The Best Eco-friendly Play Make-up and Face Paints for Kids

Erica Watson, founder of Green + Simple, shares her favourite eco-friendly, non-toxic face paints and play make-up for children.

Letting your little ones express themselves through face paint and play makeup might seem innocuous enough, but behind the bright colours and glittery polishes often lurks suspect ingredients that we wouldn’t dare place on our own skin, let alone our precious kids’. Lead, nickel, cobalt, chromium and parabens are the main offenders, with some studies finding them in kids’ face paint and makeup kits in alarmingly high levels. It’s pretty scary stuff, but the good news is you can still indulge your little one’s creativity with options that aren’t only non-toxic, but also cruelty-free and vegan too.

Here are some of our favourites:

Natural Earth Face Paint

Whether it’s for birthday parties, Halloween, dress ups and beyond, these certified organic face paints will be sure to excite kids and their parents alike. Instead of nasties like heavy metals, parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde, paints are powered by fair trade organic shea butter, and organic caster seed oil. They’re coloured using clay and mineral pigments are free of nano particles and also vegan friendly. Try the kit or buy colours individually. 

Available at

No Nasties

This Aussie-based company ships worldwide and has a great range of play makeup for little ones. Tried and tested on our own kids, the bright colours and wide range of products like eye shadows, face paints, peelable nail polishes and hair chalk have been a hit during creative play time. Products are F, D and C colour free and don’t contain talc, parabens, mineral oil, bismuth oxychloride or ferric ferrocyanide. They also list their ingredients of their products on their website, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. 

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French brand Namaki make a great range of certified organic water makeup kits. Want to dress up as a pirate or a fairy? Mermaid or tiger? Namaki has the sets – and the instructions – on how to get the perfect result. They also make water-based nail polish that is free from phthalates, formaldehyde, toluene and camphor. It’s also packaged in FSC certified recyclable packaging. 

Available at 

Piggy Paint

If your kids are into nail polish Piggy Paint is a great choice, not only for younger kids but tweens and teens too. Natural, non-toxic and water (rather than solvent) based, Piggy Paint has a huge range of colours and is free from the usual three (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP) as well as Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone. It also doesn’t have a harsh odour. Colours can also be removed with its additional specially formulated acetone and zero VOC free formula polish remover. 

Available at

Looking for more inspiration for children? See our favourite eco books and toys for kids.