Supplies: body paint (water based or latex) in multiple colors, a dozen sponge brushes for application, a couple of small container for touch-ups, plenty of disposable or old towels for clean-up.
This costume requires a lot of prep time and can get messy.
You’ll need time to apply each color of paint and let it dry. It could take an entire day depending on the kind of paint you use and how extensively you decide to paint your body. If you’re not brave enough to walk around naked, like they do in the video (and we do recommend some sort of loincloth on the bottom), you’ll want to wear clothes that are fine to have paint rub off on them.
Water paint is the easiest to remove. Use it if you’re going to a party or even for a few hours but bring little jars to touch up in case you get wet or rub it off.
Latex based paint goes on easiest, stays longest and looks like a varnish on your skin. Use this for all-day events but be forewarned: it sits on top of your skin and peels off like actual paint. That means if you paint over body hair, it is likely to rip off with the paint.
Recreating the look.
Allot enough time to apply each color and let it dry before applying a second color. You’ll need body paint in at least six different colors plus enough brushes to apply all of it. Use a new sponge brush for each color you plan to apply. Don’t forget to dedicate one to the black lines.
Gotye uses two different shades of brown, a flesh color, a light blue, yellow, white, light green, grey, pink, and peach. Kimbra adds in a few different and more vibrant shades of yellow and green. To best recreate the look, select one very vibrant, dark reddish brown for Gotye and one kelly green for Kimbra. Use softer pastels for the rest of your colors. To get a consistency closes to the video, use a water based paint. After a few hours you’ll notice a water based paint wears off, especially in crevices where your skin touches like around the elbows and knees.
Start with the face.
You can’t apply the body paint alone, so make sure you have a helper to coat you. But start with your face. Paint the colors blocks first, starting by creating triangles under your left eye that shoot out over your face. Fill in the black outlines to separate the color blocks last. Make sure one layer of paint is completely dry before you apply another layer or a new color.
Plan to apply several layers — you’ll want the paint to go on thin and coat your skin. Thick layers of paint are more likely to crack.
Water based paint may be the most cost-effective. You can easily mix water based paints to create different shades and colors. Latex paint is not as easy to mix, so you’ll need to buy all the shades you want to wear.
Do not buy art store paint. Visit your local Halloween retailer or shop online and get actual body paint for best results.
-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local