How to Keep Pasties On Your Bust

How do you make sure these little concealers stay put?

Burlesque performer Michelle L’Armour doing a Fan Dance, at the 2007 Miss Exotic World Pageant, wearing gold sequin pasties. Photo: Michael Albov / Wikimedia Commons

Updated by Kim "Kimmay" Caldwell 10/26/16

Pasties are a form of adhesive nipple cover, that any woman can wear. They’re small concealers that can help keep two of a woman’s most private parts under wraps, or they can decorate her bosom. It all depends on her style.

Nowadays, many brands are now making these nipple concealers. But they've been around for many years. In fact, one of the earliest pastie styles were worn by Burlesque performers in the 1920s.

Modern styles have descriptive, coy, and funny names. For example, you may find: Sassynips, Top Hats, Nippies, Smoothies…and perhaps the most cheeky, Low Beams of Dimrs. Many of these new styles are designed to provide extra coverage and modesty, and can even be worn with a bra or in place of one. Other pastie styles are just decorative and can suit your fashion needs for when you want to look like a Burlesque dancer.

So how do you put them on, and keep them in place?

The Adhesive Depends on the Pastie Style 

The best way to apply pasties, and make sure they stay in place, will depend on the style of pasties that you’re wearing.

Some pasties are designed to function as concealers, and are more like lingerie accessories, designed to prevent you from baring it all. Usually these styles will come with their own adhesive, so there’s no need to buy anything extra. They're also usually reusable. That means you can wear, wash, and re-wear these covers. 

Other pastie or stick on bra styles are a bit larger, and can be more like bra alternatives. Some will even ‘stick’ to your body by functioning like a suction cup, without needing to use an adhesive.

Then there are the more outrageous styles. These pasties are fun, and can be a gag gift for a bachelorette party, or something sassy to wear. They are typically very thin and lightweight, with a self-adhesive backing. Some of these styles are meant to be used only once.

What Does a Burlesque Dancer Use?

If you’re opting for the flashiest, Burlesque-style pasties that are designed to be seen, you'll need a set that's adorned with glitter, sequins, or tassels. And keeping these in place will require a little more planning and effort. You'll need to purchase a separate adhesive, or a set that comes with its own.

The fancier the pasties are, the stronger the adhesive must be, since they will weigh more. Every eighth of an ounce matters when you’re trying to defy gravity and keep something stuck to a delicate body part.
So, who would know best about how to keep these heavier, fancy pasties on, than a burlesque dancer?

In the book, The Burlesque Handbook by Jo Weldon, and there’s an entire chapter dedicated to pasties, with several adhesive options that include glue and spirit gum. And the author herself, who teaches at the New York School of Burlesque wrote on her blog that she uses double-sided tape.

Using Double-Sided Tape

Double-sided tape is a simple, easy type of adhesive to use. Just make sure the tape you're buying is meant for fabric, not paper. A popular brand is Braza Flash Tape, or you can also try 'Pasty Tape' from The Burlesque Boutique.

To use the tape, cut a small piece and stick it onto the back of each pastie, close to the outside edge. Peel off the tape’s paper backing, and stick the pastie to your skin. This type of tape can be removed easily and without any mess.

Types of Liquid Adhesives

A few types of liquid adhesives were also mentioned in The Burlesque Handbook, one of which is spirit gum.

Spirit gum is a strong liquid adhesive, and it's popular among makeup artist pros. It's often used for theatrical costumes, like applying a fake mustache. Stay away from the kind sold in Halloween stores and try a professional version from Ben Nye Spirit Gum. Keep in mind, getting spirit gum off your skin, may require a special remover.

Another option is "Stays Put" Body Adhesive, which is a convenient bottle with a roll-on applicator. The manufacturer's website says it's made with all natural ingredients, and there's also a convincing YouTube video that shows its staying power.

"StaysPut" is often used by dancers to keep costumes in place, like preventing bodysuits from riding up in the back, the brand says. This adhesive is easy to remove, and comes off with soap and water.

A Few Tips to Remember

Make sure the skin area is clean and dry without any residue from any oils, powders or lotions or nothing you use will stick. If you decide to try wearing pasties with any type of liquid adhesive, test it first on your wrist and wait a few hours to make sure you don’t get an allergic reaction.

Updated by Kim "Kimmay" Caldwell 10/26/16