The 7 Best Face Paints of 2022 (2022)

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Face paints make for a fun activity for kids’ birthday parties, but they're also a necessity in any cosplayer or professional makeup artist's toolkit who are creating realistic-looking special effects makeup.

We tested and researched numerous face paints to find the best formulas, evaluating them on color payoff, ease of use, and value. We also consulted Sheilagh Maguiness, MD for her professional insight on ingredients and skin safety. Our top pick, Kryvaline Face Paint Kit, offers vivid colors, pro-level wear, and a smattering of fun stencils.

Here are the best face paints for kids and professionals.

Our Top Picks

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What We Like

  • Biodegradable, environmentally-friendly glitter

  • Full range of colors

  • Pro-grade tools included

What We Don't Like

  • Packaging is on the flimsier side

This bright, cheery face paint set delivers a smattering of colors: you’ll find every primary color, which can function as great bases for mixing and creating other hues. In addition to the basics, this kit also contains face paint pans filled with less-conventional colors, like slate gray and mauve. There’s even a pan of numerous blue hues, which range from moody to sky-colored. Of course, the kit also contains stark white and stark black, which are often necessary for detailing.

The kit contains a set of professional-grade makeup brushes, too, one of which is ultra-fine and perfect for detailing. For a more overall paint-job, or for creating a base, use one of the included sponges. The formulas are blendable, extremely creamy, and vibrant. They’re safe, too—each of the paints is FDA-compliant, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic.

Lastly, this all-in-one set is complete with stencils (you’ll look like a pro even if you’re a beginner!). You’ll also find sequins—as well as biodegradable face glitter—for adding a sparkling, finishing touch.

Color Count: 16 | Accessories Included: Glitter (biodegradable), stencils, sequins, brushes, sponges | Age Recommendation: All ages

What We Don't Like

  • Highly pigmented

  • Creamy and blendable

  • Professional-grade makeup

(Video) Amazon Products You Need 2020 | Face Paint Edition 🖌 | Danielle LaRocca

What We Don't Like

  • May require setting spray for ultra longwear

Make Up For Ever is known for its top-of-the-line pigments and richly colored makeup products. It’s a favorite brand among seasoned professionals and burgeoning makeup artists alike. This palette contains every color you could possibly need, including basic black and white, as well as primary colors and two metallic hues. Each pan is extremely pigmented, so a little bit goes a long way; thus, the palette lasts quite a long time.

Moreover, each creamy pigment is extremely blend-friendly, vibrant, and perfect for creating intricate, realistic designs on the skin—whether it’s for special effects, cosplay, or just for fun. The colors are buildable, too, so you can create a dynamic look. While the price tag isn’t the cheapest, these pigments are a prime example of getting what you pay for.

Color Count: 12 | Accessories Included: Not listed | Age Recommendation: Adults

What We Don't Like

  • Some of the colors glow less than others

These all-over skin paints take facepainting to a whole new level, thanks to their ability to glow under a blacklight. The kit contains eight pots of glowing, non-toxic paint. Note: these paints require blacklight in order to fully show up in the dark. For this reason, they’re perfect for certain concerts, festivals, and parties that may have black lights. (Psst: blacklights are surprisingly affordable if you want to buy a bulb for your own personal use!) These paints feel rich and creamy, and glide on any inch of skin you so choose to paint. The colors have a neon effect as soon as you apply them, which is striking on its own. Under a blacklight, though, they increase in luminance and remain super-bright for hours. This paint dries quickly, is smudge-resistant (even if you’re sweating!) and is surprisingly easy to remove.

Color Count: 8 | Accessories Included: Not listed | Age Recommendation: Adults

What We Like

  • Professional-grade special effects makeup

  • Realistic-looking blood and wound materials

  • All-in-one kit: contains everything you need

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey

Whether you’re looking to create uber-realistic fake wounds, blood that looks disconcertingly real, or a frighteningly realistic zombie look, this pro-level special effects kit is a primo pick. In addition to face paint in colors ranging from basic black, white, and an array of neutral skin hues, it also includes different types of faux blood, including coagulated blood, stage blood, and even some raised silicone wounds.

