Hooray for Halloween, one of our favorite holidays around here. Not that we need a holiday for costumes in this house, as I have a natural costume designer. My son will come to me with very detailed instructions on outfits that he wants to construct, items that he wants me to crochet, and very specific, down to the tiniest details. So it goes without saying that we go through a lot of fabric, a lot of paper, markers, and masking tape (his backup for when I’m not able to sit down and sew up what he’s dreaming of), and a huge variety of creative energy.
Halloween makeup isn’t in the stores year round, but even when it is, I try to avoid it. My son inherited my super-sensitive skin which breaks out in unpleasant rashes when it comes in contact with certain chemicals. Instead, we make our own Halloween makeup with just a few items: cold cream, corn starch, and food coloring. We haven’t had any reactions with regular food coloring, but if you’re looking to avoid all artificial coloring, India Tree makes an excellent alternative made from natural vegetable colorants. I can vouch that it works well, as this was the coloring used on my wedding cake. But we go through so much face paint here that it’s more cost efficient for us to use the cheap stuff.
So the process is relatively simple. Take 1 part cold cream to 2 parts cornstarch and mix together (so, 1 T cold cream to 2 T cornstarch, or 1/8 c cold cream to 1/4 c cornstarch, depending on how much you want to make). It will take a while for it to blend well, but just keep at it. You want the texture to be watered down enough to paint with, but thick enough so that it isn’t runny when applied. Aim for a toothpaste like consistency. If you find you added too much cornstarch, you can thin the mixture with water. Be sure to add only a few drops at a time, because it’s easy to thin it out. If you do make it too watery, add a little cornstarch back in. it’s not an exact science on precise amounts like when you bake, so no pressure if you mess it up. Just get it to the consistency you’re happy with. After that, add in a few drops of the color you want.
Once you stir it up, it’s ready to be applied. And if you’re making some in advance, store it covered in the refrigerator so it doesn’t dry out. To apply, take a paintbrush and you’re set. This isn’t the longest lasting makeup out there, but it does the job for a few hours, and comes off easily with water. As with all food colorants, I would keep it away from anything that could be stained, but it’s perfect for kids clothes, costumes, and Halloween fun!
- 1 T cold cream
- 2 T corn starch
- food coloring
- Combine cold cream and cornstarch until blended into a toothpaste-like consistency. Add food coloring and stir until evenly blended. Apply to face and have fun! Store covered to keep from drying out.