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Best Face Paint - The Complete Shopping Guide

If you are on Google wondering what is the best face paint 🤔 to get the job done at your next Halloween Party, Cosplay competition or to play around with your kids at home you know how frustrating it can be when you are presented with thousands of options and articles written by people that you don't know if you can trust or not.😐

Fundamental Basic Face Painting Kit

Because of that, we decided to write ✍ an article for those of you who are on the search for the right product, one that will give you flawless application, vibrant and bold colors, solid coverage and won't crack, fade or leave a rash behind. Buying unknown brands from marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart and Ebay might sound like the easiest route but honestly, you have no idea if what you are buying there is truly meant for the skin, of who the people behind the brand are. 

At JestPaint, we only sell products we have tested on ourselves, we buy from reputable brands and we offer only the best 😃 and safest products so that you can feel confident that whatever you buy at our store will be safe for your kids.

So lets get right to it and find out what are the best brands of face paint for your project and what are the basic face painting supplies you need to have. 

If you want a more in depth look at the difference between all of the face painting brands, please read our FREE Ultimate Face Paint Guide - Brands Comparison blog post.🤓

 The Ultimate Face Paint Guide - Brands Comparison


There are over 20 different brands of professional face paints, but we will focus mostly on the ones most artists use which is the water activated kind. These paints tend to have a clay like or water color like consistency and they have to be activated with water using a brush or a sponge.

A professional face paint brand is one that uses cosmetic grade ingredients and that it is compliant with FDA and EU regulations for cosmetics. At our store we only sell professional quality and safe face paints so that you can have the best experience.

What kind of water activated face paints are there?

In general the top three styles of water activated face paints are:

  • Paraffin Wax Based
  • Acacia Senegal Gum Based
  • Glycerin Based

Keep in mind that there are other kinds like talc based, acrylates based, silicone based, but you are more likely to work with the top 3 we just listed. Again, you can refer to our Ultimate Face Paint Guide - Brands Comparison to get the complete list.

So, which ones would we recommend? 🤔 Well, there are plenty of good brands but we will suggest ones that we work the most often with since we feel they can provide you with great results. Keep in mind that we have tested almost every brand in the market and that we have people in our team that have 30 years of experience face painting.

The current brands we can suggest are: Superstar Face Paints, Fusion Body Art, Paradise Face Paints, Diamond FX and TAG Body Art. These are just some, you can check our complete list of water activated face paints on our website.

Superstar Face Paints

Superstar Face Paints are glycerin based and one of the best face paint brands for laying down a base since it is smooth and can blend easily. Glycerin base face paints tend to be very soft and light and can provide a solid bold coverage that won't crack or fade. This makes them the perfect choice to create the background of your designs. Like when you are painting a skull or a day of the dead face, we highly suggest for you to use Superstar white as the background.

Superstar Face Paints

If you have not yet, you should try Superstar Shimmer colors, they are the most amazing soft and shimmer colors you will ever find!

Fusion Body Art Face Paints

Fusion Body Art face paints are one of the best face paints for line work, although Fusion Body Artthey are equally awesome for base work since they have some incredibly bold looking colors. The Acacia Senegal Gum based in Fusion face paints allows for crisp lines that won't bleed or smudge making your designs look sharp and on point. You should try at least Fusion Body Art Strong Black and Paraffin white, which are perfect for line work and highlights. Still though, it is hard to think of a face painting kit without Fusion's Dark Blue, Magenta, Yellow, Red and some of their pearly colors like Peacock Magic and Ocean Mist.

So, now that you know two of our favorite brands you can also check our best selling categories to get an idea of what are some of our best selling face paints based on the color.

Those collections are populated with some of our best selling products. These are selected based purely on sales, and not on our personal opinion of the product itself. You can always check on the reviews for each product to see what others think of it.


So, now that we have reviewed some of the best face paint brands out there and why we think you should have them in your face painting kit, it is time to talk about what specific products you should have in your face painting kit. Of course, your kit could have endless products but we will go over a short list of the top 20 products we think you can't be without.

1 - White Face Paint

White is about the most important face painting color in your kit. You will use it for highlights, line work, bases and to mix with other colors to create new shades. You should always have some extra white face paint in your kit because you will go over it at a much faster speed than any other color you might have.

The best white face paint we can recommend is not one, but two. One is best for laying down bases and the other one for doing line work and highlights. 

