Festival Makeup Looks Don't Have to Be Naff and Try-Hard

Updated 04/12/18

Of course, festival makeup can (and should) be fun, but that doesn't mean everyone wants a face full of glitter or paint. A bare face, minimal well-placed makeup or a hint of glitter is actually a genius way to approach festival makeup because you won't wake up feeling quite so utterly gross (face wipes only do so much) the next day. Also, has anyone else noticed they always get spots during a festival? It's the combination of heavy makeup and the fact that sinks for face-washing are scarce (or completely nonexistent). With this in mind, we've found 15 effortless—but no less gorgeous—beauty looks that you may want to consider for your next festival.

festival makeup: woman with glitter on forehead
Imaxtree; PICTURED: Preen

The least contrived way to wear glitter? Slapped onto the forehead as though it's sparkly dandruff dropping down onto the face. Be sure to opt for biodegradable glitter like Eco Stardust's so your festival beauty look isn't adding to your environmental impact.

festival makeup: woman with blue and purple lips
Imaxtree; PICTURED: Self Portrait

Sometimes a statement lip is more than enough effort to make for a day at a festival, but turn yours up a notch by mixing two unusual tones, like this navy and violet ombré lip. Smashbox's Be Legendary Triple Tone Lipstick in Berry Ombre (£18) will do all the hard work for you with a single swipe.

festival makeup: woman with yellow eye shadow
Imaxtree; PICTURED: Noon by Noor

Yellow is undoubtedly the colour of the season. Wear yours pasted brightly over the entire eyelid, or try one of these sunny-eyed looks our deputy editor Shannon tried here.

festival makeup: woman with pink glitter on eyelids
Imaxtree; PICTURED: Topshop Unique

For glitter with a bit of edge, keep application tight to the outer eyelid and leave the rest of the face bare, save for a bit of glossy highlighter.

festival makeup: woman with multicoloured eye shadow
Imaxtree; PICTURED: Palmer Harding

Make like Matisse and paint on three different punchy eye shadow shades in modernist-style swatches across the eyelid. Lime Crime's Venus Palette 2 (£33) has a great selection of colours—ones you'll want to wear when you're not trudging through a field too.

festival makeup: woman with jewls on eyelids
Imaxtree; PICTURED: Kate Spade

If glitter is a little too messy for your liking, try dotting eyelids with flat-backed gemstones, like these.

festival makeup: woman with flower painted on cheek
Imaxtree; PICTURED: Anna Sui

We're loving the flower-power vibes of this look, but even more so, we like the grungy swipes through the centre of the eye—using a silver glitter eyeliner makes the look a little more optimistic than a harsh black swipe. H&M's Glitter Eyeliner (£5) doubles up as a mascara.

festival makeup: woman with glittery eyelashes
Imaxtree; PICTURED: Ryan Lo

Glitter lashes look amazing—but can be fairly fiddly. Take makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench's top tip: Paint a set of false lashes (like these Mac ones) with lash glue before sprinkling glitter on top. Leave to dry; then apply them without getting flecks of glitter in your eyes. The dream.

festival makeup: woman with gold glitter on eye lids

How cool does this smudge of glitter look? The centre placement on the lids and the little twinkle on the inner corners of the eyes looks low-key cool. Pair with clean skin (concealer is your best friend at a festival since it's small and portable) and a soft pink lip like this, and you're good to go.

festival makeup: woman with plum eye shadow

It's no secret: Here at Byrdie HQ, we're obsessed with red- and rust-coloured eye makeup, but how about plum? Get a similar look with Maybelline Color Tattoo in Vintage Plum (£5).

festival makeup: woman with red glossy eye shadow

A glossy eye adds instant drama to any look, especially if you layer a balm over a punchy eye shadow shade like red. Try 3INA The Lip Oil Balm (£8), which imparts a hint of colour if you want something more pared-back, and it doesn't feel sticky.

festival makeup: woman with orange lipstick

Dyed your hair a pastel shade for festival season? Then colour-clash your hair to your makeup for a striking effect.

festival makeup: woman with grass green eye liner

Matching your nails to your lips is a classic, but try matching a graphic eye to a new take on a French manicure from a standout look that's relatively easy to do.

festival makeup: woman with silver glitter eye shadow

For something more standout but still chic, apply glitter all over your eyelids, and keep the rest of your makeup natural.

festival makeup: woman with silver neon pink eye shadow

For something more classically festival, try applying MAC Pigment in Rose (£16) using MAC Mixing Medium Eyeliner (£13) to create a floating, graphic shape.

Now, all that's left to sort is the outfit.

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