Rainbow Face Painting: Bright and Colorful Ideas

a girl with a compleated rainbow face paint design
Lela Trock — 11 June 2023 —

While this design may be fast, it is amazing how well it captures the elegance and essence of a rainbow.

We will guide you through the process of achieving a stunning look that is perfect for kids, teens, adults, and even speed painting. It’s perfect for beginners and those with small kits too! Let’s dive in!


Best Face Painting Kits

To learn more about face painting supplies and where to buy them, visit our Best Face Painting Kits Guide, which provides detailed information and recommendations for Professionals or Beginners who want a professional start.


Start by using a kabuki brush to apply shimmer blush to create a beautiful rosy cheek base to work on. This step is optional but adds a nice touch to the overall look.

a girl with a rose face paint on her right cheekbone
Tip: Adding a touch of blush makeup to your quick designs will make girls feel extra special with minimal time and effort. Then even if the design is small, they will feel glamorous and beautiful.


Load a 1″ flat brush with Leanne’s Lollipop split cake by Fusion, or a similar rainbow one-stroke face paint. Follow a circular motion around the eye, directing the strokes towards the central focal point and the cheek focal point. Start thin and then press to get every color of the rainbow and then go thin again.

a girl with a rose face paint on her right cheekbone and a rainbow face paint around her eye

To load a one stroke really well, start with a damp brush. Get your brush wet, then dab off any excess on a cloth or paper towel.

You may want to spray the cake directly with a misting bottle. Watch how much water is on the cake. If the water is pooling, you’ve added too much.

Load the brush by stroking the cake slowly up and down many times. Keep all the bristles inside of the cake to get a nice clean load and also not mess up your brush bristles.

Loading may take longer than you expect at first. Play around with it until you are getting a nice thick coating of paint on your brush.

Practice this stroke on your arm until your load is looking clean with every color included in the design.

If you want to learn one-stroke loading and all the brush strokes that you’ll need to practice to master this essential skill, our Professional Course is the place for you!
With loads of video tutorials including in-depth explanations of these key concepts, this is an invaluable resource to rocket your face painting art and career to the success you dream of!

Real life progress from our student Catherine Klay after taking a course with us!


Enhance the design and add some magic to one end of the rainbow by using a stencil with stars or starbursts. Alternatively, you can paint your own decorations.

a girl with a rainbow face paint around her eye with added stars

This design is very adaptable and can incorporate different stencils or painted decorations. Be sure to direct the embellishments along this circular line we’ve started, pointing toward the inner corner of the eye.

You may want to try a finger dauber rather than a typical face painting sponge for applying stencils as it’s great for precision. Load the dauber by pressing it quite to the paint with only a small amount of water either applied to the dauber or the cake.

The sponge is too wet if the dauber slides over the paint’s surface. Keep rubbing it on the paint until you get a tacky feeling, and the dauber starts to stick to the paint a bit.

Be sure always to check the consistency on your own hand so you don’t have paint bleeding under the stencil on the child’s face. The paint should look thick and opaque but not be bubbling or obviously wet.

When you’re ready with your dauber, apply the stencil to the design by pressing the dauber quite firmly on the stencil in a steady tapping motion until the color is a strong, opaque white.


Using a fine-tipped brush, create teardrops following the curve of the rainbow. Press firmly at the stroke’s start and then gradually release the pressure, making the stroke thinner until it ends at a nice point.

a girl with a rainbow face paint around her eye with added stars and a splash effect

The ends of your teardrops should be directed at the focal point at the inner corner of the eye. Also, gradually decrease the length and size of each teardrop to give the design direction and flow.

Add dots to break up the boundary between the teardrops and the rainbow. They balance the look by adding the familiar dots from the stencil to another design portion.

Create full round dots by loading your brush very heavily with creamy white paint. The first dot will be the largest and then release pressure slightly to get smaller as they move away from the rainbow and toward the inner corner of the eye.

Does your linework lack the vibrancy and finesse of the example? Not to worry, we aren’t out of tips. In fact, our best material on how to save your struggling linework is in our Professional Course. But you can access this content FOR FREE today in our Free Linework Workshop.

STEP 5: Glitter and Lips!

Apply fine holographic glitter on the cheeks and above the stencil to add a dazzling touch. Dabbing the glitter on with a barely damp finger gives control so you can keep the sparkle just where you want it.

a girl with a rainbow face paint around her eye and red lipstick
Tip: When you apply glitter to your model’s face, always have them close their eyes. If any glitter falls where it shouldn’t, you can remove it easily without messing up your design by brushing it away with a dry sponge. Check out our 7 clever application tips for glitter in face painting here.

Complete the look by applying red lipstick or face paint. For hygiene on the job, a disposable lipstick applicator is a wonderful, inexpensive option.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully created an elegant rainbow face paint design. This design flatters the face well and can be easily dressed up with more advanced line work.

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial, as it’s just a small taste of what our Beginner course has to offer.

If you’re new to face painting and want to learn designs that are impressive and achievable even as a beginner with limited time and budget, we invite you to enroll in our Beginner Course.

multiple children with various face paintings with a caption "beginner course"

Our Beginner Course includes 22 easy and stunning designs, along with comprehensive technical training to give you a professional start in your face painting career.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to unlock your full creative potential.

Know a mom who enjoys face painting her kids for fun? This is a perfect design to SHARE and show you’re thinking of them!

 — Lela Trock

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