Last weekend, I committed one of the biggest beauty sins imaginable—I wore my makeup for 24 hours straight. And while the situation definitely wasn’t ideal, it did make for quite the beauty experiment, serving as the ultimate sweat-, sun-, and dance-rife test for all my favorite products. On a daily basis (especially during the spring and summer), I use a handful of beauty formulas with boastful claims of 16- or 24-hour wear, sun protection, enduring hydration, and the like, but I’ve never had the opportunity to put all these current favorites to the test. Until last weekend’s Coachella festivities, that is.
I’m actually pretty used to wearing my makeup and other beauty products longer than most. I’m an early bird, but I also stay up late, so it’s honestly not uncommon for me to slap my makeup on around 6:30 a.m. or 7 a.m. and keep it on until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. after I’ve completed a jam-packed day of work, events, the gym, dinner, and everything in between. However, last Saturday was a bit more extreme. I woke up early at my Palm Springs hotel to get some work done and prepare for the day’s desert adventures (parties, the festival, followed by more parties) and didn’t return to my room (where I proceeded to wipe all my makeup off) until almost 6 a.m. the following morning. Scary, I know. What’s interesting, however, is that my makeup pretty much looked exactly as it had when I left the hotel roughly 24 hours before. Plus, I was still receiving compliments from the crew on the bus en route home. To be honest, I was pretty astounded.
Curious to know every single beauty product I wore that stood up to hours on end of sun, sweat, photo-taking, and all other Coachella-related mischief? Keep reading! I’m highlighting all of my favorite summer-approved long-wearing formulas below.
I’m super low-key when it comes to my hair and way more high-key when it comes to my skincare and makeup regimen. Most days, I just let it air dry naturally before I go to bed (so I wake up with some natural texture to enhance my slight waves), and if I do style it, I typically keep it simple with a fast blow-dry and maybe a couple of passes with my flatiron to keep everything smooth and polished. I did the latter Saturday morning before heading out and spritzed this multi-tasking spray from Joico through my damp strands before I grabbed my blow dryer. Not only does it detangle, but it also offers UVA/UVB protection, helps prevent color fade, imparts shine and hydration, and leaves hair feeling strong, smooth, and healthy.
I had been out in the sun from early morning until around 6 p.m. when I got back to the hotel to rest for a bit and prep for a night at Neon Carnival. Although my hair still looked pretty good, I could tell my roots were starting to get a little oily from the constant exposure to sweat and sun.
I try so many dry shampoos on a daily basis, and I always find myself coming back to this one from Amika. I love how lightweight it is and that you can’t really feel it in your hair. (Nothing is worse than a dry shampoo lacquering your hair with a filmy, icky product feel.) Just a few spritzes around my hairline and at my crown spruced up my roots and made it look like I had taken the time to re-wash my hair—no shower necessary. I know this product has been around forever, but I have zero qualms about singing its praises until I find something better. Which honestly, doesn’t seem likely.
I was going to let my hair be post-dry shampoo, but after touching up my makeup I noticed my ends were looking a bit parched. I highlight the hell out of my hair, so it only takes about two seconds of sun exposure to trigger my hair into turning to straw. I remembered I had packed this brand-new shimmer mist from Briogeo, so I figured what better time to put its sparkly powers to the test? The “shimmer” payoff is super subtle—honestly, my friend and I could barely detect it—but it definitely did the trick for quenching my hair’s thirst.
I was lucky enough to be at Coachella with Australian self-tanning brand Bondi Sands, and upon arrival, the brand had equipped our group with tons and tons of glow-boosting goodies. That Saturday was actually the launch of the brand’s newest debut, the Aero Tanning Foam, and I had applied it a couple days before arriving at Coachella. You can read my entire review here, but know that this is one of the best self-tanners I’ve tried in terms of how natural it looks and how long it stays put no matter how much you’re sweating or how often you’re showering. I’ll be relying on it for the rest of the summer.
I know it’s really, really poor beauty editor etiquette, but I’m notoriously bad about applying sunscreen. Like, really bad. And while it used to be because I was desperate for natural sun-kissed color without self-tanner, now my issue lies more with not liking the feeling of wearing anything slippery or sticky on my skin when I’m already sweating and hot. I just hate the feel of the stuff. That said I’m trying to do better, and thanks to Bali Body’s collection of lightweight sun elixirs, I’ve been on the SPF train all spring long so far.
Even though this oil doesn’t have a super-high SPF, I didn’t get so much as a burn my entire weekend at Coachella and I love the fresh watermelon scent in addition to how nicely it absorbs and sits on the skin. I never feel greasy or claustrophobic while I wear it. It also gives your skin a nice glossy glow, which is never a bad thing when your days are full of photo opps.
I went years without wearing primer. I truly thought it was one of those bogus beauty products the market wants to trick you into thinking you need when you definitely don’t. But ever since I tried this hydrating formula from Tarte, I’ve been eating my words.
I honestly still don’t think most primers are worth the extra time and money, but patting this antioxidant- and probiotic-rich blend on pre-foundation not only helps keep my skin from getting dehydrated during the day, but it also maintains the fresh and dewy finish of my makeup for as long as I’m wearing it.
