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Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Carnival Virgin's Survivor Guide

  • First and most important never wear your full costume on Monday unless you are a two band/section H.O. Tuesday is the day to look fresh and glam.! Most people who do this look washed up on Tuesday. For some reason Tuesday is the time to show off your costume.
  • If you plan on wear mas stockings to prevent your toes from suffering, cut off the toe part so your toes will be free. Some people cut the stockings to the ankle but I find that sometimes causes a run so when I cut my toes off I use clear nail polish to "seal" the edges.
  • On that note I always carry a small "survival pack" on the road, it's usually a small pouch and in it are items like my sample sized sun block, wet wipes, safety pins, pain killers,clear nail polish (for stocking runs on the road), my cell phone, vex money, powder, oil absorbing sheets and lip gloss. A husband/boyfriend also known as a "man purse" can be utilized for carrying of the pouch as well.
  • Sunblock, sunblock and MORE sunblock.Apply after bathing, apply when waiting on the band to move off, apply when you stop for lunch, apply often, apply liberally, ...just make sure you apply it. You don't want to look like a tobago bun bake by Tuesday morning.Carry some sunblock with you in a small vial or a sample size so you can re-apply as necessary.
  • Face jewels look pretty, but if you get a sunburn you can end up looking like your face has polka dots all over. The flat, metallic jewels in shapes such as stars are the major culprits for attracting sun like a magnet. I have found using crystals are much better!
  • You do not need a full face of make up for Carnival to look polished, getting individual false eyelashes gives an instant "made up" look to your face. All that is needed to complete the look is your lipstick, eyeshadow to match your costume and a touch of face powder to give your face a "fresh" appearance.
  • To keep makeup in place, for those who love the made up look,the key is NOT, I repeat NOT to go out with a bare face. Use a lightweight moisturizing sunscreen with a HIGH SPF (45+) like Neutrogena. Then, spray a VERY HIGH (60+) sunscreen all over your body and go lie down for a little while and let it absorb into your skin. Ideally it should be in an air conditioned room, but if A/C is not an option, just place yourself where you can get the most cool breeze in the house. Then get up later and apply your makeup. Your skin feesl like it has been freshly washed because everything is already absorbed! To make cosmetics last, use PRIMER for damn near everything. There are eyeshadow, mascara, and lipstick primers among other things! THEN apply your regular makeup over the primer. It lasts! Primers can be purchased at Clinique, Sephora, from any upscale makeup line, and even CVS drugstore
  • To the "big girls, thickies, thick ting" if a mas band doesn't carry your size underwear but they have your bra go to a cloth store or Samaroos, look for a reputable seamstress and have your underwear made. Get your correct sized stockings, when your 'hose bussin holes you gonna look busted. If you wear anything over a DD, try to see if the particular band you are playing with will let you use your own bra (if you have a way of getting it there). Sometimes these bands don't cater to those with the melon jugs and havin your bubbies dragggggggggggin on the ground ain't sexy at all.
  • Makeup must always be in tact. In order to accomplish a fresh face all day it is advisable to get your face professionally done by a competent makeup artist. This also helps in preventing your face from becoming sun burnt as the makeup protects your face plus you look 10 times better than when your costume nice but your face like "plain jane". You don't want to be seen on TV with your face looking like you frying chicken by the KFC stand in the Savannah all day!.
  • Footwear. Ladies please, please, please wear comfortable shoes, sneakers or whatever you desire to wear on your feet. If wearing sneakers, make sure yuh "break them in" at least 1-2 months before carnival if you can't well there's always "Dr scholls". Some people often play mas in gym sneakers because they are already "broken in" and comfortable so it gives support all day. The worst ting is to see people walking in the band barefooted or in their socks alone because the sneakers hurting their damn foot.
  • If you want to have much stamina, start doing brisk walks round the Savannah, in your yard, on the treadmill , up the street. Wherever you can go walking, do it because it helps come Monday and Tuesday. It helps you to loose the weight plus build stamina because come carnival you want to be able to go until the music truck switch off. Try to start walking about 3 to 4 months before Carnival it really does help, STAMINA FUH SO.
  • Deodorant... please, please, please wear it, preferably the clear, non-residue leaving stuff. Walk with a mini one in your lil bag on Monday and Tuesday, trust me you will appreciate it... (and you will be able to tell those who haven't put on any!)
  • Drink lots and lots of water... for every alcoholic drink, drink at least 8 oz. of water...dehydration sucks big time
  • EAT BREAKFAST!!!! ...nuff said
  • Wear stockings...unless you have you have own body guards on the road, they will help with keeping a barrier between you and the "bodily fluids" from the masses'
  • Make sure you have a ride to and from Port-of-Spain on Monday and Tuesday... cause the last thing you want to be doing Tuesday evening is trying to get a ride home, with your feet hutting like mad!
