Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Best Halloween Face-Painting Ideas for 2014

What makes Halloween a truly special holiday? Many would be immediately tempted to answer

“candy!” But couldn’t the same be said of Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or any series of special occasions? We believe that the real treat is getting to dress up in costume for a few hours, and for a brief period slip into a character outside your everyday self. Instead of masks that can get uncomfortable or obscure a costumed child's vision during trick-or-treating, try face painting this season. Drugstore and department store cosmetics aren't the same as face paint and lack the brilliant color that makes a face painting into a work of art, so get prepared early by practicing your look with professional paints. If you're stumped for ideas, try one of these hot trends in Halloween face painting for 2014.

The Traditional Witch

Everyone remembers that first glimpse of the Wicked Witch of the West's grim green face after Dorothy lands in Oz, and witch face painting is one of the easiest looks to try at home. Start with a base coat of green face paint on all exposed skin. Add depth and character to the witchy look with shades of black and purple around the eyes and accent the lips with a darker green or black. To create the illusion of a witch-like crooked nose or a sharp chin, blend a bit of white along areas you want to highlight and use a darker green to create shadows. Finish with a fright wig and a pointed hat, and you're set.

This look works especially well with group designs too. You can create a coven of witches with friends or go with a full "Wizard of Oz" theme and add a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion to the crew. Diamond FX metallics are great for a tin man look.

Airy Fairies  

Fantasy looks are hot this season, and styles that take their inspiration from fairy realms are especially popular. A fairy face starts with clean, natural skin as the canvas for your art. Most fairy designs emphasize the eyes with a theme that draws from nature's beauty. Gorgeous butterfly wings, autumn leaves or bird-like feathers are a perfect fit for fairyland eye and upper-face painting. Some fairies are sweet and pixie-like, like Tinkerbell and her friends. Others are wilder creatures that have more in common with woodland elves and should be painted in bolder tones. Rainbow face paint cakes come in coordinating colors that make design choices simpler. Try finishing with a color from our FAB Collection of glitter paints for that ethereal look. Any child will be thrilled to skip down the street with a bold pair of wings on their back and a face full of color.

Movie Makeup

The popularity of superhero films and fantasy in Hollywood right now are perfect for finding your face painting inspiration. Go back to green with Gamora from "Guardians of the Galaxy" or try blue with the Na'vi of "Avatar." Paint on Spiderman's distinctive red and blue mask. Pick any Joker from the original "Batman" TV series to Heath Ledger's memorable take on the villain. The trick to making movie face paint designs work is accuracy. Do plenty of research on the look until you know you can reproduce it well enough for people to recognize it.

What are your Halloween costume plans this year? Do you have another great idea for face paint that we have not mentioned? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Zombie Skin For Face Painters

The monstrous success of “The Walking Dead” TV series has renewed interest in everything ghoulish. Zombie fans and their faint-hearted counterparts who look away when the undead dominate the TV screens both agree that believable portrayals of these grisly fictional characters have a lot to do with the enduring fascination. Zombie lore has been around since the early 1800s and zombie makeup can make any outfit into the perfect scary Halloween look. This portrayal hinges on the expert application of quality cosmetics such as Zombie Skin to create realistic effects on normal skin.

Tools of the Trade

Zombie Skin is a latex-based formula blended with thickening agents. An appropriate amount of the Zombie Skin can be painted over with face paint such as the Glow in the Dark Fantasy FX to highlight the gruesomeness of zombified skin.

It is also possible to create cringe-inducing wounds by adding Mehron Coagulated Blood Gel to the areas of zombified skin. Goo is applied on a part of the body and smoothed over with the applicator until the edges are about even with real skin. A thicker mound of the material is allowed to dry, after which it may be peeled, ripped or cut open depending on the desired effect.

Tips and Tricks


To make believable cuts oozing with blood, apply Zombie Skin as discussed above. Use a dull knife to cut through the dried-up mound, and push the edges of the tear haphazardly. Apply any number of wound enhancers, including Ben Nye Fresh Scab or Mehron Stage Blood.

Vary the size of the wounds, and ensure that the placement makes sense. A little knowledge of human anatomy and physiology helps: Head wounds bleed more than wounds on other body parts for instance.

