5 Burlesque Accessories: Splurge Or Save?


by Anna Jones

We all know finding your signature style as a burlesque performer (or as a person in general) can take some time. Just like any evolution of style, one needs to make a few mistakes, like high heels without a front platform–ouch–or forgetting your knee pads when heading out to shoot a hot and sexy four hour show.

It’s all just part of the learning process. It’s the rite of passage we all have to take to develop as artists and as people. However, we all love tips from the pros out there to save us from a few learning curves. In this list I explore five basic burlesque accessories and why I think you should splurge or save on them. I’d love to hear what you think about each of these from your own experience, or if there are any other must-haves that you think should make the top five list.

1. Eyelashes: SAVE
Not sure I’ve ever seen a burlesque performer onstage without a set of falsies. They are simply fabulous and immediately add impact–even the most basic style. While they make a world of difference, they are also an accessory that is easy to lose and easy to mess up. Try “saving” on this one. You can drop well over $15 or so on a shmancy make up brand or throw down $3 for a drug store brand. Either pair, with the proper care and cleaning, will get you about 7 wears out of them.

2. Wigs: SPLURGE
Wigs are a great way to change your style and revamp your look. It’s important to invest in a good wig or two at the very least to get you started. Cheaper wigs are typically made out of synthetic fibers like Kanekalon and Toyokalon. These kinds of wigs aren’t going to lay naturally on your hair, nor can they be easily styled and washed. If you’re using a wig, go for quality and longevity.

Pasties: SAVE
Pretty much almost every burlesque number out there ends up in pasties. Pasties! We love them. They’re sparkly. You need a zillion of them! They don’t need to cost you a lot of money. Unless you’re looking for something super high-end, like this Etsy pair, you can typically find pasties for fairly cheap. Adam and Eve carries plenty of pairs (tassles, bows and glitter OH MY!) for under $20. And of course you can always make your own original pasties, like so many performers do.

Stockings: SPLURGE
While it’s easy to run to a discount store and pick up a cheap pair of $5 stockings, you might be better off investing a few more dollars in a more durable, stable pair, like these super sexy Erica M. stockings we keep giving away here on Burlesque Beat. If you’re tired of cheap stockings that start to run in the middle of your act, try investing in a really solid pair and see how long they last. Check out these tips on how to save your stockings from massive destruction.

Nail Art: SAVE
Fancy nail paintings and nail jewels are a great way to dress up your nails and super fun, but they can get pricy pretty quickly if you’re getting them done by a professional on a regular basis. Until you’re working enough that you can splurge for that weekly professional nail bedazzling, try picking up some of your own jewels or nail stickers and have a girly sleepover nail art party. You can pick up jewel sheets or stickers for under $5 at a drug store–there are so many out there these days. Apply a clear coat of good top coat on top of your applique and–voila! you’re good to go.

Anna Jones is a Chicago native with a love for burlesque and fashion. 

Let us know what you think. What do you splurge and save on? Leave a comment below.

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