(Video) 🌵 10 Best Face Paints

The kit also includes liquid latex for creating skin lesions. You’ll also be able to create realistic-looking bruises, wrinkles, and so much more. The sky's the limit with this kit, and it’s beginner-friendly enough to not feel overly intimidating, while also meeting higher standards with pro-grade special effects.

Color Count: 15+; also includes fake blood and liquid latex | Accessories Included: Cotton swabs, brushes, sponges, setting powder, makeup remover, prosthetic sealer | Age Recommendation: Adult

What We Like

  • Cruelty-free

  • Dermatologist-tested

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like

  • Some of the colors are on the more sheer side

This 12-color face paint set is perfect for kids or parents who’d love to give their kids a professional-looking face paint. It’s super easy to use, thanks to its array of blendable colors and ease of application; plus, this set comes with a fantastic instruction book that provides step-by-step guidance to creating an array of different looks (complete with photos and the exact colors needed to create each look).

This set is cruelty-free, gentle on sensitive skin, and surprisingly easy to work with. The colors are varied and buildable, last for hours without rubbing off (even during kids’ playtimes), and wash off easily without excess rubbing or tugging on kids’ delicate skin.

Best of all, this kit is an incredible value for the price. It lasts dozens of face paint sessions, so you can rest assured that every kid at a birthday party and beyond will receive their fair share of fantastically whimsical face painting without running out. (FYI: Here’s another kid-friendly face paint option we like).

Color Count: 12 | Accessories Included: Instructional book, glitter, two application brushes | Age Recommendation: Kids

The 9 Best Watercolor Paints of 2022

What We Like

  • Impressive number of colors

  • 10 different brushes

  • Kind to skin and fragrance-free

What We Don't Like

  • Some of the colors are less opaque: may require a few layers for full coverage

This palette has one of the most impressive color arrays we’ve seen in a face painting kit: a whopping 36 different hues. Each is smooth to apply, thanks to the oil-based formula that gives a lovely glide and skin feel. It that won’t crack, shrivel, or dry out the skin.

The kit comes with an impressive array of different-sized brushes, too, which is great for detail-work. Thanks to its sturdy plastic container, this kit is easy to transport, without risking an explosion of multicolored makeup in your kit, travel bag, or suitcase. We also love that this set is cruelty-free.

Color Count: 36 | Accessories Included: 10 brushes | Age Recommendation: Adults

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(Video) new amazing face painting 🎨 # amazing

What We Like

  • Mess-free retractable design

  • Good value

  • Kid-friendly

What We Don't Like

  • Cannot be sharpened

These kid-friendly crayons make face painting a fun, intuitive, minimal-mess activity for little ones. We love the array of colors, ranging from bright pink to lilac, to silver and gold. There are 12 colors total, and each is super-easy to use, thanks to the crayon-like format and brush-free application method. Each stick is twistable, meaning that the color can easily retract as soon as the little artist is done.

All in all, this set is a good one to have on hand for creative kids or adults who love to whip out face paint on a whim without breaking the bank. Perfect for recreational use, we think it's a great idea to incorporate these paints into your next Halloween craft night.

Color Count: 12 | Accessories Included: Not listed | Age Recommendation: Kids

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick, the Kryvaline Face Paint Kit offers the primary staples every artist needs, along with face paint pans filled with less-conventional colors, like slate gray and mauve. For something you can wear beyond sunet, we also love the Midnight Glo Black Light Face and Body Paint. It contains eight pots of glowing, non-toxic paint, and the paints require blacklight in order to fully show up in the dark.

