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Body Makeup and Waterproof Body Makeup Guide

For centuries, makeup has been employed to augment people's beauty or to modify and adorn the body for ceremonies, rituals, and other events. In more recent times, body makeup has grown in popularity, often being featured in photo shoots, advertising campaigns, weddings, TV Competitions, and art and fashion shows. With the introduction of waterproof makeup, individuals can now have makeup that will last for hours, even in wet, humid, or highly active conditions. In this guide, we will investigate body makeup, its use, and how to apply it proficiently.

Waterproof Body Makeup

Artwork by: Donna Nowak from ShowOffs Body Art

What is Body Makeup?

Body makeup is a type of cosmetic that is put on the skin to modify or improve its appearance. It can be used to conceal marks, scars, and tattoos, to give the skin an even and sleek look, or to alter the look of the body creating optical illusions as well as to make artworks using the body as a canvas. Body makeup comes in various forms, including creams, cakes, sprays, and powders. Body makeup is different from facial makeup in that it is specifically formulated for the body and is usually more durable and longer-lasting than facial makeup, although numerous products designed for the face can be utilized as body makeup. An example of this last kind of makeup are face paints which can, and often are, used as body paints to do body makeup.

Why Use Body Makeup?

There are many reasons why people choose to use body makeup. Here are some of the most common:
1. Covering Imperfections: Body makeup is an excellent way to cover up imperfections on the skin, such as scars, bruises, and stretch marks. It can also be used to cover up tattoos when needed. People tend to use Body Foundation or a Concealer for that like the Mehron Tattoo ProColoRing.
2. Enhancing Skin Appearance: Body makeup can be used to enhance the skin's appearance, giving it a smooth and even look. This is especially useful for photo shoots or events where the skin's appearance is important. Products like body glitter and mica powders are great ways of enhancing the skin's appearance by creating highlights and reflections.

3. Changing the Body's Appearance or Creating Art: Body makeup can be used to create optical illusions or create art pieces that completely change the body's appearance. The products most commonly used for this kind of body makeup experience are face and body paints.

You can read all there is to know about body painting in our Body Paint Guide.

Types of Body Makeup:

There are many types of body makeup, each has unique properties and uses. Here are the most common types of body makeup:
1. Body Paints: Body paints come in liquid and solid forms. Solid-body paints are applied with a brush or sponge and are usually water activated. Liquid body paints are usually applied with an airbrush although they can also be applied with a brush and or sponge. Body paints are most commonly used to create body paintings, an art form rather than a beauty trend per se. Body paints can also be used to create optical illusions which is a common use for advertising campaigns and theater. If you want to learn more about the different kinds of body paints you can read our Ultimate Face Paint Guide - Brands Comparison blog post.
2. Body Foundation:
 Body foundation is a type of makeup that is used to cover up imperfections on the skin, such as scars, bruises, and stretch marks. It can also be used to give the skin a smooth and even look which is great for things like photoshoots. Body foundation comes in different forms, including creams, sprays, and powders. The foundation tends to be thin and light so that it has a natural finish. Many foundation products are applied as airbrushes, similar to a spray tan.

3. Body Concealer: Concealers are similar to body foundations, but they are also used to cover up specific areas of the skin, such as blemishes or tattoos. Body concealer is often thicker than body foundation, and it comes in different shades to match the skin's color, just like foundations do. A good example of a body concealer is the Mehron Tattoo ProColoRing.
4. Body Bronzer: Body bronzer is a type of makeup that is used to give the skin a sun-kissed look. It can be used to enhance the skin's appearance, giving it a healthy and radiant glow. Mica powders are often used as bronzers in their loose form or as pressed powder.

5. Body Highlighter: Body highlighter is a type of makeup that is used to highlight specific areas of the skin, such as the collarbones, shoulders, or legs. It can be used to give the skin a luminous and radiant look. Light and shimmery loose powder can be used to achieve that effect.

