Best Body Paint and Face Paint in 2021

From beauty and cosmetics, theater, performance art, cosplay, to birthday parties – the list of how body and face painting has been with us and been an important part of practically every culture, goes on and on. And there is also, almost certainly, no form of artistic expression that’s so much fun! So let’s have a look at some of the best body paint in this article

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If you are in a hurry, below is my pick for the best body paint. If you have more time, keep on reading.

My Pick
Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ Refillable 30 Color Pro Paint Palette

Best Face Paint and Body Paint Overall

Mehron Makeup Paradise AQ Magnetic & Refillable 30 Color Pro Paint Palette - Face, Body, SFX Makeup Palette, Special Effects, Face Painting Palette for Art, Theater, Halloween, Birthday Parties and Cosplay


Table of Contents

There is probably no form of artistic expression as ancient as face and body painting, with the possible exception of cave painting, and certainly, none that has been as enduring or important in so many ways and in so many cultures.

And I’m sure that’s why face painting and body painting are more popular than ever. So I thought it would be a good idea to put together a small buyer’s guide for the best face paints and body paints available today, to help you find paints that are safe, beautiful, and high quality for not too much money.

In the guide, I will primarily focus on artists and crafters and will omit selection of painting sticks, because those are primarily used for kids. As cool as they are, the painting sticks don’t have the same color pigment and don’t provide the same vividness as other body and face paint on my list.

What is the best body paint you can buy?

What is the best inexpensive body paint?

Are face and body paint safe to use?

What is the best body paint for kids?

What’s the difference between face & body paint and henna?

What is the best henna you can get?

What exactly is Mehndi?

What is the best body paint for cosplay?

What is the best fluorescent / black light face and body paint?

What kind of body paint do professional body painters use?

Can you go into public wearing nothing but body paint? ( 🙂 let’s answer that one right now – NO!)

What Exactly Is Face and Body Paint?

The phrases, “face paint” and “body paint” could actually refer to several different things, but generally, we are talking about temporary (non-permanent) and non-toxic paints which you apply to your skin – face, body, hands. The non-permanent part would differentiate face and body paint from tattoos – which are permanent, and which are actually ink rather than paint.

And we can also make a distinction here between face paint, body paint, and normal makeup, in that for our purposes here we are talking about actual paint, instead of cosmetic formulated makeup kits, and specifically paint used in special and creative ways, as opposed to the often daily use of cosmetic makeup kits for beautification and/or skin care.

But please don’t get me wrong: makeup can also and equally be special and creative; it’s just not what we’re talking about here. And, of course, face paint and body paint can be used as makeup – often a particularly bold and highly impactful kind of makeup used in costumes, cosplay, theater, and performance art – or even for clubbing!

Face paint and body paint are often sold in nice sets, at various levels of quality and price, and they may be specifically intended for adults or children. They are, again, (or absolutely should be, at least) non-toxic, and while they last long enough for whatever specific purpose or usage you intend, they are non-permanent and should wash off easily and completely, leaving no residue or stains on your skin or your clothes.

What Is Face Paint and Body Paint Used For?

We’ve talked about this a little, but let’s put together a short list of the most common uses for 

  • Artistic Creativity and Self Expression
  • Costume and Cosplay
  • Halloween
  • Photography
  • Performance Art and Art Installations
  • Cultural and Religious Rites and Ceremonies
  • Clubbing – which, I suppose, may be considered a kind of cultural rite?

As I often say when making these lists, this is just a sample off the top of my head, and since we are all creative people the uses and creative outlets are really just endless. And given the beauty, impact and striking effects you can get from the best face paint and body paint, this particular medium can be especially inspiring, and the creative ideas can, and often do, go in wild and unexpected directions!

Really, fun fun fun!

Is Face Paint and Body Paint Safe to Use?

Yes, the best face paint and body paint, as well as the finest quality henna, is completely safe to use – non-toxic, hypoallergenic and non-irritating – and won’t cause damage to your clothing or anything else. 

That said, in this buyer’s guide for the best body paint in 2021 I am going to limit my recommendations to face paint and body paint & henna which I am absolutely certain are safe to use, based on my own personal experience, feedback from friends and colleagues and verified customer reviews.

What Should You Look for in the Best Face Paint and Body Paint Ki?

