Category: makeup

Left side underwater photo of Anja Yamaji wearing coral reef leggings, right side Anja Yamaji modeling body paint and coral reef apparel on rocky beach in Hawaii.

Art and Climate Advocacy: Breanna Cooke’s Glowing Gone Collection

The Glowing Glowing Gone campaign was developed by The Ocean Agency during the filming of the Netflix documentary, Chasing Coral. Coral reefs are on the frontline of climate change and in a desperate bid to protect themselves from ocean heatwaves, some corals glow in fluorescent purple, yellow, and blue colors.

Anja Yamaji in body paint and coral reef apparel on rocky beach in Maui.
Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna’s body paint and coral reef design in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. Photo by Breanna Cooke.

Working with Pantone and Adobe, The Ocean Agency turned these warning colors into the Glowing campaign colors and invited all artists to use them to inspire action.

Breanna teamed up with the Glowing campaign and combined her passion for climate advocacy with her body paint experience to create a vibrant staghorn coral-inspired design for apparel. Her hope is that the eye-catching design helps spur conversation about climate change; Conversation can prompt action and from action comes hope.

Continue reading to learn more about the process behind Breanna’s project or go check out her Glowing collection in her online shop.

Watch the clip from Chasing Coral that inspired the Glowing campaign:

Project Backstory

Screenshot of Glowing.org website with images of Pantone colors
The Ocean Agency teamed up with Pantone and Adobe to create the colors for the Glowing campaign.
Body painted model in colorful purple and yellow coral reef apparel sitting on rocks by the ocean with the sun setting on the horizon.
Photo by Breanna Cooke.

Breanna started her Glowing project in the fall of 2019. She stumbled upon the Glowing Glowing Gone campaign on Instagram, and was immediately intrigued. The vibrant Pantone colors combined with climate action messaging was the framework she didn’t know she needed. It was the spark that connected the dots between her graphic design, body painting, and climate advocacy work.

As a volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Breanna regularly heard talks from climate scientist, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe. Dr. Hayhoe’s recurring theme is that one of the best things we can do about climate change is talk about it. She regularly asks her audience, “how can we take action on climate if we don’t even talk about it?” Talking about the things we care about helps us find common ground and realize that others care about it too. Talking is the first step to taking action.

“The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it.”

– Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Climate Scientist

From Breanna’s years of experience as a body painter, she saw that vibrant colors and designs can easily prompt conversations with the audience or viewer. So her initial vision for a Glowing Gone project was to do an underwater photoshoot of a coral reef body paint design using the campaign’s colors. She knew those photos would be unique, but she wanted this to be more than a one-time body paint piece–and so developed the apparel collection.

Designing the Collection

Breanna Cooke's hand drawing the coral reef design on the ipad with the test print next to it.
Breanna designs on the iPad Pro, transfers the design to Photoshop for final tweaks, then gets test prints to ensure it lines up.

Breanna is known for using her graphic design experience to design leggings that mimic her colorful body paint work. She illustrates the designs on her iPad Pro, then uses online 3D mockup generators and test prints to get the design placement perfected. Sustainability, especially with apparel, was also really important to her. Through endless research and phone calls, she found Yoganastix in Scottsdale, AZ who could do a limited run of the design using fabric made from recycled plastic bottles.

After her first phone call with the co-owner, Brett Matheson, Breanna knew she had found the right eco-minded partner for this project. In order to use use specialized fabric and manufacture in the U.S., Breanna had to deviate from her usual print-on-demand model and order the apparel upfront. In February 2020, Breanna took the plunge and ordered 100 pairs of leggings and 100 bras. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. in March 2020.

Pandemic Pivot

Glowing Gone greeting card, Act On Climate postcards, and kraft paper stickers.
Postcards, greeting cards, and stickers designed by Breanna.

As the world went on lockdown, Yoganastix quickly switched to making face masks to keep their employees on staff. Breanna put her apparel order on pause while the reality of the pandemic started to play out. With the apparel on hold, Breanna started creating some other pieces for the project. She wanted to offer other ways for people to support her art if leggings and bras weren’t their thing. She developed stickers, greeting cards, and pre-stamped postcards using her coral reef design.

FIBOPA 2020 Breanna Cooke's body painting piece about fires in South America
Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke’s body paint design for FIBOPA 2020.

