How to Put Together The Ultimate Festival Makeup Bag
If there’s one thing I truly live for, it’s rave culture. My entire apartment is filled with rave posters and vaporwave art. My personal style is best described as “festival-ready 24/7.” I do my best to live by PLUR, because it legitimately changed my life for the better. I mean, for crying out loud, I married a DJ who I met at a music festival.
For me, raving isn’t just a hobby. It’s a way of life. If anyone knows and understands how to party it up in style, it’s me. I’m known for my non-binary rave outfits and my ability to put together some pretty epic makeup looks.
If you’re going to EDC, EZOO, Hydrotechnics, Big Dub, or any of the other festivals happening this summer, do yourself a favor, and put together a makeup bag with this gear inside. Your Instagram (and skin) will thank you for doing so.
First things first, get some festival-ready sunscreen.
Your skin will not look good if it’s burned and peeling from sun damage after your first day of festival fun. Speaking as someone who is exceedingly light-sensitive, I refuse to go out to a daytime concert or festival without having sunscreen on me.
My go-to for festival season is a good ol’ tube of Unicorn Snot. It’s SPF 30, water-resistant (for those sweaty dance sessions!), and also has tons of glitter to add a little extra shine to your overall look.
Unlike other sunscreens I’ve tried, Unicorn Snot also remains wonderfully hydrating and doesn’t get too greasy. Oh, and don’t worry about being drenched in glitter. The actual effect on your skin is pretty subtle and doesn’t wreck clothing.
Then, opt for minimal coverage BB cream.
Do not, I repeat, do not, ever try to go for heavy coverage foundation for a festival or summertime rave. It will be too heavy for your skin and will cause your look to appear mask-like. Worse, the heat and sweat can cause the makeup to become a major pore-clogger. So, don’t do that.
I’d strongly suggest getting a super-light coverage BB cream to even out your skin tone instead. I’ve used Missha’s BB Cream for ages because it offers a decent level of coverage with a super light finish. Better still, it offers up SPF 42 sun protection...and let’s face it, you should take all the sun protection you can get during festie season.
If you’re going to have a full makeup routine, consider getting a festival-friendly palette.
I’m always a little leery of bringing large palettes to festivals and raves, because it’s oh, so easy to have the pressed shadows crumble up and make a mess in your bag. However, if you are okay with tucking your palette into a large freezer bag for safe transport, you’ll be alright.
The cool thing about festival-friendly makeup is that it’s really easy to find epic shades. All you have to do is find the brightest, most glittery palettes you can. BH Cosmetics makes an amazing festival palette called Aurora Lights. It’s a great go-to and can be used to create incredible effects.
If you’re just looking for a quick eyeshadow to pop in your fanny pack, go for one or two tubes of liquid shadow.
Liquid shadow is a great rave option for multiple reasons. First off, liquid shadows are usually designed to be portable and are typically well-secured in their bottles. Second, once most liquid shadows dry, they will NOT budge. Third? Well, you don’t need to carry your brush set around to apply them.
Out of all the more long-lasting eyeshadows I’ve found, I’ve noticed that Smith & Cult’s Metallic Shift sets really stand out the most. They also tend to be some of the longest-wearing out of all the ones I’ve tried, and add a nice trippy touch to your outfit. That being said, they are very highly pigmented and can easily go awry if you’re not used to the application method.
If you’re not sure whether or not you can apply your shadow flawlessly, stick to Little White Lies by Stila. That liquid eyeshadow offers a lot of light glitter that will make eyes pop, without making mistakes as obvious.
Lip stains and liquid matte lipsticks are your friend.
Don’t ask me why, but lipgloss and glitter lip toppers never seem to stay on long enough to hold up for a whole day of festival fun. Glosses are gone in like, 10 minutes, and for some reason, most glitter lip toppers just tend to dehydrate lips a bit too much. With glosses, it’s the oils in the gloss that make them difficult to keep on. With toppers, the glitter and pigments are what mess it up.
Now, there is such a thing as too much glitter. That’s why I usually suggest leaving lips un-glittered during festivals. The best way to get a longer-lasting pout, from what I’ve experienced, is to use a lip stain. It’s a subtle look, carries light, and can easily stay on the whole night through. The Face Shop makes a very reliable one, and it works as a decent blush, too.
Grab that liquid liner pen!
If you’re like most festival goers, you don’t want to have an entire Caboodles bag in your car. You want to keep things easy on yourself. A regular pencil liner can break or melt. It also can be really hard to get the sharp lines you want to make. A cheap liquid liner pen will do wonders here.
I suggest trying BH Cosmetics’ own Black Liner Pen. It will do your look right, and is long-wearing enough to make your look stay on point.
A highlighter stick can work very well for multiple points.
Looking for a multi-use wonder product? Look for a pretty highlighter stick that compliments your skin tone. Highlighters work well as eyeshadow toppers, contouring aids, body highlighters, as well as lipstick toppers.
A good highlighter stick can upgrade any look fairly quickly, especially if it has a “holographic” look to it. It’s flexible enough to remain a must-have for any festival or rave look. Better still, you can make pretty epic friends by offering it to people who need a little extra sparkle!
Add some portable scents to your bag, too.
Festivals are notorious for making people stink. Between the dancing sweat, the hot weather, and the smoke, it’s easy to stop smelling too good early on in the day. Along with your classic deodorant, mouthwash, and toothbrush, I strongly suggest adding two new goodies to your pack.
The first new addition you should bring are flushable (or tossable) baby wipes. These work well as a quick refresher when showers aren’t available. They also can be used as wipes “down there” after a quick fling in the tent. This should go in your regular toiletries bag.
The next item will help make sure that you stay smelling fabulous throughout the day, in a way that’s beyond regular deodorant. I’m talking, of course, about portable perfume wipes. Pinrose makes a set that even comes in a cute, festie-ready bag.
Add some face gems and falsies, if you want to go all out.
The cool think about festivals is that you can go as wild or mild as you want. If you just want BB cream and SPF 30, you’re good. If you want to go a little more elegant, you can. And, if you want to go all out, you are absolutely encouraged to do so.
A pair of false eyelashes (plus glue) is a good way to go. Then again, so are face gems. I prefer face gems because they are really a festival-only thing, and they just look so cool. You can secure them extra well with eyelash glue, if you’ve got a steady hand.
The Gypsy Shrine makes some really awesome, easy to apply gems. Trust me when I say that people will compliment them.
Finally, make sure that you have supplies to take the makeup off after a day of partying.
I’m not going to lie; I want to pass out with my makeup on when I’m at a festival. It’s tempting, but it’s also terrible for your skin. Unless you want to have acne and smeared makeup, you really shouldn’t do it.
I suggest getting extra strength makeup remover wipes for your bag, just to make sure that you start with a fresh slate every day. It’s a good ritual to end any night. Sephora makes good ones, and yes, they actually exfoliate, too.
cover image via Glamour UK