Words by Cassandra Wait-Hughes 

Ahhh, musical festivals. There’s no denying that one of life’s great pleasures is road-tripping someplace glorious with a carload of friends, knowing that for the next few days your biggest concern will be how early is too early to crack open a bottle. It’s one of the rare opportunities we’re given when we’re expected to throw caution to the wind and completely give ourselves up to *living*. Unless, of course, you were one of the unfortunate few who splashed out thousands for Ja Rule’s trash #fyre horror show over the weekend.

Despite the bucket loads of ~carefree~ fun a festival entails, there’s a lot about festy-going that can leave you feeling just that: festy. When you really face the music, consecutive hangovers and sleep deprivation are a recipe for disaster in the beauty department. Combined with a crappy torch and rear view mirror situation, you got yourself a solid list of what you don’t need when you’re trying to look like a real babe. So, in the spirit of recent festival greatness (hi, Coachella), and the many more to come (here’s looking at you, Glastonbury), I’ve rounded up my top 5 essentials for nailing a beauty look that will stick with you, or on you, through it all.

Use Protection


First and foremost. While a great hat is a staple for festivals, if you’re anything like me, you’re likely to lose it on the first day. You’ll either sacrifice it in the depths of an intense boogie sesh, or get sick of carrying it around when the sun goes down, and you CBF taking it back to your campsite because you’re just having so much fun. Festivals are all about doing things that are not conducive to ageing well, so counteract the guilt with some quality sunscreen for your face and bod.

For le face: I love Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF 30 Mineral Gel Cream. It’s great because it’s lightweight, and wears like a dream under foundation. Made for super-sensitive skin, it’s paraben and sulphate-free, and enriched with colloidal oatmeal, so it actually nourishes as well as protects. So there you go – you can do all the naughty things and still sleep at night knowing you at least wore protection.

For the bod: Look no further than Clarins Spray Solaire Lait-Fluide Sécurité UVA/UVB 50+. It’s a spray formula, which IMO is the easiest form of application at a festival. It’s fluid and not sticky, and will keep your limbs hydrated and glowing.


Fake It Til You Make It


We all know that true beauty comes from within, but TBH, this is irrelevant when it comes to music festivals (especially the long ones). In my experience, by day 3 I usually feel about as radiant as Voldemort on the inside. If you’re anything like me and need all the help you can get at a festival, bring along a little somethin’ somethin’ to keep you feeling fre$h. I love the Tom Ford Skin Illuminator, which is designed to mimic the look of ‘skin bathed in summer evening light’ (swoon). Mix it in with your foundation for a subtle, long-lasting, sun kissed *glow*, and no one will ever know that you’re dying on this inside.


Luxurify The Eye


Rear view mirrors and bad torch light does not a beauty queen make. While the eye is the perfect canvas for a bit of fun, eyeliners and shadows that are difficult to apply have no place at a music festival. Opt for something simple and effective in a subtle but *festive* shade. My ride or die is a Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick, which is like the two-minute noodles of the make-up world. Application is simple as pie – just colour in your lid and do a quick once over with the pinky to blend (I can even use this bad boy sans mirror. Truly). Pick a shade like Golden Bronze, and you got yourself a long-lasting fancy eye faster than you can say “noodles”.

If you’ve got a particularly good rear view mirror, or an extra 2 minutes up your sleeve, the Tom Ford Cream And Powder Eye Colour is another winner for little effort/maximum impact. The two-in-one includes an ultra-pigmented metallic cream shadow that gives a rich, molten glow, and the sparkling powder goes over the top to intensify the shimmer. Luxurious AF.

When it comes to mascara, I am of the firm belief that you don’t need to pay with your eyeballs for a good one. Swing by Priceline on your way out of town for a fresh tube of L’Oreal False Lash Telescopic Waterproof mascara. This is my numero uno for life. It’s $26.95 and will make your lashes longer than the toilet lines you’re about to stand in (and miles prettier!).


Bring A Boss Base


A bad foundation at a music festival is just as convenient as being hungover on a Monday. Not very. Here’s what you want; heavy-duty, but not heavy, sheer, but not invisible, lightweight, but long-lasting. The people will tell you that you can’t have it all, but Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is proof that they’re wrong. Proven to withstand sixteen hours of humidity-resistant, full-coverage wear, this base is a total bawws. It’s designed to enhance the natural look of your skin without caking it, and a magical combo of treated pigments and flexible polymers mean the result is a breathable and weightless finish with complete coverage. Literally made to exceed the unrealistic expectations a music festival puts on your face.


Maintain the Mane


In my hair cycle, I have very precise 24-hour window before I could wring enough grease out of my locks to deep-fry a Mars bar. Shocking, but true. If you’re anything like me, dry shampoo is non-negotiable. I love Klorane’s Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. It’s inexpensive, good for your hair, and won’t give you faux dandruff. It comes in a travel size (although I never go for this because I get anxiety about it running out), and you can pick it up from Priceline for 15 bucks.