Face Painting Designs, Ideas & Examples

Crafts For Kids, Halloween Crafts, Painting

Make-Up That Makes A Masterpiece

OK. The key to making a masterpiece-kind of a face painting, is …. amazing prep. And that prep goes beyond having all the needed makeup, tools and props laid out. I mean prep as in planning: Besides designing the face painting to suit the Halloween costume, the theme character and the shape of the face, there are other considerations ~ not in the least is deciding which face painting to buy. I’m giving you some designs, ideas and techniques here through showcasing a couple of great Halloween Face Painting examples.

witch face painting

Before I move onto actual face painting examples and effects, I first want to talk about the materials you’ll need.


  • Skin moisturizer / foundation for skin protection: First things first: protect your skin. Do so prior to using heavy make-up and face paint during Halloween. It’s recommended to put a light moisturizer on that will gently keep your skin from drying out beneath the make-up. Or, if you prefer, apply a light coat of Vaseline, to keep the face paints and heavy make-up from ruining their skin. Apply a base make-up all over your face and neck before using bolder colors and techniques.
  • Face paint (look at all your choices on Amazon). With so many different face paint brands to choose from, look for keywords on the label like: safe, sensitive skin, hypo-allergenic, removable, and approved. This is particularly important for make-up for children and teenagers, who tend to have ultra-sensitive skin. If you wear contact lenses make sure the products you use are user-friendly and safe for contact lens wearers.
  • Face Painting Brush
  • Face Painting (or cosmetics) small, clean sponge
  • Jar of Warm Water
  • Cotton Swabs optional
  • (BTW. This Usborne Book of Face Painting (see on amazon) is pretty good also. It does not come with paint however, but it’s inexpensive and the face painting design in this book are great.

  • Facial Cleaner/Makeup Remover. It is kind of common to make the mistake of not properly cleansing your face after make-up removal. Pay attention to this however, as costume and theater make-up can wreak havoc on sensitive skin. Always remember to gently remove any make-up, cleanse with a cleanser that is ideal for your skin type and follow up with a mild-astringent to remove any access residue.

Old-Age Effect

For Witch or Devil Face Painting Designs
devil face painting

There are a few steps to creating a realistic looking ‘old age’-effect:

Step 1: Scrunch-up your face first, to emphasize your “natural” wrinkles. Apply make-up that is lighter than your natural skin-tone. Work on small areas at a time for optimal results.

Step 2: Then, “de-scrunch” and fill in the creases in your skin by using a soft brown eye-liner pencil. Create sunken-cheeks by darkening the cheek hollows. Emphasize the creases around your nose and darken along your jaw line.

Step 3: Create crow’ feet near your eyes (with the pencil).

Step 4: Pucker your lips to create wrinkles around your mouth , in the same way. Be sure to add liver spots, broken capillaries for the full effect.

TIP: Use the same techniques on your hands to keep the theme all over.

When you are all done, powder all over with baby powder to set your make-up and give a dry-cracked skin appearance. You can also use baby powder in your hair for a graying effect.

Facial Hair

Pirate.facepaintingdesigns.co.ukThat’s Five O’clock Shadow or the beginning of a beard

Great technique to add some age and believability to kids face painting designs for pirates and other adult professions.

Burn a piece of cork and rub on the lower portion on your face in the shape of a beard. Create stubble by using ground coffee or tea stuck onto your skin with eyelash adhesive.

For a real beard, you’ll need a prop. This is what I found works:
Cut some fur off of an old stuffed animal and apply over face with eyelash adhesive. Apply a simple, light-weight moustache with a mascara wand.

Ghoulish Skin

For all those of you are going to be dressed up as ghosts this year at Halloween, you’ve got it easy! This is what you’ll need. Any kind of white/blue/black color combination works. But for skin that actually peels and falls off (really creepy and yes, ghoulish) use any type of peel-off facial mask. Works very well.

Tip for Face Painting at Parties

If you are painting your Halloween faces during a party, you will need to have a set repertoire of designs that your party guests can choose from. This way, it will be more ‘do-able’ as face painting can be time consuming and you will want to be able to do many of them, particularly during the first part of the party.

angel face painting

Hope you enjoy these tips. I have found that you can really leverage your regular painting skills for face painting. So if you want to get better at doing this, year after year, I suggest a) you volunteer face painting at the next school fair, as practice makes perfect. And b) at home, bring out the brushes once and a while and paint.

For more face painting ideas that go with specific outfits, visit Unique Face Painting Ideas.
For more Halloween costume and decorations ideas, visit our ‘Halloween Central’..

Credits: Absolutely stunning Indian goddess aka flower girl face & old devil face painting designs by kat-kraft.co.uk. The boy pirate face painting design with scar and red bandana & spider girl face designs are both by www.facepaintingdesigns.co.uk.

Have a useful face painting design or technique to share? Drop us a comment.

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