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Laura Millar's Blog

Laura Millar's Blog

These blogs are about Total Look Styling (hair, make-up, face & body art, costume design). They contain hints and tips for creative students and industry professionals. Online mentoring (CPD, Enrichment, Portfolio Building advice) is available via SKYPE, Zoom, etc. so do get in touch if you'd like to expand on any subject/skill shown here... or anything new that I may have answers for... Laura Millar x

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Vintage Usherette & Hostess Total Look Styling by Laura Millar

Posted on 9 October, 2015 at 11:00 Comments comments (460)

My agency has many stock mix and match retro usherette and hostess costumes. I particularly like red, black, and hot pink for impact.

For 30's to 50's Vintage hair I go for a slick, French pleat or victory rolls. For make up I love that Dita Von Teese look; pale skin, red lips, black liquid eye liner next to false side lashes.

Below these gorgeous model hostesses were booked to assist at large charity ball auction at Grosvenor House. Kylie Minogue was performing that night for VIP clients...

I make bespoke trays (except for the one here) using coloured ribbons on spray painted wooden bases.

The bathing suits were designed to give a Grace Kelly meets Betty Grable image... The gig was attended by high profile clients and Royalty so my instructions were to create 'classy' not 'brassy'! I hope you think I achieved it!

For bespoke costumes/hair/make up I always draw several sketches and email them to the client for choice. I always strive to make an event manager's vision become a reality. It's so rewarding having thrilled clients.

Very Betty Grable!

Oriental Body Art & Total Look Styling by Laura Millar

Posted on 9 October, 2015 at 7:05 Comments comments (1077)

I have produced many Japanese geisha and Chinese concubine looks. With this theme - our models are usually asked to serve sushi, saki or wine at intimate private dinner parties and larger theme events. They make enchanting meet and greet hostesses - posing with guests for photos during Reception.

For a Chinese New Year celebrarion I asked a talented colleague to join me for working this oriental duo below (I won't take credit for painting that fabulous green dragon! I just art directed that image). One of my favourite jobs was working on the beautiful model where I used many pastel coloured body jewels for flowers - finished off by 'double-dip' brush work plus black flicks to represent pointed leaves. Silk flowers, butterflies and chop sticks were added to the girls' top knots.

Red and black colours plus delicate blossoms are synonymous with the orient and the elegant geishas of Kyoto. So for other amazing gigs in central London I opted to use these for the painting and costume accessories.

I usually draw quick designs (below) and email them off to clients so that they can get a better idea of the imagery before they book myself, my assistants/colleagues and models.

Glue silk flowers to chopsticks... Accessories like fans and umbrellas make the style.

I was again Creative Director for this East-meets-West troupe. A great team effort with skilled colleagues and patient models. I supplied all the accessories; the red back cloths were actually stiff table runners!

Body Art and Total Look Styling workshops are available.

These Chinese Concubines were body painted to my designs by my wonderful team for a VIP birthday party at China Tang in The Dorchester, Mayfair, London. I started with the hair (huge hair pieces attached to top knots - with gold chop sticks decorated with butterflies). My colleagues then started working on the make up and finally bodies.

We mixed matt white and a pearl brightness by Kryolan to get a smooth (non-chalky) finish. The designs on top in red were airbrushed as well as done by hand. Touches of gold were added. I finished them off with hints of black shadow and a few body jewels... All were sprayed with fixative as we needed to keep the paint in tact for several hours. Finally I decorated the girls with earrings and hair jewellery for a sumptuous, imperial look. 

Face Art by Laura Millar

Posted on 25 September, 2015 at 13:40 Comments comments (212)

I just love painting faces - but especially 'face art' for teens and young people. Children enjoy having full or half faces but I get many requests from youths and adults - where I need to produce something a little more grown-up. So a small, swirling side design around the temple and cheek area is perfect for a festival or clubbing look. For blokes and edgy girls I tend to go for plain black tribal/south seas designs - often with day glow/UV highlights.

It always helps to have great looking faces - so thanks goes out to these customers for enhancing my work!

