Your Guide to Essential Face Painting Supplies

Face Painting Supplies Buying Guide
Olga Murasev — 19 August 2019 —

We know how hard and frustrating is to navigate in all the variety of face painting supplies, especially if you’re a pure beginner.

No worries, we’ve got you covered!

Now you can find the best supplies for face painting in one place. Be sure, you’ll LOVE this guide! 😍

We have tried and tested almost every single product on the market and we’ll share with you our favorite face painting materials only.

The best part?

Every supply has a link to the face painting store so you won’t waste your time on googling it.

NOTE: This article is built in partnership with — one of the biggest and reliable face painting stores in the USA. All our suggestions are linked to Worldwide shipping is available.

Face Painting Supplies Navigation Guide

Face painting kits
Face paints
Water tub
Fine mist spray bottle
Wet wipes
Display of design choices
Business cards
Face painting supplies storage
Optional extras…

a banner that says "Top 10 products a face painter needs" with a green "Free Download" button
Tip: Click here to download this super useful “Top 10 products a face painter needs” handout! It’s FREE!

Face painting kits

Before we get into the details on each supply type and our recommendations, let us share with you the complete kits that our experts assembled for Beginners and for Professionals.

Face paints

You may have tried buying some face paints in local stores, or on Amazon or eBay, but they cracked on the face, didn’t let you obtain sharp lines and the colors were dull.

And that all let you feel very frustrated.

Because YOU FOUND that right guide where you will get ultimate information about the world’s best face paints with exact links where to purchase them!

Vibrant colors, sharp linework, a smooth flowing coating that feels like a second skin, easy blending and amazing designs — all that can be easily achieved with the brands below.

There are about 20 professional face paints manufacturers on the market and new brands appear every year. Each brand uses its own combination of ingredients which makes a big difference in the results you may achieve with these paints.

First, you need to know that professional face paints are water activated and they differ in the ingredient which works as the main element. We have:

  • Paraffin Wax based
  • Glycerin based
  • Acacia Senegal Gum based

These are the three main categories of face paints.

Very important is that all of them have been tested for safety, which means that they follow CSPA, FDA, EU and Australian Standards guidelines.

Also, professional quality face and body paints are rarely found at a craft or discount store. The best place to shop for face painting supplies are specialised face painting shops.

logos of all face paint brands the international face painting school recommends

Best face paint supply brands at the moment include Fusion, TAG, Wolfe FX, Diamond FX, PartyXplosion, Cameleon, Kryolan, Global Colours, Face Paints Australia, Mehron Paradise, Superstar, Kryvaline, Kraze FX.

Our choice: Fusion Body Art — a revolutionary brand that was launched recently by an experienced face paints manufacturer.

These paints have a totally new formula, they are very vibrant, elastic, work perfect for linework and their split-cakes have extremely bold colors!



WHITE paint for linework

Even if you are just starting out, invest in a large pot of 30, 50 gr or even bigger! You will need it for practice and for most of your designs.

Best white brands of face paints are Paraffin Wax or Acacia Senegal Gums based: Fusion, PartyXplosion, Wolfe FX, Diamond FX, Kryvaline, Cameleon, Face Paints Australia (FPA), Kraze FX.

Our choice: Fusion Body Art Face Paint — Prime Paraffin White 50 gr.

an image of white face paint from the brand "fusion"

BLACK paint for linework

One pot of 30 or 45 gr, any of the brands: Fusion, PartyXplosion, Wolfe FX, Diamond FX, Kryvaline, Cameleon, Face Paints Australia (FPA), Kraze FX.

Our choice: Fusion Body Art Face Paint — Prime Strong Black 50 gr.

an image of black face paint from the brand "fusion"


There are two options here, depending on your needs: palettes and singular paints.

PALETTES, we recommend this option in case:
– you are a beginner
– your budget is tight, but you want to start with the minimum basics
– you want to test colors of one brand before investing in the singular color of a bigger amount

Our choice: Fusion Body Art — Sampler Face Painting Palette — vibrant regular colors, including a white and a black.

