Laura Shipman MUA

Makeup for musicians and performers



Aggy G: The Photos

I’m thrilled with how my shoot with Aggy G turned out! The metallic paint caught the light so well and I think the whole visual is really strong. The hair, makeup and styling all come together to create a cohesieve character. I also think the images and memorable and different – which is ideal for promotion.

I’m glad we tried different locations, and I think it’s interesting how the stone backgroud reminds me of Game of Thrones but the plant based backgrounds make me think of Lord of the Rings. I’m definitely taking this as a lesson on the power of the background to effect the feeling of an image.

This dragon armour project took a lot of time and work, but I’m really glad I did it. This was my first attempt at costume making and I’m really happy with how it turned out. This is an area I definitely want to pursue more. Sewing has never been my strong suit, so I’d better get out my mum’s sewing machine and find some classes!



Aggy G: behind the Scenes


I’ve got Aggy made up and in costume. The crescent moon is a throw back to an anime I used to love, Sailor Moon, but I kept everything in black and silver to go with the armour. I chose plaits for the hair both because I think they suit the look and because I love the way plaits look in ombre hair. The black maxi dress was used to hide any holes in the scales, and once it was cut to length the extra fabric made a great cover for Aggy’s festival wristbands.

It’s off to the park to shoot! I’m lucky that just across the road from my house is a park with lots of different possible back drops. There’s all kinds of plants and trees, bridges and a rock garden. My only worry is the sun (as much as I’m loving the beautiful weather) it can make taking photos a lot harder.

Practicing Paint

I wanted to be able to practice painting my mask, before I ran my foam piece. To do this I ran slip latex pieces – which is where liquid latex is brushed in to the mould. This gives a rough version of how the piece will look, but it doesn’t fill all the space in the mould the way foam, silicone or gelatine would.

I tried both clear latex that I painted red and red latex. I definitely prefer the results I got with red latex. I had a harder time contouring the painted red piece, the paint got quite muddy.

When I had the red latex piece I also tried adding in the spikes my client asked for, to see how well they stood out. Attaching things to prosthetics or masks can pull at or distort the piece, but because I’m using plastic spikes they’re very light. That minimises the risk of damaging the piece.

Dragon Armour Tutorial

Supplies to make the scales


300 plastic spoons
1 can metallic black spray paint
1 can metallic silver spray paint
Twine or cord (strong but not too thick)
Fishnet vest


Drill and 2 mm drill bit

Step 1:
Cheap plastic spoons are soft, so it’s easy to remove the handles with pliars.20160216_171712

Step 2:

Drill 2 small holes in the top of each spoon.


Step 3:

Spray paint the spoons somewhere well ventialted.
I did 200 black and 100 silver. I laid the first lot (close together to save paint) and sprayed them black. I ended up using the whole can making sure everything was covered. I then set out the second lot and sprayed them silver. Spray paint takes a while to set so choose somewhere you can leave the spoons for however long it says on the can.


Step 4:

Begin assembling the armour.
I used a fishnet top for the base so I could weave the cord through it once the spoons were threaded on.
I measured a length of cord twice as long as the width of the top to make sure I had enough. I started from the middle, so I could get the silver scales in the right place and then worked out from there. I threaded the cord through the holes in the spoon, and then through the net.20160328_153413

I staggered the silver spoons up the middle in a 1-2-1-2 pattern, because if I tried to do a single line it wouldn’t have lined up right.20160328_164832

Step 6:

I planned out the silver scales around the neck line. I then used a needle and thread to stitch the scales to the solid fabric around the neckline.
When I tried the armour on I found holes in the top section, so I went back in and sewed more scales in the gaps.


The finished armour will be revealed in my shoot with Aggy G!

Any questions about this project get in touch !



Wolves Don’t Sleep: Gig Pictures

The pictures from the Wolves Don’t Sleep gig.

I kept the makeup simple, partly to keep with Steev’s style and partly because simple and graphic is always a good choice for stage. It’s easy for the crowd to see and easy for cmera’s to pick up.


Mask Project

This is the project I hinted at in my last post!

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be making a performance mask for Varski.

This is still an early stage in the sculpting process (about 6 hours in), there’s still a lot of detailing and refining to do but I’m really happy with the direction I’m going in. The hard part was resisting some of the intricate sculpting details I wanted to add in that would be invisible from a distance, especially during a stage show, and might block or limit the size of the nostril hole, which is a big concern with a singer.

I’ll be moulding on Thursday, so with any luck I’ll be trialling paint next week!

Fiberglass Insert

I have a new project underway that I’m really excited about (details to follow soon), because it’s giving me a chance to break out my prosthetics skills again

I made my positive out of fiberglass, because it’s cheap, lightweight and strong. Also, if I want to make my finished piece out of foam latex, the fiberglass can be baked in the oven.

A fiberglass piece is made of 2 layers; a gel coat and layers fiberglass matting soaked in. resin. Usually the insert would be white, but I didn’t add as much silicone pigment as I thought to the gel coat.The advantage of a white insert is that it makes it easier to see the shape of the sculpt you’re working on, especially if the chavant (sculpting clay) you use is green.

Now it’s time for me to start sculpting!

Single Cover Shoot

Some early shots from my shoot with Sylwia KittyFly of Diamond Velocity, for her solo single cover (coming soon).

We agreed to go for a dramatic, red and black look that would suit Sylwia’s personal style and flatter her fair skin. These colours also co-ordinated nicely with the wardrobe Sylwia had chosen.

At the shoot we had loads of fun experimenting with different clothes and hats on the day, while the photographer tried out different backgrounds and lighting set ups.

The look is actually very similar to My Go-To Look, but amped up with a strong cat-eye and big false lashes.

Product List:

Foundation: Illamasqua Skin base 6
Powder: Illamasqua Translucent
Blusher: Illamasqua cream blusher in Rude

Brows: Illamasqua Brow Cake in Gaze
Black Eyeshadow: Kat Von D Shax
Red Eyeshadow: Illamasqua Ensnare
Base shadow: Kat Von D Lateus
Highlight: Kat Von D Liberatus

Lipstick: Illamasqua Growl

Product Test: Ben Nye Clown White


This was my first test with my new Ben Nye Clown White. I’m definitely  a fan. It covered really well with a minimal amount of product, and even a light coverage gave a really good colour. The product also builds well; I was able to apply thicker layers to create the effect of teeth and it visibly shows up in the photo.

My only concern with the product was that it did pick up some of the areas where my skin is a bit dry at the moment, however this doesn’t happen too badly.

The Rest of the Look

I used black and red Kryolan supracolour to complete the rest of the look. The black is a bit patchier than I’d like – I should have powdered with black eyeshadow instead of translucent powder.

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