5 Festival Beauty Looks That Aren’t Totally Played Out
Featuring our favorite on-the-rise musicians.
by Emily Gaynor and Abby McIntosh
Photos by Jess Farran
If the thought of shoving through a sea of flower crowns to get to the other side of a music festival makes you want to tear off your wristband, we feel you. Festivals are fun, but played out beauty trends…not so much. At Milk Makeup, we’re always thinking about the freshest ways to make an entrance, so this year we’re going into festival season with one thing on our minds: Next-level effects. Swipes of Holographic Highlighter, smears of shimmering Face Gloss, random smatterings of Tattoo Stamps in all the shapes, swatches of prismatic Glitter Sticks — we’re turning fest beauty on its head with the help of our party-hard heroes. We teamed up with 5 rad up-and-coming musicians: Gus Dapperton, Zuri Marley, Kari Faux, Maxine Ashley, and Blu DeTiger, to bring you festival beauty ideas that you haven’t seen all over Instagram…yet. The easiest way to stand out without going overboard? Kaleidoscopes of color, dewy skin, and otherworldly highlights. But, outdoor dance sessions are breeding grounds for sweaty encounters and melting makeup. That’s why makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez swears by stocking your fanny pack with primer that doubles up as a touch-up helper throughout the day (hello, Blur Stick!) and blotting papers (sup, Roll & Blot?). “Use a sunscreen and primer over your moisturizer to keep makeup on. Bring blotting sheets and dab away any excess sweat from all the dancing throughout the day,” he says. “If blotting sheets aren’t enough, you can touch up with Blur Stick.” He also suggests sticking with cream-based products that blend better on sweaty skin and can do double duty. “Bring things that are multi-purpose like Lip + Cheek and Holographic Stick,” Marcelo advises. “It’s about using things that will allow you to be flexible.”
Meet the newest crew of music superstars (they’re about to be everywhere) and get familiar with their unique spins on the festival face.
Twenty-one-year-old singer Gus Dapperton’s signature pastel green bowl cut and high water pants give him an instant edge, but his journey as a musician has a surprisingly relatable beginning: a mandatory eighth-grade songwriting competition. “I spent a lot of time on it, and then I was like, ‘I just want to do this for the rest of my life.’” (He won the contest, btw.) Having grown up in Warwick, New York, a rural farm town, much of Gus’s inspiration is drawn from memories of his childhood. “I’m inspired by the sounds and the colors and the looks of my childhood. I had a bowl cut when I was a toddler and I have one now. And I’m also inspired by what I grew up listening to in my house, like ‘60s rock, ‘80s new wave, and R&B,” he explains. Although he’s now in the thick of his first-ever tour, Gus spent much of his time during the previous year refining his sound: “I think I found my sound last summer and honed in on it. From here on out, it’s just about evolving.”
Growing as an artist also involves a hectic new schedule, which Gus has learned to love: “When you’re touring, [your performance] has to be on the spot, so you don’t even have time to prep or think about it. I think that’s better, on the spot, on the fly.” Gus also thinks that performing live has helped him evolve musically. “Performing live as a musician is newer to me. I’m mostly a studio person and producer and composer, so I’m really focused on performing with my band,” he says. Despite his super busy life on the road with his band, which includes his 17-year-old sister — “We’re best friends,” he explains — Gus has found time to work on a new album, the follow up to his EP You Think You’re a Comic, which he hopes to release this year.
It’s a lot to handle at just 21, but Gus seems to take it in stride, as evidenced by his carefree vibe (seriously — he dances around like no one’s watching). “Two summers ago, I finally got a fake ID, I was in New York, and I moved in with my creative director, Matthew Dillon Cohen. We’d just go out to a club that was playing good music and dance every night. I think then I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t care. I’ll dance like no one is watching every time now.’” This same carefree attitude characterizes Gus’s style, too. “I started painting my nails when I was 17 and 18, and I just went right for it. And once I started painting my nails, I wanted to wear makeup. It was probably my first year of college and I had a show and I was like, ‘Man, it would be dope to wear some eyeshadow.’ So I became obsessed with eyeshadow and I now wear it all the time.” As for any criticism he gets for his beauty moves, Gus tries not to let it get to him: “I’m trying to just reach everyone and share my music with everyone. I’m trying to express myself to the world. I’m doing what I want to do.” Referencing Gus’s love of the ’80s and ’90s, Marcelo highlighted Gus’s mint green hair by applying Milk Eye Pigment in Mermaid Parade to his brows and layering Holographic Stick in Stardust and Holographic Powder in Mars across Gus’s cheekbones, forehead, and ears. It’s a fitting update on the color palette of Gus’s childhood, and a look that captures how true-to-self Gus is as an artist. “I know now that being yourself is ultimately better than trying to curate a random portrayal for society. By the time I was seventeen, I understood [this] reality, and was fully myself, but I wish I could’ve told my fifteen-year-old self that earlier.”
