Face painting was first used by warrior tribes who blackened their
faces before going into battle. Along with an intimidating "rebel
yell", the jagged designs around eyes and cheeks made them
look, and feel, a lot more fierce.
Today, a more innocent reason for face painting is ... simply having
It is a common entertainment at county fairs, large open-air markets
and other locations where
children and adolescents gather, like theme parks and festivals. At home, it's a very easy entertainment activity at kids' birthdays,
teen graduation parties or just a rainy day way to break the boredom.
Though the majority
of face painting is geared towards children, many teenagers and
adults enjoy being painted for sporting and special events, as well.
Basically, there are two kinds of face painting.
Designs that include animals,
cartoon or fairy tale characters, and other designs that are "cute"
or otherwise appealing to the young at heart.
It Yourself Non-toxic
Face Paint Recipe
tsp. corn starch
½ tsp. water
½ tsp. cold cream
In a small cup, mix all ingredients until well blended. Mix
a few batches using various food coloring (red, blue, yellow)
... and you're ready to go.
To get additional colors just mix the basics. For pink add
more white paint to the red batch. For
green mix blue and yellow. For orange mix red and yellow.
Purple is a mix of blue and red.
Always do skin tests on a small patch before applying anything
to large areas of skin. Some people may be sensitive to even
the most natural ingredients. Find out BEFORE you apply an irritant
to large parts of your body!
Make sure to wash your face before you start - it helps avoid
breaking out from wearing face paint and makeup. You can use
hypoallergenic baby wipes to prep children's faces.
Spiderman, princess, cat whiskers, rainbows, flowers, butterflies,
and clown noses are popular designs that are accomplished with a
few carefully placed strokes of the brush, using water-based face
paint available at most party supply stores.
Designs that show solidarity with a cause or membership in a group. You'll find
many fans at football games and other sporting events with faces
painted to show support for their team.
Of course, adults can and often do join the fun, donning colorful
"war paint" for special occasions whether it be fanatical World
Cup or sports fans in their team colors, or as wild revelers during annual Mardi
Gras festivities when people of all ages take to the streets to show their true party colors.
Face painting how to's:
Although the basic technique for face painting remains the same, designs are only limited to your imagination:
Sit your subject in a chair and place a towel around their shoulders.
Tie back long hair to keep it out of the way.
Before applying face paint, wipe subject's face with a moist
wipe or tissue.
If you know a subject is prone to allergies, place a small amount
of paint on the cheek to see if there is a reaction.
Apply light colors first with a broad brush, then use smaller
brushes for finer details.
If you're new to face painting, start out with simple designs
like stars, half moons and diamond shapes.
To remove face paint, simply use mild soap and water.
Face painting around the Web
Just up ahead, discover more information and resources,
expert tips & advice for kids & teen face painting focusing
on party activities, face painting supply buying guides, do-it-yourself
instructions, along with lots of creative ideas to be found in step-by-step
illustrations & picture galleries ....
Association - UK organization featuring an online magazine,
information on painting competitions, FAQ, face painting picture
galleries, membership info and contact details.
Makeup Safety Tips - Good advice from the US FDA site with
tips on makeup and face paint allergies, unsafe makeup ingredients
and how to spot them, plus contact phone numbers and related links
to more information.