I came across an awesome Cheshire Cat tutorial by MadeYewLook and I had to try it. The Cheshire Cat from American McGee’s Alice is the most wicked looking version of Chesh around so I thought this was just an utterly fantastic makeup.
I blocked out my eyebrows in the usual fashion. Then, I covered them with a glue stick, let them dry, powdered, repeated two to three more times. I find that brushing them upwards and spacing out the hair helps to conceal them a little more fully.
I outlined where my mouth would be in a white eyeliner pencil and made a really quick, general sketch on my neck and collarbone of the Cheshire Cat’s long bony neck. I’m still using my Snazaroo set specifically designed for princess and robot face paints so I only had a metallic grey. I just went with it and hoped for the best.
I also didn’t have any cream coloured face paint so I mixed a little bit of white and yellow and filled in the mouth area where my teeth would be. I added eyebrow and whisker sections in white paint so my cat face would have different coloured patches of fur in those areas.
I outlined the individual teeth in black face paint creating square teeth throughout the entire mouth except for two pointed incisors. I went in a little heavier with the black paint to fill in a space between the top and bottom teeth and also added more shape to the upper and lower lips, trying to give them a more cat-like shape.
I moved on to the eye and face designs using a black liquid eyeliner. I found the super thin brush much more precise than any other brushes I had and found the black liner to go on much darker than the Snazaroo black face paint. I won’t discuss how many times I had to wipe off and redo sections of these face designs. It was a process, we’ll leave it at that. I found it was much easier doing any swirls or long lines in one fluid stroke rather than trying to sketch them in smaller movements.
Throughout the entire process I was adding highlighting and shading where needed, such as darker grey along the nose and temples. I was basically doing some regular contouring but using grey cat fur colours and also exaggerating the darkness around the eyes. I added the rest of the details including the chin design and whiskers. The whiskers were another section I washed off and redid a few times and I still never settled on anything I was happy with. My whisker game definitely needs work.
I covered my neck and chest in grey paint in the sections where the Cheshire Cat’s body would be and filled in the negative space on my neck and shoulders in black. I added throat, rib, and collarbone detailing in grey, going over the edges with a darker black paint to add more depth. I went in with more grey and white to shade and highlight where the bones should be jutting or sunken in.
What I Learned
I had a lot of fun experimenting with highlights and contours in the makeup. I am also now a big fan of using liquid eyeliner for black detailing. I’m fairly certain I’m going to become a zen master in my efforts to learn face painting because of how much patience and calm is required to redo one small section over and over until it looks how I want it to look. As always, I feel like there were many sections I could have paid closer attention to, done in greater detail, or just painted with a steadier hand, but with every new look I attempt I gain a little more practice and experience.