For bases we recommend Superstar White

and for line work we recommend Fusion Body Art Paraffin White

You can read our full review on white face paints if you visit our FREE Best White Face Paint: The Latest Test blog post. We have done dozens of swatches and other tests for you.

2 - Black Face Paint

Black face paint is your second most important color in your face painting kit. We have several best selling black face paints available at our store but after testing so many different brands we feel very comfortable suggesting Fusion Body Art Strong Black since it allows you to create sharp and crisp lines while it is also fairly easy to wash off compared with other black face paints out there.

But, just like with white, if you are looking for a black face paint to do base work and have a smooth matte looking finish that will be flexible and light on the skin, then we highly suggest trying Superstar Black.

If you would like to read a full review on black face paints and how they compare as far as staining, sharpness, boldness, coverage, etc then you should read our FREE Best Black Face Paint: The Latest Test

3 - Other Must Have Face Painting Colors

You can't have a complete set of face painting colors without having the following colors in your kit. Keep in mind that you can choose a different brand, TAG, Diamond FX, Paradise will be equally good, but we have done a list with what we feel would be your best option. If you are on a budget, instead of buying full size colors, you can buy some palettes. Keep in mind that for Black and White we highly suggest you go with the full size versions.

So, lets explore the palettes first. Fusion Body Art offers are very nice sampler palette that has the basic colors you need to get through any event or paint just about any character that does not require metallic colors:

On the other hand, Superstar offers an amazing collection of shimmery/metallic colors that are perfect for all your metallic and shimmer face paint needs:

Other colors that you should have for sure on your kit are:

  1. Red
  2. Orange
  3. Yellow
  4. Pink
  5. Lilac
  6. Purple
  7. Light Blue
  8. Medium Blue
  9. Dark Blue
  10. Light Green
  11. Medium Green
  12. Dark Green
  13. Light Brown
  14. Dark Brown
  15. Metallic Silver
  16. Metallic Gold
  17. Pearl Blue
  18. Pearl Pink
  19. Pearl White

4 - Essential Large Rainbow Cakes for your Face Painting Kit

Think of large rainbow cakes as the best way to lay down a foundation for your designs without having to go back and forward with your sponge picking different colors. Rainbow Cakes are very easy to use, just get your sponge slightly wet, rub the cake back and forward with your sponge in the direction of the stripes of colors until your sponge is fully loaded and then gently tap the sponge against the skin until you get a good coverage.

Below are some of the best rainbow cakes we think you should have on your kit:

A Rainbow style cake, although this is not a true rainbow, we think it offers a brighter happier version of one:

A cake for face painting tiger faces:

A note on that cake, it has neon colors which in some countries are not compliant with cosmetic regulations. You can read more about that on our All about Neon/UV Face Paint Regulations FREE blog post.

A cake for winter inspired designs, which are now very popular since the Frozen movie was released:

A cake that can be used for Mermaid crowns (same neon warning than explained before applies):

And neon rainbow cake (same neon warning than explained before applies):

5 - Essential Small 1 Stroke Split Cakes for Your Face Painting Kit

Now that we have covered the basic colors and large split cakes, we have to go over the small 1 stroke split cakes that you can use with a brush. To use them, simply get a 1 inch or 3/4 inch flat brush, get the bristles slightly wet and rub them against the cake back and forward until you get a creamy looking consistency. Then apply to the face in a sweeping motion.

There are literally hundreds of split cakes that we could suggest but here are some we think you can't leave without and why:

A split cake to face paint flames and dragons:

A split cake to paint leaves, lizards and monster faces:

A split cake to paint little furry critters:

A bright rainbow split cake (same neon wanring as before applies):

A split cake for painting roses:

A split cake to paint dolphins, sharks, snowflakes, icicles and other winter themed designs:


So, we have covered what we think is a basic kit in regards to face paints. There is a lot more needed for a full kit, including brushes, sponges, glitters, gems, set up equipment, etc. But we wanted you to know that there are also liquid face paints, pressed powder face paints, water proof face paints and more. You can look at our collection of face paints by style at our shop to see all that we carry. Each product has a full description explaining what are they good for and how to use them.

different styles of face paints


If you are ready to face paint and want to learn everything there is to know, then you should not leave without reading our How to Start and Run a Face Painting Business - The Complete Guide FREE blog post. That blog post is the most complete guide to starting and running a face painting business there is in the market, and it is 100% FREE. 

Face Painting Guide

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