Face Painting Kits for Beginners

by Philadelphia Tivoli · 59 comments

Choosing your first face painting kit can be hard.  And I’ve received lots of emails asking what I recommend so I decided to publish this post revealing exactly which products are most important and popular for beginners!

Face Paints/Palettes – Which Colors?
Buy Face Paint Palettes Online Here!At the VERY least you need Black, White, Red, Blue and Yellow because with those colors you can mix colors together to get every color under the rainbow. BUT when you’re painting at festivals or birthday parties you won’t have time to mix colors so…

We have palettes ranging from 6 colors to a HUGE 54 Color Palette for the pros. For most beginners I’d recommend getting a palette with at least 8-14 colors. The essential colors that I tell beginners to get are: Black, White, Pink, Brown, Orange, Red, Light blue, Dark blue, Light Green, Dark Green, Yellow, Violet. Check out our full range of palettes today!

Click Here to See Our Face Paint Palettes!

Brushes & Sponges?Buy Brushes and Sponges for Face Painting Online Here!

If I were to pick the 2 most important brushes for face painting I’d say it would definitely be Round Brushes and Flat Brushes. You will need a #2 Round (or any Fine Round Brush) for fine detail and a #4 Round (or any medium sized round brush) for most of your line work, dots, curls, swirls, stripes and detail.

And you’ll need a 1 Inch Flat Brush because they’re the perfect shape to pick up multiple colors from a splitcake/ rainbow cake in one brush stroke!!

I’d recommend to begin with 2 of each of these brushes – the more brushes you have the better…you don’t want to be washing brushes everytime inbetween clients, you’ll be much more faster if you simply have more brushes.

As for sponges, you’ll want atleast 3 (you can cut them in half to make 6)to practice with to begin.

You need sponges to apply a lot of paint over a big area very quickly and to use with a split cake/rainbow cake.

Click here to See Our Full Range of Brushes and Sponges!

Split-Cakes?Buy Split-Cakes for Face Painting Online Here!

A must-have in the face painting world these days. Split-Cakes are cake paints made up of multiple colors so you can apply many colors at once and have them blend easily & instantly for professional results!

We have a wide variety of split-cakes/color combinations in 2 sizes.

The bigger size: Diamond FX/TAG/Fazmataz 50g and Paradise Prisma Blendsets (approx 2.5″ x 2″)can be used with sponges for big sweeps of blended color OR they can be used with flat brushes for smaller strokes of blended colors.

The smaller size: Diamond FX/TAG/Fazmataz 30g (approx 1.2″ x  2″) can be used with 1 inch flat brushes for smaller strokes of blended colors.

I recommend you get at least 2 Split-Cakes to try them out. And check out our video tutorials to see how to use them. You’ll be back for more when you see how amazing the results are, with very little effort on your part!

Click Here to See Our Full Range of Split-Cakes!

Glitters can make the difference between a nice face paint design and a design that has the ‘WOW’ factor! Have atleast a couple bottles of Iridescent Glitter/Glitter Powder as you’ll be using a lot of it. Also get yourself a Gel glitter to have more control of the glitter so you can create thin lines of glitter, straight or curved, or even dots with the gel glitter – These will make your designs look amazing – with very little effort!

Click Here to See Our Full Range of Glitters!

Face Painting Stencils and Stamps!
If you are not confident enough with your free hand painting, but you want to get out there and paint… using Stencils and Stamps produce fantastic results and are super easy to use!

We have a wide range of stencils and stamps!

Face Painting Stamps
Click Here to See Our
Snazaroo Face Painting Stamps

Bad Ass Mini Stencils
Click Here For Our Bad Ass Mini Stencils

Stencil Eyes by Show Offs Body Art
Click Here For Our Stencil Eyes Range!
QuickEZ Stencils by Show Offs Body ARt
Click Here For Quick EZ Stencils

Leave a Comment/Ask a Question or Tell Us What You Think!

Happy Face Painting,

Philadelphia Tivoli

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Trista Wed at 11:56 am

Could you do a video tutorial on the best ways to use the split cakes? I seem to make such a mess!


