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Face paint fun

Before you start...  


  • When in doubt ask!  Ask the client or the parent if painting a child if they have allergies and take the appropriate measures.
  • Check labels of paints so you know what you are using.
  • Use baby soaps and unscented wipes.
  • Practice good hygiene.
  • Hygiene
  • Use either a clean washable sponge or a new disposable sponge for each face.
  • Regularly change water used to clean brushes with as you paint.
  • Wash your hands or use an antiseptic gel between customers.
  • Keep clear of cold sores, paint the check, arm or leg instead.
  • Thoroughly clean all brushes and equipment when packing away  If possible allow brushes to dry before packing away.

  • Instruct parents and clients how to safely remove the face paint (perhaps have a little card inserted in the take home gift bag or handed to parents on pick up - see removal tips below).
  • Secure equipment and area - ensure bushes don’t have sharp ends or edges that might scratch.
  • use a plastic mirror or ensure the mirror is strong and sound with a handle and frame in case its dropped

Getting set up - what you need

  • face paints: having a variety of colours allows you to paint more designs - six colours is a good number to start with
  • soft paint brushes and small sponges to apply paint: a mix of sizes allows for more flexibility when painting
  • matches or the flat ends of toothpicks are good for making dots and delicate lines
  • baby wipes, tissues, cotton wool, cotton-wool buds: to help clean up smudges slips - make sure you have plenty on-hand as you’re bound to need them 
  • chairs: one for you and one for the model
  • mirror: so your model can see the finished result
  • bucket of clean water, liquid soap and paper towel for clean ups
  • empty bucket to tip the dirty paint water in as you go
  • small rubbish bin/bag for used tissues and other rubbish
  • pictures of designs for your model to choose from (this is helps keep kids amused while waiting, helps them to be ready with their choice when it’s their turn and allows you to keep the focus on designs you have already chosen and feel confident with)
  • instructions for you to follow to achieve the design
  • a table set up your paints and equipment
  • a camera to capture your great handiwork

Quick tips

  • Use a sponge not a brush to cover a large area or apply a base color the paint thin so it can dry quickly before applying other colours.
  • Let the base colours dry a moment before applying second colours over the top to prevent smudging.
  • Have a picture of the chosen design with the instructions alongside you as a guide when you paint.
  • Use temporary tattoos or stencils for small flowers, hearts and stars and simple shapes if you lack confidence.
  • Practice before the day - you’re sure to get lots of volunteers.

Removing face paint

  • baby wipes are handy to remove the majority of face paint
  • gentle eye make up remover is good for dark colours
  • rinsing with tepid water and washing with a neutral pH skin cleanser is another option  


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