Leaky tents, wet socks and portable toilets are integral elements of festivals. But there is a selection of products available to help repel the odours, the germs and the shabby chic. With the right stuff in your wash bag, you can disguise your decreasing levels of hygiene until you are back at home and again have access to a bath and a hairdryer, though these are not for simultaneous use.
According to Maureen Lavery, who works in Rochford’s on Parnell Street, you can look good beyond the first night of the festival if you pack your bag wisely.
For fresh skin, Maureen recommends a bit of advance preparation.
“You could do a hydrating mask before you go to give your skin a boost of moisture. Exposure to the elements and alcohol consumption both have dehydrating effects on the skin, so if you are not moisturising every day at the festival, a hydrating mask before you go should make a big difference,” she says.
Another must-have is a strong sunscreen, Maureen advises. The sun’s damaging UV rays penetrate clouds and you can get burned, even in Irish weather.
“You really need to bring a good sunscreen for your face and your body to a festival. A lot of foundations include SPF, so you really have a good chance of finding one that suits you and protects your skin,” she adds.
Of course, skincare is not limited to women. Some men’s moisturisers come with sun factor which means they don’t have to then apply sunscreen and their skin is protected and moisturised with minimal effort.
Lips too, Maureen points out, need to be protected from the elements. Lip balm comes with SPF factors as high as 25. Remember to reapply often, though, as you use your lips a lot more than you think.
Hair can be one of the first casualties of festivals, becoming greasy and limp. To combat this, Maureen recommends a good dry shampoo.
“You just spray it onto your hair and it revitalises it, taking the dullness and the greasy look off the hair. Another great thing about it is that it is suitable for all hair types and is reasonably priced, costing about the same as regular shampoo. It is a great product if you are not in a position to shower for a couple of days,” she comments.
For dramatic eyes, a smudge-proof mascara is a necessity and in this regard, Maureen has a particular favourite. “I love Clinique lash power long wear mascara, it is really great. It is smudge proof and the best way to get it off is with warm water, which is at a premium at music festivals, so it is very long wearing,” she states.
Under-eye concealer is a good way to mask dark circles and you can now go a step further because Garnier make a caffeine eye roll-on to revitalise tired eyes.
A vibrant nail polish acts on the double; it compliments an outfit and it hides grubby nails caused by mud and grit under the nails.
“Deep colours like a red or black nail polish are very popular at the moment,” Maureen points out.
Although this conceals dirt, in the interest of hygiene, a portable hand sanitizer makes all the difference.
“Anti-bacterial hand gel is great after using the portable toilet. There is a really good selection of these. We sell one that has a clip on it to attach it to your clothes or to your bag. Most types are pretty compact so it is easy to keep them in the handbag,” Maureen explains.
Anti-bacterial sprays such as Savlon help to stop infection in the inevitable minor cuts and grazes, while special blister plasters are designed to take away the sting of nasty shoe-induced blisters.
Outside of cosmetics, Maureen has a few more suggestions to fill the festival fun bag,
“Big sunglasses look great and hide a multitude. You should always bring safety pins; you can’t think of a use for them now but there is always something,” she claims.
Necessity is the mother of invention, the adage says, and following her recent trip to see the Gallagher brothers at Slane, Maureen agrees.
“If the weather is dry and you are wearing pumps, bring elastics, put them around the shoe when it is on your foot and they won’t fall off. When I was at Slane this summer my friend and I were both wearing pumps and she lost hers in the crowd. I ended up putting hair bands on mine to keep them on,” she reveals.
“You can’t go wrong with a thick plastic bag. As well as holding things, you can sit on it and it will keep you dry if the grass is wet,” Maureen concludes.