Whether you are cosplaying as Harley Quinn or any of the countless Overwatch characters, the best body paint can make imaginary characters come to life.
But here’s the deal – going with a cheap body paint can completely destroy a costume. Not only will the paint perform poorly through clumping and cracking, but cheap brands can cause allergic reactions and in the worst cases, require you to visit your dermatologist in order to get fully cleared up.
Today we are reviewing some of the best body paints for cosplay that rely on safe ingredients, have high pigment concentrations, resist cracking and peeling, and will look great for hours after application – like this body paint by TAG.
In addition to providing in-depth reviews of body paints that work well for cosplay purposes, we are also going to go over a few key pointers you will want to keep in mind when you make a purchase.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Comparing The Best Body Paint For Cosplay
|Name||Colors Available||Container Size||Price|
|Snazaroo Body Paint||36||18 ml||$|
|Mehron Body Paint||40||41 ml||$$$$|
|TAG Face Paint||47||32, 50, 90 ml||$$|
|Graftobian Body Paint||28||30 ml||$$$|
|Mosiz Face Paint||12||N/A||$$|
Before You Decide: A Few Things To Consider
As we eluded to at the start of this guide, when it comes to body paint, you should expect to pay a little bit more than the stuff you may find at pop-up Halloween or craft store.
A decent body paint for cosplay should cost you somewhere between $7 to $15 for a single color.
These body paints are typically made in countries with higher quality control standards (i.e. USA, United Kingdom, Germany, etc.) and contain safe ingredients.
All too often in our research, we found many cosplayers breaking out in rashes when using cheapy bargain brands found on mega online retailer websites.
Secondly, these bargain brands often chipped and peeled shortly after application – unacceptable if you want to bring a character to life.
Take a few moments to think about the colors you will need in your body painting before making your purchase.
More often than not, those looking to do a body paint think of the main color and never the small accents.
It’s these little accent colors that will truly make you stand out in a crowd.
Beyond The Paint
A few of the staple products that you must have on hand before you begin your body painting will be the following:
- High Density Sponge
- Brushes (kabuki or artist brushes)
- Setting Spray
- Remover (only if you go with an oil-based paint)
Here’s a bit on why each of the above are critical:
High Density Sponge – Sponges will help to get the color on your skin to look even and uniform. High density sponges like these will also ensure that there will be no streaking of the paint either.
They are the secret weapon of professionals to get incredibly smooth and natural looking results – just be sure to apply thin layers as it will help to further reduce the chance of any cracking or peeling – especially around your joints.
Brushes – Kabuki brushes are great for large areas of skin and get an even coat similar to a sponge (it’s just simply a personal preference on what one you choose).
But for the detailed work in your body painting, synthetic artist grade brushes are the perfect pick for detail work.
Make sure you get a variety pack as you will have different stroke types available to you (which can of course create some awesome effects).
Setting Spray – Used both before the paint is applied to your skin and afterwards, a setting spray acts as a second skin.
Typically made from an alcohol and water mixture, a setting spray will help the paint stick better to your skin – especially for your face where more natural oils are found.
While giving your body a good coat of this before hand will help draw out the better properties in the paint, also giving painted body a spray of this stuff will help to create a layer of protection.
So, if you are taking pictures with others, dancing, or plan wearing your body paint for several hours, a setting spray will help to prevent the paint from transferring onto other people or becoming runny (especially if sweating).
It’s a product that is easy to skip since it doesn’t seem like its doing anything, but one you wish you used after wearing a body painting after a few hours.
Remover – Relevant to just those relying on an oil-based paint, removers such as a heavy-duty bar of soap, waterproof makeup remover, or facial cleanser that targets oily skin will be a terrific (and gentle) solvent to help remove the oil and pigment a fair bit easier at the end of the day.
Those using a water-based body paint can just simply jump into the shower and use warm soapy water.
The 5 Best Body Paints For Cosplay Reviewed
1. Snazaroo Paint
When it comes to cosplay, Snazaroo is one of the best.
The reason being is that they aren’t fully a professional brand like Mehron or Graftobian, yet aren’t necessarily a ‘cheap’ brand like what you would find in a bargain craft store.
With a water-based formula and 36 total colors to choose from, you should have no problem bringing any one of your favorite characters to life.
Whether you want the accent pink stripes for a DVA costume or perhaps a subtle purple wash for Widowmaker (both part of Overwatch), Snazaroo paints should have a color that suits your needs.
As great as Snazaroo may be, what we particularly love about them is their price. Typically costing under $10 per color, its one of the cheapest on our list.