Philadelphia Tivoli Wed at 12:54 pm

Hi Trista, great idea! We will have video tutorials on how to use split cakes coming up very shortly, so stay tuned to the blog & our newsletter :-)


Wendy Wed at 1:50 pm

I think the kits will make getting started a lot easier.
Thank You


Roxanne Weir Wed at 2:39 pm

When trying to view more information on the basic face painting kits, I get a “Hey Dude This is Narley” message rather than a description. Might want to check that and get more information up. Thanks.


Cindy Wed at 2:48 pm

Kits are pick together so well! I have a few things already, but your suggested list will certainly help me complete my set up. Thanks again.


Laura Nadell Wed at 6:13 pm

My suggestion to beginners is to spend the few extra dollars and go with a 12 color pallette instead of the 6. Once you get started you will wish you had. In the end you will have wasted money because you are gonna end up with two pallettes a 6 and a 12. Once you have painted for awhile and know you love it….go for the larger kits, you will be glad you did! It’s nice to have the smaller one for quick birthday jobs and the larger kits for several hour events.
If you can ask a fellow facepainter or 2 to try theirs, do so.


Alejandra Sat at 9:21 pm

Do you recommend a certain brand palette?? maybe a link of site to buy palette at. I’ve been looking for a palette and I am so confused which palette to go with?? Mehron, Wolfe or even where to buy?? Which site would be a good trust worthy place… ? The wolfe palette is around $120 with case of course and purchasing paints with out case is around $96? Thank you for your info, it is much appreciated!


Philadelphia Tivoli Tue at 4:54 am

There are many palettes available to order here:

It just depends on what you need it for – is it for one specific gig or many?
If its for one gig, how many people and how many painters will you have?
Is it just for a hobby or are you looking to be a professional?


Kerron Johnson Wed at 6:27 pm

Dear Mrs. Tivoli, Hi !, i work at a Child care Center, and with a youth Group. os kids labelled as Disadvantage youths, and i need help !! we are non profit org.an I ‘am trying to face paint to raise money for school uniforms, books and supplies that they need, my pay check is every two weeks that covers some of my bills and i need your help!! if I can get a starter kit with the palettes ,I could do face painting for our group, please help me out these kids are ages 6-16, and have been through a lot in their young lives, they have defied all the odds. and all I need is help ! please contact me at 817-7578609, or write me Kids cave organization 6028 Brentwoodstair road ST #111 Fort Worth Texas 76112 ,I need all the help and donations I can get, because Christmas is just around the corner. Thanks Kerron


angela Wed at 10:03 pm

Is it really necessary to get a business license? Will it be required for me to pay txs? I only want to start out on family members and then maybe move to doing festivals or events,


Philadelphia Tivoli Wed at 11:54 pm

Thanks for the comments guys – to Angela if you’re just painting for fun/family then you definitely don’t need to set up a business. But if you want to do festivals/events then you definitely need to set up a business properly. For that, I suggest you take a look at our business tips section on the blog here;

As for Kerron, please send me an email at info@facepaintingtips.com

And thank you Laura Nadell, Roxanne Weir, Cindy and Wendy for your comments and opinions!

Happy Face Painting :-)


Marc Thu at 10:57 pm

Wow! Really nice to find a site that may reply. We’re doing around 12 Zombies for Holloween this year. Nice show in front of the house. We’ll see a thousand people if the weather is good.

But anyway, we have pretty limited experience beyond some bold fill-in behind masks and an green Feona & Shrek last year. We’ve used rubber masks for the past several years and the just want to add something ne this year.

Any suggestions on the process & amount of materils for the face painting. Cutomes ar pretty much set.

Thanks to anyone that replies.

Marc R


Philadelphia Tivoli Fri at 8:29 pm

Hi Marc, you came to the right place! The most important colors you’ll be needing are black, white, grey and red for zombies. It’s up to you if you want to add a touch of other colors but generally you’ll be sponging on a white base, then shading with grey/black and using red for blood.

How many people are going to be doing the painting?

