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October 26, 2011 4:44 AM   Subscribe

I need to paint myself blue for Friday. I have no idea how I'm going to do that.

I can only do Halloween last minute.
I have my jorts and some cards, I need a bald wig, a fake mustache, some cards (I'm a professional twice over!), and a copy of my own book, but I really want to blue myself for the full Tobias Funke experience.

I have a few work-arounds - blue tights, blue tank top (or long-sleeve, if necessary), but I still want to paint my hands and face. I'm a 23-year-old woman with medium length hair. It's too cold / I would be really uncomfortable without a shirt (unless an AA bandeau top + paint would make it that much funnier).

1. Where can I acquire blue paint? (I have Amazon Prime and live in DC.) And while I want to leave blue handprints everywhere, I don't want to wreck anyone's walls or doorknobs or anything permanently. I have somewhat sensitive skin.
2. What is the easiest way of painting myself blue? As in, the easiest logistical way of doing this.
posted by quadrilaterals to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (28 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
From the Blue Man Group FAQ:
How long does it take a Blue Man to prepare before the show? What is the make-up the Blue Men put on their faces?

It takes a Blue Man approximately one hour to get in costume for the show. The Blue Men wear grease paint on their heads. It never dries. This effect allows the Blue Men to maintain that wet gooey look throughout the show.
posted by HeroZero at 5:18 AM on October 26, 2011

Make some allowance for practicality. Don't paint your hands or the bottom or sides of your feet. I had a friend do that once and she's still finding blue streaks throughout her flat in places that defy explanation. Matching socks and gloves is a better choice if you must.
posted by three blind mice at 5:21 AM on October 26, 2011

Blue Man Group Makeup Kit
posted by xingcat at 5:22 AM on October 26, 2011

If you want to take my three year old's approach, frozen blueberries.

Natural, washable, and stains really well.

I am sorta serious, too. We may dress him as a Nac Mac Feegle for Halloween and this is part of how we're going to iyt
posted by zizzle at 5:22 AM on October 26, 2011

What about a full bodysuit, like a Morphsuit?
posted by greenish at 5:27 AM on October 26, 2011

This stuff was used to achieve this look. (And no that is not me but yes I am the one who painted her that color.) It's skin-friendly water based facepainting paint. I got it at Dick Blicks.
posted by 8dot3 at 5:30 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I put it on with a 2" paintbrush from home depot. When I painted her armpits she was giggling uncontrollably.
posted by 8dot3 at 5:32 AM on October 26, 2011

And you want this size package, but in this and/or this color. When the paint is dry, hit the whole painted area with a fine mist of hairspray. It will help set it. My friend was not leaving paint on people's walls, either. Enjoy!
posted by 8dot3 at 5:49 AM on October 26, 2011

Response by poster: 8dot3, did you just use one package of that? And the paint on her hands also stayed put?

Thanks, everyone! I will be wearing socks and shoes, so that will be okay with feet.
posted by quadrilaterals at 5:51 AM on October 26, 2011

This weekend my loved one will be painting large portions of herself gold, to which end she has got some gold body paint, a special sponge to apply it with, and some of this fixer spray stuff so it stays on her rather than everything she touches. I'm told this is the basic recipe - the fixer being the key ingredient in terms of keeping it all where it should be - and that it all washes off easily with warm soapy water afterwards. Unfortunately, she's out so I can't ask her to give you more details. Good luck!
posted by motty at 6:04 AM on October 26, 2011

I've had three excellent Halloween costumes involving Wilton's gel food coloring - twice blue, once yellow. It's not a Blue Man Group effect, it's more of a B-movie alien effect (my costume also involved a ridiculous Star-Trek length tunic dress). I was bright blue, yet could see my freckles through it, which I thought was cool. It sets up fine but will probably need a light dusting of talc to take away a slight tackiness, but then will not rub off on furniture. (though I was cautious, sat on a towel in the car and avoided upholstered seating at the party, seemed polite.) It washed off in the shower, with a comfortably long soak and a good soapy scrubbing - only problem area was the palms of my hands because they got pretty saturated (dark navy) while I was rubbing it on. I did a mix of food color and normal street makeup on my face (blue eyeshadow liberally applied) just because I hate the feel of goo around my eyes.
posted by aimedwander at 6:48 AM on October 26, 2011

Response by poster: (Oh, and if you're not familiar, this is the look I'm going for.)
posted by quadrilaterals at 6:50 AM on October 26, 2011

Looks like you've already found your answer, but I just wanted to say that you can also dye yourself with Kool-Aid. They make (I think) two or three blue flavors; get the darkest one. You want the kind you're supposed to add sugar to later, not the sugar-free kind. Mix with some water until it's just dissolved (test on a spot of skin to make sure you have the right dilution) and paint yourself.

