It’s all fun and games ’til you cough up glitter.
Such is the lesson I learned post-Coachella, and wow, it was painful—an aria of heaving hacks and sequin spitballs that I’ll call “Disco Consumption.” (Close second but no-go: “Tinsel Tuberculosis.”)
Once the coughing fit stopped, I could inventory the morning-after mess: a mascara mudslide on my cheeks, flaked skin on my nose, and a tan line in the shape of a heart on my wrist. My hair was a matted snarl of dirt, sweat, and broken dreams. #Iwokeuplikethis, but honestly? I’m not sorry.
Sure, the “glitter tears” I tried to copy from Elle Fanning were somehow inhaled like weed. But screaming for the XX, Lorde, and New Order was even more surreal—and so much more fun—in a Palm Springs dustbowl. And if my morning-after morph into a Dementor can be a lesson to us all, so be it.
After all, it’s officially festival season, and whether you’re going to Lolla, Glasto, or your best friends’ bonfire jam in the woods, you will want a jar of La Mer, an emergency session with a pile of waffles, and some huge ice cubes in the morning.
Just… trust me.
FESTIVAL RECOVERY MISSION: SKIN
“People forget they’re in the middle of an open space with blazing heat,” says Sephora PRO artist Jeffrey English. “You’re not supposed to live somewhere like that. Your skin’s not built for it. So when you come inside, you’ve got to bring life back to your skin. Something I’d try immediately is a hydrating gel mask—we’re actually using it on beauty fans at Sephora’s Coachella tent, and it makes a big difference.”
To protect skin that’s already sun struck, English recommends finding an SPF that works with your normal beauty routine and wearing it every day, even if it’s overcast.
“The cool thing about SPF is it comes in a lot of formats. So you can choose the texture and formula that’s best for you.” Even if you’re a makeup junkie? “Sure. If you want to do a full face, there are SPF setting sprays to go over your makeup.”
Then grab your water bottle and chug it like a frat pledge. “Drink plenty of water, rehydrate, and exfoliate with a gentle scrub,” English instructs. “Then you’ll have less recovery time on your skin.”
FESTIVAL RECOVERY MISSION: HAIR
Whether you’re braiding or double-bunning, your updo will get dirty, hot, and twisted at a festival. Thanks to the genius of Jen Atkin, you can help it heal on the go with OUAI’s repair travel kit, which combines packs of nourishing shampoo, conditioner, and a moisture infusion.
For curly girls leaving it down for the dance parties, model Bella Harris recommends trying out mousse. “It actually helps keep curls from getting tangled, even though it’s invisible and lets your hair really move,” says the teen Guess model. “And afterwards, deep condition or do a hair mask. Always.”
As for color-treated hair, I’ll never forget the warning that Varin Salon stylist Tia Martinez tells me every summer: “Don’t do anything the day before a festival!” Exposing newly-dyed strands to intense, unyielding sunlight can prematurely fade or even warp your carefully-crafted color. Give hair a few days to settle beforehand—and pack hair SPF for your ends and scalp.
FESTIVAL RECOVERY MISSION: GLITTER EMERGENCIES
Friends don’t let friends catch Disco Consumption. So let me reveal a secret that pop goddess / new shoe designer Katy Perry once told me during an interview: before you go to bed, take a piece of scotch or masking tape, stick it on your shimmer-afflicted areas, and watch the sparkles magically adhere to something besides your cheeks, lips, eyelids, and lungs. Your body will thank you… and the glitter probably will, too.