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by Fiona Kay August 29, 2018

Knowing what items to include in your special FX toolkit can be tricky! With such a huge range of products, and an even bigger selection of brands available, industry newbies can often be left feeling overwhelmed. 

As industry professionals we recognise that whilst there are certainly some products an artist could live without, there are also a handful of essentials that any kit should have! For us, a good Spirit Gum is key to providing a range of vital roles in the special FX industry, so knowing what your options are is important from the off. 

We supply both budget and high performance brands of spirit gum that all bring something different and unique to the table. We have done a rundown of our top favourite brands, from high-end to budget, so all you need to do is choose the best for you.

Kryolan Mastix Spirit Gum Adhesive

A favourite with professionals the world over, Kryolan often brings the best of the best when it comes to high-quality products. The brands Mastix Spirit Gum is no exception, with actors, special FX artists and drag queens reaching for this product time and time again. 

So why consider Kryolan’s Mastix Spirit Gum Adhesive? Don’t just take our word for it; world-renowned Drag Queen’s, Naomi Smalls and Cara Cavalli, both named Kryolan’s Mastix Spirit Gum as their go-to adhesive for fixing their wigs in place in June’s Elle article! Oh, and did we mention, Elle also name Red Carpet FX as their recommended supplier..?

Kryolan offers both regular and matte spirit gum, and both are ideal for fixing on facial hair, beards, wigs, and prosthetics for long-wearing results. Keep in mind that for facial hair, perhaps the matte option would be most suitable as regular spirit gum often leaves a sheen once dried!

We love the quality in Kryolan’s skin compatible adhesive, so we would certainly recommend it as a worthy investment! With the smallest bottles of original spirit gum coming in at £5.40 for 12ml, up to £52.30 for 1000ml, it is certainly not the cheapest, however, a little can go a long way! Prices and sizes can vary across the brands' range of adhesives, so be sure to check out their collection when choosing what is best for your needs.

Ben Nye Matte Spirit Gum Adhesive

Ben Nye is another fantastic high-quality brand, and a popular go-to for those in the special FX industry! They provide a strong contender with their Matte Spirit Gum, offering a reasonable price point for those who are looking for a high-end option.

The Ben Nye spirit gum formulae dries to a flat finish as standard, making it ideal for facial hair of all kinds, and it also dries to a complete matte finish, so no suspect shine during those big performances!

We love this adhesive, as it is both affordable yet super-strength, the quality is fantastic and it makes light work of keeping your prosthetics in place all day. For a 1oz bottle you are looking at £11.49, and this goes up respectively, with the biggest bottle of 16oz coming in at £59.99.

However the Ben Nye Spirit Gym Adhesive lasts a long time, especially if it is being used on small areas, so you can expect not to be repurchasing too regularly (unless you are using tonnes of it, in which case we recommend investing in the biggest bottle to save money). 

Mehron Spirit Gum Adhesive

Industry specialists since 1927, Mehron are a great all-rounder brand that offers sturdy and affordable products for professionals and special FX enthusiasts the world over!

The Mehron Spirit Gum is an amber coloured liquid that comes in clean and simple packaging, and you can get your hands on a 9oz bottle of the stuff for less than £20, so it is an ideal option for those looking to spend a little less. (It also has one of the longest running formulas on the list)

Mehron also offers a matte spirit gum adhesive, which dries with no gloss, making it the ideal option for those who are going to be photographed or filmed, as there will be little no reflective shine!

Whilst Mehron offers some great affordable adhesive options, it is the thinnest solution of the choices on today’s list, so users should be aware that they are likely to require more than they might use with the more luxury brands.

Grimas Mastix Adhesive

Grimas may not be the most expensive brand out there, but the quality of their Mastix Adhesive range is fantastic! Grimas offers the only adhesive from our list that is completely clear in colour, making it even more discreet, and the consistency makes for a super-strength bond! 

The Grimas adhesive range offers Mastix Extra Adhesive, which offers a super effective adhesive for larger prosthetics or long wears purposes, and Mastix Watersoluble Adhesive for a more gentle on the skin option, great for use on children or in a classroom setting, this solution will come off with water! 

Grimas comes in very basic packaging which reflects the price tag, however the quality of their adhesive makes up for the aesthetics, with the cheapest bottle coming in at just £4.49 and the largest being just under £11, you really can’t go wrong if you’re on a budget! 

Final Thoughts

The spirit gum you go for must ultimately fit the purpose, so if you are playing around with prosthetics at home then you could probably rely more on the budget range to fit your purpose! However, if you were looking for industry standard adhesives that will stand up against stressful environments then perhaps considering one of our high performance recommendations would be best. 

That being said, we can’t recommend this selection of adhesives enough when it comes to great quality and value for money!

Fiona Kay
Fiona Kay


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