Carnival Tips

More than a carnival costume | Band registration.

By Posted on 3min read83 views

You watched the band launches, and you’ve decided which band you wish to join and have fallen in love with your costume of choice.  Now it’s time to make it official by registering with your mas band. How do you accomplish band registration? By putting down a deposit for your carnival costume.

The selection of your carnival costume will easily make people forget that the carnival experience is more than the costume. Your time on the road in your costume embodies a total experience and your proceeds help pay for it all.

The purpose of this blog is to give you a general idea as to what your proceeds will pay for at your next caribbean carnival experience.

The carnival costume.

Caribbean carnival costume
Euphoria Mas Costume for Miami Carnival 2021

The costume is the most obvious..  With band registration, you choose your costume and coverage options to include special add ons such as a feather collar, backpack, headpieces and sometimes leg pieces.  Your band registration usually starts with a deposit with a set amount of time to pay off the costume in full.  But as I said previously, your money is going to more than just what you will be wearing. Continue reading!

carnival costume band registration details
Experience offered from Euphoria Mas for Maimi Carnival 2021

The food and drinks.

Proceeds from your costume also go into the food an drinks on the road.  Carnival bands will provide to you food and drink tickets to submit to food and drink trucks to keep you fed and hydrated while you chip down the road.  Lots of ice is needed too!  

Access to the carnival village.

In the United States, a lot of parades end with access to the carnival village.  Inside the carnival village are food and merchandise vendors, concerts and other activities. The proceeds from your band registration will also cover your entry into the carnival village.  Without it, you may be denied entry, regardless of the fact that you are in a costume.

The music and other amenities.

Your band registration also covers the DJs playing music on the truck and the sound system on it (Which is VERY expensive!). Also, the proceeds for your carnival costume will also go into a special touches such as roving bartenders, security, and air-conditioned bathroom trailers.  What’s included all really depends on the band.

The goody bag.

Most likely your carnival costume comes with a bag full of carnival essentials and accessories– your cup, sunglasses, chap-stick, tylenol, shot glasses, temporary tattoos, shoe inserts, fanny packs, etc.  Your proceeds went to that as well!

Caribbean carnival is more that just a costume.

Mas bands are here to offer your more that just a costume for carnival, but an entire experience! But carnival bands are businesses, therefore, you as a customer will be giving proceeds to help all of that magic happen.  Before band registration, you should check the website information for what else is included. If you are paying $800 for a frontline costume with only food and drinks offered but can get more at another band, this will be a good indicator to seriously consider other options that will give you the best experience for your buck.  

Thinking about pre-registering with a band? Read all about it here.

I hope this helps!

 

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Should I pre-register for carnival?

By Posted on 2min read60 views

If you are participating in the carnival for the very first time, you might be confused when you hear about pre-registration. You are already on FOMO mode and you might be wondering if this is something you should do too. Is it a good option to pre-register for carnival for you? But pump your brakes, there are some things to consider.

What is pre-registration?

Pre-registration allows you to put down a deposit for a future costume (that has not been seen yet).  This puts you “ahead” of other masqueraders that do not pre-gegister. 

Typically, the pre-registration deposit in the United States is about $100.  

Once a band launches, those that have pre-registered are able to choose their costumes before registration opens publicly.  This guarantees you your choice and options before everyone else.

Who should pre-register for carnival?

Pre-registration flyer for carnival
Pre-registration annoucement for an Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival mas band

Pre-registration really benefits those who know in their hearts of hearts they will be participating with a specific band or section leader. They have probably played mas with them once before, or over a span of several years.  They could care less about the other bands or designs; they are LOYAL to that brand.  Simply put: Pre-registration really supports the experienced carnival-goer.

Also, if you are going with a person or group of people to carnival that is already set on that band, it may also benefit you to pre-register as well.  Popular bands sell-out very quickly and you’d hate to be left with slim choices when registration opens.

Why you shouldn't pregister for carnival.

If you are not sure what band you are going to want to register with, I advise you to hold onto your money until the band launches occur, or you have made a solid decision.  If you pre-register and change your mind, your funds are forfeit.  To help, start researching the carnival bands early before you observe the band launches so your list is narrowed and you are not so overwhelmed by a decision.

Have fun picking out your carnival costumes!

