To help anyone starting a face painting business or doing face painting for their school fete, I have compiled this list of the popular face painting designs. This is based on my own 5 years experience face painting but it is similar to other lists found on the internet showing they are fairy universal. The popularity of a design at each function can vary tremendously according to demographic of course. And as any face painter will tell you, whatever design the birthday girl chooses will be the most popular design at that party!

Please leave a comment with your own list from your experience.

Top Ten Most Popular “Girly” Designs:

  • Full-face Rainbow Butterfly
  • Any rainbow-based design
  • “Fairy” – any pretty, swirly design. May include rainbow, flowers, hearts or little butterflies.
  • Cat (particularly a Rainbow Kitty!)
  • Unicorn (with rainbow)
  • Dolphin
  • Rainbow Tiger or Leopard
  • Love-heart designs (from simple, accented hearts as a ‘cheek design’ to a full-face ‘fairy’ or rainbow design including hearts
  • Flowers (small, cheek design for the mums; larger “flower-fairy” and “flower-princess” designs for little girls)
  • Abstract swirls design, with or without one-stroke

Girls will also frequently choose from the popular “boys” designs below!

Please don’t identify designs on your menu as for girls or boys so they don’t feel limited by gender!

Top Ten Most Popular Designs Among Boys:

  • Spiderman
  • Dragon (cheek or arm design)
  • Snake (cheek or arm design)
  • Spider
  • Dinosaur (most popular is T.rex on side of face)
  • Tiger
  • Batman
  • Skull
  • Monster (full-face or mask style. Lots of variations which can also be called Dragon or Dinosaur)
  • Tribal

Many of these designs can be done in a multitude of ways, so from the top 20, you could easily come up with 100 designs! Of course if you are are a beginner, I recommend you learn and practice just 10 designs until you can do them well, in under 5 mins and without looking at a picture. By limiting the designs you offer you will get good at them much quicker. Once you can do them confidently, you can add variations and new designs.

More Designs Frequently Chosen:

  • Little butterflies (a single small butterfly on the cheek or hand of little kids and mums, or lots of little ones in a full-face “flutterby fairy” design
  • Roses
  • Vampire (can be as simple as bloody fangs & little bats on forehead)
  • Frozen
  • Scorpion
  • Pirate
  • Mermaid (both as a picture of a little mermaid and as a full-face, scales & swirls design)
  • Little ladybirds (good quick one for very little kids; can also be included with flower designs)
  • Zombie
  • Puppy Dog
  • Princess

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