Face drawings: how to choose and apply face paint


A great idea for a children’s party is a theme party. To make the images of the kids correspond to the idea, you can apply face painting. Careful attention should be paid to the choice of paints, because low-quality materials can cause allergies.

Is face painting safe for a child?

Face painting, or paint on a water, oil, wax base, is widely used in face art – the art of artistic painting on the face. Unlike tattoos and other methods of decorating the skin, face painting is temporary and is washed off after the first contact with water, since it is applied only to the top layer of the skin.

A set of paints for face painting

Face painting paints must be based on natural or harmless synthetic components: coloring pigments, glycerin, water, petroleum jelly, polymers, thickeners. Their composition is specially selected so that the finished product has the following properties:

  • non-toxic,
  • the ability to draw both clear lines and transitions, shading,
  • elasticity, no cracking after drying,
  • brightness, saturation of tones,
  • fast drying,
  • ease of application,
  • the possibility of layering tones.

Unlike acrylics, gouache and watercolors, face painting paints do not provoke allergies and irritations. They do not clog pores, allowing the skin to breathe, do not cause dryness, itching, or other undesirable reactions. It is easy to wash the funds from the face and clothes if they accidentally get on it.

All these properties are inherent only in high-quality colors for face painting. If you get a low-grade composition, it is quite capable of leading to skin rashes and allergic reactions. Due to the very delicate skin, it is not recommended to carry out drawings on the face of children under 2-3 years old.

Modern leather paints do not cause allergic reactions and are safe for children

Types of paints and selection rules

Face painting is produced in various forms, packages, volumes, produced by domestic and foreign manufacturers. Basic types:

  1. It is a set of professional tools for painting leather. Its shades do not fade, they look juicy, bright in any light. Usually the composition of the pressed face painting includes calcium carbonate, paraffin, gum. The composition gently lays on the skin, does not spread, and then it is easily washed off with warm water.
  2. Spray paint. It can be used not only for the face, but also for the hair and body. It is very convenient to apply, it dries quickly, does not crumble or crack, does not stain clothes, and has no smell. These formulations are ideal for working with stencils.
  3. Liquid face painting mehendi. Includes a natural component – henna. Not intended for children’s face painting, as it stays on the skin for up to 2-3 days.
  4. Cream face painting. It is made on the basis of oils or waxes. Quite persistent, for washing it requires the use of oil emulsions, soap. Drawings made with these paints look very attractive, the color palette is quite rich.
  5. Face painting pencil. Means in the form of markers, crayons, pencils, felt-tip pens are sold individually or in sets. You don’t need brushes, sponges, or water to apply them. Only shading is more convenient to produce with small brushes.
  6. Face painting in split cakes. It is an unusual type of paints that resemble plasticine in plastic packaging. Designed to quickly create rainbow designs, unusual backgrounds.
  7. Face painting palettes. Classic sets reminiscent of ordinary watercolor, equipped with brushes. They include the main colors of the gamut, many also contain shades with metallic, fluorescent paints.

You cannot replace face painting products with ordinary gouache or other compositions for drawing on paper, stained glass windows. They will irritate the skin and may trigger allergies. Before buying, you need to make sure that the composition is safe and some other points:

Release form. For younger children, crayons, pencils are more suitable, with which you can draw faster. For older children, paints of any shape can be used.

Quality. The product should not have an unpleasant odor, be divided into fractions, its texture should be uniform.

Number of shades. To create a beautiful drawing, you need to buy a set of 6 paints, no less, although some themed images include fewer colors.

DIY face painting paints

The cost of one jar can reach 200-500 $, so many parents have a desire to save money and make color schemes on their own. There are the following recipes for making face painting from safe ingredients:

Combine 3 tablespoons of starch, 1.5 teaspoons of any cream (preferably baby), 1.5 teaspoons of water. Stir the mixture until smooth, placing it in a clean container. Add food coloring of the desired color to the mixture, mix until the required shade is obtained. If the paint is too thin, add more cream or starch.

