From ‘desert princess’ to ‘space warrior’, we’ve got all the tips and tricks to recreating your best festival beauty looks

Festival beauty. Oh, how we’ve missed you. Festival season is the perfect excuse to step out of our comfort zone and get creative with our hair and make-up. Whether you’re about effortless Glastonbury cool in the form of bronzed, balmy skin or you’re more of a full-glam Coachella queen, there’s a look to make you feel good. And luckily for you, we’ve pulled together the best in the biz to give you the lowdown on the trending festival looks you’ll want to create this year.

From Y2K-approved snatched ponys to the 90s lip of dreams, here’s what you need to know to leave you oozing festival chic.

Boho braids

Festival hair should act as the ultimate mood-booster and no look lifts the spirits better than one of the hottest festival ‘dos of the moment – boho braids. Here, Adam Reed, founder of Adam Reed Salon and Arkive, shows us how to get the look.

Step one

‘Before you leave for a festival, you should ensure your hair is in good condition. ‘I’d recommend my Arkive The All Day Everyday Shampoo, £12, Arkive The Future Youth Treatment Mask, £14, and Arkive The Good Habit Hybrid Oil, £14,’ says Adam. ‘They all have really beautiful fragrances, which is designed to make a positive difference to how you feel. The scent will last for a few days – ideal when you’re spending hours dancing!’

Step two

‘With a boho plait, you actually want it to look a little messy, so don’t worry about a few flyaways or pieces falling out. If you do want a touch of taming, try Arkive The Prologue Hair Primer, £13. This will help to add some texture,’ suggests Adam.

Step three

‘Don’t stress about creating a fishtail masterpiece. A classic plait, french, minis or dutch braids work really well,’ says Adam. But how to create interest? ‘I recommend adding something fun to your plait – like a piece of ribbon or a coloured piece of hair,’ he suggests.

‘You can either tie this in at the top of your plait and then work it through or leave the end of the ribbon sticking out at the top and then tie the bottom to it when it’s finished.’

Pic Credit: Nadia Peri @nadiaperixo

The 90s lip

Beauty is no longer predictable. Instead, we’re breaking free and taking inspo from our youth, with ‘90s things’ a breakout search term last year, according to 2021’s Google Trends report[1]. So, we spoke to Nikki Wolff, KVD Beauty’s global director of Artistry, on how to get the perfect festival pout. And you guessed it – it’s a nod to the 90s.

Step one

'Over-lining allows you to emphasise your lip shape, make lips look fuller and even create a new feel to your make-up look, inspired by a past era,’ says Nikki. ‘I recommend using the KVD Beauty Everlasting Lip Liner in Lolita , £14.50. To create the perfect over-lined pout, I begin with lining the natural lip line at the outer corners of the mouth. This way, the look stays flattering and realistic, and the shape stays pretty and feminine. Over-line the centre of the mouth by starting at the natural lip line and working your way outwards. This way, you can build up to the volume you’d like, without the need for a steady hand.’

Step two

‘Focus on drawing over the Cupid’s bow and slightly flattening any natural curve to create a pouty, full-looking lip shape. There are no rules when it comes to the shades you select for this – it works well from natural nudes to deep reds, but for a more dramatic effect, opt for a deeper shade of liner than your lipstick colour.

Apply a darker shade in the outer corners of the mouth to create a natural-looking dimension,’ suggests Nikki.

Step three

‘Go in with the KVD Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bow N Arrow, £18. This will give you lips that stay put all day with a super high pigment and bold finish,’ says Nikki. ‘Add a small amount of the lipstick to the centre of the lips, and then buff the product outwards with a brush. This gives you the effect of a softly diffused lip stain and can be easier to wear, while still being long-wearing.’

Pic Credit: Anthony H.Nguyen, KVD Beauty Global Veritas Artistry Ambassador

Curly queen

It’s no secret that much of our confidence and identity is tied up with our hair – it’s our number one 24/7 beauty accessory. This is one of the reasons why we’re moving away from quick ‘wash and go’ routines in order to gain long-term health and strength. But how can we incorporate this philosophy into our festival locks? Michele Scott-Lynch, founder of Bouclème, has all the tips and tricks on how to prep and refresh natural curls – suitable for festival season and beyond.

Step one

‘Prep is always key,’ says Michele. ‘Before you head off, ensure your hair is thoroughly cleansed and free from any product build-up – this will help keep your curls looking their best for longer. Start with Bouclème Scalp Exfoliating Shampoo, £26. The gentle beads will help remove any dead skin cells and build-up, while cleansing and stimulating the hair follicles.’

