So you want to paint beautiful designs on children or on your own face and you want the paint to give you neat coating, vibrant colors and eye-catching results?
You may have tried buying some face paints in local stores, or on Amazon or eBay, but they cracked on the face, didn’t let you obtain sharp lines and the colors were dull. 😥
And that all let you feel very frustrated.
No worries! You can exhale now!
Because YOU FOUND that right guide where you will get ultimate information about the world’s best face paints with exact links where to purchase them! 😃👍
Vibrant colors, sharp linework, a smooth flowing coating that feels like a second skin, easy blending and amazing designs — all that can be easily achieved with the brands below.
NOTE: This article is built in partnership with JestPaint.com — one of the biggest and reliable face painting stores in the USA. All our suggestions are linked to JestPaint.com. Worldwide shipping is available.
But before we begin, here is a link to the premade collection with all tools ready to buy from one place!
Our Favorite Face Paint Colors
BEST FACE PAINTS
First, you need to know that in most cases, professional face painters work with water activated paints. They can be classified into three main categories, due to the main ingredient in their formula:
- Paraffin Wax based
- Glycerin based
- Acacia Senegal Gum based
Best face paint brands at the moment include: Fusion, TAG, Wolfe FX, Diamond FX, PartyXplosion, Cameleon, Kryolan, Global Colours, Face Paints Australia, Mehron Paradise, Superstar, Kryvaline.
A note on Snazaroo: we are intentionally not including Snazaroo in this list, although statistics show that most face painters start their career with this brand. Although Snazaroo is a safe product, that follows FDA, EU and CSPA guidelines, most of the paints are not as bright and vibrant compared to the other brands listed above. The paint often cracks on the skin and it is more difficult to achieve uniform coverage with it. It is also very tricky to use for linework and can leave you frustrated.
Water activated paints
Paraffin Wax Based Face Paints
Paraffin Wax based paints are probably the most popular type of paints.
They dry quickly, provide very good coverage and come in vibrant colors that are great for sponging, and are also very easy to use for linework. Also, these paints are a little bit more difficult to blend due to the dryness of the coating they provide.
On the other hand, they are more difficult to smudge, which is a great benefit, especially when we speak about face painting on small kids that tend to touch their face with less precaution.
There is just one specifics that one should know about these paints. Since paraffin wax is a petroleum-based wax, it is solid at room temperature. But once it gets in hot and humid circumstances, with a temperature higher than 37 degree Celsius (98,6 Fahrenheit), it starts to melt, transforming the paint into some sort of a gluey consistency.
Brands: Diamond FX, TAG Body Art, Kryvaline regular line and Wolfe FX.
Our choice: TAG Body Art — an experienced manufacturer that constantly works on improving the formula of their paints. For example, their teal color doesn’t stain the skin at all now, unlike some other brands from the list above.
Glycerin Based Face Paints
Glycerine-based paints are softer than the Paraffin wax ones. Therefore, they are specifically used for blending.
Despite the fact that their softness makes this paint easier to smudge from the skin, the glycerin makes them more resistant to high temperatures.
These paints are a great option when it comes to creating backgrounds that won’t flake off with the movement because the glycerin helps the paint stay soft and not as dry on the skin as the paraffin wax based paints.
Glycerin-based paints work great when applied on the eyelids too! They feel much lighter and don’t crack as it can happen with the paraffin wax paints.
Brands: Superstar (FAB), Paradise (Mehron), Graftobian.
Our choice: Superstar — a Dutch brand with an incredible range of colors (about 100 tones!) of amazing quality, clean colors and lastly — these paints work as good for background and blending as for linework.
Acacia Senegal Gum Based Face Paints
A relatively new type of paint is Acacia Senegal Gum based. These paints behave somehow in between the previous two types, being slightly thinner than the paraffin wax based paints, yet not as soft and creamy as the glycerin-based paints.
Great linework can be achieved with this type of paint, as well as very good opaque coverage is what you can obtain with them. But be aware of using these paints in hot and humid climates!
They aren’t very resistant to heat just like the Paraffin Wax paints.
Brands: Fusion Body Art (except for some colors), Cameleon (except for some colors), Kryvaline Creamy Line and Global Body Art.
Our choice: Fusion Body Art — a revolutionary brand that was launched recently by an experienced face paints manufacturer. These paints have a totally new formula, they are very vibrant, elastic, work perfectly for linework and their split-cakes have extremely bold colors!
WHAT COLORS DO YOU REALLY NEED?
Face paints are sold in round or square containers, in the amount of starting with 16 and up to 90 grams. As a beginner, you may not need singular colors in larger amounts, but some colors get used far quicker than the others.
White and black are the two most important and widely used colors in face painting, primarily for linework, but also for the background.
1. WHITE paint for linework
Even if you are just starting out, invest in a large pot of 30, 50 gr or even bigger! You will need it for practice and for most of your designs.
Best white brands of face paints are Paraffin Wax or Acacia Senegal Gums based: Fusion, PartyXplosion, Wolfe FX, Diamond FX, Kryvaline, Cameleon, Face Paints Australia (FPA).
