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If you’re anything like me, I love an alternative look. Or any excuse to dress up and do some crazy face painting or makeup in general. How we present ourselves can add a powerful mind boost and confidence boost. The right look can transport you into a whole new persona or character. If you’ve ever watched a drag queen themed show, I don’t think anyone can deny that sassy severe change that comes from normal 9-5 Bob, to a swishing and sashaying of Valinda the Fabulous, all from some amazing makeup and clothing skills. If you carefully consider it, makeup is simply an art form, on a three-dimensional canvas. It takes patience, an eye for color and proportion, and a working knowledge of basic color theory. These days, people of all ages and identity are getting in on the fabulous world of face art. Go ahead and throw some makeup related words into Instagram, and you might be pleasantly surprised to see a lot of people of all creeds, colors, and genders dolling it up, and there are some men just killing it, far more skillful than I can hope to ever be! Some have even made it into national makeup campaigns and represent major makeup brands. (James Charles I’m looking at you!) James became the first male face of CoverGirl!
That said, with Halloween looming, and with having kids in general, face painting seems to come up a handful of times a year as they celebrate various occasions. I have terribly sensitive skin, and I have found that cheap makeup not only tends to dry hard and flaky, but it also makes my skin itchy. Both of my girls also have very sensitive skin. This year I decided that’s it, I’m going to suck it up and search for something a bit better in quality, that won’t break the bank, and that will carry over maybe for a few years. After some scouring and reading reviews on Amazon, I sucked it up and made a choice.
I selected the Mehron Makeup Paradise AQ Face and Body Paint and color palette. This is a basic color set of eight colors. The colors within are black, white, red, yellow, blue, green, orange, and brown. They’re water activated. I selected this set because this was a brand name I’ve heard a few times within tutorials of fantasy makeup and body paint. They’re also no strangers to the game, having been in the makeup making game for over 90 years! This set is semi-soft, water activated, and when I did add water with a brush and swirled it, it turns that layer into a beautiful thick creamy paint. I found it to be very opaque, and it has a slight pleasant smell. The white was a very true white, not that weird yellow hue that some cheaper paints can have. The black as well was super solid. I also applied a blend of white and black with a sponge and was not disappointed with how they blended to grey. There are various sets for purchase online, so pick accordingly to the project at hand.
Reading further, I was pleasantly surprised to see these are vegan, and made in the USA, so there should be less worry about quality control and questionable ingredients that may not be up to our standards here in the US.
I armed myself with a few other tools to make the job easier. I prepared by having a clean makeup and oil free face. I got two glasses, each filled with water. One was rinsing water or dirty water, and then the second was for adding water to the cakes or to do a final brush rinse. I folded some paper towel, but you could use an older washcloth if you want to be more eco-friendly.
When it came to application, there are a few basic tools everyone should have to make the job easier. The brush included wasn’t my favorite, and if you do need to texturize, stipple, blend, or even to cover a large area, a brush won’t be enough. At least not the one included. I additionally purchased an imitation beauty blender sponge set for larger area applications and blending, which I ended up loving because they came in a few different shapes, plus there were 6 in a set so I could use them for different colors without worrying about contamination or color bleed. I also bought a synthetic brush set for doing detail face work and lines and such in a 10-piece set. Finally, I purchased a mid-range quality Ink Liner pen by Nyx, because those make life so much easier for super fine detail, and just for outlining in general. It’s especially great for around the eyes since that’s what its designed for, and you have less chance then for irritation from any paints.
As I experimented, is was abundantly clear that these are prime quality paints. They smelled lovely, a light clean smell. They felt so soft as a dry cake and went velvety and creamy when I added the water. I didn’t find it to dry hard and it didn’t crack. The colors stayed crisp and bright. When you’re finished, I would suggest a light powdering with a normal translucent makeup setting powder, and/or your favorite makeup setting spray. A good misting should seal it. Mehron also makes their own barrier spray, but I think there are gentler sprays out there, especially if kids are using it.
In the end it was well worth the price. I feel like every year we spend more on cheaper one time use makeup sets and always need to buy a few of them because everyone will want different looks. This way it’s a small investment for years of enjoyment and happier skin.
Have a happy and safe Halloween and let me know if these worked for you!