FDA-Compliance

It’s important to check the ingredients in any face paint. “The FDA designates what color additives are safe for application to the skin,” notes Dr. Maguiness. Interestingly, FDA compliance is even more crucial when it comes to neon and fluorescent face paints. “Only one ingredient is considered FDA-compliant for a glow-in-the-dark option, and that's luminescent zinc sulfide,” Dr. Maguiness shares.

Quality

If you’re looking for vibrant, opaque color payoff in a single stroke, you’ll likely need to spend a little more money for a high quality or professional-grade face paint kit. While these kits may be more expensive than others, their saturated pigment often means using only a fraction of the amount per project that you’d use from a kit of lower quality. If you foresee yourself using face paint frequently, a professional-grade kit may be worth the money.

Just as skin care quality matters in terms of how it makes your skin feel, face paint quality can also make a difference—particularly if you have sensitive skin or acne-prone skin. If you're dealing with either of the two, Dr. Maguiness suggests doing a patch test prior to painting.

Skill level

If you’re buying face paint for young kids, consider mess-free options, such as a retractable crayon-style face paint. If you’re a skilled painter, artist, or cosplayer, you’ll likely want to invest in a palette containing numerous colors with rich pigment payoff. Beginner face-painters may find stencils helpful; luckily, many face paint sets include stencils.

FAQ

  • Yes and no, depending on the face paint you’re using. While face paint can be safe to apply to skin in many instances, it’s crucial to do your research prior to purchasing. “To provide some background on why this is important, in 2014, the FDA did an analysis of ten face paint kits and found higher than allowed levels of heavy metals, including lead and mercury, which are particularly toxic for children," notes Dr. Maguiness.

    Thankfully, she adds that these incidents have led to real improvements and higher standards in this niche industry.” Nevertheless, “It's still necessary to carefully read the label when you’re looking at face paints on the market today.” Dr. Maguiness advises picking a face paint that’s labeled FDA-compliant, paraben-free, and hypoallergenic.

  • The answer to this question depends on the type of face painting you plan on doing. If you’re face painting for a kid’s birthday party, you may want to choose an all-in-one face paint kit with the likes of stencils, glitter, and how-to guides for different designs.

    If, however, you’re going for a gory halloween look that involves creating believable gashes, you’ll want to look for a bevy of supplies in addition to the paint itself, like liquid latex, setting spray, and adhesive, which are often included in special effects kits.

    If you’re an adult cosplayer, the best face paint may be a palette containing numerous bright colors that allow for mixing, blending, and vibrant pigment payoff. Depending on the look you’re going for, you may also want to consider body paint. Many professional-grade palettes are also suitable for body painting.

  • Face paint can last quite some time on the skin—until you manually remove it. On that note, “Definitely don’t leave it on overnight,” says Dr. Maguiness.“Prolonged duration of application may enhance adverse skin reactions.”

    To remove face paint, first identify whether it’s an oil-based paint or a water-based paint. If it’s oil-based, Dr. Maguiness advises using an oil-based cleanser to remove. For best results, she recommends following with a regular gentle cleanser or micellar water. Water-based face paints are typically easier to remove. She says a simple cleanser and water should do the trick.

Sophie Wirt is an NYC-based writer and editor, has been penning product reviews, interviews, and investigative pieces—primarily within the beauty industry—since 2015.

We also consulted Sheilagh Maguiness, MD, dermatologist and co-founder of Stryke Club for her professional insight on face paint and skin safety.

FAQs

What face paint do they use in glow up? ›

If you're a beginner, start out with Suva Beauty Hydra Liners and Merhon face paint, which are ideal for integrating into your everyday makeup routine. We spoke to Eve Jenkins, a long-time professional makeup artist and a contestant on Netflix's "Glow Up" for tips.

What kind of paint do you use to paint kids faces? ›

Types of Face Paints

Cake paints: These are the most common and they come in individual colors or multi-color palettes. They are easy to use — you just add some water, mix, and use a sponge or brush to apply to your children's faces. Cake paints last a long time and often dry quickly.