Band launch season is super exciting! I hope this little bit of information helps demystify any confusion about pre-registration for carnival.  Don’t forget the carnival experience is more important than any band, and don’t forget that you ARE the vibe that helps make a mas band great.

Thinking of going to Atalnta-Dekalb carnival?  Check out the bands here.

See you on the road,

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Carnival stockings outside carnival? Yes.

By Posted on 3min read67 views

Save coin and think outside the box.

If you’ve had conversations with dancers and performers, you’d learn that the the concept of nude fishnets and hosiery is nothing new. It has been around waaaay before your favorite carnival stockings brand, so I really want to encourage you to continue to make use of yours even as you wait for your next carnival jump.

Beyonce wearing nude fishnets when she performed at coachella.
If you look closely, you can see Beyonce is wearing nude fishnets!

Carnival stockings in uniform? I tried it. I liked it.

Tracey standing in military dress uniform at a conference

I just absolutely love my carnivalista carnival stockings. Of all the brands that I have worn since my first jump in 2015, carnivalista has always provided me the best color match and the widest range of styles to choose from. The carnivalista range ranks one of the top items I wont go to carnival without so I dont think you should either.

In 2018 I was packing to attend a conference where and I had to wear my dress uniform. Im required to wear hosiery in my skirt, but I just didn’t feel like going to the store. By regulation, hosiery is required, but it doesn’t say what kind.  And so! I pulled out my pair of carnivalista naked fishnets and decided to do a little experiment on my trip.  I tried it, and liked it.  The perfect match blended so well with my legs that no one could tell then were fishnets until I called attention it it. 10/10, will do it again.

Picture of Tracey's legs in nude fishnet stockings
Perfect match!

Carnival stockings at a wedding? Perfect.

Tracey in traditional african wedding attire

I went to my carnival road partner’s two-day wedding in September this year. The first day was her traditional Nigerian wedding.  My Carnivalista naked fishnets came in handy once again.  My Asoebi gown showed off more leg than I cared for and was snug in the hips but  The fishnets provided seamless coverage of the legs and even protected me from some serious thigh rub. 

tracey standing in traditional african wedding attire with nude fishnet stockings
What fishnets?
closeup of Tracey's leg in nude fishnet stockings

Style your everyday outfits.

While packing for a fete at Miami carnival, I decided to add a pair of carnivalista sparkle fishnet shorts.  Because Im a shortie, they came down to look like capri’s and I liked it even more! Im a cinnamon shade and accidentally got them in a shade darker.  But this little mistake looked very good to me! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to wear this outfit due to costume distribution issues, but I will def be saving it for a later date.

I dont have any other pictures, but listed below are ways I have worn my carnival stockings outside of carnival:

1) Under ripped jeans. nude fishnets or regular stockings,  for a little extra warmth in the cooler days, colored or black fishnets to add texture to your look.

2) Under any skirt or pair of shorts.  Pair it with a pair of knee or thigh-high boots to set things off.

I hope this encourages you to get creative!

The use of your carnival stockings are damn-near limitless so I encourage you to think about how you can get more bang for your buck as you wait for your next carnival jump.  Want to try Carnivalista leggings?  Check them out by hitting the links below and use code: AWM 2021 for 10% off your order. Have any ideas to share? Comment below!

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AWM’s must-haves for the Carnival road experience!

By Posted on 7min read75 views

I was STRESSED preparing for my first jump!

My first carnival jump at Atlanta-Dekalb was fast and furious.  We’re talking maybe less than 8 weeks before I knew my feet would touch road for the very first time.  This would have been my sister’s second jump so although I had someone with me, the know-what and how was still very much limited.  But don’t worry… If this is your first jump, I got you! Im going to separate these items for you:  Before the road, and During. To be transparent, there are affiliate links on these page, but I have personally used these items, or have had these items recommended from other experienced masqueraders. Thank you so much for your support!

Pre-Jump Necessities

Carnivalista Pasties
I customized my carnivalista pasties with gems.

I have a very strict rule– I WILL wear pasties with every wire bra because nipple slips happen, especially if you are high energy on the road.  I have been using Carnivalista smoothies for years.  They now come in four shades to best match your skin tone so it doesn’t contrast from your skin and your costume.  Brown skin and “tan” pasties are just unsightly.  Each pack of Carnivalista smoothies comes with three pair. Use code: AWM2021 for 10% off your order.

