Friday, February 7, 2014

Homemade Face Paint - DIY Tutorial

Forgive me for the non-sewing-related post, but I have been researching homemade face paint for my son's school valentine party this week, and I am having a hard time finding TESTED techniques. So, this is my gift to the frugal/crafty parents of the internet.

At first, I was just going to buy some face paint to use on my son's class of 18 children, but now that I live in Timbuktu, WY instead of Chicago, my only retail choices are online. Amazon had very few options, and the one brand that was well-reviewed would have cost me just over $15 for 2 kits, NOT including shipping. I say, "meh" to that. Not only did I scoff at the cost, I was worried about transit time since I live in a rural area.

This lead me to Pinterest, where I found only 2 real options:
#1 - Cornstarch, cold cream(Desitin/Milk/Lotion), food coloring, water mix
#2 - Washable paint & lotion mix

I found the measurements for option #1 - HERE. But, there were no comments or reviews. My main concern was the food coloring. Cuz... you know... STAINS??
Fortunately, I have cornstarch and food coloring, but all I had for Pond's products was Dry Skin Cream. I have no idea what the chemical difference is between the 2 products, but I wasn't going to blow $5 or $6 on cold cream that I will never use for anything after this experiment.

Option #1 Review:
I followed the measurements and instruction provided at the above-referenced site, and the mixture came out very smooth.
 I had no issues applying it to my skin with a thin paintbrush, and and the excess rinsed right off the brush with just a quick swirl in the cup of water that I had on hand.  The "paint" dried on my hand within a few minutes, and showed a soft "matte" shade of the mixed color.
BUT, once it is dry, the color has a chalky surface texture that rubs off very easily.

Also, after washing my hands with soap and water, there was still a faint trace of the color on my skin. As I had feared, the food coloring component of this "paint" lightly stained my skin.
*Overall* - I would not use this on children's faces. Not only are you limited by the range of food colors available, it will come right off with rubbing or sweat, and they may have "shadows" of color tattooed to their skin for a few days. Fail.

Option #2 Review:
First of all, I made sure that my washable paint was non-toxic, and I chose a fragrance-free lotion (that Pond's smell from option #1 was overwhelming!).

I used a 1:1 (ish) ratio of washable paint to lotion, and the mixture looked slightly "grainy" as I mixed it.
The thicker consistency of this mixture made application a little more involved, but it adhered well to my skin and rinsed off the brush easily. The "paint" dried on my hand within a few minutes, and showed a fairly bold "matte" shade of the mixed color.
Once it is dry, it does NOT rub off the skin at all. I even scratched at it lightly (trying to recreate how a child treats their face), and the paint stayed on well.  And, although it washes off effortlessly with soap and water, I think this would hold up amazingly to sweat.
*Overall* - Washable, non-toxic paint is used in daycares and schools every day. Kids get this stuff on their clothes, hands, and faces constantly. I feel safe putting this on my son's skin, and the addition of lotion seems to keep the paint from cracking or flaking once it is dry. This mixture is far superior to option #1, and it is cheaper than the purchased face paints available to me. Also, it can be mixed in smaller amounts, so there is less waste.


Please let me know what YOUR results have been with either/both of these options. Or, do you have another suggestion for making face paints at home?

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