“Kids are definitely moving targets,” says makeup artist Allison Attwood, “so the simpler [the design], the better. The application usually frustrates young kids, so anything you can do to keep the look but avoid the eye area usually makes for a happier child.” A few of her fave products:
1. For younger children, Attwood recommends Snazaroo face paints, available at Chicago Costume(1120 W Fullerton Ave, 773-528-1264)—“also a good place for young children’s wigs,” she notes. These paints (single colors $2.50; kits $10–$16) are fragrance free, nontoxic and water-based, so they’re easy to wash off. The flip side, she notes, is that they can sometimes smear easily.
2. “Once kids are six or seven, you can do more on the face,” Attwood says. With patient kids, she leans toward Ben Nye face paints. They can take several minutes to set, but used with Ben Nye setting powder, any design will be “pretty resistant against smudging or smearing.” You can find the brand at most costume shops, though if you don’t want to deal with the Halloween crush, Attwood suggests shopping at Beatnix (3400 N Halsted St, 773-281-6933): Single cream colors cost $6; a six-color rainbow wheel is $14; a 12-color aqua paint palette is $48.
3. When it comes to drawing lines with pencil, Attwood confesses,“I personally use MAC ‘smolder’ eye kohl for every black line I ever need to make.” They’re on the pricier side ($15), but moms can keep the pencils in their make-up arsenal year-round. The eye kohls come in a variety of dark shades as well as opaque white (named “fascinating”). The smolder, Attwood says, is “the blackest black, glides on smooth and rarely smudges.”
4. Looking for something cheaper and easier to shop for? Attwood notes that Walgreens (locations throughout Chicagoland) carries the “very inexpensive” Wet n Wild brand, which has a seasonal Halloween line, often in its own display. Look for “awesome lashes, accessories for nails or chubby liner pencils in silver glitter, green, orange and black.” Prices range from $1–$4.
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