One of the questions that I am most commonly asked is “What type of paints do you use?”.
Well....The answer is actually quite complex.I have put together (as promised) a blog post to share with you my, completely unbiased, thoughts on the different brands of paints. All of the paints that I use are ‘Professional Face Paints’. These are paints that are specifically designed for painting on the skin, they are more like a make up. There meet strict guidelines, including being approved by the FDA. Professional face paints are easy to work with, easy to wash off and most importantly are safe to use on the skin. They should not leave a reaction. (However there is a small chance some sensitive skin may react to some brands. If you are ever concerned about a reaction a patch test should be conducted.) There are many paints out there that are often labeled ‘face paint’ that should not be used on the skin. I call these the cheap and nasty paints. Often sold for a couple of dollars in craft sections. (You can read more about the importance of good quality paints here.)
Professional face paint may cost a little more, but they are well worth the investment. I purchase my paints online from from trusted face and body paint suppliers.
When I first started painting I used Snazaroo paints. This is one brand that is easily available, and is reasonable priced (that paint goes a long way!). It is a great brand to use if you are just wanting to paint your own children faces. After a few years of using Snazaroo, I found that I needed to expand my kit. Snazaroo is a great paint for painting ‘base work’, it goes on smooth and blends well.
As my painting progressed I eventually needed to expand my kit, I learnt quickly that different brands were useful for different applications. I needed a paint that wan’t going to blend as well to create nice crisp line work. Waxier brands, such as Wolfe, TAG and DiamondFX are fantastic for this.
I introduced Paradise paints for my base work. The creamy texture of this paint made it simple to apply, comfortable to wear, easy to blend with other colours and easy to wash off. (A paint that washes off well is very important, you want your clients to remember your face painting, but not so well that they can still see the remnants days later.)
In the past few years the number of trusted face paint brands has grown enormously. Each brand carries its own unique array of colours, which is how I chose a lot of my paints. These days my kit consists of not only TAG, Wolfe, DiamondFX and Paradise, but also Global, FAB/Superstar and Face Paint Australia.
This photo shows the brands and colours that I currently carry in my kit. This changes regulary, I have a large box of new colours to add when necessary.
Split cakes and rainbow cakes are also a very popular type of paint. These are paints that come in rainbow strips of colour. These can be applied with a brush (1 inch wide) or a sponge. Most brands come with their own line of split cake combinations, so the choices are endless. I have a very large collection of split cakes and rainbow cakes.. there are just too many beautiful combinations.
In my kit I also have a few pressed powders which I use either on their own or in combination with my face paint. Mehron Starblends and Ben Nye Lumiere powders are must have's in my kit.
And don't forget all the accessories, glitter, gems, brushes, sponges.. but that is a whole other blog post!
So...I am sure my long winded post has left you more questions then ever, there are just too many great options to narrow them down. And this is just what I use! There are so many great painters, all with unique styles of painting, that will have their own favourite paints. You will never find 2 kits the same!
Don’t be afraid to buy a few smaller pallets and paints to try out the different brands, even buying a small split cake with give you a chance to try out a few different colours of the one brand. I admit that I have quite a few paints that I have purchased that I haven’t loved, or have since found a replacement for. I often use these for practice or to pass on to other people. And dont be afraid to ask, when you see a beautiful colour or splitcake. Most of us face painters just love to share.
I hope that helps answer the question of which face paint to use. As long as you are using a professional quality face paint (regardless of whether this is a hobby or a business) you can't go wrong. Grab some of your favourite colours and have fun trying them all out. You know there is no such thing a too much paint!