The art of body paint can be breathtaking – there are even reality shows dedicated to revealing how incredible some of the patterns can be. Doing it yourself, however, may seem like a completely different story, but we are here to tell you that choosing the right body paint is half the battle!
Some of the factors that impact what constitutes the ‘right’ body paint are the quality, type of paint, ease of use, and how easy it is to remove the paint.
Best Body Paint for Cosplay
The list below covers 15 of the top body paint options for you to choose from for your next project!
1. Midnight Glo UV Body Paint Black Light Paint
These neon fluorescent colors include options like pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and white – and they’re perfect for festivals, conventions, or Halloween parties! They’re suitable or day or night, so body painters can definitely take this style whichever way they want.
This paint washes off easily, is skin-safe, non-toxic, and made in the USA. Like other body paint, it’s not recommended for use around the eyes, but otherwise, it’s safe for your body and face alike. It is not fabric-safe, so it will stain clothing if it is applied directly onto it, so make sure to exercise caution in that area.
It also reportedly held up through some serious sweating – yoga, for any dirty minds out there – so anyone interested should definitely put it to the test!
2. Neon nights Body Paint Black Light Makeup
Unlike other body paints, this brand’s claim to fame seems to be in its ability to be removed from fabric just as easily as its removal from skin – only use soap and water! It comes in neon yellow, neon green, neon orange, neon pink, neon blue, neon red, white, and violet. Use them all under black lights or UV lights and become the center of attention!
The manufacturer recommends using fingers to apply this paint, though you can also use brushes, sponges, or even airbrushes. It dries within minutes and won’t budge.
Since the FDA and Germany have different regulations on what must be labeled, this product does not state anything about the chemicals used in it – thus, it does not claim to be non-toxic. This doesn’t mean it is toxic; it just makes no mention of it whatsoever.
3. Halloween UV Glow Blacklight Face and Body Paint by KECHIO
If the title hasn’t already tipped you off, these paints can be used under blacklights or ultraviolet (UV) lights to create a fantastic neon effect. Think of the oohs and aahs you could get at nightclubs, haunted houses, or laser tag parties!
This paint is very easy to remove – it is water-soluble, meaning you can wash it with water and not have to worry about staining or fumes. Makeup removing wipes are perfect for something like this as well. It’s non-toxic and safe for sensitive skin, though you should always test it on a small patch first.
The set comes in a range of colors: pink, yellow, purple, green, and blue – everything you need to glow in the dark!
4. Professional Face Paint Kit & Stencils by Bo Buggles
This kit is a bit on the higher-end, though still affordable. With 12 different colors and 4 loose glitters in a beautifully packaged box, plus two brushes and 50 adhesive stencils, you’ll never tire of all the designs you can come up with! The paint pots come with screw-down lids to keep the paint fresh and clean.
Each stencil will remain sticky for 3-4 uses, though you can still use them even if they no longer adhere to the skin!
To activate the paint, you just need a drop of water on the brush. The paints wash off the skin easily with soap and water as well. There have been some concerns that the paint stains the skin after it has been washed off, so that might be something to keep an eye out. As always, patch test before using face paint (or any cosmetic material) on a large skin surface!
5. Kraze FX Neon Face and Body Paint Palette with Brush
This nifty little set may look dainty, but it packs a punch. It comes in three options: 6 neon colors, 6 regular colors, or 12 regular colors. All options come in a convenient portable palette with a brush, too, so you can take it to a party for touch-ups or make your friends look as wild as you do!
The neon set is reactive to blacklights and UV lights, and they’re water-activated, extremely pigmented, and wax-based, meaning they won’t come off if you sweat. The six colors are neon pink, neon yellow, neon blue, neon orange, neon green, and neon purple.
Of course, one of the most important factors is that the paint is hypoallergenic, vegan, and cruelty-free, which means no animal-based ingredients or animal testing here! To remove Kraze paint, just use soap and water.
6. UV Face & Body Paint Set – by Blue Squid
Blue Squid’s body paint set is another blacklight reactive liquid paint set – perfect for any setting with a blacklight option. This set is a little unique: it includes a mini UV light to show off your amazing illustrations! It also consists of two paintbrushes to use to create your art, no matter who – or where – your canvas is.
