So you’ve scoured the internet and you’re tired of seeing the same, mediocre designs over and over again. You don’t need a laugh, you need some inspiration!
Here at the International Face Painting School, we believe face paint for kids (and adults!) is a real art, and we’re keeping things high quality.
We’ve got some impressive yet easy face paint ideas for beginners too, and video tutorials you can follow along with!
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Whether you’re a beginner, a parent, a pro, or just looking for the best Halloween costume the world has ever known…
We’ve got a collection of face painting ideas with plenty for everyone! Keep an eye out for helpful tips on how you can achieve professional results.
1. Face painting ideas for girls
No matter the age, a girl who is getting her face painted wants to feel beautiful. This collection is full of beautiful designs for the most-requested face paint ideas for girls.
You’ll find loads of variations too so that you can paint something in your style that matches her style.
a. Princess crown face paint
Princess crowns are an easy face paint ideas to make any girl look her best. These designs can be as simple as one-stroking for color and form and linework for embellishment, but you can also dress it up with double dip flowers, sponged eyeshadow, glitter, and bling!
Another option is to paint a themed crown based on her favorite princess. Elsa face paint is especially popular! Find more Frozen face paint ideas in the themed parties section.
More Princess crown face paint tutorials from Youtube:
Fairytale princess face painting by SophiesTips
Cinderella face paint by Lisa Joy Young
Belle face paint by Ashlea Henson
Easy Fairy Face Painting Tutorial by Ashlea Henson
Arabian princess/Jasmine face paint by Sophie’s Tips
Native American/Pocahontas face paint by Sophie’s Tips
Peacock Princess mask by Nancy Wu
Swan princess face paint by Lisa Joy Young
Pastel princess teardrop crown by Lodie Up
b. Fairy face paint
For fairy face paint, it can be very helpful to have a fairy stencil, as you’ll see in the following designs. But some of these fairies were painted freehand! Use your tools to adapt to whatever time you have.
One stroke rainbows and double dip flowers pair nicely with any fairy design! And a flower crown can make a lovely fairy queen face paint too!
c. Butterfly face paint
Butterfly face paint is one of the best face painting ideas because the wings frame the face in such a flattering way. It’s also an easy face paint for beginners to achieve with a petal sponge or one stroke technique.
Once you master the proper butterfly placement and shape, the same principles will be used in countless other designs!
More Butterfly face paint video tutorials:
d. Cute cat face paint
I told you we’d use those butterfly shapes again, right? Cat ears follow the same placement rules as the top wings. Cute cat face paint can be an easy addition to your face paint menu.
Check out even more cat designs in the Animals section, or just keep scrolling ;-)
Want to heap on the cuteness? This rainbow Caticorn / Unikitty design combines two favorite girl face paint designs with adorable results!
This Creative Kitty Face Paint by Annabel Hoogeveen is a stunning on-the-job design that’s sure to wow! It’s also easier than it looks, so be sure to check out the step-by-step.
e. Flower face paint
Once you’ve nailed these techniques, they will be an easy way to add to any girl design. Create fast, intricate eye designs or add petals to butterflies, crowns, unicorns and everything else!
Keep flower eye designs close around the eye and directed at facial focal points for a pleasing, balanced design.
These flower crowns are also great for spring fairy face paint.
More Flower face painting tutorials on Youtube:
Island Princess Face Painting by Lisa Joy Young
Flower Fairy Mask by Laura Pennock
Double dip flower eye by Nancy Wu
Rose eye and décolletage design by Ashlea Henson
“Fairy eye” flower design by Sophie’s Tips
Flower Mask detailed and simple version by Lisa Joy Young
Sunflower eye by Pam Kinneberg
Flowers can make elegant adult designs as well! Learn this Fancy Eye Design by Annabel Hoogeveen from the step-by-step tutorial.
f. Unicorn face paint
There are two main types of unicorn face paints: turning little girls into unicorns, or painting magical unicorns on beautiful little girls. Both are super cute and popular, and it’s nice to have a selection of each.
The same unicorn can be scaled down to an eye design or embellished for a full mask!
These designs also work well for horse face paint and alicorn or pegasus face paint with simple adjustments.
