Our number one tip is to spring for the better face pain like Snazaroo Face Paint. It is easy to use, doesn't leave rashes (most kids will absolutely react to the cheaper paints after a short period of time!) and washes off nicely. Alternately, you can try making your own face-paint. We haven't tried it ourselves but have heard lots of people that have been happy with it (of course my Pinterest face painting board is a great place to start!)!
2.Make big face paint looks.
Many people make the mistake of starting their face painting attempts with smaller designs on cheeks, thinking that they will be easier to accomplish than the full-face options. They are sadly mistaken. The smaller the image, the more detailed and concise you will need to be in your lines. A flower on the cheek is a hundred times harder to make than a full-face flower. A soccer ball on the cheek is harder than an entire superhero on the whole face, simply because of how concise your lines need to be on that smaller scale. So if you're just starting out, go big. Or, be sure to use really, really good brushes!
Simplify your color palette.
Sure, a butterfly with five different colors can look really cool. But more often than not, it will turn into a hot mess. You are probably better off using one or two colors for your butterfly/monster/animal and having it be more simple than if you try to include too many colors. The colors, when not properly dried and defined, blend into each other and make a mess. So if you do use multiple colors, be sure you let them dry completely in between applications. We highly recommend using a black to define lines, and then one more color. That's it. At least until you become more experienced.
3.Watch the eyes.
When we look at photos of awesome face painting skills on Pinterest, we usually see examples that have paint all the way over the eyelids and under the eyes. And while it is true that your face paint will look best when it is so close to the eyes, we really discourage this practice. Especially with kids. It is just unwise, especially with smaller children who may be rubbing their eyes or crying. You don't want them to get that paint in their eyes; it hurts. So be okay with face painting that is a little less epic than you saw on Pinterest. You'll have happier kids.
4.Be mindful of ages.
Keep in mind the age of the child you are painting when choosing a design. Small, small children often rub their eyes making a design with a lot of paint near their eyes less than ideal. Perhaps a nose and whiskers would be better suited. Also, if your child is young and you are painting their face for Halloween night, do it as close to the time to leave as possible. And be sure to carry along some wipes if they do start rubbing. Using good paints helps ensure their aren't tears if paint gets in the eyes, but to be sure...wipe it off if they just can't seem to stop rubbing. A crying lion is never as cute as a smiling face!
Simplify your steps. While many designs are enticing because of how amazing they look, watch for simple designs and faces. Children don't really care too much how perfect you get it. But they certainly want their face paint to resemble what they ask for! There is no need to go fancy with a princess face, or a cat, or a lion. While it might be fun for Halloween night to get fancy, keep it simple (especially if you are face painting for many children). Do it simply, and well.
Watch your color layers. Start with your base, let it dry, and apply your additional colors on top. Be sure to let the paint dry in between coats, which is why we recommend limiting your color palette in a design. Often you will use the lightest colors first and work your way to the darker colors.
5.Use your fingers.
Start with clean hands, always. And don't be afraid to use your fingers to apply base coats of paint. The natural oils on your skin help spread the paint quickly and evenly.