  • Soak your feet in Epson Salts & hot/very warm water Monday evening when you get home. Your feet will feel like brand new come Tuesday to go the whole day.
  • Don't play cutesie cute and let the Koreans sand down under your foot when you go for your pre-TRINI carnival pedicure. You need the rough padding under your foot for those two days on the road or else you will be bawling for murder with pain if you go with your tender, newly scraped heels.
  • It's a good idea to designate a pre-arranged meeting area in case you or anyone else in your "crew" gets lost. Also, have the address of where you are staying and a contact number for someone close to you on hand. I have met foreigners who were lost, intoxicated and could not remember the name of the guesthouse/hotel or friend they were staying at.
  • You do not have to wait until the costume collection day to pay the balance on your costume. All bands accept part payments towards your costume periodically, for example you can make payments monthly. Not only does this ease the burden of having to pay up the balance of $2000.00 in Feburary but it also saves time when you go to collect your costume.
  • Several sections of the more popular mas bands offer two costume choices for female masqueraders; a regular costume (also known as backline) and a more elaborate version which they call frontline. Frontline masqueraders lead the section as you cross the Savannah stage and the costume is more expensive than the backline.
  • A backpack is a costume accessory that is usually made from feathers, fabric,beads and for the first time this year ribbon and tinsel. These materials are mounted and decorated on a frame of either wire or stiff cardboard, which is carried on the back/shoulders of a masquerader by straps which are hooked under the arms and across the back.Usually seen with frontline costumes, the backpack is sometimes what differentiates between a backline and a frontline.
  • Even though Carnival is a time to "free up" always make safety your first priority.DO NOT accept drinks from strangers, DO NOT wear expensive jewelry and DO NOT wander away into lonely, dark areas. If you need to use the toilet always go with a companion. Some bands provide mobile restrooms, if yours does not many bars that line the parade route allow you to use their facilities for a fee, take along a friend as some of these bars may have seedy characters loitering around.
  • To prevent sunstroke make use of the cool-zones provided by the band, drink cool liquids and always wear proper headgear; headpiece and/or bandandas or hats.
  • If you have to purchase something to eat, try to stay away from anything that has mayonnaise as an ingredient, looks like it was cooked earlier and has been sitting in a glass case all day or the vendor/premises does not look sanitary. I look for food that either comes in a sealed package or is prepared fresh,that is if I cannot make it to a reputable food outlet.
  • Taking along a camera? Leave the expensive digital at home and walk with a disposable instead. Trust me cameras can be easily lost, broken or stolen.
  • For the ladies, if you are expecting your period around or on Carnival day it is advisable to wear a tampon instead of a pad. If you must wear a pad, wear the ultra thins. If you have a regular cycle or you are on the pill you can "delay" your period until AFTER Carnival.This article explains how it is done by taking your pills back to back without stopping or using a hormonal medicine called 'norethisterone' which is taken three times a day for three days before your period is due and then for seven days to delay the period. At the end of the seven days, the tablets are stopped and your period starts as normal. Your doctor can prescribe this medication and I can vouch for it working as I have used it before with no side effects.
  • Mas stockings are not your usual panty hose, which do not have the strength to stand up to the rigours of Carnival Monday and Tuesday leaving the uninitaited with runs and tears. The proper stockings are sheer to the waist tights that are made with lycra. The super shiny, orange stockings that they make for "tan" people are a no no. You can get a variety of non shiny, flesh toned stockings locally at Micles and Samaroos.
  • Not many people think of wearing underwear UNDER their stockings, a simple cotton thong is excellent for having your nether regions be able to breathe. Even though the pantyhose is lined with a silver of cotton at the crotch area I find it is not enough protection between your genitals and the pantyhose. You do not want to end up with an yeast infection because the pantyhose are made from a synthetic material that traps heat and mositure, ideal breeding ground for yeast.
  • Do not forget to WAX if you plan on going sans stockings, or for the least SHAVE!! No one wants to see your pubic hairs showing in your thong as you throw back a wine or lift your leg up!
  • For ladies with larger breasts I recommend tape to keep your breasts from popping out of your bra while you are jumping up. It's very simple to do, use the tape much like those "stick on" bras, taping from one side of the breast to the other so the tape cups the breast in a U shape and keeps it firmly supported. You can do more than one row of tape until you feel them firmly taped in place . After you are done taping try on your bra and make sure none of the tape is showing, if any of the edges of the tape are peeking out, you can trim them with scissors. Please DO NOT use duct tape, and do not tape over your nipples! I use a wide, stretchy bandage called elastoplast but there is a tape made specifically for this called Fashion Tape, or Bondage Tape. Be careful when removing the tape, use baby oil to moisten the edges and gently remove.


