8 Gross Music-Festival Beauty Problems & How To Fix 'Em

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
In street style shots, festival fan girls look perfect — from their brightly painted toes to their festive floral crowns. But, anyone who’s spent a long weekend at one of these music marathons knows that not-so-fresh feeling that affects the best of us. Even if you’re lucky enough to have secured a hotel room for much-needed nightly showers, hours of trekking between stages, shvitzing under the hot sun, and popping squats in the dirt can make things get a little ugly.

Campers are faced with a whole other set of issues, not the least of which is a hygienic dependence on what amounts to a fancy porta-potty. So, if you’re experiencing concerns that range from hair knots that only a sailor could love, to sun-scorched shoulders and mosh-made scrapes, we’ve got some solutions to see you through day three. 

Keep clicking to discover the eight most common gross beauty problems you'll experience at music festivals this summer — plus, the skinny on how to combat them.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Festival Fail: Sweaty days and nights sans showering have left hair greasy, stinky, and lank.

Foolproof Fix: First, do everyone a favor and stamp out the stink with whatever fragrance you have on hand. While normally, it’s not recommended you spray perfume directly on strands, as the alcohol can be quite drying, its moisture-sapping abilities might help with the grease factor while concealing the olfactive evidence of several shampoo-free days.

If you're a planner and packed dry shampoo (try travel-size Klorane Dry Shampoo with Natural Tint), you’ll probably need to douse yourself in the stuff, concentrating at the roots, and then combing it through. Combing it through is key — that's what works the product into the hair and gives your strands that fresh, just-washed effect.

Forgot it in a frenzy of packing every last fringed article of clothing you own? “Work with your natural oils to slick hair back into a sleek ponytail or bun,” says hairstylist Kristin Heitkotter.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Festival Fail: Elaborate braids and/or floral headwear have turned your tresses into a mess of tangles.

Foolproof Fix:
Yes, that plaited halo or blossom wreath looks heavenly for a day (or two), but when you finally attempt to unravel your strands after they’ve absorbed loads of sweat and dirt, the knots might be hellish, especially if you have textured tresses.

Assuming you can't locate a sailor, there is a next best option. If you can wash your hair, make sure you pile conditioner on the knottiest knots, and then gently comb through them in the shower.

Sans indoor plumbing, you could locate a hair serum (try L’Oréal EverCurl Silk & Gloss Dual Oil Care) and run it through mid-strands to ends. Then, use a wide-tooth comb or, if you can't find one, your fingers to disengage the most troublesome tangles, says Heitkotter.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Festival Fail: Hellacious humidity and a freak rainstorm have left you with frizz like whoa.

Foolproof Fix:
Whether the weather report promises showers (you can pretty much count on this at Glastonbury) or tropical island-like mugginess, moisture is public enemy number one for your mane. Does it feel like there's a cloud over your head? There is, and it’s made of hair.

It goes without saying that these conditions are the ultimate stress test for frizz-fighting stylers, and that they're probably going to lose this round. But, still, we don’t recommend going without as they can help calm things down. After applying a smoothing cream, like Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Deep Nourishing Oil-In Cream, or serum through strands, twist hair back into a low chignon, says Heitkotter.

And, if the situation is really dire? Well, you can always just throw on a wide-brim hat to cover up wayward strands.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Festival Fail: Dancing, crowdsurfing, and sitting on the dirty ground have left your face, feet, and everything else coated in a fine film of grime. There's no sink in sight.

Foolproof Fix:
You’ll have to resign yourself to the fact that cleanliness is not really an option. Just saying. Thousands of festival-goers plus manic dancing plus potential precipitation will turn even the most verdant field into a mud pit at some point.

You can do a little pre-cleaning at the portable, foot-cranked sinks, but if you’re camping, the only option is waiting in line for a low-flow showerhead. So, coming up with a plan B is smart.

