Occasions 365

Face Painting

Kids' face-painting ideas

For worry-free face painting at your child's birthday party, hire a professional make-up artist or kids' entertainer with face-painting experience. Unless you're particularly artistic, someone who works with make-up for a living will be much more likely to successfully carry out face-painting requests than you will, and that will leave you free to oversee the million other party-related things going on, like the games, food and cake.

But if you choose to handle the face painting yourself, or to have a friend or family member do it, here are some guidelines regarding preparation and execution to ensure that things go smoothly and that both you and the kids are happy with the results.

Dos and Don'ts of DIY Face Painting Make-Up

Do check ahead of time to make sure that all make-up is formulated for sensitive skin and is hypoallergenic -- the last thing you want is one of your little guests or the birthday kid ending up with a rash.

Do also check to make sure that it's washable, off both faces and clothes. Don't just read the package; test the face paint first-hand so you can feel confident that you won't have any put-out parents calling you after the party.

Do paint simple face painting designs, like hearts, stars, rainbows and lightning bolts.

Do paint very easily recognizable animal faces, like tigers and zebras (striped animals are the simplest to pull off).

Do have a variety of colors available, and try to have some glitter face-paint on hand as well.

Don't be afraid to say no to the kids' face-painting ideas if you know what they want is beyond your skills, and you suspect the child would be disappointed. In other words:

Don't try to paint any cartoon, comic or otherwise-animated character.

Do have a few design ideas in mind to offer as alternatives to difficult requests or for kids who don't know what they want.

For a fun twist, doconsider turning face painting into one of the party games; with conscientious adult supervision and assistance to avoid incidents like accidental eye-pokings, allow the kids to paint their own or even each other's faces.

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