With so many face paints on the market, how can you decide which one is best for your purposes?
More importantly, how do you know which ones are easy to apply and remove, sweat and water proof, resistant to cracking, won’t cause an allergic reaction or rash, and most importantly are FDA approved?
In a hurry?
We’ve made sure that you don’t have to spend hours figuring out which paints tick all of these boxes. Listed below are the best face paints on the market, along with a handy buyers guide.
- 1 Face Paint Comparison Table
- 2 Face Paint Reviews
- 3 Face Paint Buyers Guide
Face Paint Comparison Table
Face Paint Reviews
Snazaroo Face Paint Ultimate Party Pack
If you’re hosting a party for your kids you will definitely want this Ultimate Party Pack from one of the most reputable brands in the face painting industry by your side.
We should start off by saying that this face paint, and in fact all paint manufactured by Snazaroo is designed to be as gentle as possible. Therefore, it is fragrance free and suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
In fact, all of the company’s paints have been reviewed by independent professional toxicologists and professors of dermatology to ensure this is the case.
The paint is water based which is ideal if you need face paint that is easy to apply, that dries quickly, and to remove with just soap and water. It also goes on smoothly with no cracking and has excellent coverage.
12 vibrant colors, 2 glitter gels, 2 brushes and 4 sponges come included, so you really are getting everything that is needed for face painting in one package. A handy face painting guide also comes included.
It’s also worth noting that all of Snazaroo’s paints are manufactured in the UK and are in full compliance with the FDA and cosmetic regulations.
Approximately 100 faces can be painted per pack.
US Toy Face Paint Sticks
Face paint sticks are a great alternative to the other options we have on this list. They are called sticks in the industry, but think of them as crayons because that’s exactly what they look like and work as.
6 colors are included (yellow, black, green, white, red, and blue) and they are ridiculously cheap, working out to under $1 per stick. With each stick being 4 inches long they will also last for quite some time too.
These sticks go on easy and are easy to draw with. They aren’t the best choice for delicate, high-quality designs, but they will get the job done for most people with minimal hassle.
The paint being easy to wash off through the use of wet wipes or soapy water is another real plus.
Snazaroo Classic Face Paint (Best White Face Paint)
If you’re really serious about face painting then you are probably more interested in purchasing colors individually. If you’re looking for the best white face paint, this is also the one to go for.
Nothing comes close to Snazaroo Classic Face Paint that is sold in 18ml compacts, and there are close to 40 colors to choose from. A single compact can fully cover 50 faces.
Everything we stated earlier about Snazaroo applies with these compacts. The paint is water based, suitable for even the most delicate of skin, have been reviewed by independent professional toxicologists and professors of dermatology, dries quickly, provides excellent coverage, goes on smoothly with no cracking, is manufactured in the UK, and is in full compliance with the FDA and cosmetic regulations.
Mehron Liquid Face Paints
Mehron is another company that is right up there with Snazaroo in terms of selling the best individual face paints. However, this paint does come off a little more easily than Snazaroo’s.
The paint is water based and contains 4.5 ounces of liquid paint, making it suitable for painting hundreds of faces. No water activation is needed, and of course the paint also meets the FDA’s stringent approval process.
The paint is also gentle on the skin and is easy to apply and remove with soap and water. The end result is paint that goes on smoothly, has a crack resistant finish, and is suitable to use with a brush, sponge, or an airbrush.
Blue Squid Face Paint Kit for Kids
This paint may be targeted at kids, but it is more than suitable for both kids and adults alike. There are also a generous number of tools included in this kit.
Besides the 6 colors that are highly vibrant due to containing high concentration of food grade pigment for impressive coverage, glitter gel, three brushes (both thin and thick), and even 3 stencils are included. The latter of which is particularly important if you’re not much of an artist.
The inclusion of an online guide is also much appreciated with its step by step instructions, safety guide, and in-depth tutorials for creating different face designs, ideas and games.
This face paint is also 100% safe to use due to being FDA compliant. It is also hypoallergenic, vegan and paraben-free. Just soap and water or baby wipes are required for removal.
PaintFun 24 Piece Face Paint
This face paint kit arguably offers the best value for money and has received almost unanimously positive reviews from over 1,000 consumers.
Included is absolutely everything you need to get painting, including 10 different colors, 6 crayons, 2 body glitter pots, 2 brushes (thin and thick for more coverage or detailing), 2 sponges, and 1 spongy applicator.
One of the best features of this paint is also just how gentle it is. Even if you or your kid suffers from frustrating skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis it won’t cause a reaction. It is of course FDA approved and laboratory-tested.
Water is added to activate the paint, just like all the other best face paints out there, and a little really does go a long way, enabling you to paint over 60 faces.