If there's one thing you must stash in your bag besides sunscreen, it’s cleansing wipes, which you’ll want to put to use several times a day, says dermatologist Jennifer MacGregor, MD. Go for ones that cleanse and nourish, and can be used from head to toe, like Pacifica Purify Coconut Water Wipes. Or, use separate body wipes, like Gud Pearanormal Activity Natural Cleansing Wipes. And remember, if towelette-ing midday, reapply your SPF after.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Festival Fail: Layers of sweat-proof makeup, glitter, and temporary tattoos have lasted all day — and, seemingly, plan to stick around forever.

Foolproof Fix:
Oh, so that makeup you specifically picked out for its ability to withstand the sweaty all-day dance party that is a music festival has decided it wants to come to bed with you? Those temporary face tats are turning out not-so-temporary (and not-so-cute)? And, the sparkles you thought were so fun are making you look like an elementary school art project?

Hey, it happens to the best of us. Shake it all off with a good cleansing oil. Barring that, you can use your favorite face oil (or, our new love, Dr. Gross Triple C Peptide Firming Oil), or even an all-purpose coconut or almond oil, to help break down all that glitters and more while soothing stressed skin, says makeup artist Carissa Ferreri. Then, wipe it off with cleansing wipes, or a cleanser if you have access to a sink, and — voilà! — you have a clean slate for whatever you decide to subject your face to the next day.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Festival Fail: Sky-high temps, a complete lack of shade, and a desire to be the dancing queen you were born to be have made your face one big sweaty oil slick.

Foolproof Fix:
You want your lips and hair to be glossy — not your complexion, which can be tough to control when you’re moshing like a madwoman. Using oil-absorbing foundations and lotions can curb the oil flow, but your best bet to mattify that mofo is to first give your face a thorough wipe-down with those aforementioned cleansing cloths (or, if you think ahead, clarifying ones like Ole Henriksen Grease Relief Cleansing Cloths).

If the sun is still out, be sure to reapply sunblock afterward. Then, apply a light dusting of mineral-powder sunscreen (try Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral SPF 30), if you’ve got it, and keep blotting papers at the ready for regular touch-ups, says Dr. MacGregor.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Festival Fail: Your sweet new gladiator sandals might look super-cute, but after trekking from stage to stage and standing around for days, your feet probably do not.

Foolproof Fix: Open-toed shoes plus filthy festival grounds plus lots of walking equals a match made in hell. Ever heard of flip-flop feet? We won’t bore you with the disgusting details, but rest assured it’s not pretty.

The easiest way to prevent it is to wear closed-toed shoes, but as that’s not likely, you can prevent your feet from becoming bacteria breeding factories by thoroughly washing your soles at the end of the day. Or, if that’s not an option, at least wipe them down with one of those handy-dandy cleansing cloths, says nail pro Deborah Lippmann.

Blisters are pretty much inevitable, so when they do appear, make a beeline for the first-aid tent to snag bandages and antibiotic ointment before those suckers burst (it goes without saying that popping them is a terrible idea).

At the end of the day of dancing, Lippmann suggests pampering your feet by massaging them with your thumbs, using a circular pattern to loosen tight muscles, and then gently pulling toes back and forth to ease tightness. If you can, soak your swollen cartoon feet in warm water for five to seven minutes to deflate them.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Festival Fail: You tried to be responsible about using protection, but still ended up red and with a burning sensation. We’re talking about sunburn here, people.

Foolproof Fix:
Between shade being as hard to come by as a clean toilet and spray sunscreen being confiscated by overzealous security, it’s hard out there for those of us who want to practice safe sunning.

It’s important to check skin every hour or so to make sure you’re not being overexposed. If so, seek shelter immediately to reapply SPF. Past the point of no return? First, take the bite out of a burn with an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like Advil and hydrocortisone (available at your friendly first-aid station), says Dr. MacGregor. Then, cool things off and initiate the healing process by slathering yourself with aloe-, chamomile-, or cucumber-extract-infused balms and lotions (try Sun Bum Cool Down Moisturizing After Sun Lotion).
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
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