Body Painted Corsets by Laura Millar

Posted on 25 September, 2015 at 13:00 Comments comments (256)

Above - Retro French Maid body painting. My colleagues and I (4 in total) each worked on a model/hostess. I made the head-dresses and micro-aprons. They served wine at a stunning private dinner party.

I always pay attention to the vintage style accessories to finish off the look.

These corsets all still need a grey shadow to be added to give the designs more of a 3D effect...


This ballerina blue body painted corset still needs shading and stitching details; it matched the client's eyes. She was off to a risque ball!

These twins were painted by my two colleagues and myself (to my design) for Simon Cowell's 50th birthday bash. The faux 'diamond' chokers and cuffs were crafted from body jewels and latticed with glitter paste to give a 'realistic' jewellery effect. They took so long... perhaps I just should have used costume jewellery! Well... I like a challenge! The nipple covers were hand made by moi and again enhanced with glitter paste (from a cone). Again, shadow needs to be added.

I have produced many of these for clients; a real favourite. I can include logos, initials and corporate colours to make them bespoke.

Golden Goddess Body Painting & Styling

Posted on 23 September, 2015 at 10:45 Comments comments (218)

Exotic Golden Goddess Body Painting & Total Look Styling (by Laura Millar)

One of my enduring favourites when it comes to body painting and total look styling is 'the golden girl'! It evokes exotic scenes of the orient and all its splendid fantasy...

The photos here are of lovely model Carla (it helps if you have a fit canvas!) with my design for an Art Deco Oriental Dancing Girl (based upon gold/brass/bronze statues from that era).

The venue was MODE (Westbourne Park) in London. My human/living statue was commissioned for a stunning 1920's 50th birthday party.

I have also used this style for Indian events/venues, other London clubs, Greco-Roman corporate parties at 5* hotels abroad and for private 18th birthday celebrations.

As I wonder around shops and go online - I delight in picking up elements for this look.
Here sre some trade secrets:
  • Nipple covers from an Asian haberdashery shop (I have also made my own from twisting a string of sequins around a cone shape...
  • Table runners to use as drapery...
  • Body jewels, brushes and stencils from craft shops...
  • Body glitter paste cones (Southall/Ebay) plus body paint (Covent Garden/Body Art websites)...
  • Brass costume jewellery from charity shops and car boot sales...
  • Christmas tree decorations to use as necklaces...
  • Gold sprayed floral pieces/leaves for creating a twisted garland head-dress...
  • Beaded belly dancing/samba belts...
Keep a stock of micro G-strings and double sided boob tape!

If you would like to do a body painting/body art workshop and go on the agency books do get in touch...
(I often employ/pay ex-students to assist me at gigs)

I also have a fine selection of patient models/dancers who are happy to get painted and pose.
Drop me an email with suitable pics and vital stats if you'd like to be considered.

[email protected]  +44 (0)7770 991 390

The Ancient Art of Beauty

Posted on 19 September, 2015 at 15:30 Comments comments (297)

Ancient Beauty & Body Art   (by Laura Millar) 

(The photos are of my henna designs based upon tattoos from an ancient oriental Princess)

I have collected and collated many wonderful historical images, recipes/lotions/potions plus techniques/beauty/make up/body art skills.

I can display a lovely set of decorative pots/presentation vessels from the earliest times up to 1800AD.

These are ideal to use for workshops/presentations as they are interactive and demonstrate the art of beauty in a practical, tactile way.

Participants are encouraged to make up some of the recipes and try out the products.


Body Art of Celtic & Euro-Tribal Peoples

North African & Silk Route Styles

Tribal Tattoo Images/Meanings

Beauty from The Harem & Hammam

How Early European Fashion Adopted & Adapted Ancient Oriental Products

Henna - History, Global Designs, Recipes & Application Techniques

Ancient Central & South American Body Art Practices

Global Tattoo Styles

Hand outs are available to workshop participants. Do get in touch if you would like more information:

[email protected]   +44 (0)7770 991 390