After doing a little research with my fellow professional face painters, I found that most painters who use acrylic gems in their face and body painting work use either eyelash adhesive or spirit gum. I recently added eyelash adhesive and an assortment of gems to the site, and today am excited to have just added some of Kryolan’s water soluble spirit gum as well!
I have tried both of these methods of adhesion on myself so far. From what I’ve gathered, here are a couple differences….
Eyelash adhesive is more expensive for a small tube, and it contains latex, so you’ll have to make sure that the person you’re using it on doesn’t have any latex allergies. However, it really holds very well and sticks quickly…at least in my experimentation, the gems stuck the second I touched them to my skin. They also are easily removed when you want them off.
Spirit Gum is less expensive per ounce, and it does not have any latex in it. The drawback is that it takes much longer to dry. So, you may be spending more time holding the gem in place, or checking it periodically while you paint to make sure it isn’t sliding down. You can now find the Kryolan spirit gum on my website in two sizes…the .5 ounce bottle with a built in applicator brush ($4), as well as the larger 16 ounce refill jars ($20) .
After trying them both myself, I’d recommend having both on hand, depending on the situation you’re in and who you’re painting. Obviously it would be a good idea to have spirit gum on hand if you have someone with a latex allergy. If you really need the gem to stay on well and for a long time, or are doing a gig where you don’t have the time to wait and hold each gem while it dries, you’d want the eyelash adhesive.
If any of you fellow painters out there have other tips or advice for acrylic gem adhesion on the skin, please do post your comments…I’d love to hear your thoughts!