How do I start a face painting business?

                                                                                       by Gary Cole

One of the most common questions I'm asked is how do I start a face painting business. Even though to cover this thoroughly you would need a large book I'm going to give you 10 keys in abbreviated form to help get you started. I'm also going to give you some internet links for further research.

1) only use safe products - Of course we are partial to SNAZAROO "the world's safest and easiest to use face paint" but if you want to face paint children then you need to think FIRST of their safety. There are MANY FDA approved safe-for-children face paints, so there is no excuse for using acrylics or other non-safe paints. With 8 color SNAZAROO "Rainbow Pallet"  selling for less than $15 you have no excuse. Do a search of "face paints" on the internet and you should find several. Look for "FDA approved". See also and .
2) talk to others that are doing face painting - You will find, in general, that face painters are a close knit group. They have no problems in sharing. If you have e-mail go to there you will find  a forum for face painting beginners to pros that can answer just about any face painting question. You'll also get lots of painting as well as business tips. Join in, its free. Or just send a blank e-mail to .
3) buy some face painting books - There are lots of EXCELLENT face painting books out there for under $13. Borrow some from a friend, get them from a library or check the web. A good place for some are at I would suggest you start out with these three ("Five Minute Faces", "First Faces" and "SNAZAROO Zoo".
4) On the SNAZAROO web site there are now hundreds and hundreds of photos posted from fantastic face painters all over the world. These are free for your viewing and you can print them out for non-commercial purposes. Just click on the drop down photo menus under the rotating camera. Send in some of your painting and you might just win a prize.
5) Get some practice - Offer your services at the charity events in your area. There is nothing like being in the line of fire to sharpen your face painting skills. Look for events for everything from the cancer society to the local humane society. Charge a token $1 per face as a donation and you will see your skills and speed improve.
6) Set goals - I would like to suggest a few. Know 15 full face and 10 cheek art designs by heart. Learn to do EACH of them in less than 5 minutes. Develop a kit of 12 colors of quality paint. Have 15 good artist quality brushes. Develop your own face painting 3 ring binder or face painting menu board.
7) Check out the competition - Look at other ads or even better go and observe others painting in your area. See what they can do in quality, speed and for what price. This can be your goal to do better. You need to know what you are up against.
8) Check out the internet - Like just about any field, there is a lot on the internet. Do some good searches and you will find lots of gems like the "10 commandments of face painting" at or "tips for face painters (well over 100) at Check out the many FAQs (frequently asked questions) on the web for face painters. You might check out the drop down menu at on FAQ's. Keep looking on other sites and you will find many more.
9) Invest in yourself - Once you start charging for painting, invest the money in yourself. Buy a more professional sized painting kit. Buy a good selection of brushes and develop a simple face painting set up from table to colorful outfit (even if it is just a snazzy hat or shirt).
10) Start acting like a professional face painter - When cash flow allows, consider running an ad, get business cards, get a dedicated phone line, think of getting a business license or insurance. Keep working at it and you will succeed! You can't eat an elephant in one bite. Learn from your mistakes and continue to learn new skills, tricks, business and marketing skills.
Gary Cole


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