Zombie Skin can also be used to create pasties to cover up body parts. Using sturdy paper towel, cut out a rough circle larger than the body part that will be covered. Apply an appropriate amount on the area before attaching the circle of paper towel. Cover paper towel with more zombie skin and smooth over with an applicator before applying the right paint colors. This technique can be used for making breast pasties, one-eyed monsters and brow-less albinos.

Zombie skin will stick to the surface where it is placed. If you are covering eyebrows or creating wounds around the eye, be sure to add something between the zombie skin and your eyelid or eyebrow hair to ensure easy and painless removal.

Easy on, Easy Off

Zombie Skin is easy to apply. It is a quick drying formula, which means that face paint artists need to work quickly to create the shapes and patterns needed, but it is also very forgiving. If you make a mistake, peel it off carefully, and start over. You can also repair or refresh existing special effects with Zombie Skin.

With Halloween just around the corner, practice your zombification skills with Zombie Skin and the wide selection of face and special effects paints available on Jest Paint

Quick Zombie Skin Tutorial by Jest Paint

For this crazy character we actually wadded up tissue paper to give her a bigger nose and brow bone and then covered it with Zombie Skin. 

Friday, October 10, 2014


These ideas can really boost your business and most of them are TOTALLY FREE!

Marketing is one of the most important parts of your business. You can be the best face painter in the world, but if no one knows you are there, you won’t be getting any business. The same happens the other way around.

I used to be very shy about promoting my own business; I thought maybe people did not want to hear about it, or that maybe I was being pushy, or I didn't want to sound like a car sales man (no offense to those guys, they are great at what they do). The point is, I had a business, but I didn't want people to know, except if they were there watching me paint. That was just crazy!

What I have come to realize is since you own your own business you have to accept that you are your own sales person, marketing consultant, spokesperson, etc. That can be intimidating for some, but technology can be of great help for those of you that have a hard time being outspoken.
Below I will list a couple of things you can use to advertise your business; the more you do, the better your business will be.

Business Website – There are many many places that will let you build a free website as long as you pay a hosting fee. A website is one of your most important ways of advertising. That is where the traffic is for a business that doesn't have a store front. Make sure that your site showcases your best work, looks professional, has your contact information, is easy to understand and browse, and it is properly set so that search engines can find it. As an example, Flash content is a white page for a search engine, while an image with proper Alt+Text is something that search engines can understand and list. Make sure that your domain name is short and easy to remember too. If it can match your business name, that is even better. Important tip: Make sure to keep an up to date e-mail address on file with your hosting site so that you never miss a renewal and someone else buys up your domain. Set a yearly alarm to make sure that those bills get paid. Losing your domain can be really hard to work around. It happened to me and other painters I know. 

 This is a screen shot of my home page, www.jestparty.net
It needs some work, but I made it myself and I keep it simple by really focusing on the painted faces. 

Facebook – This is your biggest friend. Facebook is free and most people use it. There are a few ways to advertise on Facebook. I would suggest for you to create a business Facebook page. That will make you look more professional and will separate your personal life from your business life. Post regularly, post pictures of your work, public events that you will attend, run promotions and contests. In order for your page posts to show up often on your “fan’s” feeds, they should be following you. Also, the more interaction your page has the more often your posts will show on their feeds.

You can pay or hold contests to get more viewers or get more people to like your page. That is a good way to start up your page. Make sure you target those paid ads to the right crowd. If you are in Dallas, you want to make sure those ads are targeted only to people in that area, and not someone living in California or Florida. 

Google Maps – Adding your business to Google maps is free and it will make your business easier to find when people are doing local searches on Google. For example, if someone looks for “Face Painters in Florida” and your business is listed on Google maps, it is very likely that it will show up on that Google search, together with the information you provide to Google. This gives you an extra link on Google search, on top of your regular website link.

Free or Paint Internet Listings – List your website in as many free internet directories as you can. GigSalad, GigMaster, Yelp, etc. Each of those entries will show up on a Google search if they are properly entered. Some are totally free and some now have fees. Talk with other painters to find out which ones are worth investing in. 

Blog – Blogs used to be about people, about stories worth telling. Now days, blogs are just an extra tool to increase your presence in search engines. The more you blog, if you do it right, the higher are your chances for your business to have a presence on Google. Blog post have to have targeted keywords linked to your website for it to be worth it.
For example, if you want someone to find your business when they Google “Face painter in Orlando”, make sure that you include that sentence on your blog post and you make it a link to your business website.