More Unicorn face paint video tutorials from Youtube and Instagram:
Pegasus face paint by Lisa Joy Young
Fast and easy unicorn stencil eye design by Lodie Up
Pastel unicorn by Lodie Up
Cute unicorn by Lodie Up
g. Mermaid face paint
Just like unicorns, the main two types of designs for mermaids are painting a mermaid or making your client into a mermaid with a mermaid crown face paint. Within those categories, there are limitless variations.
Some popular and easy mermaid crowns include seashell centerpieces and stenciled mermaids. Bling or gems affixed with a skin-safe adhesive are a stunning addition to crowns of any kind!
More mermaid face paint design Youtube tutorials:
Mermaid Tail Face Painting by Lily Santoya
How to paint a Mermaid by Silly Heather
Mermaid Crown face paint by Arielpaints
How to do a mermaid face paint by Facepaints 4u
Step-by-step Kawaii mermaid instagram tutorial by Lodie Up
These face-painting ideas for girls are definitely the most popular face painting requests, but you won’t be bored with so many ways to change it up! Extra steps like glitter and gems are an excellent way to add value and make it the best face paint for any little girl.
2. Face painting ideas for boys
These designs are sure to be the most popular face paint for boys in your line! And these ideas aren’t only great for kids, adults will love them too.
a. Superhero face paint
Spiderman face paint
There are probably even more Spiderman face painting ideas than there are Spiderman actors, but with good reason! These designs are the most popular design for boys, and you’re just as likely to get the request from a teen as a toddler! So be sure to have a few good Spidey design variations up your sleeve.
These traditional masks have stenciled texture for added dimension. And check out this fun design using the butterfly shape you’ve mastered so well!
These ripped masks are great to appeal to the older boys. Even adults will be wowed by the transformation.
Spiderman fans will love the evil villain face paint option. And the flowing lines give so much room for creativity.
Batman face paint
Our list couldn’t be complete without a good Batman, and your menu will need one too! A Batman mask is one of the easiest face paint ideas, but these designs are full of color and dimension.
Even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can add quick texture with sponge work, stenciling, or even glitter gel!
But the bat-signal isn’t the only option! Why not paint the man himself? Or even the Gotham City!
Other Superhero face paint favorites
There are too many superheroes to name, but here are some favorites from each universe you’re likely to encounter.
If you get a request for a superhero you aren’t comfortable painting, a good option is to offer another character from the same universe.
Other Superhero face paint tutorials on Youtube:
b. Dragon and dinosaur face paint
Scaly body, sharp teeth, lethal claws — Face painting dragons and dinosaurs has a lot of overlap, and boys love them both. T-Rex face paint is especially popular with boys who love Jurassic Park and Jurassic World!
In general, larger bodies and thick tails can help keep a dinosaur from looking like a snake or a dragon. Also, notice how the head has rounded edges and is around the same thickness as the snout.
Wings and fire are some obvious differences between dragons and dinosaurs. Dragon heads also have more sharp angles and their snouts are more narrow than the rest of their head.
More dragon and dinosaur face paint tutorials on Youtube:
c. Monster face paint
Use the teeth and claws you’ve mastered, and let your imagination go wild. Monster face paint designs are a great place to get creative with color and texture stencils. Monsters are also an easy beginner face paint idea because of how adaptable they are.
These also work well for any size of design – Monster eye face paint, masks, half face, and full face designs!
Boys are wild about tigers! But so are girls and adults. Tiger face paint is a staple for a reason. We’re covering more tigers in our popular animal face paint ideas section. You’ll want to check out these tiger face paint designs first.
This tutorial by Fairy Fox Design uses Starblends powders for the base, which is a great option for high heat summer days.
Whether you paint a Batman mask, dinosaur teeth, tiger stripes, or monster horns, you’ll need sharp line tips! Struggling with your linework? Our FREE workshop can help!
e. Halloween face paint ideas for boys
You might be wondering where the skulls and zombies are? They’re out trick-or-treating for Halloween. But they’re sure to be around here somewhere. Check out our Halloween face paint for kids section for even more boy ideas that will be popular all year long!
Now you’ve got something for everyone ready at your brush-tips. But you can find even more of the most popular face paint ideas for kids in the Themed Parties section. But don’t miss the easiest face painting ideas we’ve collected in the next category!
3. Fast and easy face painting ideas
So you’ve got a line that you can’t see the end of and the clock is ticking. It’s a face painting reality, and it doesn’t have to be a nightmare! Here are tips, tricks, and most importantly easy face painting designs that you can paint fast!
