Face Painting Halloween

Halloween is the perfect excuse for dressing up in something weird or wonderful, and face painting is the perfect way to complete your costume. Here are some tips and videos to help you with your face painting, as well as information on face painting supplies.

Face painting
Practice makes perfect! Photo © Scott Gries/Getty Images

If you have never done any face painting before, these tips will help you get started thinking about, planning, and painting, your design.  More »

Face Paint label with FDA compliance
FDA Compliant Face Paint. Photo by Lisa Marder

Probably the most important thing is to use quality paints that have been tested to ensure that they are safe and have been created for face painting. Face paints have to adhere to the same FDA (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines as cosmetics.  That means that face paints are formulated differently than craft and other paints. So even if your craft paints say "non-toxic," they are not meant to be painted on skin. Face painting is fun and rewarding, but remember to make safety a fundamental part of the process.

Note that face paints are not intended for use on children under three years of age. Their skin may be more sensitive and they may be more inclined to ingest the paints. More »

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Face Painting Supplies: What Face Paint to Use?

Snazaroo face paints
Photo ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

There are many brands of face paints readily available that are deemed safe by the FDA, such as Snazaroo (Buy from Amazon), Blue Squid (Buy from Amazon), Wolfe Brothers, Fardel, Mehron, and Kryolan. Look for them at art supplies stores, costume shops, and toy stores. Some brands have paints in both pan and stick form. Don't decide you'll use your craft paint or watercolors because face paint looks expensive for the amount you get - remember you are purchasing a cosmetic item. Water-based face paint is preferable to oil-based stage makeup because it washes off easily and won't clog pores. 

Also read What is the Best Face Paint to Use for more information on organic and non-toxic brands of face paint.

Butterfly face painting on little girl.
Girl with butterfly painted on face. Teresa Short/Getty Images

If you're totally new to face painting, here are four easy designs to paint: a ghost, a zombie, a clown and a butterfly. More »

Halloween face painting design by Karen Hudon
Photo © Karen Hudson, About.com Tattoos

Get ideas and inspiration for Halloween face painting in this photo gallery. Remember, if you are painting for a party of kids, simpler designs are faster to finish and will keep the process moving along more smoothly and quickly. More »

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Free Face Painting Videos

Face painting video

Halloween face painting doesn't have to involve monsters and devils. Younger children, in particular, may prefer something gentler.  Watch free videos of a face painter working from start to finish on a tiger face and clown face to see how it's done.

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Halloween Face Painting DVDs to Buy

Face painting Halloween videos
Photo © 2009 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

In these two DVDs, professional face painter Sharon Neilson first takes you through the basics of face painting (supplies, brush strokes, and effects, clean-up and safety tips) before demonstrating full-face designs from start to finish. Each DVD demonstrates eight different face painting designs, including a vampire, werewolf, witch, superhero, and pirate.

Girl with star face painting around eye.
Smiling girl with star face painting, wearing hat. Johner Images/Getty Images

Face painting does not need to be elaborate. These stencils are all small, suitable for painting on a cheek or forehead. They are easy to cut out and paint on quickly for a spur of the moment costume. More »

Girl dressed up for Halloween. with fake blood.
Girl dressed up for Halloween. Elly Schuurman/Creative RF/Getty Images

It's messy and it's sticky, but if you want your Halloween character to involve fake blood, this recipe from About.com's Chemistry Guide is simple and effective. (Just be careful what you get it on as it involves food coloring, which tends to stain.) More »