Sure, the color pigment concentration might not be as high as others, but if you are just heading to a convention and not performing in a Broadway play, these should be more than enough.
Overall, Snazaroo has a wide color selection. No matter what your imagination is cooking up, you should be able to find a perfect color for you. While not as vibrant as others, there is no denying the affordable price of these body paints.
With a rich 90+ year history, they lead the way when it comes to body paint performance.
With pigments that are extremely vivid and bright, along with a quality that is unmatched, it’s no wonder that they are the go-to paint by professionals.
Found in various Broadway shows, circuses, and more – Mehron paint has credibility to say the least.
Now should you be wearing your body paint for several hours and don’t want any color degradation, peeling, or chipping, Mehron should easily withstand the test of time.
Furthermore, when you couple this with a setting spray, this paint will also naturally resist sweat – so you never have to worry about runny colors.
Now these body paints can’t be perfect. Of all the brands featured on our list, the Mehron’s are also among the priciest.
Typically costing around $15 for a single color, these are only intended for those cosplayers who have either a lofty budget or who want to uncompromising performance.
Price aside, the ingredients within the Mehron paints are equally second to none.
Packed full of moisturizers including avocado oil, cocoa seed butter, and countless more – once applied the Mehron paints won’t feel like a layer of concrete on your skin making them also one of the most comfortable body paints we reviewed.
Overall, if you have the money, get these. Their colors are bright, they feel great, are vegan friendly, hypoallergenic, and perform incredibly well. This is one of those rare instances where the more you spend the better the quality you will receive.
3. TAG Paint
This offering by Tag narrowly made it to our list.
The reason being is that its marketed solely as a face paint. However, as you may already (or will) know, when it comes to body paint, a little goes a very long way.
While the pans in this TAG set are rather small, this will be way more than enough required to get a full body painting in (even if you did a single color).
Similar to the Snazaroo’s, the TAG paints are a bit subtler than that of the Mehron or Graftobians, while not as bright, they will look a bit more natural when applied.
Secondly, with 12 colors available to you and about a $40 price tag – this will be much cheaper than if you were to buy individual colors.
Beyond the colors, the other aspect that made this great for cosplay was its compact design.
With a 10″ x 4″ form factor, you can easily keep this in your purse or bag – so if you need to do a midday touchup at a convention – you won’t have a problem.
Lastly, these paints are hypoallergenic and non-toxic, making them a sound choice should you have sensitive skin.
Overall, these are a great value pick considering all the colors included. While this is a face paint kit – the pans will be a bit smaller, so it might take a few extra minutes more when body painting.
4. Graftobian ProPaint Kit
Competing head-to-head with the Mehron’s, this Graftobian set is another high performance, high pigment loaded body paint that will produce brilliant results.
Made here in the USA, these paints are FDA compliant and cosmetic grade (source) – so you never have to worry about some factory in China (or elsewhere) having lax quality control standards that could be hazardous to your health.
To further emphasize the quality standards that Graftobian employs, the president of the company even puts his phone number and mailing address directly on the site!
Included in their ProPaint kit you will have 12 colors at the ready.
Like the others mentioned on our list thus far, the Graftobian’s are water-based which makes both application and removal fairly easy.
Overall, these are a pro level body paint. Reserved for the most serious of cosplay applications, expect to see vibrant colors and long-lasting performance. Just expect to also pay a premium for these too.
5. Mosaiz Face Paint
If you are looking to just simply work some accents into your body painting, or perhaps you are just going for a very simple outline, then painting sticks such as these from Mosaiz could be more than enough.
These water-based painting sticks check all the boxes when it comes to safety – FDA compliant, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and food grade pigmented.
Once applied the paint shouldn’t experiencing any cracking or peeling either.
Like the TAG Face Paint kit that we also reviewed, these painting sticks are perfect for travel.
With a smaller form factor (about 3″ long), you can easily store them in your pocket or bag.
Overall, these are perfect if you are looking for simple marks in your body paint and don’t want to buy separate colors or brushes.
Choosing The Best Body Paint For Cosplay
So, there it is – the best body paints for cosplay in 2020. With careful consideration based on where the paints were made, their pigment load, what other pro cosplayers used, and reviewing the chatter in popular online communities like /r/cosplay and cosplay.com we are pretty happy with our selection – and we think you will be too!
Should you have any questions or feel that we should take a look at a few other body paints and include them – please get in touch with us, we would love know.
We hope you loved reading this guide as much as we did putting it together!