Denim Top by American Apparel. Vintage Pink Mesh Top. Pants by Discount Universe. Glasses Chain by Tuleste. Rings by The Shiny Squirrel. White Banded Ring by Tuleste. Vintage Silver and White Belt. Glasses and Pearl Earring, Gus’s own.
For most of us, after-school hobbies remain just that: hobbies. For rapper/singer Kari Faux, however, what started as an after-school hobby evolved into a music career that has already landed her in a category of her own. Known for her clever, conversational lyrics and delivery, Kari’s musical career started as a pastime among friends. “My friend had recording stuff in his closet, so we would all go to his house after school and make songs and put them on Myspace and Facebook,” she explains. After taking a brief hiatus from music until she was 19 (“At that point, I felt like no one really cared what I had to say,” she says,) Kari returned to making music during college. “I made a song and my friends were messing around on it, and I just kept doing it and I didn’t stop. I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Kari now resides in LA and is working on a new album. “It’s a concept album,” she says, “with these characters I came up with. It’s a non-cohesive story; there’s no real moral or point. It’s just me telling stories about these characters.” Like most artists, Kari’s songwriting process has evolved dramatically. “When I first started taking music seriously, I would get a beat and I would have to sit with this beat for half an hour, or however long it took, and write a whole song to it.” But this resulted in Kari feeling burnt out, which is why she now takes a more relaxed approach to writing. “When inspiration comes to me, I try to hold onto it and keep it for later purposes instead of making my creativity be a horse, like, “go, go go!” When it comes to her personal style, Kari remains faithful to her love of streetwear: “I’m always wearing Vans or Converse or Nike. I really wear a lot of streetwear stuff.” Her approach to her skincare routine is similarly laid-back. “I just wash my face with soap and water and then moisturize with Cetaphil, and I use a face oil from Bahi Cosmetics whenever I get a pimple, and the next day it’s gone.” As for makeup, Kari says that she tries to keep it “very fresh. Most people don’t even know that I wear makeup, but I do.”
In order to play up Kari’s youthful energy, Marcelo lightly contoured with Flex Concealer and enhanced Kari’s eyes with Glitter Stick, finishing with Lip Color in Extra to create a look that internet dreams are made of. “The internet is my life,” says Kari, but, exhibiting wisdom beyond-her-years, she knows when to step away, occasionally deleting her Twitter when she feels like it’s taking up too much of her energy or inviting negativity or doubt into her life. “I know what my style is, and I know what my direction is, and I know ultimately the artist that I want to be when I’m 40. ‘Cause I’m still gonna make music then.”
Bodysuit by Chromat. Clear Choker by Zana Bayne. Silver Rope Twist Choker by The Shiny Squirrel. Silver Inter-loop Choker by WXYZ Jewelry. Gold Ring by WXYZ Jewelry. Silver Wing Earing by The Shiny Squirrel. Nose Ring, Kari’s own. Leather Skirt by American Apparel. Socks and Shoes, Kari’s own.
At the age of 13, while many are trying to figure out what color braces to rock, Bronx-born singer Maxine Ashley was living in London, working as a songwriter for some of the UK’s biggest pop groups. How does one become a songwriter in London at only 13, you ask? The first step, obviously, is to accidentally go viral. “A record company out there discovered me on YouTube. I put, like, one video up because my mom wanted to show off to people, and then it went viral,” Maxine explains. After three years of traveling back-and-forth between London and New York, Maxine took her talents back to the U.S. for good, and is now in the midst of working on her next EP, making sure to save time for other fun stuff like scoping out karaoke spots and an extensive skincare routine that you’ll want to snag.
After her return stateside at 16, Maxine once again found herself the subject of viral fame, this time catching the attention of Pharrell. “He was really cool to me, and he actually believed in me and wanted to work,” she says of their relationship. “Everybody else was just like , ‘Oh, you could be the next Taylor Swift or something,’ and I was like, ‘Do you hear my voice? Do I sound like Taylor Swift to you? No.’” It was after being signed by Pharrell that Maxine put out her first EP, Moodswings. Now, she’s in a new phase of her musical journey. “I noticed that when I started doing things independently, it went better for me,” she says. Now working on her forthcoming EP, Maxine feels more certain of her voice and identity. “I’m going through a growth period in my life. I’m inspired, and I’m putting together a good body of music.” Reflecting on her time in London, Maxine levels that it took time to find stability. “I was getting completely sucked in and warped into that world of people trying to mold you, so you have to figure that out for yourself, and be like, ‘Hold on. No!’”