6. Body Glitter: Body glitter is a type of makeup that is used to add sparkle and colored reflections to the skin. It is often used for events like festivals or parties, where a bold and festive look is desired. There are many different kinds of glitter preparations including fine loose glitterloose chunky glitterglitter cremes, and glitter gels

7. Body Inks: Several kinds of body inks are used to create permanent or temporary designs on the skin. Permanent tattoo inks are applied under the skin to create a permanent design, while alcohol-based body painting inks are used to create temporary designs over the skin. There are also natural products like Henna that will stain the skin for a period creating a long-lasting but temporary design. Unlike body paints that paint over the skin, henna will actually "stain" your skin to create the design.

Waterproof Body Makeup

Waterproof body makeup is a special type of body makeup that is specifically designed to withstand water, sweat, and friction. It is ideal for events where the skin may be exposed to water, such as beach weddings, pool parties, or water-themed photo shoots, but it is also good for situations where you are expecting to sweat a lot or in which a lot of friction is expected, like a performance or long events in which your makeup needs to look flawless for hours even while walking, interacting with the public, posing for pictures, etc.

Waterproof body makeup comes in different forms, including creams, sprays, powders, and cakes. At Jest Paint, we sell waterproof airbrush body paints, pressed powders, waterproof solid cakes that are activated with a special activator, and grease/oil makeup that needs to be set with a setting powder. All of them are great options depending on the specific needs.

Types of Waterproof Body Makeup:

There are several kinds of waterproof body makeup products. We will cover some of the most popular options used by body makeup artists around the world. The products listed below are mostly used by the body painting industry although some are also used by the beauty makeup industry:
1. Alcohol Based Airbrush Body Paints: These are likely the most commonly used paints when looking to create a waterproof makeup look since they are easy to apply and come in dozens of colors. Brands like ProAiir and Endura from European Body Art are some of the most popular ones thanks to their quality, vibrancy, and durability. Alcohol airbrush paints are usually a solution of alcohol, castor oil, and makeup pigments that can be spread over the body using an airbrush system or a sponge and brush.

2. Pressed Powders: Pressed powders are most commonly used on the face since they are not easy to apply over an entire body. Pressed Powders will need a makeup sealer to create a waterproof makeup finish and even then the result might not be 100% waterproof. Pressed powders consist of a mixing medium like glycerin and loose pigments that are mixed to create a cake-like product that can be spread on the skin using a foam applicator.

3. Oil Based Makeup Products: This kind of makeup is most commonly known as clown makeup, grease makeup, or theatrical makeup. Its mineral oil based mixed with cosmetic grade pigments make for a very long-lasting but heavy-to-wear product. Oil-based makeup products need to be set with a setting powder to prevent smudging and transfer and are very sweat and water-resistant.

4. Alcohol Based Solid Body Paints: These are newer to the market and most commonly used by special effects artists because they allow artists to create washes and layer colors in an unprecedented form, unlike most other kinds of makeup products.

You can learn more about water proof face paints and the different brands and applications on our Waterproof Face Paints blog.

How to Apply Waterproof Body Makeup:

Applying body makeup can be a bit tricky, especially if you are new to the process. Every kind of makeup will require specific techniques but there are some steps that apply to all of them:

  1. Remove any lotion or oil that you might have on your skin. Waterproof body makeup works a lot better if applied on clean dry skin so it can better adhere to the body.
  2. Apply a screen prep solution like Mehron Barrier Spray. Prepping the skin with a moisture barrier product will help your waterproof body makeup last longer.
  3. Apply the waterproof body makeup as indicated on the label of the product of your choice.
  4. Set the water proof body makeup with a setting powder or with a makeup sealer like Ben Nye Final Seal. A makeup sealer will add extra resistance to your makeup and can help turn almost any makeup into a waterproof or water resistant makeup.


Thank you for reading our blog post, please leave us a comment below and continue browsing our free face and body art guides to learn more about the products in our industry and how to use them.

Disclosure: The author used GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model to aid with the writing (to get better formulated sentences, create the text structure, find synonyms, etc). Upon generating draft language with a mix of author's contributions and AI generated text, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication. The actual ideas are 100% the author's creation, the AI was just used to aid in redaction and sentence structure.

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