First and foremost, as we keep saying, you want face paint and body paint that are safe. And again, though, naturally, every single manufacturer will claim their paints are non-toxic and hypoallergenic, we will only consider paints here that we are certain are safe to use and don’t cause any reactions or other problems. Even so, if you have allergies, skin conditions, or sensitive skin, you should always check with your doctor to make sure face paints and body paint are ok for you.

But we also want paints that have beautiful, vibrant colors and pigments – or beautiful, subtle color pigments, if that’s more your thing, that are easy to use, flow well and cover the skin effectively, that will last and maintain their colors and intensity, but are easy enough to completely remove when you’re ready.

There are some other specific qualities which may be important for face paints and body paint – like, for example, being sweat-proof, water-resistant, or presenting well in a variety of lighting situations (including sometimes harsh and ultra–revealing studio lights), or a really electric pop and vivid glow you get in the best fluorescent body paint. But generally if you get body paints that flow well, cover well, present well, are safe and non-irritating, last as long as you need and then remove easily, you will be covered – so to speak!

How Can You Find the Best Paints for Face Painting and Body Painting on the Market Today?

That’s exactly what we’re going to do now – find the best face paint and body paint considering all of these criteria. 

And again, I am going to only include and recommend face paint and body paint which I know – from personal experience, or from the feedback I have gotten from friends, other artists and verified customers – are safe, beautiful, easy to use and easy to clean up.

Because the better they are, and the less you have to worry about, the more fun you can have. And the more you can let your own creativity, ideas and inspirations go wild!

I’ll offer specific recommendations in each of these most popular areas:

  • Best Face Paint and Body Paint Overall
  • Best Value Face Paint and Body Paint
  • Safest Face Paint and Body Paint
  • Best Face Paint and Body Paint for Cosplay and Costume
  • Best Fluorescent Face Paint and Body Paint for Black Light
  • Best Face Paint and Body Paint for Kids

After these recommendations, I will mention a couple of great brush sets for body paint – one super-premium and yet still affordable, and the other super-cheap and yet still excellent. And then, in my Bonus Section, I will talk a bit about Henna, and the ancient Indian art of Mehndi, and we can discover the best henna dyes available today.

Overview: Best Face Paint and Body Paint in 2021

  1. Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ Refillable 30 Color Pro Paint Palette
  2. Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ Refillable 30 Color Pro Paint Palette

    Best Face Paint and Body Paint Overall

    Mehron Makeup Paradise AQ Magnetic & Refillable 30 Color Pro Paint Palette - Face, Body, SFX Makeup Palette, Special Effects, Face Painting Palette for Art, Theater, Halloween, Birthday Parties and Cosplay


    Buy Now on Amazon
  3. Fusion Body Art Carnival Kit Washable Body Paint Palette
  4. Fusion Body Art Carnival Kit Washable Body Paint Palette

    Best Value Face Paint and Body Paint Kit

    Safest Face Paint and Body Paint Kit

    Quality Face Painting Palette - Carnival Kit | Hypoallergenic Safe & Non-Toxic - Makeup Face Paint Kit for Kids & Adults | Perfect for Birthday Parties | Cosplay Water Based and Washable Paint


    Buy Now on Amazon
  5. UCANBE Athena Professional Non Toxic Flash Face Body Oil Paint Palette
  6. UCANBE Athena Professional Non Toxic Flash Face Body Oil Paint Palette

    Best Face Paint and Body Paint for Cosplay and Costumes

    Professional Flash Non Toxic Safe Tattoo Halloween FX Party Artist Fancy Makeup Painting Kit For Kids and Adult


    Buy Now on Amazon
  7. Blue Squid Fluorescent Neon Face Paint and Body Paint Party Kit
  8. Blue Squid Fluorescent Neon Face Paint and Body Paint Party Kit

    Best Fluorescent Face and Body Paint for Black Light

    UV Face & Body Paint Set - Blue Squid, 8 Liquid UV Body Paints (8 Large 0.7 fl oz) +Free Bonus Mini Ultraviolet Flashlight - Glow in The Dark Neon Face & Body Paint - Black Light Reactive Neon


    Buy Now on Amazon

Best Face Paint and Body Paint Overall

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My Pick
Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ Refillable 30 Color Pro Paint Palette

Best Face Paint and Body Paint Overall

Mehron Makeup Paradise AQ Magnetic & Refillable 30 Color Pro Paint Palette - Face, Body, SFX Makeup Palette, Special Effects, Face Painting Palette for Art, Theater, Halloween, Birthday Parties and Cosplay


This is what they call a no-brainer – the best face paint and body paints you can get are made by Mehron. The stunning beauty of the vibrant colors, the superb way those colors flow and lay down, cover and present, the ease of use and the ease of clean-up, and the perfect stability and consistency when they are in place, all make Mehron body paints clearly superior to any other brands.

