13 September 2014

Face Painting | Advice & Tips

Makeup and Face Painting with Makeup and Beauty by Amy

I get a tonne of questions all the time about face and body painting, so today I wanted to share a post with you to give an overview of what I would consider some of my top tips when it comes to getting creative with makeup.

I find that face painting with practice can be one of the easiest and cheapest solutions for Halloween. You will notice I said with practice - and that is because I firmly believe that anyone can succeed in creating an amazing look with practice

With the proper materials and a good understanding of your concept you will be amazed at how soon you will be able to create anything from the simplest of looks to the more technical.

So first let's talk about different kinds of face paint. 


I have been face painting for over 9 years now. I started while I was working in McDonalds as a Customer Care hostess. To tell you the truth, thats probably where mine and my friend Ciara's love for creative makeup first started. 

We were given a Snazaroo face painting kit and basically taught ourselves how to use it. 

The great thing about Snazaroo is that they provide you with a booklet of ideas and step by step instructions to help you along the way. While we probably created some "not so great" tigers and butterflies in the beginning, I at least felt, the more practice I was getting the better and quicker I could create some really great looks.

Snazaroo is a hypoallergenic face paint - meaning it is suitable for even sensitive skin. It is water based - and water based face paints are the best because they go on with water and come off with water.

I would definitely recommend that anyone and everyone STAY AWAY from GREASE PAINTS! Grease paints are the cheapy face paints you will find in discount stores and even some halloween stores (usually in stick form). While these would be okay for short term makeup, wearing them long term (all day) can have a very bad reaction with your skin. They are an oil based face paint and therefore block your pores as opposed to letting them breath normally. They are also a lot more difficult to remove than water based face paint (which I am sure anyone with kids will understand!). The last thing you want is your son / daughter having an amazing day, being excited about their face paint and then being distressed because it is so difficult to remove. That is why I will always recommend investing in good quality water based face paints.

Snazaroo is not only affordable but available in a wide range of kits to suit your budget. If you know you are not going to use the face paint on a regular basis I would encourage you not to purchase one of their deluxe kits, purely because this is a makeup product after all and it does have an expiry date. It is available in cake pan form which will usually set you back around €4.95 a colour, in kit forms such as those pictured below and in deluxe professional kits.

Snazaroo Deluxe Professional Face Painting Kit

If you are looking to enhance your children's Halloween costumes with face paint, Snazaroo does have a range of kits under €10 that would be perfect as they provide the main colours. They also offer tailor made kits specific to what you are creating. For example - witches, pirates etc which will have all of the main colours you will need as well as a handy little guide.

I purchase all of my Snazaroo online from Face Painting Ireland which you can find by clicking here or in store from Inspiring Ideas in the Blanchardstown Shopping Center. You will find Snazaroo quite easily in most craft stores.


Another brand I would highly recommend to those more serious about face painting would be Kryolan. Kryolan is a very well known brand of theatre makeup which is also water based. It is available in handy tins of colour and compact enough to carry around in your handbag! I picked mine up from TheMakeupShop.ie which stocks an amazing range of theatre makeup!


So paint is an essential but good quality brushes are a must have when it comes to creating some really amazing looks. Face painting is not as much about blending and colour combinations as it is about technique. There is a wide variety of techniques in face painting such as the "Petal Push" - which is highly dependent on the type of brush you use.

Here is an example of flowers I created using this technique:

To create the petals I used a rounded brush similar to the one pictured.

Load the brush up with white face paint and press it against your skin with the TIP of the brush pointing towards the centre of the flowers (just like a petal)

Simples. :)

Good quality face painting brushes are really not as expensive as you would think. Snazaroo offers a small pack of decent brushes for as little as €1.99! I use a combination of these brushes and for my kit. I also invested in a brush roll from a company called FASH which I purchased through Amazon. Again these brushes were not expensive and their synthetic bristles are perfect for face painting.

It also handy to have a few cosmetic sponges for blending and covering larger areas.

In addition to good quality brushes you will need water. I know that sounds silly because everyone knows they need water for face painting, but more specifically you will need a travel size water spritz bottle. 

I used to always paint by dipping my brush in the water and then onto the pan - but you actually get better colour pay off if you spritz the cake pan with water first (but don't saturate it) and then proceed to paint with a dampened brush.


The first rule of face painting is DON'T PANIC! Even the simplest of designs can have an amazing effect. 

I am writing this post well before halloween because I myself know that whatever I am planning for Halloween is better researched early to give me plenty of time to practice.

This also means picking your kit up soon, because as Halloween draws nearer you will find it more difficult to get the kit you want. With the smaller kits you will usually get between 3 - 5 faces (depending on how much paint you use) which leaves you with plenty of paint to perfect your look.

Once you have an idea in mind I highly recommend you Google, Pinterest and Youtube search that idea until you have a guide as to what you would like to do.
I like to take pictures during the process so I can create a collage and look back later at how I created a look.

The first few tries might look a little rusty but if you try practice your look at least every two weeks in the run up to Halloween, you will notice that your skills and confidence in applying face paint will improve greatly.


* Your skin is important! Invest in a good quality water based face paint.

Research! Browse the internet for a design you are happy with. There are hundreds upon hundreds of great face painting ideas on Pinterest. Remember to use keywords to help narrow down your search.

* Its all about technique! Look up different techniques when it comes to face painting. Youtube has an abundance of great face painting videos that are sure to give you a bunch of ideas. Investing in some good face painting brushes will help improve your technique greatly.

* Keep it simple! If you are nervous or a first time painter, keep your designs simple. You will often find the simpler designs have the most impact.

* Clean your brushes! Just like makeup application - make sure you are sanitising your brushes after each use. This will not only prolong the life of your brushes but prevent you spreading any nasty bacteria onto yours or someone else's skin.

Change it up! Add some makeup products such as eyeshadow for more depth and interest. Again research this and basically just have fun playing with different techniques and styles.

* Enjoy yourself! Face painting is so fulfilling! Within minutes you can completely transform someone. Kids are great because they play up on the transformation - so a child that was shy and reserved suddenly becomes a roaring tiger or beautiful butterfly. It really is a great, cheap way to add a big of excitement to any party as well as create a unique and affordable halloween costume! 

I have painted for hundred of kids and adults over the years and I still love how excited people get when they see how transformative makeup can be!

Have fun being creative and feel free to share your creative makeup with me using the hashtag #mabbamakeup on Twitter and Instagram 
Signature photo Signature_zps98b94e16.png


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