How to Apply Camo Face Paint for Hunting | 12 tips on face paint for hunting

How to apply camo face paint for hunting

A lot of hunters don't know the best way to apply camouflage face paint for hunting, so I wanted to share with you some tips and tricks on "how to apply camo face paint for hunting'', that can help.

Camouflage face paint is not something that most hunter think about, but hunting face paint is an important part of your hunting gear. It's also a great conversation starter if you're at a party or event where everyone else is asking: "What do you hunt?" You'll be able to tell them all about how you use camo face paint in your hunts! Read more here...

Why should you use hunting face paint?

Camo face paint was designed for one thing: to break up your human outline. It is an essential must-have in your hunting kit. You can use it to mask yourself from your prey, but you can also use it as a safety precaution while on the hunt.

Face paint is also good for hunting at night when a hunter has to stalk his prey without being seen. The same logic applies; a hunter must match his surroundings to avoid detection.

Some may wonder - whether camouflage face paint really works on animals, especially those which are not accustomed to human presence like deer in a national park. It is true that most species of wildlife have become habituated to humans over time and may not be fooled by camo face paint techniques, but this does not mean that such techniques cannot be used. Camouflage works best on deer when combined with other methods such as a scent-free spray and clothing that blends in with the environment.

Going back to the point of matching your surroundings, remember that camo face paint is only effective if you use it where appropriate. For example, forested areas are ideal for using green camo paint whereas desert environments will call for tan or brown colors. You can also use camouflage face paint on animals such as waterfowls and species which live under arctic conditions.

Although some animals have had enough of humans and very seldom allow us to close without running away from us, there are still others who enjoy human company and may not run at first sight of one. If you wish to hunt these sorts of animals like deer, then wearing bright colors may be a better option. This way, deer will be more likely to approach you since they are accustomed to seeing humans in this attire.

Regardless of what kind of paint you choose, always remember that camo face painting techniques can only take your hunt so far. Don't assume that just because it's camouflaged, you will go totally unnoticed by wildlife. You should still exercise caution and avoid making any abrupt movements that may give away your presence.

What color should you use?

First, decide whether to use loose face paint or stick/cake make-up. A loose face mask dries better than cake/stick makeup and has more color options. However, loose paints are messy to remove if you don't have any remover wipes ready before you start painting your face. Stick/cake makes are easy to remove with soaps or wet wipes but it is harder to blend them with your skin tone especially if the product contains too much talc powder that makes it look smooth on applying but tends to clog pores when worn under extreme conditions such as rain and physical activities.

Second, you have determined which season will be most appropriate for your hunting needs - winter, spring, summer, or fall. Then pick two dominant base colors within that seasonal selection and use them as your main colors. How to mix camo face paints? After that, pick the three additional color families and check out how they are related to each other before strategically placing them into your mixture.

For example, if a hunter uses black, and dark brown as his 2 dominant base colors then it's easy to determine that yellow-orange hunting face paint is complementary in both the warm (or cool) range of colors.

How to mix camo face paint from primary color families? 

Generally speaking, you can use any two primary colors within the same color family for mixing camo face paints because all colors within one color family have some kind of harmony or similarity on their own such as blue has blues and greens while green has earthy yellowish tones.

Hot weather

If your face paint will be applied for hot and sunny weather, then use camo colors that have yellow in them such as hunter orange or even bold greens like coyote and tiger stripe. According to the Ramage Group website, "Sunlight is a mixture of all colors (white light). When we look at an object, the color that our eyes see is simply the portion of this white light that is reflected back from the object." How is this proven? By looking at a white sheet of paper in broad daylight without any colored object beside it then you will notice that it looks plain white.

So by basing on this theory, if you apply colors to your face that are not reflecting back the white light, only the portions of yellow and other colors will be seen.

Winter/ cold weather

If you're going to hunt in winter in cold weather, then use camo colors that have bluish colors such as neon yellow and bright blue.

Spring season

For spring hunting seasons where temperatures are moderate and sunny at times but unexpectedly turn out to be rainy during the afternoon hours, go for colors like neon orange which resembles safety vest colors plus greens such as wood and dark green or olive drab.

How much camo face paint to apply for hunting? 

It's up to you how thick or thin layers of colors you want depending on your specific needs. The idea is to come up with a design that will make you unnoticed in any environment. For example, if you're planning to hunt at night time it's good practice to avoid bright colors like black and use palette knives instead. You can also use clear waterproof gels which keep the color on your face even when it rains but don't forget to use a color face mask that has water solubility as your first base coat.

How to apply camo face paint for hunting?

The following text is a basic guide to applying camo face paint for hunting. It is designed to get you started with your own design and show you the essentials of camouflage in the field. If you are only intending on doing some target practice or plinking cans at camp then this article may not be for you, but those looking to actually hunt will benefit greatly from reading and applying these techniques.
These are tips that I have learned over many years of practicing, observing, and teaching others how to do the art of camouflage. We all use different patterns so don't be afraid to experiment as well!

Tips on applying face paint for hunting:

1. Keep the design easy to apply, hard to notice. If there is a large piece of reflective tape that sticks out then remove it or use a darker paint for camo pattern rather than trying to cover up shiny bits while applying camo.

