Perhaps this is the first time that you are booking face painting. For people that are new to booking face painting for a party, it can be difficult to know what to look for.
How do you actually choose a face painter for a kids' party?
We have some ideas about things to look out for on your search for the best face painting professional for your event.
1. Look at their work
Face painting is a form of art, and there is a whole range of artists out there! Some are beginners and some are advanced, seasoned professionals with years of experience.
It is very easy to tell the difference by looking at pictures of the face painter's work. Look for photos on their website and social media.
In addition to the amount of experience, each artist has a different style, as well. No two painters are the same.
Some face painters paint a lot of full face designs, like cats, dogs and tigers. Full face designs take a lot of time to paint, so they may be slower than face painters like us who paint small yet effective and beautiful things that cover only a part of the face.
Smaller designs usually go on the forehead, temple, cheek or arm, and they look vibrant and colorful without feeling heavy on the person's face!
Before deciding on a face painter, make sure to browse images of their work. If they haven't posted any images on a website or social media account, be careful since you will have no idea what you are getting!
2. Consider hygiene
Hygiene is of utmost importance in face painting, since a face painter will be touching multiple children's faces with their supplies - sometimes even around sensitive areas like the eyes, nose or the mouth.
If you think about it, wouldn't it be very gross if you hired a make up artist that didn't properly sanitize their make up brushes in between each client? It's the same thing with face painting.
Unfortunately, there is no regulation whatsoever in the face painting industry regarding hygiene practices. Anyone can become a face painter and they may clean their supplies thoroughly or not clean them at all between kids and between different parties!
So, how exactly do you evaluate how hygienic the face painter is?
Observing the face painter at work, when possible, is the easiest way. Does the face painter use a brush washing and sanitizing system consisting of multiple cups, whose contents are being changed regularly? Or do you see only one cup on the table with murky brown water in it?
Is the face painter sanitizing their hands in between each child? Are they letting kids keep any hairpins used to pin the hair of the face, to prevent the spread of lice? And are they using one paint sponge per each child and then putting them away for washing later, or are they dabbing every child's face with the same sponges?
Sometimes you do not have the luxury of being able to observe the face painter at work before deciding whether to hire them.
If that's the case, look for these things:
Number of kids painted per hour
If this number is very high, the artist may not be reserving sufficient time for sanitization of supplies in between children.
As tempting as it can be to choose the face painter that promises the fastest speed - this may lead you to choose someone who doesn't give hygiene a second thought!
If your face painter is painting 10 kids an hour or less there's a good chance that they are sanitizing properly in between each child.
Professionalism and level of hygiene could go hand in hand. If your face painter seems professional overall - for example, they provide thorough information about their services to you so you can make an informed decision about booking - then you might be on a good path.
Price can be an indication of quality of service. Unfortunately, there are companies in this business that hire underpaid students for the face painting jobs.
Some of these companies do not train the students properly, including hygiene practices.
So watch out for companies that have the lowest price. You certainly get what you pay for, and most artists that charge a higher rate operate professionally and take things like hygiene more seriously.
3. Don't go for the lowest price
We already touched upon this point in the previous section about hygiene. Whatever you do, it's best not to decide based on the price alone.
Why? The cheapest companies out there are hiring students on a low pay. These students are NOT professional, trained artists. They are just students trying to earn some pocket money on a weekend.
Compare that to professional artists who have spent years honing their skills and are painting and doing other children's entertainment full time. You can probably understand there is a huge difference!
Low price can also translate to unreliability. If you hire a company that uses low paid students, you're more likely to come into that terrible situation where your artist suddenly cancels on you for whatever reason!
Companies that charge a proper fee for their services have a reputation to look after and typically do not cancel parties on a last minute since that would get immediately reflected on their reviews and customer feedback.
Consider also the fact that the cheapest face painters usually do not carry any liability insurance at all. Would you feel comfortable hiring someone uninsured to provide a professional service at a kids party? Also, some party venues actually require your entertainer/face painter to be insured.
Making your final choice
Hopefully this article has given you some ideas on what to look for when hiring a face painter (besides obviously looking at their online reviews!)
Looking at images of the face painter's work, whether that's on social media or on their website, is one important way to make a decision. But, don't forget to consider hygiene too and look for indications of that. This can be tricky if you can't observe the face painter working in person, but we've given a few pointers about that.
Lastly, like with many things it's not wise to make a decision based on price alone. This is an unregulated industry and there are amateurs and hobbyists, as well as true seasoned professionals. A higher rate can be an indication of experience and professionalism, especially if other things like thoroughness of communication, website quality, customer service quality etc. also hint professionalism.
Choose your face painter wisely and you'll have a party that you'll be hearing endless of compliments about!