Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

August 12, 2012

Face time

Traditional face paint receives colorful makeover

By JAMIE PARSELL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — BY JAMIE PARSELL

Bluefield Daily Telegraph



BLUEFIELD — When Emilee Huffman finished painting Spiderman on a little boy’s face during last weekend’s Mercer County Fair, she said he stood up and starting shooting fake spider webs across the fairgrounds.

A full-time mom to two small children and a registered nurse at Princeton Community Hospital, Emilee is one half of a face painting duo called B.E. Faced. Her sister-in-law Brandi Hufffman, a physician’s assistant at Bluestone Health Center, is her partner-in-painting.

Brandi got the idea for the business during a family vacation to Disney World.

“My kids had to have their face painted every day,” Brandi said. “When I came home, I wanted to do some for my daughter’s birthday party. That spun off to doing a friend’s birthday party.”

She asked her sister-in-law to consider opening a local face painting business.

“I was really eager to do it,” Emilee said. “There is nothing like that around here. We thought we could provide something in this area for kids. It is something different.”

Brandi, 31, and Emilee, 24, remember being artistic in school, but choose careers in the medical field.

“It is completely different than work,” Emilee said. “It is a good stress reliever and gives us something to do in our spare time.”

They offer face painting for birthday parties, day cares, camps, fair and festivals and church events. Right now, they have about 50-60 different designs for boys and girls. Children can view photos of the designs and then choose their colors. Prices range, Brandi said.

Forget the traditional rainbow on the cheek with a few stars.

“We do a lot of tigers, butterflies, masks, princess crowns, superheroes. The girls like a lot of glitter,” Brandi said.

Both Emilee and Brandi said most children take on a different identity under the paint.

“Tigers will growl,” Brandi added, laughing.

Princess and fairies curtsy and walk on air. Superheroes save the world. Due to the summer movie scene, action figures are popular face designs.

To create their business, the two Princeton residents began looking online at different designs and then practiced on their children. Once they mastered a design, they started making variations, often coming up with originals. They special order the paint online. It is powder-based and is FDA approved.

Emilee, the mother of two, said her little boy is already tired of having his face painted so much.

“We have burned him out,” she said.

Both moms believe face painting is a family affair. Their children are the models. And when they attend fairs and festivals, they are able to take the children and see their family.

“At first, my family laughed,” Brandi admitted. “But once they saw the designs, they really liked it.”

The real reason for the business isn’t to make money. It is more about the children.

“We love being around kids and seeing them happy afterwards,” she said.

Emilee agreed. She loves to see their reactions.

“It is like dressing up,” she said. “They can be their favorite characters.”

B.E. Faced will be at Bridge Day in October. They are currently putting together a portfolio of their designs. For more information about B.E. Faced, call 304-961-3101 or 304-922-8277. You can also find them on Facebook.