I think you’ll be fine with a 32g cake of each color, (buy from http://www.facepaintingtips.com) but if you’ve got more than one person painting it’s much easier if everyone has their own set of paints to make things much faster!

Hope this helps :-)


Kirsty Sat at 10:34 am

I just want to say thank you for your tutorials, I enjoy face painting and have found your tips and tutorials handy and help build confidence in practicing this art. I often face paint voluntarily in our town Texas Australia for practice and I also would like to see a lesson using the split cakes. Once again thank you.


Marni Mon at 12:51 am

Was wondering if the 12 color palette comes with a case or is it just a tray? I have been trying to figure out what I would need to start and the suggestions definitely help. Thanx for the tips.


Philadelphia Tivoli Mon at 6:32 am

The 12 Color Palette comes in a palette/tray with a lid:


Tania B Tue at 9:27 am

Hi Phili, I purchased a ‘butterfly’ brush from Amy Grigg’s website and have not had much success using it. Would you be able to show a demonstration on how to use it properly to get an effective design?


Philadelphia Tivoli Tue at 11:15 am

Ok, this sounds like something we can do in the future, I will put it on the list :-)


Weena Sun at 2:57 am

i wonder how they face paint


Weena Sun at 2:58 am

i wonder how they make desins


Ucee Faenza Wed at 8:33 pm

Hi Everybody,
We are nanny agency located in Cleveland Ohio. This year we took on a big challenge and pretty excited about it . The Proper Nanny is volunteer for March of Dimes. The event is scheduled on May 1 st 2011 .
We are going to do face painting for volunteers and children as volunteers free of charge.
That being said: May you please help us choose paints and and supplies .
I am planning on having supplies for at least 5 people .
This event is 3 hrs long and attracts about 3500 people. We do have time to buy supplies and train our people and be ready for the event if we start now .
I think we have to pre-pick 10 easy and pretty and “cool” designs first and choose our supplies based on that . what do you think ?
I am also open to the idea of glitter tattoos in addition to the face painting.

Thank you

Ucee Faenza


Teresa Wed at 4:03 pm

Great idea the more face painters the better with that amt. of a crowd. also chosing only a few designs will help too. Go to http://www.facepaintingtips.com they have kits that have stencils and other things to help people that aren’t that talented but still want to help and they also can do the glitter tattoos those can get expensive for that amt of people I would look into that before you committ. Don’t forget to have plenty of water, papertowels and baby wipes on hand remember to stay clean and hygenic! I think people forget about that. You could also split up the designs girls and some general or boys and some general ones or cheek art in one space and more elaborate in another. I also have noticed parents aren’t that thrilled with full face, eye masks or cheek art is great. My problem is I forget to keep it simple.


kelly Sun at 8:56 pm

hi! i live in markham ontario, canada and i have a hard time looking for a store that sells good quality face paint and if anyone lives in that area what store do you go to ?


Philadelphia Tivoli Tue at 7:00 am

We sell face painting supplies ship to Canada :-) Here is our online store: http://www.facepaintingtips.com


Margaret L Mitcell Wed at 10:05 pm

This is more of a business question. I understand the more intricate the higher the price because of time etc. For a festival full of children and teens what would be a good avg. price for full face, eye mask, cheek art, tattoos. Thanks.



Philadelphia Tivoli Thu at 3:32 am

Hi Peg…I made a video tutorial on how to price your face painting, watch it here: http://www.facepaintingtips.com/blog/2009/01/15/how-face-painters-can-thrive-in-tough-times-part-5/

Full face – Anywhere from $5-$15 depending on where you are. Glitter Tattoos $5 and up. Eye Mask/Cheek Art – if it takes the same amount of time then I’d charge the same price as full face, but if it takes less time then I’d charge less.


Milla Fri at 3:40 pm

A lot of mini split cakes I wanted to oerder are out of stock.


Philadelphia Tivoli Sat at 12:44 am

HI Milla, sorry about this! They are being redesigned and more should be available soon this summer :-)


Nakia Quinn Tue at 10:57 am

Could you do a video on brush stokes. I am a beginner and can’t draw, can I learn face painting also?


