I absolutely love this time of year — summer heat and there’s a festival every season! It’s a time to celebrate my love for live music and unleash inner hippie. So far this year my husband and I went to the three-day Dave Matthews Band Caravan (he’s a HUGE fan!), Pitchfork has passed and Lollapalooza will be coming to Chicago this weekend! Not to mention the other outdoor festivals that take over every neighborhood in the city. Live music is everywhere in the summer!

I love summer music festivals and concerts, and at every one I go to, I see so many festival fashion and beauty faux pas. So many fun-loving excited-to-be-there attendees wearing clothes and shoes that will grow increasingly uncomfortable in the heat, or lacking the beauty and personal care essentials to endure the experience. I’ve learned from trial and error what works, and what doesn’t for these kinds of events.
First — you should read my 2009 post, Music Festival Fashionable. Now allow me to revisit some of those classic bits of advice and tell you the absolute best beauty and body care items and fashion must-haves to make your next music festival experience a winner! Consider this your friendly festival checklist!

#1 – Sunscreen. Duh.

Summer Festival Sun Protection Essentials

Don’t leave home without it. Don’t even think for a second that you don’t need it. You do. And you probably need it all over, not just on your face. For facial protection I love Mario Badescu’s oil free moisturizer with SPF 30, Bliss The Youth As We Know It SPF 30, and Peter Thomas Roth Ultra-Lite Oil Free Sunblock SPF 30. For body, I am ALL about spray on sunscreen, and Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer and Fresh Cooling sunblock sprays are my must-haves. I usually throw a can in my tote bag before heading to any festival I’m going to – the Ultra Cooling kind feels so great when sprayed on, and offers great all day protection!

#2 Deodorant. Double duh.

summer festival beauty essentials

This might seem obvious…but (and I say this with love) at some of the festivals I’ve attended recently, I’ve really wondered about the percentage of folks wearing deodorant. Because it couldn’t have been 100%, based on what was wafting through the air.

From personal experience, a summertime music fest isn’t a time to get experimental with one’s deodorant choices. This is when you leave the crystals and all natural stuff behind and go for the real deal Holyfield that will ensure you’re as scent free as you wanna be all day long, despite the odds. Lately I’m loving Degree with motionSENSE™ . Basically these motion activated micro-capsules of freshness are activated when your body’s friction begins, keeping you sweetly scented in the summer sun. It’s made with activity in mind, so if you run or do Zumba or are outside a lot – try it and let me know what you think! I’ve been field testing this for a while and it’s been working well for me (and trust me, at a festival I am movin’ and groovin’)! Click here to enter contests on their Walmart.com page, and click here to like them on Facebook, where they give away athletic prizes and free samples!

#3 Comfortable Shoes, Comfortable Clothing.

no flip flops at summer music festivals

via Google Images

You would think this would be a no-brainer, but no. At every festival I attend, I see women wearing the wrong kinds of clothing and suffering the consequences. I don’t mean fashion wise – one of the things I love MOST about festivals, would be the freedom and self-expression you see in the style of those around you! I mean in terms of discomfort, of clothing that will turn on you as the day grows hotter and the music grows more insistent. Ladies, my advice to you is – don’t wear flip-flops. Like I said back in 2009, “I can’t tell you HOW many lonely, abandoned flip flops I saw mired in the muck caused by Friday’s all day rain at Lollapalooza. In crowds of that magnitude and heat of that temperature, sandals just aren’t smart anyway — your poor feet are going to get sunburned and possibly crushed by the madding crowd. Sneakers and socks are best.” And even still — make sure you’re wearing comfortable sneakers or flats you can walk in for long distances, or stand in for lengthy durations. Because blisters SUCK. And frequently, music festivals take place on rough grounds. There are several that take place in the woods, and the recent Dave Matthews Caravan I went to was on the grounds of an old steel mill that, despite being covered in wood chips, remained studded with partially hidden tree stumps, thorny bushes, and even the occasional metal spring. Flip flops didn’t cut it. I saw quite a few foot injuries.

Another lesson I can pass along from experience — shapewear and portapotties don’t play well together, especially at night when you’re just hoping for the best as you enter and exit. Just take it from me – you don’t need it. Wear clothes that are loose and comfortable, not tight or constrictive. And if the dreaded chub-rub is a concern, get yourself some Lanacane Anti Chafing Gel. It’s amazingly effective.

#4 – Skin soothing shower products.

Tree Hut body wash

After a good outdoor festival, you’re hot, sweaty, and ready for sleep. Not so fast! Before collapsing into your bed, treat yourself to an awesome shower and cleanse the day from your skin. Trust and believe, you’ll feel SO much better. On my way home after this weekend’s Paul McCartney concert, I couldn’t stop fantasizing about the shower I was gonna take ASAP. The shower washes and sugar scrubs by Tree Hut were EXACTLY what I needed. The Coconut Lime Moisturizing Body Wash is refreshing and tropical without being cloying and too sweet, and their sugar scrubs help to slough away the grime of the day without making my skin feel stripped of all moisture. AND without making the bath tub too slippery, which is awesome! The one-two combo of Tree Hut products made my skin feel soft and ready for bed, exactly what I needed post-concert.

And finally #5 – post-sun care.

Garnier Gel Cream

During a multiple-day summer festival, you’re probably going to emerge a few shades more tanned than you were before you arrived. During last Lollapalooza, it was like 100 degrees and there was NO shade on the lawn. I definitely got sunbaked, even despite the protection I’d layered on. And that’s why I recommend indulging in some after-sun skin soothing during your festival downtime. Anything with aloe feels amazing. I’m a new fan of Liz Earle’s Botanical Aftersun Gel, which combines lavender, vitamin E, cucumber and aloe to soothe your skin. For a cheaper drugstore alternative, try Fruit of the Earth’s aloe vera products. My latest, greatest after sun skincare savior has to be Garnier Moisture-Rescue Gel-Cream. It absorbs effortlessly and gives my face EXACTLY what it craves after a day of exposure to the elements. Instant skin gratification, and it’s available at CVS! PS: If you join the CVS Beauty Club on Facebook, you can get discounts and coupons and all sorts of awesomeness!

Those are my latest beauty finds that have been keeping me fresh, fashionable, and happy during summer festival season. If you’ve got any favorite products or tips to survive the elements, let me know!!
Which summer fests have you attended? Or plan to attend?

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Ariel Jones says:
August 3, 2011, 7:03 am
This summer I went to the West Oak Lane Jazz Fest with my mom on Ogantz ave in Philly. Sun wasn't too brutal but we did get a great seat to Chaka Khan! Then I went to Warped Tour with my younger sister.. TOTALLY different music (screamo rock bands) It was also the hottest day of the year so far, 100 deg wit a heat index of 111, it's a wonder we still went. ^_^ had an awesome time at both!
Iris says:
August 4, 2011, 12:27 pm
Totally agree on the sunscreen. I used 60SPF for an all day festival and still sunburned a little. Thanks for the tip on the flip flops. I haven't been to a multi-day music festival but it's good info to know in case I head to one.
Markeshia says:
August 4, 2011, 4:24 pm
Great list Bella! Only thing I would add is a big straw hat. As much as we love our hair, being outside for extended periods of time call for a hat.
Alexandra B says:
August 6, 2011, 1:06 am
Can't go to Burning Man without my Evian misters! You can get them at Sephora. Also Dr. Bronners soap, which multi-tasks for body, hair, clothing, dishes, before and after festivals.


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