In addition to working on her new EP, Maxine also models on the side. Her beauty routine, in case you’re as curious as we were, starts with a simple ingredient: “Stupid amounts of water. I drink a lot, a lot of water.” (She drinks soda when she’s hungover, though — “That’s just the best.”) She also likes to play mad scientist with her routine: “I mix my own stuff. My bathroom is just all oil, different oils that I try to mix and match, so my skin doesn’t get too used to it, because I have really dry skin.” To play up Maxine’s already ridiculous bone structure, makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez contoured with Flex Concealer and swiped Eye Vinyl in Bridge and Gold Foil Face Gloss across her lids to up the shine. Gutierrez finished the look by layering Lip Color in Name Drop with original Face Gloss for the perfect glossy fire-engine-red. For her day-to-day look, Maxine has stayed faithful to a simple cat eye for as long as she can remember. “For my whole life, I’ve never done anything different.” Maxine’s strong sense of self has carried her a long way from her London years, which she seems to relish: “I’m in that period where I’m finally… I’m myself. I’m myself. And that’s it, you know?”
Top and Pants by Discount Universe. Earrings by The Shiny Squirrel. Gold Opal Ring by Mountain and Moon. Gold Thumb Ring by Haartsick Jewelry. Cage and Circle Ring by The Shiny Squirrel. Nose Ring, Maxine’s own.
Zuri Marley has got your back. Truly. “Honestly, I will write a Yelp review if a restaurant was really f*cking bad. I want to warn people!” says the 22-year-old musician and actress on her totally relatable pastime. Other pastimes of Zuri’s that might be similar to yours? She loves spending hours watching deep sea diving and ocean-themed YouTube videos, tunes into tons of audiobooks, practices a pretty intensive skincare routine on nights she’s feeling good about the world (“My mental health is literally a roller coaster. And I use beauty to help with that.”), and listens to pop music radio stations (“I like listening to and hearing what people like, or what they’re trying to force us to like. Some of it is f*cking great!”). In Zuri’s words, this year is about self-discovery and self-care. “Right now I’m working on me,” she declares. Career-wise, that means she’s in an exploratory period, balancing the finishing touches on a music project she’s been working on (her first single “Beg for It” had an electro-pop sound and she looks to “weird female voices” like Dido and Imogen Heap as inspiration) and breaking into the acting world. Self-discovery also takes Zuri back-and-forth between both coasts. “New York is a different vibe right now. I’m just testing the waters in LA, but everywhere is bullshit. It’s just like…which bullshit do you want?”
Zuri was born into a musical family (her grandfather is Bob Marley and her dad is Ziggy), but she finds herself more comfortable performing in front of large crowds than before her relatives. “If I have to perform in front of my mom, I’ll cry. If I have to perform in front of a million strangers…I’ll be totally fine,” she explains. She already has proven this theory after hitting the festival circuit with her friend Dev Hynes of Blood Orange. “We did a bunch of shows together and those were amazing. The crowds were so receptive and awesome.” During Zuri’s childhood in Kingston, Jamaica, music surrounded her in a 360-degrees way. “I always loved music. Like listening to music, dancing to music, making my own music videos in the mirror, ever since I was young. Because my family’s all in music, I saw another side of it, too, in performing and touring, and I liked that,” she explains. But although Zuri might feel more comfortable in massive groups of people, she’s not immune to insecurity. After moving to NYC five years ago, she encountered the pressures of living in the States. “It’s different. I had insecurities as a young girl about my hair texture being too tight or my skin being too dark, all that shit. But it never deeply affected me until I moved here,” she explains, contrasting the consumeristic, competitive mentality of the USA to the slower-paced, community-based island values. Now, Zuri overcomes fear of the unknown with inner pep talks. “When I put out my first song, I was so nervous. I am still so nervous about that process. But I always say, it’s only one of a thousand songs I’ll put out. That way of thinking about things helps,” she says in regards to keeping things in perspective. “Everything you need is in you. It’s about…how are you going to access those parts of you that you need to access to be the best.”
One way that she puts her best face forward is on social media, although she is keenly aware of how warped a place that can be. “I mean it’s totally the devil, but I also like looking at my face, you know? It’s the devil, but I can curate the devil, so it’s fine. It’s curated evil; I f*ck with it,” she says. And in terms of beauty, Zuri has a special relationship with skincare and makeup. “It brings me back to my center, being able to look at my face, whether I’m putting on makeup, or I’m sculpting…you learn more about yourself when you’re working with beauty products,” she says. After a night that might involve a sheet mask, a regular mask, eye patches, a lip mask, and face cream, she’s ready to conquer the world (but first, some Sunshine Skin Tint, she says). For Zuri’s Milk Makeup debut, Marcelo accented her cheekbones by draping blush across her profile (“I like looking blushy!”). “We also highlighted her beautiful eye shape with Gold Foil Face Gloss and accents of Eye Pigment in Sesh,” says Marcelo. “It’s very dewy, very Studio 54, very festive.”
