Beauty and festivals are not two words that typically go hand in hand, probably because a) we live in England, a country that doesn’t lend itself to traditional summers and b) you are living in a tent in a muddy field without access to a proper toilet, let alone a nice sink and a shower. Yet deep down we all want to look as good as our favourite celebrities do in the photos taken of them in Coachella. So here are a few ways to look glasto glam from start to finish.
With most people, glitter is the first thing to come to mind when people consider festival looks, and while this is all very well and good, there is far more to it than just slopping some craft glitter down the side of your face in a crescent.
Firstly, you need to have the right materials. Opt for fashion or beauty glitter rather than craft glitter (Claire’s has a surprisingly good selection and 15% student discount!) It is softer on your skin, easier to take off and does not stain skin like craft glitter has a tendency to do. As well as this, it is rather likely that you are going to be away from your tent (and therefore your make up bag) so you want to make it stick all day and potentially all night too. To ensure this, a popular hack is to dab Vaseline or chapstick to the desired area. However, I also like using eyelash glue to make sure it really sticks.
But why stop there? Make or buy stencils of hearts, stars, flowers etc if you don’t trust yourself to do it with a free hand. Experiment with fun eyeliner to outline shapes, add gems or even go all out and add temporary tattoos to leave you looking like the fairy version of Mike Tyson. Once you’ve customised your face (and body) to your heart’s delight, don’t forget to set it all with setting spray or, failing that, hairspray.
Make up at festivals is a bit of a tricky one. This is partly because people don’t like bringing their whole make up bag to festivals, partly because usual rules don’t apply and partly because it needs to last so damn long. Personally, I totally disregard those who advise that you should not bring your good make up to festivals. It is more important than ever that you have good quality, long lasting products to ensure longevity and minimal damage to your skin. Because of this, I prioritise my ‘vice’ eyeshadow palettes over festival snacks. As long as your items are carefully packed (I wrap my makeup bag in jumpers and cushion with socks to avoid it moving around too much during transit), I guarantee they will be fine.
Anything goes with festival make up looks, so it really is a chance to have fun and experiment. Check out Barry M and NYX for fun, reasonably-priced yet good quality items like lipsticks, bright eyeshadow palettes and eyeliners, or Lime Crime and Urban Decay if you have a bit more money to splash.
One of the most important things to remember (and one that is often over looked) is that good glitter and makeup don’t exist without good skin. Tempting as it may be to crawl into your sleeping bag fully made up, don’t. Always completely remove makeup each night and don’t forget to cleanse, moisturise and use sun cream. This will prevent spots and peeling skin, making your skin appear softer and clearer. Decant your favourite brands into miniature bottles or search for travel minis of what you use. And whatever you do, don’t solely revise on babywipes, they are made for baby bums, not your beautiful, delicate face.
One of the things I struggle with most at festivals is making my hair look acceptable throughout the duration, especially as my hair is so vibrant that even a squirt of dry shampoo shows up so obviously. My first tip here is to learn a couple of different hairstyles to utilise as your hair gets progressively more greasy. French plaits and Dutch braids look great and are super easy to do on greasy hair, space buns , regular plaits and half up-half down are all really fun to do and keep dirty hair out of your face, reducing your chances of developing spots. If you don’t venture beyond ponytails and messy buns, ask a friend to help. My friend Ella led a bit of a hair masterclass in our living room (as I think we were driving her mad constantly asking her to do our hair), or you can find hundreds of tutorials on YouTube.
As well as this, there are lots of fun accessories to add to your hair; bandanas, tiaras, hair piercings, flower garlands and large clips are just a few cheap and cheerful items you can add to your look to jazz it up a bit and are pretty cheap and available from places like Claire’s. Or, if you want to go one step further, using glitter and hair chalks are lots of fun and quick and easy to do. Heed my warning though, glitter is an absolute nightmare to get out of the scalp and will cling on for weeks afterwards.