This set is also specialized in that it highlights its safety explicitly for sensitive skin. The paint is cosmetic-grade, hypoallergenic, paraben-free, non-toxic, vegan, natural, and compliant with FDA regulations.
The kit is water activated and water-soluble, so cleanup is quick and easy. The cherry on top is how affordable the package is, so this is definitely a good starter kit for anyone interested in trying body paint out as a beginner!
7. Neon Glow Body Paint Palette by Blue Squid Pro
Though this is another kit from Blue Squid, this is from their Pro line. This comes in a palette form, again with two brushes in true Blue Squid style. Their Pro line contains the most substantial level of pigmentation, so coverage and color payoff are through the roof! You only need a tiny amount of water so no dreaded smudging, cracking, or fading.
The palette includes six colors: white, orange, yellow, blue, pink, and green – and you can wash them all off with water and soap. Like any other cosmetic, make sure you patch test before face painting.
Blue Squid, as mentioned previously, is cruelty-free and hypoallergenic, in addition to adhering to FDA guidelines; so many concerns can be alleviated on those fronts.
8. Madisi Body Paint Set
If you’re looking for a bigger bang for your buck, look no further. For the average price of 8 body paints, with this kit, you get 12! The colors in this kit are lemon yellow, burnt umber, vermilion, sap green, viridian, phthalo blue, titanium white, crimson red, ultramarine, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, and black. These colors are not blacklight reactive, so they are more appropriate for day wear.
These paints are easy to use and do not dry quickly, which allows the painter more time to manipulate the colors before they dry. Make sure to use very thin coats, or dry time will be longer. To clean, just use soap and water!
This set doesn’t include a brush, so you will need something to apply the paint with.
9. ETEREAUTY Glow Blacklight Face and Body Paint 1.0oz with 6 Brushes and a Mixing Palette
This set of eight colors is safe, non-toxic, and water-based. More importantly, the manufacturers assure users there is no odor to the product, so there should be no yucky fumes or dizzying smells when using it. The colors are not only blacklight reactive; they’re also bright in natural light as well.
A fun little detail with this set is that it includes six brushes and a mixing palette, so you can let your inner artist run wild. The brushes come in different shapes and sizes – just like a makeup set!
For maximum color payoff, paint a thin coat on the skin, let it dry, and then paint another layer on top.
10. Face Paint Kit, 12 Professional Face Painting Tubes By Imagination Park
Imagination Park’s kit comes with 12 colors in tubes in addition to 10 nylon brushes. The colors are smooth and pigmented but will easily wash off with soap and water when you’re ready to freshen up. The colors included in the kit are Lemon Yellow, Sap Green, Vermilion, Viridian, Black, Titanium White, Burnt Sienna, Phthalo Blue, Yellow Ochre, Crimson Red, Burnt Umber and Ultramarine.
These paints will not dry quickly, which allows the painter time to perfect their art. When using the paint, make sure to use very thin coats to avoid smearing or dripping. The manufacturer also recommends using a finishing powder to seal the final product.
The kit is non-toxic and hypoallergenic, which is excellent for face-painting parties or just a fun night with the kids!
11. Professional Face Body Paint Oil by CCBeauty
This kit comes with 10 brushes and 12 face paint colors. Two of the colors are metallic (gold and silver), while the rest are solid colors. The brushes are of similar density, though their fibers differ slightly in shape and length.
Unlike most kits on this list, this set is oil-based. Oil-based paints may be easier to apply, though they will require a longer time to dry and may need setting powder to help seal them in.
Another interesting little fact about this set – all of the palettes are made by hand, so the colors may not always be consistent. Don’t look at it as inconsistent manufacturing; it’s handmade production. Each palette is one of a kind!
To remove the paint, use waterproof makeup remover or oil cleansers. You can even use olive oil! The next step would be to use a facial cleanser to avoid leaving an oily residue on your skin.
12. Face Paint Kit – JinKeArt
This kit comes with 15 face and body paints in palette form plus two art brushes. The package is suitable for sensitive skin as it is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, natural, and FDA compliant. The paint is water activated, so the painter just needs to add a few drops of water to the brush then dip it into the color. To wash the paint off, just use soap and water.
