Best Face Paint

Advice from artists and models about
the best face paint

We love creating face paintings! Expressing and expanding our abilities as artists, creating something fun and lighting up parties. Most of all, we love the feedback and happy faces and big thanks we receive on the way. Use the best quality face paint for it. 

However, there are hundreds of facepaints available online. Some painters love a certain brand and hate the others, other painters have the opposite opinion. And clearly, not all facepaints fit all purposes. Some brands created brilliant glitter paints while others are top paints for fine lines. We guide you through the pitfalls, have tested hundreds of paints and will review the top face paints here.

Facepainting Opportunities

There are plenty of opportunities to get wild and express that with a face paint. Yet, the different occasions also require slightly different paints and skills of the painter. When you get approached to do some face painting, use this as a simple guide to understand the most important events. 

 

Carnival

No matter if you call it Carnival, Fastnacht, Carnevale, or Mardi Gras, these events are wonderful opportunities to get a colorful face painting. This festival paves the way to the following 40-day period of lend in catholic countries. It is a festival of colors, of happiness and exuberance. For your painting, use plenty of green, red, blue, yellow, even pink and purple face paints. Glitter face paint is great for these event and we will review the best options below. While in the US (New Orleans) and Germany (Mainz, Köln, Düsseldorf) face paints are perfectly suitable, in Brazil (o Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador) a partial body paint might be more suitable due to the hot weather and tradition to dance and wear little clothes. Don’t use the 3.5ml paints for that, go for large sources of at least 10-50 ml and adjust your brush and sponge accordingly. The exception to the rule is the more traditional Venice carnival. Historically, masks are used in this event and if you opt for face painting, just copy the mask style. Stay minimalistic and use one color and different shades of it. For Venice, use blue and white face paints. 

 

Halloween

For Makeup artists and face painters, halloween is a golden season. Painters are booked out for days around the end of the month and even before as clubs and bars prepare for the event. While originally from the US, halloween has become a global phenomenon with strong impact on major cities everywhere. 

Vampires are among the easiest creatures for face painting. Just make sure to have plenty of white face paint. At least 20-50 grams.  Similarly, a skeleton face is a perfect halloween face paint idea. Again, you need plenty of white and black face paint. Zombies are another great halloween face paint idea. Use artificial blood, and create scars. 

 

Birthdays

Kids love to wear face paint. If they have the patience to wait and get to it one by one. Here, butterflies, cats, dogs, and tigers are the most loved animal face paints. Often, some simple sets or face paint templates are enough and you might use 3-4 different paints. Just be aware that kids have a short attention span!

 

Clowns and other professionals

Some people like clowns, others are afraid of them. For any of this, a professional face paint is required. You want consistency and improve the way you paint yourself. Our advice: start with a pro face painting palette to find the best color combination for you and then buy 30gram supplies of the most used colors. 

 

Face painting example - kids

What to consider when choosing face paint

Health & Safety

There are several main differences in paints: 

glycerin based paints also known as water based paints take longer to dry and are thus very suitable for mixing different paints. They can be easily washed off afterwards and might therefore be a better choice, especially for amateur models that don’t want to spend hours in the shower afterwards.  Wax and oil based face paint takes a short time to dry, and once try, it is much more durable. Dancers might therefore opt for the oil based paint. For health reasons, it is however recommended to take the water based paints.

Second: For areas close to eyes, nose and lips, better use cosmetic products of famous brands, that often also come in bright colours. While most face paint is safe, it is not made for daily use and not made for areas around the eyes, or lips.

 

The Artist

As an artist that wants to make your “canvas” as beautiful make sure you have chosen the right paints. Mostly, you want paint that covers well. Strong paint that you can mix with a little bit of water and brush and apply with ease. You obviously want colors that fit well to one another.

If you have rather little experience with face painting, then a face paint set or template could be just right for you! This often doesn’t give you much options, but if you and your model are happy with the tiger face or similar, then this is an option.