2. Apply stick or cake makeup first then top it with loose face paints if you want better coverage and finish. Do not pat the loose face paints on your skin but instead stroke them gently while building up layers of colors until desired coverage is achieved. Always go for natural-looking effects that will make you invisible in the woods and increase your chances to get closer to game animals during hunting without being detected by them.

3. Apply larger shapes first so they can be blended into smaller details last. This allows you to blend naturally instead of wiping at detailed sections before the bigger areas are done.

How to apply camo face paint for hunting 2

apply large shapes first (source)

4. Use common colors found in nature such as greens/browns from vegetation, deep blacks/blues from shadows, and even gray from concrete buildings (like old factory walls, large rocks, and metal).

5. Think about what type of background you will be most likely to use it in. You don't want too much contrast if your target environment is all green plants or shrubbery so it blends naturally into the background. If you are hunting dense woodland then consider a more detailed pattern with fewer open spots that would decrease "stealth" when moving around freely.

6. Sketch out shapes on paper before applying them to your face. This allows you to get an idea of what works and what doesn't without risking permanent damage to your skin by using the wrong color or putting lines where they shouldn't go (all artists do this from time to time lol). The only exception to this rule is when doing a "quick mask" where you need to get out of the house in a hurry and don't have time to sketch first. This is more common with kids who need to be at school or some other activity.

7. Keep it simple, keep patterns large and open enough so they blend into your environment. The less contrast from your pattern the better chance it has at blending perfectly (unless you are looking for that perfect ambush).

How to apply camo face paint for hunting 3

Keep it simple (source)

8. Don't forget to experiment with darkening skin around the eyes as well! It makes them stand out much less compared to just using face paint without darkening the skin below the eyes.

9. Make sure anyone else in your party knows how what you look like after applying camo paint. They don't want to be shot by their own group members or associate a different person as an enemy (especially at night). Also, be very careful about using non-toxic materials for painting your face.

10. Don't forget to try and think like your prey, what color would it be in your environment? If you are hunting rabbits then stick with browns and greens, if deer/elk then you have more variety to play around with. Even insects can have unique colors depending on the time of year!

11. Remember: Camouflage is not about switching from one pattern to another, it's about using variations of the same color scheme based on light conditions. Some camo patterns work better for snow than others so keep that in mind when dressing up for winter hunts. Also, unlike dark colors, light colors tend to be better for warmer weather since the sun doesn't reflect as much off of them.

12. Also, remember that the best camouflage face paint can be very useful when trying to apply a pattern that acts like an outline (meaning it isn't a solid one color, it fades into another). Try and find patterns that have this type of design so you can make the transition from color to color without having a sharp line where one ends and another begins.

Don't forget your ears while painting your face!

Removing face paint: How can you get rid of your camo make-up?

Here are two ways:

1) Rub Soap on Your Face 

But just so you know, this method is not always effective, especially when using cake/stick type face paints because soap would clog your pores. Facial soaps and cleansers are mild, but they still have soap ingredients in them (look at soap's list of ingredients). Soap works by creating a layer of foam on top of your face paint to make the painting softer when you rub soap on it.

Soap is also a lubricant and will help remove the camo face paint from your skin. How long does it take to remove camo face paint with soap? It depends, for example, if you only applied small amounts of paint then it would probably still look fresh after washing off. If you applied thick layers without mixing colors together well then it will most likely have clogged pores which are hard to get rid of (and in some cases,

2) How about baby oil or olive oil? 

Baby oils or body oils may be more effective than facial soaps for removing hunting face paint because they contain less panthenol and lots of moisturizers. How many drops of body oil do you need? 2-3 drops are recommended by most face paint enthusiasts to remove camo paints from the face, neck, and ears. Remember, just use the right type of oils but too much facial oil would cause your face paint to run off completely which makes it useless when you're trying to have a professional camo look.

I used olive oil for additional cleansing on my entire face and neck area after removing the camo makeup with baby soap. After rinsing with water I wiped my skin with a clean towel then continued cleaning my skin with baby soap again in circular motions until I'm sure if there are still any traces of olive oil on my face surface.


Hope these tips help you get started on your own custom camo designs! My favorite brand for hunting face paint is Ben Nye but I also have experience with Kryolan, Spectraflair, and other brands that are available online. Remember, if in doubt then just pick up a bottle of dark or light green and whip out your old copy of "Warriors" (the book not the movie lol) for some great ideas. Enjoy!


How do I know which camo hunting face paint color to use?

First, go to a store and buy a set of camo face paints that have a wide variety of colors. Beginner face painters should start out with at least 8-10 colors (2-3 in each color family) while advanced face painters need more than 30 primary colors or even mix it up to their own custom paint color blends.

How to mix camo hunting face paint from tertiary color families? 

Colors within the same tertiary color family work well too but you have more choices of colors while making your own homemade camo face paints. How are tertiary color families classified? Tertiary colors can be distinguished based on their relationships with each other - warm vs cool, light vs dark, and two colors in between (or one hue in between). For example:
Warm: yellow, orange, red, pink
Cool : dark green or light green, aqua/teal/turquoise, purple/violet
Light : white / gray / cream / ivory or very pale hues of light

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