In today’s social media-connected world, it’s easier than ever to source inspiration from others all over the globe to incorporate into your own makeup, fashion and lifestyle identity, and there’s perhaps no place more apt to let your colours fly than at a music festival. But with sensitivities reaching increasingly higher tension points, the same social media can quickly turn your inspired aesthetic into an act of cultural appropriation.
Ellie Goulding’s adoption of the Native American headdress and Vanessa Hudgens’ use of the Indian bindi are just two widely publicised examples of how “borrowing” from other cultures can turn you into a social pariah. So, before you settle your festival get-up, take cues from these culturally sensitive makeup ideas that won’t make you the culprit of appropriating or trivialising someone else’s roots.
Set to sparkle
For days and nights spent admiring stars who take to the stage, channeling the glitz and glamour of your musical heroes can be achieved simply by indulging in a little glitter. Gold, silver, multi-coloured, fine and sprinkled, or cutout stars to symbolise your star-power within – whatever your jam is, just remember a little goes a long way. Dust a dash of glitter under and around your peepers for a subtle but powerful effect; go too heavy and risk looking like you had an accident in an arts and crafts store.
Adding jewels to your face can be a simple and easy (depending on how small and/or sticky your jewels are) solution to adding oomph to your look – but, as with glitter, moderation is key unless you want to take on the appearance of an Ed Hardy tee or become the subject of vitriol. Unless it’s a part of your culture, avoid placing bindis and jewels in the centre of the forehead – instead, brows and eyes can be elevated with jewels ornamenting flicks of liner or placed at the corners of the eyes to create a similar, but inoffensive, aesthetic.
Bold but sensitive
Instead of outright imitating traditional tribal face paint – such as the vertical stripe from forehead to chin, or lateral lines across cheek bones – bold lines can be reinterpreted to create clever and colourful accents. Don’t be afraid to create your own shapes and patterns, while experimenting with colours that stray from the typical white, black and red shades that might be mistaken for warpaint.
Wings of wonder
While some prefer to take a maximalist approach to to their makeup regime, others favor subtlety to create just as much impact. Dramatic yet understated, winged lashes are an excellent way to bring attention to your eyes. Keep the falsies small, or trim them to accentuate the corners of your lashes. When paired with a jet black flick at the corner of the eye or a pop of pastel-coloured liner around the edges, a little extra length can go a long way.
If intricate patterns and stick-on accessories aren’t your jam, then a simple smoky eye effect can be adapted to the festival landscape with bright, loud colours. Rather than the simple (but time-honoured) black smoky eyes, pink and purple shades can be smudged and faded to create a pop of colour around the peepers to complement relaxed, messier hairstyles and bohemian wardrobes.
In contrast to the free-spirited aesthetic of Coachella-inspired get-ups, who better to look to when making a statement than some of the world’s greatest statement-making rock ‘n’ rollers? Shake up the bohemian masses with electric symbolism to pay homage to David Bowie, or break out the metallic silver and thick black liner to channel KISS’ Ace Frehley. There’ll be a little extra effort and care in keep the makeup from running, but you’ll have no trouble standing out from the crowd.
From Marilyn Monroe and Jessica Rabbit to Tim Curry’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, red lips are an iconic and timeless mainstay in beauty. However, a bit of rouge needn’t only be worn on red carpets – crimson kissers are an effortless way to make your mein pop without going too heavy on the rest of your face, while serving as an eye-catching complement to vintage and rockabilly wardrobes.
For party-hard clubgoers and electronic festival addicts who are expecting to spend the night under the black light, neon makeup is a surefire way to ensure that you’re seen even when the sun is down. No need to be delicate or precise with the application – simply smear streaks of UV-reactive paint across your brows, eyes and lips for an effortless rave aesthetic, or paint intricate patterns with a fine brush, paired with neon nails and fluorescent clothing, for a glow-in-the-dark spectacle.
Text Trent Davis
Images Various Sources