Cheap, won't rub off on people, and you'll taste fruity. It will probably last two days, though; good if you're going to multiple parties that weekend, bad if you've got a job interview or something.
posted by phunniemee at 6:52 AM on October 26, 2011

See also: this previous question on purpling oneself.
posted by phunniemee at 6:54 AM on October 26, 2011

I went as a blue man two years ago (look at my profile pic) and I used the cheapo blue greasepaint stuff from the halloween store (I can't find it on their horrible website right now, but it looked like this, only it said greasepaint). Worked fine, but I was also careful not to get it all over other people's stuff because I was unsure of how easily it would clean up. It took a bit of scrubbing with noxzema to get it off my head (which is all I covered). Not sure how it would hold up in a full-body application.
posted by JJtheJetPlane at 7:01 AM on October 26, 2011

I've used Mehron liquid bodypaint to good effect (4.5 ounces should be enough), applied with a small sponge, and covered with a dusting of setting powder to keep it from smearing too much.
posted by spockpuppet at 7:31 AM on October 26, 2011

You could also do a full blue bodysuit like this.

(I adore this costume idea, by the way)
posted by argonauta at 7:49 AM on October 26, 2011

Maybe Liquid Latex or some other brand of the same type of thing? I have no personal experience with it, but it was the first thing that came to mind in terms of relatively long-wearing color that won't come off on the walls and won't dye your skin.
posted by chazlarson at 8:17 AM on October 26, 2011

I had a similar conundrum last year - although my color was yellow, and not blue. I ended up using one of the Eucerin cremes, that I added food coloring to. I have sensitive skin, so I wanted something that was hypoallergenic, and I also wanted that fresh wet look all night. It certainly kept that.
posted by jivadravya at 8:18 AM on October 26, 2011

I agree with 8dot3, I was going to recommend the exact same paint. It is awesome, it stays on really well, it's not uncomfortable (like latex paint often is) and if you get it on stuff it actually washes out pretty well. I can only find the bigger sizes of it online though so good luck getting it by tomorrow! I've seen the six-packs of the smaller sizes at Hobby Lobby (including blue)- if you were desperate you could buy a couple of those and that would probably be enough, but then you'll have a bunch of red and green and white paint left over . . . any of your friends want to go as zombies?
posted by GastrocNemesis at 9:16 AM on October 26, 2011

You could also do a full blue bodysuit like this.

(I adore this costume idea, by the way)
posted by argonauta at 7:49 AM on October 26 [+] [!]

I was coming here to suggest the same thing. They are also called Morph Suits. If you don't have time (or money for the speedy shipping) to order from Amazon, I know you can get them at Party City.
posted by slmorri at 9:23 AM on October 26, 2011

I know this seems kind of silly and unhealthy, but have you thought of hairdye? Specifically, manic panic? They got some great blues.

The dyes they make are INCREDIBLY strong. I dropped a jar of bright red on my floor once and it completely stained the wall permanently pink.

I'd suggest buying a jar and rubbing it all over wherever you need. DO NOT GET IN EYES! or your eyebrows/other hairs... If you are doing your face. It should come off in like two days or so? However long it takes for your skin to shed. If you don't mind being blue for a couple days, this is really effective. My hands stayed bright red for a good while.

(on second thought this is kinda crazy, so i only suggest it if you are really limited!...)
posted by fuzzysoft at 12:01 PM on October 26, 2011

Boosting GastrocNemesis and 8dot3. That's the stuff I use for all my face painting needs. It stays on reasonably well, but will come off if it gets wet at all--think spilled drinks, for example.

Also coming in to say: Don't use food colouring unless you want to be blue for several days.
posted by looli at 1:33 PM on October 26, 2011

This costume is going to be awesome, you might consider just partially blue-ing yourself - there are lots of scenes where Tobias was interrupted at some stage of the process so it'd still work as the character and you could limit the amount of discomfort / property damage.
posted by moxiedoll at 3:38 PM on October 26, 2011

Yes, fuzzysoft, that idea is kinda crazy. quadrilaterals, please don't do this unless you want many awkward looks or conversations in the days (weeks?) that follow.

I used to dye my hair using Manic Panic and around the hairline it could last for many many many days. I wouldn't underestimate how long your skin sheds. (Not to mention you're not talking about just around your hairline, you're talking about your entire face.) A childhood friend had a smoke-bomb blow up when he was holding it and he was green for a very long time. (Ah, the days of unsupervised childhood!)
posted by sfkiddo at 9:18 PM on October 26, 2011

Der, overestimate, not underestimate. But don't go this route in any case.
posted by sfkiddo at 9:20 PM on October 26, 2011

Yes, I used just one package of that stuff - it's basically watercolor, so it's a solid block of color you are supposed to dip a damp paintbrush into. Since we had so much area to cover, we scraped some shavings of it into a bowl - maybe 1/3 of the package - and added a little bit of water to make a watercolor paint paste. The bowl helped us use a larger paintbrush, too.
We did this costume twice, btw, and still only used one package.

Good luck, have fun, and post pictures please!
posted by 8dot3 at 5:18 AM on October 27, 2011

If you have a good costume shop near you, you can get high quality blue pancake make-up - it goes on with water, comes off with soap and water and will cover your whole body.

But when I had to go blue when I lived in a small town without a good costume shop - I bought children's non-toxic tempura paint (the kind that is powder suspended in water). It went on a bit more smeary than good pancake, but covered my face, ears, arms, etc and dried to a light powder not unlike pancake.

I do have moderately sensitive skin, and I didn't react at all to the paint, what with it being designed to be eaten by kids.
posted by jb at 5:45 AM on October 27, 2011

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