I’m a seasoned festival-goer and this is my essential beauty packing list

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • In Partnership with Boots

    The festival season has officially hit. Glastonbury kicked us off a couple of weeks ago. Portaloos, outrageous outfits (festival fashion is definitely its own genre) and warm cider – this, to me, is the real start to the British summer.

    In order to truly nail a festival, your beauty bags needs to been on point. It has taken me some time to perfect, but I now think that I have created the ultimate beauty packing list. It’s all down to the essentials that you can’t live without and the ones that, despite your initial thoughts, should be left at home. You need hard working space-saving, multi-use products; make-up that makes you stand out and skincare that saves your skin from total disarray.

    Here’s my roundup of ‘what to pack’ for a festival…

    Biodegradable face wipes

    I don’t think I could make it through a festival without these beauties. As my usual double cleanse is off the cards, I turn to these at the end of the day so that I’m not sleeping in my make-up. The key here though, is to make sure that they’re completely biodegradable. Simple’s wipes are brilliant at ridding my skin of every last scrap of make-up, even the best waterproof mascara, and I can rest easy knowing that I am not adding to landfill, because they break down in just 42 days. That’s better than grapefruit, melon and onion peels.

    Simple Kind To Skin Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes


    simple biodegradable wipes

    Buy Now


    I cannot tell you how many times friends have forgotten a mirror and ended up using mine. How on earth do you expect to do your make-up in the evenings and assess the damage in the morning? Don’t rely on the tiny one in your eyeshadow palette, opt for stand alone one. A total essential.

    Folding Travel Mirror

    festival beauty mirror

    Buy Now

    Under-eye patches

    Probably not one you will have thought of, but trust me when I say these will provide sweet relief in the mornings. Festivals rarely provide a good night’s sleep – noisy neighbours, boiling hot tents, staying up to watch the sunrise or maybe just skipping sleep completely to keep the party going… Cooling and hydrating under-eye patches are heaven sent for puffy, dark-circled eyes.

    Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Under-Eye Brightening Hydrogel Patches


    undereye patches

    Buy Now

    CC cream

    I really don’t like wearing too much complexion make-up when I’m at festivals. Firstly, I like to let my skin breathe as much as possible, but also because I’m not able to thoroughly cleanse my skin every night I hate the idea of adding to that. HOWEVER, I am no fool. I know that after a couple of days in a field, when more often than not my morning cuppa has been a cider and I’ve failed to get to bed before 3am the whole time, my skin is going to look slightly worse for ware. Enter IT Cosmetics illuminating cc cream. Nothing camouflages redness and blemishes better in this time of need. It’s full coverage, so at a festival I’ll only use a small amount and apply it those bits that need a bit of TLC.

    IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Illumination SPF50+

    it cosmetics cc cream

    Buy Now

    Colourful eyeliner

    You can guarantee that everyone you see will be covered in glitter make-up (it’s synonymous with festivals after all), but I think it’s better to stand out from the crowd. Not only because it’s more imaginative, but because it’s much kinder to the planet. So I like to apply a bright eyeliner to my eyelid and Fenty Beauty’s new liquid eyeliners are exactly the right amount of neon.

    Fenty Beauty Baecae Vivid Liquid Eyeliner Trio

    Fenty neon eyeliners

    Buy Now

    Lip & cheek duo

    When I’m looking peaky and pale, I always have a rosy blusher with me to fake a natural flush and make myself look a little more human and less walking dead. Ideally, it would be one that I could use on my lips too so that I don’t have to carry an extra product with me. Smashbox’s Beverly Hill Blush is the ideal shade to bring me back to life.

    Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colour

    smashbox lip and cheek

    Buy Now

    Hyaluronic acid serum

    Booze doesn’t just dehydrate your insides, it does the same to skin too. As soon as I wake up, I can feel how parched my skin is, which is why hyaluronic acid is key. Ever since I discovered L’Oreal Paris’ replumping ampoules I’ve been obsessed, because they’re perfect for travel. You only have to pack the number of ampoules for the number of days.

    L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Filler Replumping Ampoules

    loreal hyaluronic acid ampoules

    Buy Now


    This might sound obvious, but by god do not forget this. Your skin will thank you. I like to take Embryolisse with me – it’s a cult beauty product, because it isn’t too heavy, rids the skin of dry, flaky patches and sinks in quickly. It’s loved by make-up artists for weddings and backstage. Plus it can be used on the face and body, so another multi-use product.

    Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Nourishing Moisturiser


    Buy Now

    Dry Shampoo

    I don’t need to remind you of this do I?! Leave your shampoo and conditioner at home, embrace the dirt and give your hair a break. This Colab one has UV protection and doesn’t leave a white residue – ideal.

    Colab Dry Shampoo Active

    colab dry shampoo

    Buy Now


    Specifically, rehydration salts. When you’re hungover, you’ve got to replace the salts you lost the night before getting tiddly. First thing in the morning is great, just before you go to bed is even better. If you manage to do on the night, you’ll be my hero.

    Rehydration Treatment

    festival rehydration salts

    Buy Now

    Sun cream

    Pack this along with gallons of positive thoughts. Annoyingly, the British weather isn’t exactly reliable. I have been to so many festivals where it rain from the moment I enter through the gates, to the moment I pass through them again when I leave. But sometimes, sometimes, the weather holds out for us and is gloriously sunny (think this year’s Glastonbury). On these rare occasions, you need your sun cream. But I wouldn’t bother packing a big bottle – we must remain realistic – so this pocket sized Nivea SPF30 is perfect.

    Nivea Sun Suncream Pocket Size Lotion SPF30

    nivea suncream pocket size

    Buy Now

    Hand sanitizer

    If you haven’t packed this, you should probably just go straight home. You musn’t, under any circumstances, forget this. I cannot express this strongly enough. Keep it on you at all times. If you haven’t been to a festival before, then nothing can quite prepare you for the loo situation, but at least with this to hand you will feel somewhat in control. Sort of.

    Carex Moisture Plus Hand Gel

    festival antibacterial hand gel

    Buy Now

    And that is how you pack for a festival.

    Mic drop.

    Reading now