When you’re going to a music festival, your make-up bag should really be a fraction of the size it usually is.
Remember, you’ll have to lug your backpack a fair old distance to reach your camp site, so your usual jars and bottles will only serve to weigh you down. Limit yourself to the essentials, and keep in mind that everyone is in the same boat: no one will be looking their pristine 9-5 best. Just take enough to stave off the appearance of a late night, and you’ll be good to go.
To give you a helping hand, I’ve drilled my own make-up bag down into just four practical, essential products that I am taking with me when I head off to Glastonbury. All of my top festival beauty picks are also waterproof, long wearing or both, so you can focus on enjoying the music and the atmosphere without wondering whether your make-up is going to be able to keep up!
Chances are you’ll be getting ready each morning in your cramped tent with a tiny mirror and not much natural light, so you want to take a base that is completely and utterly foolproof. That is, something you can apply quickly with your fingertips, will perk up your complexion, and will actually stick around through the changeable weather conditions. This may seem like a big ask but there are some magic formulas available that perform exceptionally well, even when pushed to the limit.
My top pick is the Stila Stay-All-Day 10-in-1 HD Illuminating Beauty Balm. I used this on holiday recently and its adaptability to different tones is fantastic – it managed to look great even as my tone gradually darkened from pallid to bronzed. Not only is this balm easy to apply and blend, it also works as a moisturiser, primer and foundation all at once. It really smooths out the skin’s texture and plumps it up slightly, and the coverage is enough even out your skintone without looking overly made-up. I chose the Illuminating formula over the Bronzed and the Original versions as its added luminous pigments combat the look of a tired, grey complexion and give it a bit of life, even if you’re not feeling at your best. To top it all off, the formula is oil-free, is waterproof for 80 minutes after exposure to water, and has an SPF of 30. A little note to remember, though – like all SPF formulas, make sure you take it all off properly before you crash out in your tent as that SPF will sit on your skin while its trying to repair itself overnight.
Although not essential, a pop of colour on your cheeks will make you feel fresher. It goes without saying that you should leave your powders at home; not only will you have to bring along extra tools to apply them with, but you’re in danger of breaking the powder when it’s bouncing around in your bag. Instead, stick to creams or liquids.
My favourite is the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blusher in Flush; it’s just so long-lasting and pigmented. I love the fact that I can apply a small amount of this in the morning and be confident that it will still be there at sundown without having to check up on it. The runniness of the formula may not be ideal for some people who just want to apply and go, but with a little practice it’s an ideal little 15ml festival companion.
I use my hand as a palette, applying a couple of dots and blending before dabbing my fingers onto my cheeks as I would do with a cream formula. It’s better to apply little by little and blend as you go for the most natural effect. If you’re more comfortable with a cream, Daniel also has a fabulous Watercolour Creme Blusher.
I wear nothing on my eyes at a festival apart from a few coats of mascara. I find that blending eyeshadow and perfecting eyeliner flicks without a bigger mirror just takes far too long. At a push I might take a little eyelash curler if it was compact enough, but otherwise I just rely upon my Guerlain Noir G Mascara to curl, lengthen, volumise and set my lashes with minimal effort. A great thing about this mascara is that it’s refillable, so I tend to remove the refill from the metal casing and just take it along by itself. It’s like a mini mascara with the benefit of a full-sized brush!
If you’re looking for a waterproof formula, then I recommend the Diorshow Waterproof Mascara, which creates massive lashes in just a few sweeps. I wiggle the mascara wand through my lashes, then apply a little more to the tips and then press the wand against the roots to negate the need for a lash curler. I finish by dipping a cotton bud into some Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Solution to quickly and reliably correct any mistakes or smears. The Bioderma Micellar Solution is also a great choice for taking your makeup off at the end of the day when there’s no water source.
With all of the eating and drinking you’ll be doing throughout the day, this is the only step of the four that you will invariably have to touch up every now and again. Even so, going for a long-wearing formula means can get away with doing this less often. Forget glosses and lipsticks; choose a stain if you want your colour to stick around.
My top pick is the Stila Lip and Cheek Stain, which is available in an array of juicy colours and scents. You can’t go wrong with an instantly brightening colour like Raspberry, a sweet hot pink that is sheer enough to suit most skin tones. If you really want to streamline your make-up bag, then you can also use this as a 2-in-1 cheek and lip colour. Remember to apply little by little and blend as you go.
Another great choice is the brand new Stila After Glow Lip Colour, a creamy lip pen that contains fluorescent pigments that glow under UV light. Awesome, right? Although the colour is moisturising and feels akin to a lipstick when worn, it also has staining properties which leaves a ‘bitten’ look even when the colour has faded away. If you’re feeling brave, try that gorgeous neon Electric Pink shade to draw some cool designs on the rest of your face – remember those staining properties, though!
You can go crazy with glitter and face paint, but for a simple day-to-day look these are the four tried and tested festival beauty elements I find to be the most foolproof. Do you have any can’t-live-without festival make-up essentials? Let me know in the comments below!