As a self-proclaimed festival guru I must say, festival fashion is definitely one of my favorite parts about festival season. Even though I’m stoked about seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radio Head, Lady Gaga, and Justice perform live, planning my festival look and looking for makeup inspo is equally exciting.

As I plan for my festival season lineup, I think about my favorite festival-loving celebs like Vanessa Hudgens, my favorite Coachella fashion goddess, and the Ultra Angles, the super sleek rave queens. I think about my rave fam and all the tips we’ve learned throughout the years and wish we’d known to spare us those embarrassing pictures of looking a hot mess. These are the essentials of Festival Season 2017... simplified.

With experience comes wisdom, and I’ve learned that sometimes your perfectly put-together ensemble looks great for that first picture but by the end of your 12-hour sing-a-long dance-a-thon in the blazing sun...well, not so much. So here’s the 411 on how to keep your face looking fresh and put-together all day at your favorite summer festivals.

Now, I love beauty products and my makeup collection is pretty extensive but I’ll admit I’m no make-up artist. Whenever I try something too crazy, I instantly regret it. It doesn’t look quite how I pictured and in a couple hours it definitely won’t look how I pictured (yikes!). I’ve learned that if you want to look amazing from start to finish, less is more! Plus, fuss-free looks are guaranteed to last longer. This is especially convenient considering there’s no mirrors in the bathrooms, you definitely don’t want to be there longer than you need to, and you wouldn’t want to miss any second of your perfect setimes schedule anyway.




Long Lasting Music Festival Makeup is easier than you think. Start off with a good waterproof SPF and then you’ll want something light for your cheeks. Heavy makeup will not only melt off but also clog your pores and cause breakouts so you’ll want to leave the foundation and contour kit at home. For beautiful skin all 3 days of non-stop fun, you need to let your skin breathe. Cream blush and cream highlighter, like Beauty For Real’s Blush + Glo, are perfect because the creamy consistency works over sunscreen and can be layered on to achieve your desired pigment. Don’t forget to bring face wipes with you in your fanny pack or satchel to freshen up every couple hours!

Now for the eyes. The ultimate staple for any festival makeup look is colored eyeliner, and of course, it’ll need to be a sweat-proof, waterproof eyeliner pencil. Swap out your basic black or brown eyeliner for electric blue or metallic gold. The Beauty For Real I-LINE are absolutely the best colored pencils on the market. I wore my In The Navy to Ultra Miami, the absolute hottest and humid festival in the US, and I didn’t have to touch up once.

 As for the lips, lip care should go above everything else. Lip scrub and moisturizing, long lasting lip gloss is all you’ll need to beat the heat. I prefer lighter colors on the lips because they won’t smudge and it’s easy to apply. My first time at EDC Vegas, my lips were chapped no matter how much chapstick I put on, even days after coming back from the festival. If only I’d known about Beauty For Real Natural Sugar Scrub. Since I discovered this amazing lip scrub, I always bring it with me and I’ve gotten all my friends hooked!

Finish it off with some bling and setting spray! No rave outfit is complete without gems and glitter, my absolute favorite makeup accessory. The best part about it is there’s no wrong way to do it. I hold my gems with clear eyelash glue and they really don’t move (I may have fallen asleep with them and woke up like a true Glitter Queen once or twice…). Chunky glitter is all the rave right now, pun intended. Put it above your cheekbones, under your eyes, on your chest, go crazy with it. You’ll look fabulous, regardless. Lastly, every beauty-conscious ravers’ secret weapon for maximizing longwear makeup: setting spray.

For hair and body, you should still go for low maintenance. Flash tattoos are on my list of must-have festival accessories, along with a bandana and some sunnies. Flash tattoos stand out more on bronzed skin and last longer when your skin is moisturized. Last month at Coachella, both guys and girls were rocking these shiny temporary tats. In lieu of a choker or statement necklace, try a metallic strip on your neck or a couple accents on your collarbone. A fancy pattern on your sternum, back, or shoulder will have people blinded by your shine from all angles!

Beach waves hair, “the messy look,”  or a man-bun inspired lady bun are all trendy and easy-to-do festival hair looks that will hold in place with a texturizing spray. And if you’re doing a camping festival you’ll definitely need to consider this option. This year for Okeechobee Festival, I curled my hair with a wand Friday afternoon before heading to the festival and the curls held all weekend with the help of my handy-dandy texturizing spray! It keeps hair from getting greasy and really holds.

Braids are another great up-do option. A simple french-braid is a great quick touch-up or if you want to get really edgy get box braid or corn rows with colored hair-add ins. You won’t have to worry about your hair all weekend! Another great festival tip is to start hair down on day 1 and gradually start picking up your hair. So maybe do some Zenon or Miley buns with your bangs on day 2, and a high pony on day 3. Bandanas are amazing because you can wear it around your neck for the pre-festival pic, use it on your hair when it gets too hot (it’s practically an outfit change right?),  and even use it protect your nose and mouth from that dreaded festival dust.

My last festival tips is that every festival has it’s own culture, a certain vibe, a certain look. I love this about festivals because it gives me a chance to get creative. Not to mention my makeup and outfit perfectly coordinate with the surroundings for that perfect Insta pic.

For example, when you think of Coachella or Lollapalooza, you’ll definitely want to go for Boho Chic. Bring out the brown eyeshadow and brown eyeliner, some gold eyeliner on the waterline, a statement hat, denim and boots.  For EDC Vegas, Ultra, and Tomorrowland, you’ll want to go for street-style meets rave babe. Try a bodysuit with psychedelic print, space boots and colored eyeliner.  For Burning Man, be bold, get creative! Desert weather is unpredictable; you have to be prepared for anything. Don’t be afraid to show some skin during the day and show off your bronzed body in the Playa and bundle up at night. Are you a techno girl? Go for grunge. Black eyeliner, black harness, throw in a green alien somewhere,  black boots, and some more black wherever else you can fit it! Do some research, pick a theme, and make it your own! This will give you a starting point and plenty of ideas to work with.

Last but not least, whatever you wear, whatever you do, remember to be you! One of the best things about any music festival is how accepting the community is. My biggest mistake I made in my early festival days was trying to hard to fit the mold with my look. For example, when I went to Coachella for the first time, I over-accessorized. On Day 1, my outfit consisted of flowers, a hat, a lace top, rhinestones… it was just too much and poorly coordinated. As it turns out I had the best time on day 3 and snapped the best pictures in my last outfit, the one I put together last minute pulling random items from my luggage. I was comfortable, my look held up, and most importantly, I looked like me. You don’t want to be unrecognizable, you want to be the most beautiful version of yourself. Think of it like your wedding day but sooo much better. So remember, less is more!

Ultra and Coachella marked the beginning of summer festival season and if you’re following the looks like I am, on every social media imaginable, you’ll agree the FOMO is real. So how do you cope? Start planning your next festival venture and start shopping for your Festival essentials (this includes in your friends closets!). Try on outfits from head-to-toe, practice your makeup, take pictures and look back at the pictures a couple days later, don’t settle until you’re absolutely in love. That’s what I do! As for me, I’m off to Europe for Awakenings Festival and Ibiza Season. Beauty For Real, Bikinis, and Techno. Can you say LIVING?!

Leave a comment with your favorite festival look, the ultimate festival tips, or what you’re most excited for this festival season!

May 05, 2017 — Natalie Serret

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