Makeup at music festivals: What to bring and what to leave at home
The essential guide to makeup at music festivals.
Travelling in the summer often calls for an overhaul of the makeup products you’re using (it’s hot out and there are baggage limits to consider). In this series, we break down the essentials you’ll need to pack for your summer trips. In part one, we explore the beauty products you need (and don’t need) to bring to a music festival.
First, determine what kind of music festival you are attending.
If you are going to a music festival where you leave when the day is over (like Osheaga, Ottawa Bluesfest, Lollapalooza, etc.) i.e. you’re not camping:
Bring: A bottle of sunscreen. Yes, you applied it before you left. But if you plan on not getting burned, you’ll need to reapply (aim for every two hours). A small bottle like Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50 ($44, kiehls.ca) will fit in your purse. If you’re carrying a backpack, a spray formula like COOLA Suncare Sport Sunscreen SPF 30 ($49.09, nordstrom.com) makes it super easy to reapply.
Bring: Makeup you can apply without a mirror. Because you get ready at home (or a hotel), there is more room to play with your beauty look. A bold lip or exaggerated cat eye won’t look out of place, but make sure you’re using long-wear and/or waterproof products. You will not be reapplying your eyeliner using a tiny hand mirror in the middle of a packed crowd (or in those temporary bathrooms). If you’re worried about touch-ups, use a low-maintenance product like a lip stain. We love Benefit Cosmetics Lollitint Cheek & Lip Stain ($39, sephora.com).
Leave behind: Makeup you can’t apply without a mirror. See above.
If you are going to a music festival where you stay on the grounds overnight (like WayHome, Bonnaroo, Boots and Hearts, etc.) i.e. you are camping:
Bring: At LEAST two bottles of sunscreen. For a four-day music festival, one bottle would be fine…if you were just using it for yourself. But outside in 40-degree summer heat, sharing sunscreen is like sharing your stockpile of water bottles – if someone asks you for some, you can’t say no. We love: Sun Bum SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion ($20.85, at Shoppers’ Drug Mart).
Bring: Lip balm with sunscreen in it. Getting a sunburn on your lips is real. And really painful. Bring a lip balm like Blistex Orange Mango Blast ($2 at walmart.com), this one tastes like a fruit smoothie, which will remind you to eat (don’t forget to eat!) – and apply often. We also love: Marc Jacobs Lip Lock Moisture Balm ($31.30 at neimanmarcus.com) and Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Lip Balm ($32 at neimanmarcus.com).
Leave behind: All makeup. Yes, all of it. If you bring your Clé de Peau concealer “just in case” and think you can leave it in the trunk of the car, know that it WILL melt and you will regret it. Just commit to going makeup-free for a few days. If that idea doesn’t entice you, try getting a spray tan or lash extensions before you go. We love: Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse ($65 at sephora.com).
Note: The only exception to this rule is fun glitter, temporary tattoos, stickers or body paint that won’t melt off your bod (it won’t look awful even if it does) when you’re dancing hard during Kendrick Lamar’s set. We love: Wicked Hippie Kill ‘Em With Kaleidoscope Body Jewels, ($24 at nastygal.com).
Bring: Disposable cleansing wipes. Just because you aren’t wearing makeup does not mean you shouldn’t be washing your face. Cleansing wipes are ideal for festival situations, where the nearest sink feels like it is (or it literally is) 1 km away. Ideally, you would bring compostable ones like Yes to Coconut Cleaning Wipes ($8.23 at asos.com).