How to Make Your Own Face Paint

A girl with tiger face paint on a white background.

Do you know what's in face paint? Unless you happen to be a chemist, the answer is probably no. And if you don't know what's in it, why would you ever put it on your own face or your child's face? Forget about all those face paints you find in the store, and do something more fun this Halloween. Learn how to make your own DIY face paints with safe, non-toxic ingredients. So the next time someone asks the question, you can say yes.

Face Paint You Can Eat

A little boy wearing face paint.

Mix together 1½ teaspoons of cornstarch and 1¼ teaspoons of white flour or, for a gluten-free recipe, ½ teaspoon white clay. Add 2 teaspoons of honey and ½ teaspoon of water. Now, add food coloring to make the paint any color you want.

Everything in this recipe is non-toxic and edible, though the mixture won't taste very good if you do try a little. Apply it to your face instead, and apply it in a thick coat. Let it stay on your face for about 30 minutes before you brush a light coating of cornstarch on top to prevent smearing. Once the paint sets, you can wear it for hours.

Very Simple Paint

Want face paint that's even more simple to make? Mix 1 tablespoon of white body lotion with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour. Add 1 tablespoon of water and the food coloring you want. You cannot eat this mixture, but you can paint your face with it. The lotion will help keep the paint from drying your skin out, and it gives the paint a creamy, smooth texture.

Make Many Colors

A girl wearing butterfly face paint.

Making your own DIY face paint is a much safer option than buying it at the store, and it allows you to have some truly hands-on fun with Halloween. Make your mixture in one big bowl before you add any coloring agents. Next, split your mixture into small bowls or containers. Ice trays actually work really well. Add a different food coloring to each small amount of the mixture, and stir each with a toothpick to swirl the coloring around. This way, you have lots of face colors so you can make multicolored designs and get really creative with Halloween face paint.

Perfect Paint Job

Put your DIY face paint on using small brushes. You can paint details and have fun making a unique design. If your paint feels too thick, just add a little water. Too thin? Add some flour or cornstarch.

You don’t have to be artistic to use face paint. There are lots of face painting tutorials online and pictures you can look at in order to copy any design you like. All you need are the paintbrushes and the paint, and you can really start to use your DIY skills.

DIY Face Paint

A girl has her face painted.

Cosmetics are not as heavily regulated as some products, like food items. In a study conducted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, heavy metals and lead were found in a number of face paints. That's not the stuff you want on your child's face or on your own face. It's a lot safer to use natural ingredients. If you make DIY face paint for Halloween this year, you can create an unlimited number of looks safely.