Even if you don’t have a pro makeup artist getting you ready for a day on the festival scene, Zuri’s everyday staple will give you a glow up. “Everyone’s always asking me, ‘What’s that highlighter?’ And I’m all… ‘It’s Milk Makeup Face Gloss! That’s it.’ And then they go, ‘Where do you put it?’ And I whisper, ‘Everywhere.’ I literally do put it everywhere. Even when I’m not wearing makeup…I’m wearing Face Gloss.” Noted!
Red Top and Pants by Discount Universe. Sunglasses and Bangles by The Shiny Squirrel. Silver Earrings by Tuleste. Silver Earring/Pendant as zipper by Tuleste. Red Leather Jacket by Discount Universe.
Some artists establish their signature looks over time — but for NYC-based bassist Blu DeTiger (yes, that’s her real name), her color palette is her birthright. Whether she’s incorporating her rotating array of cerulean basses and matching eyeshadow into DJ sets, doing her own thing on stage, or as a member of her band, Bits (her brother and sister duo), Blu’s blue period is a forever thing. Born in downtown Manhattan to a family of artists, Blu’s career as a musician sparked at 7-years-old. When her older brother Rex started playing drums, Blu decided she also needed to play an instrument. Guitar seemed too obvious, so Blu went the unique route and made bass her thing. When she’s not studying Music Business at NYU, Blu tours with bands (she just wrapped SXSW with the band Kitten and plans to hit the road with them this June), works on her own soon-to-be project (“It’s fun, funky dance music.”), and makes her rounds as a DJ on the nightlife circuit in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And her bass skills give her DJ performances a rad twist. “I add live bass to my DJ sets. It’s become my thing,” she explains.
The native New Yorker is relatively new to performing in the festival scene, but it’s a breath of fresh air for someone who’s lived the city life since day one. “I didn’t leave NYC to go to school, like a lot of my friends did. I love it here and it’s where I want to be forever, but it’s so fun to leave for a little bit and then come back and feel that love all over again,” she says. Her recent favorite environment to perform is divergent from a Brooklyn basement by lightyears. “I really like the outdoor festival vibe. Last summer I DJ’ed at Gratitude Migration Festival on the beach in New Jersey. It’s kind of like Burning Man mixed with art, but on real stages. My set was during sunset and it felt like a totally different responsibility. Every different context inspires my sets,” she says. A constant in Blu’s performances besides the color blue is also a Milk Makeup staple effect, too: glitter. “I’m very influenced by funk, so I’ve been wearing a ton of jumpsuits and power suits in golds and silvers. I look to Debby Harry and Annie Clark as style icons. And I love glitter, but it always ends up all over my apartment and in my hair.”
For Blu’s Milk Makeup festival moment, glitter played a starring role in her wardrobe, but electric colors were front and center on her face. Marcelo gravitated to Lip Color in OG Red for Blu, but not for its intended purpose. Instead, he winged out the creamy crimson on Blu’s lids for a classic American rock feel. He topped off her red eye with purple Eye Pigment in Rave blended into her inner corners and dotted one Tattoo Stamp in Star where the shadow shades met on each side. Paired with mattified skin using Blur Liquid Matte Foundation, Flex Concealer and a touch of Lip Color in Name Drop on Blu’s lips, her head-turning stage transformation was complete. After 13 years of playing, practicing, collaborating and touring with different songwriters and artists, Blu feels like 2018 is a pivotal point in putting it all together. And although a focus on female empowerment may have helped open some doors, Blu is adamant about showing people that she’s one to watch because of her talent. “A lot of artists are looking to female instrumentalists right now, which has been great, but I want to prove that I’m not just here because I’m a girl, but because I know how to play my instrument really well.”
Gold Sequin Dress by Greta Constintine. Gold Flower Choker by Tuleste. Gold Cuffs and Rings by Haarstick Jewelry. Rings by The Shiny Squirrel. Blue and Gold Belt by Tuleste. Blue Booties by Rag & Bone. Necklaces and Earrings, Blu’s own.
Makeup: Marcelo Gutierrez
Styling: Kat Banas
Styling Assistants: Athena Zammit, Melanie Yvette, Darielle Rose
Art Direction: Alexa Cohen
Producer: Edelawit Hussien
Photo Assistant: Paige Maccready
Video Assistant: Blair Cannon