And, whether you are going for personal artistic creation, costume design, performance art, theater, photography or video – really, any use at all – if you want the best, most striking, most beautiful, most consistent and most easily attained results, the Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ set is the obvious choice.

30 perfectly selected colors offer an amazingly creative face painting palette right out of the box, but these are also extremely mixable body paints, so the possibilities are really endless. And the pigments themselves – well, they are truly beautiful, and pop with such intensity! And at the same time they can be used in remarkably subtle ways, and always with a precision and reliability which gives you complete control and confidence as an artist.

Even if you are just starting, or just having fun with face paint and body paints, these premium paints are not really expensive – definitely not, considering their quality on all levels – and are well worth considering. They will give you better results each time, encourage you to do more and experiment more, are safe and easy to wear for long periods, and the kit will last a long, long time, even with regular use.

It’s easy to see why Mehron face paint and body paints are the choice of all sorts of professional artists all over the world. The Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ face and body paint kit is definitely my first choice, and receives my most enthusiastic recommendation as the best overall face and body paint kit on the market today. 

Best Value Face Paint and Body Paint Kit

Fusion Body Art Carnival Kit Washable Body Paint Palette

Best Value Face Paint and Body Paint Kit

Safest Face Paint and Body Paint Kit

Quality Face Painting Palette - Carnival Kit | Hypoallergenic Safe & Non-Toxic - Makeup Face Paint Kit for Kids & Adults | Perfect for Birthday Parties | Cosplay Water Based and Washable Paint


At about half the price of the brilliant Mehron set above, Fusion Body Art’s Carnival Makeup Kits offer the same wide range of beautiful colors, and similar quality overall on all levels.

In fact, even though the Mehrom set is better – more mixable, better consistency and finish, more controllable for professional face painter applications using damp brush or sponge – the Fusion set is pretty close, and if anything receives even more enthusiastic reviews from verified Amazon customers.

The Fusion Carnival Kit is also, arguably at least, a better choice for people with sensitive skin. I should be clear here in saying that I have never experienced, or heard of, any problems whatsoever with Mehron face paint and body paints in this regard, but the Fusion Body Art paints are especially known as being as non-irritating, hypoallergenic (avoiding allergic reactions) and non-toxic as face and body paints can possibly be, and fully vegan in ingredients and manufacture.

But mainly the Carnival Kit is a fantastic and fun set of face and body paints – great quality, easy to use, with beautiful colors and a highly impactful presentation when applied, and very durable and comfortable to wear.

I would never recommend any of the super-cheap face paint and body paint kit out there, but the Fusion Body Art Carnival Kit is reasonably priced, exceptionally safe and essentially professional quality – an easy choice for the best value in face paint and body paints in 2021

Safest Face Paint and Body Paint Kit

Fusion Body Art Carnival Kit Washable Body Paint Palette

Best Value Face Paint and Body Paint Kit

Safest Face Paint and Body Paint Kit

Quality Face Painting Palette - Carnival Kit | Hypoallergenic Safe & Non-Toxic - Makeup Face Paint Kit for Kids & Adults | Perfect for Birthday Parties | Cosplay Water Based and Washable Paint


The Fusion Body Art Carnival Paint Kit which I recommended just above, as the best value in body paint, could just as easily be recommended as the safest body paint available today. In fact, all of the Fusion Body Art palettes are known for their safe, pure ingredients and gentle interaction with the skin and body, and for their applicability for all skin types and for even extended wear.

So here I am including the wonderful, and inexpensive, Fusion Body Art Sampler set, which includes a dozen well-selected basic colors, which are great and highly usable on their own and can be very effectively mixed to extend your creative palette. 

These, again like any of the Fusion Body Art kits, are fully vegan, fully non-toxic and hypoallergenic, and as gentle and non-irritating as possible – again, even for sensitive skin and extended wear. They are paraben-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free and perfume-free, and wash off quite easily and completely.

