Jessie Snyder’s kit of supplies for face painting at her Mendenhall Valley home on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jessie Snyder’s kit of supplies for face painting at her Mendenhall Valley home on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Face painting pro shares Halloween tips

Practice makes perfect and other advice

If your Halloween costume requires facepainting, Jessie Snyder says don’t wait for the big night to brush up on your design.

Snyder, a Juneau face painter who owns and operates Sunny Days Body Art, said practice makes perfect, especially for folks who might not paint faces regularly.

“Don’t make your dress rehearsal your final performance,” Snyder said. “The biggest thing is to practice beforehand.”

For the past several years, Snyder has helped put the finishing touches to Halloween costumes by painting faces in a flurry of activity she calls a painting-palooza.

She shared some wisdom she’s accumulated along the way with the Capital City Weekly, while applying cat makeup to her face and drawing feathers to complete a white swan costume for her 10-year-old daughter, Claire.

Know what you want

“When someone asks me to do a Halloween paint, I ask them to send me a reference photo ,” Snyder said.

She said having a specific design in mind helps make achieving the desired end result easier.

Without seeing what someone said, Snyder said it’s difficult to guess what they’re picturing.

Don’t go cheap

“You don’t want to get the cheap packs of Halloween makeup,” Snyder said.

She said the bundles of green, red and white paint and sponges that show up in stores this time of year don’t allow for subtle looks or much control.

“If you’re going for a gory zombie, it’s OK,” Snyder said.

She recommend using some sort of brush as an applicator instead of sponges, too.

The internet is your friend

Snyder said Pinterest and similar websites are great place to go for inspiration, and YouTube is a great resource for tutorials.

“I’ve spent years watching YouTube videos,” Snyder said.

Plus, Snyder said she orders most of her quality paints and equipment online

Snyder also provided two-step instructions for a simple black cat costume almost any copy cat can follow.

“Any woman can do a basic cat face,” Snyder said, before grabbing black eyeliner and showing the process.

She said the simple look can be done with a bare face or after being fully madeup.

Step one: Draw a nose.

“You just draw a triangle on your nose, and then you fill it in,” Snyder said.

Step two: Draw whiskers on your cheeks.

“Ta-da, you’re a cat,” Snyder said.

But she did provide some advice for drawing whiskers.

“I always do sets of three or five or seven,” Snyder said. “Always do odd.”

Optional steps: Add emphasis to whiskers, add whisker spots and draw a line.

Those who want a slightly more complex cat face can faintly underline their whiskers using white eyeliner, Snyder said.

Additionally, they can add whisker spots in odd-number clusters to their cheeks and may decide to draw a line from the base of their nose to the top of their cupid’s bow.


• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at 523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com.


Claire Snyder, 10, strikes a pose as her mother gives tips on face painting for Halloween at her Mendenhall Valley home on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Claire Snyder, 10, strikes a pose as her mother gives tips on face painting for Halloween at her Mendenhall Valley home on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jessie Snyder gives a primer on face painting for Halloween at her Mendenhall Valley home on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jessie Snyder gives a primer on face painting for Halloween at her Mendenhall Valley home on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

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