Finding the right products for you can be very costly and time consuming. When I first started painting, I bought Snazaroo, now this was before they sold face paints in the store, and also before many of today's brands were even on the market. It was cost efficient, and it worked for what I was doing at the time, which was a lot of volunteering as a ministry worker. Soon after I started painting, the face paint world seemed to explode! Rainbows, and one-strokes and all of the new waxy brands of paint hit the market. New techniques and styles were hitting the internet daily, and I wanted to paint like that! As hard as I tried, I couldn't get the same effects with Snazaroo and that's when I realized, it just wasn't the brand for me.
It set me on a long and expensive journey of buying new paints to try and figuring out they weren't all great, or they didn't work for what I needed them for. I also lacked common knowledge on the types of products and what they were good for. So I wanted to cover some of things about products with you, and keep in mind, every person will have a different opinion. You can ask these questions over and over and every other answer will be different. I work aside many painters, and we all have our preferences, which I think is pretty cool.
I would advise you to reach out to your local painters or guilds and see if any of them host jams where you can try different products before you buy them. It will save you a ton of money, for instance I bought about 10 blues before I found one I loved for super heroes that worked well with a brush. I wasted a ton of money of products that didn't work for me. I also caution you to not get swept away in all the new products, give them time for other people to try them out and review them online before you throw you money at them. Way too many times, we get excited (because this is an addiction) and we buy all the new stuff and it sits in a drawer and is never used. Also know that we constantly stay on the look out for the next best kit! So don't start too big, a little at a time until you figure out what works for you.
If you are worried about pricing, and getting the most out of your money, check out this blog from Heather Greene's Paint Pal, it breaks down price per gram and the site is full of helpful resources!
Waxy paints are exactly what they sound like, a paraffin wax base. They are brilliantly bold, available in tons of brands and have great stay power. Diamond FX, Wolfe, TAG, Fazmataz, Cameleon, Kryvaline regular line are all wax based and new brands are popping up daily in this type of makeup.
Waxy paints are the best IMO for line work. They flow beautifully on a brush and make amazing one-stroke cakes. While blending can be accomplished, it is more work with waxy brands, and can be accomplished more easily with creamy brands.
Creamy Paints (When you hear creamy paints its not actually cream paints)
Creamy Paints are a glycerin base and are beautiful for blending, they are softer and work great for base work. IMO they feel much more comfortable and light on the face once dried than the waxy brand paints. Paradise, Fab, Kryvaline Creamy line, Kryolan Aquacolors, Snazaroo, Ruby Red, Fab/Superstar, and Global are all Creamy line paints.
Global actually surprised me, I thought originally it was waxy and it works much like a waxy paint, but it is a glycerin base. I think this gives Global a super great advantage. It's almost like a hybrid, where you get the best of both worlds!
Separately, I would like to talk a little about a couple brands I think are great and some of the advantages and disadvantages of these brands. Along with a couple tips about using them.
Global paints almost took the market by storm, solely for the fact that they do not stain like the other brands (I should say mostly do not stain). They are much more easily washed off, especially their Global Strong Black, which is my go to black for painting on school nights! It doesn't have the same flow and reload as Wolfe black, that I also love, but it washes off so easy, it makes it great for restaurant jobs on the weekdays.
The colors easily rinse out of the brush between colors, and another bonus is most of them are pretty hard. Now this may not seem like an advantage, but on hot summer days when our paints get "gloopy", global stand up much better to the heat, especially the strong black.
As I mentioned before, although they are a creamy line, they are great for linework and sponging and that makes them a top choice for me.
On the downside, their paint needs more water, and there is an adjustment if you are used to using either types of paints. The one strokes also seem to last a very long time, but some colors can wear unevenly, and I have also found sometimes when you get about halfway down, the color rows can be messed up.
If I were going to recommend one brand to a beginner, it would without a doubt be TAG or DFX (they are both very similar). TAG has a wide variety of colors, and they are very reasonably priced, and almost every retailer sells them. My favorite part though is their consistency. From color to color, the consistency of the paint is pretty much the same. You pretty much are getting the same density and reliability across the board, and that makes these great for rainbows, one strokes, and for making your own splits.
I must admit, I don't have experience with a ton of different creamy paints, because once I found paradise, I was so happy with their product. So, I have heard fabulous things about FAB, but they had a scent issue at first, so I just stuck to Paradise. Paradise is super creamy and can spread a base very quickly, and be opaque. Paradise black and white are my go to for bases, and I love the Red and Beach berry for my sole reds in my kit. I warn you the Red is very dark and I mainly use it on darker skin tones and for blood effects.
In the end, most of us have spend tons of money and time researching what works best for us, I have some colors I use specifically for one popular face, and I don't use it on any other face. It takes patience and time, but you will figure out what works for you. Next time, I would love to talk about the color wheel and some simple times for making split cakes and one strokes, and how to make you faces pop!