What’s fast for a professional can also be an easy starting place for beginners! If you’re just starting your face painting journey, don’t miss our Ultimate Beginner Guide to learn everything you need in one article!
a. Stencil face paint
Stenciling might be one of the easiest face paint ways to offer a huge variety of designs at breakneck speeds.
Load your sponge up until the paint is sticky and a bit dry in consistency so it won’t bleed under the stencil. Once you master that trick, you’ll have endless fast and impressive options to choose from.
Stenciling is also a way to add impressive details quickly to a simple design like the snowflake cheeks on this butterfly mask and the starry background over the bat signal.
How to paint beautiful and simple face paint eye designs with stencils:
- 1. One stroke a background color around the eye.
- 2. Apply the main image with a stencil (holiday stencils make this so easy to customize to any time of year!!)
- 3. Apply fine glitter to the main image BEFORE removing the stencil.
- 4. Add stenciled smaller elements like hearts or stars.
- 5. Finish the look with double-dip flowers, linework and/or chunky glitter.
This spring / Easter bunny design by Lodie Up is a beautiful example of how stunning the results can be.
Face painting with stencils is what makes this super easy magical dragon look so amazing too! It’s not cheating. It’s texture!
b. Easy one stroke face paint
One stroke has taken the face painting world by storm, and for good reason! These designs have dimension and color that looks like it would take a long time to create. But these are some of the easiest face paint ideas for beginners!
The right tools make all the difference for fast, easy face painting! Check out our Face Painting Supplies Guide to learn the best materials and where to get them.
c. On-the-job designs
These designs use a variety of techniques like double dip flowers, one stroking, linework, applying stencils, and sponging rainbow cakes. They’re also quick enough to use on-the-job to face paint for birthday parties, festivals, school fairs, and more!
Learn all these techniques in our Beginner Course! You’ll also learn how build a budget-friendly face painting kit, 22 designs you can use on the job, and more!
This Rose Princess Mask by Olga Murasev is a beautiful face paint design for beginners.
More face and easy face paint tutorials on Youtube:
Easy One-stroke Dolphin by Radiant Art Inspirations
Snowflake design (stencil vs hand painted) by Radiant Art Inspirations
Easy Rainbow Butterfly by Ashlea Henson
Cute Monster face paint by Lisa Joy Young
One-stroke feathers by Laura Pennock
Easy Roses by Laura Pennock
The key to speed is good technique. Once you’ve mastered these techniques, you can face paint simple designs that will make everyone say, “Wow!! That looks amazing, and you’re so fast!!!”
For even more ideas, check out our Fast Ideas: super quick line-buster designs blog post.
4. Popular Animal face paint
Animal face paint designs needs its own section because it’s very popular for both boys and girls. These are also great designs for adults, including some very realistic animal face paint designs.
This is only a handful of the most popular animal face paint ideas. If you want a comprehensive look at the wonderful zoo of face paint possibilities, our Animal Face Paint Guide is the place for you!
a. Dog & Cat face paint
It’s wonderful that dogs and cats share so many common features because you can easily learn both. One of the biggest differences between painting dogs and cats will be the ears. Here’s a great selection of dog and cat face painting ideas to inspire you.
There are lots of well-loved characters in the dogs and cats categories! Try offering some Paw Patrol designs or add Hello Kitty to your menu and see how delighted the kids will be!
Want a more masculine option? This Halloween Cat Face Paint for Boys by Annabel Hoogeveen can be used any time of the year!
Skip back to face paint ideas for girls for some more cute cat face paint or keep on scrolling for wild cats!
b. Tiger face paint and other wild cats
No party is complete without a roaring tiger. It is probably the most popular design you will get asked for. But once you paint one of these, you’re sure to have kids asking for the whole zoo.
Tiger face paint
There are so many ways to add variation to your tiger designs, and we’ve carefully chosen a variety to showcase lots of different styles!
Do you love one-stroke? Try using it for your outline or stripes for easy shading.
Prefer realism? This realistic tiger painted by Linnea Onnerby Novak is taught in our Professional Course!
Professional Course: Become a certified professional face painter with the most comprehensive program on the market in just 3 months!
Lion face paint
Whether you’re looking for a cartoon Lion King face paint or a fierce one, we’ve got great ideas for you.
For a fast on-the-job design, check out this Lion face paint step-by-step by Rosie Lieberman.
