Halloween is the perfect time to try out body painting and character makeup. Whether you’re buying makeup online, going to a store, or using what you already have, below are some product ideas and answers to the common questions I get asked.
This post is intended for beginners and people new to body painting who don’t already have a makeup kit or products. Check out my resources page for links to some of the other specific products I have in my kit.
This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking the link.
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Body Paint Product Ideas for Specific Looks:
Please note that these are not the exact products I use when I’m doing my own or someone else’s makeup. These ideas are based on what I think is easiest to apply for a beginner, most cost-effective, or requires the least amount of tools.
- Neytiri from Avatar
- Ursula from The Little Mermaid
- Joker from Batman or IT Clown Face
- Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
- She-Hulk from Marvel
- Flying Monkey from Wizard of Oz
- Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skull
Body Paint Products Based on Your Needs:
What’s the easiest for beginners?
- Water activated face and body paint. Easy to apply and blend, this is the type of paint I use when I teach Paint Your Date class.
Have sensitive skin?
- Check out water-based Mehron Paradise AQ Body Paint. This product is infused with skin soothing ingredients including Aloe, Vitamin E, Cucumber, Lemongrass, and Avocado. As with any cosmetic product, do a swatch test on your skin before applying it everywhere. This is one of the brands in my professional kit.
- Check out water-based Cameleon Face and Body Paint. This is the brand of paint I use when I teach Paint Your Date class and it’s one of the brands in my professional kit.
Do you like working with pressed powder makeup, like eyeshadow?
- Check out Mehron StarBlends for vibrant colors.
- Use regular eyeshadow! It’s amazing what you can accomplish with standard eyeshadow you might already have.
Need it water- and/or sweat-resistant?
- For sweat-resistant, try a cream-based makeup, such as Mehron Clown White, and set with a setting powder to make it smudge-proof, like Mehron ColorSet Powder. There’s a Joker-like clown makeup kit from Mehron that is cream-based. This is the type of paint that Cirque du Soleil performers wear. It’s also often what people find at Halloween pop-up stores. Using a setting powder is KEY for it to be smudge-proof and not greasy. I usually see people use cream-based on their face, not all over their body. (Re. water-resistant: I don’t have as much experience with cream-based and water. My experience is with alcohol-based hybrid airbrush paints).
- For water-resistant and sweat-resistant, use alcohol-based hybrid paints, such as ProAiir Hybrid Airbrush Body Paint, and apply with a body paint sponge (I usually cut it in half), kabuki brush, or Iwata-Medea Eclipse Airbrush. I typically only apply it with airbrush as it gives the most even application. (Note: ProAiir is lightly scented like green apple)
I want to be metallic gold or silver or bronze.
- Get Mehron metallic gold, silver, bronze, rose gold powder and a bottle of Mehron mixing liquid, mix them together, and apply with a brush or sponge.
- One 1 oz. bottle of powder will generally cover one average adult body.
- Order some of my Biodegradable Iridescent Gold and Silver Glitter Mixes.
- More color options for biodegradable glitter at Today Glitter
- Mix it into aloe or hair gel then apply it. Or apply aloe gel or a cream to your skin and pat the glitter on. For a stronger hold, I use NYX glitter glue. For serious sticking power, use Pros-aide adhesive and adhesive remover.
I need to glue on fake ears or a nose, what should I use?
- For a step up from spirit glue, use Pros-aide adhesive and adhesive remover. Apply it with a disposable applicator, such as a cotton swab. This is seriously sticky stuff, so don’t get it in your hair and don’t try to just pull it off at the end of the night! Use Pros-aide remover or 99% alcohol.
- How to apply Pros-aide: Pros-aide is a contact cement, so you have to put it on both the prosthetic and your skin, then let it dry for best adhesion. Apply the glue to the prosthetic and to the place on your skin and then let it dry! It will be clear when dry. Once it’s dry, attach the prosthetic. Do it carefully because it’s hard to adjust once it’s stuck down. Use a setting powder or translucent powder on any sticky areas that are exposed.
How do I make sure it doesn’t rub off?
Well, it depends on what you’re doing. Keep in mind that friction is the enemy of body paint. So the places where the body paint meets clothing is where you’ll see it rub off first. Here are some things you can do to make it last longer:
- For water-based:
- Add Mehron Mixing Liquid to the water you use to activate the paints. I just eyeball it, but it might be approx 1:5 (Ex: 1 part mixing medium to 5 parts water). If it seems sticky on your skin, add more water to the dish.
- Spray Mehron Barrier Spray on at the end as a final sealant. This acts like hairspray and helps hold the paint in place.
- For alcohol-based hybrid paint:
- For cream-based makeup:
- Powder the makeup with a setting powder.
Tools and Supplies for Body Painting
How much paint do I need?
- For a full body, one (1) 1.4 oz water-based cake will generally cover one average person. If you have a lot of skin to cover, consider buying two just in case.
- For just the face, one (1) 0.25 oz water-based cake will cover a face.
- For metallic powder, one (1) 1 oz bottle of powder will generally cover one average adult body with one bottle of Mehron Mixing Liquid.
What tools do I need?
- For lines and small details, I like KingArt white nylon round brushes. A size 2 or size 4 is a good size for small details. Or get a whole set of 8 sizes so you have options.
- For base coat, use a makeup applicator sponge, body paint sponge (I usually cut it in half), or foundation brush.
- For shadows and contouring, use a makeup applicator sponge, eyeshadow brush, or blush brush works well. Get a whole set of makeup brushes if you need them.
- For covering a large area, such as a full body, use a body paint sponge or kabuki brush.
- Ready for airbrush? Try an airbrush for really smooth contouring and blending. I like the Iwata-Medea Eclipse Airbrushes. You will also need a hose and a compressor.
Skin Prep and Paint Removal
How do I prepare my skin?
- Avoid applying heavy lotions, oils, or creams before applying water-based or alcohol-based makeup. It will make it harder for the paint to stick to your skin.
- Hydrate the night before by drinking water and moisturizing.
Will it stain my skin?
- It depends. Everyone’s skin is different. If yours it dry, it might stain but it usually only lasts a day and comes off after a few washings.
- If you’re concerned about your face being stained, use Marly Skin Prep on your skin before you apply paint.
How do I get the paint off?
- Makeup wipe or makeup remover Garnier Micellar Water for Waterproof Makeup for sensitive area around the eyes and on face.
- Soap and water with a washcloth to remove it.
- Makeup wipe or waterproof makeup remover like Garnier Micellar Water for Waterproof Makeup for sensitive area around the eyes and on face.
- Rub liquid soap (castile soap, dish soap) all over paint before getting wet. Make it muddy.
- Then rinse off in shower. Repeat if needed.
- For stubborn areas of paint, 91% alcohol, baby oil, coconut oil, or waterproof make-up remover.
- Makeup wipe or remover
- Cream-based makeup remover like Pond’s.
Where to Buy Body Paint and SFX Products
Where can I buy this online?
- Check out my Amazon storefront with product recommendations
- Order from Sillyfarm Face and Body Paint Supplies (Use my referral link for 10% off)
- Order directly from Cameleon Colors, the U.S. Cameleon distributor
I’m in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, TX. Where can I buy this stuff?
- For body paint, face paint, stage makeup, prosthetics, special effects, zombie makeup:
- For special effects and zombie makeup:
Is there something I missed? Let me know!
Check out my resources page for even more products I use.
If you live in Dallas, TX, you can also book a Halloween appointment with me.