The color is not highly pigmented, so users will need to paint several coats to get the desired opacity if they want a thick coat. Users said there was no difficulty in washing the product off and no stains, so all clear on that front!
13. UV Body Paint Glow Blacklight Reactive Neon Fluorescent Paint by ILC
ILC’s set comes with six bright neon colors: pink, yellow, orange, green, purple, and blue. All of the colors are blacklight-activated, and the kit comes with a little black light, so you get to see your art come to life! The bottles are perfectly sized for travel, making them ideal for festivals or cosplay conventions!
The manufacturer is proud to state the paint is non-toxic and appropriate for sensitive skin. It washes off easily with soap and water. It takes up to 15 minutes to dry and has a texture similar to puffy paint, so it should not be used in an airbrush.
14. ‘XXL Set’ 24 Cans of Neon Body Paints by neon nights
This set comes with 24 cans of neon paint, but they’re not all different colors. You’ll get three of each of the following colors: red, blue, green, yellow, pink, white, orange, and purple. Each color in the kit is highly pigmented and was designed in Germany.
The paints are made to be used with true blacklights and UV bulbs, not UV LED lights. Though the color will still be visible as neon paint, it will not be as vibrant as it would be under the blacklight.
This paint’s consistency is a bit thick, so its drying time is a bit longer than others, especially since you need to layer multiple coats. Some users have mentioned that some colors had a thinner consistency and wouldn’t show pigment, but overall the kit has received positive reviews.
15. Non-Grease Face Paints Body Paint Palette by Mosaiz
Mosaiz’s kit includes a whopping 18 colors, including 4 metallic colors: Black, White, Light Green, Dark Green, Brown, Pink, Rose Pink, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Pale Orange, Red, and the metallic colors of Gold, Silver, Blue, and Red. The kit also includes 3 brushes and 30 adhesive stencils. You know what that means, right? It means you’ll have plenty to keep you busy with this kit.
The paints in the kit are water-based, non-toxic, FDA compliant, and even food grade! These paints dry fast and are easy to wash off with soap and water.
Users love the high pigmentation of the paints, though the brushes seem to leave a bit to be desired.
Things to Consider While Buying the Best Body Painting Kit
When you’re thinking about buying a body painting kit, there are a few things you need to consider. We have a small list of factors to weigh when looking at all the options on the market. There’s not necessarily one perfect kit, so just look for what works for you!
How easily can you apply the paint?
Can you apply the paint with your fingers? Do you need a unique applicator, or does a simple makeup sponge work? Do you have a makeup sponge at home, or do you need to make a run to the grocery store?
How long will you be wearing it?
Different paints will withstand various elements. Some might be sweatproof or waterproof; some may smudge if you so much as look at them the wrong way. Make sure to look at how durable you need them to be. If it’s just for a photoshoot, then durability isn’t high on your priority list – pigmentation is. If you’re going to a festival, then you’re more likely interested in how to make sure you can set it and forget it.
How easy will it be to remove?
Yes, we want something that will withstand the test of time, but we also don’t want to walk into the office on Monday, still looking like the neon leopard we were on Saturday night. If the paint is difficult to remove or will stain your skin, then you need to know about it ahead of time! Water-soluble paints are usually the safest bets, but make sure you research the brands you’re considering, so you’re not stuck with blue cheeks for a few days. Oil-based paints work just as well, but then you want to make sure you cleanse thoroughly.
Tools & Equipment Needed for Best Body Paint Application
Body paint can be applied with a paintbrush, synthetic sponge, natural sea sponge, or an airbrush machine. If you plan to airbrush, make sure the paint you’re using is safe for the device and will not ruin it. Sometimes the paint needs to be thinned before use. You’ll also need a supply of water if you’re using water activated paints and a mixing palette to create your own secondary colors, depending on the palette you’re working with.
You must make sure that you are ONLY using material that is safe for humans and is cosmetic grade. Non-toxic is not always necessarily cosmetic grade.
Acrylic paint is not safe for human skin – that is why it is so important only to buy skin-safe paint!
To remove the paint, you’ll usually need skin-safe soap and water. If you’re using oil-based paint, you’ll need an oil cleanser and a facial wash as well.
