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How To Use Spirit Gum

How To Use Spirit Gum

Spirit Gum Product Content Photo 4

Spirit Gum is a classic “old school” adhesive that has been around since about the 1870’s. It is derived from mastic gum and is harvested from the mastic evergreen shrub or tree.  Spirit Gum has been used as a glue for almost everything – from special effects appliances to hair pieces. It’s a particularly popular product in the theatre community! 

How to Apply Spirit Gum

1. Begin by cleaning the skin so that it is free of all oil and makeup. This can be done with Witch Hazel or rubbing alcohol.

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2. Once the skin area is clean, use a Q-Tip or brush to apply a thin layer of spirit gum onto the skin. Allow this to slightly dry until tacky – you can check if it’s ready by tapping the area with your finger.

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3. Once the adhesive is tacky, place the appliance onto the skin and press firmly.

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4. If desired, use translucent powder to get rid of any unwanted stickiness.

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How to Remove Spirit Gum

Spirit Gum can be removed by using either Isopropyl Myristate or a Spirit Gum Remover.

1. Dip a brush or cotton ball into your remover of choice.

Spirit Gum Removal Content Photo Part 1

2. Start from one end of the appliance or hair piece. Using circular motions, work this area with your wet brush or cotton ball until the edge of the piece lifts.

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3. Continue working under the edge, gently pulling on the appliance just enough to keep the tension as you work the remover in circular motions.

4.Dip your brush or cotton ball into the remover as needed.

Spirit Gum Removal Content Photo Part 3

Bonus Tips

Hair Pieces:

– If you are using Spirit Gum to glue down a lace hair piece, and it starts to lift up mid-performance, you can reactivate the glue with alcohol! This saves you from layering on more and more layers of Spirit Gum (which can end up getting bulky and messy).

– Make sure to gently and thoroughly clean the lace of your hair piece upon removal. You can do this using the same removal products as previously discussed and/or alcohol!


– Spirit Gum is a viable option for applying on prosthetics and FX appliances! However, for projects where your makeup needs to last a long time, we recommend using stronger adhesives such as Pros-aide.

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