Face Paint and Body Paint: Top Tips

Summer is upon us, and with it, all of the best parts: carnivals, festivals, cookouts, parties, and the celebration of life. Why not enhance the summer experience with some fun face and body painting? Body painting isn't just for kids at festivals, either: Support your favorite team, test out costume ideas, set up a photo shoot, prep for theater or performance art shows, or just decorate yourself in a creative way!

Of course, anytime you use paint for on-skin applications, there are some very important things to remember, so we've compiled this list of helpful hints, tips, and information so you can make the best decision.

Top Tips for Body Painting

Quality Body Paint
The absolutely most important aspect of body painting is to use the right paints: always look for paint that is specifically made for use on the body. Do NOT use acrylics, oils, or other general purpose paints—these could be very dangerous to inhale, absorb, or ingest. Also avoid markers, pencils, and anything that doesn't specifically say "non-toxic". In fact, look only for these terms: Non-toxic, non-staining, and easy to clean body paints are certainly the best. Other things to look for are FDA-approved ingredients, easy application, and easy removal. Don't be fooled by products that say "washable". This usually refers only to fabric, not skin.

Check the Ingredients
If you have allergies, or your painting subject has allergies, then read the ingredients thoroughly for any possible allergy-related issues.

A Clear Canvas
To ensure that your art stays in place, doesn't fade too quickly, or doesn't smear, clean the skin with skin-friendly solutions. This will also ensure that there is nothing on the skin that could react negatively with the body paint you are using.

Keep It Clean Make sure that you use new sponges and clean brushes with every application. Oils from the skin can attach themselves to the brush, and bacteria can get transfered to your paint. Left unchecked, that bacteria can breed and grow, and the next application could cause skin issues and irritation at the least, and other, more serious consequences at the worst. Also, wash your hands between faces; this will help keep you and your "canvases" healthy!

Advanced Painting
If you're going to your city's next zombie walk and you are adding more than just color to your paint, make sure that all the other materials you are using are safe. Use your non-toxic, body safe paint as glue (do NOT use regular glue), and if you're using glitter, make sure it is cosmetic-grade glitter, and not the kind in the craft aisle of your local supply store.

Make It Stick
To finalize your body artwork, use an approved setting powder after you are finished. This will help the body paint stay in place, especially in hot weather where it is likely your subject might be sweating, or exposed to water.

Remove It the Right Way
If you are using good body paint, then it is designed to stay on, even if it gets wet. So, to clean it off correctly, use a specific solution that removes body paint, temporary tattoos, etc. the right way.