Sunday, 27 October 2013

Hallowed Hints - Face Painting 101

So you think you know how to paint your face, huh?

#1 - Cheap doesn't always mean crap.
If you find face paints for £1 or less, that doesn't always mean they're rubbish. It's harder to work with a less pigmented product, that's for sure, but if you're only going to use that green once in your life and never again, it's worth the 100 pennies. 

#2 - Use your makeup brushes.
If they're good enough for eyeliner, they're good enough for face paints. The key to getting a precise design is using a thin brush, so if you have the equipment already, don't be scared to use them, because face paints wash out of brushes easier than makeup.

#3 - Use makeup.
If you don't have a silver face paint, use a silver eyeshadow! It really is that simple, but it's easy to overlook the products you have already because they don't naturally do what you're wanting them to. Some of my best looks have come about through using my extensive collections of eyeshadows to replace the face paints I don't own.

#4 - Wait for things to dry.
A face painter's main weakness is their inability to wait for the base coat of colour to dry. Impatience will get you nowhere, especially when you're running late for a party and you need to finish off your design. You'll end up with skin-coloured patches where you were too keen to finish quickly, so unless you're going for the patchy skeleton, plan ahead and allow for extra drying time.

#5 - Yes, blending is difficult.
Face paint will normally wipe off if you try to blend another water-based paint on top, but I've found eyeshadows blend perfectly on top of a face paint, so it's just a case of practising and finding what suits you and the colours you're working with.

#6 - Use a finishing powder.
If you're going to leave the door looking like a perfectly-formed vampire with chiselled cheekbones to boot, chances are you'll want it to last all night too. Okay, so a powder can't save you completely from a deluge of rain, but it can save you from your oily skin and the sweat you'll break out into while dancing to Thriller. Stargazer's white pressed powder will be ideal for most looks.

#7 - Layer up.
If your first layer isn't as opaque as you would like it to be, slap on another layer once it's dried. Same as you would with any makeup product, if it doesn't work the first time around, try another coat.

#8 - Sponge applicators finally have a use!
I bet you never thought you'd find a use for those sponge applicators that come with eyeshadow palettes, eh? They actually make for good blending brushes when working with face paints, so crack 'em out, dust 'em off and make use of 'em this Halloween.

#9 - Stock up on cheap face wipes.
Nobody wants to be wiping off face paints with their £10-a-pack wipes, right? Primark is the best port of call for wipes you won't feel guilty for wasting - £1 for 50 wipes and they do just the trick, I've never needed more than one wipe to rid my face of paint marks, no matter how much I'd lathered on!

#10 - Bowl it up.
Fill a bowl with enough water to cover the bottom, so you have enough room to make a palette of mixed colours up the side and just enough water to mix your paints. Less is more when it comes to water mixing paints like Snazaroo, drowning your paint with water just dilutes the finished product, unless of course that's what you're aiming for.

#11 - Save your moisturiser.
Water-based face paints act as moisturisers on their own moisturiser, so any base products might just make your paints slide straight off your canvas. Putting on some foundation before paints will help when you're taking them off at the end of the night though, that way you're not going to sleep with colour jammed in your pores!

#12 - Eyeliner works wonders.
It might seem easier to use a face paint for your intricate designs just because they're at your fingertips already, but eyeliners work just as well, if not better, for creating a defined line on top of paints you've already applied rather than dragging off a colour underneath.

#13 - Don't forget your neck!
If you want a smooth transition from your costume to your face paint, it really needs to stretch down to your collarbone, if not further. This might seem more obvious if you're dressing as a green witch or a Smurf, where your whole surface of skin needs a transformation, but when you're focusing primarily on the face, for example a skull, it's easy to neglect the one key element of a costume - continuity. I've fallen victim to this for years purely because I've not known how to draw on my own neck as well as I can on my face. This is easy if you're doing someone else's makeup this Halloween, but it's also a good challenge if you're going solo, and it works toward showing your fellow partygoers how seriously you're taking the costume!

#14 - Practice makes perfect.
Finally, the most obvious point. You'll feel a lot happier with your design if you try it out before Halloween or your party arrives. The more confident you are in your design, the more confident you act. It's difficult to feel happy with something that's on your face, especially as you've only seen it in a mirror and you can't tell what it looks like to other people just yet, but if you have some practice behind you, the whole face painting process will flow smoother and much quicker on the day.

So there are my tips for making the most of your face paints this Halloween, but I'd love to know what tips you have too, so feel free to leave a comment!

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  1. Love the tips, I didn't know the bit about foundation as a base! I'll have to see if I can find my face paint from last year now

  2. Haha I really need to learn to do my neck/ chest etc but I'm always worried about ruining my costume!



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