Face Painting at a job (word of mouth) – This is one of your best chances to get more gigs. Every time you are painting you are creating and impression and promoting your business. Make sure that you are always showing your best work, showing your best face, and looking professional. Every gig you do you expose yourself to tens or hundreds of people that could also use a painter. Make sure that they see the best of you and you are guaranteed to get more jobs. Create business cards with "Face Paint Removal" directions on the back. Now you have a very good reason to give a card to each family, or to give to the hostess to give to the parents. 

Your Face Painting Setup – Think of your setup as a billboard. When people walk by you, can they see who you are? Can they find your contact information easily? A professional shirt with your name on the back, banners, business cards, etc can help you promote your business while you are painting. As a trick, many parents love to take pictures of their kids looking at the mirror after you are done face painting. If you have a hand mirror, put your business information and contact information on the back of it, so that when parents take a picture of the kids looking at the mirror they will also get your contact information. You can also make a banner with a nice background and your business information so kids can stand in front of it for their parents to take a picture.

Yellow Pages – Believe it or not some people still use the Yellow Pages to search for local businesses. For a long time, we were the only one advertising on our local Yellow Pages book, and we got some company picnics and smaller gigs out of that. This is not free, but it might be well worth the investment if you just make a small listing under Children's Entertainers or Clowns. 

Agents - Working with agents can bring in a few extra jobs a year, or a lot of jobs. Make sure that they work with you under your terms, though you may find that you have to do some negotiating. I agree to their contracts but I also make them agree to mine. If you haven't heard of About Faces Entertainment before, they have been easy for me to work with in the past and they let you set your own rates. You also get a profile page on their website so that the party planners can pic the artist they want based on their profile. 

Face Painting + Business Cards – If you walk around town face painted you are creating a great opportunity for people to approach you wondering about your business. You will then have a great opportunity to give them a business card without feeling awkward. Make sure that your business card looks professional, showcase your best work, and has all the information they would need to contact you.
These are just some ideas. There are many other opportunities for advertising out there: a booth at a local fair, local media, door to door direct mail, etc. Make sure you explore all the possibilities and be creative.

This is the back of my business card. I give steps about how to wash off the face paint. This is great to hand out to every parent, and it doesn't seem like you are forcing your business card on them because it has helpful information. 

If you have any other ideas that you would like to share with us please comment below, we would love to hear what your creative mind has come up with to promote your business.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

UV/Neon/Glow in the Dark

We get a lot of phone calls from customers with questions about Neon and Glow in the Dark face paints. We created this post to use as a quick guide to help you decide if you want to use these types of paint, and to understand the FDA guidelines concerning their use as a cosmetic. 

Their Properties

The first thing we need to do is define some common terms so that we know what we are talking about from the get go. 

Neon: although, in the face painting world we use this term to refer to UV reactive paints, by definition it is a colorless odorless mostly inert gaseous element that is found in minute amounts in air and is used in electric lamps. Technically our paints are not neon, though they appear to glow like a neon light, and most are labeled as Neon. 

UV Reactive: it is a product that glows under black light. This product needs the presence of a black light to glow, and it won’t glow without one. UV reactive paint can also be called luminous paint or fluorescent paint. 

Glow In The Dark: these kind of paints don’t need a black light to glow. They only need to be exposed to regular light to be charged. Once charged, they will glow in a dark room. They also react under black light, but a black light won’t charge them, so exposure to black light won’t help to make them glow in the darkness afterwards. Glow in the dark paints are only good when used in large surfaces. Small detailed work can rarely be seen because the glow is not as intense as it is when the surface covered is much larger. Also, they are usually not very good for line work due to their creamier consistency.

So, when a face paint company calls their paints Neon, or UV, or DayGlow or Fluor they are referring to the same property: they glow under black light. DayGlow and most UV paints also have a noticeable brightness under sun light as well. 

Now that we know what the product is and what the differences are, we can talk about cosmetic regulations.

Cosmetic Regulations

In the USA, only a few UV reactive pigments have been tested by the FDA to be used in cosmetic products. Those pigments are not very vibrant under regular light but they glow well under black light. Also, the color range is very limited. 

There are many UV pigments in the market, a majority of which haven’t been tested yet by the USA FDA to be used in cosmetics, so according to their regulations any product using them cannot be labeled as a cosmetic and should not be used as a cosmetic.

