How-To use UV (Dayglo), Metallic and Interferenze Makeups – FABAIC 2011 Class

Under Blacklight, only the UV makeups show, all the metallic colors underneath the UV dots turn dark

by Christopher Agostino

Class notes from my presentation at the Face & Body Art International Convention FABAIC 2011

Under regular light, this same face design also looks good, with shimmering Metallic and Interferenze colors, and the Kryolan UV colors still look bright, even over a metallic base color.

My intention in this class is to give participants an understanding of how to use Kryolan UV, Metallic, and Interferenze Aquacolor makeups for face and bodypainting. A hands-on and very practical class in how to use specialty makeups from basic application and tricks of technique to design concepts like how to get the most out of your metallics, how to make Dayglo designs look good in regular and UV light and how to get the maximum effect with minimal makeup expense — the primary focus is on how to incorporate specialty makeups into regular face and body designs that look good in a variety of settings. Although these are specialty makeups I use them most often in my regular faces, using the brightness of the UVs to “pop” a design, or the shimmer of the Interferenze to add glamour. Even we I am painting for an event that has Blacklight (such as club or adult party) usually the blacklight is in only part of the space, so the bodypainting needs to look good both ways —under white light and blacklight. This is a very different approach than how one would use these UV makeups for a BlackLight Show.

Kryolan Aquacolors are the only specialty makeups I use. Their UVs create the brightest effect and are the most flexible in application. Wolf Reicherter was also at the convention teaching classes in “Blacklight Magic”, painting full UV body designs for nightclubs and performances.

He’s a true master of the medium, and he made the point that Kryolan’s UV Aquacolors (both the cakes and the liquids) are so flexible that they can be applied with any amount of water, from a wash effect to a thick cream, allowing for real control of the amount of light the makeup generates, so you can get subtle shading effects with thin applications and also can go right over other colors with thicker applications and still get the full fluorescence. The UV colors I use most often are Pink, Orange and Green — because these three also look very bright and wonderful under white light so can really add color to any design.

Metallics and Interferenze are two types of Aquacolors that shimmer. The same color can come in both types: there is a Metallic Silver (which looks very much like real silver metal) and an Interferenze Silver (which has a more pearlized appearance), for example. Intereferenze makeups have the pigments ground very fine, so they can sheen in more than one color as the light moves across them, such as the beautifully subtle color “Nacre”, which is a pearlized white that has glimmers of pink and gold as the light changes. I use a variety of metallics and interferenze for special projects like full bodypaintings. The ones I use most often in my regular facepainting kit are the Metallic Silver and several Interferenze colors: Gold, Copper, Bronze, BG (Blue Green), Strauss Wine, and 838G Electric Ocean Blue.

In preparation for the class I painted a model (Jessica), with a variety of techniques to show the range of possibilities, then finished the painting in the class to show application methods and let the participants try the products and paint. Photographing a UV painting is hard, and we had limited time to try before vacating the Blacklight room, but I did manage to get a few reasonable shots. I include here shots of the face and the back, in both regular light and under Blacklight — notice how the face looks completely different under the two different lights, but still works both ways. That is the goal. It has to work both ways because at most events the people you paint will be seen under both types of light, and you want there to be an exciting change as the person you paint moves under Blacklight, because that is part of the fun of Blacklight, the surprise effects.

CLASS NOTES: ( click here for a pdf of these notes, plus a list of Kryolan Aquacolors) Dayglo&InterferenzeClass_Hints

The design on the demonstration model's back, under Blacklight. See how the UV colors fluoresce, and everything else turns black.

Kryolan Dayglo Makeups (also called UV or Blacklight)

•  UV makeups are special effect makeups — go all UV only if the gig is all blacklight.

•  Most gigs are regular light, so I mostly use UV makeup to add “pop” to regular designs.

Use in combination with regular colors for brighter designs in normal light – makes elements of the design stand out. EX: UV eyes on eyelids can be seen from across the room • UV green stipple on top can make a spooky or alien face “glow”  •  UV orange over reg. red is a powerful background for dragons, etc.  • UV orange tiger image can seem to leap off a regular blue background  •  try UV colors as accents over the same aregular colors, like UV pink dots on a pink butterfly wing

•  Mixed light: the design has to look good both ways. Generally an all UV design doesn’t look as good under normal light – so include other colors too and feature UV elements of design that will pop out under the blacklights. Christopher’s Trick – I mix UV colors with Metallic Silver or Interferenze Gold to get a makeup that still flouresces under blacklight and also looks glittery under regular light.

CLOUDY DAY EFFECT – because clouds block some white light, but let UV light through, UV makeups glow a bit on cloudy days at outside events — and also near sunset.

APPLICATION – UV makeup tends to be softer/stickier. Use more water, apply more thickly.

BASIC APPLICATION ADVICE= “It works — make it work for you”

Creating Designs for Full Blacklight — hints

• All UV colors glow bright under blacklight – the individual colors don’t differentiate much – therefor the essence of UV painting is controling the image through the use of black, not the colors. Think of stained glass.

• for brightest effect, paint UV directly on skin or over white base. (but can still work over colors)

• white underwear is a problem, it glows too bright – even if you paint over it.

• Black can make parts of the body disappear.

Under white light, the same UV colors are bright, but not fluorescent. Notice how different the dragon's fire looks here, because I "hid" the UV orange flames over regular orange, knowing that would be an exciting change in the image as the model goes from white to UV light. The silver on the armor would normally turn fully black under UV light, so I mixed a little UV Blue into it so it would still fluoresce a bit under the blacklight.

Photographing UV Designs  — ain’t easy. On a digital camera, manually set the ASA as high as possible (I shoot at 1600), use a tripod, shoot under full Blacklight (not mixed), No Flash, take lots of shots and then adjust levels on the computer.

•  Will look nice on the computer, but they don’t print well (printers can’t print the colors true)

•  I sometimes add some blacklight during regular foto shoots to get UV accent colors to pop.

Kryolan Interferenze and Metallic Makeup

•  These I think of as “fancy makeups”, not special effects. I use them all the time to help people be excited about their faces.

“Premium Faces” – at our Bronx Zoo concession we get extra $ per face for incorporating Interferenze or UV makeups into our regular designs.

•  I prefer metallics and interferenze makeups over using glitter because I can paint with them in all the same ways I use my regular makeups, both with sponges and brushes. Part of my regular kit.

•  They blend beautifully into, over and under regular makeups.  red/gold blends; purple/gold; blue/silver; green/gold; red/copper; blue/Strauss Wine; etc. Or stipple a little Metallic/Interferenze over regular base to make amore “fantastic” background. APPLICATION is a little trickier than regular bright colors, so may need to use more water than usual, or try dabbing with a sponge rather than swipping or using a brush.

•  Can use a full metallic/Interferenze base with regular colors on top and give all the colors a metallic sheen – can also go the other way: try metallic/Interf. over a solid black or dark base.

•  Some ideas to try: “Egyptian Princess” full Interf. Gold base with fancy eye designs on top; Silver stipple over blue background for Milky Way on space faces; Metallic and interf. fireworks against dark sky over NY skyline; Full silver base for things like robots; Interf. Silver or Pearl for ghostly skulls and exotic “china dolls”.

See my fine art body painting at

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