the 5th Art: Cutouts

Cutting out small stencils from paper or peel for marking the forehead or other parts of the body with patterns.

You know what this makes me think of? Eyebrows.

Momma is the type to sit (for what seems like hours) and pluck pluck pluck her eyebrows into neat lines. Me? I don’t have the patience. I groom as necessary but I’ll invariably spend too much time on one and be exhausted before I can even get to the other.

Please, someone, tell me you do this, too?

I’ve tried a bunch of shortcuts, too. Those pre-cut eyebrow wax strips? Never fit my face, always needed to be trimmed. So I moved to the ones that came in the square strips since I’d have to cut them anyway.

Folks, when they say not to rewax the same place twice on the same night, please listen. For the love of all that’s good, do NOT rewax your brow ridge twice in one night to catch those few stray hairs. They’re not trying to make you walk around semi-unkempt, they’re trying to avoid potential lawsuits you ripping a few layers of skin off on that second pass. And that hurts. A lot. For about a week.

So, thanks to my German heritage, I just deal with the Brooke Sheilds-look and let my glasses distract.

For the record, the one time I had my brows waxed professionally I was broken-out for a full week. My skin and wax just don’t mix.

Anyway! Getting somewhere near the topic at hand.

Have you seen those plastic eyebrow guides? I can’t tell if they’re throw-backs to the era of drawn-on eyebrows (hello, Joan Crawford eyes!) or something “new” (no such thing, really, but you know what I mean). I understand what they’re trying to do, but I think it’s kinda far-fetched to spend $20 on a set of templates to shape a statement of your face that isn’t even fitted to the canvas, you know?

We’re not one size fits all. We’re not even symmetrical, generally. The most beautiful things about a person are the little quirks (physical or otherwise) that make us individuals. Which is why I like the idea of, if you must have a template, making one yourself (easy instructions over at the Makeup Files).

There are other fun ways to use stencils for body art. Simple stencils can be used to aid in face painting for young ones (or those young at heart) or for temporary tattoos for a fun night out. While you can purchase plenty of ready-made stencils in a variety of designs, making your own is fairly simple as well.

Things to consider:

  • Stencils should be flexible to easily wrap around curves of the body
  • Acetate sheets will last longer than paper ones
  • Clean lines are easier to follow, so use a fresh craft blade or heated stencil cutter for the best results
  • Paints, pencils and powders should all be safe for use on skin (and keep in mind that lipstick, while handy, can really clog your pores so make sure to use it sparingly away from the lips and thoroughly wash it all off as soon as possible)

So, whether you intent is frivolity or allure, have fun with it! Tomorrow we’ll get into some different cutout projects that have nothing to do with face paint or eyebrows šŸ˜‰

One thought on “the 5th Art: Cutouts

  1. Heather says:

    Stopping by from SITS!

    Plucking my eyebrows used to be the most painful thing ever. I’ve never tried waxing, but thankfully I have two things going for me. 1) I am pretty tolerant of pain and 2) I have very light eyebrows, so a few stray hairs don’t really much things up.

    Have a great day!

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