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Festival Looks for North Coast on a Budget: Just take a trip to Target (+ festival makeup tutorial)

North Coast is coming up this weekend, and as one of the largest EDM events in Chicago, everyone is gonna be decked out -- neon crop tops, flower crowns and rave hoods, bright colors and trippy patterns everywhere. Festivals are an awesome excuse to dress up, and a chance to do really big makeup that might look kind of crazy outside venue gates. There are tantalizingly fun products from big label names, like Urban Decay's Electric palette (which will run you $49) but you can actually create bright, totally original looks that will last the whole festival, 90 degree weather and all, with just a cheap trip to Target or your local drug store.

I have found that the best place to find inspiration for festival makeup is searching through posts on sites like Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest (search tags: festival makeup, festival look, EDM makeup, etc). I love looks that take colors and designs from nature (flowers, water, sunrises), and animal-inspired stuff can also be really cool (birds, sea creatures, jungle cats). You can also just put together a color scheme that you like and do abstract shapes with liquid eyeliner – I love trying to imitate damask patterns.

I'm a sea siren! :D
1) Once you have your idea, start with your everyday face, sans eye makeup. If you don't typically wear any makeup, that's cool, although a light layer of foundation to even out skin tone will admittedly allow bright colors to pop more.

Face: Elf BB cream, Maybelline Dream Bouncy blush, L'oreal True Match mineral powder; Brows: Nick AK dark brown eyeshadow.

2) Before you get to any of the crazy stuff, go over the whole eye and temple area with a waterproof primer. This protects against smudging from sweat and rain and creates an even base for shadow so there's no creasing or clumping along your skin's natural lines. I recommend NYX's Proof It! – it saw me through the 100 degree heat and 'severe weather warning' storms of Summerset in August and my makeup was still flawlessly intact at 1 AM. It's seriously unbelievable, especially for its $7 price. Then, to really make colors pop, go over the same area with white eye pencil, the jumbo “Milk” eyepencil from NYX does the job quickly (Ulta or Target, $4.50). This step always looks so weird at the time, but putting shadow on top of white, rather than your skin color, makes it stand out significantly more and keeps the shade even.

NYX's Jumbo Milk eye pencil, $4.50, to even out colors and make them pop.

2) Now, you can start putting on the eyeshadow. Highly pigmented and/or shimmery, glittery shadows are awesome for festivals. However, rather than dropping 50 bucks on an UD eight shadow palette, you can get a palette of 88 bright colors or more from Coastal Scents for about $15 (free shipping if you have Amazon Prime). The individual shadows in the Coastal Scents palettes can be a bit hit or miss, but the majority of them are highly pigmented and there are both shimmer and matte options in every color, making it definitely worth its value. Hard Candy also has a great 10 shadow palette for $6 that is super pigmented and spans the whole rainbow. 
2b) There are infinite possibilities with an 88 palette. One, arguably aesthetically pleasing, way that I can suggest, is to start with a fluffy blending brush to apply a dark color around the outer half of the eye, a bit up onto the brow bone, and out toward the temples, and use an angled brush for the crease. 

Slowly covering up the weird-looking white, but, see, the color is super strong because of it.

2c) Fill in the middle of the lid with a medium-toned color, and save one or a few light colors for the inner corner of the eye, under the eye, a bit below the brow arch and the outer temple.
I went with a medium pink for the lid, a bright seafoam for the inner eye and below, and a shimmery silver for the brow bone and temples.

3) Go back over everything with a smudge brush to create smooth blending between the colors.
Elf brushes are really cheap (Target, $1 each), but are named even by makeup professionals as some of the best brushes around.

4) You could end things here if you're going for a simple rainbow look, maybe finishing up with some glitter, like with NYX's Roll on Shimmer ($4, Target). (While it stays really well, I recommend applying it with a smudge brush because otherwise it can be too concentrated and change the appearance of shadow colors.) Put on a couple coats of your favorite mascara (I love CoverGirl's Bloom Full Lash or Lash Exact, $6.20 each) and you'll have a really eye-catching look for the festival that will brighten up your day and stay on through the whole night.

5) If you wanna take things a step further, NYX has a line of liquid eyeliners (Target or Ulta, $4.50) that are brightly colored or glittery and come with a super thin brush allows you to apply it precisely and create intricate designs, changing up the thickness of the lines. You can even use a glittery liner to accent the shiny liner. You can also use spirit gum (Amazon, $5.88) to apply a few rhinestones for further accent.

I used a purple liquid eyeliner to create a bubbly design, and silver glitter liner in the typical place along the lashline on top and bottom.
Above all, just get creative. Makeup is the most fun when you think of it as art. Your face is your canvas and you can look as festive/intense/hypnotising/vibrant/scary/beautiful as you want! Hope to see you all, lookin' great, at North Coast!

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