A white face glitters like a signaling mirror in the woods. I learned that when I was 10. Dad would hand me a Camo-Compac and tell me to paint up, but I wasn’t quite up to the task at that age. He’d inevitably finish the job himself, bracing the back of my head with his left hand so he could apply enough pressure with his right to drive the paint good and deep into my pores. I’d look like a little savage by the time he was done, with only the whites of my eyes showing, but you could stick me in a shadow with some hand-me-down camo and instructions to sit still, and I’d disappear. That was the idea.
One time in the woods I asked Dad why we didn’t just use facemasks like everyone else.
“Because they’re aggravating and I can’t chew tobacco with them,” he said. “Now be quiet and hold still.”
Then came the Outdoor Channel, and things changed. Face paint is popular again. It’s not necessarily used now as camouflage from critters but as a fashion complement to large belt buckles and groomed sideburns. Some TV hunters sport face-paint schemes so elaborate they could pass as a form of artwork from the county fair. The lines are neat and the symmetry is perfect. For today’s trendy camosexual, face paint is a must-have accessory that can even be worn to dinner after a long day’s hunt.
But some of us still just want to hide from critters. For that, a proper face painting should be mostly black to help you disappear in the shadows. It should cover your whole mug, or close to it. Apply plenty of pressure, and don’t skimp. You ought to have enough paint left under your fingernails to touch things up a time or two during the morning. After the hunt, it should stain your whiskers and leave behind a fierce acne infection, even after a good scrubbing. It should ruin decorative bath towels.
I shouldn’t judge, though. If you want to wake up an hour early so that you can paint a rendition of the phoenix rising from the ashes across your face, go for it. So long as the phoenix’s wings span the breadth of your mandible, it should be sufficient to hide you from a tom turkey. And if your nails are too manicured to contain an adequate amount of excess, I guess you can always carry some extra paint with you in your turkey vest.
BCB International touts, “Our camo is preferred by the US Navy Seals. Now used by US Armed Forces worldwide. Four-color kit (sand, white, loam (very dark hunter green) and olive green) comes with a unbreakable mirror, is waterproof, odorless and yet washes off with soap and water. This Camouflage face paint was awarded the Defense Department’s Gold Medal for quality and performance. Colors to fit seasons or special terrain. Non-toxic. Great for hunters because it’s long-lasting.”
The chameleon camouflage compact and stick by BCB are two offerings familiar to anyone who has served in the military. These versions are the current issue for the British Ministry of Defence and many NATO allied forces.
The compact comes in a durable ABS plastic case. Inside you’ll find three colors of camouflage paint: multi-terrain, olive green, and service brown. There is also an acrylic mirror affixed to the lid of the compact case, allowing you to see yourself as you apply the paint to ensure adequate coverage.
The camouflage stick is available in either a brown/green combination or a black/green combination. The unique side by side duo tone stick allows for the creation of pattern disrupting stripes without the need for a mirror. It also allows for the application of both colors simultaneously, instead of needing to push a color out of each end of the tube.
Both versions of the paint are non-toxic, are unaffected by rain or sweat, have an SPF factor of 68, are impregnated with an Infrared Reflective (IRR) formula, and also a moisturizer.
These camouflage face paint options are equally at home on a hunting trip or for when the kids “play army” as they are on the battlefield or field exercise. The paint stays soft, and is more of a firm, cream like texture than the hard, solid paint I was issued in the Army. It spreads very easily and does not need to be prepped or warmed up before use. Removing the paint is a simple task with a baby wipe or mild soap and water. The BCB camo compact and tube are reliable pieces of kit that are used the world over.
UK-based BCB International Ltd’s range of camouflage creams has been used by countless armed forces personnel and airsofters to blend into their environments. The company’s novel range of camo products includes their new squeezable camouflage face paint and retail display boxes.
BCB International’s spokesperson, Philippe Minchin, said: “Our team of chemists work tirelessly to make our camouflage creams the ultimate military grade face paints. We are proud to be doing our bit to help our brave servicemen and women stay concealed from the enemy in all terrains. Whether it is in the rain, the searing heat, the snow or in urban surroundings our camo paints will not let you down.”
If you’re looking for a camo that is affordable and easy to apply and wipe off, give this company and try.
BCB International Ltd: +44 (0)2920 433700 (office) / +44 (0)7794 698029 (Press officer)
Pictured: BCB’s range of camouflage face paints