Nakia Quinn Tue at 11:01 am

Can you do a video especially for beginners to learn bush strokes and making lines. I am beginner and can’t draw, can I still learn face painting?


Philadelphia Tivoli Wed at 5:06 am

HI Nakia, that is a great idea. Hopefully we’ll be able to do this in the next couple of weeks :)


bethany Sat at 8:15 am

i would like to know what is the difference between diamond fx, paradise, and snazaroo. which is best for a beginner?


bessy Fri at 9:46 pm

Hi, i want to know where can can i buy all that products? i live in california.


Philadelphia Tivoli Sat at 1:18 am

You can buy all these products from us online here at http://www.facepaintingtips.com — our warehouse is in California so shipping won’t take long to get to you Bessy, 1-2 days max :-)


Antoinette Mon at 3:40 am

Hi, I am just getting started with face painting, and deciding which products to start with. I am currently doing Airbrush Tattooing at festivals, company picnics, and private events, and excited to add face painting to my business. I wonder if you have any issues with your clients being concerned about using the same brushes, and sponges repeatedly. I do use stencils several times before cleaning off the paint, and my AB Tattoo customers don’t seem to have any problem with that. Don’t know if that is because most Tattoo paints are alcohol based. Just wondering……


Philadelphia Tivoli Mon at 3:46 am

Usually we’ll wash brushes in between faces and only use 1 sponge per face, or clean the sponge before using it again – some places are more strict than others like in Canada apparantly. Clients generally prefer to see you using clean tools on each face – but not everyone is that picky I guess.


Antoinette Mon at 4:54 am

Thank you. That helps. So, it would be wise to be very well stocked!


Angela Sat at 10:00 pm

Are your paint products hypo allergic? I want to do face painting at a hospital and wanted to take allergic reactions into consideration. And do you suggest using anything as a base on the skin before application of the paint…like a certian kind of lotion?


Philadelphia Tivoli Sun at 1:49 am

Hi Angela, our face paints totally safe for use on the skin as that is what they are speciafically made for :-) Best thing to paint on is a clean face – that’s all :-) If you’re worried about allergic reactions – paint a small patch on the childs/persons arm and wait 15 mins – if nothing has happended you are safe to paint on the face – if something happens then just wash it off and don’t paint them again :-)


Angela Sun at 7:52 am

Thank you! I love this site, by the way. Very informative and helpful.


Lee Fri at 4:30 pm

Your videos are great and I’d like to get some pointers on paint consistency. This is the 2nd year we have done cheek art for a church event. I used Snazaroo this year, but with the paint jars I had trouble with coverage-it seemed too wet. With the cakes I used a damp brush, but it didn’t seem wet enough! Please help!


Philadelphia Tivoli Fri at 11:19 pm

Hi Lee, it can take a little bit of practice to get the right consistency for face paints, keep at it!!


Paula Fri at 9:23 am

I’m very much interested in getting started in face painting. How skilled in drawing should you be to get into face painting?


Philadelphia Tivoli Mon at 12:23 am

You don’t have to be able to draw although it probably would help. I’ve known many who have had no artistic experience at all go on to become brilliant face painters! Just takes practice. Face painting is quite different to drawing — if you’re an amazing drawer it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to paint amazingly straight away and if you don’t draw at all it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to paint!


Patricia M L Thu at 1:46 pm

hola soy de Colombia Bogotá me interesa saber los precios de las pintucaritas de neón y todo , como los puedo pagar y el envió o si hay un sitio en bogotá para poderlos ver gracias


Robin Retzack Sat at 4:53 am

I am getting ready to buy quite a bit of supplies from this website and I am concerned about a few things that I thought you may be able to help me. I saw a video using Snazaroo products and they face painter claimed that Snazaroo was the only face paint that was really safe on children because it has the Child Toy Safety rating. It also stated that with the other brands that you couldn’t use certain colors around the eyes or other colors around the mouth. Now I understand trying to sell your own product, but is any of this true?

