All the tips, tricks and beauty essentials you need to survive Coachella

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Viola Levy and Jacqueline Kilikita
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SPF? Check. Gallons of water? A must. Don’t even think about jetting off for Coachella without reading this first…

The middle two weekends of April will see the world’s most stylish music-lovers head to California for this year’s Coachella festival, with headliners including Eminem, The Weeknd and Beyoncé herself. 

But if spending three sweaty days in the desert without easy access to a sink, shower or air-con fills you with dread, never fear – we’ve got you covered with our ultimate beauty survival guide.  

1) Be prepared for the soaring temperatures

Regularly reaching 40 degrees, temperatures at Coachella aren’t for the faint-hearted. It sounds like an obvious one, but drinking water regularly is a must if you want to stay standing long enough to see your favourite artists, get your glitter on and eat all the churros. 

Always have a bottle to hand – Free People’s Crystal Elixir Water Bottle, £68, is probably the most Instagram-worthy of them all and contains a crystal, said to support revitalisation and clarification of the mind and body, while Mountain Warehouse’s Flexi Bottle, £4.99, is super-useful and easy to stow away in your back pocket. Remember to take a few sips every 15-20 minutes. 

2) Thirsty skin is a thing, too

Like air-con in a bottle, a cooling facial mist or toner is the best way to revive your skin and senses, and according to the experts, the water acts like an extra layer of much-needed hydration. 

Merci Handy’s Chill Out Face Mist, £4.50, is backpack-friendly, and the combination of mint and green tea feels like a breath of fresh air. If you’re prone to breakouts, pick up La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc Spray, £5, which contains salicylic acids to keep sweat, dirt and oil-induced spots at bay.  

3) Apply SPF like it’s going out of fashion

Three days in the Colorado Desert can result in sore, sunburnt skin if you’re not careful, so slather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen like Clarins UV Plus SPF 50, £32.50 – it’s oil-free so less likely to sweat off. And if you’re prone to breakouts in the heat, pick up Heliocare’s 360 Oil-Free Gel SPF 50, £28, for your face. The dermatologist favourite is non-comedogenic, so it won’t block your pores, and leaves skin feeling matte for hours on end.

Many of us also tend to forget to protect our lips, which are extremely sensitive to UV (try Ultrasun’s UltraLip SPF30, £6, to prevent dryness, chapping and UV damage) and our ears, too. Stylist rates the Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Hydrating Face Sun Cream Mist SPF50, £6. Simply spritz on all over and go.

4) Assess your shower situation

There are free showers at Coachella (phew) but if you can’t bring yourself to join the snaking queue, invest in a waterless cleanser. Not as weird as it sounds, the Yuni Beauty Flash Bath No-Rinse Body Cleanser, £22, is an airy whip that chips away at sweat and dirt (take that, desert sand) when applied to dry skin. It’ll make you feel and smell fresh.

No time to wash your hair? The OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam, £24, transforms into an airy whip on contact with roots to blast grease and lend lank lengths volume – no water needed. 

5) Ditch the face wipes for micellar water

While face wipes are handy for removing excess foundation and stubborn mascara, they tend to move a lot of the dirt and make-up around your face as opposed to removing it. So, if you’re not wearing loads of make-up, micellar water and cotton pads are a more thorough option to properly sweep away of any last traces of grime. In a savvy 150ml bottle, A’Kin’s Cleansing Micellar Water, £12.50, is filled to bursting with coconut water, cucumber and green tea, which slough away make-up, sweat and oil, and simultaneously cool and refresh overheated skin.

If you can’t get away from wipes entirely, try Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Facial Wipes, £6. Made from 100% organic cotton, the towelettes are drenched with skin-friendly ingredients, like aloe vera and lavender to soothe sore, overheated skin as they cleanse.

6) Save the glitter for your strands

Coachella is synonymous with glitter – that’s a fact – but no one wants it in their eyes or irritating their skin, right? Instead, make a statement by sprinkling it along your parting and sealing with hairspray. Gypsy Shrine’s Gold Biodegradable Glitter for the Face, Body and Hair, £6.95, doesn’t only look great, but it’s much better for the environment. Stylist loves the Silver Chunky Glitter Bag, £5.50 – the multicoloured flecks capture the light at every opportunity.

7) Choose your make-up carefully

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t think about it when they pack their favourite make-up products, only to find they’ve got ‘panda eyes’ come 2pm or that their foundation is on the floor mid-mosh. Designed to withstand barrecore through to spin, Clinique’s CliniqueFIT ™ Workout 24-Hour Mascara, £14, is sweat resistant, so you can wave goodbye to smudges and flakes. 

A firm favourite on the Stylist beauty desk, Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, £26, is both sweat and humidity-proof. Huda Beauty’s #FauxFilter Foundation, £32, also dries to a matte finish that clings onto skin no matter what. The 30-strong shade spectrum is worth shouting about, too. 

Main image: Getty