Saturday, 31 January 2015

4 Reasons Why I Don't Use Snazaroo

Snazaroo Face Paint is one of the most popular and most well known brands of face paint out there. It's not as expensive as other brands, and from starter kits, to face painting 'how to' books, this is one of the few face paints you can easily find locally. They even brand themselves as....

 Bold Claims

Because it's relatively easy to find, this is the go to paint that I recommend to beginners just starting out and figuring out if face painting is really 'for them'. I also meet parents who want me to recommend a face paint brand for them to use for casual home use. Most people's familiarity with face paints are usually limited to Rubies Cream Based Face Paint and face paint 'crayons'. They also know these products just don't work very well, and when they see my table with actual working face paints, it blows their minds right out their butts.
Everything you need for a craptastic face.

I don't want parents to think that they have to use either a sub-par product or poster paint, when there are other safer and more effective options out there. I also know my face paints are rather pricey, and usually have to be ordered online, so when they ask I tell them to check out Snazaroo.

But as a professional face painter this brand is not something I would use or keep in my kit.

Here's Why:

4. Muted Colors:

I've always found the colors of glycerin based paint (such as Snazaroo and Mehron) to be fairly 'neutral toned', and wax base paints (such as TAG, and Wolf) to have more saturation on average for their pallets. Snazaroo paints don't have the same 'pop' that wax based colors have through out most of their brands color section.


Here are some painted faces from the Snazaroo Website using Snazaroo face paint

     Design/Photo Credit: Juliana            Design/Photo Credit: Tracy                           Design/Photo Credit: Cheryl Holley

Now compare with similar colors with using the brand TAG.
Photo/Design Credit For All: Ilea

Note The difference in the shades of Green, Blue, Pink, Yellow, and Orange

Here is a direct swatch comparison of Sanzaroo and TAG under the same lighting conditions.

And it's not just Snazaroo that has this issue. The same is true for most Mehron colors.
                                      Mehron                                                                       TAG

Mehron                                                                       TAG
Photo/Design Credit For All: Ilea
Some times muted more natural colors can be an asset. I now use what is left of my old Mehron face paint colors for my FX work from time to time because I find the colors are more 'real' looking.
 Photo/Design Credit For All: Aryn (my husband)
Also that's me as the model both times ;)

I have tried Snazaroo for similar FX and props, but it just cracks, fades and wipes off WAY too easily, and I ended up having to repair it, even with a spray sealer! What a nightmare. Mehron holds up way better as a glycerin based paint, and held up even better with some spray sealer. 

For face painting however I want to go with the colors that stand out the best. I want to make the biggest visual impact, because the nature of the face painting business is to be bright and eye catching.

You gotta have those 'wow' colors.

3. Dryness:

Snazaroo seems to dry up and crack in the puck like the Death Valley Desert. They also have a tendency to crumble, and fall apart, which could cause a mess in your kit. This is also not something you often see with other brands (if at all).

While the cracking doesn't effect the usability of the paint, I like my paints looking new and clean when they sit on my table as it makes everything look cleaner, and presents a better image to the public.

This cracking and dryness happens because Snazaroo doesn't have as many emollients in their final composition in comparison to other brands. An emollient is a fancy term for moisturizer, and having them in the paints provides a protective film that keeps the paints from drying out. Not having enough gives Snazaroo paints a 'chalky' feel to them and even a little bit of moisture such as perspiration can more easily reactivate the paints while on the skin and ruin your design.

This dryness also leads to another problems like...

2. Fade:

This is different in the lack of saturation the colors initially have. Even though Snazaroo might go on the skin as bright and opaque, it doesn't last. What happens is that the paint then slowly turns into a powder form and then most of it falls off, leaving behind a light layer of pigment. This is again, a result of the lack of emollients in the paint.

It's thought that since Snazaroo was made to be specifically used as childrens' face paint, and not as a theatre or stage paint, the company didn't find it necessary to make the paint to make-up industry standards. Thus originally it was not made to have the staying power that other brands have.

Some would argue that you can just add more layers, but this takes more time, and worst of all too many layers and your paint will start to crack on the skin.

I want my face paints to last until you want to take therm off, and not fade after 15+ minutes of wear. If it's only good enough for a photo taken right after then it's not good enough in my books. I also feel it's a little dishonest to the customer, to see a design board of bright colorful faces, have that expectation, but then less then an hour later having your design fade. Like buying a new car, and then it turns into lemon after only a few miles of normal driving.

1. Control:

With it's chalky texture I found it was more prone to being blotchy, or watery when used, and if the kid was wearing sunscreen? Forget about it! I would say it's WAY easier to use then dollar store paint, but it still has it's quirks to work with.

Lastly the fact that I have to fiddle longer to make the consistency of the paint work for what I'm painting. Line work is the worst with Snazaroo; it's never as dark as I want it to be and often requires a few layers to get it right (which is a time vampire). Too many layers and you again get cracking. You can buy other Snazaroo Brands like 'Sparkle Snaz' if you want good line work or a solid base color, but I feel you are just paying more for a product to do what the original product should have been able to do in the first place.

As for Snazaroos claim at being the 'safest' face paint out there, I find that highly suspect. I haven't found any evidence of studies that would rank it any safer then other professional brands.

Over all I found Snazaroo just had WAY too many issues when compared to other brands. You'll notice I mention the TAG brand a lot on this post, but that's mainly because it's the brand I use most often, But I also have some DFX and Global in my kit. Brands I would recommend if you are looking for an update from Snazaroo are. Wolf, DFX, TAG, Chameleon, Global, and Ruby Red.

Some professional face painters swear by Snazaroo and their paint of choice, though I feel it is more of a good stepping stone for beginners, as many face painters are quick to move on from this product once they have tried other products.

If you haven't used anything else you are likely to think this face paint is the cats' meow.
Toys R Us 10/10 Review

My personal opinion is that there are far superior products out there if you want to take your face painting to the next level.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome cosplay! Aryn did a great job on the painting! That must've taken forever to make.

    Glad that I didn't buy a set of Snazaroo as my starter kit, otherwise I probably would've gotten frustrated with the colors being too muted and would've given up. When I first tried watercolors as a little kid, I remember throwing a fit when I couldn't get the colors to show up bright no matter what I did lol. Didn't realize that the paints were crap at the time.