SINGULAR COLORS, each brand offers face paint supplies in three types:

  • Regular (base or prime) colors
  • Pearl (metallic) colors
  • Neon (UV) colors

This option will work for you in case you need specific colors to paint a specific design or you are looking into building a professional setup.

Regular (prime or base) colors — we recommend TAG Body Art.

a collection of different colored face paints of the brand "TAG"

Pearl (metallic or shimmer) colors — we recommend Superstar.

image of different colors of the brand "superstar"

Neon (UV) colors — we recommend Global.

image of different colors of the brand "global bodyart"


There are two main categories of split-cakes: large split-cakes that are normally used with sponges (although they may be used with brushes too) and small split-cakes for one stroke technique, used with flat and angled brushes.

an image of nine face painting split-cakes from the "Global" brand


Large split-cakes are used for creating colorful backgrounds with just one load and one application of a sponge-like this tiger design created by the French School instructor Elodie Ternois.

Tip: Check out the tutorial for this design here.

Our choice:
These five combinations will do the job for you!

  1. Blue combination for Winter (Frozen) and Ocean themed designs:
    Fusion Body Art Face Paint — Rainbow Cake | Frozen Shimmer 50 gr by Jest Paint.
  2. Green combinations for Mermaids, Dragons:
    Fusion Body Art & FX — Rainbow Cake | Mermaid Splash 50 gr by Jest Paint.
  3. Coral-red combination for Tropical designs, Dragons, Tigers etc:
    Fusion Body Art Face Paint – Rainbow Cake | NEW Glowing Tiger (no neons) 50gr by Jest Paint.
  4. Pinky-purple combination for Unicorns and Princesses:
    Silly Farm Face Paint Rainbow Cake — Purple Sprite 50 gr.
  5. A rainbow split-cake for all those rainbow-lovers:
    Fusion Body Art Face Paint — Rainbow Cake | Bright Rainbow 50 gr.

☝️ But if your budget is tight, then invest in ONE pearly rainbow split-cake. This is a must-have for any kit!
TAG Face Paint Split Cake — EXCL Big Happy Swirl 50 gr #9.

an image of a face paint split-cake from the brand "tag"


There are multiple different color combinations of split-cakes.

But if you are just starting out, we recommend you to invest in just one must-have — a rainbow split-cake!

And of course, there are many brands that produce rainbow combinations, but not all of them are vibrant enough.

Our choice: Fusion Body Art & FX – Split Cake | Leanne’s Rainbow (neon) by Leanne Courtney 30g r.

It is super bright and vibrant! All you need to use it is a 1-inch flat brush. Check out our dedicated Best Brushes for Face Painting article for exact suggestion on the brush brands. 😍

Tip: Want to learn how to create super easy, yet stunning designs in a flash? Check out our blog post on Super Fast designs ⚡️!

If you want to invest in a palette of split-cakes and are looking for the best combos, then we highly recommend this Fusion Body Art & FX – Spectrum Palette | Tropical Collection by Leanne Courtney!

It became a hit in the face painting community and it’s one of the best-selling products all over the world!

Check out the dedicated guide on Best Face Paints to find even more suggestions! Specifically recommended to those who are looking into a professional setup.


Like face paints, there are many brands of the brushes on the market and most of them are good.

For the beginner face painter, we’ve narrowed it down to a minimalistic, yet effective set that you can purchase for a WIDE variety of designs. These brushes, with proper cleaning and storage, will last for many years!

Check out our standalone Ultimate Face Paint Brushes Buying Guide for more.

NOTE: for safety purposes, purchase a separate set of brushes to be used only for face painting and not craft paint.

