Belfast Telegraph

The painted ladies whose bodies are transformed into works of art

All-over make-up jobs a growing trend for those keen to experiment

By Amanda Poole

Heavy rain, snow and wind battering our shores can make it feel like winter is going to last forever.

Thankfully spring is just around the corner, as this stunning flowery photograph of top model Jenny Curran reveals.

The start of a new year is a time to de-clutter and start afresh, so with that in mind the creative duo behind Belfast’s new Make Up Pro Store — Paddy McGurgan and Khara Pringle — created and captured Jenny’s latest look.

Body art is a growing trend around the world and has now spread to Northern Ireland.

Women can have it done for a one-off occasion or photoshoot to give themselves a lift in these wintry days and gloomy economic times.

Jenny (25), from Portadown, is used to a wide range of modelling jobs but said having her body art done by such a talented team was a thrill.

“I kept it on for while after the shoot so there was trail of diamantes all over my house,” Jenny said.

“The weather is so grim at the moment, the body paint is a nice reminder that spring is nearly here.

“Also, all the shops are starting to bring in their spring clothes ranges and now is a good time to give your make-up bag a spring clean.

“Paddy has painted my body a few times and this time it took about four or five hours.

“He is the best make-up artist out there.

“His body art is incredible and Khara is such a talented photographer.”

The body art treatment at Make Up Pro Store isn’t just reserved for models, as Paddy explained.

“We are teaching courses in body painting and can also provide a body art and photographic package for individuals. I have done body art for lots of women who have perhaps lost weight and want to celebrate that in an artistic, more intricate and expressive way, and a lots of pregnant mums, keen to show off their bumps.”

In 2011 the Belfast Telegraph revealed baby bump art, thought to have originated in America, was a growing trend among Northern Ireland's mums-to-be.

Co Armagh-based make-up artist Stacey Kilpatrick explained it’s great for women worried about having their bare skin photographed, and explained lots of corporate clients use body art as a marketing tool, too.

“I paint lots of pregnant women’s bumps and also models employed to promote club nights and other brands,” Stacey said.

She added: “It can be a celebration of your body, or if you’re a business it’s a unique and eye-catching way to get attention for your brand.”


Body painting is an ancient practice in countries such as India and Morocco and there has been a revival of in Western society since the 1960s. Henna has been used to adorn the human body for many years and is often explored by those considering a permanent tattoo. Models are used to having their faces and bodies painted for fashion shoots. In recent times individuals, including pregnant women, have embraced this type of artistic expression.

Belfast Telegraph


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