1. Safety First
Professionals take their work seriously; I for one am fully insured, change my water often, use only one sponge per child, and have a 3 part sanitation routine for my brushes while I work. I am also, as far as I have seen, the only face painter in my city who even uses hand sanitizer between models. I am a professionally trained makeup artist and all my techniques are done with safety and sanitation in mind.
How many face paint artists have you seen who even use hand sanitizer while they work? Most people never really notice the face painting table itself unless you point it out to them.
But now that I have, can you spot the difference?
See that photo of the dirty water container up there? That belongs to a large company in my City that loves to undercut local artists. They have all the big contracts with the local theme park, and sports centers. They keep costs low by hiring teenagers for the summer to fill the demand. It's easy to slack off when you have a monopoly on certain events.
It just goes to show, that just because it's a large company doesn't mean they adhere to higher standards of safety and quality.
I have an entire write up on the cleanliness of face painting tables right here for further reading.
Face Painting Setup: Messy VS Dirty
2. High Quality Materials
Pictured: Mystery Paint
The origin of the paints is important but you also have to think about quality. Most dollar store paints are made cheap and they don't have the staying power of better brands, nor the work-ability to create quality art from them. I have also seen face painters who use 'homemade' face paints with food coloring in them that stain the skin for days! Yikes! But even that is preferable to those who would use acrylic craft paint on your child!
I have also seen some face painters skimp on glitter and end up using craft glitter instead of cosmetic glitter, whether it be through ignorance or knowingly just wanting to save on supply cost. Craft glitter is very dangerous to be applied on the face and near eyes; the metal it's made of can cause allergic reactions, and the sharp bits can scratch a persons cornea if it gets in the eyes.
3. Let Their Work Speak For Itself
That is actually that 'artists' card, and yes that's what it actually said.
I've been painting as long as been able to hold a paint brush. My mother and aunt (twins) were both mural artists. I grew up on scaffolding filling in blocks of color on walls like a giant coloring book. I first stated face painting when I was 12 years old and was hooked (that's 15 years ago). I also went to college to learn special FX makeup for TV and film, though it's my face painting that pays the bills believe it or not. I'm always looking on how to improve and become better at what I do.
The public can see I'm one of the best just by looking at my work, and from looking at my setup on my table.
P.S. That 'Rainbow Cat Beard' was made with homemade food coloring 'face paint', and also note the table confetti and craft glitter stuck on the childs face. Yikes!4. Speed Is Important!
I do designs in under 5min that take other artists 20min to do, or they simply can't do them at all. I some times work at a local farmers market to fill my off days, and i switch off with another face painter. Parents have told me that they simply don't stop for face painting on days when she's at the market anymore, because she's just too slow! They admit that she does very nice work, but they all tell me it just takes too long. After seeing me bust flowers in mere seconds, or do a full face rainbow cheetah in 3 and a half min, they just don't want to wait in her slow moving line ever again.
5. Do You Really Want 'The Cheapest'
I know there are cheaper face painters in town; there are also more expensive face painters then myself. I know of one lady in my city who charges $140/hr with no discount after the first hour (unlike myself). The last time I saw her she was asking me how I got my line work on my art so thin, and how I did it so fast. She literally grabbed my arm in amazement to see the butterfly I painted on myself. She also used craft glitter until I set her straight. Nice lady though.
There are also companies with face painters that only charge $50/hr (though they have many hidden fee's like travel, added Tax, and charge extra for basic costumes). Take a guess what their work looks like at that price.
When you want the best, you are willing to pay for it.
Thank You For Reading!