**Note** The diameter of the carnivalista smoothie (without the petal part) is about 2 inches in diameter.  If your breasts are blessed with larger areolas, I do not recommend these for you.  Check below for larger pasties.

 When putting on the pastie, make sure the surrounding skin is free of moisturizers/lotion.  Even your body wash has moisturizers! I recommend prepping the skin with rubbing alcohol and making sure its completely dry before sticking on.

Pasties for larger areolas

I purchased these Maidenform pasties on Amazon to get ready for Trinidad carnival as my favorites at Carnivalista were out of stock. With a pricepoint of 9 bucks, it came with five pair. I did end up finding my favorites while packing, but took these with me anyway.  One of my travel mates didn’t have any on our trip and had larger areolas. These fit her great.  

** Note** When putting on the pastie, make sure the surrounding skin is free of moisturizers/lotion.  Even your body wash has moisturizers! I recommend prepping the skin with rubbing alcohol and making sure its completely dry before sticking on.

I really recommend a menstrual cups for the road if you can.

Okay okay hear me out.  Ladies, there’s a good chance you will be on your period when you touch road.  Why not be mess and leak free? I was unfortunately on my cycle for Houston Carnival and had to wear my Diva Cup.

 A menstrual cup is made of silicone and safe for wear up to 12 hours.  If your flow is medium or light, you may not have to worry about running to a port-a-john at all.  At carnival, your hands WILL GET DIRTY and its probably best to keep them from your lady parts as much as possible (even if you have hand sanitizer). I recommend testing out the cup to learn how to use it before you wear it for carnival.  Not all cups are made equal. I went through a brand before I found the diva cup.  But I have been pad and tampon free for three years and won’t be going back.

**Note** If your cycle is heavier and you know you will have to empty your cup during the road experience, I recommend you save this for another day.  

Spirit Gum is a hard-core adhesive.

This recommendation comes from my friends in the Burlesque community.  How you think they get their bedazzled pasties to say on when they swing those tassles?! LOL 

We treat spirit gum like how we treat lash glue.  Place it on the skin or the pastie and allow it to get tacky before we put the pastie on.  I would recommend this for anyone that just sweats a lot, or those dare-devils who just decide they wanna wear nothing but the pastie and want the extra assurance there will be no nipple-gate.  Mark my words, its not going anywhere. 

Carnivalista does a fantastic job with the adhesive. I literally have to get in the shower to remove my pasties. But if you’re going with a different brand (esp the one listed above) I can’t vouch for their adhesive qualities.

Use bikini bite if you don't want your ass eating your panty.

I became hip to Bikini Bite waaaay back in 2012 when I was prepping for bikini division bodybuilding.  When you are on the road, your panty tends to migrate… OFTEN. To be honest, I went to thongs just because I got tired of pulling my panty out of my ass.  But! If you must have your coverage, I strongly recommend bikini bite.  This will make your panty stay PUT. 

**Note** this probably will not work as well if you intend to wear leggings under your panty.

If you bought cheap shoes for carnival, you're likely going to need better insoles.

Foot care is just as important as your footwear! Most likely you’re going to buy a shoe to match your costume and you’re not going to want to be very expensive. Because of that you’ll find little no no insole support at ALL.  Strongly recommend you buy a pair of insoles to put inside your shoes. Your feet will thank you.

Want leggings? You need to check out Carnivalista. Ive worn many brands but the color match is unbeaten.  Carnivalista offers up to 6 shades to choose from to best match your skin tone.  Leggings offer coverage if you’re looking to hide scars/cellulite,  and can also be used as shapewear  as well.  Be sure to check out their website and use code: AWM2021 at checkout.

**Note** For my ladies looking to leggings as shapewear, I recommend any of their leggings that are closely knit (naked, gliss). Your shimmer/shine tights are also up your alley. Leggings with a wider fishnet will offer less shaping capacity.

 

Don’t forget code: AWM2021 at checkout!

On the Road

Some people opt for a small backpack or fanny pack to hold their things during the road experience. I really don’t like anything around my waist covering up the costume so I opt for the Flex Bag which just goes around the thigh. I have thick thighs and this fits comfortably and stays up. It has two compartments and does fit my iPhone 12 Pro Max with a case on it (although it can get snug). For Houston Carnival, I had my car keys and ID one one side and my phone on the other.

