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Festival beauty survival guide

There have been a few outdoor music events already this summer, but festival season kicks off in earnest this weekend with Oxegen at Punchestown, Co Kildare.

Whether you're off to Oxegen, saving yourself for Electric Picnic (or "that Electric Lightbulb yoke", as the mammy has been known to call it) in September, or heading abroad for your festival fix, there are a couple of things you can do to take the edge off the roughing it that goes hand-in-hand with camping.

Oh sure, you might be wrinkling your nose up now at the notion of washing yourself with baby wipes, because that would be disgusting and you will definitely be hitting the showers daily, thanks, but it's funny how your priorities change once you're on-site. Usually, it's when you see the state of the shower stalls that you think you'll probably survive a few days without a shower.

Here's the lowdown on the beauty products you should be squeezing into your bag alongside your hand-sanitiser gel and wellies to keep you looking -- and smelling -- fresh as a daisy.

HAIR

Dry shampoo is, quite simply, a must-have. In the event that you haven't come across this magic product before, it's essentially a hair powder that you apply to the roots, work in with your fingers to distribute it evenly, and allow to sit for a few moments before using a brush to remove any excess. It absorbs any excess oil, adds volume and generally freshens things up in the hair department. It's also great for reducing the slipperiness from just-washed hair, which can otherwise be difficult to style.

Using dry shampoo means that no-one need ever know that it's three days since you actually washed your gruaig with water, but be careful to choose the right shade for your hair. Blondes should be fine with the normal versions, which are usually whitish in colour and can actually help to disguise root regrowth in highlighted hair, but they're inclined to make darker hair look dusty and grey.

As luck would have it, Batiste -- longtime purveyor of brilliant budget dry shampoos and a firm festival favourite -- have now released brown and black versions.

> Batiste Coloured Dry Shampoo, €3.65, pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide

CLEANSING

There are really only two occasions when it's acceptable to use face wipes. One is when you're half cut after a heavy night out; the other is when you're camping at a festival.

Now, just because a weekend in a tent means you can use them without me getting on your case, it doesn't mean you should simply load up on whatever happens to be on a 3-for-2 offer in your local shop. Face wipes can be very drying, so look for alcohol- and fragrance-free versions, and choose ones that are suitable for use around the delicate eye area to remove eye make-up without causing irritation.

Repeat after me, ladies: baby wipes are not face wipes. Some would argue that they're as well suited to use on your mush as on a baby's delicate tush, but then when was the last time you saw a baby wearing make-up on their bottom, eh? Baby wipes are not designed to cut through a day's worth of foundation and other slap, and the cleansers that make them so wet can irritate facial skin. However, this makes them ideal for handling messy baby poo situations and for cleaning the rest of yourself without water at festivals.

Beware: the seal on wipes, whether for face or baby, can be weak, so stick the packets in a resealable sandwich bag to prevent them from drying out.

>Johnson's Baby Wipes, €4.63, pharmacies and supermarkets

MAKE-UP

When it comes to festival make-up, there are two options: go fresh-faced and natural with the bare minimum of products, or turn to long-lasting formulations and get busy decorating your face.

I'd go for the latter every time, because festivals -- particularly the more bohemian ones like that Electric Lightbulb yoke -- are a great place to try something a bit different without looking like an eejit.

Check out Natasha 'Bat For Lashes' Khan for inspiration: at the 2008 Brit Awards, she rocked an incredible striped spectrum of colours that ran from the outer corner of her right eye, curved down towards her ear . . . and continued down over her jawbone, neck, and collarbone.

Beyonce's little sis, musician Solange, prefers a band of bright eyeliner worn thick across both eyes and the bridge of the nose, tapering out to a flick at the outer corners of the eyes, and even Kate Moss has dabbled with face paint -- the model sported a glittery gold star over one eye for her 34th birthday party.

The easiest way to get any of these looks is using glittery, colourful eyeliners in either chunky pencil or liquid pen formulations.

> Barry M Glitter Eye Crayons, €6.95

And if that all sounds too OTT for your tastes just pop on a pair of the new Girls Aloud Festival Lashes from Eyelure, €9.59.

NAILS

Regardless of whether you're going for a natural boho-beauty look or hitting the face paint, be sure to do your nails. File them down and paint them before you leave home, but forget about pastels and nude colours. They may be very this season, but they're also very bad at hiding dirt!

Opt for dark shades or opaque brights, and if you're worried about chips, just bring the bottle with you to touch up any wear and tear.


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