Icahwait* said...

I am not a carnival virgin, but I sure pick up some tips here today. Saucy again I have to tell you I appreciate what you doing for the masses...

do you know if Tribe has prof make up people on the scene before take off on Mon or Tues more importantly? If they do is it at extra cost?

Anonymous said...

girl, you're a life saver! i think you covered everything.

about the crystals for your face, do you know of a place in the u.s. where i can buy them?

saucydiva said...

anon, I don't know where you can get those Crystals in the U.S. but try doing a search on google. I usually buy all my carnival acessories either at Wonderful World or that store in West Mall next to Hallmark (can't remember the name!), the girl who owns that store is Tricia and she has everything you can think of for crystal, from booty shorts for Monday wear to navel rings to match your costume! The prices are not bad either, so if you don't find what you are looking for in the U.S. you can get stuff here in Trini,and she is usually at the mas camps for costume pick up as well...Tribe and Harts. I also heard that there was someone selling stuff at Island People as well this year.

icahwait* I don't know think Tribe has people doing yor face, but if you call/email them they can put you in contact with the persons who did the models faces for the launch.

Jamette said...

One more tip:
Cut your toe nails down (especially the big toe) so you don't lose them with the constant chipping.

In the states I would try a craft/art store for the crystals. Don't know if they'll have it but its worth a try.

Anonymous said...

So use the primer makeup IF u want that complete make up look other wise some eyelashes and eyeshadow and lip gloss will do the trick?? I went Sephora yesterday, and saw all the Primer stuff...just so many names to choose from? Can I use the primer stuff for besides Carnival??

Anonymous said...

thanks jamette - i'll go to the craft store and see if they have it, and if not i'll have my friend in trini go to west mall and get it.

saucydiva said...

anon, primer is used so that your makeup lasts all day, you can use it outside of Carnival anytime you want a fresh looking,long lasting made up face.

I suggested the eyelashes, eyeshadow and lip gloss option for those who do not usually wear any or alot of make up but don't want a "plain face" for Carnival. You can get creative with the eyeshadow and matching eyeliner, some face crystals and your lip gloss/lip stick and look quite nice for Carnival without going to a professional makeup artist since Carnival makeup can be very dramatic.Just do a little practise session before the big day.

SocaDiva said...

I will be buying my hot shorts outside it'll be relatively cheaper and i can find one thats really comfortable. And that make up idea sounds great but i wonder if there will be a whole rush to do everyone before their bands hit the road??

Question to Saucytrini, you seem to know a lot of people in tribe do you know if they will be registering masqueraders on Monday 25th, i know its the holiday but i'm wondering???

fiesty said...

Good morning Saucy and all other bloggers. One more tip and Saucy you could add more, i found that if you place more padding or something with cushion under your mask that especially hangs on your forehead it will be more comfortable and not sticking into your skin. All your tips are great. Thanks

fiesty said...

Anno you can get alot of carnival stuff at costumes stores especially now since its coming up on Halloween and also Claires in the mall and also in the Adult stores have lots of stuff :}, just start looking around. I ordered my eyelashes from My divas closet for prevuious carnivals with rhinestones on them and they looked great, for all of you out there that dont trust online shopping.

saucydiva said...

Keep the tips coming,I will add to the list later. I linked My Diva's Closet in another post, they have some gorgeous lashes! Thanks for the review of the store fiesty.

kevian said...

Saucy I playing mas a while now and I was always afraid to wear sunblock , because I am afarid that it will make me sweat and feel slimey.Is that the case? is sunblock usually oil based?

kevian said...

Another pointer maybe to always pin yuh belt down to your underwear with a safety pin on both sides:

1) It allows u to keep your belt where u want it.

