Zoo Project Inspired Leopard Makeup Tutorial

When it comes to playing with makeup, one of my favourite models is my friend Bridget Shanklin. A fellow beauty enthusiast, she is always open to experimenting with different styles and colours and can always be persuaded by a MAC Cosmetic or two!

Yesterday, Bridget was going to a safari themed event so it was time to transform her into a leopard. Eager to strike the balance between looking glam and not being a costume party pooper, we took inspiration from the Zoo Project makeup concepts that clubbers favour in Ibiza.

This is what I used:

  • Peaches and Cream glitter in Nicky (one of my all time faves!)
  • Glitter fixing gel by Spectacular
  • MAC Pigment in Tan
  • Illamasqua Eye Liner Cake in Mislead

To start, we used the Nicky glitter to give Bridget glittery smokey eyes. (This YouTube glitter smoke tutorial by Kate Peach is fantastic – I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to experiment with this look.) I blended MAC eyeshadows in Amber Lights, Mulch and Carbon to create a smokey spectrum that went from gold into black. Then, I added the Nicky glitter onto her actual eye lids and then finished the look with my eyeliner.

Next, we started to play with leopard print on one side of Bridget’s face. She knew that she wanted to wear all of her hair to the left hand side so we added some leopard print to the opposite side of her face. To start with I used my Mislead eyeliner and drew on my leopard print. This involved mixing up some plain dots, some little wavy lines and predominantly little couplets that would frame a circular patch of print. It comes solid and has to be mixed with water, making it really easy for you to develop any consistency that you desire.

Initially, this was in small patches on her forehead, cheek, jawline and neck. Targeting these areas meant that Bridget was adequately covered but that her contouring was still evident.

Upon closer inspection, Bridget decided that she wanted more. It appeared that the animal in her was beginning to unleash! Soon, we decided to take the leopard print all down one side of her face, and then thickening the print on her neck with larger spots.

Shading the print was the most fun. A majority of the print was shaded with the Tan pigment. I mixed the pigment with water to form more of a paste; this was much easier to apply and held a lot better than its normal powdery consistency. This was a brilliant choice because it caught the light beautifully and photographed brightly, but wasn’t too crazy considering that Bridget had an event to go to. Then, for small splashes of prettiness we filled some of the spots with the same Nicky glitter used on her eyes. A combination of silky golds and bling glitter, this leopard was ready to prowl.

Bridget was really happy with the finished product and so was I. We had a lot of fun doing it, too! I think next time I try this I might do a multi coloured version using more of my Peaches and Cream glitters and some of my Lime Crime Magic Dust Rainbow.

Top tips for achieving this look:

  • Don’t worry about being neat! The beauty of leopards is that their spots are varied and unpredictable. If you make a mistake, who cares? That’s what the glitter is for, ha ha.
  • Remember to keep the colour theme consistent throughout your makeup. In Bridget’s configuration, this meant using lots of bronzing powder on her face and highlighting her cheekbones with a golden toned Vanilla pigment from MAC.
  • Try not to make it too symmetrical. Remember, you’re supposed to be an animal.

Let me know if any of you try this, and be sure to link me to your Zoo Project photographs.