Tape-tastic: Our Favorite Tapes and Adhesives for Use in Burlesque
Tape. Who would have thought that one day I’d be writing about tape!?
But honestly, it’s surprising how much tape has come up in conversation throughout my burlesque experience.
- Which tapes should I use for pasties?
- Which tapes will resist sweating?
- How do I keep my panties from riding up?
- What about tassels? How do I keep those on?
Tape, tape, tape, tape, tape!
After my last post on glues, I thought I would tackle another important adhesive in the burlesque world—tape. So here goes:
Hollywood Secrets Fashion Tape
I feel like this one is pretty common, and extremely versatile. These little tins come with double-sided tape that adheres well to skin and most clothing. They are hypoallergenic, which is ideal for sensitive skin (ahem, nipples), and relatively long-lasting. I will say that they are not sweat proof, so although they work wonders on date-night, they don’t always hold up on the stage, especially if you have heavier pasties with a lot of rhinestone embellishments or tassels. I have just found that this tape does not provide the sticking power needed for those tougher jobs.
But nonetheless, I love this tape and use it in just about every show!
If for some reason you can’t find this tape, look for “flash tape.”
Toupee tape? Why not? It’s meant to be applied around skin and hair, afterall! What I like about toupee tape is that I find it works really well with heavier pasties. Bring on the rhinestones and embellishments! It also stands up pretty well to humidity—definitely important for stage performances.
Be warned, just like any adhesive, it can cause contact dermatitis (red, itchy, ouchy skin), especially if worn too long.
I love liquid latex for so many things—it’s seriously a Halloween staple—and although I know many performers who swear by latex for pastie application, I have never gotten onboard. Why? Well, I find that for pasties, specifically, latex just doesn’t hold up in sweaty, hot conditions. And when have I ever had a sweat-free performance?
I will say that for specialty make-up and prosthetics, that liquid latex is absolutely the way to go! Bring it on! Just note that you will need to apply it in very thin coats and wait for it to completely dry between coats for maximum benefit.
On another note, liquid latex also works well if you have to change pasties multiple times in one night (but don’t need crazy hold).
For all my cosplay and costumers out there, you know how useful spirit gum can be! It is an absolute must for theatrical make-up, bald caps, and creepy prosthetics, etc. It’s not great for everyone, and like latex it kind of smells, so don’t be shocked by that fact. I definitely recommend you wait for it to get a bit tacky before trying to apply anything to your skin (pastie or prosthetic). It works WAY better that way.
Overall, I love using Spirit Gum, but only if I don’t really have a lot of costume or pastie changes. This stuff is great, but it’s meant to hold…duh, it’s glue!
Be advised, you might also need to buy Spirit Gum Remover (they usually come as a set, but in case they don’t) as the bond can be really hard to remove. I haven’t found this to be the case with me (I pretty much just rip shit off of myself, hair and all), but some people have more sensitive skin than others.
Whaaaaatttt?! Carpet tape? On your bits and pieces? Well, maybe not all your pieces, but yes! Obviously, carpet tape is NOT intended for use on your skin, but I have found it is the absolute best for securing heavier pasties or assels—particularly if a lot of twirling and/or twerking will be taking place.
I never thought I’d use something so ridiculous (or even try it), but if it works, it works. Bonus, I always love explaining to the poor guy at Home Depot what projects exactly I’m working on. Bahahahahaha!
Bottom line, there is no such thing as the “perfect tape” and in the end you will need to rely on good old trial and error. Everyone is different and that goes double for your skin and its reactions, so watch for how your body reacts to each adhesive. I’m pretty sure manufacturers weren’t thinking about pasties and assels when they came up with their formulas, so cut them some slack and keep trying! And don’t forget to be gentle with yourself during any and all removals—that’s your SKIN!
Have an adhesive you love? We want to try it! Let us know in the comments!!
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