Essentially we all go to festivals for the music, but in 2011 the festival experience incorporates so much more than just four guys with guitars. As has been discussed on these very pages, fashion now plays a huge roll in the festival season with trends and outfits dedicated solely to your weekend away. You’ve also got so many diverse festival experiences, with up and coming events like Vintage at Goodwood holding fashion, design, film and art aloft with its musical counterparts.
But with this festival growth comes great responsibility. No longer is it acceptable to look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards by day two. You need to remain clean, stylish and looking good right up until the time you have to pack away your tent. Of course, as fashion conscious gents you’re more than aware of this right? And the fact that you’re reading this article shows that you have more than a fleeting interest in looking good. So rather than lecture you about the theory, I’ll get down to the practical and recommend tried and tested grooming products that are compact, fuss free and effective – thus making them a must for festival survival.
For a festival to be considered truly great, the headliner is key. They’re the name that appears on all the posters. They’re the one that grabs all the headlines by putting on a show stopping performance. They’re the ones that often make all the money spent worth while. But this year’s grooming headliner isn’t an established name, nor a global mega star. This year’s festival essential is barely out of its metaphorical nappies; a new kid on the block that goes by the name of Wingman. Now of course, you aren’t likely to find a band just out of their first album to be headlining Glastonbury any time soon. But such is the early success of this grooming essential, Wingman Deodorising Wipes effectively are doing just that.
An extra large ‘man sized’ deodorising wipe, Wingman have revolutionised the festival tradition that is the ‘wet wipe shower’. Packed with soothing aloe vera, cooling peppermint oil and invigorating ginseng, Wingman helps to remove dirt, bacteria, excess oils and bad odours that can build up throughout the day – making them the closest thing to a shower you’re going to get. The pack of 8 is amazing value, and each wipe comes individually wrapped for (and to ensure your) freshness. With Wingman you’ll be about as far away from the nostalgic days of mud-drenched hippies as possible – and you’ll look much better for it.
Every headliner needs their big break. For the Arctic Monkeys it was the Carling Tent at Reading in 2005, and for Wingman it was the BBC’s ‘Britain’s Next Big Thing’ TV show. Chosen by business mogul and ‘Dragon’ Theo Paphitis as one UK’s best and brightest – just like the Arctic Monkeys – you can expect Wingman to be here long beyond the initial wave of success. So put your hands together in appreciation and admiration because by the end of the summer Wingman is guaranteed to be everyone’s number one grooming act.
Unless you plan to wear a hat for four days straight you’re going to have to do something about your festival hair. Two litres of hair spray are a no-no for minimal packing, and your hair straighteners are about as welcome as a mid afternoon downpour. Rather than shy away from styling your hair all together, there are a couple of tips and products that can help you rock the ‘the second day’ look.
So the first major issue is the fact that you’re not going to be able to wash your hair (without queuing for a day and a half to put your head under a festival shower, for what is essentially and elevated hose pipe pumping out cold water). So the next best option is a ‘Dry Shampoo’; not quite as good as the real thing but more than ample given the circumstances. I would particularly recommend these for guys with longer hair which can be prone to greasiness, but they’re just as efficient on shorter styles. These handy sprays don’t actually clean your hair, but they’re designed to soak up any excess oil or build up so that your hair looks clean, even if it might not feel it.
Choosing the wrong styling product on day one is like choosing ‘The Hottest Chilli’ at the festival on day one. Don’t forget that the facilities are going to prevent you dealing with the result of either very easily!
A simple way to avoid the styling mishap is opt for a product that’s light and isn’t designed to keep your style in place all night, as it’s easier to apply more product across the weekend than to wash it out of your hair. If you insist on something with a bit more substance go for something that’s remouldable so that you can mix it up and restyle over the weekend. As for the chilli, just stay well clear all together!
At a festival your skin is faced with more stress than at any other time of the year. You’ve got the possibility of sun, the exposure to wind and potentially rain, the lack of sleep, the alcohol and unhealthy food – your skin really is up against it, which makes your choice of moisturiser absolutely vital. There are a few big name moisturisers that I’ve picked out which would be more than up to the challenge, each one of them able to refresh and moisturise tired looking skin while preventing against future damage from the sun and other environmental aggressors. The need for a ‘do it all’ moisturiser is again really important because you’ll need to travel light. Why take one moisturiser to replenish dry skin, one to boost tired skin and a sun cream to protect when each of those does it all in one:
In addition to your moisturiser, you’ll also need something to keep your skin well cleansed. While the afore mentioned Wingman wipes can be used, skincare buffs among you may want to add some additional clout with traditional face wipes – particularly those with oily skin if the weather is warm or humid.
If the sun (fingers crossed) shines on your festival this summer then you’ll need protecting against the harmful UV rays. Long exposure with little shade means that if you’re don’t err on the side of caution then you could be nursing bad sunburn along with a hangover come the next morning. There are tonnes of sun creams on the market, but the ones I’ve selected have been tried and tested as the best in the business, plus most of them only need to be applied once a day so there really are no excuses.
The importance of sun protection can never be understated. If you still need convincing that sun cream is an absolute must then check out my article from last summer ‘Stay Sun Safe’ and get cued up before the damage is irreversible.
Last but by no means least. Obviously you’ll be taking your toothbrush as part of your festival kit, but in the festival environment it’s not always easy to keep your breath minty fresh throughout the day. As well as morning and night – every time you pop back to your tent have a quick swig of mouth wash as an easy way to keep yourself fresh in case any festival action comes your way.
So there you have it, the festival grooming essentials that are guaranteed to keep you looking good without your normal products or facilities. Whatever festivals you’re heading to this summer, stay stylish, stay well groomed and enjoy every minute. As always if you need any product tips or have any questions about this or any other topic please leave your comment below.
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