Festival beauty, for me, is about prevention. At a Psych Fest many moons ago I tried to get into the spirit of things and drew black dots in the inner corners of my eyes before sprinkling glitter into my corneas (it's a little-known fact that the girl with kaleidoscope eyes just had a nasty case of cosmetics-induced pink eye). The glitter forced sunglasses at the indoor event, which in turn smeared my ill-conceived dot-age. An older, wiser me now goes for some long-wear liner, cherry ChapStick, and a high dosage of SPF now that every festival has migrated outdoors—prevention from turning into grimey, dust-encrusted Coachella leftovers, but more importantly from looking like a burnt-out groupie who spent one too many springtimes cooking on the back bumper of a rusty tour van under the Texas sun. You want to aim for the fresh, supple, girlfriend-with-an-all-access-wristband-to-the-VIP-tent look, no matter if you'll never date a dude in a band again because they're incapable of forming emotions beyond a literal interpretation of the lyrics from a Zombies album.
Where was I? Right, sunscreen. I brought the standby body cream version and wore lightweight (fringed, embroidered) jackets and long (sheer, slitted) skirts or (tight, high-waisted) jeans, but my face is a special, delicate flower deserving of boutique, specialized sunscreens:
Avène Haute Protection Tinted Compact, SPF 50: I layer so many moisturizing creams, serums, and oils on my face in the morning that an extra helping of sun cream really pushes the grease quotient—and I've tried many with promises of sheerness and matteness that have still left me quite reflective. But not the Haute Protection. The solid cream turns to truly light, matte finish on the skin, and wears quite well—not at all like a similarly-packaged foundation. In fact, this is a great option for those looking for something to even-out the skin but don't need a ton of coverage. It is tinted, but I didn't see a noticeable change in skin tone despite the fact that the Beige compact seemed far too dark for my fair skin. And it's a physical sunscreen rather than chemical, paraben-free, fragrance-free, water-resistant, and recommended for sensitive skin.
SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense, SPF 50: Ever had that potent mix of sunscreen sweat trickle down into your eyes? Or questioned whether or not it was even cool to be using sunscreen on your eyelids? No more. SkinCeuticals has created an eyelid primer packed with SPF. It's a beige, "non-migrating" cream that you just dab on with your fingertips. Just be sure not to use too much or you'll see some creasing.
Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral, SPF 45: The powder sunscreen isn't technically new, but I've been using it on my scalp which I think is pretty ingenious if I do say so myself. Sure, hats exist, but I look terrible in all hats except for this bubblegum pink vintage YSL cloche with attached veil, and you really can't just wear that everywhere, you know? I just dust a teeny amount of the beige-colored powder into the parts of roots wherever I might lop my hair, being careful not to go overboard as it appears little orange-y if you use too much. It even works to absorb oil and add a bit of texture, like a dry shampoo. The other great thing about the powder sunscreen is that it's instant—no need to wait 15 minutes before venturing out into the floral-headdressed and wine-filled-CamelBak-ed masses.
Photographed by Tom Newton.