DIY & Crafts

10 face-painting pointers plus 3 simple looks to try

By: Sarah Rogers

Author: Canadian Living

DIY & Crafts

10 face-painting pointers plus 3 simple looks to try

By: Sarah Rogers

With Halloween fast approaching it's time to face your costuming fears. You can't run, you can't hide, your kid wants to be the coolest cat on the block and a lame plastic mask is not going to cut it. Delivering that unique look your little one demands is not as hard as you might think if you turn to the art of face painting. It's easy to do, a safer alternative to masks, and a great opportunity for bonding with your kids as you paint.

To help get you get started professional face painter and therapeutic clown, Miss Loosie, from Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary shares step-by-step face-painting instructions for three favourite Halloween faces, as well as 10 tips for face-painting success.

Water-based face paint (a palette of 12 colours)
Disposable wedge sponges (latex-free)
2 brushes, one medium tip and one fine (sable brushes work the best)
Cup of fresh water
Non-metallic sparkles (optional)
Sticker gems (optional)

Click below for step-by-step painting instructions with images.

Jack-o'-lantern face
Fantasy cat face
Clown face

For more great face-painting inspiration from Miss Loosie click here, also visit

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover 10 great face-painting tips on page 2

Miss Loosie's 10 fantastic face-painting tips
1. Buy disposable sponges and only use one per face for hygienic reasons, also so that you do not contaminate your paints. As well, make sure they are latex-free as a precaution for allergies. Miss Loosie also recommends buying sable brushes for optimal painting results.

2. When using sparkles make sure they are non-metallic so that in the event that they get into the eyes there is no risk for scratching.

3. Use water-based face paint as opposed to oil-based. It is much easier to work with (especially for beginners) because the skin does not need to be powdered before applying it. As well, it is easier to fix mistakes. Some great water-based paint brands Miss Loosie recommends are Krylon and Snazaroo. You can buy a great face painting starter kit online from Snazaroo for under $30.

Note: If you do decide to use an oil-based paint, Miss Loosie says you must powder the face before applying the makeup.

4. Miss Loosie does not recommend using paint crayons because they are difficult to draw with and don't offer the nice results you can get when using brushes and sponges.

5. According to Miss Loosie, most faces can be done in a basic three step-process.
Step 1: Apply your base colour/colours with a wedge sponge (working with lighter colours before darker ones can be helpful). Step 2: Draw the picture or details of your face with your brushes and colour them in. Step 3: Add finishing touches and details, such as sparkles.

6. To get excited children to calm down long enough to be painted, Miss Loosie offers a therapeutic touch trick. "We take one finger and run it down the child's face while saying 'close your eyes, soft and gentle.'" Another trick is to tell children a story as you work.

7. Always clean brushes and water between faces -- just as with chips and dip, there should be no double dipping in the paint with a dirty brush. Miss Loosie recommends using hydrogen peroxide to sterilize brushes between faces and before storing away for next time.

8. Made a mistake? Don't panic. Here are some tricks to help you recover in no time. Since lines usually start out thin, you can simply thicken them to incorporate or cover up your error. You can also try adding more colour to the area. If all else fails, bring on the wet wipes! Carefully wipe the paint from that area of the face and repaint with your brushes (avoid using sponges as this point because they are too big and may further smudge the face).

9. To clean your child's face when they no longer want to be a clown or cat, Miss Loosie suggests using unscented wet wipes. They are gentle on the skin and will save you from staining towels and clothes.

10. Very important to remember, says Miss Loosie, is to have your camera on hand so you can quickly snap a picture of your masterpiece before your little one starts scratching his itchy nose or his curious finger start touching the paint.

Bonus tip: Always put your child's costume on BEFORE you start to paint! It will save you from unwanted smudges or worse having to re-do the whole face.

Still having doubts that you can do this? "Don't get stressed out about not being perfect. Just try it," Miss Loosie says. She also reminds that every face is going to look different so, "don't be afraid to let your creative side out."


To learn more about Miss Loosie and Calgary-based Just Kidding Family Entertainment visit

Page 2 of 2


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DIY & Crafts

10 face-painting pointers plus 3 simple looks to try