Leopard and Cheetah face paint
Did you know that the main distinction between leopards and cheetahs is that cheetahs have solid spots? These designs can easily be adapted to be either leopards or cheetahs, but the rosette spots are so lovely you may just want to put them on both. I won’t tell if you don’t.
Want a detailed step-by-step design? Check out this Fast Cheetah Step by Step Face Painting Tutorial by Wies Facepainting.
More wild cat face paint YouTube tutorials:
Fantasy Rainbow Tiger by Ashlea Henson
Mouth lion by Laura Pennock
Lion one-stroke face paint by Radiant Art Inspirations
Scar from The Lion King by Ashlea Henson
Cheetah by Radiant Art Inspirations
Tie-dye cheetah by Cameron Garrett
c. More Popular Animal face paint ideas
If you love painting animals, there’s a whole animal kingdom to choose from! Here are some more designs and tutorials that you (and your customers!) are sure to love!
Some animals are more seasonal, but oh-so-popular in their season! These Easter bunnies are perfect for springtime. If it’s fall, check out our guide of turkey Thanksgiving day face painting designs that are sure to please!
A zoo of popular animal face paint design videos:
Giraffe face paint by Radiant Art Inspirations
Snake Eye face paint by Lisa Joy Young
Panda face paint by Radiant Art Inspirations
Zebra face paint by Laura Pennock
Wolf face paint by Radiant Art Inspirations
Elephant face paint by Laura Pennock
Fox face paint by Marta Ortega
5. Popular Themed Parties face paint ideas for kids
While you’re sure to have unicorn, mermaid, superhero, and dinosaur themed parties, there are other characters that are sure to come up. Kids are loud about what they love, and we’re listening! Here are face painting designs that are geared towards their favorite themes.
a. Frozen face paint
From the first time we heard “Let It Go”, Elsa captured the hearts of little girls, and she’s not going anywhere. Choose some designs that you can mix and match with because once you’ve painted an Elsa crown, every girl will want one!
Want even more Elsa themed party face paint ideas? Our 2022 Christmas face painting ideas post has several Olaf designs and even more styles of Elsa crowns!
b. Pokemon face paint
Pokemon doesn’t seem to be going out of style any time soon, and knowing some characters like the beloved yellow Pikachu will come in handy for any event. If you’re doing a themed party, adding a few more characters to your board is a great idea too! And if you need something quick, a poke-ball can be a whole design when you dress it up with some stenciled background, linework, or lightning!
More Pokemon face paint tutorials on Youtube:
c. Minecraft and Among Us face paint (Computer Games)
A popular face paint with both boys and girls, these simple figures are an easy favorite. Dress it up with stencils, explosions, or even girly bows (no judgments here!). You can quickly turn these blocky characters into a full design!
d. My Little Pony face paint
Thanks to the ever-popular unicorn, you’re more than halfway there on these popular characters! Learn the right color placement for these ponies (and who has a horn!), and you’ll have this theme in the bag before you know it.
Look at how any character (this one’s Rainbow Dash) can be scaled down to an eye design or made into a crown, mask, or full face option!
e. Transformer face paint
Face painters all over the world have come up with some really great ways to tackle these tricky guys so that you don’t have to panic when the request comes. Stencils can come in hand, but aren’t necessary.
The best part of these themed party face paint designs is that they’re not only good for birthday parties. When you get a special request for one of these and can paint it on-the-spot, you’re sure to amaze and delight. And who knows, maybe that delighted parent will be booking you for a themed party soon. ;-)
6. Halloween face paint ideas for kids
Is it that time of year already? You’ll be getting requests for these Halloween face paint designs well before the big day and likely all year long!
Halloween is a time when people of all ages want to get in on the face painting fun, so we’ve broken Halloween into two categories, one for kids and another for adults! You’ll find a lot of the same costume ideas, but the designs are very different.
A skull may be one of the first face paint designs you do as a beginner because of how popular they are for costumes!
It helps to understand bone structure a little to figure out where to place shadows and highlights. Don’t be afraid to look up a real skull while you’re figuring it out. We’ve got some tutorials here to help you get it right!
Dress up your skull face paint with this tutorial for Kristin Olsson’s flaming Halloween Skeleton Face Paint.
Here are more creative adaptations including some beautiful sugar skulls. For more sugar skull ideas, check the Halloween face paint for adults section below!
