British festival season kicks off soon and with this in mind I thought I would give tips, tricks and product recommendations that have always seen me through 3-5 days of living in a field, drinking too much cider, with no showers yet still managing to look ok on the obligatory "look! we are having more fun than you!" photos that follow.
A couple of years ago my lovely fellow artist and all around gorgeous human, Aly Hazlewood asked me to do a review of some festival beauty products over on her wonderful blog The Truth About Beauty so take a look at this too. Her blog is wonderful so give her a follow and join in the conversations on her comment sections.
The Prep Work
There are so many things you can do in the build up to festival time to minimise what you have to do while you are partying away. Low maintenance everything will help you stay feeling fresh and look your best leaving plenty of time for hedonistic wonderment. I only get about 15/20 hours sleep the entire 5 days of Glasto and the last thing I want to do upon waking is worry about how I look.
Wax your hairy bits.
This includes getting your eyebrows threaded or shaped a few days before you go. Shaving will do nothing because within a day or two you will need to do it again and for anyone who has tried shaving their legs with moisturiser in a tent, they will tell you it is not a good idea. Especially as (if you are like me) your blood alcohol level will never be at a safe enough level to brandish a razor. NEVER. My favourites are Nad's Hair Removal Gel and good old Nair. Both available at Boots or Superdrug!
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
By getting your skin in tip top condition before you go and party, it will not only hold a tan better but it will also hold up better without being exfoliated every day. Normally you slough off all your dead skin cells in the shower of a morning but you won't have this luxury at a festival so the better condition its in before you go, the better you will look throughout the weekend/week.
If you don't like being the pale and interesting type like me, then about a week before you go get your tan done PROFESSIONALLY. I cannot stress the importance of going to a good, well recommended salon enough. Its the difference between looking like Giselle vs Snooki. Good salons don't charge the earth for spray tans anymore and its worth spending a few extra pounds to not have orange palms and streaky legs.
As with your skin, the better the condition your hair the better it will stand up (not literally we hope!) against the elements. A good hair mask or treatment at your salon will keep the ends frizz free and make long hair less likely to tangle.
Paint your nails a dark or very opaque colour before you go. There is nothing more upsetting that seeing the amount of grime that gets trapped under there from mud and dust and general festival mucky shenanigans. Shellac colours done by a salon are great for festivals as they wont chip and your nails will look fabulous the entire time!
Get your eyelashes and eyebrows tinted before you go so you dont need to carry any eyebrow pencils or mascara. This step is a time saving must! If you prefer you can do it yourself at home with Eylure's Dylash Kit available at Superdrug. Super easy to use with no mess or fuss. Get a friend to help if you feel a bit shaky!
Ok, so now you are bronzed, smooth and utterly Venus like. You have your cute dresses, designer wellies and a special flower garland for your hair. What needs to go in the teeny tiny makeup bag you can fit in your rucksack?
This is SO important. Even when its cloudy the high summer sun can burn you to a crisp without you even realising. I always take a spray lotion as you can apply it to your hard to reach bits when you are off exploring by yourself. Take a look at the Superdrug Solait range. Affordable non-sticky sun protection.
2. Dry Shampoo
This stuff is always my saviour. Spray some in the first morning you notice your roots looking a little greasy and it will sort your hair right out. I had always used Batiste until I discovered Klorane's version and now I am a convert. Its available for £3.10 from John Lewis amongst others!
3. Baby Wipes
Any kind, any price. I take two packs with me and use them for EVERYTHING. Cleansing my face, all over wash of a morning, cleaning my hands, cleaning the loo before you sit down etc etc.
3. Tinted Moisturiser
Multi use products will save the day (and space) at festival time. After cleansing your face you can pop a tinted moisturiser on with no hassle and get a nice even complexion and soft skin all at once. My personal favourite is Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser. Its beautiful. You can build it up for more coverage if you need it and it lasts and lasts and lasts. Plus it has a decent SPF so no festival red noses! Available at Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar in Liverpool and online at John Lewis. Another favourite is the recently revived (I cannot even put into words how happy I am at this) Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights. Beautiful shimmery shades that give a nice even cover plus light reflecting particles to make skin shine with radiance. For anyone needing heavy duty cover but still wants a multi-use product go for Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. Its pricey but my dears, you will thank me for introducing this into your life. A tiny grain of rice size blob will do your entire face. It will conceal and smooth and plump out your skin making it look totally flawless from morning until you pass out on your air bed/in a field/up at the stone circle.
4. NARS Multiple
These little wonder sticks have been a staple in my pro kit for years and years. Highly pigmented, easy to use chunky sticks of colour that you can use on your eyes, lips and cheeks. Gives a beautiful monochromatic look to your makeup and is foolproof to apply. They come in 16 shades so you are guaranteed to find your perfect colour. Nars describes them as "* Mistake-proof color; quick and easy to apply * Sheer, natural finish for eyes, cheeks and lips * Enriched with Vitamin E and açai oil for antioxidant benefits" Check out my personal favourite shades in Orgasm, Laguna and South Beach. Available at Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar and SpaceNK.
5. Lip Balm
Whatever your personal favourite is. Vaseline adds a nice glossy shine over the above mentioned multiple or my own favourite is Embryolisse Essential Dry Skin Balm. You can use it anywhere from dry patches on the cheeks, lips, elbows and cuticles. Its in a teeny handy little tin and comes everywhere with me. I always take a bright lipstick in the season's hottest colour for a bit of night time glamour too.
Available at Love Makeup for £12.50
6. Gas powered travel straighteners
I have short hair that is very, very wavy if it gets wet or exposed to any kind of humidity. If you have long hair these probably won't make much of an impact. They might help tidy it up a little but thats all. On short/fine hair however these are a must have. After the dry shampoo has gone in, running these over the front and back means I can go hat free the entire festival if I want to! For longer hair I recommend hair bands, cute hair accessories and clips for keeping hair looking groomed and gorgeous in all weather.
I use Babyliss straighteners available for a bargainous £20 at Argos!
7. Deodorant/Body Spray
I am loving the new eco cans that Sure have just released. Tiny cans that contain just as much sweat proof protection as the larger cans (or your money back apparently). I love the cotton scent as it keeps you dry and doubles as a body spray ensuring that you smell fresh throughout all of your debauched antics and gig bouncing fun times without the need for carrying your beloved glass encased perfume. Sure Cotton Fresh available at all major supermarkets for around £1.50.
8. Hand Sanitiser
Pretty sure this is self explanatory...but if not you need this for every single trip to the loos. EVERY SINGLE TRIP. That is all.
Travel packs of tissues are great for spills, nose blowing (you know who you are and I am not talking about the hayfever afflicted...) and also much needed loo roll because there is NONE. You have to have your own or suffer the very disgusting consequences.
Essential. Buy travel sizes of all your favourites in Asda, Superdrug or Boots.
Please share your tips and favourite festival products in the comments below!