Breanna also participated in two virtual body paint events during 2020 and 2021 where she used the Glowing colors to paint climate change-inspired designs. In December 2020, she painted for FIBOPA, the International Bodypainting Festival in Argentina. The event theme focused on the climate, agriculture, and real estate development factors that have contributed to intense forest fires in South America in 2020. Her piece about caraya monkeys banding together as a group to survive revealed the parallels in her own climate advocacy where ‘the power of the individual is in the group.’

Color Voice Body Painting by Breanna Cooke
Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke’s Monarch butterfly body paint design for Bodypaint America event in 2021.

In January 2021, for the Color Voice Expo hosted by Bodypaint America, Breanna created a piece about her pollinator garden, Monarch butterflies, and finding hope through action. The phrase ‘From action comes hope’ was her takeaway from listening to an episode of the Our Warm Regards podcast about climate data, despair, and how to find hope.

By February 2021, Breanna was ready to re-start the apparel manufacturing. But by this point, many worldwide supply chain issues were starting to manifest. Yoganastix was facing many delays getting bulk fabric orders, so the coral reef apparel continued to be on hold until the fabric was available.

The Apparel Arrives

Woman wearing coral reef leggings and bra is standing on beach with hands on hips. Her back is to the camera.
Danielle Dellaquilla on Old Orchard Beach in Scarborough, Maine.

Finally in August 2021, Breanna received samples of all of the apparel sizes while she was visiting family in Maine. She still had plans to do a big underwater body paint photoshoot once back in Dallas, however she also wanted to show that you can wear your climate activism wherever you are. The clothing is intended to be a way to bring climate action to everyday activities. Breanna put out a call to friends in Maine for someone to wear the apparel on the beach. Her network connected her to Danielle Dellaquila, a nutritionist and yoga enthusiast in Scarborough, Maine. Danielle was a natural at modeling and they were able to capture some photos right before a storm came rolling in.

When Breanna returned to Dallas, the giant box of the rest of the apparel arrived. 100 pairs of leggings, 100 bras, scrunchies and hairbands!

Preparing for the Underwater Photoshoot

Breanna Cooke underwater with a camera taking a photo of Brett Stanley.
Brett Stanley (left) and Breanna Cooke (right) during Brett’s underwater portrait photography workshop.

In the fall of 2021, Breanna was eager to proceed with her final vision of doing an underwater photoshoot in a pool with a body painted model wearing the apparel. Unfortunately various scheduling conflicts caused this shoot to be delayed. Then she was presented with an opportunity to travel to Hawaii in November. It was a perfect chance to take photos in the very ocean that the Glowing campaign is working to protect. Since she did not want to use body paints in the ocean, Breanna split the concept into two shoots; an underwater photoshoot and a separate body painting photoshoot on land.

Shortly before the trip to Hawaii, Breanna seized the chance to take an underwater portrait photography workshop with Brett Stanley, an expert in the craft of underwater photos. She wanted to learn how to be a better director for underwater photoshoots and understand best practices for models. Little did she know, she would undergo a trial-by-fire with those skills in Hawaii.

The Trip to Maui

Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke's coral reef apparel underwater in Maui.
Underwater photo of Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke’s coral reef apparel. Photo by Breanna Cooke.
Breanna Cooke in ocean with snorkel mask while Anja Yamaji exits onto the beach.
Breanna and Anja took to the beach in Maui to take photos underwater. Photo by Breanna Cooke.

In November 2021, Breanna traveled to Hawaii with her friend and body paint colleague, Anja Yamaji. A few days into the trip, they ran into unexpected cancellations with the underwater photographer and model that were lined up for the photoshoot.

Determined not to leave Hawaii without some underwater photos, Breanna and Anja decided to do the shoot themselves. Using a specialized diving phone case — Breanna had brought it simply for behind-the-scenes photos and video — she used her iPhone to take the underwater photos. Anja is an experienced model, but she had never done it underwater. With the notes and tips from the workshop, Breanna coached Anja through the process and together they were able to create some underwater magic.

Breanna Cooke and Anja Yamaji selfie photo. Anja is body painted with a coral reef headpiece
Breanna and Anja after their day of body painting in Maui.

Not only was Anja the underwater model, but she was also the model for the body paint photoshoot. Breanna painted Anja over the course of a day and they made a mad dash to the beach for photos in the setting sun. The end result from both these photoshoots were the unique and striking photos to share her project with the world.