Here is what exactly you’ll need as a BEGINNER:

Round brushes

One brush of #1 size — for tiny details
BOLT | Face Painting Brushes by Jest Paint – Crisp Round #1

Two brushes of #3 size — for girly swirly designs and thin outline (one to use only with black and one only for white)
BOLT | Face Painting Brushes by Jest Paint – Crisp Round #3

Two brushes of #4 size — for building shapes and to outline full-face designs (one to use only with black and one only for white)
BOLT | Face Painting Brushes by Jest Paint – Crisp Round #4

a woman wearing a cloud face paint design and a girl with a unicorn linework face paint design
Tip: Keep two brushes of sizes #3 and #4 for black only! This will prevent from contaminating your other brushes with a strong pigment and will help make your linework always clean and bright!


Flat and angled brushes

A must-have in case you want to paint beautiful rainbows! Super easy and always a hit!

Our choice: Art Factory Studio Face Painting Brush – 1″ FLAT.

Filbert brushes

As a beginner, you will need a filbert brush size ½-inch (10 mm) for covering the eyelids with paint, building up shapes like a kitty cat, puppy or bunny ears.

We recommend: Face Painting Brush – TAG – Filbert #6 (7/16″).

Special brushes

These include blending brushes, flora and petal brushes and some other specific brushes that are normally used only by professionals.

However, there is just ONE brush that we recommend to beginners! And this is a petal (also called flora) brush, that is used for the double dip technique. In other words, this brush helps paint stunning flowers with just one simple move of the brush.

Tip: Examples of flowers created with the petal (flora) brushes by our instructors. Want to learn how to paint them? Check out our Double Dip detailed tutorial!

We recommend: Paint Pal – Pretty Petal Face Painting Brush.

This brush is out of stock? Check out for alternatives in our article Best Brushes for Face Painting.


There are a multitude of sponges with various textures and densities to use in your work:

Half-circle — for applying paint on large areas of skin as well as for large split-cakes.

Petal sponges — the best choice for butterflies and all of the cases when you need to get into the inner corners of the eyes.

Finger-daubers — must-have for stenciling.

a collection of all of versions of a face painting sponges

Tip: When buying circular sponges, cut them into two pieces before you use them! Want to know how to use a sponge with a split-cake? Check out the tutorial here.

For a beginner, we recommend this set of petal-sponges:

Splash Face Painting Sponge by Jest Paint – Tear Drop (6 pieces)

And if you want to add more to your kit, then these ones will do the best job:
Jest Paint – Hydra Face Painting Sponge
Finger Dauber Face Painting Sponge – 6 units

Check out our Ultimate Face Painting Sponge Buying Guide for more information of sponges types, suggestions and tips on how to use them.


Glitter comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. It is up to you which one to choose, just make sure you use cosmetic grade glitter only, which can be purchased in face painting shops or in makeup departments.

Craft glitters can be cheaper and look very similar, but craft glitters can be made from tiny particles of metal, and if it gets into eyes, craft glitter can scratch the cornea, lead to corneal ulcers and even cause blindness.

It can also stain on the skin or even cause an allergic reaction. So avoid craft glitters at all costs.

For now, stick with the basics. Add a couple of glitters into your shopping cart, and your designs will literally sparkle… and so will your client’s faces!

Fine translucent glitter: Face Paint Mama Clown Glitter — Iridescent White Fairy Dust JAR (1oz).

Chunky glitter-gel: Amerikan Body Art | CHUNKY Glitter Cremes – BIOSPHERE – 10gr.

Glitter-gel liner: Liquid Bling Face Painting Glitter Gel – Brilliant Gold 1/2oz #1.

Tip: We compiled two detailed blog posts about glitter and gems for face painting and body art!
Check out our Glitter Blog: types of glitter and adhesives and Festival Glitter Shopping guide articles!


If you want to speed up your work or you aren’t that good at painting freehand yet, add stencils to your kit.

They come in all sorts of shapes and textures and can take simple work to a totally new level. You can even find themed stencils to match a party theme like Frozen or Transformers.

a collage of different face painting stencils

We’ve narrowed it down to only 5 stencils for a beginner’s kit!

