No one wants a pastie to fall off during a show – so here’s a few tips that might help keep them solid during your performance (originally posted on our Bluestockinglounge.com sept 2012)…
Preparation is the key…
Never use body moisturiser or oil-based products, talk, body powder or make up in the area that you are going to stick the pastie (even if it is hours before!). Pasties stick better on a clean, dry area.
It’s up to you what you use to stick the things on – some go for plain old body/toupee tape, some carpet tape, we’ve even come across performers who use spirit gum and one brave soul who used super glue (we don’t advise you try that last one!!). Whatever you use, we’d advise always cleaning the back of the pastie (removing any old tape, or scrubbing off any old glue – but make sure it’s dry!) before you put new tape/adhesive on.
When you are using tape, it’s very important to not touch any of the sticky part of the tape. Basically, if you touch the stick, then you have used the stick on your fingers and you will need to cut another strip. Carefully hold the edge of the tape, cut to size, stick on the back of your pastie and press down hard before you remove the backing strips. Again, do not touch the tape as the stick will have been used on your fingers and not where it’s supposed to stick! If this happens, cut another strip. Good tapes we’ve used include surgical tape, some performers recommend carpet tape and yes, even the strips you get from Ann Summers are quite strong.
Using Spirit Gum
Spirit gum is a powerful theatrical make-up glue. It’s used for sticking prosthetics, facial hair and other appliances to an actor for the stage or screen. It’s quite strong, so if you do use spirit gum, make sure you also buy spirit gum remover! Very important! Spirit gum will leave a residue on your delicate area and just scrubbing it off can cause a reaction. To use spirit gum, paint it around the edge of your pastie and take a finger and pat until it becomes tacky. Spirit gum works on oxygen to make it tacky. Once it has started to feel sticky, apply the pastie. Good spirit gum and remover makes include kryolan, screen face and ben nye.
Putting the pastie on is pretty straight forward – always ensure your hands are dry and sweat free (not so easy if you are in the middle of a quick change in a hot, sweaty backstage!) before you remove the tape backing. Cross-check in a mirror that they are level before you place the second one on and NEVER remover a pastie to re-position without applying new adhesive.
Make sure that any bra/fabric isn’t going to get caught on the pastie – and if you have tassels, make sure that you fold them into the bra after you’ve put it on so that they aren’t caught under the bra band, which could hamper your movements or pull them off when you move.
Before the final reveal, some performers like to give a discreet check while the back is to to the audience (either by eye or by pressing with the hands whilst giving a cheeky look over the shoulder), just to make sure!
Placing the pastie quite high up on the areola (you can cover anything that shows underneath with make-up after) – this will also help the tassel swing better if you are employing some hefty tassel action in your routine. You can make/buy pasties in various sizes – which helps if you feel you need that extra coverage or if you have a small bust and want to make the most of it! Keep a spare pair in a neutral colour that will go with any costume – there’s nothing worse than getting dressed for an act and realising you’ve left your pasties elsewhere! If you use tape, you could tape up your pasties on the way to the show – that way they’ll be ready for you to use!