2. WHITE paint for the background
A glycerin-based paint, with a softer texture, will help you achieve nice soft backgrounds, will feel lighter on the skin when applied on larger areas and will do the best blending.
Best white brands for the background are Superstar, Paradise Mehron and Kryolan.
Our choice: Superstar Face Paint | Line White 161 — 45 gr
3. BLACK paint for linework
One pot of 30 or 45 gr, any of the brands: Fusion, PartyXplosion, Wolfe FX, Diamond FX, Kryvaline, Cameleon, Face Paints Australia (FPA).
4. ADDITIONAL 30-40 colors
In case you are looking into a professional setup. But, also think about what colors you may need.
If you are purchasing for a specific design (i.e. a Halloween costume or theater production) take a moment to think about the specific colors you’ll need to achieve these looks.
Each brand offers three types of paints:
- regular paints — matte colors
- metallic or pearl paints — shimmery colors
- neon (UV) paints — vibrant matte colors that glow in UV light
Check out our Face Painting Kits Guide for a complete collection of tools and to find out Olga’s favorite colors!
If you don’t necessarily need specific colors, but want to purchase a variety without breaking the bank, a starter kit or multi-color palette are fantastic and affordable options.
You may find palettes made of solo regular colors, solo metallic colors or solo UV-colors.
Examples of palettes:
You’ll get a variety of colors in a smaller version and some kits even include sponges and brushes. Take a look at these kits for an idea of what you might want to purchase.
Our choice: Fusion Body Art — Sampler Face Painting Palette — vibrant regular colors, including a white and a black.
This palette is a complete mini-set that can be used instantly on the job! Just pick up a couple of brushes and sponges and you can start painting!
5. Large split-cakes for sponging colorful backgrounds
Split-cakes are cakes of paint that contain more than one color, enabling you to load multiple colors onto one brush or sponge and lay down multiple colors with “one-stroke” technique.
Split-cakes are produced in large containers for both sponge and brush work and small narrow containers for brush work.
There are multiple different split-cakes produced by different brands. We’ve presented some of the main brands in this collage for you and below you’ll find the links to the essential split-cakes that we recommend for your kit!
Our choice: if you are looking into purchasing a set of the most popular color combinations, then these five combinations will do the job for you!
1. Blue combination for Winter (Frozen) and Ocean themed designs:
Fusion Body Art Face Paint — Rainbow Cake | Frozen Shimmer 50 gr by Jest Paint.
2. Green combinations for Mermaids, Dragons:
Fusion Body Art & FX — Rainbow Cake | Mermaid Splash 50 gr by Jest Paint.
3. Coral-red combination for Tropical designs, Dragons, Tigers etc:
Fusion Body Art & FX — Rainbow Cake | Tropical Tiger 50 gr by Jest Paint.
4. Pinky-purple combination for Unicorns and Princesses:
Silly Farm Face Paint Rainbow Cake — Purple Sprite 50 gr.
5. A rainbow split-cake for all those rainbow-lovers:
Fusion Body Art Face Paint — Rainbow Cake | Bright Rainbow 50 gr.
💎 But if your budget is tight, then invest in ONE pearly rainbow split-cake. This is a must-have for any kit!
TAG Face Paint Split Cake — EXCL Big Happy Swirl 50 gr #9.
Want to become a professional face painter?
Then you certainly need to check out our Ultimate Guide for Professional Face Painter where we’ve covered all essential topics. From safety, techniques, designs, insurance, business license, and even self-promotion.
6. Split cakes for one stroke
This is an optional addition, but it can make a big impact. You may opt-out of this purchase if you are on a super tight budget, but it will become a time savior in case you need to work on a long line of kids.
A rainbow combination is perfect for the beginning! Children love rainbows! All you need is a flat brush to use it.
Our choice: Fusion Body Art & FX — Spectrum Palette | Tropical Collection by Leanne Courtney — a palette with all main color combinations you may need, with very vibrant colors and amazing paint quality.
Or, if you only want to purchase one split-cake for one stroke, invest in this rainbow neon option! It’s bright, colorful and will work perfectly for the beginning!
…and you can create a multitude of different rainbow designs with just this ONE split-cake! Super fast, super easy and always a hit!
7. Pearl white
Last optional tool that will take your beginner’s work to a new level instantly! Pearly white is super handy to use when you need to soften any regular color and blends nicely on the eyelids and inner corners of the eyes. It doesn’t crack like it can happen sometimes with regular colors and gives a soft uniform coverage on the eyelids skin.
Other face paints types
There are also some other professional face paints types, that you may need for specific purposes.
For instance, alcohol-based face paints are a great option for events that involve water (pool-parties) and for situations in which you need the paint to last longer than a day (stage shows and bodypainting competitions).
Another type of “paint” are pressed powders, whose main ingredient is talc. These powders are mostly used by makeup artists or by advanced face painters to create combinations of translucent layers of powders and sweat-resistant backgrounds.
Detailed information and tutorials about these specific types of paints, as well as many more professional secrets of how to use face paints to achieve the most outstanding results, are all covered in our online course at the International Face Painting School.
Want to learn how to face paint now?
Get your access to the most comprehensive course for beginners — our Basic Course!