  1. Bad Ass Mini 1005 – Face Painting Stencil – Scales
  2. Ooh! Face Painting Stencil | Snowflake Wrap #1 (W07)
  3. Face Painting Stencil | Tribal Wrap (W14)
  4. Ooh! Face Painting Stencil | Star Wrap (W02)
  5. TAP 044 Face Painting Stencil – Skull with Crossbones

Check out our Ultimate Face Painting Stencils Buying Guide for more details and also to find out what other professional extra stencils we recommend!

Water tub

Any brush tub will work fine for the beginning, though a properly chosen container of water can speed up your work due to quick brush rinsing and also help make your workspace look tidier and more organized.

Here are the tips that will help you find the best option:

  • Choose an opaque container instead of a transparent one.
  • Choose plastic or metallic container.
  • Make sure you have enough rinsing water in it (approx. 1-2 cups).
  • Choose a tall container rather than a wide one. Size of a regular big glass of 400 ml (13 oz) will work the best.

Here you’ll find a few options: water buckets.

Fine mist spray bottle

A simple fine mist spray-bottle of about 200 ml (7 oz) capacity is enough. You will use it to activate your paints with clean water.

Here is a good example: Water Bottle with Light Misting Spray Cap 2oz.

three spray bottles

Wet wipes

You will need wet wipes for several things:

  • to clean your paints
  • to wipe your fingers and setup from any extra paint
  • to wipe off any painting mistake you might make from a child’s face

However, try to avoid using wet wipes too frequently, or replace them altogether with paper towels or natural fabric moisturized with water and oil (olive or coconut).

There are also some brands of organic/bio wet wipes, that are chemical free and biodegradable.


A plastic mirror is the best option when it comes to this key face painting supply. Children can drop it easily, so make sure you look for a plastic option or at least covered with a plastic foil that will prevent fragments from detaching and harming your clients in case of damage.

Plastic mirrors can be purchased online or in big craft shops.

Display of design choices

You can use an album or a menu board with images for reference. The key question here is whose work you will be displaying? Since you are a beginner you most probably won’t have a portfolio with your work.

A word board could be a good option for you, in this case, it also affords you the ability to grow creatively without having to stick to your original designs, or constantly update them.

A good option for a beginner would be a menu board like this one that is sold on Etsy.

Making a design board or face painting menu? Save yourself so much time by finding all the ideas you need in our Ultimate Face Painting Ideas Guide. You’ll thank yourself.

Business cards

If you are considering transitioning face painting into your job, then you may want to add business cards to your kit. There are a ton of business articles that can we discuss on our blog in case you decided to take this path. For instance:

Starting your face painting business. Investments & hidden costs.
How to work fewer hours and earn more money.
How much should I charge for face painting? REAL PRICES

Case or bag to store and carry your face painting supplies

You can find a solution your own, hopefully, there is a wide range of cases…

No matter how big or small your setup is at the moment, you’re going to need something to carry around your supplies for face painting. You are only limited by your budget and imagination, and there are limitless options.

You can join a Facebook group called Face Painters Kits and it may be helpful to you developing your current setup.
Check out this detailed article by MightyGoods where “9 professional face painters share how they pack and prepare their gear”.

Tip: Be creative! We’ve seen artists use everything from camping kitchens to thrift store briefcases to make a kit.

Optional extras such as a professional chair, tent, table and more…

If you are going to take big outdoor gigs, there are some extra things you’ll need to add to your kit, like a tent or canopy, a big folding table, and a high chair, along with banners and advertising posters and much more smaller stuff.
You can buy most of these goods in Ikea, Walmart, Leroy Merlin or online on eBay or Amazon. A canopy will cost you about $200, the folding table — $50-100, a high folding chair — $50-100.

Tip: Professional setup by Olga Murasev — the founder of the International Face Painting School.

Want to find out more detailed information on face painting tools? We’ve crafted dedicated articles to every tool type you will need! Check them out here:

 — Olga Murasev

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