Common ways to help secure headbands and any sort of forehead ornaments (and even clip-on earrings) is to use eyelash glue. It works decently for most applications. Eyelash glue is latex-based, so it is important for those with latex allergies to be aware of this (or buy non-latex adhesive). One of the best brands we’ve used for eyelash glue is DUO Surgical Adhesive which can easily be found at most drugstores.
It is not uncommon to use Elmer’s glue to glue stones directly to hair, however we do not recommend this for gluing things to your face, as it is water-based and any sort of moisture will hinder the glue from working.
We spoke with some people in the film and theater industry to find out what kind of products they use to attach prosthetics with. Spirit gum came up quite a bit, but it can be tricky to work with and takes a while to dry. However, there is something that quite a few people seem to prefer over spirit gum…. something called Telesis 7. So naturally, we got ourselves a couple bottles and ran it through a few trials with our own headbands and accessories (and other random things glued to our foreheads!).
If you are in Canada, a great place to buy it online is from HollyNorth Production Supplies or StudioFX. And in the USA, try Premiere Product Inc. .
Personally, I LOVE this stuff. It is a lot more secure than eyelash glue, and is great for those with latex allergies. It is easy to use and is skin-safe. Apply it both to the skin and to the hairpiece/headband/jewelry, and when it dries (which happens relatively quickly – unlike some other adhesive products), then press the two together.
Make sure the skin is clean and dry, so you’ll want to avoid putting any foundation or other makeup on this area until your piece is securely on (and then do your final makeup touches after). Applying the glue is easy and exactly the same as applying nail polish (at least in the smallest sized bottle available; I am not sure about the larger bottle since the small one really should last a very long time).
Since you’ll need to put the adhesive on both your skin and the jewelry/headpiece, it may be helpful to put little pin-sized dots with an eyeliner as markers or off-sets to help remember where to apply the glue if it’s going to be a complicated piece, although this step is likely unnecessary for most applications.
Personally, I have danced, exercised, sweated, slept, and showered with stuff glued to my face using this adhesive and it works fantastic!
Now you’re likely wondering, “If it sticks this good, how does it come off???(!)”
No worries. It actually came off fine without feeling like I was ripping off duct-tape and it comes off even better and more comfortably with some remover. I have used (by the same brand) Super Solv Plus, which is a little milder than regular Super Solv and extra-gentle on skin.
It’s a nice product and it has a pleasant smell. It feels a little oily, and it can also be used to clean off the tackiness from the back of the jewelry. So far during our trials, it has not damaged the jewelry (although we have yet to find how it is much longer-term…. so watch for an update in about 2-3 years LOL). Because it is a bit oily, the jewelry needs to be back to “dry” without any residue before applying adhesive again for the next time you want to wear it, otherwise the adhesive will not stick. Simply wipe down the back of the piece with terry cloth or paper towel. However, if you are removing the jewelry for the night and plan to re-apply it first thing in the morning, the left-over tackiness on the jewelry actually will help. The build-up on the jewelry is a minimally thin layer, unlike the gummy mess that eyelash glue can create.
We are very pleased with this product and definitely it is our number one recommendation. However, like any skin product, we also recommend that you do a test on your skin before the competition just to make sure you don’t have any sort of strange reactions.
Please note that as awesome as Telesis 7 is, it does NOT work for gluing items to your hair! If you want to secure a piece to your hair as well, you’ll need to again use eyelash glue, or even hair adhesive (a very small amount goes a long way with hair adhesive). Hair adhesives are like a high-powered version of eyelash glue (available in white or black) and using a remover with this is definitely recommended. The same Super Solv we mentioned above works great for also removing hair bond. If you can’t get your hands on any remover, almost anything oily (baby oil, canola oil, or even a mega-load of conditioner) will work. You’ll need to be patient as you gently massage and loosen the glue blob with remover, and then eventually comb it out. The first time I used this stuff I had a minor panic attack trying to get it out but now with more experience, I actually don’t mind hair-bond as it works exceptionally well in hair. The key is to use small amounts, and when you want to remove it, be patient and I highly recommend a remover.
Keep in mind, depending on what item you plan on adorning yourself with, you may need to use two different products if you want adhesion to both hair and skin.
- Telesis 7
- eyelash glue
- spirit gum
- hair bond
- eyelash glue
- Elmer’s glue
UPDATE: Check out one more product we tested out for more skin-glue options HERE.