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Auntie Stacey packs some info

Auntie Stacey face paints a dragon, face and body paint by Auntie Stacey Dennick, San Francisco Bay area face painterMightygoods.com included me in a article about how professional face painters pack and prepare their gear. Here is my section.

I live in Northern California, about two hours north of the Golden Gate Bridge, in beautiful Sonoma county. A friend encouraged me to try face painting many years ago. She showed me a few designs and I painted at birthday parties occasionally. When I moved to Wine Country in 2010, I decided to become professional. I started face painting most weekends, attended face painting conventions and practiced a lot. Having good supplies makes all the difference, it’s an investment-I want every color! But I have to limit it or my bag would weigh a ton.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all face painters bring?

  • I often bring balloons for twisting, which is a great addition for birthday parties, restaurants and lower volume gigs.
  • I always bring an extra mirror that sits on my table so kids can run over and check their make-up.
  • Although I don’t always use them, I like to bring some powder-based colors. These are great for super-hot days, wiggly toddlers and fairs where there is a long line, as they go on very quickly and don’t smear in hot weather.

How do you bring things with you?

I can fit just about everything I need into an old Eagle Creek rolling bag similar to the Gear Warrior™ 29. I like that it stays upright. It’s very Auntie Stacey Superhero Super face painting and balloon twistingimportant that I pack the same way so I can set up quickly and don’t forget anything. The bottom layer of the bag holds 3 plastic lock top containers containing individual paint cakes in containers that screw together for fast access; glitter and gems, hair clips, powders, 99% alcohol, lip applicators & body glue. Baby wipes go on top of them. My custom make-up case sits evenly on top of this. It uses less space to store the cakes with their lids on, but it takes too long to open all of those little containers, keep track of the lids, and put them away. When I open my case, I get oohs and ahs from guests observing the beautiful rainbow colors I have. Face painters are entertainers as well as artists, so I always arrive in a fun costume with flowers or something small painted on my own face.

Next, I place two folding holders full of paint brushes (from an art supply store) a plastic zip container with stencils, two small water bowls (better, IMHO, then the water containers that also hold brushes because they make it easier to change your water) and two ACE plastic buckets. One contains makeup sponges, a hand mirror, water spritzer, small brush holder, hand sanitizer, cards, a small towel, pen and notepad…so many little things. The other bucket goes under my table for used sponges and dirty baby wipes. My notebook of designs goes in front of the bag with my tablecloths. There’s even room in the top of the bag for a jacket. I strap the bag into my car’s backseat like a precious toddler so it doesn’t tip over. Packing this way, I can wheel in my gear and set up in five minutes.

I always lay out my supplies the same way, so that I don’t waste time looking for things. Another reason to keep your supplies to a minimum is that you might not have much table space at the party to spread out into.

What are your top tips for other face painters?

Safety is paramount. Only use skin-safe, high quality products. Use a disposable applicator for lip color, or clean your brush with 99% alcohol between kids. Parents appreciate smaller designs that avoid the sensitive eye area and messy mouth zone. Sure, that 5 year-old looks adorable in the chair with a full tiger face and painted lips, but within 2 minutes she or he will eat and drink and the bottom half of her face will be a mess.

Link to the entire article, including amazing face painters from around the world.

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Frequently Asked Questions

kittyprincesswebWhy face painting?

I have the best job in the world – painting fun! I love making someone a sparkly princess or bold dragon. Imagination and play are my hallmarks. I love that face painting is temporary (aside from the photos, which are priceless keepsakes) low tech and personal.

How did you learn to face paint?

An artist since childhood, I’ve taken classes with the rock stars of face painting including Mark Reid, Marcela Bustamante, Lisa Joy Young, Annie Reynolds and more…I’m always practicing and adding new designs to my repertoire. A natural clown, I’ve also trained in improvisational theater. I’ve been in numerous Improv troupes including BATS Sunday players in San Francisco.

How do I remove the face paint?

Soap, water and a washcloth.

Is the face paint safe?

As safe as regular makeup, since the high quality supplies I use are highly pigmented makeup (don’t tell the boys!). I’ve never had a problem with allergies, but anyone who tends to be allergic to cosmetics can request a patch test. I keep my kit clean and free of firedragonwebcross contamination by using clean brushes & clean water.  I use Q-tips to apply lipstick. In addition, I won’t paint anyone who is sick or suffering from skin or eye illness.

Why should I pay more for a professional face painter?