What paint is best for skin? ›

Water-based paint

Water-based paints are the safest option for face and body makeup because they are highly regulated and adhere to strict standards. In addition, VOCs are released in lower amounts by water-based paints.

What kind of paint do makeup artists use? ›

Professional face painters love to use glycerin based face paints to create beautiful backgrounds that will not crack or flake off with movement. Brands like Superstar, Paradise from Mehron, Graftobian and FAB, are all glycerin based face paint brands.

Is water-based or oil based face paint better? ›

Water-based paints are easy to apply and remove, but may run if you get sweaty while trick-or-treating. Oil or grease-based paint is tougher to work with and tougher to remove, but it has better staying power.

How do you make face paint stay on? ›

How to Sweatproof Your World Cup Face Paint
  1. Try a primer. A thin layer of oil-free primer will help extend the life of whatever you're wearing on your face, whether it's foundation, concealer, or brightly colored face paints. ...
  2. Graduate from drugstore face paints. ...
  3. Set your designs with powder. ...
  4. Use a makeup-setting spray.
23 Jun 2014

How do you make white face paint not crack? ›

Apply a thin layer of one color. Let it dry. Apply another thin layer of the same color after the first layer has dried. Doing this a few times will prevent the paint from becoming too thick and cracking as it dries.

How do you blend face paint? ›

Art of Face Painting - How To Do Blending Tutorial - YouTube

How do you face paint for beginners? ›

Your First Face Paint - Tutorial for Beginners - YouTube

What happens if you put acrylic paint on your face? ›

Ultimately, acrylic paints are not made to be used on the skin. They tend to harden on the skin, may contain toxic chemicals, and are hard to remove when dry. Depending on the person, it causes skin irritation and is not recommended as a face or body paint.

Can acrylic paint be used on face? ›

It is never a good idea to use any paint on your face or skin unless it has been specifically created for that purpose. This means that acrylic paints are a poor choice for skin application, mostly due to the toxic ingredients that many of them contain, including lead and formaldehyde.

What paint can I use on my face? ›

Water-based: The safest choice for face and body paint, most water-based paints are well regulated and follow strict guidelines. Water-based paints emit less volatile organic compounds (VOCs). But they crack and rub off easily, making them less ideal for body painting.

Is gouache paint safe on skin? ›

No. Gouache and no other paint should be applied to the skin. In this case, it is recommended using only skin-specific cosmetic products.

Does oil based face paint dry? ›

Harder to remove than face paints, grease makeup is not generally used by face painters. Grease paints do not dry and should be set with a setting powder and after use requires oil based makeup removers for removal.

Can eyeshadow be used as face paint? ›

Make sure the paint is skin-safe, or else it may cause irritation to the skin. If you prefer, you can even use eyeshadow pigments or blushes for the colors.

What kind of paint do clowns use? ›

Professional clowns typically use an oil-based greasepaint makeup instead of a water-based face paint. Why? Because opaque coverage can be achieved easily using greasepaint. When set with powder, it will stand up better to perspiration.

Can I use watercolor for face painting? ›

If you purchase an inexpensive set of Watercolor Colored Pencils you can use them for face paint simply by dipping the tips in a little water before drawing. I really can't think of an easier way to do it!

Do face paints go out of date? ›

We recommend that you use your face paints within 18 months of opening.

Is cream or water-based face paint better? ›

Although face paints have amazing coverage, pigment and opacity, cream makeup still has greater ability to completely block out skin tones showing through the makeup. Cream is also easier to blend, and when applied properly is more water resistant and tends to be more smudge proof.

Can you leave face paint on overnight? ›

Don't leave face paint on overnight. If it is worn for too long it can irritate the skin. Store face paints and cosmetics out of reach of children. Even if the product says it's non-toxic and natural it could be harmful if it is swallowed.

