Because why not?

Halloween How? Face/Body Paint.

25 October 2013
Using face or body paint this Halloween? Let's break down your options.



First up we have liquid paints, they are water based and need nothing more than a method of application to make them work, these are typically used for face painting and also detail work. There are many, many brand options and most aren't bad. Derivan is one that comes to mind and is stocked by Spotlight, they sell little themed kits like the one pictured below (not Derivan brand but they look very similar) that hold the perfect colours for your desired look (superheroes, fairies, monsters etc) , these are great for Halloween because it basically takes the guess work out of the materials and tools you'll need, just buy the kit, take it home and start colouring in yourself or your little one.

Note: Derivan is a better quality then these!

If you're looking at covering a large surface of skin then you're going to want large jars of liquid paint or a dry paint pan like the ones pictured below. The dry pans require water to activate them and the only difference between them is one is wet when you buy it and the other isn't. They can both be used for covering large areas or doing fine detail work and you will get great colour pay off from both options.


When using dry paints like the Ben Nye ones above you wet your sponge or brush first, squeezing out as much excess liquid as possible then gently swirl it around in your pan, the Ben Nye ones are super pigmented, they'll set you back $20 a pop but they will last you ages.

A little tip, instead of dipping your sponge back in to the pan for product continuously, you can add a drop of water to your sponge to reactivate the product already on there.
Both dry and liquid paints can be mixed to create different colours too, although wet paints are more convenient as they can be decanted and mixed in a palette preventing cross contamination of colours.

When it comes to application your options are almost limitless with brushes, while large areas are best done with a sponge.

You don't need expensive tools! Most of my brushes were very inexpensive.
The best place I can suggest for picking up application tools would be your local $2 shop. Trust me. If they are selling something that looks really terrible then obviously you should avoid that but if they look like they are of ok quality then they will be just fine.

Hydra sponge on the left, can be purchased in huge pieces and cut up. Stippling sponge on the right, usually comes in packs of 3 or more and are pre-cut but can bet cut smaller.
Below are some examples of brushes and their strokes, and some sponge application.

Dry paint applied with damp sponge.

Stipple sponge results.
Liquid paint applied with dry sponge.
Flat brushes of varying widths are handy!
Angled brushes can give a tick or thin effect and if you twist the brush in your fingers while applying it will give you a curve!
Thin brushes are great for feathering and super duper detail work.
Fine tipped dome brushes will give varying results depending on their width and density but will always start and end with a point when making strokes with the brush. The third brush is thinner than the second from the front but gives a fairly wide stroke because the bristles are softer and less dense.
The brush at the very back is flat with a rounded tip so gives a nice rounded start of the stroke.
Your brush will do most of the work for you, knowing how they work will make detailing easier. I don't have a comprehensive brush set so I would suggest googling for more information especially if you are looking to create a special effect.

And finally I had a quick play before I jumped in the shower :)


Jessie came to see what was going on with mum.


Oh, a few last tips:

If using oil based paints (yes they do sell them for face and body): Prep the skin with an oil based moisturiser and allow it to absorb before applying your paints. When removing always use and oil based cleanser (baby oil is best here), soap and water just will not cut it on it's own and you'll be scrubbing for days. Rub the oil over the paint to dissolve it, wipe away the excess with makeup wipes or tissues then use soap and water/face wash to remove the residue. Moisturise well after using.

If using water based paints (which I highly recommend for standard use): Prep the skin with a water based moisturiser and allow it to absorb before applying your paints. When removing all you need to do is soak the area in water and wipe away excess with your hands, once most of the paint has washed away you can go in with soap/face wash/body wash to get any bits you missed (easiest if done in the shower, take a pocket mirror with you if the paint is on your face so you can make sure you get it all off). Moisturise well after use.

Some people do have sensitivities to face paints, even water based ones. Common areas that are effected are around the eyes, nose and cheeks, a sensitivity could be as minor as some tingles or slight stinging that dissapears after a short while to a full on rash. Do a test first, placing colour over half your face and allowing it to dry will give you an idea of how your skin will handle the paint. I can't stress this enough if you are applying paint to your child! Best to do a test well before the big party or event than to find out at the last minute that they can't wear the paint and you now have an upset child missing a crucial part of their costume.

Only six sleeps until Halloween!

All Products were purchased by myself and I'm in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned unless otherwise stated. Links provided are for shopping examples only, I have personally purchased from some (not all) of these online stores but I highly recommend researching before buying.

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