Friday, June 3, 2016

Gossamer Designs Welcomes...


Holly is currently finishing up her last few classes for the season at UBC, on track to complete her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in November with a focus on installation, photography and printmaking.  

Holly has over ten years of experience working with kids in outdoor and arts education environments.  She is inspired to combine her passions of watercolour painting and working with kids by joining the face painting team at Gossamer Designs!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Make up for on-camera work

Whether it be for still photography or for film, makeup can enhance or detract from the natural beauty of an actress or model on camera. As mentioned in my Headshot Makeup for Actors post, successful textures, colours and contours for photography don't always play by the same rules as day-to-day makeup. 

A great photographer understands textures and works with whatever they are presented with - but makeup specifically for the camera helps. Makeup artists and photographers who see eye to eye are a winning combo for the model/actor. That's why I'm excited to be working with Kristine Cofsky for headshot sessions. 

Kristine is a self-taught photographer creating gorgeous images here in Vancouver - headshots, editorials and occasion photography - this gal has got an eye for beauty and finds something in people that goes deeper than their skin with her camera. 

 Our latest work together was with the talented actress, Julie Lynn Mortensen. Julie Lynn is naturally one of the most radiant women I know but she wanted a look that was different from her last batch of headshots and aligned with the types of roles she is currently going out for. Check out the beautiful results of this shoot!

Kristine and I also teamed up for part of Orb Clothing's recent catalogue. Here is a taste of some of the fruits of that labour. 

To book Kristine for your next headshot, editorial or event session, contact her through or at 

To book a makeup session with me, drop me a line at

Check out the lovely Julie Lynn at

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Welcoming our Newest Artist!

We are excited to announce our newest artist to the team here at Gossamer Designs.  We now have four professional face painters to help create those big smiles at your next corporate or private event. Here's a little bit about the addition to our face painting family!

Desiree is a visual artist who works primarily in painting and print making. In the Spring of 2016, she will be a graduate of the UBC Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Visual Arts and is eager to be creating and showing her art in the professional world.

Desiree has over ten years of experience working with children in both educational and care giving capacities. She is delighted to share art making with children and adults alike and finds joy in making people smile through her artistic creations. Desiree is excited to be a part of the Gossamer Designs team!
Welcome, Desiree!

Gossamer Designs is a face and body painting company servicing the Lower Mainland and beyond in beautiful British Columbia. Visit our website or contact Allyson at

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Headshot Makeup for Actors

Hi All,

Many of you may not know that my professional life sways back and forth between Gossamer Designs and the world of acting, both on stage and on camera. I like to keep my creative outlets in motion!

A decade ago, I worked with MAC Cosmetics, where I gained many freelance makeup opportunities, especially in bridal makeup. I love helping women feel beautiful and confident! 

Lauren Dutchak
Makeup by Allyson Grant
With my connection in both acting and makeup artistry, I often get asked about makeup for actors headshots. From what I've studied and observed, great headshot makeup is clean and natural-looking (usually) so that people can see your features and colouring with few manipulations. If your signature everyday look is a sultry, smoky eye but you have been auditioning for a lot of no-nonsense, straight-edged cops and detectives for the past year, consider getting some shots done with a barely-there eye makeup.

Your headshot look should do two things for you: represent what you will look like when you walk into a casting room and mildly resemble the types of roles you are going out for.

Claire Garner
Isaac Haig Photography
Makeup by Allyson Grant
Definitely hire a makeup artist for your headshot session but just as importantly, don't have them glam you up too much - no matter how beautiful the look is - if you aren't going in to that casting room all dolled up most of the time! I have met several actors who loved their makeup at their headshot session but feel too "prettified" in their picture compared to what they look like in auditions.

I have recently collaborated with Isaac Haig Photography and have plans for a few more project in the coming months. With over a decade of experience both in front of the camera and handling the makeup brushes, I am excited to be focusing on more headshot-specific makeup artistry again.

For inquiries about headshot makeup or recommendations for headshot photographers in Vancouver, contact me at

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Decade of Vancouver Smiles

This August marks my tenth year of living in Vancouver - it is hard to believe that a decade has gone by since I drove my trusty little Civic across the country on a mostly unplanned adventure! I had been face painting for many years prior to my arrival, but started my own face painting business after having been in Vancouver only a few months. To my great joy, I have built a solid repeat clientele base, painting at many annual corporate BBQ's, community centre events, and birthday parties. It is with delight that I greet enthused smiles year after year, and discover children who have grown 10 inches taller, or have a foot more hair. And mostly, my amazement lies in their memories of remembering what they've had painted in previous years! One particular birthday girl just had her seventh birthday a few weeks ago and I was honoured to be hired again by her father, having painted faces for her second and third birthdays as well. Juliette, I hope you have a wonderful seventh year and I look forward to seeing you and your friends at another birthday party in the future.
Juliette's second birthday
Juliette's third birthday
Juliette's seventh birthday

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Honour of Belly Painting

Being a face and body painter is an absolute joy, no question. And having the opportunity to celebrate pregnancy by painting my clients is a total honour. So I was especially grateful for the bonding and intimate experiences of painting a few of my friends while they were pregnant over the past year and a half. Carmen, an intelligent and intuitive firecracker of a woman, had baby Taiga in February 2011, just days after we painted her. Her talented photographer husband took beautifully moody and peaceful photos of the process and product, which was such a treat. Carmen completely left the design creation in my hands - a nerve-wracking and delightfully creative process. Belly painting photo by Delightfully, the following year Carmen's sister Jill, a close friend of mine, announced that she was expecting. Jill didn't want a design that was a registered character or even specifically illustrative. She is influenced by some Eastern practices and philosophies in her life so I came up with a design to reflect this - a henna-inspired image full of warmth and tranquility. Jill gave birth this March to healthy little Hugo. Ella, who I went to university with and have known for a decade requested a belly painting almost as soon as she knew she was pregnant - what an honour! Ella is an extremely thoughtful, kind and talented person, not to mention an amazing Mom already to her first little one, Mia. Mia hung out with us through the painting process, quiet, curious, and content the whole time we spent together. Ella is now the proud Mom of little boy Kipling as well. All three ladies had little boys! It is profound to feel the movements of a wee human being, waiting patiently to meet the world, under the stroke of my brush. Thank you to these new Mommas for including me in your pregnancy experience. Congratulations to Carmen, Yoshi, Jill, Derek, Ella and Luca - you are beautiful parents and I am inspired by you all. I look forward to sharing many more laughs over the years and perhaps painting your children's faces some day too! The unique and intimate experience of pregnancy painting makes a wonderful gift and lifetime memories. For further information, contact me at

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Shout Out to the WCFBPA!

I am thrilled to have placed in the top 3 for a few more contest entries with the West Coast Face and Body Painting Association's bi-monthly contest and I wanted to thank you for your votes. This past contest was Easter Faces and I entered two designs and won first and second place! Thank you to Wolfe Face Art for sponsoring this month's contest. Wolfe Face Art products are vibrant and a great choice for professional face and body artists. ( The contest entries can be viewed at
I also won first place for the Valentine's Legs or Arms contest with the following entry below:
Thank you to Kristine and Nicole for being such lovely and cooperative models. Stay in tune with my facebook page for postings about my public face painting events and newest contest entries. Here comes the summer!