I desperately need help with face paint application. The first time I did a cosplay that required facepaint I used Mehron creamblend, and even though it applied very smoothly and evenly and made for quick application I just could never get it to be opaque enough and because it was a cream blend I could NOT get it to seal no matter how much I coated it in hairspray, so I spent most of the con nervously doing my best not to touch anyone or anything. So I bought some Krolan aquacolor becuase it was rated as a very quality facepaint for cosplayers, but trying to get it to apply right has been a complete nightmare. No matter what I do it’s always horribly streaky and splotchy like a two year old colored my face over with a crayon. I’m definitely dabbing instead of making a streaking motion so it shouldn’t be streaky (but it totally is), and I’ve tried using both brushes and cosmetic sponges, and both regular cosmetic sponges that I got in bulk at target and the fancy professional grade cosmetic sponges I got from Ulta and I just can not for the life of me figure out what’s going so horribly wrong with applying the face paint. Help ?!?! Oh and I should probably add on that I was totally applying primer first too so a lack of primer shouldn’t be the issue either.
I should probably add that the color I’ve been using is plain white if that helps with tips in the application process ?
Facepaint can be a tricky thing, especially in white. With a water-based paint (like the Kryolan Aquacolor you have used), it will be very difficult to get the full opacity that a creme paint would get, and if you can get it very opaque, it will be more likely to flake and crack, no matter how high the quality of paint is. (That said, I still prefer water-based for myself, even for white, but that’s because of my skin type and because I prefer something that won’t smudge onto other surfaces very easily, even if it’s a tradeoff with the opacity and cracking.)
For a cream paint (the Mehron you used), you need to powder it. That is crucial to setting the paint. Just spraying it won’t be enough. Even powdering it to what seems like an excessive amount and spraying it may not be enough to prevent it from smudging some when touched, depending on your skin type, the paint itself, your setting materials, and other environmental factors. However, it will create the smoothest and most opaque look, especially with white.
I would try using the Mehron again for a test run, but powdering it and using an actual setting spray. You can use either a commerically-made setting powder or baby powder. I always use baby powder, but the commercially-made powders are nice, as well, and may react to your skin differently than baby powder. For setting spray, hairspray can work in a pinch, but isn’t the best thing to cover your skin in for long periods (even though it is skin-safe, it may irritate sensitive skin, especially if scented or used on delicate areas like the face/around the eyes, nose mouth, or other mucous membranes), doesn’t have the best staying power when it comes to makeup sealing, and can be sticky or crunchy in and of itself. I would also only use a cream paint on the face and other areas that won’t be touching or potentially touching objects and people in a con setting, since there is always the risk of rub-off, no matter how well-sealed you are.
For the Aquacolor, it can take a little practice to get the right amount of water. It sounds like maybe you have too much. You may also be trying to add too much/too wet paint on top of paint that is not dry enough — you have to apply the paint in layers, waiting for the previous layer to dry before adding another layer. You have to be very careful with water-based white, since it is very easy to remove paint where you are trying to apply it, so you may have to do careful touch-ups with small dabs of paint in splotchy areas to prevent removing more paint/to fix the areas that you may have messed up.
I’ve never tried KAQ over primer before, so I don’t know how that is affecting your application. Depending on the primer, it might create a barrier that the paint can’t stick to as well as skin, so I would try to apply the paint without the primer to see what happens. As usual, powder and set with a spray, even though this type of paint is much less likely to rub off than a cream paint. (It should dry to a powdery finish, but may still rub off onto things if not sealed.) It might also disagree with your skin type — if your skin is very oily or very dry, it will fight you, so make sure your face is clean and properly toned and moisturized. (It tends to be easier with oily skin than very dry, since it is somewhat drying in itself, but very oily skin might create too thick of a layer of oil, which, as we all know, does not mix with water.)
This is going to sound like an odd tip, but it’s one that I’ve learned. When you apply your makeup, do it in a bathroom with the lights on. It doesn’t matter the bathroom. (I’ve dealt with this in at least 5 different bathrooms off the top of my head, and this still applies to all of them.) Then, once you think your paint is mostly even, leave the bathroom and look at your paint again. Body paint always looks sploticher under bathroom lighting than it does under any other type of lighting I’ve encountered. I think it has to do with the type and amount of light usually used in bathrooms. As I said, it’s a really odd tip. But paint will almost always look 100% better when not in a bathroom. so if that’s where you’ve been doing your Kryolan…try taking it somewhere else and evaluate it.
For an example of what water-based white can look like, I am wearing white KAQ in this photo, powdered with baby powder and set with Ben Nye final seal. The photo is unedited. It isn’t the smoothest paint in the world, but it’s smooth and even enough to not really be noticeable in photos.
Good luck! I hope that helps. :]