But while they are irritant-free, they  are color-rich and fun-filled, with impactful, deep and saturated colors that lay down beautifully and stay beautiful in a wide range of environments. A professional face painters quality kit which will inspire and delight any artist on any level, as well as cosplayers, crafters, videographers and photographers and so many other creatives, the Fusion Body Art Sampler is my choice for the Safest body paint set available today, and an amazing value – just like all of their sets!

Best Face Paint and Body Paint for Cosplay and Costumes

UCANBE Athena Professional Non Toxic Flash Face Body Oil Paint Palette

Best Face Paint and Body Paint for Cosplay and Costumes

Professional Flash Non Toxic Safe Tattoo Halloween FX Party Artist Fancy Makeup Painting Kit For Kids and Adult


UCANBE Athena body paint is oil-based, for bold and dramatic coverage, deep saturation and real staying power, and also to allow for the use of a good transparent setting powder – like the excellent Mehron Neutral – for even longer-lasting and more stable finish.

They apply with exceptional ease, and despite their extreme durability they can be removed just as easily, with a good professional makeup remover – like IPM Isopropyl Myristate, which is perfect for thinning oil-based body paint – or, if you prefer, some olive oil.

IPM Isopropyl Myristate Makup Remover

IPM Isopropyl Myristate 4 Oz - Professional Makeup and Adhesive Remover - Removes Pros-aide and PAX Paint - Makeup Thinner and Airbrush Makeup Thinner


And while perhaps not as gentle as the super-safe Fusion Body Art paint, UCANBE Athene body paint is non-irritating, hypoallergenic and non-toxic, and is designed to be really comfortable to wear over long periods – even for people with sensitive skin.

Bold, powerful and exceptionally expressive, capable of realizing any kind of look or effect you can possibly dream of, and super-stable and wearable for extended periods, UCANBE Athena professional face and body paint is the best body paint on the market today for cosplay, costumes and extreme statements!

Best Fluorescent Face and Body Paint for Black Light

Blue Squid Fluorescent Neon Face Paint and Body Paint Party Kit

Best Fluorescent Face and Body Paint for Black Light

UV Face & Body Paint Set - Blue Squid, 8 Liquid UV Body Paints (8 Large 0.7 fl oz) +Free Bonus Mini Ultraviolet Flashlight - Glow in The Dark Neon Face & Body Paint - Black Light Reactive Neon


First off, let me assure you I didn’t just select this one because of the name. Or at least not just because of the name. I mean really – Blue Squid – how cool is that?

I did select the Blue Squid fluorescent body paint kit for a few really good reasons, though – for one, the colors pigment is really, really wow! They are incredibly bright and expressive in normal light, and under black light they absolutely pop. I mean, you are never going to use neon body paint for subtle effects, and there is nothing subtle about the Blue Squid.

But not just that. These are very comfortable paints to wear, even to parties or dancing, and are ideal even for people with sensitive skin. The Blue Squid fluorescent body paints lay down beautifully and stay put as long as you want or need, and are really easy to completely and thoroughly remove.

Including a mini black light for checking your look before you head out, the Blue Squid – especially for such a premium-quality set of paints – are a really great value as well. But, most importantly, they are called Blue Squid! Ok, that is maybe not “most importantly,” and in fact the Blue Squid fluorescent neon body paint party kit is a really great, fun and high quality paint set in every way, and my choice for the best fluorescent body paint on the market today.

Best Face Paint and Body Paint for Kids

The way I see it, there are a few really important things to keep in mind when selecting the best body paint / face paint for kids:

  • First, is it safe, hypoallergenic, non-toxic, non-irritating and gentle?
  • Second, is it high quality?
  • Third, is it really, really, really fun?

The first is obvious, and needs no explanation, and the Mehron premium children’s face paint kit includes paint that is as safe and gentle as you can get.

The second, though, is also pretty important. The better quality the paint is – the more bold and beautiful the colors, the easier to use and more workable the paint is, the nicer and longer lasting the results are – well, your kids will be more encouraged, better enjoy exploring their own creativity, be more likely to continue with this and other creative stuff, and feel really good about themselves and what they have accomplished.

And, of course, the better the experience in every way, the more fun they will have! And in every way this kit, from the leaders in professional face and body paint, is superior to everything else out there, making the Mehron Makeup Premium Children’s Face Painting Kit an easy recommendation for the best face paint / body paint for kids.

