A Quick Guide To.......Face & Body Paints October 05 2015

Most Halloween costumes will require some kind of make-up or face painting to bring it to life. Skeletons, zombies, pumpkins, clowns.....all manner of costumes would just be incomplete without the make up. Of course you could wear a mask....and be hot, sweaty, uncomfortable and not drink or eat all night! 
There are many different types of face and body paint that you can buy and each has pros and cons.

Water based:
Water based make up (e.g. Snazaroo) is probably the most popular type of face paint we sell. It is gentle on sensitive skin* and very easy to wash off with soap and warm water. To apply it you simply use a damp brush or sponge, being careful not to get the sponge or brush too wet as these paints can become quite streaky if there is too much water mixed in. As the paint is water based, it can smudge or come off in wet conditions - e.g. sweat, rain or tears can ruin the look!  However, it has good staying power once dry and shouldn't smudge.

The clue is in the name with these! Greasepaints have a greasy, smooth consistency and don't need and water to activate them. You can paint them straight on to the skin. They are a bit easier to apply than the water based as you don't have to try and get the right consistency/water-paint ratio. However, the thicker formula can cause skin reactions and has a tendancy to smudge more than the waterbased. It will stay on better than waterbased if it gets wet though.

We also stock tubes of cream make up, which is kind of a cross between the two above. It doesn't need water to activate it like the greasepaint but dries to a similar powdery finish to the water-based. Cream colours are good for covering a large area e.g. base colour for the face but are a bit too messy to do any kind of fine details with.

Alcohol Activated:
newer category of makeup that uses a special polymer base which readily dissolves in alcohol, but not in water. These paints have to be mixed with 99% alcohol to use. The advantage of this is these paints will have serious staying power! They will not smudge or budge with sweat, rain or even soap! These are generally quite expensive and only used by professional make up artists for films etc, but are available to buy from specialist make up stores or online.

*always do a patch test on skin before using any make-up or face paints in case of adverse reaction