According to the FDA, cosmetics are "articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body...for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance" [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)].

The fact that the FDA hasn’t tested the pigments yet doesn’t mean that they are in any ways dangerous to the skin. It just means that the FDA hasn’t looked into their safety yet. The good thing is that many companies have conducted their own tests in independent labs and those tests have established that the pigments are safe to be used on the skin, according to these companies.

Unfortunately, those tests are not enough to make the product compliant with USA FDA regulations, but they do provide a level of security when deciding to use the product, or not.

To get around compliance issues, face paint manufacturers have decided to label UV/Neon face paints as “Special FX Products, “Not for use on Skin”, or “Prosthetic Paints”, etc. They all have the same intention; warn the customer that the product is not considered a cosmetic in the USA. This has been in effect for over 30 years.

These regulations change from country to country, in countries like Australia, face paints are regulated as craft paints, so neon pigments are not an issue. Because paints are sold all over the world, but the USA tends to be the biggest market, most companies label their paints to be in compliance with USA FDA regulations. So, if you are in Australia, for example, the “Special FX” warnings don’t apply to your country, but a company in Australia may still use them.

Neon Paints that are FDA Compliant for Cosmetic Use

Diamond FX makes a UV/Neon Violet, Blue and White that are compliant with Cosmetic regulations according to them. Ruby Red has a nice range of colors including: white, yellow, green, pastel green, pastel blue, blue, purple, pink and orange. This is the biggest range of FDA compliant UV/Neon paints available in the market at the moment. Snazaroo also has a small range of colors that comply with FDA regulations as well as Mehron, in their Fantasy FX line and B.L.A.M.E pens and B.L.A.M.E liquid colors.

Ruby Red also makes a clear UV color that can be applied on top of regular face paint. The color won’t show until exposed to UV lights. Once exposed to Black Lights, it will have a greenish glow with subtle variations depending on the color laying underneath it.

These pigments, as mentioned before, are not as vibrant under regular light as the non FDA complaint pigments used in other brands, but they do glow well under black light.

Glow in the Dark Paints that are FDA compliant for Cosmetic Use

As far as Glow In The Dark paints the FDA has only approved one pigment with such quality and it is a whitish pigment that has a yellow/greenish glow in the dark. There are some companies offering a much wider range of glow in the dark colors, but they do not comply with USA FDA cosmetic regulations, but some do comply with EU cosmetic regulations.

Mehron, Ruby Red and Kryolan all produced an FDA compliant glow in the dark paint.
It is worth mentioning that all the of brands we import go through the FDA when they arrive to the country, and they check for labeling compliance. 

Many times, like it happens with Henna, or real Tattoo inks, the FDA is very aware of the use of the product and know that it is in violation of their regulations, but since they do not consider it a hazard (because they haven’t received many complaints about bad reactions) they do not put much effort into stopping the sale and use of those products. The FDA has said before that they concentrate their efforts onto those products that are known for having adverse effects.

The future could change, at some point either the FDA will choose to test those pigments if they consider it a public health priority, or the companies using them could request an FDA approval after following the steps required by the FDA to do so.

In any case, what is most important is that you know what you are using and buying, and you make informed decisions. It is also not a bad idea to check with your entertainers insurance company to see if you will be covered when using products that are not compliant with USA cosmetic regulations. Many insurance companies don’t have an issue with that as long as the product is regarded as safe. Others have in their language that they require FDA compliant products to be used.

                    We get signed waivers when we use Neon Paints, informing the customer before we use them, and letting them choose. 

A side note; FDA complaint vs FDA Approved

The FDA doesn't approve a finished cosmetic product. No matter what some manufacturers might say, their cosmetic products cannot be FDA approved. The FDA only approves pigments to be used in cosmetic applications. Those pigments can be used by any cosmetic company. 

If a cosmetic product uses FDA approved pigments for cosmetic use and complies with all other label and ingredients regulations, then the product is in itself FDA Compliant. Companies cannot submit a finished cosmetic product to the FDA to get their approval, that is why claiming to have done so is incorrect. Companies can only say that they comply  with, meet or follow FDA regulations.

Disclaimer: these are opinions based on our personal experience, we are not lawyers, chemists or health officials, so we recommend for you to contact a professional before making any decisions. We are not in any way giving legal or health advice and we are not liable for any decisions you make or stop making based on the opinions provided above.

Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net