A professional face painter can accommodate a large number of guests, painting quickly but still maintaining the “wow” factor. This keeps the line moving and everyone happy. For smaller parties, a pro can add amazing details. My customers often comment, “This is the best face painting I’ve ever seen, and you did it so quickly!” So you actually save money if you count the number of guests served.

balloon monkey by Auntie Stacey's Face Painting, balloon twisting, children's entertainment, party, kids, clown, fun, wine country face painter (415) 246-1227Professional face painters use high quality supplies that are made for use on the skin. They cost more, but they’re safe for your body. Face paint, body glues, and glitter should be cosmetic grade, not craft supplies. Non-toxic does not mean skin safe. A professional has made a substantial investment in her craft and her kit, which allows her to paint many different designs well, safely and quickly.

What about big events?

Yes! I love busy events. I’ve painted at fairs, festivals, malls and large company parties. I have a canopy with a beautiful rainbow backdrop and carry insurance.

Princess Stacey, Auntie Stacey's face painting, balloon twisting, children's entertainer, fun and games, best wine country face painter, Sonoma countyWhat about costumed characters?

Yes, Fairy, Pirate, Mermaid, Superhero, Princess, Friendly Clown, Winter Holiday, and more!

Do you offer additional entertainment options?

Yes! I can twist balloons, lead games, tell stories with hand puppets and even do a couple of magic tricks.

What other kinds of art do you do?

I make fused glass art, which I sell in my Etsy shop. I create digital media and teach Photoshop to middle school children. I also play around with painting and mosaics.

Are you the only person in your company?

There’s only one Auntie Stacey, but if you need an additional face painter or balloon twister, I have great friends I work with.

Do you paint adults?Two Jokers face paint by Auntie Stacey's Face Painting, Sonoma county, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Petaluma, wine country face painter, SF bay area face painter

Yes, of course! Many times moms and aunties like to have some pretty eye bling. Dads like tribal eye designs and rainbows too. During Halloween I paint all sorts of beautiful and scary creatures, often by private appointment.

Do you use gems?

Yes! I love bling! I’ve even made custom sparkly acrylic gem clusters to enhance my princesses and fairies.

What about pool parties?

I offer waterproof glitter tattoos. These are great for all ages and last 3-7 days. I can also use my airbrush with water resistant face paint that will last up to 30 min. in the water if you don’t rub it.

Book your winter party now and get $25 off of the first hour. Mention the secret code word “mermaid.”I hope to paint fun at your event soon!

– Auntie Stacey

contact Auntie Stacey (415) 246-1227

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Spend Mother’s Day with the kids – baby goats that is

Auntie Stacey bonds with the goatsSave the date for Redwood Hill Farm’s open house on Mother’s Day, and three other days this May. Family owned since 1968, Sebastopol-based Redwood Hill Farm is a certified humane goat dairy dedicated to quality, sustainability and community.

Join yours truly, and the Brice family for free family fun starting on Mother’s Day, May 7th.  They have baby goats for petting, hay bales for climbing, and free face painting by Auntie Stacey for four days from 11AM – 3PM.

Did I mention it’s all free? See life on the farm, try milking a goat, sample kefir, yogurt and award winning Artisan Lamancha goat munches clothing, photo by Auntie Stacey Dennickcheese (OMG the smoked cheddar is scrumptious!). See newborn kids, snuggle and be amused by the antics of the larger kids. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty as the goats like to nibble on them. They’re so funny!

Bring a picnic lunch. Come early to snag a picnic table near the live music on Saturdays. Goat milk products are available for purchase.

I hope to see you there.

– Auntie Stacey

Flower fairy by Auntie Stacey's Face Painting, serving SF Bay AreaWhen: Saturday & Sunday, May 7 & 8, 2016
and Saturday & Sunday, May 21 & 22, 2016

11AM-3PM all four days

Where: Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, 5480 Thomas Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Green Valley Road to Maddocks Rd. to Thomas Rd.
Please carpool if possible.

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Make Up Mania – IMATS LA


Body paint by Nix Herrera

Surrounded by oozing zombies, body painted she-demons and towering runway models, not to mention all the best brands – IMATS LA 2016 was a make up artist’s dream come true. A trade show of beauty and special effects products where aficionados line up for a selfie with Cat Von D, or the chance to purchase Anastasia of Beverly Hills eyebrow definer at a discount.