Step two

‘For a deep conditioning treat, follow with the Bouclème Intensive Moisture Treatment, £26. This super-rich formula will help bring lacklustre curls back to life, making them more manageable,’ says Michele. ‘Apply product liberally to hair and leave on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing. This can also be left overnight to further hydrate hair.’

Step three

‘While at a festival, being outdoors means your hair is left exposed to the elements, which can mess with your curl pattern. To keep locks looking fresh, wet your hair slightly with your hands and apply Bouclème Curl Defining Gel, £15, from roots to ends, to help give curls definition and hold without weighing them down,’ recommends Michele. ‘Apply in sections and scrunch and hold to encourage curl formation. This can be repeated throughout the festival, as the lightweight formula will not flake or leave a sticky residue.’

Pic credit: Billie Bhatia @billie_bhatia

Graphic liner

The perfect way to tap into the maximalist make-up trend? A bold slick of graphic liner. It’s the ultimate combination of vibrant colour and joyful application. Content creator Wendy Asumada of @wendysworld_xox shows us the affordable products and techniques we need to get the trending space warrior look – and it only takes a few minutes!

Step one

‘Spray 17. Matte Prep Setting Spray, £5, onto a thin eyeshadow brush,’ says Wendy.

Step two

‘Tap the brush into the golden yellow shade of the 17. Eye Shadow Palette 050 Glitter, £5, and sweep across the eyelid in a deft flicking motion,’ she adds. Say hello to a dreamy, iridescent sweep of liner that’ll last all day and night.

Step three

Fancy amping up the volume? ‘Finish with 17. Ink Legend Tattoo Eyeliner in Black, £4.50. Apply a cat-eyed flick on the upper lash liner to add definition,’ concludes Wendy.

The snatched pony

If you’re not yet onboard with skincare ingredients in hair products, then consider this your cue. Brands are choosing ingredients dedicated to helping to improve the integrity of both scalp and strands. So, is it possible to incorporate this into a festival ‘do? We spoke to celebrity hairdresser Andrew Fitzsimons on nourishing ingredients and nailing the perfect slick, snatched pony.

Step one

‘Good festival hair begins with at-home prep,’ says Andrew. ‘Begin by using my Andrew Fitzsimons Repair Leave-in Conditioner for Damaged Hair, £11, which has thermal heat protection, too. Next, smooth the hair with a hairdryer, ensuring you’re drying it in the direction of your ponytail.’

Step two

‘Gathering your hair can be difficult, so I recommend flipping the hair over and brushing toward the crown. For max shine, I use my Andrew Fitzsimons Prism Shine Hair Spray Smoothing Mist, £11, which is super lightweight and gives hair a glossy, diamond-like lustre,’ recommends Andrew. 

Step three

‘Before securing into place, make sure the placement of the ponytail is exactly where you’d like it to be,’ says Andrew. ‘Secure, then smooth out any flyaways with Andrew Fitzsimons Hard Strong Hold Hairspray for Maximum Control, £9, which gives a firm hold while being brushable with a non-sticky formula – perfect for a snatched, festival-proof pony that stays in place all day and night.’

Pic Credit: Holly Francis @imhollyfrances

Bronzed, balmy skin

Glowing summer skin – is there anything more universally flattering? Forget the sun lounger though, it’s never been easier to feign a touch of sun-kissed colour thanks to the contents of our make-up bag. Urban Decay’s pro artist Ashley Lynn has all the insider info on how to nail complexion perfection.

Step one

‘Start by prepping your skin with the new Urban Decay Vitamin C All Nighter Setting Spray,’ says Ashley. ‘It’s amazing, and will grip your make-up as well as provide extra hydration – a must when at a festival. The addition of vitamin C and cactus flower water to this formula will help keep your skin looking even more radiant throughout the day.’

Step two

‘For the ultimate in dewy skin, apply Urban Decay Stay Naked Hydromaniac Tinted Glow Hydrator, £29, all over the face and build up to your desired intensity. It contains kombucha filtrate and marula oil to help nourish skin and give a moisturised finish. Think a deep, fresh glow that makes you look like you’ve drunk plenty of water,’ says Ashley.

Step three

‘Finish by swirling a fluffy brush through Urban Decay Beached Bronzer, £23.50,’ recommends Ashley. ‘Apply where the sun would naturally hit, like across the forehead, over the eyelids and down the centre of the nose.’ The result? Glowy, bronze perfection!

Pic Credit: Chloe Robertson @chloejade_story

Discovery, joy and freedom? Count us in and let festival season begin!

All prices correct on date of publication