Scroll to the end of this post for behind-the-scenes video of the underwater photoshoot and body paint photoshoot and more photos of the project.

– Anne-Marie Bonneau, Zero Waste Chef

Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke's coral reef apparel underwater in Maui.
Photo by Breanna Cooke.

Breanna strives to make this project as eco-friendly as is feasible for her budget. As an independent artist, it becomes very costly to make every aspect of your work 100% sustainable. She recognizes that the apparel fabric could be even more sustainable if it was made from plant-based fibers instead of recycled plastic bottles. However those plant fabrics are currently cost-prohibitive to a small venture like this. Breanna’s hope is that in the future, eco-minded materials, products, and manufacturing will be the norm, not the (more expensive) exception.

Some of the eco-friendly aspects of the collection include:

  • Fabric for leggings, bras, hairbands, and scrunchies is made from recycled plastic bottles and printed with non-toxic inks.
  • Apparel is manufactured in the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions from travel.
  • Paper products printed on 100% recycled paper with soy-based inks.
  • T-shirts made from 60% organic cotton, 40% recycled polyester.
  • T-shirts printed on-demand to reduce waste.
  • Shipping materials are biodegradable and printed with algae ink (Exception: T-shirts ship from a separate manufacturer in mailer bags made from recycled plastic).
  • Carbon offsets for 100% of the carbon emissions from shipping/delivery. The offsets are currently funding the Acapa – Bajo Mira y Frontera Forest Conservation Project in Colombia.

Sustainable PackagingEcoEnclose Sustainable Packaging Partner

Breanna Cooke partnered with EcoEnclose to use sustainable packaging and shipping materials, with a focus on biodegradable options whenever possible. Here’s how to reuse or recycle your packaging. *Items that are printed on-demand ship separately in recycled plastic mailers.

What Can You Do?

Two phones with phon wallpaper of the coral reef design and Act On Climate wordsYou can support Breanna’s art and climate advocacy by ordering pieces from the collection or sharing her work. 10% of profits from this collection are donated to The Ocean Agency to support their work protecting the world’s oceans. Breanna’s collection includes the apparel, scrunchies, hairbands, cards, and stickers, but also digital phone wallpaper for download. The digital downloads are perfect for anyone who is trying to downsize but also wants to support the project. Currently the apparel is a limited run, however Breanna is open to doing a second print run if there is enough interest.

Questions?

Let’s chat! Reach out to Breanna via her contact form.

Scroll through the gallery for more photos from the photoshoots:
Anja Yamaji modeling coral reef body paint and apparel on rocky beach in Maui.
Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke's coral reef apparel underwater in Maui.
Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke's coral reef apparel underwater in Maui.
Breanna Cooke in ocean with snorkel mask while Anja Yamaji exits onto the beach.
Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke's coral reef apparel underwater in Maui.
Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke's coral reef apparel underwater in Maui.
Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke's coral reef apparel underwater in Maui.
Anja Yamaji modeling Breanna Cooke's coral reef apparel underwater in Maui.
Biodegradable Glitter Mixes in Gold and Silver by Breanna Cooke

Biodegradable Gold and Silver Glitter Mixes By Breanna Cooke

Glitter up while being gentler to the planet with my new shimmery gold or silver eucalyptus-based glitter mixes!

I’ve been using bio glitter in my body paint work for a few years now and I kept making my own custom mixes for my work. People would ask me where I got them and I had to explain that I got glitter from a few different vendors. But not anymore: I’ve made my favorite bio glitter mixes to share with you!

The biodegradable glitter mixes are a blend of plant-based compostable glitters. The mixes are a blend of cosmetic-grade 92% and 100% plastic-free glitter. Once my current stock is used up, I hope to shift my mixes to be Bio-glitter’s line of all 100% plastic-free glitter.

To make these as eco-friendly as possible, they are packed in glass jars and labeled with stickers made from recycled content. I also ship them in biodegradable packaging.

There are two color mixes available:

1. Iridescent Gold: Mix of gold and opalescent glitters in .005, .040, and .094 hexagonal cut glitter.

Biodegradable Glitter mix in iridescent gold for body painting and face painting and festivals.

2. Iridescent Silver: Mix of silver and opalescent glitters in .005, .040, and .094 hexagonal cut glitter.

Biodegradable Glitter mix in iridescent silver for body painting and face painting and festivals.

