The Black and White of Face Painting

Album cover photo for  The Dedd Beats

Album cover photo for
The Dedd Beats

There are many things you can count on in life; good friends being there when you need them most, kids being brutally honest and you can always count on locking yourself out of the house while you were getting the mail in your bathrobe….am I right or what? How about your face paints, is red always red, green always green or is black and white really just shades of grey? Answers to these and other mysteries of the Universe is why we are here.

If you have strolled the website you may have found an article on brand comparison with photos of some of our popular brands but more recently we have added similar photos in the face paint by color tab for easy comparison of how these paints look on the skin.

If you have spent anytime in the face painting business you already have discovered for yourself that a simple color like red is not always the same shade form brand to brand. This just comes down to the pigment the manufacturer chose to make their red, this is also why you may have more than one shade of red in a specific brand. A friend of mine primarily uses Paradise paints in her kit but she will use the Wolfe essentials red because she doesn’t care for the standard red from Paradise. In fact most face painters and make up artist will have a combination of brands for this very reason. It’s obvious to most there will be choices on the endless rainbow of face paint colors available but we went boldly into the realm of black and whiteto show you there are differences there as well.



Paradise- Snazaroo-TAG-Wolfe-Kryolan and Ben Nye

The sample photo of black face paint ( brands in order as listed) shows us how the brands can vary in the opacity of a color. These were all painted in the same manor and we can see clearly some brands are more concentrated delivering a deeper shade with one application. By no means are we saying a particular brand is inferior, this is just a guide to show how brands stack up to one another under the same application. One can always put on a second application if you desire a deeper shade. As a matter of fact in the world of black and white photography we are really just dealing with contrast and shades of black, white and grey.

If you look at our photo at the top of the page you will see clearly that the face is half black and half white with accents around the eyes of the polar color, Kryolan Aquacolor was used for this paint. Now take in the whole picture, you will see the shades of grey in the contours of the face and also the shirt is black with shades of grey. Even the black side of the face is not an even tone, we see a lighter black at the cheek bone where the light is reflecting more. This brings us back to the black swatch sample; I see a great opportunity to use the blacks that are less opaque for shading on a face paint.


Paradise-Snazaroo-TAG-Wolfe-Kryolan-Ben Nye

We can see that the white follows suit with the black in variations of opacity. There are some really great opurtunities here for foundation applications with the white. If you were to paint some one as a mime you may pick the Ben Nye at the end which almost eliminates any flesh tone with one application. But if you wanted a more washed out look for a vampire you may choose the Snazaroo which shows a little more flesh tone through when one layer is applied.


The Joker

The Joker

When Heath Ledger portrayed the Joker his character was very dark and gritty, the make up was designed to help amplify his macabre side. To duplicate this make up with face paints we chose Snazaroo to help give a more washed out look to the design, we did not want him to be pristine like a white face clown.

* Side note, our client took first place at their costumed event, Yay Snazaroo!

I do hope these samples are helpful and have opened your mind to trying a variety of face paints.