The next question is when I buy a set of paints, like a 12 color palette, will it have a secure cover on it to keep the paints safe and protected or do I need to buy the case that is listed also? I really need to keep my expenses down but I’ve bought Snazaroo products in the stores around Halloween and it did not have a decent lid or cover to protect the paints until I needed them again.


Philadelphia Tivoli Mon at 12:20 am

Hi Robin, all the face paints we sell are safe to use on the skin – Gary was just talking about the child safety rating that Snazaroo has. The DFX, Tag & Paradise12 Color Palettes comes in their own plastic case to protect it.


Robin Retzack Sat at 4:22 pm

I have another question about something different now, the Gold eBooks that you sell, are those the type of books that you put on a kindle or is it just info that you download onto your desktop computer? Or is it just something that I can access through this site after I pay for them? I really want the books with the different holiday designs and stuff but I just don’t understand what I would be buying.


Bonnie Wiebe Wed at 9:30 pm

Hi, I want to thank you for your help I’ve just signed up and started watching your Free 7 Day Face Painting Lessons, the butterfly lesson was awesome.
I have done the face painting booth at my churches “Fall Festival” well this will be my 3rd year, and have just done very basic simple cheek designs, using the face paint crayons from Wal-mart. I love doing the face paint booth I always have a line of kiddo’s waiting and I enjoy it,. I’d really like to step it up a notch and do some nicer designs and I think I’m on my way with your video who knows maybe I could do a few parties here and there and make a little extra cash on the side. Wow do I ramble- I really do have a question or 2 so here it goes.
1. How long do face paints stay good after opened.
2. What is a good brand of paint for a beginner to use? Keeping in mind that right now I really only do once a year. In the butterfly video you mentioned that you liked the Diamond FX paint but it dries quickly,not sure if that’s a plus or a minus for a beginner. Also as this is at my church and we all just help out and whatever I use I pay for, I guess what I’m trying to say is I can’t spend much but would like to like I said take it up notch. I live in an area where I could probably find supplies but I don’t know what is junk or what is OK or top of the line. Any suggestions you could offer would be appreciated.
I just don’t know what paints are ok and which ones are junk.
Thank you for your time and for the lessons, tips, and design.
Bonnie Wiebe


Beth Brown Sun at 4:52 pm

How many packets and brushes should I plan for with 4 volunteers doing face paint ?


Philadelphia Tivoli Sun at 6:02 pm

At the very least each painter should have a 2 X #2 round, 2 X #4 round, (2 X 3/4″ inch flat if using split-cakes) & half a sponge per each child.


Terin Thu at 8:35 am

What would you say are the top cakes or one strokes to have in your kit? I have wolfes rainbow cake. Getting ready to buy more and i want to get the ones that are kinda mandatory! :) thank you


Philadelphia Tivoli Fri at 2:43 pm

Rainbow definitely, one with green tones for reptiles and leaves, one with blues and white for dolphins and snow/winter designs and one with Pinks and purples for pretty girly designs. Check out our whole range here: http://www.facepaintingtips.com/shop/category/split-cakes/


macy Wed at 11:42 am

Is the container size for 10g and 32g DFX cake same? Can a 32g DFX cake fit into the DFX 12 color pallete case in which 10g cake is included by default? Is the container size for 32g DFX and 32g TAG cake same?


Philadelphia Tivoli Thu at 5:04 am

The 32g cakes can not fit into the DFX 12 Color Palette made for 10g cakes. The DFX 32g and TAG 32g cakes are the same size. (“g” stands for “grams”.)


sean Sat at 7:40 am

I want to stock up on a little paint so I have it available and I really am only looking for black, white, red, and blue and I also would like it to last for a full day without it being smudged or running off due to sweat so what product would be best in your opinion?


Philadelphia Tivoli Mon at 3:43 am

Diamond FX, Tag or Paradise — and use Mehron Barrier Spray to seal the paint and prevent it from running.


CHELSEA MCCOMBS Mon at 8:13 am



Jasmine Sun at 8:16 am

No professional kits left I was going to get one by june 12 for my b day


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