About this glitter:

  • 92% plastic-free (some in the mix are 100% plastic-free)
  • Cosmetic-grade
  • Allergen-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Toxic-free

Order my iridescent gold or iridescent silver mixes in my online store:

SHOP NOW

Need another color?

If there’s a specific color you need, check out my partners at Today Glitter. They are a certified vendor of Bio-glitter.

6 Tips to Make Your Body Paint Kit More Eco-Friendly with photos of bio glitter, bamboo paper towels, and reused containers.

6 Tips to Make Your Body Paint Kit More Eco-Friendly

Over the last few years, I’ve been working on small changes to my body paint kit to make my work a little more eco-friendly. I hope to keep improving on this list, so read on to see if some of these ideas are a good fit for you! (For a general list of all my various art, website, and supply resources, visit my Resources page or read this blog post about the paints I use for body painting.)

Quick disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are referral links, and at no additional cost to you, I’ll receive a small commission for referring you. This helps me continue doing what I do! These are all products that I have experience with or use personally. 

#1. Switch to biodegradable glitter

Bio Glitter | Tips to Make Your Body Paint Kit More Eco FriendlyWhile it’s crucial to use cosmetic glitter in body and face painting (don’t use craft glitter on your face because it often has sharp edges or metal!), some cosmetic glitter is still considered a micro-plastic. Micro-plastics have become a huge pollution issue as they make their way into our waterways and oceans and are ingested by fish and other organisms. In order to reduce the number of micro-plastics I send out into the world, I’ve made the switch over to biodegradable glitter. Update 03/10/2021: You can order my custom biodegradable iridescent gold or iridescent silver mixes on Etsy. Or if you need a specific color, I’m a professional partner with Today Glitter, certified vendor of Bio-Glitter.

Biodegradable glitter is made from biodegradable film which is derived from sustainable sources, such as cellulose film made from eucalyptus trees.  It’s completely shelf stable and the degradation process will only begin in soil, waste water or compost where micro-organisms are present. Bio glitter suited for dry, water-based, or oil-based applications. There are  bio glitters available from different vendors and I’m currently trying to use options that are available in the US to reduce the shipping distance for the small quantities I use. I apply the glitter with Got2b Glued Hair Gel or aloe vera gel.

#2. Use paper towels made from bamboo

Paper towels are often necessary to have around in order to keep makeup and body paint application and cleanup sanitary. I’ve switched over to using bamboo paper towels from Who Gives a Crap because bamboo is a much more sustainable resource than using trees. I also like that the rolls from Who Gives a Crap are wrapped in paper, not plastic, plus they also donate 50% of profits to build toilets for those in need. (Speaking of toilets: if you try their toilet paper, I prefer the premium bamboo toilet paper over the recycled paper. It’s a little less…errr…lint-y).

Save $10 on your first order from Who Gives a Crap!

#3. Recycle empty cosmetics at Credo Beauty

I always keep a few makeup staples in my body paint kit like mascara, foundation, or lip gloss. I’ve been testing out a lot of eco-friendly and recyclable replacements, but for some products, I haven’t found the perfect match (yet) of product durability + sustainable packaging. So in the meantime, I recycle the old beauty products at Credo Beauty. They’ll even take products that aren’t from Credo PLUS you get reward points for every full size item you bring in. Credo has partnered with TerraCycle, an environmentally-friendly recycling program, to help keep cosmetics out of our landfills. To recycle your items, bring them to your local Credo store.

#4. Cut cleaning cloths from t-shirts

Not all cleaning tasks require a paper towel. For cleaning the paint off my airbrushes and stencils, I use cleaning cloths that I’ve made from t-shirts. A lot of clothing ends up in landfill despite our best intentions to donate them. I love giving my clothes a second life as a cleaning cloth. I do recommend getting a good pair of fabric shears (I have these Mundial Cushion scissors and only use them on fabric). It makes cutting up clothes go so much faster.

#5. Reuse paint bottles and cases

I like to reuse my empty paint cases first before I recycle them. While recycling is an important component to being eco-friendly, I try to start first with the “Reuse” part of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” saying. The lids from paint cakes are great for holding loose powder or glitter when I’m powdering it all over a body. When I’ve used up all the paint in a container, I clean them out and use them as a dish for mixing Mehron Metallic Powders and Mehron Mixing Liquid. When my ProAiir hybrid airbrush paint bottles are empty, I rinse them with 91% alcohol and keep them in case I need to mix a custom color or I need to share paint with a colleague.

