To learn about facepainting our first recommendation is Christopher's book and Book List.
Painting Faces at Home
If you are going to be doing any facepainting on your own we recommend that you get a professional quality water-based makeup. Professional makeup is safer, more comfortable to wear and delivers better results. Start with a good makeup and you are halfway there to getting good results. Even a basic kit of good water-based makeups, like a Kryolan Aquacolor palette, will yield a lot of faces and last through a number of Halloweens.
NEVER use any kind of paint on anyone's skin, even non-toxic kid's paints. ALWAYS use makeup.
To find Aquacolors and other professional quality face paints, in the New York City area you can go to Alcone. You can also buy these products online via a number of sites, including Silly Farm, the company that produces FABAIC, the country's largest convention for face and body painters.
About the Makeup
For our face and body painting we use a water-based, non-toxic theatrical makeup applied with sponges and brushes. It's comfortable to wear and easy to wash off with soap and water. There are a number of high-quality makeups available today for facepainting. The brand of makeup we use most is Aquacolors from Kryolan Professional Makeup. We prefer Aquacolors for their brilliant, beautiful colors, their flexibility and ease of application, and because they wash off very easily, which we feel is important when painting the public.
We are also confident in the safety and quality control of Kryolan makeups. Kryolan is an international brand that meets U.S. safety standards as well as the safety standards of many countries. The Aquacolor makeups we use are manufactured either at their German headquarters or in their U.S. division in San Francisco.
Even the safest makeups are not meant for very young children, so at our events and at the Bronx Zoo we do not paint children under the age of 3 years.
When longer lasting effects are required for body painting models, dance performances, theatre or photography, fixatives are available to make water based makeups hold up. Temporary tattoo paints are also available for hand-painted body art that lasts for several days.
Christopher Agostino has been using Kryolan makeups throughout his career. Kryolan has sponsored many of his appearances at Makeup Shows and Conventions, and published his book in 2006: Transformations! The Story Behind the Painted Faces.