Confidence in Burlesque Part 2: Physical Tips and Tricks


Photo Credit: Carrie Meyer Insomniac Studios

In Part One, Katie Angel established “Real is Sexy” through having confidence in yourself, on and offstage. We foster this confidence both mentally and physically. Last time we discussed how we can adjust our attitude to cultivate confidence through self-love and appreciation. Today we’re going to explore how to use glitter, corsets, undies, and more to build up our glamour artillery and accentuate the positive through physical tips and tricks of the burlesque trade!

There are many different tips and tricks I employ to help myself feel more confident. The physical tips are very practical and actually do help me a feel a lot better. There are lots of things I can do with my appearance that help me conceal the parts of me that I don’t want to highlight

Glitter!!!! I love glitter, this enchanting herpes of the crafting world. I put glitter on my face. I put glitter on my body. I put glitter on my costume. There is special cosmetic glitter and glitter glue available at costume stores or online (Ben Nye is a great brand for all things cosmetic). You can also use the extra fine crafting glitter (Martha Stewart’s brand is lovely and when used with a Michael’s coupon, a nice price). Avoid regular crafting glitter as the metal can scratch your skin and your delicate eyes. Mixing two different colors of glitter can create depth. I enjoy hugging people after shows and spreading my glitter…and sweat…sweat and glitter. It’s a bonus.

Glamour Hair and Makeup I feel more confident when I’m wearing pretty hair and my hair is styled. See YouTube videos for tutorials because basically I’m faking it but no one has called me out on it yet. I like to go with the “50 feet away on a galloping horse” adage of theatre…if you can’t see it while 50 feet away on a galloping horse then that smudge is fine!

kangel3Underwear in the Front I have a belly pooch. Many people have belly pooches. My beautiful lady left me a caesarean scar and stretch marks (and bags under my eyes, but, hey, that’s what we parents do, right?). The scar isn’t terribly noticeable, but when the doctors cut Jamie out, they cut through my abdomen muscles and I’m not even going to pretend that I have the energy or care enough to do the amount of sit ups it will require to make that pooch go away nor do I want to stop eating chocolate because chocolate is amazing and loves me and wants me to eat it. Who am I to disappoint the sadistic desires of chocolate to be in my belly?

I wear my underwear over my belly pooch and put a little bit of spray glue on it to help it stay there. I highly recommend dancer/professional style of tights because they smooth and shape your legs nicely. The little bit of spray glue keeps my underwear and tights in place and conceal my pooch. I don’t want my underwear to slip down…it’s not so I don’t show my labia…I don’t care if I show my labia, I just don’t want to show my belly pooch.

Underwear in the Back  When I first started burlesque, I wanted to cover up my booty…covering your butt is more flattering, right? Not necessarily so! I have found that higher coverage style underwear are not as flattering to my shape. Thongs are actually the most flattering. Take a moment and be brave—try different styles. An unexpected style might flatter you more than you suspect.

Body Makeup  Just as glitter and makeup help me feel prettier in my face, glitter and makeup helps me feel more confident all over my body. I like putting concealer, foundation and glitter on my stomach. One, it’s a way of touching my belly and I when I touch my belly I try to say, ooh, I love you belly. Thank you for growing my daughter and thank you for holding my food and bringing me some gut intuition because when I listen to you, belly, I make better decisions. I put makeup and glitter on my legs too. This helps smooth out your skin onstage but again, I’m a huge believer in the story you tell yourself. I love you legs!


Photo Credit: Carrie Meyer Insomniac Studios

Corsets  Corsets come in over and under bust varieties. Because I have large ta-tas and need the support, I’ll generally also wear a bra even with an overbust corset. With the under bust corsets or waist cinchers, you can leave this on to conceal your tummy and still reveal your boobages. I feel that leaving a cincher on brings MORE attention to your waist…like, hmmm…what’s she hiding but my hubby thinks that look is super hot. **Side Note: Katie Angel has ALOT to say about corsets, so much we had her write another article dedicated JUST to corsets!*** Learn more about corsets here!

Fringe  Fringe can be used to cover your upper arms, your butt or your thighs. It’s fun to flip around and gives the idea of “peek of boo” while still providing coverage.

Heels  A nice pair of heels (that you can move in! Tottering around on stripper heels is not my personal version of sexy…I prefer a ballroom heel that is flexible and makes me feel more stable) will make your legs look amazing and lift your butt. If you’re like me and hate wearing heels or feel unbalanced, remember you’re wearing the heels (or corset or etc.) for like three minutes. So, no, I don’t want to wear heels all day long but I can wear heels for three minutes. (Jeff Angel says, “I could wear heels for three minutes and I have.” Disclaimer, he was playing Dr. Scott and therefore in a wheelchair so it totally doesn’t count although he did look fabulous.”)

Body Stockings  I had never seen body stockings before I started burlesque. Body stockings are like panty hose for your entire body. Some have long sleeves and some are like a leotard top. They can smooth out your body and squeeze things in. (Personally, I like the let it all hang out method, but, the bottom line is, do what makes YOU feel confident.)

And that is what it all boils down to, isn’t it? Do what makes YOU feel confident.
Missing Part 1 of the Confidence in Burlesque with Katie Angel? Click here to read more!

Interested in learning more about the fine art of burlesque or just looking to dabble in a workshop or two? Let us know! Check out our website for more info on workshops, events, articles, etc and/or contact us at!

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