Sorry, but I just won’t shut up about this foundation. It’s been my go-to for months, and after the trials and tribulations I put it through last weekend, it’s made its way even deeper into my heart. Not only does it look fab (it has the perfect satiny finish that’s still lightweight and breathable), it’s also equipped with a Chinese Wu-Zhu-Yu extract-infused brightening complex, hyaluronic acid for hydration (a must!), and perhaps most importantly, SPF 20.
In an effort to streamline my makeup routine, I’ve been trying my best to forgo concealer in the last few months except when I really truly need it. (In other words, when I know there will be lots of pictures.) I have a few favorite concealers, but in terms of unbeatable staying power, this newish pick from MAC Cosmetics is my ride-or-die. I wore it for 24 hours in the sun and not only did it stay in place, but it also didn’t crack, crease, or change color. I used it under and around my eyes, and around my chin and nose where I have some pigmentation and acne scarring.
About a month or so ago I did this little experiment where I completely overhauled my expensive makeup routine and replaced all my favorite formulas with drugstore dupes instead. I found some really fab finds, but for the most part, I’ve reverted to my spendier cult pieces. Except for this guy—a jet-black water-resistant dupe for my all-time Stila fave. I re-traced my winged liner around 8:30 p.m., but honestly, I probably didn’t need to—the line hadn’t moved and was still super dark. It’s a keeper! Plus, it’s only $6.
I honestly wear this glitter all the time and even on days when I’m just going to the office and want my lids to have a little bit of something extra special going on. That said, I went all-out with my application for Coachella and applied my fave gold shade on my lids, inner corners and on either side of my eyeliner wing to give the look a little bit more of a whimsical vibe. 24 hours later and there was no fallout, and my application was just as saturated and sparkly as it was when I first applied it. As far as glitter goes, Stila (and Lemonhead.LA!) will always be it for me.
If there’s ever a time to wear an organic, adaptogenic mushroom-infused highlight stick, it’s Coachella. This makeup-meets-skincare hybrid has been my favorite for a while now and it’s the first step in my signature three-part highlight routine. Yes, I realize that sounds excessive, but my main prerogative in life is to look as glowy (but not greasy) as possible, and I’ve found layering multiple formulas not only looks insanely pretty but also yields better results in terms of summer- and sweatproof endurance.
I like to tap this one on my temples, around the tails of my eyebrows, and at the very tippy top of my cheekbones. There are three different hues you can choose from, but I reach for his pretty rosé hue the most.
On top of that goes this balmy pot from Kora Organics. I pretty much apply it everywhere I do the stick but extend it down further on my cheekbones, down diagonally toward my nose. I’ll also pat a little on my cupid’s bow and chin. Due to its ultra-creamy consistency, you’d think it would look like a trainwreck a couple of hours in after a day in the sun, but I’ve found it disturbingly resilient. (In a thrilling way, of course.)
Last but not least regarding my highlight routine is my all-time forever favorite from TheBalm. Again, I know three highlighters sounds excessive, but I honestly get so many compliments, and I’m convinced ending the three steps with a powder formula almost serves as a setting mechanism. Again, I put it pretty much everywhere I put the other two, but trace it all the way up my cheekbones, on my eyelids and inner corners, the bridge of my nose, my cupid’s bow, and maybe even a little on my forehead. I love this compact because while it does have a satisfying payoff it never looks too aggressive or intense. In other words, it won’t make you look like a disco ball.
I’ve never liked (and therefore never used) brow gels until I tried this new launch from Beautycounter earlier this month. Now I’m obsessed. When I want tint, I reach for the gel in Light, and when I just want to keep my brows in place (and maybe after I’ve added just a tiny bit of depth with a pencil), I’ll swipe this clear color on. My brows stay in place and look full and feathery just how I like them.
You guys, this lip balm is amazing. And for anyone with perpetually dry and chapped lips (like me), it might just change your life. I apply it morning and night, by itself, before and after lipstick, and I swear my lips haven’t felt or looked chapped since I regularly began incorporating it into my routine. (Oh, and did I mention it will also plump your lips sans sting or tingle?) Wearing it in Palm Springs was the ultimate test, and it passed with flying colors. Get this!
Okay, so this nude color from Too Faced looks super dark and intense, and depending on how you apply it, it totally could be. That said, after using my balm from above, I just dot it a couple of times on my lips while puckering and then rub my lips together also using my finger to gently smooth it all around my lips. My lips are already naturally pretty dark, but this rich, almost chocolate hue gives my face a punch of color that it desperately needs in the summer sun. Plus, thanks to nourishing coconut butter, it’s one of the more hydrating lipsticks I’ve tried. It not only stayed put but also helped keep my lips crack, crease, and flake free.
This is such an OG product, but as far as setting sprays go, pretty much nothing can beat this cult-classic formula. It’s popular for a reason, and even if you don’t typically go for setting sprays, 24 hours in the desert at Coachella will certainly beg you too. Of course, I give my finished face a few hearty spritzes post-makeup application, but another secret little tip I swear by is spritzing your Beautyblender with the elixir before using it to apply your makeup.