Witch face painting pairs nicely with spiderwebs and bats, but there are so many adaptations you can make! Just like flower crowns make good fairy face paint, cobweb crowns make great witch face paint.
More witch face paint for kids on Youtube:
Pale skin and fangs. Sounds easy right? But with poor application, vampire face paint can end up looking chalky instead of creepy.
Using a face painting powder (like Starblends) or a glycerin based paint (like Superstar) can create a more blendable base for smooth coverage that’s comfortable to wear.
Or skip the white base all together and try one of these other vampire face paint designs!
Zombies are all the rage lately. Zombie face paint is a great, popular design for boys and teens and adults.
If you want to go above and beyond, do a mashup with another popular design. We’ve got examples for a zombie unicorn, dog, and fairy, but maybe you’ll be the first to do a zombie Spiderman or zombie mermaid.
e. Other Halloween face paint ideas for kids
For smaller Halloween designs that are still eye-catching, check out these bats and spiders. Black cats also make a great face paint for Halloween!
Want to apply the shapes you mastered with your skull to even more designs? Why not try out a Jack-o-lantern or Joker face paint?
More Halloween kids face paint ideas YouTube tutorials:
Claw wounds by Sophie’s Tipps
Pumpkin Mask one-stroke by Radiant Art Inspirations
Pirate face paint by Ashlea Henson
Frankenstein face paint by Ashlea Henson
Halloween Unicorn by Radiant Art Inspirations
Did you know we have a guide completely devoted to Halloween face painting?? Find hundreds more design ideas in our Ultimate Halloween Inspiration Guide!
7. Halloween face painting ideas for adults
While all of these face painting ideas are good, when choosing designs for adults we were very particular to choose the best costume face paint ideas!
Here are scary designs, sexy designs, and even pretty designs, but any of these face paint ideas are sure to be the best Halloween costume your friends have ever seen!
a. Skull face paint
Because adults do better with longer painting sessions, the designs can be so much more intricate and detailed! Check out how realistic these skull face paint designs can get.
b. Sugar Skull face paint
Sugar Skulls are a symbol of Día de los Muertos which takes place on November 1st and 2nd and is to honor deceased loved ones, but the look is so beautiful that many women (and men!) request this style for Halloween as well.
c. Sexy Vampire or Witch face paint
Whether you’re going for sexy or creepy, you can achieve your look with a vampire or witch. These two costumes are very popular with women at Halloween, and these face paint designs are the perfect makeup to finish off the look.
d. Zombie face paint ideas
Pop culture has taken zombies in every direction from funny to terrifying. Whatever type of look you want, face paint can achieve it.
The comic bright colors in Red Doll’s design are so different from Nick Wolfe’s realistic style, but we’re here for it all!
e. Special FX face paint ideas
Want to take your Halloween options to the next level? We’ve got lots of tips and tutorials for how to make incredibly realistic wounds and bruises face paint and Special FX designs! Watch the videos to see just how achievable these looks are. If you offer good SFX, the clients will come.
f. Other Halloween adult face painting ideas
Halloween is a time where you can dress up like your favorite characters and be someone else for the night. Whether you need the finishing touches on the best Joker costume or you want to win the work costume contest with terminator face paint, these designs are sure to make you the talk of any party.
Other Adult Halloween face painting ideas from Youtube:
Evil Clown Halloween Makeup by Ashlea Henson
Joker face paint by Ashlea Henson
Beetlejuice face paint by Radiant Art Inspirations
Glitter Pennywise IT face paint by Ashlea Henson
Harley Quinn face paint by Lisa Joy Young
8. Christmas face painting ideas
Snowmen, reindeer, and Santa are just the star on the top of the tree when it comes to fun, fast face painting designs for kids at Christmas — The tree makes for some great designs too! ;-)
Follow along with this Cute and Easy Reindeer Face Paint Tutorial by Kristin Olsson.
To create a cute Santa from a different perspective, check out Annabel Hoogeveen’s Super Santa Face Paint Tutorial.
These aren’t even half the ideas from our Christmas designs face painting guide, be sure to check out the whole thing if you want to see Holly berries, poinsettias and more! Plus loads more Christmas face paint Youtube tutorials!! You won’t be disappointed.
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Did we miss something? Tell us what designs you want to see more of in the comments. We’re working on more guides like this one, and we’d love to provide what you’re looking for!