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How to make glow-in-the-dark face paint

While premixed glow-in-the-dark face paint is purchasable at many hobby, craft and party supply stores, making your own glow-in-the-dark face paint allows you to get just the right colour and luminosity for any costume or related project. Premixed face paints are hard to brighten or dampen without purchasing additional products, so making your own face paint mixture offers a greater level of customisation ability. With just a few simple ingredients, you can quickly make a batch of colourful and luminous glow-in-the-dark face paint.

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  1. Paint the subject's face white for easier application of colours and glow-in-the-dark solution. Use a fine-bristled artist paintbrush. Don't use a standard hardware-store paintbrush, as these have coarse bristles that can irritate the skin. Think of the white paint as a primer.

  2. Let the white paint dry before applying other paints. Drying times vary, but are usually less than 15 minutes.

  3. Pour clear paint into a small bowl for mixing.

  4. Add glow-in-the-dark powder. Stir the mixture with a disposable plastic spoon or a small paint stir-stick. Periodically turn off the lights to see if the mixture is bright enough. Add more powder to brighten the mixture, or add more clear paint to dim the mixture, adjusting accordingly until the desired brightness is attained.

  5. Apply coloured powder to the mixture, or simply paint the person's face with colours prior to applying the clear glow-in-the-dark paint.

  6. Apply glow-in-the-dark mixture using fine-bristled artist paintbrushes.

  7. Warning

    Make sure all powders and paints are skin-safe. Many craft stores sell clear paints specifically for facial use, but if you cannot find such niche paints, go for a non-toxic, washable paint.

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Things You'll Need

  • Glow-in-the-dark powder
  • Clear skin-safe paint medium
  • White paint
  • Coloured face paints or powders
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Plastic spoon or paint stir stick
  • Fine-bristled artist paintbrushes

About the Author

Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

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