If there's one complexion issue that plagues women and men of a...
If you have any summer music festival experience at all, you know how hard it is to look your best when you have little access to running water and temperatures are soaring. Or, perhaps worse, it's raining.
Add in late nights and the typical booze-soaked madness of festivals and the results often aren't pretty. How many of us can pull off the worse-for-wear festival look the way Kate Moss and Sienna Miller do? If you can, you're in the minority.
With no glam squad on-site, it's a challenge to avoid looking like you've been dragged through a hedge backward. But whether you're heading to Electric Picnic or not, these top tips will get you through any extended outdoor adventure looking your best.
Hydrate Like Mad
In addition to working up a thirst dancing and cheering, alcohol and sun exposure suck the water right out of your body. And your body responds by allocating whatever hydration it has to your essential functions, like operating your internal organs. Skin is the last to get a look in. So if you don't want to end up looking like a parched mess, drink as much water as you can get your hands on. Stradbally Hall will have free water points throughout the performance space and campsite, but keep a full bottle with you at all times.
Think about hydration in your skincare routine as well. Wear serums and moisturisers full of hyaluronic acid - the substance our body makes that is also what dermal fillers and lip fillers are made of. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water, so is perfect for locking in hydration. Vichy Aqualia Thermal Hydrating Face Serum (€25) is full of it, and teams well with an oil-free moisturiser like Nivea Daily Essentials Oil-Free Moisturising Day Cream (€4.33). Skip the rich creams - this is an occasion for light formulas that won't clog pores.
You'll probably also find it comforting to keep a bottle of hydrating spritz with you. In addition to cooling you off, the right mist will help keep your skin in shape. Skip the spray bottles of Evian you see everywhere, as covering your face in those will actually make it dry out. You need a product that includes hydrating ingredients that will be left behind on your skin. Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray (€28) is a great option, and gives you a hydration 'sandwich' when spritzed on after cleansing and before applying serum. To make it even more refreshing, stash it in your cooler with ice for a cooling treat throughout the day.
Ban the Tan
Most of us do look better when we're sunkissed - at least for a few days. But it all ends in tears and sun damage eventually. Not to mention lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and a host of other issues. As much as we'd love you to come to SISU when you need skin rejuvenation and perfection, our doctors would much rather you avoid damaging your skin in the first place.
So, yes: Sun protection is essential.
Moisturiser with SPF - especially a tinted one - can seem efficient. But the typical amount of moisturiser we use does not provide adequate sun protection. This is even more the case when it's tinted moisturiser.
A better option is to layer SPF over your light, oil-free moisturiser, making sure to reapply every two hours or after getting very sweaty. When sunblock is expensive, we have a tendency to skimp on the application. Ensure you have no fear of wasting money by bringing along a product like Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist Sun Cream Spray SPF30 (€9.00).
Remember: A higher SPF number does not protect you for longer. There is not much more protection in, say, SPF80 than there is in SPF30, but the number could mislead you to believe otherwise. Whatever SPF number you pick, reapply often and thoroughly.
Makeup If You Must
Chances are, just as many women will be wearing makeup as going bare-faced at a music festival. But this is a chance to embrace a chic, minimalist approach. After all, who wants to spend 20 minutes applying contour and sculpting her brows when there's so much fun (and mischief) to be had?
Choose a sheer base like Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation (€14.99) or Max Factor Miracle Touch Foundation (€17.99) - something that gives good coverage in a light, lasting formulation and won't slide off your face by lunchtime. For ease of wear and removal, go for a tubing mascara that comes off lashes with nothing more than water. No7 Stay Perfect Mascara (€18.00) does what it says on the tin - sweaty lids are no match for this smear-proof wonder.
As for eyeliner, the iconic rock star look always includes artfully smudged eyeliner, so it's hard to go wrong with your favourite one. If you're in the market for a new liner, bareMinerals Lasting Line Long Wearing Eyeliner (€18.00) is hard to beat.
Lips are easy: You need whatever will keep them hydrated. If you've opted for a smoky eye, keep your mouth sheer. NYX Professional Makeup Slip Tease Full Colour Lip Oil Liquid Lipstick (€8.00) works well or on top of a full-tilt lippy. It also won't catch your hair in gust of wind like a sticky gloss will. Otherwise, go for a bold lip with a highly pigmented yet hydrating option like No7 Match Made Moisture Drench Lipstick (€14.00).
As for hair, don't even think about it. There has never been a more perfect occasion for a sexy, messy bun. Or pull an Alexa Chung with uncombed hair and sunglasses over a makeup-free face.
Wash Your Face. For Real.
Don't lie to yourself: It is absolutely a big deal to go to sleep or start your day with a filthy face. Spots, enlarged pores, oily skin, dullness, exaggerated lines and wrinkles - the list of awful results goes on.
Just do it. Once in the morning, and twice at night to get your SPF (and/or makeup) off. Use wipes if your access to water is severely limited, but make sure to rinse off afterward with your hydrating spritz. Otherwise, you've just smeared makeup and grime all over your skin and left it there.
Aftercare and Repair
If you were having too much fun to take care of your skin at Electric Picnic, you'll probably return home with some damage to show for it. The harm will most likely manifest in the short term as hyperpigmentation from the sun, acne from sleeping in makeup, lack of glow from dehydration, or just plain tired skin. If left untreated, the long term holds sun damage, melasma, uneven skin tone, acne, enlarged pores and more.
Whatever the issue is, there's an innovative facial treatment to resolve it. Intraceuticals oxygen facials, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and microneedling each treat a host of skin concerns. The best option is to get a bespoke treatment, optimised for your skin type, skin condition, and whatever needs to be solved.
So after your Electric Picnic, book into SISU Clinic for the kind of high-tech treatment and pampering you've earned. Then next summer, do it all over again.