When There's No Shower in Sight, Here's How to Look Amazing Anyway


Gigi Hadid nails festival beauty. (Photo: Instagram)

If you’re planning on festival hopping this season, you have an exciting few weeks in store. Amid the silent discos, crowdsurfing, and celebrity spotting, the last thing you want to think about is the heat and humidity and your resulting frizzy hair, running makeup, and sweat stains. Now’s the time to start prepping your streamlined, sweatproof beauty routine so you won’t get caught beating your face in the tent while A$AP Rocky blares in the background. Here’s how to condense your festival beauty routine and look your best even without running water, using products that won’t take up too much space in your carry-on.

Before you leave:

Preparation is the key ingredient to a quick and seamless beauty routine once you’re on the go. If you get highlights, get them touched up so that your future greasy roots aren’t amplified. If you have light or sparse brows, tint them. And if you’re prepared to leave behind your mascara, you may want to venture into lash tinting – but only if you’re not twitchy and restless because you don’t want that stuff in your eyes, trust. Get a spray tan if you depend on bronzer, and if you won’t be showering, get a blowout the day before your flight to make tent styling a whole lot easier on yourself.

On the plane:

Since airplane acne is no myth, listen and learn so you don’t have any concealing to do in the middle of the desert. On the plane, dry skin becomes drier and gets inflamed, and if you don’t counteract it, there will be acne. And you guessed it, oily skin gets oilier and also results in acne. Your solution: cleanse and moisturize with your tried and true products pre, mid, and post-flight. This way, your tiny camping beauty kit with no room for concealer will still do the trick.


Chrissy Teigen does airplane beauty right. (Photo: Instagram)

When you’re there, sweating:

Now’s the time to forget your woes, so you want to pack as few products as possible while still accounting for all of your needs. The goal is a small cosmetics bag no time wasted on your beauty routine.


Your hair doesn’t have to be a greasy giveaway. Luckily braids are on trend at festivals, because they’re your new best friend. Braid crowns, French braids, and tiny sporadic braids will keep your hair looking neat and fresh. Light, silk hair scarves can achieve the same effect. Or add a hat to protect your skin and mask your hair, but be sure it’s not too tight – hat hair could be hard to fix without running water. If you want to experiment, try clip in bangs that will distract from greasy hair, or just wash the front of your hair in the sink to refresh your whole look.


Kate Bosworth perfects Coachella hair. (Photo: Instagram)

For dry hair:

Keep it looking fresh with Aveda’s Pure Abundance Hair Potion ($24). It’s a powder that turns into a dry lotion to maintain volume and refresh slightly greasy hair. Try it with Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray ($22) for a little nourishment that will keep hair soft and touchable, not oily. Use a Tangle Teezer Comb ($17) to spruce up your roots before and after applying products.

For oily hair:

An obvious go-to is dry shampoo – we like Living Proof’s PhD ($12). Use it in the mornings alongside a volumizer like John Frieda’s Luxurious Volume ($8), and distribute your hair’s natural oils and any lingering product throughout your hair using a compact boar brush like the Brushopolis Teasedale ($16). This will keep your roots even and will maintain volume for your entire trip.


Teasedale by Brushopolis. (Photo: Brushopolis)

For frizz:

If you’re frizz prone, start the festival with a blowout and spray with Oribe Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray ($22). Use it every morning to give your hair a frizz shield that won’t be sticky or crunchy. Avoid hairspray, sea salt spray, hair gel, and any products that make it hard to run your fingers through your hair.

Or, you can embrace the oily hair look and go for a slicked back ‘do throughout the festival. Adding a little oil will give your hair a nutritional boost, and when you wash it out at the end of the trip it will be hydrated and happy. Oil masks are endorsed by the likes of Nicole Richie, who says she spends her weekends with coconut oil in her hair to keep it sleek.


Beyonce wears a slicked back, braided updo that’s perfect for festival heat and humidity. (Photo: Instagram)


When you’re sweating and makeup won’t hold, you’ll thank your skin care routine. Don’t let the desert air get the better of you: you only need three products.

For dry skin:

Cleanse, tone, prime, and moisturize with Decleor’s Micellar Oil ($35). It’s the ultimate all-in-one. Wear Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50 ($36) under your makeup. It’s light and won’t make your skin oily or chalky. Keep it moisturized and smooth with Caudalie’s Grape Water mist ($13) to cool and soothe sensitive skin in the heat of the moment.

For oily skin:

Cleanse, tone, prime, and moisturize with Decleor’s Aroma Cleanse Soothing Micellar Water ($35). French girls swear by it, so you know it’s good. And yes, it meets four crucial skin needs. Protect with La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Sunscreen SPF 50 ($33), because it works under your makeup and keeps you matte and smooth – what more could you ask for? And maintain with Milk Blotting Papers ($10), they double as rolling papers, btw…


Kendall Jenner masters desert skin and beauty. (Photo: Instagram)


Cut down your makeup routine to five minutes so you don’t miss a beat. Plus, eyeliner running down your face just isn’t the natural festival look you should be going for. Decide on two must-have products: just a little BB Cream like Kiehl’s ($37) to layer on the spf, and a filled in brow for structure and to cut down the process while keeping your skin looking fresh. This will make makeup removal easy and give your skin a break. You can even cut it down to one product: Charlotte Tilbury’s newest palette ($75) has everything you need from skin and highlighter to eyes and cheeks. Stay away from waterproof mascara and eyeliner, or any mascara and eyeliner for that matter. It is difficult to remove and is too risky given all the sweating that will be going on.


Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette. (Photo: Charlotte Tilbury)


Everybody has their preferences when it comes to deodorant, but we think it’s important to keep it natural – we love Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream ($14). But, there are other things you can do to keep your sweat from stinking. Avoid the obvious foods like garlic and onions, but be sure to keep your diet clean, because everybody will smell your nutrient deficiencies and sugary habits from a mile away when you’re out in the desert. If you get stuck out there smelling like a locker room, mix lemon juice with water and pat it in your armpits to inhibit bacterial growth. Also be sure to keep your hands clean so you don’t break out from wiping your brow. Try Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Defense Hand Spray ($9). It smells delicious and does the job right.

Now confidently head westward knowing that you won’t miss your favorite song.


Bella Hadid and Jessie Jo Stark keep cool in the desert. (Photo: Instagram)

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