 

The Model

Face painting is much easier for the model compared to body painting. It might only take 5 minutes or as long as an entire hour – but rarely more than that. Still, not matter if your model is a kid or a grown-up, make sure that the lips and eyes will be painted last. This allows the model to still drink something and gets more comfortable in the process.

As a model, your color of skin also makes a difference. You might want to go for bright and strong colors if you have a darker skin. Dark green and dark grey often work much better on people with whiter skin. But let’s try out different colors and see what fits best to us.

Different Types of Face Paint

Glycerin face paint

Glycerin face paint brands:  Snazaroo, Eulenspiegel, Kryolan Aquacolors

Glycerin face paints are water activated and therefore often called water based face paints. You can easily add a drop of water and use your brush. These face paints can also be easily mixed on a palette for more color options and grading of colors.

Another advantage is that the colors can be easily removed later on by taking a shower. You can add powder to make the colors more durable on the skin but don’t have to. Glycerin face paint is also a great base to add glitter face paint on top. 

Be aware that glycerin face paint needs a couple of minutes to up to an hour to dry completely.

Powder based face paint

Power based face paint brands:  Ben Nye, Kryolan Viva, Mehron’s Precious Gem Powders 

Some of those paints you can use wet others dry. It really depends on the brand and the line of the paints.

For the Precious Gem Powders, best use a good mixing liquid. Most of the paints, you shouldn’t add water in their containers as they often cannot be reused. So you can use a slightly oily foundation on the face directly, or mixing liquid in a separate container. 

Be also careful when transporting or using these paints. In short, for many purposes, the glycerin based paints might be easier to use. 
You can seal the powders with a primer so they don’t rub off easily.

Wax face paint

Wax face paint brands:  Cameleon, Diamond FX

Wax face paints seem more watery but dry quicker than the glycerin based face paints. Detail work can be done well with wax face paints but it requires more skill to mix the right nuance as the color dries quickly.

Our recommendation is to use wax paint sporadically for details. Activate the paint with water and apply it similarly to glycerin paint.

Best Colorful Face Paint

First, you have to decide what you want to do with the white face paint. If your goal is to paint your whole face or most of it white, then go for a large 30gram paint. This could be true for aspiring vampires or gothic metal enthusiasts.  

If you aim for a more artistic and colorful painting, then a face paint palette could be right for you.

Face painting is much easier for the model compared to body painting. It might only take 5 minutes or as long as an entire hour – but rarely more than that. Still, not matter if your model is a kid or a grown-up, make sure that the lips and eyes will be painted last. This allows the model to still drink something and gets more comfortable in the process.

Best Face Paint Set

Winner: Snazaroo Face Paint Set. Very easy to use, cheap, and among the safest. This is our recommendation for starting face painters. If you want to have fun with your child: Use this face paint kit.

Best Glitter Face Paint

Glitter can be used sprinkling over the face, or covering the whole body. There are two different ways: Buy the glitter alone and use it on a paint that lets it stick. This is usually much cheaper option. 

If you just want to focus on a small part of the face, use a glitter gel. Here, our winner is: Eulenspiegel Glitter Motif Set

Best White Face Paint

Winner: Mehron Clown White. Usually, when you use white paint, you will use a lot! So we recommend you to go for the 7 ounce cake. This is perfect for converting your face into a gothic metal enthusiast or for the KISS revival convert. For vampires and clowns. 

If you want to use white to mix with other glycerin / water-based paints, then we recommend Eulenspiegel White. Best option here is in the 50gr cake. 

Best Neon Face Paint

Winner: Diamond FX. This paint is perfectly suitable for simple, very colorful neon paints. As a close runner up, use Eulenspiegel

Neon face paint is great for outdoor festivals and for party animals exploring the nightlife. You will always have something to talk about. UV face paint requires the appropriate light: low lit halls with plenty of UV light bulbs to create an unforgettable atmosphere.