#6. Use cotton swabs with cardboard sticks

Cotton swabs are another necessary item for sanitary makeup application, especially for glue application or doing a touch-up near someone’s eyes. I look for ones with cardboard sticks so that they eventually biodegrade. If you haven’t seen that heartbreaking image of the seahorse in the ocean holding on to a plastic cotton swab, you can view it here on National Geographic. It definitely made me rethink the need for the single-use plastic in cotton swabs.

Do you have any eco-friendly tips for your kit? Let me know in the comments!

breanna cooke body painting

Paints I Use for Body Painting

Which paints do I use? It depends! I use different paints based on availability and my project’s needs. Below are some products that I use most frequently. For a general list of all my various art, website, and supply resources, visit my Resources page.

Quick disclaimer: I do not speak for all body painters, everyone has their own preferences for various reasons. I’m listing products that I have personal experience with. I am also not representing any of these companies and I also can’t vouch for how any of the products will work for you and your process. That said, some of the links in this post are affiliate links from Amazon and the like, and at no additional cost to you, I’ll receive a small commission for referring you. This helps me continue doing what I do!

Shop Local: While ordering online is often necessary, I also like to support local businesses whenever possible. If you live in Dallas, TX, you can purchase some of these products locally at Camera Ready Cosmetics (order online then pickup in store, too) or Norcostco Theatrical Supply.

Water-Based Body Paints


Cameleon: The eye-popping colors first drew me to Cameleon paints (no, that’s not a typo in Cameleon). I love the opacity and they’re great for line work too. The baseline Cameleon paints are free of any animal origin ingredients, are BSE free, and are not tested on animals. They are glycerin-based and use paraffin wax as a binder. Cameleon Paint is FDA and EU Compliant and is paraben-free, sulfate-free, with no perfumes and no drying agents. I typically use these (and the other cake paints listed below) with a brush and occasionally a sponge. Cameleon paints are not available locally in Dallas but you can find even more colors from their US distributor.

Mehron Paradise AQ: When I first got into body painting, I started with Mehron Paradise cakes. They are lovely for blending and once they’re activated with water they have a creamy consistency. Mehron Paradise AQ is vegan and is not tested on animals and is unscented. If you want to try a lot of colors in small quantities, check out the Mehron Pro Face Paint Palette with 30 colors. Mehron Paradise cakes are available in Dallas at Camera Ready Cosmetics or Norcostco Theatrical Supply.

Wolfe FX: I primarily use the Wolfe FX white and black because they are excellent for bold line work, but sometimes they are hard to find in stock. I’ve used TAG black and TAG white, or Cameleon black and Cameleon white as an alternative. Diamond FX black and Diamond FX white are also good options but I have limited experience with them. Wolfe FX paints are sometimes available locally at Norcostco Theatrical Supply, otherwise I order them online.


Hybrid and Alcohol-Based Body Paints


Hybrid Paints: I like to use ProAiir and FAB hybrid paints because they’re great for vibrant colors and opacity. You can get a lot of coverage very quickly with them. Plus they are water-resistant and sweat-resistant, so they’ll hold up for an underwater photoshoot or an acrobatic performance. Some of my favorite colors are the ProAiir electric blue and cobalt. For some extra staying power, I seal it with ProAiir Prolong Extender. Hybrid paints are made with 100% cosmetic blend alcohol (same alcohol that is used in hair sprays, mouth wash, eyeliner, etc.). The ProAiir paints are made in the USA and are scented (similar to green apple scent). I usually use an Iwata Eclipse CS airbrush to apply ProAiir, however you can also use a sponge or kabuki brush to apply to large areas. When I use my Iwata bottle-feed airbrush, I often use the ProAiir Snorkel Adaptors to connect directly to the bottle of paint. ProAiir is available locally in Dallas at Norcostco.

Alcohol-Based PaintsThe Endura paints from European Body Art (EBA) are my other go-to for long-lasting airbrush paints. These alcohol-based paints are water- and sweat-resistant and work best with an airbrush. I personally tend to use them for more subtle effects or lighter coverage but you can also build them up. I apply these paints with an Iwata Eclipse CS airbrush or an Iwata bottle-feed airbrush. EBA paints are available locally in Dallas at Norcostco.


