April 10, 2015

12 Tips for Surviving Coachella

Music is a huge part of my life both personally and professionally. For me, nothing is like a true music festival experience. Dating back to my first taste of an outdoor festival during the Lilith Fair days of the late 1990’s/early 2000’s to now where I make a trek across the country every April to take part in Coachella, it’s all become second nature. Here’s a few tips, tricks and suggestions to help make your festival experience the best it could be!

1. Lip balm with SPF is so crucial. With the sun and heat, you don’t want anything too gooey, sticky or glossy. For me, my favorite non-tinted is Buckler’s Chapped Lip Therapy from The Motley available in tube or stick. For tinted, anything from the color line of Fresh is amazing!

2. You want to look put together and pretty but make it as easy and fuss-free as possible. My go to festival look is made up of Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream topped with a dusting of their bareSkin finishing powder and a light swatch of Julep Glow Pore Minimizing Blush in Petal Pink or LORAC Tantalizer Baked Bronzer depending on my mood, eyes lined with my favorite gel eyeliner pencil from Ulta in either Night Sky or Copper, a good coating of mascara with either LORAC Pro or Urban Decay’s new mascara Perversion
3. Sunscreen is an absolute must for the rest of your body. One of my favorites has become Coppertone Clearly Sheer thanks in part to great coverage and the fact they make their new sprays in travel size, perfect to throw in your bag to take with you for reapplications.

4. Wet wipes are great to have on hand for beer spills, dirty hands and the occasional dust storm. Wet Ones makes great purse/travel sizes in all ranges from sensitive to scented and a few different things in between.
5. Anti-bacterial gel is another one of those must haves for your stash. Festivals scream for the need to have this at the ready. I love ones that aren’t too strong in an alcohol base and dry quickly. In my bag this year? Ulta’s travel size gel in Sparkling Lemon.
For me, my festival of choice has been Coachella. That means battling desert heat and dirt/dust during the day and drops in temperatures at night. It’s all about looking good while feeling comfortable.
1. Bag sizes are quite limited and enforced strongly, so my choice is a cotton print, slouchy hobo bag that’s big enough to carry everything but small enough to not be cumbersome carrying. I found one last year at Target that fit the bill perfectly. I’ll be reusing again this year.
2. I’m all about easy, breezy dresses, strappy sandals and layering of fun jewelry; all goes back to that comfortable cute aesthetic that I strive for.  Roll up a light cardigan or a zip up hoodie in your bag for at night to layer. I’ve been really lucky to find some great festival options at Forever 21, Target and shockingly enough Amazon!  Also make sure you have a pair of sunglasses that you don’t mind getting beat up. I wouldn’t be bringing anything pricey with me. I’ve got a great pair of aviator-esque ones I picked up at Target.
3. For the added fun factor, bring metallic jewelry temporary tattoos to sparkle during the day and complement your actual jewelry selections. For night fun, it’s all about anything that glows: necklaces, bracelets, headbands and glow wands.
4. A rechargeable, portable charger is clutch. Reception isn’t always the greatest, and when you do try to use your phone it eats a lot of your battery. There are some great lipstick-sized options you can find at places like CVS, Target and Five Below. I’ve got two that I take with me: a smaller, iPhone sized one that can get me 1-2 full charges or the power brick which has two USB ports, can get me anywhere from 6-8 full charges.
5. Festivals are getting really smart with allowing fans to refill water bottles and reduce waste. Even though at Coachella water is only $2 a bottle, this roll up water bottle saved me big time last year. It even comes with a little carabineer snap on so you can hang it from your bag with ease!
6. If there aren’t ‘real’ bathrooms to use like most outside grounds where these concerts are held, a small travel spray Lysol will always be a helpful tool. Porta potties are not pleasant, especially during a festival.
7. All depending on what festival you go rock out at; alcohol may or may not be allowed in. When it isn’t, drinking can get quite pricey. If you’re daring, stash some to bring with you either in a spiffy flask that you can find at a place like Etsy that you can keep in an inside pocket or in a small makeup pouch or even better, a flask that looks like a suntan lotion bottle.
Guest post submitted by Kerry G. She’ll be sharing her Coachella adventures this year via social, so be sure to follow her on Twitter or Instagram!


  1. Some of these tips were brilliant and ones I wouldn't have thought of! Love the idea of the rollup water bottle- that would save so much room in your purse once you were done with it. And I havent heard of portable chargers (like where was I living?) and that'll be the first thing I buy for festival season. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us :)

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  2. at first i thought this was you, and i was like dang i didn't know you flew all the way over there for that! I've never been to cochella but i've been to music festivals, like lilith fair too!

  3. @ElleSees.blogspot.com haha I wish... although not sure I want to endure the smell :/

  4. @Marlen Glad you found the post helpful!


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