 Another favorite is the Lynx Hip Bag. Because it is patent leather, I really like to wear these to J’ouvert as I know that my things with stay dry and also within my sight as people do unfortunately steal.  The lynx hip bag is versatile as is worn Laura Croft style, and you can remove the thigh strap and extend the waist loop to turn it into a cute shoulder bag. It has a nicely sized compartment for your larger items and you can store flat items in the front pouch.

The Pump will hold smaller phones, cash and other small items. Not my favorite as I found I struggled a little bit to remove items from my pouch while on the road. I think if you don’t pack it as tightly you will be just fine. I personally just prefer to be completely hands free during my experience.

I have not worn the Vega bag, but intend to test it out in the future. 

Don’t forget code: AWM2021 at checkout!

Stand up to pee.

I already can hear it now:  “Wait, WHAT?” Hear me out. Being in the military I have found the need to pee in obsure places, and there was no way I was risking muscle failure while squatting to pee.  Here is where the pstyle comes in.  Its a device so that you can pee while standing up.  I DO NOT RECOMMEND FUNNEL devices because if your stream can’t match the rate of funnel you’re going end up giving yourself a golden shower.  This pstyle is more of a “slide” device and sits right up under your lady parts while you pee.  If you go directly to their website, you can purchase a matching pouch with a little clip to attach to you while you’re on the road or at j’ouvert.

This came in especially handy at Caesars Army Ambush TT.  There were no port-a-johns to be found, and a lot of trees and bushes. The rest is up to your imagination.

**Note** Practice at home before hand.

 

Your inner thighs will thank you.

Haaay thick thighs! I love mine, but not in a pencil dress or when it’s hot outside.  Bring out the dreaded “chub rub”. Shapewear will prevent inner thigh chaffing, but if you dont want to wear leggings/tights, I strongly recommend this body glide that will prevent that painful rub from happening.

There's More!

For sake of brevity, let me direct you to my Amazon Storefront which will provide you footwear recommendations, self care, masquerader kit items, my favorite tech, carnival and j’ouvert recommendations and even home decor.  And if you have any recommendations, please let me know! I continue to learn from all of you.

 

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Freeing the Cheeks.

By Posted on 2min read57 views

I remember the first time I played mas with We Kinda Ting in 2015. I was approaching 180 pounds, had underestimated my weight gain and should have ordered a large panty. I didn’t feel good about doing this at ALL.

This was my sister’s second jump and so I relied on her heavily being the newbie between the two of us. She was completely unphased by what she saw, but all of my senses were overloaded.

Things hadn’t even started yet, but the music was infectious and the energy in the air addictive. I kept looking around at all of the women of different shapes, sizes and walks of life. Here I was feeling some kind of way about my body until…..

I saw a plus-sized masquerader in a THONG.

She looked so beautiful, confident and free. And even though my medium panty was holding on for dear life, seeing her put some things in perspective: That I had no need to feel insecure out there. All bodies were beautiful. So I let go and became addicted to playing mas right then and there. I know before we even started the parade that this was something I would be doing again.

But wearing a thong illuded me over the years. Even after significant weight loss and lifestyle changes, the thought of my cheeks in the breeze made me a little nervous. People know me best that I don’t like being scared of anything, so I told myself that I would set out to try it out sometime.

It wasn’t until Miami Carnival 2019 with Ramajay Mas that I decided that I was going to finally try it out.

Long story short, I don’t know why the concept of wearing a thong was so scary. It wasn’t anywhere near as daunting once I put the costume on.

A few things I immediately appreciated:

  1. It was VERY comfortable. I didn’t have to worry about constantly digging out my wedgies on the road.
  2. I didn’t have to worry about the bottom migrating in places it wasn’t supposed to be.
  3. I didn’t have to worry about wedgie-chaffing.
  4. A nice even tan on my bamsee. I didn’t look like a porn star when I got off the road.

Chances are if you have played mas before, you have experienced the one side of the panty up the bum, or both. Might as well just rock a thong.

The main thing I didn’t appreciate about wearing a thong bottom was that bare bamsee on grass or concrete wasn’t very comfortable. Depending on how long your jump is, you might want to consider using your flag or a rag to sit on for rest stops.

By all means, if you prefer more coverage, do you! But if you haven’t worn a thong because of fear, trust and believe there is nothing to be scared of. You’ll be amazed at how much more comfortable you will be!

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