Face Paint Buyers Guide
Different Types of Face Paint
We have to start off by saying DO NOT USE acrylic paint at any cost. To someone who has never painted their face it may seem fine because paint it just paint, right? Wrong! Not only can they cause horrible reactions in the form of rashes on your face, but they can also be dangerous to use. They may contain potential carcinogens in the form of polymers.
Even if the paint says Non-Toxic this doesn’t mean that the paint is safe to use and is FDA approved for cosmetic use.
If this somehow isn’t enough to put you off using acrylic paint, you should also know that the paint is staining and very hard to remove from skin and fabric that may have come into contact with the paint.
Powder Based Paint
Powder based paint can either be used wet or dry – it depends on the brand. If you are planning on using the paint dry, it is recommended that you use a primer first. This is because it ensures that the paint comes through stronger.
Using the paint wet is a good idea because it means that it is harder to come off through contact an sweat. It also has the benefit of making the colors appear more opaque.
Cream Based Paints
Cream based paints have the benefit of requiring no water, but they also take longer to dry compared to other face paints. This type of paint is typically used for base work. The reason why it isn’t recommended for brush work is due to the paint’s thick and creamy texture.
Glycerin Based Paints
This type of paint requires water to activate it. They have the benefit of loading thickly and faster onto your application brush or sponge.
However, due to their thickness they can make detailed work more challenging. The paint may rub off easier than other paints, such as wax paint, so make sure that you don’t touch your face too much.
It is also recommended to use translucent powder to set the paint, as this increases its durability. However, this is by no means 100% necessary.
Grease Based Paints
If you’ve ever come across a professional clown or been to a theater, the face paint you see is likely grease based. The paint has the benefit of requiring no activation, is waterproof when set with powder, and also stands up to sweat well.
However, the one-off face painter isn’t likely to use grease based paint. Powder is usually used and doing detailed work is challenging and time consuming for the novice due to the fact that the paint loads quite thickly.
Wax Based Paint
Wax based paint is water activated and best used for fine detailing. The paint loads quickly and quite thinly, which is why it’s so good for detailing. Keep in mind that the paint does have a tendency to dry quickly, though. It also has the benefit of being quite durable on the face.
Factors to Consider
Besides the different type of face paints that we’ve listed above to choose from, there are several others aspects you need to take into account.
There are only a handful of brands that are known to be safe, effective, long-lasting, and reasonably priced. As long as you purchase one of the best face paints we have listed above you are sure to be satisfied with your choice and results.
As mentioned earlier, just because the paint states that it is non-toxic it doesn’t mean that it is safe to use. “FDA Approved for Cosmetic Use” should be clearly listed, so you can be safe in the knowledge that it is safe to use. If this isn’t stated, look for similar wording to “FDA Approved” or “Cosmetic Good”.
Easy to Apply and Remove
Face paint should be both easy to apply and remove for the complete novice. Sure, someone who has never used face paint before may struggle to perfect the look they are going for, but the paint should still go on easy and be easy to remove via the use of soap and water or your everyday face wash.
Water and Sweat Proof
The top face paints are designed to be water and sweat proof, yet are still easy to remove with soap and water or face wash.
One of the main reasons for face paint cracking is due to the addition of fillers that are used to keep costs for the manufacturer to a minimum. Avoid face paint that contains calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide in their ingredients.
Allergic Reactions and Rashes
It’s impossible for even the most reputable brands who manufacture the most expensive face paint to guarantee that no allergic reactions will occur. Everyone’s skin is different and what doesn’t cause a reaction to 99% of people may cause a reaction to the remaining 1%.
Having said that, reputable brands will ensure that their face paint doesn’t contain any of the most common ingredients that cause reactions in some people.
Visualize the End Result
Always make sure that you know exactly what the finished result will be. You may not come close to getting it 100% right, but if you have at the very least a basic design in mind you can stick to it more easily. It’s a good idea to make a sketch on some paper so you have something to follow and figure out whether this is in fact the look you want yourself or anyone else face you are painting you are going for.
Face painting stencils is the answer to one of the most difficult things face painters struggle with – maintaining symmetry. They are also perfect for ensuring that the less-skilled face painters among us can paint a great looking heart, flower, star etc.
Sponges vs. Brushes
If you want to cover a large area of a face as quickly and easily as possible, stick to using a sponge. On the other hand, if you’re looking for detail a brush will give you much better results.
Even if you’re only planning on painting one person’s face, it is a good idea to sanitize all the equipment you have used to kill germs. It goes without saying that you should also thoroughly wash your hands before and after every single time you use face paint, particularly if you’re painting many people’s faces.
The last face painting tip we can give you is to put yourself into a position where you are as comfortable as possible. If you’re painting many people’s faces be sure to use supportive shoes if you’ll be painting standing up, or a chair with great support if painting sitting down