About Face Paints

Saturday, 13 August 2016  |  Admin

There are many different types of paint on the market.  Paints are very much down to personal preference, what you like and what you want to work with, so don't lose sleep over the fact that you may like a particular paint and others don't.

Having said that there are some paints that everyone more or less do agree on regardless.  We have listed below the differences for you between split cakes, one strokes etc and what types of paint are popular for line work, bases etc.  However, we are not recommending one brand or another its down to your own personal choice and what you like to work with.

The list given below is not set in stone its just to give you an idea especially if new to face painting.  There are no right or wrong paints for any job, its just what you like to work with and prefer.


Paints come in different sizes of pots according to the brand.  There is no standard although some brands are similar in the style of pot they use.  Grimas use 15 ml pots, TAG and Diamond FX use similar 32 g pots and so on.  As a rough guide an 18 ml Snazaroo pot is not far off being nearly the same size as a 32 g TAG or Diamond FX pot.

Diamond FX and TAG larger size pots do screw together so they stack.  This is what the removable piece on the base of the pot is for so that you can unscrew the base and take the lid off the next pot and then screw the two together.


Paints such as Grimas, Snazaroo and Mehron Paradise appear of a more chalky consistency, whereas paints such as TAG, Diamond FX and Cameleon are of a more waxy type consistency.   The more waxy style of paints such as TAG and Diamond FX do not need much water to activate them.  If you use too much water they become gloopy.  If this happens to dry them out either leave with the lid off or some people have had success with microwaving for a short spell.


If you are doing bases, paints such as Snazaroo and Grimas work well for laying down a base and are also good for around the eyes for say skulls whereas a paint such as Diamond FX might be too strong and difficult to remove.


For line work popular brands are Diamond FX white and black, TAG white and black and Cameleon white and black.  Some people also like Mehron Paradise black for line work.  These paints all work well over base colours and the white does tend to stay visible and white over another colour.


All cake face paints are water based and are NOT WATERPROOF.  This means they will wash off when you sweat, get rained on or similar.  They are NOT suitable for photo shoots in swimming pools or the sea. 


Split cakes are generally several colours in one pot of about 2" x 3" and holding 50 g of paint.  These are ideal for use with a sponge. 


Can also be known as Colorblocks and Fun Strokes depending on the brand.

Usually supplied in a container of about 1" x 2 ".  Ideal for doing quick designs.  Some people will find one stroke easy and others will need a little practice.  Designed to be used with a 3/4" size brush.  Any 3/4" brush can be used.  It doesn't have to be from a face paint shop.  It can be any brush suitable for watercolour painting. 


Base blenders usually have about 3 colours in and are similar to the split cakes.  They are designed to speed painting by loading your sponge with all the colours for a particular design in one go.  These come in 2" x 3" containers holding 50 g of paint. 

50/50 CAKES

Come in 50 g pots of 2" x 3" size.  These are again designed for quick loading of colours and are designed to be sponged on. 


It appears some insurance companies in the UK are insisting on only paints with the CE mark be used.  If you take out one of these policies the only paints you can use are Snazaroo and Cameleon.  This in our opinion is an over reaction by insurers and you are better to look for a policy from one of the brokers who frequently cover face painters such as Rees Astley or Blackfriars.