Glitter and Metallic Body Paint


Glitter: I’ve switched over to biodegradable glitter and feels good to have more environmentally-friendly products in my kit. I’ve ordered bio glitter from Amerikan Body Art in Florida, Body FX in New Zealand (available in the US from Silly Farm) and from Universal Soul in Los Angeles. The Bio Glitter from Body FX is produced from biodegradable film which is derived from sustainable sources and Universal Soul’s glitter is made with cellulose film derived from eucalyptus trees.  It’s completely shelf stable and the degradation process will only begin in soil, waste water or compost where micro-organisms are present. They’re both suited for dry, water-based, or oil-based applications. While it’s crucial to use cosmetic glitter in body painting (don’t use craft glitter on your face!), some cosmetic glitter is still considered a micro-plastic and doesn’t biodegrade once it goes down the drain. It can make its way into our waterways and oceans and get ingested by fish and other organisms. There are quite a few bio glitters available from different vendors and I’m currently trying to use options that are available in the US to reduce the shipping distance for the small quantities I use.

Metallic Effects: The Mehron Metallic Powders are my go-to for a cost-effective full body paint metallic finish. You can find these in gold, silver, rose gold, copper, bronze, and lavender. Be sure to purchase Mehron Mixing Liquid to mix into the powder. Mix small amounts of the Mehron powder with Mehron Mixing liquid and brush it over the body. For a more yellow gold, I’ve brushed on a gold Mehron Paradise cake (the product photo looks a bit like tan, but it is really a more yellow gold) or gold Cameleon cake, then applied a gold shimmer powder from Ben Nye. The Mehron and Ben Nye products are usually available locally in Dallas, TX at Norcostco Theatrical Supply.


Body Paint for Specific Looks


Avatar: For my personal Avatar body paint costumes, I used the Kryolan Aquacolor in baby blue for the base coat. For the stripes, I used the Avatar Rainbow Cake from Silly Farm. It has a dark blue and a light blue side. I use the darker blue for the stripes, then I add a highlight on top of the stripe with the lighter blue. For the white dots, I use Wolfe FX whiteCameleon white, or TAG white.

Living Art America 2017 – 3rd Place at North American Bodypainting Championships

Heal the body, heal the world” was the theme for the 2017 North American Bodypainting Championships, hosted by Living Art America. On October 14, 2017, U.S. and international body painters converged on Greensboro, NC to present our interpretations of the theme. We had 6.5 hours to complete our pieces and this year I was assisted by my friend and body painting colleague, Anja Yamaji. I’m so pleased to share that we were awarded with 3rd place in the professional category!

In preparation for this piece, I spent hours researching and brainstorming and eventually, a personal story emerged.  The final result became an illustration of my experiences from the past year. During the presentation to the judges and audience, I gave the following explanation as our model, Emma Dubin, walked the runway:

“This piece is about the analogy of a seed for healing our bodies and healing the world.

“Individual seeds need nourishment and care. Last year, I was dealing with anxiety about climate change and the planet and my body and brain were suffering for it. Friends around me noticed, and encouraged me to go back to basics with nourishing foods for my body. Next, I reconnected with nature through gardening and rediscovered the childhood joys of watching a seed grow. Like a seed, my roots were developing and I found that there were others around me who were concerned about climate. I participated in marches and saw the phrase, ‘They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.’ We may feel buried by stressors, but we’re still growing. I joined an organization that empowers citizens to reach out to their representatives in Congress about climate. I went to Washington D.C. with them in June and I’ll never forget the moment when over a thousand of us walked in front of the U.S. Capitol building on our way to meetings with our members of Congress. We were like a swarm of seeds, coming together, and lifting each other up by reaching out and supporting those around us.

“While I was in D.C., I also learned about Our Children’s Trust (represented in the faces on the front of the torso). It’s a group of young people from across the United States who have brought a lawsuit against the U.S. government to secure the legal right to a safe climate and a healthy atmosphere for all present and future generations.  Their efforts send a message that the next generation of seeds is rising up, changing the landscape, and actively seeking to heal the world.”

Scroll down to my photo gallery for more images and a peek at my sketches. The Greensboro News & Record’s photo gallery captured some behind-the-scenes of the event too.