Best Brush for Face and Body Painting

I’m only going to mention two sets of paint brushes for body paints here. Yeah, there are a million sets out there – seemingly more brushes than paints – but if we can find one excellent professional set and one super-budget set that’s almost just as good, we’re golden.

Or, I suppose, any color we choose to be.

The perfect selection of flat brushes for body paint and face paint, the Aqualon Royal and Langnickel brushes are – despite their remarkably low price – the default choice for so many professionals. A really great premium quality set, with excellent materials, incredible feel and control, the Aqualon brushes not only give the best possible results, they make the whole process more fun.

A smaller set, of only slightly lower quality, the Royal Brush five piece set of flat brushes are the perfect shape and consistency for face and body painting, and offer a great selection of sizes. Long lasting, easy to control and with great flow, these brushes feel really good in the hand. And they are incredibly cheap!

Bonus: What About Henna and Mehndi?

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  1. Zenia Natural Henna Paste for Mehndi, Temporary Tattoos, Hair Color
  2. Zenia Natural Henna Paste for Mehndi, Temporary Tattoos, Hair Color

    Zenia 12 Pack 100% Natural Ready to Use Henna Paste Hair Color Hair Dye Cones Reddish Brown Color


    Buy Now on Amazon
  3. Kaveri Traditional Indian Henna Mehndi Cone Temporary Tattoo Body Paint
  4. Kaveri Traditional Indian Henna Mehndi Cone Temporary Tattoo Body Paint

    Heena Cone Indian Traditional 24 Kaveri Henna Mehndi Cone Natural Herbal Temporary Tattoo Body Paint Mehendi Cone 100% Natural (2Box)


    Buy Now on Amazon
  • What is the best henna dye?
  • How can I learn to use henna?
  • What is the best way to make temporary tattoos?
  • How can I learn Mehndi?
  • What is Mehndi?
  • How is Mehndi different from other body painting art?
  • How is henna different from other body paints?
  • Is henna safe and natural?

Body paints as we think of them today, at least in the west, are bold and striking, with really expressive colors that are fun and impactful.

There is an ancient art form involving another kind of body paint, though, a more subtle and understated art which originated in central Asia and is prominent in India and throughout south Asia to this day. A beautiful part of pretty much any Indian wedding, Mehndi is also used for other rites and ceremonies, for beautification and for artistic expression, and henna can be applied as a lovely hair dye as well.

Mehndi uses henna – a fully natural, gentle but long-lasting dye from a tropical shrub – as a temporary (or semi-permanent) tattoo for the hands, face and other parts of the body. The colors are subtle and suffuse shades of browns, reds and yellows, which while they are much more muted and soft than almost any kind of body paint, are incredibly beautiful in their own way, and can have an equally powerful impact.

Mehndi, or henna body painting, is a masterful and precise art, and many artists work for years and years until they feel they have mastered the full range of creative and expressive possibilities. But at the same time henna body paints are just fun to play with, and in no time at all you can create lovely, often understated body art that is appropriate in many different situations and environments.

Henna is different than other body paints in many ways, one of the most obvious being that there aren’t different colors of paint. Instead, you use a single powder or paste, with a brown color, and use lemon juice, sugar, oils and other methods (even smoke!) to get different shades and intensities. Also, henna is normally applied with soft cloth, or straight out of the tube, instead of with a paintbrush.

To make sure you get started in the right way, instead of recommending one of the million different “henna sets” or temporary tattoo sets on Amazon – which are in fact almost never real henna, nor natural or authentic – I am going to list two excellent choices for basic henna paste – the real article, as old-school and manual as it gets, and a gentle and fun way to ensure you really learn the art.

I’ll also recommend a great how-to book that will offer a wonderful introduction to the world of Mehndi art, as well as a great tutorial and lots of beautiful examples and inspiration.

Teach Yourself Henna Tattoo: Making Mehndi Art

Teach Yourself Henna Tattoo: Making Mehndi Art with Easy-to-Follow Instructions, Patterns, and Projects (Design Originals) Beginner-Friendly Directions with Dozens of Designs & Templates


Thanks so much for reading this latest article – The Best Face Paint and Body Paint for Artists, Cosplay, Costumes, Halloween and Kids! – and please visit my blog – Art Side of Life – for tons of other inspiring ideas, resources, articles, buyer’s guides and a lot more!

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