The first time I went to Coachella, I was 16. Depeche Mode, Madonna, Scissor Sisters, and Daft Punk were the concert highlights. The trip was eye-opening and incredible—my skin and makeup, however, was frightening.
Since then, I’ve been to roughly 40 desert-based concerts, yoga retreats, and festivals around the world. While it isn’t exactly an accreditation I’d put up on my mantel, it does mean that I know exactly what to pack for the desert—I’ve done the legwork. It took over 10 years of trial, error, and dusty-covered, oil-slick skin to realize the many gaffes in my toiletry bag. Sometimes I look back at photos, and 9 times out of 10, I look like Zorro or a wet cheeseburger.
“Festival” should be a climate category designation of its own. Daylight heat, nighttime cold, dry air, and dust are all factors that make festival weather persnickety AF. For your next festival, try some of these hand-picked (and tested) products.
Not only does this color-correcting base have SPF 50, but it’s also skincare. One of the main ingredients is snail secretion filtrate – a beloved SoKo beauty staple.
The elements are no match for this lid primer. Consider this the kryptonite to oily, creasing, or smudged shadows.
This powder comes in seven shades and gives flawless, sheer coverage on its own, or works as the perfect baking powder over foundation. For a festival environment, the more SPF coverage you’ve got, the better.
Coachella and sleepless nights are a package deal. Apply this weightless eye mask in the morning to de-puff and banish bags and dark circles while you drink your cup(s) of coffee.
Simply put: This. Does. Not. Budge.
For a gorgeous “just emerged from a luxurious sun-drenched vacation” vibe, look no further. I’m also obsessed with the shade 8th Muse for lighter skin tones. Kosas also makes a cream bronzer that will make you toss aside everything you thought was Holy Grail.
This California sea salt spray is the main ingredient for Coachella’s coveted tousled tendrils. Spray in damp and dry hair for an effortless look that will have people wondering which ocean you just got out of.
Nothing feels worse (or is worse for your skin) than a sunburn from the day: the sun sets, temperatures drop, but your cheeks are on fire. Avoid all the hassle with this amazing non-pilling SPF primer. Plus, it’ll make your foundation stay on way longer than you ever imagined.
Anastasia is not kidding when she said glow. Use these for shadow, cheeks, or all over your body. These ultra-pigmented powders will give you the look for Neon Carnival.
This cult-favorite concealer comes in 30 shades. It super-bendable and does not crease. No matter how late (or early) you’re up, dark circles and spots have no future with this concealer.
I’ve been a victim of the dreaded raccoon eye too many times to count. Smudged liners have transferred and dripped all around my eye socket while I’ve been festival-ing—sometimes I wonder how people didn’t tell me about my un-intentional Zorro mask. After trying dozens of liquid eyeliners, I finally found the one that won’t move until you take it off.
This is the fastest working and most effective sheet mask to hydrate your skin in a hurry. The desert does not lend well to moisturized skin, and there isn’t exactly much time or space to glam during Coachella weekend. These sheet masks take only five minutes to prep and prime your skin for the dehydration to come.
Have faith in this brow pen, which creates the most realistic, hair-like strokes. Because it's waterproof, it'll stay in place until it’s time to wash off.
Falling asleep with your makeup on sucks. At festivals, sometimes, it’s inevitable. Luckily, this fan-favorite micellar water comes in a wipe form to make makeup removal so simple. Lazybones can enjoy refuge.
At Coachella, tubing mascaras are the only way to go to avoid the dreaded raccoon eyes. Trust me.
Finally, a hydrating lip product that will slip flat into your pocket. Hyaluronic acid for your lips—need I say more?
This indie brand makes the most gorgeous and pigmented loose pigment shadows I’ve ever found. The sparkle and shine are practically otherworldly. Your Instagram feed will thank you for wearing this.
Forgot to get a spray tan? No problem. This instant body bronze and glow gives you a natural tint with color-correcting coverage. It comes in four shades and packs a glow-giving punch. Whenever I wear this, people always ask why my legs look so good. Here’s my secret.
This mica-based sustainable shimmer spray will give you the sparkling mermaid look you’re craving at any festival. Spray it, guilt-free, in your hair or all over your body.
Instead of using highlighter every day on top of sunscreen, what if you could just highlight the areas you always want to be a bit brighter, causing a natural no-makeup look over time? Well, now you can. Meet Petiue, your new favorite innovation: an SPF highlighter that protects you and gives you glow.