In mid January, I trekked from my West Sonoma county residence to the Pasadena


Fairy by Meredith Johns, Hawgfly

Convention center for this orgy of products and creativity. The main hall contained a zillion beauty products, with demos by various makeup schools providing plenty of extreme beauty and creepy effects makeups. Monsters and fairies came to life in the second hall, dedicated to special effects make up for film, TV and everything else.


Highlights included meeting the Amazing Jiro, a Japanese artist who has taken face painting into the realm of fine art, listening to a panel of makeup and effects artists from the Star Trek movies (led by Micheal Westmore), and buying a


Ve Neill & Auntie Stacey Dennick at IMATS LA

set of special effects brushes from Ve Neill, Oscar winning make up artist and judge on Sci-Fi Channel’s show Face Off. I got Ve’s favorite brushes! Okay, they’re new, not really hers, but she designed them and they are awesome.


Everywhere I wandered, in a consumer overloaded daze, another dazzling character blossomed into life, layer by painstaking painted layer. I met Industry rock stars such as body painter Nix Herrera and effects artist and Face Off winner Nora Hewitt. There were seminars, talks and a competition. Too much to take in, but so much fun. Inspiring and  humbling. I’m pumped for my special effects makeup class, which is a good thing because it starts tomorrow.    – Stacey


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Balloons & Free Kid Food in Mill Valley

Join Auntie Stacey at Pasta Pomodoro in Mill Valley on the first two Tuesdays in January. I’ll be there from 5-7 pm twisting balloons and face painting.

balloon twisting by Auntie Stacey, www.auntiestaceysfacepainting.com

Pasta Pomodoro offers a free kid’s meal all day on Tuesdays, with the purchase of an adult meal. Such a deal!

Located in the Strawberry shopping center, 800 Redwood Hwy Rd Mill Valley, CA 94941.

I hope to see you there! – Auntie Stacey

www.auntiestaceysfacepainting.com, Face Painting for the SF Bay Area

Food tastes better with a dragon on your face.

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Auntie Stacey in the News – Rockin’ Dia de Los Muertos in San Francisco

I recently painted at a Day-of-the-Dead-themed fundraiser, held at the Raven Night club in San Francisco. What a blast! Students from San Francisco State University did a fabulous job organizing a variety of entertainment in a classy bar. By 11PM on a Wednesday night, the venue was full of dancing youths, many of them painted by yours truly. A significant amount of money was raised for the charity All Hands- dedicated to victims of Hurricane Katrina-students received college credit while drinking and I had a blast painting adults.

Check out an article about the event in the Golden Gate Xpress online.

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Petaluma Pumpkin Patch – Face Painting & Family Fun

Face painting by Auntie StaceyI’ll be face painting this Saturday, October 3, Saturday October 17, Sunday October 18 and other days to be determined, at the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch, a wonderful family-run venue.

Overflowing with autumn harvest bounty; sunflowers and pretty pumpkins growing in a large field. We got a big orange and green speckled one last year which turned completely orange and lasted for months uncarved.

Free activities include:

  • Huge straw mountain with over 500 straw bales to climb
  • Farm animals
  • Little kid’s Maze
  • Rubber duck races
  • Corn Kernel sand box
  • Free parking

Lots of other activities on weekends: face painting, horse rides, jumpy, snacks, etc. Kids and adults were all over the corn maze, I hear it takes 45 minutes to go through it, but I didn’t try it.

Since 1993, All produce sold at the Pumpkin Patch is locally & sustainably grown by 4th generation Petaluma Farmer Jim. Auntie Stacey's Face Painting at the Petaluma Pumpkin PatchOver 50 varieties of pre-picked squash, pumpkins and gourds. Pick pumpkins from the vine in the pumpkin patch. Open everyday in October (if it’s not rainy or muddy) with special weekend events.

Budderball the clown face paints there regularly, so be sure to say hi to her from Auntie Stacey. She’s the one with the blue hair.

Tip: The Pumpkin Patch has to close when it’s raining or muddy so check their Facebook page for updates during wet weather.
Petaluma Pumpkin Patch hours
Sunday-Thursday: 10AM TO 6PM
Friday & Saturday: 10AM TO 10PM

Admission to the corn maze closes 30 minutes prior to closing.

Petaluma Pumpkin Patch, photo by Stacey Dennick

450 Stony Point Road
Petaluma, CA 94952
Phone: 707-781-3132

Have a safe & happy Halloween!

See you soon,
Auntie Stacey