe for the skin. Avoid using products that contain acrylic or tempra. Water-based paints are easily removed by just washing one's skin or by using baby wipes. Please note that body paint will permanently stain fabric, so using a towel to wipe or dry oneself will discolor it.

In applying body paint, sponges are typically used to lay down large areas of color. Sponges can be used for some shading. For outlining and fine detail, paint brushes are required, as it's nearly impossible to get a fine, clean line with a sponge.

There are several things to think about when painting a faux bikini top. Look at pictures of actual bikinis to see how they fit. Notice the shapes that are used, and pay careful attention to the areas where the top is a little looser and further away from the skin. Observe the many shadows that are formed. It's those shadows that make a painted bikini top look real.

A basic bikini top is merely a pair of curved triangles with straps. Apply a base color to each breast as symmetrically as possible. Use a lighter color or white for the highlights. Highlights are subtle and do not have hard edges, so you want to be sure to blend the edges with this lighter color. In addition to highlights, you also need shadows. If it's a deep, dark shadow, use a small amount of a darker color to create it. For shades on your bikini, you can mix your base color with a tiny amount of black to create any hues that you need.

To truly create the illusion of painted-on clothing, you want to add shadow to create the perception that the clothing is resting on top of the skin and casting a slight shadow onto the skin. Use a lighter body paint around the edges of the bikini, which complements the shadow effect and creates a simulated border or seam. It's also fun to add some pattern or decorative element to the bikini top to make it more attractive.

Body Painting, Bikini Top Detail

Pasties are great if you do not want your model's nipples to show. They are adhesive covers that hide them. They are like large round adhesive bandages. You just need to remove the backing and stick them on. Unlike bandages, they are painless to remove. One can purchase them at a local adult boutique, or even in the bra section at some lingerie and chain stores. Different types of covers show up differently when the body is painted. For best results, you can paint on a small amount of special liquid latex that's used for body painting, or get silicone covers that are available online from face and body paint suppliers.

If you are very conservative, but are still trying to make a fashion statement with a painted-on bikini, you can wear a low cut summer shirt over it. It would probably be considered a painted-on bra at that point though of course!

Body painting tips provided by and modeled by BriAnne Arasin.

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