Don’t you just hate it when you can’t replicate all those phenomenal cosplaying tutorials floating around on the internet?
Here at VeryCreate, I’m here to help you find the best body paint for Cosplay and anything else!
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If you are short of time, here is my top 4 list for the best body paint for cosplay:
1. Tag Face Paint Palette <<Best overall value
2. Mehron Makeup Paradise <<My number one pick for quality
3. Individual cake colors <<Best for detail work and non-toxic
4. Graftobian Airbrush F/X Paint <<Best for airbrush applications
While body painting skills can always be mastered, you can never progress if you’re working with poor quality paint.
Cheap body paint not only destroys your whole costume, but some of these brands can also cause dangerous allergic reactions and toxin exposure to your skin. In a worst-case scenario, you might even have to ask your dermatologist to clean up your handiwork.
Whether you’re about to play one of the countless characters from Overwatch or would like to take it up a notch by pulling-off Harley Quinn, you need the absolute best body paint for cosplay. With the best equipment and cosplaying skills combined, you can actually make these characters come to life.
To make things easier for our fellow Comic-Con attendees and Halloween cosplayers alike, I’ll review the 11 products we found to be the best body paint for cosplay.
Here are the details about my favorite picks. Please read my ProTips at the end of the article for some great insider information!
My List For The Best Body Paints For Cosplay
While this product is branded for ‘face’ painting only, you can safely apply it anywhere over your body since it is made with hypoallergenic and non-toxic materials. Plenty of cosplayers have used and reviewed this product, and all of them highly recommend it.
Out of the total of 12 shades you buy, 9 are basic colors, and 3 will be special colors that aren’t easy to find elsewhere. What’s more, these paints cost about a 5th of the price of some of the top-rated products in the market and still deliver the same value, if not more. Since it is so affordable, you wouldn’t have to worry about making mistakes or stocking up on a few extra boxes.
Tag Face Paint Palettes are delivered in a 10” x 4” box, and this is compact enough to easily fit into a vanity box or even in your purse or handbag. Who knows? You might need to touch up during conventions or wherever else you may be.
If you’re a strong supporter of experienced brands and not much of the experimenting kind, then this product might spark your interest. Mehron has more than 90 years of experience in the body paint industry, and their expertise is evident in the quality of their products. What’s more, these products were also used in some Broadway shows like Shrek The Musical, Phantom of the Opera, and The Lion King.
While it may cost a little extra, each set is a worthy investment since you will be working with 8 brilliant colors that result in an opaque and matte finish. Each of these colors is highly pigmented and paired with a setting spray, can last for hours. Also, the colors set in very softly over the user’s skin, helping them pull-off a very natural cosplay act.
Designed for professional use, with a price that reflects high standards, Graftobian comes in 48 individual colors in 2 1/4 inch diameter cake containers. This makeup is highly blendable and coats large areas easily.
While the tubs are large, you only need a little bit of product to get bold, high chroma color. It is long-lasting and smudge-proof while being waterbased, which means easy removal.
It needs to be activated with a small amount of water and works well with a brush or sponge. Please note that certain shades of ProPaint may temporarily stain the skin, which may take several days to slough off. ( Most body and face paint will do this). Applying a light moisturizer before you paint may help to prevent staining.
The paints are fragrance-free. In addition, using bar soap typically works better than liquid soap for removing the makeup.
If you’re planning on exploring a more creative side of cosplay, then Blue Squid’s Face Paint Kit is a good way to go. Again, this product is completely safe for sensitive skin, but what we really loved about it is that it consisted of a few interesting extras. This set consists of 3 different kinds of brushes and 30 different kinds of stencils for you to experiment with. These paints are water-based.
The 3 types of brushes come in handy for various techniques of body painting – especially while switching to different sizes of lines. In addition, the 12 color palette not only creates vibrant results on the skin but also is made from non-toxic, vegan, and paraben-free materials. The latter would ensure that no matter how expressive you choose to be with your cosplay art, your skin will not be affected.
With this particular product, we’re entering into the big league. CCBeauty is a brand name that rivals Mehron and can deliver professional results. This product is delivered in 2 unique sets, bringing the total to 24 different colors, AND it comes with 10 different kinds of brushes. What’s even more interesting is that these colors are starkly different from the rest on this list.
All of the colors in this kit are oil-based, which means you don’t need to dip your brush in water to activate them. This also makes them perfect for quick touch-ups. Of course, this product was bumped down the list to 5th place since washing it off is a real nightmare since it is oil-based. Still, this also makes it a good choice for stage performers, people who expect to sweat profusely (for example, because they’re drinking or doing physical exertion while performing) or anything that requires longer hours of cosplay.
Since we have covered water-based paint kits and an oil-based kit, this product may stand out a little. This particular kit is a set of crayons, which makes application or removal easier than other options. They cost a lot less too. Of course, the only downside is that pulling off the finer details of your cosplay art with crayons might be impossible and frustrating.
These crayons come in handy while drawing on rudimentary accents and outlines for your cosplay. Moreover, each of these crayons is FDA approved, non-toxic, food-grade permitted, and hypoallergenic. Also, since each crayon is only 3” long, they can fit into any small handbag or purse for touch-ups during events. The set consists of 12 dynamic colors, which also include metallic gold and silver crayons.
