There's something about painting faces on children that's very exciting. Seeing your design come to life, then watching the child's face light up when they look in the mirror is hugely enjoyable and rewarding.
Simple can be strong
Possible designs range from the simplistic to the elaborate, but they don't have to be complicated to be effective. Boys in particular like the ghoul or monster look that's achieved with little more than a green background, highlighted white fangs and dark eyes. A ladybird, with red background and black spots, is even easier.
Animal designs are perennially popular. Lions and tigers, cats, dogs and bears (brown or panda) are always a hit. If you want to be more original, then try a bee, mouse, rabbit or even an dazzling zebra. These rather more complex designs may be best suited to slightly older children who will sit still for longer.
Choose a character
When you're painting faces, how about a superhero, such as Spiderman, BatGirl or the Incredible Hulk? Or look to more traditional stories for inspiration. A swashbuckling pirate, perhaps, a charming princess or angel, or a jolly clown!
Horror is a theme children love and often ask for. Witches, skulls, zombies, devils and Dracula all have great impact and can be quick to paint, as they tend to use large areas of a single, strong colour. However, don't be put off attempting more exotic designs, as mixing face paints to produce a rainbow of hues is straightforward with water-based products.
Use quality face paints
Whatever design you choose, remember that with non-toxic water-based professional face paints such as those sold by Snazaroo, it's safe to paint over the lips, but keep away from skin immediately around the eyes. If you're painting top eyelids, ask the child to close their eyes but not screw them tight shut. To paint under their eyes, ask them to look upwards and keep below their eyelashes.
Painting faces - the final detail
To emphasise the overall effect, you can go even further than painting faces. Having a few costume extras to hand, such as hats, feathers or quickly adapted pieces of felt or cardboard, all help the transformation. Dream up your design, take your face painting step-by-step and you'll soon have a queue of children eager for your expertise.