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Face painting is an ancient cultural practice found around the world and still practiced by many peoples. But in western society, face painting is typically something we see on game day when we’re on the way to the sports venue to support our favorite team.

Learning the Basics of Sports Face Painting

It doesn’t require an art degree to get started with face painting. Begin by following a few easy-to-remember steps.

You want to start with light colors then move on to dark. 

Cover the face with the team’s base color. For most teams, this color will be white.

The easiest way to apply the principal color is with a makeup sponge. If you’re covering the entire face using a sponge, you’ll do it in a fraction of the time it would take with a brush.

Use a makeup pencil to outline the graphic you want to add to the face.  For example, you could sketch of the team logo. 

Once you’re happy with the outline, brush in the appropriate color.

Add any flourishes that you prefer. Some people use color powder while other prefer facial glitter.

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Sports Face Paint Ideas

If you question your artistic ability, use a shortcut. Try a facial stamp.

You load the stamp with excellent quality face paint and then directly stamp your face. 

It’s a terrific way for a beginner to experiment with face paint.  Before you apply the stamp, you could cover an area with a basecoat so the gra[hic will stand out. Afterward, you could add a few touches to personalize the look.

Of course, there’s no end to sports face paint ideas.

Make the entire head a soccer ball.

Make the eye the center of a baseball.

Make a face look as though it’s behind a football helmet’s facemask.

Draw a hoop beneath the eye then paint around the eye to make the eye look like a basketball that’s about to drop through the hoop.

Only Use Safe Face Paint That’s Gentle to the Skin

We can learn from ancient civilizations when it comes to face paint. Namely, only use products on your skin that won’t harm you. Always try to use the best quality face and body paint.

For example, don’t be tempted to use regular craft paints on your skin. It will take too much effort to wash them off if they wash off at all.

Some paints contain chemicals that are known skin irritants. The warnings that come with those paints are usually based on the effect the paint will have if you get it on your hands. The skin on your face will be far more sensitive than that on your hands. Therefore, you should never use those paints on your face. 

Don’t be tempted to use paint merely because it doesn’t give off a strong odor.  Odorless paints are still capable of being skin irritants. The same holds true for paint labeled as non-toxic. 

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All Face Paint That Glitters Isn’t Gold or Even Good Glitter

Do you want to add a little bling to your face paint? Are you thinking of adding glitter?

Like face paint, you want to use glitter that’s safe for use on the face. Don’t use glitter that’s designed to be used in craft projects.

What’s the critical difference between the two types of glitter?

Glitter for the face is non-metallic and made of polyester. Look for the labeling to say cosmetic-grade. 

If the glitter is metallic and comes from the craft section of the store, don’t put it on your face.

Avoid Using Face Paint on Troubled Skin

Think twice before applying even the safest paint to cuts, scratches, rashes and acne. The paint may interfere with the body’s ability to heal itself. It could also make a bad situation worse. (If things actually get worse, here’s our post about tailgate first aid.)

If you have sensitive skin, consider using hypoallergenic face paint. Ruby Red Face and Body Paint, an American company, markets products that are both hypoallergenic and vegan. 

Where to Find the Best Quality Face and Body Paint

An excellent place to start looking for quality face paint is facepaint.com which sells products from the industry’s major manufacturers.

Their brands include the top-selling Snazaroo line from the UK, TAG Body Art from Australia and Superstar Paint from Holland.

Each brand has gained fans because of its unique features. For example, Superstar Paint is noted for being resistant to intense heat. If you’re face painting for a summer sport, that quality would be most appreciated.

Do you want to use the same line of products that have been used by performers in the Metropolitan Opera, the American Ballet Theatre, Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group? Try Mehron Face Paints out of New York.

The company was founded in 1927 to handle the needs of the many theatrical productions in New York City.

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Best Face Paints for Kids

Snazaroo has a safe set of introductory face paints for kids. The have the same high-quality ingredients as its regular paint but in the bold primary colors that kids favor. 

The best face paints for kids aren’t the cheapest. Those tend to contain skin irritants. The best face paints for kids are ones that have passed independent testing to verify their safety.

Put Your Best Face Forward With Sports Face Paint

Isn’t it time that you tried your first sports face paint? 

Remember, you can begin with a simple design and then progress to something more challenging.

But whatever you do, have fun.

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