While most makeup artists tend to follow the conventional rules of of the trade, 25-year-old Laura Jenkinson prefers to do her own thing. For the past year, she has been using all her colorful cosmetics and makeup brushes to recreate popular cartoon characters on her mouth and chin. She paints them in such a way that her mouth becomes their mouth as well, making the characters instantly come alive.
London-based Laura has so far painted a host of characters on her mouth, including The Cookie Monster, Shrek, Taz the Tasmanian Devil and several others from Disney movies, Looney Tunes, Pixar, and South Park. Last week, she did Robin Williams’ genie from Aladdin as a tribute to the actor. She does the paintings so accurately that every time her lips move, it appears as though the character is talking.
Despite the fact that she’s looking at herself in the mirror while drawing on her face, Laura says that her technique is incredibly simple. “I find a picture and then just hold it up to the mirror as a guide and draw straight onto my face – it’s easier than you think,” she explained. “I use theatrical makeup normally, but I occasionally use lipstick if I need to get the exact shade of something.”
“Ironically, drawing onto someone else is more difficult – I think it’s more straightforward drawing onto my own face,” she added. Sometimes, she adds a special effect – like Bugs Bunny’s singular, large tooth. She even does a few characters upside down, to get the effect of the teeth right.
Once she completes a cartoon painting, she takes a picture of herself with a weird expression on her mouth that adds depth to the character’s expression. She then posts the pictures on Instagram, receiving up to 1,500 ‘likes’. In fact, she says that it was Instagram that inspired her to take up the project in the first place.
“I’d seen loads of other fantastic makeup artists on Instagram and I wanted to do something similar on a bigger scale so I started doing about one a week.”
Laura admits that she is thrilled with all the positive response her work has received. “People always say it makes them really happy and it’s nice to bring a bit of joy.”