ShowOffs Body Art FAQ

Common Questions about Makeup

What types of makeup are used with StencilEyes?

For use with StencilEyes, we recommend PROAIIR of course. It's FDA ingredients, certified "Skin safe" by third party laboratory!  If you're applying with airbrush, we prefer hybrid formulas. We never use acrylic paint which has been known to cause allergic reactions. Nor do we recommend airbrush tattoo ink as it can be very difficult to remove. For QuickEZ, all of the above applies if you're using on human skin. We defer to your expertise on all other mediums.

What are the main differences between ProAiir and other hybrid makeup?

ProAiir is made with 100% cosmetic blend alcohol (not to be confused with rubbing alcohol which is NOT in the same family). Cosmetic grade alcohol found in many cosmetics (even mouth washes) gives products quick dry,m longer shelf life, minimizes mist (no more makeup in your nose hairs), repells water making it durable while retaining your design, does not smeer or smudge in rain and dries immediately.  ProAiir uses rich pigments, provides great coverage and does NOT require continuous shaking of bottles or stirring.  It also has a very pleasant aroma.  Neon colors are vibrant and bright even without a white base.  ProAiir comes in 2, 4, and 8 oz bottles.  Don't confuse cosmetic alcohol with rubbing alcohol.  It's NOT the same formula.  Alcohol is used in many products. Cosmetic alcohol is used in products like hair spray, waterproof makeup, mouth wash, food and shampoos.

What PSI is best for face painting with StencilEyes?

At ShowOffs we find that between 10-15 PSI works best.  Hybrid makeup normally comes formulated for use at that optimal level. For hotter days it's best to increase 5-8 PSI higher.  

How do you apply your makeup?

We mostly use airbrush for the sake of speed but you can also use our mister pump sprayer, kabuki brushes or use dry sponging with many StencilEyes and QuickEZ stencil designs.

What is the best airbrush to use?

This is a question that we hear all of the time. When it comes to purchasing an airbrush there are a ton of choices. The major options are going with a standard airbrush configuration or purchasing a multi-color changer or buying some brand new device. In our many years of experience, we have always recommended and relied on the conventional airbrush setup. Granted there’s not a lot of sex appeal and excitement to this type of setup but it really has a lot of advantages. Before we go any further, let’s explain some of the different options. The conventional airbrush setup consists of a handful of airbrushes all connected to a central manifold that delivers air from the compressor to each individual airbrush. Each airbrush is setup with a single color of ink or paint. When you need a particular color, you simply pick up the airbrush with the color you want attached and go to work. You can save on airbrushes and space by loading your most popular colors in individual airbrushes and saving one or two to switch out to colors that you only need occasionally. The multi-color changers are interesting because you can load up a handful of colors and they all feed to a single airbrush. When you need another color you simply change the dial at the airbrush and the next color comes out. These units are sold as Spectrum 2000, Power Palette, and a few other names. Cleanup of these units can be somewhat intense. New devices come to the market from time to time but they are generally just a rehashing of an old idea. The latest gadgets to hit the market are the quick change airbrushes. Some are pretty simple looking and some are sexy and very expensive. These units are actually just a redo of the standard single action airbrush. They are called Quick Change Airbrush Kits by a number of different companies. There is also a newer device called a Zero-G. This unit is simply a single action airbrush with a top feed and it's very expensive. The biggest issue with all of these units is they can’t do detail work and have a tendency to waste ink. The number one reason that you should avoid multi-change units or rehashed single action systems is the simple fact that you are totally dependent on a single system. You essentially have a single point of failure with your setup and this is never a good idea. If you run out of a particular color of ink you can substitute but if your single airbrush system fails and that’s all you have, you are done for the day. If you have four or five conventional airbrushes and one of them decides to stop working, you can simply set it aside and keep working. This is also a good point to remember for compressors. Always keep a spare and avoid another single point of failure. We recommend using Paasche, Iwata, or Badger airbrushes. Shop around and you can always find a better price. Using a multiple airbrush setup is also a great idea because if gives you the opportunity to improve your setup efficiency as your business grows and you’ll save money at the same time.

Can I do anything to preserve the art?

If you are not using ProAiir Hybrid we can share with water soluble paints, try not to sweat heavily or go swimming; really. Prolong spray can help seal the skin and preserve the design, but only to an extent. With hybrid makeup, designs will withstand water from rain, lake swims and the like. People planning to hit the pool are likely to lose their artwork due to the use of chlorine and other chemicals.