Take 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, a tablespoon of heavy cream, a teaspoon of water, and food coloring.

New paint activation

Some face painting products, which are sold in dry form or cakes, require activation. This requires only ordinary water, which is sprayed by materials after being placed in a spray bottle. You can also wet the paints with a damp brush for a creamy or watery texture (as needed).

Wax-based paints need more liquid to activate, so you will have to wet them more actively. Also, neon products should be sprayed harder, which show their full color only with sufficient humidity. A minimum of water is required for glycerin-based colors, which are already quite soft. It is best to activate the paint in this way:

  • Take a brush in your hand, wet it with water.
  • Make a small indentation in the paint with rotational movements.
  • Give the color in the “crater” a creamy consistency, and leave the rest of the mass in a solid state.

Paint reactivation

Previously used paints dry out over time, and a crust forms on their surface. If the material is no longer needed, it must be allowed to dry, and next time it must be reactivated by adding a little water.

How to apply paints correctly

Professionals know how to work with face painting of different types. Depending on the consistency, there are some differences in the results, which must be taken into account when applying the drawings.


The paint, diluted to a liquid state, allows you to get original drips, splashes. The watery texture creates realistic droplets that are very difficult to draw artificially, and this will take a minimum of time. If this color scheme is diluted even more, it will be possible to draw shadows with it.

Mascara consistency

This paint resembles the ink used for writing with a pen, which was widely used before the invention of pens. It is thick enough to draw clear lines. The consistency of the mascara is ideal for creating black and other dark contours, graceful curves, sharp ends.


It is most often used when creating face painting, because it most fully reveals the depth and saturation of the paint. When it comes to a wax product, the creamy texture allows you to draw clear lines, droplets, curls. It is convenient to make dense coatings with glycerin colors of this consistency.


A tacky effect can be obtained from wax-based paints with the addition of a minimum amount of water. They are usually used for dense, crisp designs.


This texture is a little drier than sticky and is created on paints with glycerin in the composition. It is used for classic shading, working with stencils, in the dry shading technique, to create the “Tirex skin” effect.

Make-up technique

The choice of drawing depends on the preferences of the child himself or the adult, the theme of the party, the imagination and artistic abilities of the master. Before starting work, you need to remove the hair from the face, securing it with a bandage, change the model into home clothes, especially if it is a baby up to 3-5 years old. Face painting can be easily washed, but the mood from dirty things can spoil.

The most popular drawings for children are:

  • animal faces,
  • insects,
  • flowers,
  • superheroes,
  • fairies,
  • patterns, ornaments,
  • fairy tale characters.

Face Painting Supplies

It is worth taking care of the necessary tools and consumables in advance to create a beautiful face painting. You will need:

  • brushes of different thicknesses made of natural materials (preferably separate for each color),
  • small sponges for shading and painting over large areas,
  • disinfectant (if you have to paint on the faces of different people),
  • cups of water for washing brushes, sponges,
  • paper towels, wet wipes, cotton swabs,

To create interesting effects, you may also need fluorescent pencils, stickers for temporary tattoos, glitter, rhinestones, cosmetic rice powder.

Performing face painting

The paint should be tested for allergies first, which is recommended even for the highest quality products. The agent is applied to the inner side of the elbow, waiting 5-10 minutes. If there is no redness and rashes, you can safely apply the material on your face.

First of all, when creating face painting, a tone is applied – it should be even, smooth. To create it, moisten and squeeze the sponge well, apply paint in smooth circular movements. Long strokes should not be done: after drying, they turn into ugly stripes. After drying the tone, the details and contours of the pattern are applied using brushes. They are held at a right angle, like a pencil, while they are moistened with paint slightly so that it does not drip and drip. Allow the drawing to dry, if necessary add special effects (for example, sparkles).

Face drawings: how to choose and apply face paint
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