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If you want to join the world's largest e-mail discussion list for face painters  then enter your e-mail address in the box to the left. Get connected to beginner and professional face painters from all around the world. Ask literally any face painting question you want and get real answers to help you progress as a face painter. It is free and you will receive tips on how to paint a particular face, how to stop the line when its time to go home or how to build a successful face painting business. Share your photos with others or if you have a need ask for help and the painters will e-mail you a face painting idea for your upcoming event.

1. Only use face paints that fully comply with the FDA requirements for cosmetics. You should also look for face paints that have a "child toy safety rating" (Ruby Red face painting products comply with both). Stick with water based paints that wash off easily with mild soap and water or wet wipes. Never use products like acrylics or "want-a-be face paints". There are a lot of products on the market that people are using on the face. Many are safe for use for children art projects BUT NOT SAFE FOR THE FACE. All of our products are safe for the face. You will regret it if you use a product not designed for the face. Several problems are a result... allergic reactions, paint is difficult to remove, it stays on the face for DAYS, it can be harmful to the eyes, it will crack or peel off, it will ruin the clothing and you will have angry people. See more on safety at

2. When using a sponge, the biggest hint is to use as little water as possible. Apply the paint to the face "like applying shoe polish" until the area is covered. Once covered, pat the colored area to have nice smooth even coverage. Ruby Red face paints have THE BEST coverage available. The akeup is highly concentrated. The paints are not meant to be used undiluted.  They are what we call "water activated". The typical water to makeup ratio is generally about seven parts water to one part face paints.

3. When using a brush, use as much water as you need to make the paint flow easily on the face. Again, the paints are to be water activated at a ratio of about seven parts water to one part face paints.

4. GO LIGHT TO DARK when ever possible. Start with the lightest color you are going to apply to the face. The paint can be applied over the top of other colors. While you can use white over black you will get a much bolder contrast when you paint black over white.

5. Keep your work area clean! The best trick is to have PLENTY of sponges or brushes. Use a different sponge/brush for each color. If you follow this rule you can literally paint for hours and your water cup will be crystal clear. Only "dip" slightly your sponge/brush in the water.

6.  Practice, practice, practice. The first time you paint (for example) the tiger face it will take you 10 to 15 minutes. After painting it 10 times you will have it down to 5 or 6 minutes. After painting it 100 times you will easily have it down to 3 minutes. An accomplished painter can paint this face in under 2 minutes just like the background picture on this page. See lots of face painting ideas at

7. Use high quality tools. Do not scrimp on your tools. On your brushes use a fairly stiff bristle, preferably synthetic, because it washes out easily. Do not use soap or other cleaning items on your brushes or sponges. Use hot water. You will risk leaving a little soap on the tool and soap is more harmful to the eye than the our face paints. When your sponges start to get worn or "ugly" toss them. Try to avoid extremes with your painting product. Avoid storing them in very hot or very cold areas. Keep them from very wet areas. Do not keep your brushes or sponges in an airtight container unless they are completely dry. Storing them wet in a closed container will allow germs to grow in the water left on them. See a full list of available products at

8. If you have a child that has a runny nose, fever, cut, open wound (like chicken pox) DO NOT PAINT THEM. Even though the preservative system of Ruby Red face paints will not allow contamination, if you touch one child and go immediately to another, you can spread the "problem". Use some common sense and avoid problems. If the child for example has a runny nose then suggest that you paint a picture on their arm or hand.

9. Keep control of your crowd and work area. Don't let anyone touch your paints or tools. Keep the line formed in an organized way. If you don't you will have your people turn on you when people cut in line. When it is getting close to time to stop estimate how many more faces you will be able to paint until your stop time. You might want to put a paint "dot" on the hand of everyone that is in line at that point. Also place an obvious sticker on the back of the last person in line that states "sorry, I'm the last person in line". Then look for the "dot" on the hand before painting.

10. Make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Position the person being painted so that it is most conformable for you. You will be painting for a while and if you are only interested in the person being painted your back will suffer. The person being painted will only be sitting for a few minutes. Focus on your height versus the person you are painting. Have a back to your chair as well as the person being painted. Verbalize your instruction. Tell them politely to stay still, not wiggle, don't chew your gum etc. It is very helpful to place your hand on the child's head and hold their head still. You can be firm without hurting the child in any way.

and 2 bonus commandments for no additional charge...

11. Have a book of the faces you can paint. Only put in the book faces that you can paint and can paint in a timely manner. We suggest you buy the face painting books and cut out your favorite photos. Put them in a protective page. Add to the book photos of faces you like that you have not found in books. There are many of good face painting books out there. Take advantage of them. Do not copy them or you can get in trouble but if you buy the books you can cut them up for your own book. Others like to put the top 10 faces on a poster so the child can just point to the face that they want.

12. Have fun! Always smile and be happy. A smile and friendly voice is infectious. After painting a face show them their face in a mirror. They will love it and your face painting experience will be much more rewarding.


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