How much can I charge for face painting with StencilEyes?

The going rate in my home state of Michigan these days runs from $10-$15 for full faces, $8-$10 for half face designs and $6-$8 for 1/4 faces. Pricing is all up to you and what your market will bear.

Can I mix airbrush makeup colors?

It's perfectly ok to mix colors to create new and unique blends. Just be sure NOT to mix water-based makeup with hybrid makeup. Also, stick to mixing colors within a manufacturer's line.

What is the shelf life of airbrush makeup?

Most water mix makeup will last up to two (2) years if never opened. ProAiir Hyrbid because it doesn't have water will last 5 years if never opend.  Water base product like over-the-counter makeup, bacteria can find a home over time. Date all products when they arrive and toss the old stuff when appropriate. You can never be too safe in this business.

What does PSI stand for?

PSI stands for pounds per square inch. Where you set your PSI dictates how much air is forced through the airbrush. Ideal PSI for use with makeup varies by manufacturer but usually runs between 8-15 PSI. Keep it as low as possible to avoid blasting your customers in the face!

What can I do when having trouble with makeup flow?

Airbrush makeup should be applied at low pressure, usually between 8-15 PSI. Raising the PSI is rarely the answer to restricted flow of makeup. Try expanding the hole in the top of the fast-blast cap to allow more air to be pulled into the bottle which in turn will allow better siphoning, or up flow, of makeup to the airbrush. Insert a marble or stainless steel washer into each bottle to ensure thorough combining of ingredients when shaking.

What makeup is best for dramatic results?

Most manufacturers offer a vast range of colors to choose from. For really dramatic results use colors that contrast with your customers natural skin tone. On darker skin, use neon colors over a slightly whitened background and watch the colors POP! On light skin, avoid creating the "black eye" effect: no dark colors around the eyes! When possible, try matching makeup colors to your customer's clothing to create a complete, packaged look.

So you want even more sizzle?

Applying glitters, gels, and shimmers over makeup adds "bling" to any design. Boys like to be "chromed" and girls get glittered. If you're using hybrid makeup, mist the design slightly with water before applying glitters. "Puffer" bottles work great for applying loose glitter. Liquid glitters can be brushed on. Water-based makeup stays wet long enough for loose glitter to adhere directly. Whether you apply the glitter only through a stencil or over a broader area, just be sure to avoid the eyes! Note that "shimmers" are different than glitters and gels in that they can be used as background colors too. Wetting the skin before applying will result in longer-lasting, bolder colors that withstand airbrushing on the details.

How do I store makeup between jobs?

At ShowOffs we keep fast-blast caps on our bottles of makeup before, during and after a gig. To keep the makeup fresh, plug the siphon with the cap provided and put a small piece of masking tape over the air hole. Besides preventing drying out, these small steps also prevent spillage during travel.

What should I do if makeup thickens?

Despite all efforts, extended periods of extremely hot weather can cause minor evaporation and thickening of the makeup. If you use PROAIIR Hybrid do NOT thin with ANYTHING - please contact ShowOffs for a special mixing agent which is not sold in stores. But should that occur with other brands, a couple of drops of water or rubbing alcohol whould be enough to thin it out. Use water to thin water-based makeup and alcohol to thin hybrid makeup. NEVER mix the two!  We recommend that our ink be sprayed with a dual action, bottom feed airbrush with a nozzle/needle size of 0.5mm to 0.8mm.

How can I learn even more about using StencilEyes by ShowOffs?

First and foremost, check out the many instructional videos available from the Videos page on this site. If that doesn't satisfy your every need, give us a call and we'll be happy to discuss individual questions or even arrange a personal consultation with you and your team of artists. Our goal at ShowOffs is to ensure you're getting all the help you need to make the most of your business.

Common Questions about Stencils

What types of makeup are used with these stencils?

For use with StencilEyes, we recommend PROAIIR of course. It's perfectly safe for the the skin. If you're applying with airbrush, we prefer hybrid formulas. We never use acrylic paint which has been known to cause allergic reactions. Nor do we recommend airbrush tattoo ink as it can be very difficult to remove. For QuickEZ, all of the above applies if you're using on human skin. We defer to your expertise on all other mediums.