2)It gives u that neat look and prevents your belt from twisting all over the place while u winning.

3)It prevent your belt from falling off in general.

4) It gives u an extra safety pin in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Anonymous said...

For those living in the States check your local Duane Reade or Rite Aid. They have disposable digital cameras and disposable digital camcorders. I know that sounds weird but I met a lady with one in Canada and the video takes great pictures and the digital takes clear shots as well. When you get back to the States just hand in your camera to the shop and they will put your video on a dvd and the pictures on a cd. You will still have digital pics to email to people without having to bring your expensive camera along. It's $30 but it's worth the headache of babysitting your good stuff.

sexypoet826 said...

Wow Saucy!
I am a carnival virgin and this information is great. Thank you sooooooo much for all your hard work and the time you take to get this information to everyone.
It's really appreciated!!!!

yankeegirl said...

Kevian...thanks for the 'pin' all the years I've played mas, I never thought of that!
Also, Neutrogena makes an oil-free sunblock...if you're in the NY area Duane Reade and Target sell it.

warrior like me said...

Wow Shandy!! Disposable Digital Cameras and Camcorders?? I in that. I'm going to have to look.

Kevian the safety pin thing is genius! I'm such a space cadet, I NEVER thought of that. So I will be rocking some safety pins next year, expecially with the thong, that belt must not MOVE!!

And yes, there are lots of oil-free sunblocks out there by Banana Boat, Neutrogena and others. Most of them also carry a sport version which won't rub off (or so they say) cause its water and sweat resistant. They even have spray versions which I think I'll be going with.

kevian said...

Make sure and run the pind from the inside of the underwear to the inside of the belt so that u don't see it on the outside of the custume. And hence u get the flawless look. Thanks saucy i think i will try sun block this year.

F.G.I Lady said...

Kevian yuh right the safety pin thing works wonders...since I have been playin I have pinned my belt to my undies.

Karabana said...

Good tips. I highly recommend sunblock sticks, which are more $$$, but perfect for carnival, compact size (0.47 oz (13.3 g))& you don't get it on your hands.
I've used Neutrogena Healthy Defense Oil-Free Sunblock Stick, SPF 30
Here's a link:

Re makeup, I also suggest you try it all out before the day for sure... I made the mistake of trying on false eyelashes the morning of Caribana, didn't work, so I tried another pair w the glue that came w it for Hamilton Carnival, no luck, so for NY Carnival, I bought eyelash glue, which worked, but they just weren’t comfortable. I don't know what the trick is to them, I haven't given up though! LOL!

waspwidfirecracker said...

hi ya'll
thanks saucy i really appreciate all the info and will definitely be using the tips. i don't know what some of us would do with out you.
i am so happy you're here though. hope you all have a great long weekend in sweet TnT, have fun for me.

fiesty said...

FYI - WASP I had on my eyelashes from My Divas Closet and used no glue but purchased it and had it in my goddie bag just in case. Both my eyelashes and my sisters did not come off. IT stayed on until i pulled them off manually ( The adhesive on them worked great) and i still have them and am going to use them again for 2007 Carnival of course with glue this time.

Anonymous said...

ladies - dont sweat the sunscreen thing!! Trust me - i turned near tomato on Carnival Monday...muh whole body - bright red - I couldnt believe it...dats because I ent wear enough sunscreen - but trus me - Tuesday, the lesson was learnt!! Sunglasses are also necessary - the sun ent cute

I should also say - the mobile restrooms are kept in tip top condition - they even have pads and pantyliners - so allyuh can freshen up before u go back on the road...ent cute to be smelling frowsy nah!

Sparkle said...

Thanks for the "Womanhood" article, I will make sure to keep it handy when the times comes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post, very interesting and informative. Also, I would like to share my recent find - a great video on how to apply false eyelashes. It's indeed quite easy if you follow the video. Stay beautiful, sisters! :)

Carol Boeira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flexi said...

Hi! I live in Trinidad and I'm new, and this may sound dumb.... I can't currently afford to play mas because of all the saving I have to do until the end of the year, but I want to come out for carnival with my friends that ARE playing in the band. Is it acceptable to dress how I want and follow them IN the parade? Or do i have to stand by the sides and "watch"?
Im just wondering because i don't know if there are any certain rules to that or if i will be asked to leave ahaha.

Thank you!!

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