How to Apply Body Paint
Like any makeup routine, you have to start with prepping your skin. Make sure your skin is clean and dry. Instead of moisturizing, pat a primer on to prevent the paint from slipping. Once that’s dry, use a brush for smaller detail areas and a sponge or a larger brush for bigger spaces for the actual painting process.
Allow one color to dry completely before you move on to another color – you don’t want to turn your skin into a mixing palette! If you do mess up, use water to clean your edges up instead of wiping the whole area. If the paint takes a long time to dry, use a hand fan or a blow dryer on the cool cycle to help speed it along if you’re comfortable with that.
It’s a good idea to have an image or vision in mind before starting – whether your inspiration is Pinterest or your puppy, make sure you have an idea of where you’re going with this. If you’re good at winging your makeup and you want to wing your body paint, that’s on you!
We’ll talk about sealing your finished product in the next section.
How to Seal Body Paint
Once you have your body painting exactly how you want it, of course, you want to preserve it. You want to avoid having all your hard work fade away! Baby powder could be an option, though it might look chalky.
It is better to use a specially formulated setting powder and follow it up with a setting spray – the dual layers of protection will protect the paint from external factors as well as sweat protection. Many face and body paint manufacturing companies produce setting powders, so they may be the best source for a strong setting powder that does the job.
Frequently Asked Question
Where to buy body paint?
Body paint can be bought from many online and brick and mortar locations. Many craft store locations carry them in addition to large-scale retail stores online. Body paint can often also be purchased directly from suppliers on their websites.
What kind of paint to use for body painting?
Body painting is typically done with water-based paint. These paints are usually regulated, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic. Alcohol-based paint can also be used in body painting as it is waterproof and can withstand sweating. It does come off when touched, so it is not infallible.
How to become a body paint model?
Being a body painting model is not an easy job. Models have to be able to stay in the same position for a long time without moving, they have to be willing to show their entire body, and they can’t be ticklish! More importantly, they must be reliable, punctual, and be able to choreograph the artist’s idea on the stage and through photos.
How much is a full-body paint job?
Since each body painting artist can charge based on the amount of time, detail, and materials needed for the job they’re working on, prices can vary drastically. In fact, prices can range from $100 to $1000.00, or even more!
How long does body paint last?
Water-based paint can typically be washed off very easily using water and soap. Specific body paint may require waterproof makeup remover or alcohol as a remover, but as a general rule, body paint is not a permanent or even semi-permanent experience.
What kind of paint is OK to use on the skin?
It is important to note that non-toxic does not mean safe for the skin – the FDA does not regulate the term, so it really means nothing except that the makers of that product have decided it is not toxic. As such, make sure you buy hypoallergenic or cosmetic grade paint.
Can you use acrylic paint on the body?
No. Acrylic paint is not meant to be used on the skin. Non-toxic doesn’t mean it is safe to be on your skin – it does not breathe, which means it will suffocate your skin. It also cracks because acrylic paint is not flexible.
Does body paint come off with sweat?
Body paint should not come off with sweat if it has been applied and set properly. Some of it may rub off slightly or transfer, but it should not come off completely.
Why does body paint crack?
Body paint can crack because of factors like not enough drying time between coats, coats that are too thick, improper paint mixture, or exposure to extreme temperatures or moisture before setting. To prevent paint cracking, prep your skin with an oil-free moisturizer or primer.
Why do people paint their bodies?
Body painting has been a tradition for as long as humans have been on the earth. Weddings, funerals, and many other rites of passage were reasons for face and body painting. War led to camouflage painting, for instance. Today, body painting is seen as an artistic expression.
Is it dangerous to paint your whole body?
Though it is usually safe, fully painting your body can be unsafe if you don’t take precautions. You can develop heatstroke since all your pores are covered, which prevents sweating and stops the cooling mechanisms in your body from functioning correctly.
Does body paint count as clothing?
As far as society goes, the answer is most likely no. However, as far as the law goes, the answer is much vaguer – body paint as clothing falls into a gray area since it is a much more recent topic that hasn’t come across many legislators’ desks yet.
Body painting can be as political as a protest method or as benign as a six-year-old’s birthday party – it is ubiquitous and can be appreciated by all. Body painting festivals happen annually across the world and are becoming a more widely accepted and celebrated trend year after year.