What PSI is best for face painting with StencilEyes?

At ShowOffs we find that between 10-15 PSI works best. Anything more may cause discomfort for your customers. Hybrid makeup normally comes formulated for use at that optimal level. Water-based makeup is formulated for use at 20 PSI so it is best to thin them down with distilled water before using.

Why do StencilEyes come in different sizes?

News flash! Faces come in many different shapes and sizes. It's unrealistic to think that EVERY stencil will fit perfectly EVERY time. The good news is that with "adult" and "youth" sizes available with most StencilEyes designs, you'll have something in your arsenal for everyone that comes your way.

Can I use adult size stencils on children?

Until you own a complete set of StencilEyes with both child and adult sizes, with a little manipulation you can make an adult stencil work on even small children. In extreme cases, align individual stencil elements with the appropriate facial structures (i.e., eyebrows, jaw line accents). I usually spray details starting from the top: forehead first, then side of eye, then work my way down.If necessary, lift the stencil and relocate after each element is sprayed. When using two-sided stencils and spraying the second half of the face, just examine the first, finished side for visual cues to create a symmetrical overall look.

How long does it take to apply?

Most face painting designs can be created in 2-3 minutes. Application time will vary depending upon the level of detail and the skill/speed of the artist. For very large crowds when speed is of the utmost importance, half and quarter face designs can be applied in mere seconds. As you become familiar with this you'll be up to 25-35 faces an hour. Much faster than a traditional hand painter.

How do you apply your makeup?

We mostly use airbrush for the sake of speed and more sanitary but you can also use dry sponging with many designs.

How do I use them to get the best results?

For crisp edges and the best overall finish, keep the stencil pressed firmly against the skin when spraying. We like to "walk" the stencil by pressing small portions against the face between two fingers and spraying as we go. Continue walking your fingers and spraying until the design is complete.

What is the best way to apply "mask" designs?

Raptor, Hero, Night Bat and all mask designs are VERY popular with kids and adults alike. Boys, little and big, are especially fond of these! Don't be afraid to ask a nearby volunteer to hold the stencil from behind your customer's head.

Can I do anything to preserve the art?

With water soluble paints, try not to sweat heavily or go swimming; really. Barrier spray can help seal the skin and preserve the design, but only to an extent. With hybrid makeup, designs will withstand water from rain, lake swims and the like. People planning to hit the pool are likely to lose their artwork due to the use of chlorine and other chemicals.

What about spraying around the eyes?

For best results with very young children, steer clear of the eyes entirely. It's very rare to find one who will sit still (or even in the chair for that matter) when getting anywhere close. Avoid spraying near tear ducts whenever possible. Scrunched eyes will result in creases in your designs. While this is a great look for Voodoos and villains of all sorts, it's not appealing when creating pretty faces. Use whatever tactics are at your disposal to calm the subject and ease their facial tension. I like to ask children to count with me to 20 out loud. That tends to distract them long enough to get the job done right. When applying beauty eye makeup, use lightest colors directly under the eyebrow, graduating to darker ones as you go lower toward the lids. Save the darkest colors for the outer corner or the eye then finish by dotting the center of the lid and/or inner eye with a light (white) color. Fashion magazines are great for reference and keeping up with current trends. Lifting the brow will give you more room to work. Some StencilEyes™ designs include eyebrow liners. Where facial features (or squeamishness) makes it impossible to apply, just skip the detail. Unless you point it out no one will know the difference.

What is the best way to align StencilEyes on the face?

Some StencilEyes designs include dots to ensure perfect alignment and symmetry from one side of the face to the other. Match these dots, located under or beside the eye, from side to side to get the best results.

How can I offer more designs from a single StencilEyes design?

Besides getting near-flawless finishes every time, the beauty of using StencilEyes is that with a little imagination no two people will ever have the same design (if desired). There's no "rule" that says you must spray every detail within the stencil. Skipping portions or adding embellishments from the Heart and Peanut curves makes it possible to create unique designs every time. For just a touch of class, spray only a small portion of a design beside the eye(s). If bangs get in the way, skip forehead features and spray only the cheeks and eyes. When long lines have the potential of getting you down, offer 1/4 and 1/2 face designs. If your customer wishes to have the look "completed", ask them to jump to the back of the line after each spraying. Unless people are "paying" handsomely for complete designs, try to make sure no one goes away empty-handed (empty-faced?).