While Snazaroo’s Face Paint Kit is constantly recommended by cosplayers along with some of the topmost body painting brands, their praise doesn’t only fall on the professional side of things. Instead, Snazaroo’s kit is universally used for casual body or face painting and by professional cosplayers as well, thanks to their affordable prices. It is available in small pot kits and individual cakes. All Snazaroo face paints are water-based. If you are trying to replicate the fine detailed swirls, spirals and flourishes that are popular on Pinterest, then this is the best choice. We love how the paints activate with a wet paintbrush and we can get very fine tight details with a long skinny brush. Completely dry after a few minutes, this stuff lasts and lasts with no smearing unless you really give it a good scrub.
With Snazaroo’s palette, you will be working with 36 unique colors, all of which are FDA approved and completely safe to be used on sensitive skin. One downside is that the variety of shades doesn’t have as much pigmentation as you would generally see in face paints, however, let them sit for a minute to dry and apply additional coats for a deeper opacity.
This is the face paint that we use in our household and on our family members.
Available in cakes of 36 individual colors!
Ben Nye is yet another popular name among cosplayers and for a good reason. This colorful wheel provides a well-rounded body painting experience. This includes its long-lasting nature, reliability, safety, and overall quality.
While their body paints can be bought in a variety of sizes, the one-ounce container can easily last up to 30 to 50 painting sessions. In addition, you can expect to see a consistent standard in all of their body painting products, including their range of glitters and hair paints.
Brightly-colored face paint sticks apply easily, dry rapidly, and will not smudge. Completely non-toxic, gluten-free and designed for the most sensitive skin, Kwik removes with soap and water.
The color options are limited, however to sets of three or six and are not suitable for fine detail work.
If you have access to an airbrush kit, this is a phenomenal way to apply body paint and achieve professional results. This brand is highly recommended for specific applications with airbrushing.
and here’s some stencils for f/x effects:
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? If you are considering an airbrush kit, check out our in-depth article on selecting the best airbrush kits for your needs here.
If you already own an air compressor, we have a great informative article on airbrushes here.
An industry standard in Hollywood, this reputable brand (but expensive!!) has a proven track record for Special Effects Makeup. It is highly pigmented water-based makeup.
Tutorial using Kryolan Aqua Body Paint
ProTips and Insider Information:
Before you Pick Any Body Paint, Here’s What You Need to Consider
- Quality and durability
While all of the above-mentioned products are great contenders for the title of best body paint for cosplay, you shouldn’t make hasty decisions. Consider for a few moments what kind of colors you may be needing for your next cosplay project (or your first). Having more than a few colors to select from can make a big difference to the finished look!
More often than not, cosplayers only give some thought to the main features of their character of choice, but never think about all the small accents. Every professional will tell you that it’s these small accents that make the best cosplayers stand out from the rest of the crowd.
You may consider how much detail you want in body and face paint as well. If you plan to paint thin, delicate swirls or fine lines like cracks, eyeliner, or tiny artworks, then stick application will not be your friend. You need a waterbased cake application that can be applied with long thin brushes.
If you are looking for an all-over body paint color change, then you’ll appreciate a sponge application or sticks. Be aware that if you plan to wear a costly costume, you’ll need to invest in more expensive paints that won’t rub off, stain furniture, or the person you brush up against. As you wear your body paint throughout the day or evening, you’ll forget you have it on and heaven help you if you sit on (insert important person’s) white couch!
I’ve done my fair share of painting kids faces at parties and celebrations and getting our family decked out at Halloween, and it’s impossible to keep from touching your face all day, so smear-proof body paint is a must for all of us!
If you are concerned about toxins in your life, you should know that many chemicals enter your bloodstream via your skin. Parabens, Sodium Laurel Sulfate, heavy metals and other chemicals may be present in some body and face paints. Please read all the labels before you purchase and consider what works best for you and your family.
You may have noticed how I added minor details about the cost-effectiveness of each brand. This is because of the fact that body paint for cosplay generally costs a little more than products you might find at your average craft or Halloween stores. Typically, this is because of the fact that such products are manufactured in high-quality control standards and consist of 100% safe ingredients.
It is also important to mention here that all too often, cosplayers end up with rashes or other skin ailments because they didn’t research products and just bought cheap brands.
- Beyond the Paint
While some of these products come with a brush or a whole set of brushes, body painting also requires a few other staple products. These include:
- High-density sponges
These can help produce more uniform colors over your body by removing any signs of streaking. They also help reduce the chances of peeling or cracking of colors – especially around the joints.
- Artist or Kabuki brushes
Kabuki brushes help cover large portions of your skin and provide an even coat. On the other hand, artist brushes help produce a variety of strokes for minute details.
- Setting spray like this one from Graftobian:
This can be used both before and after the paint is applied to the skin. It is useful because it not only draws out the best properties of the color but also creates a layer of protection over your handiwork.
- Remover – only if you aren’t able to shower off. We like to use fruit oils like Grapeseed oil, Apricot oil or other non-toxic oils to remove oil-based makeup and body paint, then finish off with non-toxic wipes.
Remember that with all brands, some pigments will temporarily stain the skin and won’t wash off even after a good scrub, it could be days before the color naturally peels off. However, if you paint water-based colors over your body, most paints remove easily, all you need to do to clean up is jump into the shower.
Have fun and let us know how your projects turn out! And if you really get into it, here’s our review of the best 3D printers for Cosplay props here!