Thank you to the 2017 judges: Craig Tracy, Robin Slonina, Jinny Houle, and Alex Barendregt. And thank you to Scott Fray and Madelyn Greco for organizing such a wonderful event!

Connect with me on FacebookInstagramTumblr, and Twitter.

The caption with our names is incorrect. View the full photo gallery here: http://www.greensboro.com/gallery/all_galleries/bodypainting-championship/collection_587259b7-04f3-5600-9e36-873fd7c38db0.html#3

Maleficent Photos by Alan Tijerina Photography

Breanna Cooke as Maleficent | Photo by Alan Tijerina
Photo by Alan Tijerina

More Maleficent! I had the good fortune of bumping into Alan Tijerina Photography while I was at Dallas Fan Days in February. He captured some great photos of my Maleficent costume on the patio at the Irving Convention Center. And in case you missed it, take a look at my blog posts about how I made my Maleficent collar and horns so you can be Maleficent too!

Breanna Cooke as Maleficent | Photo by Alan Tijerina
Photo by Alan Tijerina
Breanna Cooke as Maleficent | Photo by Alan Tijerina
Photo by Alan Tijerina Photography
Breanna Cooke as Maleficent | Photo by Alan Tijerina
Photo by Alan Tijerina
Breanna Cooke as Maleficent | photo by Alan Tijerina
Photo by Alan Tijerina

Making a Maleficent Collar and Cloak

Breanna Cooke Maleficent costume - Photo by Alan Tijerina Photography
Photo by Alan Tijerina Photography

Last Friday I won the Saturday ticket giveaway from the Irving Convention Center for Dallas Comic Con Fan Days! I was so excited, but I didn’t have a new costume finished…and how could I go to Fan Days without dressing up?!  I already had Maleficent horns from a previous project, so I took on the challenge of making a Maleficent collar and cloak in one night. Below are some of my behind-the-scenes photos of my late night crafting.

Collar

Breanna Cooke Maleficent costume collar DIY I got some great ideas from this DIY Maleficent tutorial by Pins and Things. She used cardboard and wire to hold the collar upright. I opted for craft foam, hot glue and wire as the core for my collar. I sandwiched the wire between a layer of craft foam. Then I sewed fabric sleeves for each section, pulled it over the craft foam, and sewed up the open end.

Attaching the Collar

Breanna Cooke Maleficent costume collar DIYThe robe for my costume wasn’t going to support the weight of the collar, so I made a base from EVA foam (you can use those interlocking anti-fatigue floor mats, visit my Resources page for where to buy it). Now the whole collar would be a solid, removable piece from the robe. I shaped the EVA foam with a heat gun and made a fabric sleeve for it in the same way I made the collar sleeves. I hot glued and sewed the individual collar pieces to this foam/fabric base, then loosely stitched it to the robe.

Enhancing the Collar

Breanna Cooke Maleficent costume collar DIYIn the recent Maleficent movie, she has a cloak with the iconic pointy collar and a cloak with a feather collar. I took the best of both and added the feathers to mine. I used a section of black hackle feather trim (check Michael’s or Hobby Lobby) and glued it to the collar base with hot glue.

Cloak

Breanna Cooke Maleficent costume cloak DIYI never thought I’d find a use for my graduation gown, but tada! It provided a great base for the Maleficent robe. I purchased 4 yards of black polyester, cut a hole in the middle, and draped it over the robe like a poncho. I sewed the sides of the fabric “poncho” and left room for armholes, then cut open the front and stitched the fabric to the collar of the gown. If I’d had more time, I would have loved to make a really elegant cloak from scratch. Maybe next time!

Horns

Breanna Cooke Maleficent horns DIY with craft foam and electrical tapeAnd don’t forget the horns! Check out my other post with details about how I made my Maleficent horns. They’re made with reticulated foam, craft foam and electrical tape!  

Face

Breanna Cooke Maleficent makeupI used a variety of products to create the Maleficent face. I love the purple accents in the cartoon version of Maleficent, so my makeup was a mashup of both Maleficent looks.

  • Eyes: light and dark purple eye shadow (shown on my hand in the photo)
  • Eyebrows: Wolfe FX Hydrocolor cake in black
  • Face: Airbrushed with European Body Art Endura airbrush paint in white and black. Contours with grey eye shadow.
  • Lips: Vincent Longo lipstick in “Lust” (not shown)