You mean you want even MORE design possibilities?

When you're ready to take things to all new levels of creativity, try interchanging components from multiple StencilEyes designs. Add a Kool Kat muzzle to a Daisy Dance and you get Flower Kitty. Flip stencils around, spray partial designs, add dots, stars, etc. Embellish! The possibilities are endless. Drop shadows lend a classy, dimensional look to any design. Simply spray your design with a somewhat dark color, lift and move the stencil to a slightly offset position and spray over the majority of the base design with a lighter color. For example, spray on a black star, then move the stencil over slightly and spray it again with white. WOW! Adding texture to any design, but mostly to the StencilEyes "masks", is a crowd pleaser anywhere in the world. Spray a base color then follow it up by placing fabric or one of the many QuickEZ stencils available here over it and spray with a contrasting color. Scales transforms a Hero Mask to Snake Eyes! Create dramatic looks with full, 1/2 and 1/4 face designs.

Can I interchange designs?

Yes you can!  The sum of the parts can be greater than the whole when you start mixing and matching StencilEyes and QuickEZ. Create more unique designs with a little imagingation.  We offer flash cards filled with intriguing ideas.

How do I clean my stencils?

If you're spraying with hybrid makeup, simply soak your stencils for a few hours in a zip-lock bag containing alcohol or even Windex. Wipe them down afterwards and store them away until the next job. When using with water-based makeup, spray and wipe with any household window cleaner. If you have a Sonic Cleaner (found at www.harborfreight.com) you can clean them faster with that - you may need a little scrubber brush for those stubborn spots.

How do I store my StencilEyes?

At ShowOffs we store and carry our stencils in three different ways. For one, we use a recipe-like box with manilla tab dividers. Another option we like is to store in a three-ring binder with double-sided manilla pocket dividers. Last is a large office file containers- Check out our Products page for an illustration.

How can I become a distributor of stencils by ShowOffs Body Art?

Just give us a call and we can talk about it. Normally, when we're talking about StencilEyes, we like to establish our partnership with an initial purchase.   

How can I learn more about using StencilEyes by ShowOffs?

First and foremost, check out the many instructional videos available from the Videos page on this site. If that doesn't satisfy your every need, give us a call and we'll be happy to discuss individual questions or even arrange a personal consultation with you and your team of artists. Our goal at ShowOffs is to ensure you're getting all the help you need to make the most of your business.

Common Questions about Equipment

What type of airbrush makeup bottle is best?

We recommend using only plastic bottles with fast-blast caps. Plastic won't break if dropped and the plastic siphons on blast caps hold firmly into airbrush guns under any and all atmospheric conditions.  Glass bottles will conduct heat and cause makeup to thicken.

What is the best way to store airbrushes between jobs?

Methods for storing airbrushes between gigs depends upon when you plan to use them again. If you'll be using them in the next day or two AND you'll be using the same type of makeup, simply place them upright in a plastic container with the needles pulled out. Fill the container with only enough water or alcohol to cover the area where the draw tube enters the airbrush. Use water with water-based makeup and alcohol with hybrid makeup. NEVER mix the two! The idea is to keep the makeup inside the airbrush from drying out. By keeping it moist, any residue left over from the day's work will spray through when you load and test your airbrushes the next time. However, keep in mind that overexposure to alcohol will cause shrinkage of the o-rings within airbrushes. If you have no plans of using your airbrushes any time soon, we recommend tearing them down and cleaning them thoroughly before storing. Check out the video on this website for cleaning airbrushes.

What is the best way to clean airbrushes?

The biggest key in cleaning airbrushes is to use the appropriate solution for the job. Cleaning up after the use of hybrid makeup requires rubbing alcohol; we prefer the 91% variety. Water-based makeup is easily removed with water. NEVER mix the two unless you're fond of clearing out gummed-up airbrushes! If that should happen by mistake, toss the airbrushes into a sonic cleaner or soak them in Createx-RESTORE. Follow the manufacturer's directions for use. If all else fails, tear the airbrushes down and clean them thoroughly.
ShowOffs Body Art is the creator of the world's finest, most durable makeup, stencils and supplies for the professional face and body painter. Our signature product, ProAiir Makeup, is a professional-grade airbrush, sponge and brush-on makeup. Everything is made in the USA.

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