Should you primer before face paint? ›

1. Primer before face paint. —Create a barrier between your skin and your face paint, which is especially important if you're using party-store paints that may not be the highest quality.

What face paint is sweat proof? ›

Best Face Paint That Won't Sweat Off- Safe & Fun
#Product
1Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder,…Buy on Amazon
2Snazaroo Face Paint Palette Kit,…Buy on Amazon
3Kangaroo Face Paint and Body…Buy on Amazon
4Maybelline Hyper Easy Liquid Pen…Buy on Amazon
6 more rows
3 Aug 2022

Can you use hairspray as a paint sealer? ›

Acrylic paint, tempera paint and other types of paint that you might use on rocks cannot be sealed with hairspray. Hairspray is neither permanent nor waterproof and some formulations of hairspray and paint react badly to each other and could cause your paint to melt or get gooey!

Why does face paint crack? ›

Some face paint cakes like Kryolan are hand-poured and may have lines or blemishes on the surface. Certain brands like PartyXplosion might develop cracks on the surface due to weather, like heat and humidity and varies from cake to cake.

How do you apply white face paint smoothly? ›

How to Apply White Face Makeup Properly - YouTube

Can you mix face paint with foundation? ›

You'll want to mix about 1 part foundation to 2 parts white face paint. This will not only make it easier to apply your base layer, but it will give you more of a realistic pale look instead of a my Mum decided I was going to be a ghost for halloween kinda look.

How long does water based face paint last? ›

We recommend that you use your face paints within 18 months of opening.

Do you wet snazaroo face paint? ›

Snazaroo Face Paints are water activated, they are meant to be mixed with water. When using a sponge or brush, add a small amount of water to the sponge or brush and mix it onto the Snazaroo cake of makeup.

How long does it take for face paint to dry? ›

When you are in a hurry it may seem like forever until the face paint dries, but really it only takes about 30 seconds if you're outdoors (usually a little longer indoors or if it's really humid out).

Do you tip face painters? ›

Tip the characters $20, more if they were excellent. Face Painter / Balloon Twister / Magician, Etc. All other kinds of entertainment follows suit with tipping - consider tipping at least $20 for each entertainer.

How do you clean face paint brushes? ›

How to clean face painting brushes - YouTube

How do you make face paint brighter? ›

Home made Face Paint for children (Party, Carnival, Saint Patrick's Day)

Do acrylic paints wash off? ›

Acrylic paint can wash out of clothes with proper treatment, such as applying hairspray or isopropyl alcohol. Because this paint is water-soluble, you can often rinse it away entirely if you catch the paint stain before it dries!

Is liquitex acrylic paint safe for skin? ›

Can I use Liquitex on my skin? While there should be no major issues, we don't recommend purposefully using Liquitex paints or mediums on your skin. You would be better to use a specialized face & body paint designed for skin application instead.

Does acrylic paint wash off after drying? ›

If you have not treated the surface in any way and the paint is still wet, the rain can wash away the acrylic paint. When the paint has dried, it is slightly water-resistant but will eventually start to peel or flake off.

Can I put Apple Barrel paint on my face? ›

No, because Apple Barrel acrylic paint does not have FDA approval to be painted on the face. Just like any other acrylic paints, it is not recommended to apply acrylic paints on the face as they are not formulated with any pharmaceutical-grade ingredients that make them safe to be put on the face.

What removes acrylic paint from skin? ›

To remove acrylic paint from your skin, use a combination of oil and rubbing alcohol. First, wash the area with soap and warm water to loosen up the paint. Then, dry the area and squeeze an ounce or 2 of baby oil directly onto the paint spot and massage it into your skin.

How do you wash acrylic paint? ›

To make an acrylic paint wash, mix paint and water to create a dilute solution. You can use any ratio up to 1 part paint and 100 parts water! Add water until you have a consistency that will spread easily, is transparent (to your desire), and will blend easily onto your surface without brush strokes.

