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How to make face paint at home

You probably have the ingredients in your cupboard!

By Rebel Wylie

Whether you're doing it yourself for fancy dress, or having it done as a treat, there's something nostalgic about transforming a face for colour and fun with face paint.

You can purchase some great quality face paints at most department and craft stores, however, once you know how to make face paint yourself, there's no limit to how creative you can be whenever the mood takes you.

Hot tip #1: While most homemade face paints use pretty friendly ingredients, it pays to check for any allergy triggers before you make them and slap them on a face.

What you’ll need to make face paint

Each face paint recipe using different ingredients. In addition to those it will be handy for you to have a few items at the ready for mixing time.

You will most likely need:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • A spatula or disposable BBQ skewers or tooth picks for mixing
  • Small containers for mixing individual colours – an ice tray, egg carton or old baby food containers suit this purpose well
  • Cotton tips, sponges and paint brushes for application

Hot tip #2: Baby wipes can never g astray when you're working and playing with face paints.

You can make face paint from regular household ingredients, keeping the chemicals off little skin! *(Image: Getty Images)*
You can make face paint from regular household ingredients, keeping the chemicals off little skin! (Image: Getty Images)

How to make face paint with lotion

Ingredients:

This ingredient list will make one colour, multiply the amounts for how many colours you will be making then divide the base mixture before colouring.

  • 1 tbs white coloured, mild body lotion or cold cream
  • 2tbs cornflour
  • 1 tbs water
  • Food colouring

Method:

  • Make the base mixture by blending the lotion, cornflour and water until smooth. If you need to adjust the consistency you can add more flour to make it thicker, or more water/lotion to thin it out if needed.
  • Divide your base mixture into smaller containers for each colour.
  • Gradually add drops of food colouring to each container and blend thoroughly until you are happy with the colour.

Hot tip #3: Substitute food colouring with natural alternatives like strained raspberries, turmeric, cocoa powder, cranberry juice, beetroot juice or squid ink.

Continues after video ...

How to make clown-style grease face paint

Because this one is a much thicker paint, you'll find it easier to add the colouring at the beginning, so you'll need to make each colour separately.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs copha
  • 5 tbs cornflour
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp Vaseline or Pawpaw ointment
  • Food colouring

Method:

Combine copha, ointment and food colouring in a bowl and mix well until thoroughly combined and you're happy with the colour. Note: the colour will lighten as you add the dry ingredients, so ensure it is nice and dark to begin with.

Gradually add your dry ingredients until the mixture has a thick, smooth consistency. This style of face paint will be thicker than the lotion style.

Transfer to your container and begin the next colour.

Apply and have fun!

Hot tip #4: Add edible glitter into your face paint to take it to the next level.

Clown style face paint is thicker and gives great coverage. *(Image: Getty Images)*
Clown style face paint is thicker and gives great coverage. (Image: Getty Images)

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