How do you make face paint stay on? ›

How to Sweatproof Your World Cup Face Paint
  1. Try a primer. A thin layer of oil-free primer will help extend the life of whatever you're wearing on your face, whether it's foundation, concealer, or brightly colored face paints. ...
  2. Graduate from drugstore face paints. ...
  3. Set your designs with powder. ...
  4. Use a makeup-setting spray.
23 Jun 2014

How do you stop face paint from cracking? ›

Prep your skin with an oil-free moisturizer like Neutrogena's Oil Free Moisture Sensitive Skin, $10, to prevent skin and makeup from cracking throughout the night.

How do you face paint for beginners? ›

Your First Face Paint - Tutorial for Beginners - YouTube

Is acrylic paint good for face painting? ›

It is never a good idea to use any paint on your face or skin unless it has been specifically created for that purpose. This means that acrylic paints are a poor choice for skin application, mostly due to the toxic ingredients that many of them contain, including lead and formaldehyde.

Should you primer before face paint? ›

1. Primer before face paint. —Create a barrier between your skin and your face paint, which is especially important if you're using party-store paints that may not be the highest quality.

Can you leave face paint on overnight? ›

Don't leave face paint on overnight. If it is worn for too long it can irritate the skin. Store face paints and cosmetics out of reach of children. Even if the product says it's non-toxic and natural it could be harmful if it is swallowed.

What face paint is sweat proof? ›

Best Face Paint That Won't Sweat Off- Safe & Fun
#Product
1Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder,…Buy on Amazon
2Snazaroo Face Paint Palette Kit,…Buy on Amazon
3Kangaroo Face Paint and Body…Buy on Amazon
4Maybelline Hyper Easy Liquid Pen…Buy on Amazon
6 more rows
3 Aug 2022

Should I put Moisturiser on before face paint? ›

There is no need to put any cream or moisturiser on the skin before you begin. Water-based face paint is best applied directly onto clean, dry skin. You may wish to keep the hair away from the face with a hair band or clips. Always apply the base colour first, using a damp sponge.

What should be applied on face before painting? ›

Using tepid water and wet your entire face. Lather up with a gentle baby shampoo, like Johnson's Baby Shampoo, and massage it into your face with your hands. Rinse and repeat as necessary. When you're done, pat your face with a dry washcloth and apply your favorite moisturizer.

Do face paints go out of date? ›

We recommend that you use your face paints within 18 months of opening.

Do you use water with face paints? ›

Water activated face paints come in solid cakes (like makeup compacts) and they require the use of water to activate the pigments. To start, get a cup of clean water (or a water container like our airtight stainless steel brush washer or Rinse Well ) and dip your brush or sponge in it.

Do you tip face painters? ›

Tip the characters $20, more if they were excellent. Face Painter / Balloon Twister / Magician, Etc. All other kinds of entertainment follows suit with tipping - consider tipping at least $20 for each entertainer.

How much face paint do you need? ›

As a guide: 1 x 18ml pot can cover anywhere from 50 to 100 full faces. 1 x 30ml pot can cover anywhere from 80 to 160 full faces. 1 x 75ml pot can cover anywhere from 200 to 400 full faces.

Do acrylic paints wash off? ›

Acrylic paint can wash out of clothes with proper treatment, such as applying hairspray or isopropyl alcohol. Because this paint is water-soluble, you can often rinse it away entirely if you catch the paint stain before it dries!

Can I use water based acrylic paint on my face? ›

The short answer: Don't do it. The main reasons why: Many of the paints have toxic ingredients in it. Overall, acrylic paint is not meant to be used on your skin.

Can I put Apple Barrel paint on my face? ›

No, because Apple Barrel acrylic paint does not have FDA approval to be painted on the face. Just like any other acrylic paints, it is not recommended to apply acrylic paints on the face as they are not formulated with any pharmaceutical-grade ingredients that make them safe to be put on the face.

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